Next time your child asks for help calculating the area of a triangle, don't start plotting a "dog ate my homework" excuse. Even if you didn't hold fast to any grade school math rules, John Stevens and Barry Poznick, executive producers of TV's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, have the cheat sheet to help you fake your way to success.

fake it

Trick kids into teaching themselves.
 You know more than you think -- you just need a quick refresher. Before you start spouting off any (potentially incorrect) tidbits, buy yourself some time by turning the question back on your child. Start with, "Great question. Why don't we look up the answer together?" says Stevens. You can check each other's work as you go.

Pawn it off on a family member.
 You know how your husband is always saying you never give him any credit? Now's the time to toot his horn. Remind your kid how great Daddy (or Aunt Jeannie or Uncle Jeff) is at math, says Poznick, and pass the curious little bugger on.

Turn to technology.
 If your memory is taking a moment to click in (and Dad's not answering his cell phone), help jog it with a little visit to the Web, says Stevens. Start by looking up some keywords like "cross multiplication" or "radius of a circle." (If you're desperate, ask your kid for help.) At least you're teaching your child to be tech-savvy, and you'll still come out looking like a wiz.