@CCM Is ChaChaChild still using manipulatives to do math at school? I can't remember when DS moved from manipulatives to abstract reasoning for math. Funny thing is that these days *when he understands the concept* DS does his math almost completely in his head, even though he spent six years in Montessori with most of those years using those bead strings and blocky things (I forget what they're called.) "Show your work" assignments are hard for him. He doesn't know how he did it even with the most complicated algebra stuff that he's doing now. He just knows the answer. It's very strange. @Purr. Yep. I could not resist doing exactly the same thing and setting up the problem. *grin* @3w So glad to hear about DD's opportunities. I know you didn't ask but what the heck, I'm going to say what i think. I have a GF and a former neighbor both of whom currently teach in very selective Texas school districts. A foot in the door is a very good thing. My GF was an on-call substitute teacher, which helped her build relationships with people in the school where she eventually got a job. My former neighbor lost his job in one school district but was able to get a job in DS's district because of connections he'd built by coaching intramural sports and making himself known.