Monday, January 30, 2012

Math Is Confusing

It was like a completely different language.

Is ¼ of 12 greater than ¼ of 8?


I felt like Ozzy Osbourne had just rambled off a response to me and I was left going, “Er?”

I felt just like I did after watching Lost.

Completely and utterly baffled.

“So,” I said, pretending like I knew exactly what I was doing. I mean, it was fourth grade math. FOURTH GRADE. I shouldn’t be having issues with fourth grade stuff. “So ¼ of 12 is…um…what is it, Tommy? Greater than ¼ of 8?”

Tommy frowned. “I don’t know.”

“Aren’t kids with Aspergers supposed to be math geniuses?” I asked, throwing my hands in the air.

Tommy shook his head. “I’m a science genius. Sorry. I hate math.”

Well, ME TOO! He was supposed to be a math whiz and then I could sit back and go, “Oh man, I don’t know where he gets it, I’m awful at math but at least it means we don’t have to shell out money for a tutor. Ha ha.”

It turns out we WILL most likely have to shell out money for a tutor because if I was already lost with fourth grade stuff, I will be completely at a loss for anything beyond.

Tom isn’t much help either.

So I guess it’s no surprise that Tommy is not a math savant.

“What are we going to do?” Tommy wondered. “I have to turn this in tomorrow. Aren’t you an adult? Shouldn’t you know this?”

Er. Well. Probably.

“Aren’t you the kid? Shouldn’t you have learned this today?” I retorted. It had been YEARS since I discussed this kind of math. I won’t say how many or else I’ll cry.

“I learned it but I still don’t understand,” Tommy grumbled.

I chewed my lower lip and grabbed my phone. “I know. I’ll ask people on Facebook.”

So I did.

And I had a response within minutes.

(Thank you again to those who answered!)

The answer, by the way, is yes because ¼ of 12 is 3 and ¼ of 8 is 2.

“Ahh, the power of Facebook,” I said as I explained the answer to Tommy so he’d understand how to do it in the future.

“When can I get on Facebook?” Tommy wanted to know.

“13. Those are the Facebook rules. If you get one before that, you go to jail. Sorry. What can I say, that Mark Zuckerberg is a hard ass and, by the way, he needs to get rid of that annoying timeline.”

Tommy scowled. “But a lot of my friends have one and they aren’t in jail.”

“The police haven’t figured it out yet,” I lied. Clearly, no one goes to jail for violating rules. I’ve seen many a child under 13 on Facebook. So long as they don’t try and follow me, I figure the parents know what they are doing. But if a parent ever chastises an adult for writing adult items on Facebook for fear that their little Suzy will be traumatized my advice will be to KEEP THEM OFF FACEBOOK!

Anyway, the plus is, if I ever have a math question I can go to Facebook because lucky for me, I have friends who are competent in math.

I’ll need all the help I can get seeing as I had to Google how to do long division the other day and for the life of me, I don’t recall what in the world happens with fractions.

Hi, I’m Amber, and I don’t understand basic mathematics.


  1. Hmm. you could ask twitter too. I have to imagine twitter would respond faster.

  2. I think there is math cheat web sites out there for parents like you and ME ! I'd find it and bookmark it! I would have done the same thing! Have great week!

  3. Oh my gosh. I am TERRIBLE - as in, always-suspected-I-have-an-undiagnosed-learning-disorder-terrible - in math. I couldn't understand any of it to save my life. Luckily my husband is a math whiz and remembers, like, everything he ever learned about algebra and stuff. So even if our boys don't inherit his math sense, they'll at least have some decent help. Which is good, because they would never get it from me!

  4. Math is my strongest subject so if you need help, text away! Science, I couldn't tell you anything about it other than h2o is water!

    :) Happy Monday!

  5. Nothing to be proud of... it's never too late to quit hating math and learn the basics...


    1/4 of 12 = 12/4 = (12 divided by 4) = 3

    When you multiply fractions the "top number is times the other top number). 12 is a 12/1 (as a fraction).

  6. I'm with Intense Guy! These are actually good things to know!!

    I have the opposite problem, I do understand it but have a hard time teaching it to my daughter. Just because you know something doesn't mean you make a good teacher. (And I suck at that!!)

