February 26, 2015

Common Core Math

I just read this on a Facebook page I belong to and have to share since it so clearly illustrates what is wrong with the math guidelines curriculum: 
On my daughter's start of the year in 2nd grade, my husband's and my first contact with the teachers was at Open House where we were told not to help with homework because they are learning "a new way" to do math. The Common Core way I would later learn.

ALL through 2nd grade EVERY Mon/Wed I would sit with my child... for up to 90 minutes while she did her math, always in tears and always with self-defeating words: "I can't! I'm stupid! I'm so dumb! I'm a failure!" Despite my attempts as a Licensed Social Worker to boost her esteem, provide opportunities at success, and normalize her frustration it did little to ease any of these symptoms.

This year, 3rd grade, they're working on multiplication. A couple of weeks ago (as I have her do nightly "practice" work with me) I reintroduced 2 digit subtraction. Lo & behold she could NOT do it despite an honest attempt, and started back up with what she did [to herself] in 2nd grade. Remember they do NOT line up the numbers but rather place them side by side, and do NOT teach the kids to Regroup/Borrow. I've had it with The Core!

I told her I've got a GREAT secret to share w/her. I wanted to show her how Mommy learned how to do math. I showed her the numbers lined up, then gently instructed, "look you just add going down, first with the ones then with the tens. There's one rule, ALWAYS start with the ones." Within 25 seconds she GOT IT!!! She did the next ten problems on her own!

That was last night. Tonight on her OWN, she asked to do more practice work like last night. I gave her a sheet of double digit addition. She worked on it and got it CORRECT! She then spent the next hour going ahead in our practice book, inclusive of double digit subtraction!

Guess what? As I looked over her shoulder to check her work, she called me over [and] she said, "Mama I never knew how much I loved math!" It brought me to tears then and now. She lost a year of her precious life in 2nd grade with the belief that she was "dumb"!

What are we doing to our children? What's going to happen to a generation when years down the road "They" realize the Core was a hoax. It didn't produce what it promised. What happens to all of those children void of foundational skills to succeed in life?

My husband is worried what this will mean for her when she takes class tests. I said I will deal with that, but as [of] today I am taking back the control of my child's education. She showed me what she wrote on the bottom of her page: "I can do this!"