One of the most important things you can learn from algebra is problem solving. While you will probably not face day to day situations as a child or an adult that will require you to solve equations for “x“ and “y“ variables, there will definitely be times when what you learned in algebra will come in handy. For high school students who plan to go onto college, algebra is a subject that they will have to take before getting accepted into their major of choice.
Gaining a foundational understanding of college algebra allows students to understand the math classes that they will need to take to get their college degree. Of course, you can say that you will just major in something that is not related to math, but you should know that many bachelor programs will require that you take at least one or two college level math classes beyond the foundational college algebra. It should also be said that while you are not majoring in math, many other majors will be very closely related to mathematics.
Even if you are not going to college to become a scientist or a doctor, many who want to try their luck as a tradesmen will soon find out that they need algebra to help them do their job correctly. Some careers require testing that involves algebra to be licensed. If you are a parent to a child who does not understand that they need to work hard in their algebra class in order to be successful in life, try talking with them about what they think they might like to be when they grow up. Then try to show how algebra will be valuable in that job setting.
For instance, if your teenage son hopes to become a general contractor and build houses, he will need some basic math skills that are acquired by taking algebra. Any kind of building or construction job is basically one big math problem, so you have to understand the concepts whether or not you go to college.
Students are not the only ones who need to take steps to make sure they pass their algebra classes. Parents also play an important role by the example they set. If you shrug off algebra homework and act uninterested, your kid will assume it isn’t important or relevant to the adult world. By showing interest or attempting to help (or watch!) during homework assignments, you are sending an unspoken message that math is important.