Everyone’s griping about near impossible Common Core curriculum. In some circles, the term has become a choice expletive. You hear harassed moms shaking their fists and venomously muttering the phrase under their breath.
In my limited experience, it should probably be renamed “63 Inane Ways of Doing Simple Addition” curriculum.
Sometimes the curriculum dictates that my first grader to do mental math. Like solve 60 addition and subtraction problems in three minutes. The last I checked, first graders have the attention span of a goldfish with ADD. They are usually distracted by a wiggling tooth or Spiderman underpants in less than 30 seconds.
The curriculum also requires that they solve a math problem and then demonstrate how they did on a number line. And then establish it in a story sentence. And then prove it by drawing a picture. Maybe this new system is the school district’s way of compensating for cutting the art budget – they’re simply including drawing time during Math.
Arguably, whoever designed this stuff also suffered from some definite trust issues. The message is: Hey kid, show me how you arrived at the incredibly dubious conclusion that 2+2=4.
Not so fast. Show me again.
I don’t believe you.
Once more, please.
But there is one side to the Common Core that you may have overlooked. Let me explain.
Here’s the problem I downloaded from the wonderful, wallet-friendly wee-source (my new term for the www. Why spend money on books when you can download free printables?)
Sonny boy reads the problem (see: Story Corner), ponders upon it and comes to two conclusions.
Response 1: “But you’re not my friend,” says my young man.
True dat, son. True dat. I’m your mommy and mommies are not ever going to be your best buds.
Psychologists have said that for years – don’t try to be your child’s bestie. He needs a parent, not another friend.
And now the Common Core had proved that my son believes it. Math and social sciences rolled into one. Can I say, convenient?
After some convincing that he needed to figure out the problem anyway…
Response 2: “The son wants oranges but the mom says, ‘No they’re too expensive. Let’s get the lemons.’ ”
Take that, Common Core.
In. Your. Face.
You thought you would convey simple addition through an illogical picture. Instead my son demonstrated a) a keen economic know-how b) psychological awareness of his mom’s frugality and c) what to do when life gives you lemons.
Common Core math now has a place in my heart and my life. As for the English curriculum, I’m uncertain.
From the boy’s daily school journal:
Translation: My mom forced me to eat cereal for breakfast. So, I ate it.
Hmm..whatever happened to writing factual answers based on reading comprehension? All this pondering is plain preposterous.
But, hey, I’m not planning to be his best friend. So, eat that cereal.
And let’s make some lemonade.