The common core math message is, back off parents. Your way is old school, and this new way will be handled by the school *exclusively*. Ouch.
Newsflash. This does NOT work when the children are pushed to learn too much, too fast, and too soon in class. These kids are coming home ASKING FOR HELP and we are told as parents we are going to “cause math anxiety” if we try to help, because we will be frustrated at not knowing the common core methods. Parent involvement is obsolete along with our math knowledge. We parents are between a rock and a hard place. Are we to tell our children who are on the verge of tears at the homework table that we “can’t help because the teacher taught them this all in class” and we are instructed to stay out? Or, are we to try to help and risk teaching them incorrectly, or, “causing math anxiety”? The teachers have been trained to say they want parents to stay out of it. That seems wildly inappropriate. One main complaint of common core is the wedge driven between parents and their children, largely in the math homework.
Parents were unwilling to attend common core cheerleading math informational nights to allegedly learn an entire year of curriculum. The new narrative is that parents are pushed out of their child’s education instead.
Some questions arise that we must consider.
How does a parent look to their student when they say, “I don’t understand third grade math”?
What does it do to a child’s trust when their teacher says to them in class, “don’t ask your parents about this”?
How do parents feel about being blamed for a child’s “math anxiety” when the rapid, rigorous, age inappropriate curriculum is the true culprit of much of the misery these MINOR children bring to the homework table?
This is an unfair position to be put in. Teachers and parents should be partners. Parents must be able to relate to their children’s studies. For years we have heard teachers say one of the number one problems in schools is the lack of parent involvement. But with common core math, parents are PURPOSELY excluded, and this is absolutely putting them in a most untenable position of denying their own children help.
What is to be done when a child cannot master the unreasonable expectations of a
topic-a-day common core math? The old adage “Jack of all trades, master of none” comes immediately to mind when one considers the speed at which common core math teachers attempt to pack in the modules. Many children simply cannot win this “race”. Not all parents can afford tutors. Common core has drawn a line between what is ethically just, and its’ own agenda.
If homework is meant to reinforce schoolwork and the children aren’t becoming properly fluent in school, maybe we need to rethink homework as a whole under this blanket of rigor and grit. Perhaps asking children to come home and complete work to submit to the teacher the next day when they don’t understand it and can’t obtain help is just wrong. This cannot continue as delivered by those who have clearly not worked in a school, nor have children in a public school.