He doesn’t trust himself. They wrecked it. That’s my fear.

Yes very true. One of my biggest complaints about Common Core, despite it’s lofty motivations, is that it’s been inspired by this notion of GRIT – that there is no innate intelligence but that it can be taught.

It’s a nice theory; it may be true, it might not be. But it’s being tested out on millions of kids right now. My nephew is naturally good at math as am I. He’s dealing with common core. A new kind of rote is being introduced and it’s designed to stifle progress. Show your work has an even greater prominence than it did when I went to school, and it was bad then too.

I understand WHY it’s necessary but I watched his confidence start to crumble last year; not because the math was hard; he knew the answers…. but he couldn’t show the teacher how to get to the answers in the proscribed way because it’s not how he thinks.

I’ve been helping him through it; he has to do it twice. Once in his head the way he knows how, and THEN translate that into the TEACHERS way so he won’t get a zero, even with all the correct answers.


Some of the concepts are great; and MAYBE it will prove to be a success. I’m just nervous for two reasons:

a) It’s been rolled out on a HUGE SCALE with not much preliminary testing. [I looked for it… few genuine studies were done]

b) The way math is taught is faddish in the USA. I don’t expect Common Core to last more than 10-12 years tops, before it’s abandoned for some novel idea.

My brother is a victim of New Math – circa early 1970s.


Well maybe it did for some. But not for him. He had to invent all sorts of tricks to get around the problem. He WAS good at math when he was little but the introduction of new math wrecked it.

When we started this business 13 years ago, he was.. let’s see… 42 at the time and I was 30. I made the ‘business profit’ a mere 10%, to make it easier for him to make money.

He couldn’t do 10%. “Just hop the decimal over” I’d say. Over and over I’d try to show him different ways on how easy it is.

He tried. He couldn’t. He just couldn’t. So a calculator is his guide.

He doesn’t trust himself. They wrecked it. That’s my fear.

lol oh my nephew is 10 years old, 5th grade. He’s doing fine on his own for the most part. LAST YEAR was troublesome for a bit ’til I told him WHY he has to show his work. [he still rants] and how he can do what I did: Do it mentally and THEN give the teacher what they expect to see. All A’s in math, no problem. He’s a self-starter.

Sometimes I have to learn something real quick and then teach him, just so he can do the ‘show your work’ part.

My big goal with him is:
You can hate math class.
But not hate math.

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