Why I Despise Common Core


Last year when we homeschooled I pretty much put together my own curriculum and lessons.  However, I also used Time for Learning to ensure that I was covering everything the public schools were covering.  I simply added in my own projects, books, and ways of teaching to the material.  Time 4 Learning is a common core curriculum.  I had no issue with any of the subjects except for math.  Now that A is back in school I still have no issues with any of the subjects except for math.

But I really, really, really hate the math.

Let me give you an example.

36 divided by 3.  Let's say you don't have this memorized.  So, you would write it out and put 3 into 3 one time and then 3 into 6 two times and you get 12.

Well, with common core you do this:

You break 36 into two numbers that are both divisible by 3.  Then you create this equation:

(3 x 10) + (3 x 2)

Then you add the 10 and the 2 to get 12.

WHAT???!

Yeah we had this for homework the other night.  And they did not want the answer to 36/3.  They wanted the equation you use to find 12.  I had to call the special ed teacher the next day and have him explain it to me.  She had two pages of this kind of confusion and we worked for hours and hours.  Finally, she went to bed without having it all complete.  There was just way too much frustration and anxiety.

If you think I am kidding here is a picture of the homework:



They say that this helps to teach them WHY 36/3=12.  To me, it seems like they are trying to teach them short cuts they can do in their heads in order to try and turn them into little computer processing machines.  They want our kids to go paperless.

I don't think I am just stuck in my ways either because it's not just me and my kid having this issue.  The majority of people I talk to have the same problem.  Common Core math has you take this big round about way to arrive at answers.  It's like going 10 blocks out of your way to get to a store that's right at the end of your block.  It's nonsensical.  It doesn't teach WHY.  I know why.  If you break 36 up into 3 parts each of those parts will have 12 pieces.  It makes sense.  I know when I say that 3 goes into 3 one time I am really saying that 3 goes into 30  ten times.  I don't need to create a 14 step problem in order to "get it."  Honestly, I still don't understand how creating that problem makes anything more clear.

If you want to know the WHY about math you can watch Khan Academy videos.  He explains why as he teaches you.  You can also read Life of Fred.  I am sure there are many other resources that explain the why.  I learned math the old way and I always understood why.

I call BS on the Common Core's reason for teaching this way.

What else do I hate?  I hate that the kids take a big, long, stressful assessment in the beginning of the year on things they did not learn yet.  They come out of school crying and feeling stupid.  They do this to see how well the kids improve and thus grade and critique the teachers.   My son who is very self controlled all the time had a melt down in class after taking that test.  They do another assessment half way through and another one at the end.  Plus, they have other standardized tests to take.  All the kids do is test and prepare for tests.  There is no room for fun in learning anymore.  More kids are hating school than ever before.  Teachers who love teaching cannot even enjoy their work.  They don't have any room to be the creative and awesome beings that they are.

If you want to turn out geniuses, you have to turn out kids that love to learn.  If you turn them off to the whole pursuit they'll just go get some mindless job and waste away.  If I did not know better, I would think that was Common Core's secret mission: To make kids feel so stupid and so miserable about learning that they resign themselves to a life of servitude, a life of flipping burgers and making lattes and never questioning, inventing, or creating anything.

My daughter came out on her evaluation in 3rd grade as having a math disability.  But does she?  She was great at math up until mid second grade.  Then she just got completely lost.  But in 4th grade I kept her home and started over teaching her math from first grade and went up through 4th.  I taught her the way I knew but we also did the Common Core lessons on Time 4 Learning.  The thing was I let her use whatever method worked for her to find the answers and she would find them most of the time.  She was able to learn and for the most part retain 4 years worth of math.  Does she really have a disability?  Or did the Common Core just set her back?

It kills me that Common Core was not even created by educators and that two of the educators who were hired to review what was created and give input were dismissed when they said there were some key components missing from the curriculum.  (See this in the documentary here.) It also kills me that most teachers do not like Common Core.  I have not found a "fan" of Common Core yet!

Here is a blog post from a teacher and mom about her feelings on Common Core.

NBC News even chimed in on Facebook!




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