Probably more than any other subject which is studied at a young age, Mathematics is of paramount importance. Numeracy, statistics and arithmetic form an important part of almost everything in the modern world, both in and out of the workplace from the weekly shop to the shop floor, from paying the bills to following your favourite sport. And even if mathematics doesn’t impact directly on your day to day life, being taught mathematics helps develop the brain, especially in younger students, and so those who master at least some of the basic concepts of mathematics early on tend to be more receptive to understanding other subjects.
Apart from the obvious benefits of mastering mathematics, such as higher education and the doors to certain specialist careers opening for you, even a modest understanding of mathematics can benefit students. Such studies help improve concentration levels and listening skills, students tend to experience an increase in confidence and develop more logical thinking patterns. And then there are more instantly practical benefits such as the workplace application of numeracy and calculation as well an increased understanding of problems and problem solving.
Although the benefits of learning mathematics at a young age go beyond the strict parameters of the subject itself, you are never too old to learn, refresh or improve your mathematical skills. It is also a subject which, unlike many sciences, and mathematics is as much a science as it is an art, requires very little additional equipment. Chemistry and physics, for example, are best studied through practical experimentation and demonstration, mathematics, however, is all about flexing the most important muscle in the body, the brain. In fact exercising the brain is like exercising any other muscle in your body and it is less about the duration of the exercise than it is about the frequency at which it is carried out. It is for these reasons that mathematics is a subject as suited to the formal classroom as it is to on-line tutoring and solo study.
Mathematics is often seen as a dry and dusty subject, less colourful than language, not as dramatic as science, but today as a way of encouraging students back to such more academic subjects, learning mathematics is both fun for the young and interesting for the older student. Rather than being studied in isolation, it is from real world examples that you get a real understanding not only of the value of maths but just how many practical applications it has. From counting games and simple problem solving for the beginner to examples of real and even local applications from the world around the more advanced student, maths is actually a fun, relevant and advantageous subject to master.
Not everyone is going to go on to be a maths genius, although some of our brightest minds have come from very humble beginnings, but a little knowledge of mathematics, especially the areas which are directly applicable to the world around us, will take you a long way. Mathematics, you can count on it!