A Letter of Encouragement to My Son Upon Entering Sixth Grade Math

Dear Nick,

We wanted to wish you good luck and let you know that we’re here to help you on the path to a successful mathematical career throughout middle school. As you know, I (Dad) am and always have been a math geek, so I wanted to give you some helpful advice I’ve learned along the way. Your teacher may get mad at me for letting you know these things, but it’s a chance I feel I must take.

If you see a problem on a test such as:


the answer is not:





Similarly, the solution to: clip_image010[4] is not:



Nor is the solution to clip_image014[4] =?:


Finally, when asked to find x, you’re better off if you do not answer as follows:

Find x.


If you heed my advice, not only will you be successful in middle school math, but soon you will be solving equations like one of my personal favorites, the Gamma Function:


Good luck!
Love, Mom and Dad


Author’s Note: On the second full day of school, an assignment came home from my son’s math class and it was for the parents to write a letter of encouragement to our child as he begins his middle school journey through math.  I figured that if I had to take time away from watching Stargate SG-1, I might as well have a little fun with it. My son, daughter and wife enjoyed this and since it was meant to be for my son, that’s really what mattered.

1 Comment

  1. Shari Bonin Pratt
    Sep 10, 2013

    I love this, Rob. You’ve got a great sense of humor. Your son will be laughing as he enters math class – how many others kids will be doing the same?

    Our younger son is a physicist. My husband and I like to remind people that his achievement has much to do with the fact that neither one of us did his homework – read that any way you like.

    Best wishes to Nick. With parents like you and Ginny, he will do well and will always have the love and support he needs. Best wishes to your daughter as well.

    BTW: Your twitter tweets keep me chuckling. Thanks.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.