Just in case your kids are saying, "I'll never use this math stuff in real life," these 20 reasons may change their minds.

1. Arithmetic practice stimulates and exercises the prefrontal cortex in your brain (and you don't even get all sweaty).
2. No memorizing historical dates for the Civil War.
3. Don't have to be a great public speaker or a standup comedian to be good at it.
4. Requires no ugly uniform or shower after class.
5. Points not subtracted for poor spelling.
6. Answering math questions rarely requires five paragraph essays or rhyming.
7. No complicated verb conjugation.
8. Makes you a better musician.
9. Everybody can learn it -- math is a universal language.
10. Logic is refreshing; so much in life is gray!
11. Knowing math leads to wiser financial decisions (cha-ching!).
12. Recipes always involve math measurement.
13. Projects around the house are simplified how much paint will I need to cover 300 square feet?
14. No need for pondering deep philosophy like what Kierkegaard meant about the need to engage in a state of despair before becoming stuck in a state of inertia fractions anyone?
15. Calculating sale prices at the mall impresses your companions.
16. Engineers and quantum physicists rake in the dough.
17. The Count on Sesame Street? One of the coolest dudes in the entire cast.
18. Numbers offer relief from rehearsing "Go Tell it On the Mountain" on the recorder.
19. Building with wooden blocks counts as geometry homework.
20. Understanding and using patterns in math leads to advanced problem solving and higher level thinking across all subjects.

Michele Ranard is passionate about helping kids improve at math. She is a professional counselor/tutor and freelancer with a blog at micheleranard.blogspot.com.