Thursday, October 09, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes

These days, in homeschool math land, we're covering the concept of integers. In an effort to explain negative and positive numbers, the workbook uses examples like these:

Jane has $115 in her checking account. She writes a check for $128. What will her new bank balance be?

William's puzzled expression upon reading this problem indicated two things to me. I don't think he's seen me write a check in the last several years after I discovered the ease of internet banking, so the whole concept of checks is pretty foreign to him. They seem silly and antiquated to me as well.

More importantly, I could see that the notion of bouncing a check troubled him, so I pounced on this opportunity to inject some ethics into our math class.

I told my little guy that these questions bothered me, too. Then I launched into what might have become an epic rant about the dishonesty and immorality involved in attempting to spend money that one simply didn't have.

"People who do this kind of thing," I raved ...

"Should go to jail!" replied the little guy.

Enough said. Class dismissed.

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