05 March 2008

I've Got a Lot of 'Splainin' to Do!

We've been talking in our homeschool about the Continental Congress and the Great Compromise that resulted in our having a Senate and a House. I also mentioned that each slave was counted as 3/5 of a person. I showed them the fraction.

Ok, so if I had two slaves, how many people do I have, total, according to this accounting? Oh, Emperor tells me this is easy. One and one fifth left over.

Elf is sitting there with his mouth hanging open. But... "three-fifths?" he asks. "You can't have three-fifths of whole people!"

Sure you can! You don't expect them to count slaves as WHOLE people, do you? If they did, they'd have to actually treat them like human beings and set them free and stuff... You could almost see the little gears turning in the kid's head. Finally, he made an announcement.

"Those people who did that to the slaves weren't Christians. Good thing we're Christians and we're good people."

OK, that just shot the whole hour I had planned.


  1. The concept of slaves is a huge thing to grasp for the young. Good luck!

  2. at least he understands it's wrong...you wonder why it wasn't so obvious back then...


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