Middle School Mishaps, Parenting Pearl, Recipes

Fractions Are My Forte

My son is in a difficult 6th grade math class at middle school – it has a very quick pace. In an effort to get the kids better prepared for the next unit, his teacher offered a “fractions boot camp” so they could remember all the rules about fractions.

This “fractions boot camp” was going to take place on a Monday morning before school. Unfortunately, we have a very difficult time, in general, waking up on Monday mornings, so getting to school early was not likely to happen.
(And when I say “we” here I really mean “we”, unlike all the other times when I say “we” and I really mean someone else entirely.)

I told my son not to worry. I could provide his fractions review as fractions were my forte. To which he responded with a chuckle.

This did not really bother me because he chuckles often at me due to my case of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Case in point… yesterday.

“Hey, guess who I saw at the grocery store today?”

“Billy and his mom.”

“How’d you guess?”

“You told me about 30 minutes ago.”

Which is often followed 45 minutes later by, “Hey, guess who I saw at the grocery store today?”

So my middle schooler has now reached the stage where I don’t know much. (I had lost all credibility with my daughter years ago.)

Then the day of reckoning.

He came home with a homework sheet full of fractions. When I checked
over it, I noticed that he had missed most of them. As I started to teach him how to do them correctly, he interrupted and said, “No, I get it.”

Which resulted in … them still being wrong.

After 15 minutes of me saying, “No, listen. This is how you do it”  followed by his response of, “No, that’s not how you do it” I had had enough.

I said, “Listen kid, I used to be a high school math teacher. I know what I am talking about! Now be quiet and listen!”

He looked at me in shock and said, “You used to be a math teacher?”  I have to say, I didn’t much care for his tone.

I guess he had forgotten that his parents had a life before him. My husband and I had been married 13 years before he was ever born. I am sure I had mentioned my brief stint as a math teacher before, but he has only known me as a school counselor or school counselor educator.

Something about me saying I had once been a teacher, gave him the courage to finally trust my judgment. And so the lesson began.

Maybe I haven’t lost him completely. Maybe I’m still smart in his eyes for a while longer. At least until this afternoon.

I’ll take it.

Random thought…have you ever noticed on the box of Special K it says Drop a jeans size in two weeks? I’m thinking you’d have to eat nothing but Special K for this to happen, but my attraction to Halloween candy has made this a viable option.  Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried this or fractions lately.

Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing (Prelude to Thanksgiving)

Below is a little something I invented (code for I stole it from some place and then altered it to make it mine). Note: if you are not okay with your stuffing being a little mushy, this recipe is not for you.

Ingredients: 3-4 chicken breasts, one package of stuffing, Campbell’s Cream of Chicken with Herbs soup (say it with me, WITH HERBS), 1/3 chopped onion, 1 – 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, and a sprig of rosemary.

Place the stuffing in the bottom of the slow cooker. Salt and pepper each chicken  breast and place on top of the stuffing. Spread the soup over the chicken and sprinkle the onions around. Pour ½- ¾ of the broth over the mixture.  Top with the sprig of rosemary and throw in some thyme if you have it.  (Feel free to dot with a couple pats of butter – the stuffing package may call for this. )

Cook on low for 6-7 hours (depending on the thickness of the breasts) or on high for 4 hours.  Check about a couple of hours into cooking and add more broth if needed.

P.S. Has anyone noticed that on the Box of Special K it says Drop a jeans size in two weeks? 🙂


2 thoughts on “Fractions Are My Forte”

  1. I had to laugh at the fractions lesson! I remember when my girls believed I knew nothing! You’re fortunate you were a former math teacher, at least you could garner some credibility! I went back to school when my girls were in grade school. Now I teach 5th grade and most of my parents are totally lost when helping their student with math, especially fractions!
    I agree with you on the Special K claim. It would be very unlikely, unless that was all you ate for two weeks! That Halloween candy has got to go!

  2. Hey Sandi! Do you remember the girl who played Winnie in “The Wonder Years”? She has written a book for kids and parents called, “Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail”. I haven’t read it, but my son’s teacher has it in her room. It might be helpful for some of your 5th grade parents. FYI – I looked at the Special K website and you have to replace two meals with a bowl of Special K AND you have to eat one “sensible” meal and cut out all snacks. I am thinking “sensible” is code for “very small and you will still be starving and want to raid your kids’ Halloween candy stash” so I guess I’m out.

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