9 x 9 = Hossa: Why Sports Fans Make the Best Parents

We parents are constantly teaching our kids learning strategies to make things a little easier. Need to know the months of the year?  Use the old “30 days hath September…” trick.  To quickly remember your right from your left, pretend you’re doing the Pledge of Allegiance. Oh and of course there’s the classic “use your favorite hockey player’s numbers to remember your times tables” trick.

What, you’ve never heard of that one?

Christine Mech, a third grade teacher in the Chicago area was grading the  multiplication test of her student, nine year-old Maggie Ciara, when she saw something unusual. Maggie’s response to the math problem “9 x 9″ read “Hossa” instead of “81″. When Mech asked for an explanation, Maggie, a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan, explained she was honoring the Blackhawks’ Marion Hossa, who wears number 81. Maggie received an A+.


A hockey game provides many learning opportunities: math (see above),  science (how does the ice not melt when it’s inside?), foreign language skills (Hossa is a Czech name), geography (where is Czechoslovakia anyway?) The list goes on and on. So sports fans, the next time you feel guilty that your kids are out late on a school night because you went to a hockey game, just remember that you are promoting their education, and give yourselves an A in parenting.

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