Mom Stumped By Seven-Year-Old’s Math Homework Asks Other Parents But They’re Baffled Too

Let’s just say that I’m not gifted at math. In fact, when I went to college, I actually failed the mandatory Math placement exam three times and had to take remedial math. I still did not understand anything after that class, and then I went to graduate school and got a Ph.D. in English. I only use Math when I calculate tips. And there’s the Tip Calculator for that. Take that, Math!


Anyway, the day will come when I need to help my son with his math homework. Is there a good probability that I will not be able to help him? You bet. And with parents currently doing a lot of home-schooling and Zoom-schooling, they’re running into similar problems. One parent in particular had the entire Internet stumped with a seven-year-old’s math homework.

According the The Sun, Teresa Hopper shared a tricky problem on the Facebook group “Family Lockdown Tips and Tricks.”

“I hate homework. Please help! Is the answer to a) & b) the same or am I missing something,” she asked in a panic.

The question reads:

“Karla says: ‘I have three hundreds counters, 17 tens counters and 16 ones counters [sic].’

a) Can she make two equal three-digit numbers? If so, draw the counters to show them.

b) Can she make two equal three-digit numbers if she had to use all her counters? If so, draw the counters to show them.”

Folks were stumped at the grade-school question. Even someone with a Math Ph.D. was confused.

“I’m 45 and I can’t work it out lol,” said one social media user.

“I have a Ph.D. in maths, and I have no idea what this question is asking. Unless there’s a diagram to go with it, or more explanation somewhere else,” said another.

Teresa told Fabulous Digital that they eventually got it right, answering 172 for a and 243 for b.

“I did and the teacher has marked it as correct,” Teresa reported. “I certainly didn’t expect it to be so difficult.”