Last night after a quick stop at the store, Jireh was asking me if the cashier gave me money for buying the items. I tried to unconfuse her about the concept of paying for goods, and receiving change. So started the word problems. “If I buy something that costs five dollars, but I only have a ten dollar bill, how much change will I get back?” etc. The girls began having fun with these and asking for more. So I made up a bunch of word problems starring our friends, family and favorite objects. They did really well and I was pretty impressed since I haven’t really started formal math with them other than counting.
One of the questions I asked was: There are four sandwiches, and five children who need lunch. Mommy cuts all the sandwiches in half and every child gets one half. How many halves are left? Jireh blew me away by answering quickly, “Three.” Wow.
But the best answer was given later on. I meant to give them a trick question and then point and laugh when they got it wrong, but Miriam was too smart for me. Here’s how it went:
There are five children, but only three new balls to play with. How many children need to share?
Correct answer: Five!
Love that new math.