### Where's the No Mommy Left Behind program?

My Kid's math homework totally kicks my ass. I think it's supposed to be pre-algebra and I actually kind of liked algebra (as far as math went) and did okay in it, but I don't know. This is "new math" or something.

So here's the assignment: Problem solving. (Like an IQ test, right?) They give you these charts with two sets of numbers - input (x) and output (y). You're supposed to find the pattern or the "rule" and write it in the format "y=x+3" or "y= -1x" or whatever. Seems easy enough, right? Sure, when the chart looks like this:

Input....Output

+5............+2

+4............+1

0..............-3

-4............-7

-5............-8

See? The rule would be "y=x-3". Rock on.

Then they throw this at me:

Input....Output

-9, -2........-2

+4, -1.......+4

-1, 0............0

-3, -4.........-3

0, +1........+1

+2, +4.......+4

The hell?

Or this one, in which the rule apparently changes half-way through:

Input....Output

+2............+2

+4............+4

+6............+6

0..............0

-1.............0

-2.............0

-8.............0

My Kid (who is much smarter at math than me anyway and I don't even know why I'm attempting to help *him*) suggested that there might be two parts to this rule. Even so, I'm still stumped and my opinion of myself and my IQ is totally shot. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Oh no, the numbers scare me and I am absolutely NO help.

Good luck!!!!

Posted by Amy | 8:52 PM

K, I'm LOST. I suck at math beyond your wildest dreams. Kudos to you for even trying!!!

Posted by Carmen | 9:28 PM

I can see now I'd better start saving up for tutors for my children, because if they can't figure it out on their own, I'll need a professional.

Posted by NinaKaye | 9:47 PM

Gah. Seventh grade sucks. *pouts*

Posted by kalisah | 9:51 PM

OK - is it me or was Algebra much easier years ago?

Hello - ask me to balance my checkbook or manage my credit cards - no problem. Give me a problem like that, I'll go dizzy in 20 seconds flat!

Good luck Kalisah!

Posted by Lys | 9:55 PM

Ok. So I graduated last year with Math 12. When the minimum requirement is only Math 11. Right now I'm taking a break/procrastinating from my term paper though. (I went on to become an arts student.) So I'm not really in the mindfram to crack this one. It would seem to me that the input (x) is being manipulated in two ways. I'd probably be of more service if I actually saw the problem in his text book.

Posted by Vanessa | 11:15 PM

I thought I had the first one worked out as

X-(X)+Y=Z, e.g.-9-(-9)+-2=-2. And that works for all of them except the second and fourth pairs, but itdoeswork if you switch which number is first in the input column.As for the second problem I think

(X+|X|)/2works. (the vertical lines being absolute value). So that (2+2)/2=2, and (6+6)/2=6, but (-8+8)/2=0 etc.You'll be sure to want to check my math as it's coming up on 1am and I haven't slept well in days... :) Email me if anything's unclear or you need further help (assuming I did these right).

Posted by mark | 12:47 AM

Ok, Hunter is only in fifth grade and I thought solving the math problem backwards was stupid enough. And Math and Science were my strong subjects. Oh boy I better start studying now.

Posted by Susan | 6:54 AM

That made my head hurt and its only 10:41 am...And that guy mark is a genius...absoulte value what???

Posted by Buck Rogers | 10:43 AM

Somtimes the only thing worse than not understanding the homework is finding out the answer and realizing it's SO FUCKING STUPID that they have no business teaching it to your kids....

The answer to the second one was like y=x rounded to the nearest whole number.

Now who would know that???

Posted by kalisah | 3:31 PM