...has changed, people! The other day Big Sis' math homework started with 4 word problems. Okay, I had word problems in 3rd grade. (I think, after all, it's been a long time!) But these word problems seem to require algebra to solve. Or at least that's the only way I could solve them! Example: What two numbers have a sum of 39 and a difference of 11?
So, I did the only thing I could think to do. I sat there and tried to teach my not-quite-8-year-old some algebra, complete with x's and y's. She didn't much like having letters mixed up in her math. Can't say I blamed her. Where was her engineer-degreed father when we needed him?!
UPDATE: Thanks for the comments explaining the mysterious workings of 3rd grade math. How sad that I needed them! Of course, I wouldn't have needed them had the teacher bothered to send something home stating that's how those problem should be solved! But I digress. I still think it would make more sense to simply give them drill or practice sheets if they need to practice adding and subtracting (and believe me, they do!). Why go about it in such a round-about way? It seems inefficient and confusing to the kids (and parents!). If kids are struggling with math, this is not going to make them feel any better about the subject.