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Little girl's math homework has left her dad and math graduates scratching their heads

A girl asked her dad for help with her math homework but the concepts proved just as tough for him.

Little girl's math homework has left her dad and math graduates scratching their heads
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

The fear of mathematics has plagued generations. From kids striving to pass math classes to parents struggling to help with homework, the subject is a common challenge. So, when a dad, u/eastsideflaco, shared his daughter's homework on Reddit, it left everyone baffled, even those with math degrees. "So yeah. My daughter said she needed help with her homework and this mystery number crap is about to make me lose it," he mentions.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | RF._.Studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | RF._.Studio

He wondered how a child's homework could be so hard. The question read, "Mr. Ruis gives his class clues about a 6-digit mystery number. The 3 is in a place that is 10 times greater than the place of the 0. The 1 is in a place that is 10 times less than the place of the 0. The 4 is in a place that is 10 times more than the place of the 3. The 9 is in a place that is 100 times less than the 1. The 2 is in a place that is 10 times more than the 9. What is Mr. Ruis' 6-digit mystery number?" People had a mixed response to the post. While some thought the question was fairly simple, others agreed with the dad. u/Giddyupyours wrote, "430129. As an astronomy major, I understand that orders of magnitude are important. Many of the complex problems we studied needed to be solved within an order of magnitude because many variables were uncertain. This probably gives engineers severe anxiety though."

Image Source: Reddit | u/eastsideflaco
Image Source: Reddit | u/eastsideflaco

u/KAWAWOOKIE explained how one could solve the problem, "I'd say start by verbalizing/realizing/explaining/identifying that '10 times greater' means immediately before or one place to the left and then write the numbers in their place in the order they're given. You'd write 30, then read the second line and add a 1 to make it 301. I think the key here is to treat it as a different perspective that they might find useful, might not, but can certainly learn to apply for the intended lesson. If it doesn't end up being a useful tool to them, no harm, it was a passing puzzle to solve. It's important for me not to insist it is an interesting tool since I feel you, that question is uninspiring."

Image Source: Reddit | u/iceyone444
Image Source: Reddit | u/iceyone444
Image Source: Reddit | u/AdzyBoy
Image Source: Reddit | u/AdzyBoy

On the other hand, u/just_killing_time23 acknowledged why the problem could be a difficult one to solve, "Starting in about 3rd grade, I have to Google it to be sure I'm teaching them the way the school wants them to learn vs how we did it. Certain new math processes are wild. Wait till you get to 5th and 6th grade. I'm about to tap out." u/alltheppliloverdrunk remarked, "My kid is in preschool. I'm 44 years old, so the way I learned math is different. I'm saving this post to help me out with his homework years from now."

u/MisterMath felt that the teaching method could be more helpful in the long run as it is conceptual, "Former math educator with a math degree here. Common Core for math is amazing. It teaches how to think about numbers, data and logic, which is the whole point of math in the first place. Learning the thought process of problem-solving." While u/ElChuloPicante pointed out, "The way it's written reminds me of LSAT logic games. It's not, but still, instant heeby-jeebies."

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