16 and 10. The teenager keeps "bashing" me with the "why do I need math?" I need to show him. The 10 yr old is a wildman and want me to strap him to one. They are both excited about doing this. My wife, not to be excluded, wants one too. I'm gonna need a side hustle
16 was about when my math education ended. My answer to that question is as follows:
More than likely, he won’t. Not beyond basic algebra, anyway. Most math at the high school level or beyond, he can safely leave to the world’s engineers, scientists, pure mathematicians, and all other manner of people smarter than he is, or who are working in different specialties. In fact, the actual math is perhaps the least
applicable takeaway from later math classes. The ability to gracefully work on an apparently pointless task; ask for assistance, clarification, or accommodation; manage expectations placed by oneself and others; accept that the work is good enough even if it isn’t perfect; accept that there are lessons to be learned from flawed work; learn in small increments; tolerate setbacks or proposed solutions that don’t work; prioritize a workload; work from an educated guess; identify how/when to, and how/when not to, game a system; and identify unconventional workarounds to a problem, are all more valuable than the math itself.
But if he learns the math on top of that, it can open doors that would otherwise stay shut. Does the answer look
right? Is the decimal in the right place? Are they using units that make sense? Does the data support the conclusion that’s being forwarded? Is there data that’s missing that would otherwise support a different conclusion?
And if the math itself proves an insurmountable barrier to learning those other lessons, much of it can be learned on the range or later in life. Take the C- and get out, if he must. He’ll have plenty of time to master it in adulthood, if he chooses to.
Your other kiddo and your wife should be easy. A small Estes kit and a few packs of 1/2A-A-B-C-D motors at a big launch event should give them an idea if they want to stick with it.