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Vipi marafiki?

I've been inundated with our fifth grader's homework assignments these past few days. And truth be told, I am definitely not smarter than a fifth grader. Last night I spent two hours trying to help him finish his math homework - Problem Solving Strategies - six problems consisting of three sentence questions involving the division of decimals.

The problems were so confusing, I was convinced they were trick questions. Thank God we have a recent college graduate now living and working in NYC. I told her I would just have him ask his teacher for help at school and she said, "No, mum don't give up so easily!!"

Then his Dad came to assist and further progress was made - this was about 9:50 pm last night. After reading the questions a few times, he used a strategy of elimination and with our daughter on a conference call, the two were able to come up with the correct answer.

Wow. All this time, I've been admiring his looks, you know, his strong bow-legs. Remember, I told you about them here. His creativity, energy; not knowing that he is quite the problem solving genius. If only he was as good at balancing our check book.


Mama Shujaa.


  1. Oooh, I cringed just reading this. I was the WORST at mathematics at school. I'm dreading the day I have to explain anything even remotely numeric :( Luckily we are still learning numbers at this stage.

  2. Hehehe... those math problems scared me, and I wasn't even there! Glad correct answers came in the end!!

  3. Maxine, good to see you here. The hardest part is the look in my son's eyes when I admit I don't know something. It is getting easier to bear though, that look that makes me want to tell my worn out story about how when I came to the US I got half a years credit in my freshman year because we were so much more advanced in Kenya (with "A" levels and all)...Honestly, I am going to have to take a refresher in this new mathematics.

    Ms. Bar B: Girl, I have refreshed my appreciation for patience and persistence.

  4. I hate helping my daughter with math, and I used to be good at it. She gets angry at me when it’s confusing, and I refuse to just give her the answer. My husband is worse at math but better at helping her – less of a clash of wills. We are lucky to have such husbands even if they don’t apply their wizardry to the checkbook. You are reminding me to pay the bills. Sigh.

  5. What a familar experience,Mama Shujaa, and I thought that we were the odd ones. This huge collaboration is what happens when you care so much about your child's homework assignment. I learned a lot of Spanish trying to figure out both of my children's homework. Oh and who balances their checkbook nowadays? ATH and ATM have just wiped out my money organizing system. Now everything is done on the phone...which makes for poor financial planning!Thanks for visiting Oasis blog.

  6. It's sinful that homework for a fifth grader should take the collaborative effort of a father and a college grad. My God you'll have to thaw out Einstein for help with his 6th grade stuff!!!

  7. Sarah - I'm hoping he will be remain the pointman going forward. But knowing the way things go, I'll get the "Dad's busy watching a soccer match right now" response as I stand in the kitchen, peeling potatoes, marinating fish and prepare the rice for pilau. LOL.

  8. Cynthia: Yes, it is a great time together if we can keep our emotions under control, and I speak for myself here. Oasis blog looks nice with the new template!!! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Roschelle: You know what, I can help him all day with his creative writing assignments. The math just makes me bonkers. The summer before sixth grade, I'll be in the library studying...LOL


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