It’s important to understand and master equations, because you’ll use them frequently while you’re learning mathematics in school.

There are several reasons why it’s important to know how to solve equations. The most important one is the problem solving strategies you learn by working through them. It helps train your brain to think. Solving equations is a way of thinking that you will benefit from unconsciously in other parts of your life.

An example of this is when you’re grocery shopping. You might wonder whether you have the money to buy one more item. In that case, you add together the price of the things you’re already buying, and you compare that sum with the money in your pocket.

To figure out whether you have enough money to buy the last item, this is what you would do: Subtract the price of the items you already have from the money you have in your pocket. If that difference is greater than the price of the last thing you want to buy, you can buy it.

In this situation, the difference between the money in your pocket and the price of the items you’re already buying is the unknown, also known as the variable. This is the unknown we call $x$ when we create an equation.

As you work with equations, you’ll need to translate problems written entirely in text into mathematical expressions. Then you’ll see that equations are pretty useful!

Think About This

Your computer is the world’s best solver of equations.

The world around you is overflowing with equations. The reason you don’t notice it is that the computers are solving them all for you.

Unfortunately, regular computers are man-made, and for that reason they can’t do anything other than what they’re told.

For example, large sets of equations are used when a video game makes its characters look and move like actual humans instead of like stick figures. The traffic lights you see every day are controlled by equations. In the world of economics, being able to solve equations is one of the most important traits you can have.

You use equations without thinking about it, even when it comes to your allowance. Look at this equation:

$$\text{Savedmoney}=\text{allowance}-\text{toys}$$ |

It’s important to be sure that you are in full control when it comes to equations. For every grade you move up, the theory behind equations will be expanded on, with new rules to take into account. To understand and master those, you need a solid foundation from your earlier years.

Remember: It’s difficult to build a house from the third floor if the floors below don’t exist!