Parents left confused by seemingly impossible primary school maths question

omg 06/11/2017

A mother was left bewildered by one of the questions in her eight-year-old daughter's maths homework. 

Dusty Sappington shared a photo of her daughter Izzy's homework on Reddit, asking for help with one particularly vague question.

The homework, a list of basic subtraction problems, consists mostly of straightforward questions like: "Eric has $15. He buys a hat for $6. How much money does he have left?"

Izzy worked out most of them, but came to her mother for help with the problem: "Janell had 15 marbles. She lost some of them. How many does Janell have now?"

Ms Sappington was as baffled as her daughter, and turned to the internet for suggestions.

"If someone can answer this correctly, my child will be done with her homework!!" read her Reddit post, along with a photo of the problem in question.

No one was able to give her an answer to the incomprehensible problem, although plenty of absurd alternatives were proposed.

Ms Sappington told HuffPost Izzy has dyslexia and attends a private school that offers a combination of traditional classes and teaching that targets children with learning difficulties. 

"I haven't found out the answer, but hope to see her graded paper soon," she said.

"To be honest, I'm unsure if it was printed in error or was a question to test her knowledge of less than and greater than, which she has touched on in the past.

"Being the mother of a third-grader and a fifth-grader, I have seen a lot of homework over the years that has our family laughing at the absurdities, scratching our heads and relying too much on Google."

Ms Sappington said the assignment proved the need to pay teachers a higher salary.