Use Your Trucking Job To Help Your Kids Learn Math
OTR drivers know how difficult it can be to stay involved in your children’s lives. You may also feel as though it is impossible to stay involved in your child’s learning activities. This doesn’t have to be the case, as there are some fun games you can play with your children while on the road, and these activities can help them improve their basic math skills.
Are you there yet?
Calculating distance is an important part of your job as a trucker, and you can help your children become familiar with this process as well. Whenever you take a rest stop, plan another stop approximately two to three hours down the road. Call home and give your family your current location. Ask your children to locate that area on the map. Now tell them where you plan for your next stop to be, and ask them to locate this spot also. Have them calculate how long it will take you to get from your current location to your new destination. Call when you arrive there so your children will be able to see how closely they were able to calculate your travel time.
This game is better suited for older children. Before you head out with a load, have your children estimate how much hauling this load will cost. Have them estimate your fuel costs based on the number of miles you are driving. You can also ask them to calculate the cost of meals, toll fees, and any other expenses that might be incurred on the journey. Have them keep the result in a ledger, and when you return, compare your receipts with the estimates they came up with beforehand. Try this several times and see if they are able to predict the total cost more accurately each time.
After going through a weigh station, send a text message to your children telling them how much your load weighs (do this before pulling out onto the highway of course). Ask them to convert this weight into other units. For example, they could convert tons into pounds and pounds into ounces. They could also practice converting the weight of your truck into metric units. After dropping a partial load, you could text your new weight to your children and then ask them to calculate how much freight was unloaded. You could also have them convert the difference from English to metric units.
Log Book Calculation
Children can use math skills to help you keep an accurate logbook. Challenge them to see if they can determine how many driving hours you have left in the day or how long you should wait before heading out on the road again. If driving with a partner, ask them to calculate when you should switch places with the co-driver. This can also help children determine when you might be able to make it home if you are on one of your longer hauls.
Math games are enjoyed by families during automobile trips, but they can also be a good way for you to build bonds with your children while earning a living as a truck driver. Doing so can allow you to be as involved in their daily lives as possible while also building their sense of self-esteem.