Warning: Common Core May Cause Excessive Drinking

If you are lucky enough to be the parent of a school-age child, you can, undoubtedly, appreciate the hell that I found myself in tonight.  The hell of 3rd grade bar models and mind-numbing word problems that are collectively known as common core.


I should offer full disclosure on this rather touchy subject.  I am not a fan of the common core for several reasons however, I do respect the methods by which the curriculum attempts to teach my children how to solve problems.  Understanding seems like a better approach than memorizing if you ask me.  But let’s remember that we’re teaching 8 year olds and 8 year olds don’t think like I do.  Heck, 8 year olds don’t even think like 10 year olds!  So, let’s stop trying to teach them as if they were 10, 12, 16……40 years old.  Please.  

Beginning at the end of her 2nd grade year, I started using a phrase that I never expected to use while helping my daughter do homework.

“They’re trying to trick you,”  I would say.  “Don’t let them trick you.”

I understand that the world is a tricky place but, can we just hold off on sharing that with our kids for just a little while?  Can we start them out with problems that don’t trick them?  Perhaps build their confidence a bit?  Possibly consider that constant testing and long, drawn out days of testing might do more harm than good?  Anybody agree with me on this?  Anybody?

It’s quite obvious to me that Bill Gates does not have a school age child.  Oh Bill.  We need to talk.

Anyway….there’s so much more to write and delve into on this subject, but I am absolutely, positively exhausted by bar models and 3rd grade math word problems tonight.  I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Bill Gates owned major shares of stock in multiple wineries because there are millions of parents of school-age children sipping wine tonight.  I’m happy to be one of them.



  1. I don’t know…..you are using a word (and I’m sure your daughter gets the idea) that denotes a DECEIT by an adult, a deceit that is being used AGAINST her. There’s gotta be a better way for her to get to the idea that she is facing a mystery and that like a detective she must solve this fancy conundrum to get to the proper or plausible or expected answer. I don’t know but tricks come in a bag (of course Tricks are excepted) held by some kind of actor, not a teacher…..i.e. good teacher.


    1. Interesting. You’re right – it does sound like a deceit by an adult, but I never blame it on the teacher. There’s this other “they” that we refer to a lot. Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know. I do know that the text used in these lessons does not read like a mystery that needs solving – that would be welcome!


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