Death is no longer some thing in the future to be feared; the unknown of where and when and how lurking around some unidentified corner. No, fifth grade math homework will be the death of us all. No more mystery! Death is here…
Big Sister is in her first month of fifth grade – learning a new math curriculum which is completely different than what I learned thirty years ago. She has math homework every single night. The book is next to useless – it makes vague statements with zero logical sense and that’s it. No examples. No elaboration on what the concept is. No context to glean meaning from. Nothing. I fought for two weeks for her to be allowed to bring the damn book home – raging every night about how the worksheets she was required to complete were like attempting to do math when all the words were written in Greek or Arabic. But now I get why they don’t bring the books home – there is nothing more in the books to go on. So our nights – after dance of course – go like this:
- Mom tries to interpret what the hell the worksheet is asking be performed.
- Mom consults Dad to make sure they concur on the translation.
- Mom tries to correlate the bullshit with what she knows and remembers from school.
- Mom tries to translate the bullshit into logic and reason that she can impart to others.
- Sometimes repeat one or more of steps 1-4.
- Big Sister attempts to complete her math worksheet before NINE PM – most nights failing.
Seriously. This is why kids don’t like math. The stigma is planted in fifth grade where instead of breaking each concept down into ideas that are attainable and which apply logic and reason – it is math after all, not abstract art – they hide the shit that I-know-very-well-you’ll-have-to-use-every-day-of-your-life in this ridiculous core curriculum which was probably written by some dumb ass who was never a teacher in the first place. He or she is probably living somewhere on a beach laughing about the idiots in Utah who believed him or her and bought all those books and workbooks and student worksheets funding his/her retirement.
Thanks for letting me rant. If you’ve avoided fifth grade math after you lived through it yourself the first time, consider yourself lucky. If it looms in your future, please accept my condolences. The irony of this whole thing? I LOVE math and I kicked ASS at math when I was in school. Go figure… all it takes is slapping some new convoluted bullshit with a fancy shmancy title of “new common core” to completely disintegrate my own math knowledge and confidence. Why yes it’s a Monday and yes I’m drinking – why do you ask?