It is 9:30 am here. We have been trudging through our school work for the past hour. The first hours of our day are always spent on math. Today I realized that the first hours of our school day are comical. Comical for me. I realized that math is the reason that I need so much coffee in the morning. Here is how it goes…

Me: Freckle Face, you have test. Let’s get going on that test.

The Sophomore: Mom, I read the lesson. I am not sure that I get it.  I think the book is making it more complicated than it needs to be. I need to you to explain it to me.

Kit Kat: Mom, if 8800 were dejected and 78% of the crowd was not dejected, can I divide 8800 by 22% to get the number in the crowd and then find 78% of that?

Freckle Face: (whiny voice) I don’t know how many stacks had 7 books! I can’t figure this out. I don’t get it! (waaahh)

Me: Sophmore, yes. Give me a minute. Kit Kat, try it and see if it makes sense. Freckle Face, knock it off. You know how to do that.

Freckle Face: No, I don’t.

Me: Ok, get out the linking cubes. Let’s make the stacks and see what you are missing..

15 minutes later..

Freckle Face: ooohhhh.. I get it now!

Kit Kat: Ok, I figured out the percentage problem. Now, I am stuck on another one. Can you help me?

Me: Wait. I need to help The Sophomore.

The Sophomore: No, I figured it out, but I can’t remember how to do this. If there are three consecutive multiples of 11,  I know that I don’t write 11+1. I think that it is 11N, but I can’t remember how to write the second multiple. It can’t be 11N+1. That won’t work.

Me: Yeah, I don’t remember.

Sophomore: Never mind. I will figure it out. And I get parabolas now!

Me: Yay!

Kit Kat: So, can you help me now?

Me: Sure.

Kit Kat: I don’t get this. They haven’t given me one is a long time.

Me: (still trying to figure out who “they” is.) Did you go back and look at the lesson it was first taught? (This is my secret code for “I don’t remember either. I need to stall while I think about it, but I don’t want you to know that.”)

Kit Kat: They don’t show me.

Me: (again. Who is “they”?) Sure it does. You need to think a little harder. (This is code for “I don’t want to think about it either.) Let’s go back and read the problem again. What does the problem give you. It gives you the sum. It just wants the average.

Kit Kat: oohhh… They made it tricky. I get it now.

Here I am. Taking a break. We are 1 hour into school and I want to move to something else, but they aren’t done yet. Sometimes I think that I am just the person who they bounce ideas off of. They don’t really want my help. Well, maybe Freckle Face does. They just need to talk it out. This is what makes up our conversations in math. 

Freckle Face: How many seconds are in day?