As a parent, one is constantly on the lookout for teaching moments. Especially since these moments don’t just stroll to your front door waiting for you to call out in your best impression of a British butler’s voice, “You may enter.” Sometimes, these moments come disguised as a math joke in 140 characters.

So I read this joke on Twitter which we laughed over. And then I thought it would make a good opportunity to teach the kids something about mental math (Will I ever stop thinking of them as kids?) So I talked about how the interview candidate could have broken down the sum.

17×10

17×5

17×4

While I was still calculating, Michael goes 323.

I was a little confused about how he got the answer so fast and he goes:

Just multiply 17 by 20 and take away 17.

I would never have gone that route in solving that problem.

So the lesson was actually on me this time. I may not be as smart as I used to think I am…at least not math smart😞 But more important, there can be more than one way to solve a problem. Granted, some may take longer- like my four-step solution to the math problem- but ultimately we arrive at a good solution. Isn’t that what really matters?