Mental Math Skills: The Top 10 Reasons to Teach It

Mental Math Skills are Essential Lifelong Skills.
Mental Math Skills are Essential Lifelong Skills.

Why use Mental Math?

by Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

“What? I’m not cheating?” My daughter exclaims. Why? Because she used mental math instead of showing all of her work. For years, I carefully trained my daughter to use mental math while driving across the United States, cooking in the kitchen and just doing every day items like turning in our recycling. Her question is valid, though. Why do I bother to teach this to her? Especially when our public school system tends to label her as a cheater?

There are many reason to teach this most valuable skill.

Here are the top ten:

  1. Builds math confidence.
  2. Solidifies operations to perform higher more difficult math strategies.
  3. Occurs daily.
  4. Uses different ways to come to the same answer.
  5. Accessibility -may not always have paper/pen or calculator.
  6. Increases problem solving skills.
  7. Promotes creativity within math.
  8. Promotes number understanding.
  9. Increases thinking skills  including comprehension and number sense.
  10. Encourages an understanding of numbers, not merely memorization.

My favorite reason of all comes from this same daughter, my ever conscious earth friendly child. Why learn it? Because it saves paper.

By Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, a master’s in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. She has published several titles, including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the mid-west with her husband. She loved storytelling and sharing her stories with her children. As they grew, she started writing her stories down for them. She is a teacher, having taught from elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, masters in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. Her husband, Kerry and Tracy breed miniature dachshunds and love to spend time with their growing family. She has published several books including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel's 8 and Securing Your Tent.