  7. Math is my nemesis. I'm usually too busy diagramming the word problems to actually solve them. Lucky for me my ex is a math whiz.

  8. It's not just that I can't do 4th grade math, it's that they teach it TOTALLY different now too! Butterfly method? Huh? I am always Googling how to do Jakob's homework.

  9. My oldest is only in 2nd grade and I find myself scratching my head more often than not just at his homework. In a couple more years, I'm going to be completely useless.

  10. MATH is a four-letter word to me, too! And fractions are the worst! I always say that I was sick when they taught fractions in school! Either that or it was because I never saw the blackboard! I didn't get glasses until I was in 8th grade and I was as blind as a bat!

  11. how did parents help their kids with homework before internet? i homeschool mine & sometimes i still have to go to google to figure out how to teach things. like proper technique for writing a 3rd grade book report.
    and kudos to you for making him wait til he's 13 for fb. i get so tired of my friends kids friending me, then wanting to chat or mama's getting their panties in a twist over something that's not appropriate for 9 yr olds. hello, this site is rated pg-13, not pg-9.

  12. PS- Have you water the neighbor's plant today?

  13. We are math people. My oldest is the stereotypical math/science genius (she has Aspergers.) She is using her genius in culinary school. Do they give the Nobel Prize for cupcakes?

  14. I love Math. I would sit there and help my older sister with her math homework when we were younger. It kind of bothered her when her younger sister passed her up in high school math, but I couldn't help that!

  15. Math is your friend, my dear, math is your friend. :)

  16. You can do it! And what better time to learn than now. You can learn it with Tommy. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

  17. I'm so not looking forward to fourth grade math.

  18. I refer all math homework to the hubby. I handle the rest.

    I think you are either wired for it...or you're not.

    I'm not.

  19. I don't facebook but I have googled many a 3rd grade math problems. It makes me feel super smart when I can't even do 3rd grade math.

  20. I feel your pain!! I'm alright with math problems, but when it comes to history or science look out!!! I'm lucky I know the location of the state I live in ;)

  21. We've started using You should check it out! It's free and there are videos to go with every math topic.

  22. I think I was just OVERthinking it too much.

  23. You can google the entire question and usually get an answer. Found this out when my husband was in a college statistics class!

  24. I fear the day Bud starts to learn anything more than addition and subtraction! I'm still keeping my hopes up for a math savant! Please, dear God, let me have a math savant on my hands!

  25. Hilarious! I wouldn't have thought of Facebooking it. I google everything.
    I get the most reliable answers too!
    Total awesomeness.

  26. Where was Google, Twitter and Facebook when my kid's math homework started getting hard (around 3rd grade - funny that was right around the time I started to not do so well in math class....hmmm)?!

    Luckily, while he's no savant, he at least "gets" math so I was saved from having to help him with it. Thank God. He's doing Algebra III now and I think I would just start to cry if he asked for help.

  27. You are so not alone in this... math is hard.

  28. Hurrah for the case for social media :-)
    I dread when my stepdaughter needs math help. Pretty sure I became a writer so I didn't have to do math...

  29. is you friend, you can put in the question there and it gives you answer with steps

  30. Math made me cry as a 12 year old and it makes me cry as a 40 something mom!! Luckily for me my husband is good at math because whenever I help I do more harm than good! Great post!

  31. I was always ok with math but throw in Geometry I'm completely screwed! LOL

  32. Maths & English - I ROCKED at. Still do (so I should considering that in my pre-baby life I worked in Accounting & Financial Management and was studying Psychology)


    Science? Chemistry? History?

    Well... let's just say that my results were... ahem... less than stellar.

    (By the way - did you know the images for your buttons have disappeared? All I have on my blog's link to you is a black rectangle).

  33. Well, Tommy. . . Mommy doesn't NEED to know math because she has the INTERNET. And the INTERNET knows all. And someday, when you're older, you can forget everything you learned in school, because YOU will have the internet, too!

    I'm going to have the same problem. Fractions??! WHY! How did people SURVIVE with out the good ol' WWW?!!


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