One of the unexpected benefits of having a middle schooler (wait - there are benefits?) is that you get to relearn all the stuff you forgot in the intervening years. For example, I now know how to find the volume of a four-sided pyramid. Something that should come in handy never. Oh, and the surface area of a cylinder, in case I need to paint a water tower in my future.
These are concepts I haven't thought about in decades. Actually, I don't remember learning them the first time, so this is a handy brush-up. I enjoyed (re)learning how to graph a linear equation with a y-intercept this year. I figure it's great for senior brain-training, and as long as I'm not graded on it, mildly interesting.
So what do you say when your child asks you why he has to learn these concepts? The line about how it's going to be useful some day; or that it's a good computational and learning exercise; or do you tell them the truth: that it's to pass the test? I've said all three, but here's another I just thought of: learn it so you can help your kids with their homework someday.
"Right circular pyramid"? Do they mean a cone? Neither of which these are. Now I'm really confused.