Dad Marvullo came for a week visit last week to celebrate the Christening of my nephew Michael Joseph. While here for a week Dad really got to see the day to day operations in the Alexander home. One of his greatest observations was – “wow you must really hate 3PM.” and the answer is yes I really hate 3PM. My son’s Christian and Daniel are bright 9 and 10 year old boys. They are not easily frustrated by school work. They may not want to do it but they are not generally rattled to the core with frustration as they have been this year with Common Core Math. This week Chrissy Mac as reduced to tears, crying hysterically in frustration because he could not remember what he told me was – the pattern for 2×2 multiplication using the FOIL method. He asked me I had no idea what he was talking about. I called my sister who was not available at the moment to help. He begged me to call the school and ask the teacher, he even picked up his iPod and asked Siri for help. His frustration was mounting…. and so was mine.
here is his question – 95×94 =________
90×90 + 90×4 + 90×5 + 5×4
8100 + 360 + 450 + 20 =
While this seems as if its not so difficult he is 9! AND he was thrown onto common core in the middle of his elementary school career. How can we as parents help this mounting frustration. The night ended up in a therapy session. He cried and cried and said he was so stupid, he does not want to ask the teacher anymore questions because his friends must think he is dumb. He “hates this life in school.” and he wants to use everyone of his homework passes to skip math. Christian happens to have one of the most talented and patient teachers I have seen. I can only imagine her frustration in this new math world.
I hope that with his teacher’s guidance, he will make the adjustments he needs to make in order to regain his confidence in understanding the math concepts that he was already beginning to understand before the new standards and their worksheets came along.
Donald and I will just keep reassuring him that the problem isn’t his ability to understand math; the problem is how he’s being asked to understand math. The problem is the experimental “big idea” that he unknowingly become part of. Became a part of somewhere in between his 3rd and 4th grades leaving him with a different though process he was taught from K-2nd grade. I really think what they are really ensuring is a generation of anxious robotic children. Beginning to wonder if the motivation behind common core is education?
Stress levels are at an all time high at 3PM.