#### Philocalist

##### Regular member

- Joined
- Dec 11, 2004

- Messages
- 2,584

Don't misunderstand, I think that largely, the schools are doing a brilliant job under the circumstances, and I'm extremely happy that between mum and I we have enough advanced education, and teaching experience, (and time!) to make the process relatively pain-free - but the level of stuff that is being sent out astounds me, and apparently, it's pretty much the new 'normal'.

If I just take two very basic topics - English and Maths. The level of technical English being presented to our youngest - 8 years old - is staggering. I've used English competently all of my life, both verbally and as a written medium in business, yet I see him being taught stuff - and absorbing it! - that may as well be Swahili, for all I can understand the various technical terms now widely used within schools.

And maths - dont get me started

For anyone curious enough / bored, I've copied a few of the problems that have been sent out in the past week, aimed at year 7 - 12-year olds (and bear in mind that most kids have seen very, very little formal schooling since this time last year!).

I'll be honest - I struggled with them despite having an A-level in maths (attained before calculators were allowed!) that was good enough to take me through 2 maths-heavy degrees.

From a total of 8 questions I've seen recently, there was ONE that I could solve by applying a formulaic approach, and 3 more that I could get an answer for by the time-honoured method of intelligent guesswork supported by a healthy dose of trial and error, at which point, I stopped for a breather ..... the rest look a bit like this

1 / There are 8 mice on a farm at dawn on 1st March. The population of mice doubles at 1am on the 1st of each month. On the morning of 1st August, Linda and Richard, the farmers, each buy a cat. For the first 2 months, Linda’s cat catches 3 mice at noon each day; this then drops to 2 mice at noon each day until there are no mice left. At sunset on the last day of each month, Richard’s cat catches a third of the population of mice (to the nearest mouse). Calculate the population of mice at dawn on the 1 st of each month. On which date does Linda’s cat catch the final mouse?

2 / Barney Akles runs an aquarium. In his collection, he has cyclops starfish (T) (one eye, five legs), blue octopuses (C) (2 eyes, 8 legs) and red lobsters (L) (2 eyes, 10 legs). (For the purpose of this question, we are using ‘legs’ to cover all limbs, arms, tentacles, etc.) In each of 3 tanks, there are a prime number of animals with some or none of each species. Work out how many starfish, lobsters and octopuses could be in each tank: Botany Bay Tank – 175 legs and 41 eyes Sargasso Sea Tank – 92 legs and 22 eyes La Manche Tank – 46 legs and 10 eyes

3/ John, Sarah and Michael go birdwatching. They make it a competition by allocating a different number of points for each type of bird they spot. A sparrow is worth 1 point, a robin is worth 2 points and a wren 4. After the birdwatching, this is what they say: John - “I saw 2 sparrows and at least one of every bird. In total, I got 16 points.” Sarah - “I saw no sparrows and the same number of robins as John.” Michael - “I got 20 points, the same number of wrens as John, double his number of sparrows and double his number of robins.” Find the minimum number of wrens Sarah would need to see to win the competition and the maximum number she could see but still come third in the competition.

And finally:

12 year old kids remember, not adult mathmaticians