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Emperor Teaches Math

Here's a bag of coins, some plastic animals and a dry erase board.  Go do some fun stuff for "homeschool" today with the little people and I'll pay you a dollar.  Keep the math simple, though!  They are only just learning to add simple numbers.

Emperor begins to explain to the children that presently, each plastic pig is three cents, but due to inflation and gas price increases, they will be five cents each next year.  He's not going to get into why, but prices go up.  So how many pigs do you want to buy?  Ten?

Great.  Now all your pigs are dead because you forgot to buy food and fence them in.  Want to start again?  OK.  Yes, maybe seven pigs is a better idea.

Yes, I'll pretend you can buy food and a fence with the rest of the money.  Now the price has gone up and you can make a profit!  Want to sell your pigs at the local bacon stand?

Great.  But then you have to pay your farmhand.  And sales tax.  And now the income tax man has come around.  You just lost a lot of money.

Rose suggests they sell the plastic bears at this point.  Now Emperor gets into the various differences in price, feeding pigs vs. bears, resale value, and who are you going to hire to take care of your bears?  Plastic bunnies now enter the picture.  Easter drives the cost of the plastic bunnies up.  Is it still a good idea to buy a bunny?

The plastic horses are now unbagged and they are discussing how much a pony ride would cost.  Woodjie has all the plastic animals fighting with Ka-Pow sounds, but Rose is determined that there IS a way to make money in this game.  She will find a way.

Next time I will hand the kid a textbook.


  1. That's a pretty good way to teach them.
    Years ago my history teacher would draw a big clock on the board and we pretended it was a time machine, she would tell us about that time in history and her lesson was just before lunch so we were to spend our lunch in that time it was very interesting and make history come alive.
    Textbooks are just not written with kids in mind.

    1. Awww... thanks, Merle! What an interesting way to eat lunch. I mean, unless you have to live during a "famine" at lunchtime. :)

  2. Most interesting math lesson I've ever heard!
    So much better than 'if a train leaves the station heading east at 35mph and another leaves the other station heading west at 45mph, where will they meet?' I always hated those and once told a teacher I didn't care where they met.

    1. Not to mention, no train keeps a consistent speed up and down hills. I see they want an approximate time/place if they need to schedule trains where there is only one rail, though... but still... fifth graders are not train conductors! Yet. :)

  3. You can take the boy out of homeschool, but you can't take homeschool out of the boy! :D


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