This Week from Bedtime Math: The Dog Ate My Homework

Excuses, excuses... but sometimes, they&re true! Try this week&s math problem to see how much trouble one hungry dog can create.
By Laura Overdeck
Apr 09, 2013



This Week from Bedtime Math: The Dog Ate My Homework

Apr 09, 2013

This timeless excuse lives on as a reason for lateness, and it’s not just for kids — don’t we all procrastinate on stuff we don’t feel like doing?  And with today’s technology you can get creative, too:  “The dog ate my flash drive,” “The dog ate the cable to our wireless hub…”  It’s all believable, as long as you have a hungry dog in tow.

Of course, dogs really do like to chew things up, and some of that stuff actually could be homework-related…

Wee ones (counting on fingers): Hannah’s dog Harley eats pretty much anything.  If Harley eats 3 pens, 2 crayons, and 4 washable markers, how many writing implements does he eat?

Little kids: If Harley eats 24 pages of your math book, and 13 pages of your history book, how many pages does Harley eat?  Bonus:  How many more pages of math than history does he eat?

Big kids: You’ve just written an 80-page paper.  If Harley eats 1/4th of it, how many pages does he eat?  Bonus: What if he eats 1/5th of what's left - how many pages do you still have?

A message from Laura:   Bedtime Math is a simple idea: we all know we should read to our kids at night, but what about math?   My husband and I have done fun, mischief-loaded math problems with our kids at night for years.  When at age 2, our third child started hollering for his own math problem, we realized we were onto something:  In a world where so many people say “Ewww, math!”, we had created a household culture where kids don’t just tolerate math, they actually seek it out.   Now we email parents a fun, lively math problem every day to do with their kids – and every week, we’ll be posting a new problem right here on Scholastic Parents!  


Wee ones: 9 writing objects.

Little kids: 37 pages.  Bonus: 11 more pages of math (Harley loves math!).

Big kids: 20 pages.  Bonus: Since you now have 60 pages, he eats 12 more, leaving you with 48 pages. 

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