Monday, January 28, 2013

Homework's little helper...

(DD2 missed math today because of doctor appointment.  Tonight she had the classwork as catch up work, plus tonight's homework.  Six pages of math, between 5 and 10 problems per page.  I'm bleary eyed after a long day, and then I have to teach her the days lesson. My thought is, 'She's bright. She can probably do most of it herself.  A few quick words from me and she will sail through this.'


DD2: "Mom, how do you write 2784 in expanded notation as the sum of multiplication expressions using powers of 10?" 

Me: (crickets)
      "I have no idea what that means." 

Seriously? Was that even in English?  She didn't read that right....she couldn't have read that right...
...Oh my god, she did read that right.

And then it hits me, I don't have to die a slow, painful death while my brain melts over the way the questions is worded.  I have a SECRET WEAPON. How did our parents every manage to help us with homework when they didn't have the Secret Weapon?  The Secret Weapon of Maths Mass Destruction... the Secret Weapon that lets us know, "OH! They're talking about expanded notation with exponents of 10! Why didn't they say so?*"

THE Secret Weapon:
Interpreting Ridiculous Homework Instructions for Parents Since Sometime Around the Year 2000.
*Honestly, was the person writing the math book being paid by the word or something?