Remember the day when your parents would help you with your homework assignments and double-check your work? Well, those days may just be a faint memory, my friend, because some elementary schools are handing out homework that would confuse most full-grown adults.
When 6-year-old Penn Holderness brought home a math assignment one night, his parents were utterly shocked to discover that the homework was leaps and bounds ahead of anything they anticipated. The family was so perplexed that they shared a photo of the assignment on their family Facebook page.
Here’s a closer look at the confounding assignment in question, in case you wanted to make yourself go cross-eyed:
The Facebook post soon garnered over 2,000 likes and reactions from social media users who were equally vexed by the tricky math problem. Everyone seemed to have the same reaction, which was essentially: how is this problem at the first grade math level?
A few adept commenters seemed confident in their guesses that the missing letter/number combination was J = 14, although their explanations behind their reasoning were convoluted at best.
While the Holderness family was certainly stumped by the mathematical conundrum, they wanted to make it clear to their commenters that they weren’t bashing common core curriculum, and that the previous pages of Penn’s homework had been much more in line with the standard math equations found in a first grade classroom. The teacher had simply wanted a problem to challenge her students and make them think outside of the box — which, considering even parents had difficulty interpreting the solution, was probably a shrewd move for our future generations.
Which is a pretty healthy way of looking at a problem when you (and your family) are incapable of solving it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reason out this mathematical riddle until I get to the bottom of it, dammit. Just give me a few hours …
This post first appeared on Berry.