Thursday, October 20, 2011

Advanced Math

Math has never been my strong point.  I managed to get through college by fulfilling my math requirement with "Introduction to BASIC."  And I always send the kids to TheDad when they need help with math homework.  He had several semesters of calculus, so he's way above my pay grade in math.

But math has been plaguing me all day today.  First, I got an email from my New York Cousin, who wanted to know how many servings one of my favorite potluck recipes (Dr. Pepper Baked Beans) would make.

That became a word problem:  How many 1/2-cup side-dish servings do you get from a dish that fills about 3/4 of a 4-quart cooker?

For the record, I'm guessing 20 to 25.

Figuring all that out was a lot easier than helping Little Brother with his math homework this afternoon.  Unlike me, he has always been good at math (he gets it from TheDad).  I don't know if the school changed its math curriculum this year or what, but suddenly he's having a really hard time figuring out what to do with the homework problems.  "I don't get how to do this," is a daily refrain around here.  He used to whiz through his math homework, and before this year, my biggest concern was getting him to slow down enough to write the numbers legibly.

I'm not very good at helping him with the homework, either.  I can add, subtract, multiply and divide.  I can even manage fractions and decimals, usually.  But they're asking the kids to do things in strange ways.  I can find the answer, but not using their method.  It's strictly "Old Math" for me.


3 comments:

Christine Marciniak said...

What math curriculum are they using? It sounds like you might be dealing with Everyday Math.

Barb, sfo said...

They're using HSP Math by Harcourt. Everything I've seen about it on the web has it as a favorable alternative to everyday math. But they have really weird ways of asking stuff.

nicole said...

We are going through some math troubles here too. It is partly a matter of difficulty for my 4th grader and partly my concern about helping her in the wrong way. I'm afraid I will just confuse her! She is doing better this six weeks though, so I guess we're figuring it out.