Medieval Math

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I won’t mention any names (to protect the guilty), but somebody in our house is apparently doing some Medieval Torture math to go along with our Middle Ages study. I’ll confess, they are the dreaded word problems. (Doesn’t that just strike fear in your heart?) They’re kind of a combination “critical thinking/division” kind of nightmarish thing. For example:

Coach Brian has 229 players in his T-Ball league. Each player is to be given a Loganville T-Ball League patch. If the patches come in packages of 15, how many packages does Coach Brian need to buy?

Well, obviously, when you divide 229 by 15, you’re going to have a remainder. But, you can’t order a partial package, so Coach Brian needs to order 16 packages. The unnamed individual at our house is having a really hard time remembering this and I keep correcting answers with remainders, instead of being rounded up to the next whole number.

The other night, there was one of these problems involving numbers of people. Once again, the answer was written with a remainder. I’m not sure if it was the late hour that was making me a little loopy or sheer frustration that made me burst into somewhat hysterical laughter as I turned to Josh who was sitting nearby and said, “You’d better hope that [nameless individual] never has to divide a group of people that you’re in because she would flat out cut you into thirds to do it!”

Thankfully, all parties involved found it as funny as I did at that moment and no feelings were hurt. And, hopefully it got the point across. I hate word problems.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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