Math With a Purpose: Consumer Math for High School

My two oldest kids struggled through some advanced math classes in high school. But my middle child didn’t want to take those advanced classes. (It’s often hard to convince kids that PreCalculus has lifelong value!) Instead, we opted for math that would be practical and would actually be something she would use down the road: Consumer Math.

There are a number of reasons that Consumer Math is a great choice for high school students. And we’ve recently had the opportunity to review a self-paced, online Consumer Math program that is a great choice if you’re looking for Consumer Math.

Consumer math from MrD Math
Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. All opinions are always my own.

We’ve been looking at the online, self-paced Mr. D Math Consumer Math program. I’m pretty impressed! I’ve reviewed a number of Mr. D Math live classes before, and both of my younger girls have taken classes from him. But this was the first opportunity I’ve had to take a look at a self-paced class from Mr. D Math.

Why Consumer Math for High School

Although high school students often find themselves taking advanced math classes, there is typically some general complaints about how relevant the math they’re learning might actually be. And some students might be much more benefitted by taking a consumer math class instead of a traditional advanced math in high school.

Not all students are headed to a four-year college.

I don’t subscribe to the idea that colleges need to be the ultimate goal of every student. There are many career and life choices that can follow a different path. So not every student will need the advanced math skills from the traditional advanced math classes.

Mr. D Math Consumer Math doesn’t focus on the advanced math skills found in some high school courses. But it does have several Algebra Skills Check sections. In these sections students can learn/review basic algebra skills that are relevant for practical real life math, such as fractions or compound interest. I think this provides a good balance of covering those skills that students should know without overwhelming them with advanced math if that isn’t what they need.

Consumer math teaches students real life math skills.

Let’s face it. Many advanced math skills don’t translate to real life use. When is the last time you had to complete a geometry proof? On the other hand, skills like balancing a checkbook or computing taxes and interest rates are some that you probably use often. Consumer math is great because it introduces those concepts and teaches students the math skills they will need throughout life.

Mr. D Consumer Math introduces students to a number of real life math skills. The class includes not only basics like balancing a checkbook and handling sales tax, but also topics like goal setting and time management. Here are the some of the practical lessons that your students will get in the course.

  • Goal setting
  • Time management
  • Opening a bank account
  • Writing a check and using a credit card
  • Financing or buying a car
  • Introduction to the stock market
  • Understanding compound interest
  • Buying food and appliances
  • Measurements in the kitchen
  • Nutrition
  • Career assessment
  • Resume writing
  • Paying taxes
  • And more!

Consumer math makes math meaningful to students.

I can remember sitting in math class in high school and wondering when on earth I’d ever need to use a concept like polynomial and rational functions. And there have been many students I’ve taught over the years- mine included- who asked me the same thing: “When will I ever use this?” Consumer math makes learning math relevant because students can easily see how those topics relate to their real life.

Mr. D Consumer math is all about topics that students will clearly see the relevancy of. Opening a bank account or calculating sales tax aren’t just topics that kids will use sometime down the road. They are skills that kids can use in their current lives in high school. When they have a job- even a part time- it may be important to know how to use a credit card or how to calculate compound interest. The kitchen math they’ll learn can be practical to them in their current lives as they learn to cook meals and help with dinner. These skills will have much more appeal to kids because their relevancy is clear.

Consumer math for high school

Three Great Reasons to Use the Mr. D Math Consumer Math Online, Self-Paced Class

Here are just a few reasons that the Mr D Math Consumer Math class could be a great choice for your high schooler.

~It is self-paced. There are some live classes- which I’ll link to below- but the Consumer Math class we’ve been reviewing is self-paced. I really like this. Students can still turn in assignments and get feedback. But they can also work at their own pace. I’m all about flexibility in homeschooling, and these self-paced classes have it!

~ Many of the lessons have printable and video components. This gives students multiple forms of input in learning the skills and concepts presented, and this is helpful when you have kids who learn in different ways.

~ In the class assignments students are actually doing practical projects. Some math classes have lots of what can seem to kids like busywork- endless problems that cover the topic of the current lesson. But the assignments in Mr. D. Math Consumer Math are much more practical. Students set goals, create a time management spreadsheet, double a recipe, research buying a car, and many other practical projects as their assignments throughout the class.

Consumer math for high school

Mr. D Consumer Math and Other Live and Self-Paced Classes

In addition to this self-paced class, my two younger girls have taken live classes with Mr. D Math. In addition to Consumer Math he has a number of live and self-paced classes available.

  • ASL 1, 2, and 3
  • Training Like an Olympic Runner
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Economics (High School and Junior levels)
  • Advanced Writing
  • High School Math Classes
  • Flamenco Dance and Guitar
  • Study Skills
  • ACT Test Prep
  • And more

You can find all of the live and self-paced classes available here.


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