Math Imitates Life – A Word Problem Post // #2

As previously reported, the phrase “annual back-to-school” as in “annual back-to-school word problem” is a loose term, one which must sound like a well-planned yearly post, but which actually, per the fine-print* of this blog, should be read as “If and when something comes to mind.”  So here is the latest installment in the If-and-When-Something-Comes-to-Mind Word Problem Post. 



The parents of four young children set out to pick up discarded items lying around the house. For every 2 items they pick up, somewhere else in the house X items are being discarded.

If X = 2 on Weekdays, 3 on Weekends, and 0.25 on nights when at least half of them stay with their grandparents, and assuming the parents pick up items non-stop, how long will it take them to pick up every item in the house?

Note: Assume metric “non-stop” units, meaning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with an optional break for church on Sundays.

(Hint: the completion time is approximately seven seconds before the earth crashes into the sun.)

(As always, show your work.)


*Note: I now realize that this blog does not, in fact, have fine print. So I will definitely might someday create it. 

**Note: “Make the kids do it” is not an acceptable answer. Just don’t go there; we’re doing the best we can at this stage of life, and . . .just don’t, ok? 

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