{One Mom’s Opinion} Why We’re Homeschooling This Year

OMO Common Core

 

Today’s piece is brought to you by Amy, a mother of two children in Slidell who has chosen to homeschool her boys because of concerns she’s having with the new Common Core Curriculum. Read all about her thoughts below and let use know what you think!

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“What is this math homework?”
“What do you mean you don’t carry the five?”
“Why are third graders spending an entire year learning a practice test, when the real test is in 4th grade?”
“Why are so many teachers leaving?”
“WHAT Is going on in my child’s school?”

These are just some of the questions that came up as I slowly learned of HUGE changes in our public education system. I had noticed for quite some time now the slow changes. I graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2001, and went right into teaching at a highly respected, nationally recognized Head Start program. I enjoyed it, and continued on until my own child was born. I stayed involved in the Special Education because my second child was diagnosed with Autism at 19 months. (He’s now five and pretty unrecognizable as having Autism. I fully credit a wonderful Special Ed Preschool Program and God to that!)

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So I noticed changes, even in the preschool setting when I went to work as a temp from 2009-2013. What in the world was going on in my beloved Head Start?  Plastered everywhere was “KINDERGARTEN READINESS!!!”” We HAVE to get them ready for Kindergarten!! I was a little offended. I thought, “Seriously? What did they think I was DOING the years I taught? Gee, what have these teachers who have been teaching forty years been doing…getting them ready for what, prison?!” Head Start had worked effectively for years.

I’m not bashing public school teachers here. Teachers are just as innocent in this new garbage as the students are. Many of them are BAFFLED at the changes that have come down. What’s going on isn’t new.. Outcomes Based Education has been a problem for YEARS. What’s new is it’s name?

Common Core State Standards.

Shudder.

I saw these changes in Head Start, especially this past school year as my youngest spent a year there. It was different from when my oldest son spent two years there, he is now 7. I watched, waited, and learned. Throughout the school year, I realized, something is going on.

Then the second graders homework began to change. Math especially seemed to be less about 2+2=4 and more about how does Tim FEEL about having to share 5 melons? My son had to answer a simple math problem five different ways.  After showing his work four different ways on a simple math problem, the 5th question simple said, “Explain.”. His answer? “I know because I listened.” SERIOUSLY. The 7 year old could even see the stupidity of the repetitive questions. He already answered it four ways, did he REALLY need to explain it again?

Suffice it to say, I’m tired, but after much research  I decided CCSS is NOT for our family. I decided we would homeschool. Common Core was the last straw.  I figured, I have this education degree, and I can’t screw it up any worse than they are right??

But I admit, I’m mad. I didn’t WANT to homeschool. My husband works 50 hours a week and I run my own business so we pay taxes for things like public education. And here we are, unable to use them. Yes, it’s by our choice, but they have so defiled what public (and now private) education should be, it’s disgusting. So, here we are, we’re enjoying it and I plan to rock it like I rock everything else. Why? Because I have to.

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So what exactly do I hate about CCSS? I’ll make a simple list.

Here are my personal beefs about it:

  • It’s against the law. The federal government is not supposed to create a national curriculum. They know this. They claim CCSS is a state led initiative that states can decide to follow or not. Well, here’s the rub: The “state led initiative” is actually a small group of people and the National Governor’s Association. And the voluntary part? False again. In order for states to receive “Race to the Top” funds from the Stimulus package, they MUST agree to accept Common Core. There are those who say “standards are not curriculum.” To those people I reply, “I am guessing you have never ever set foot in a classroom to teach because standards ALWAYS beget curriculum.” Our governor, who supposedly didn’t take stimulus money, did take RTTT money and that is how LA got Common Core.
  • It infringes on the privacy of students, parents, staff, and more. Louisiana is especially involved in this with our ahem, glorious State Superintendent John White (mama said if you don’t have anything nice to say……) Mr. White has thrown Louisiana under the bus. Google “InBloom.” Have fun with that. InBloom is the data management company that is going to manage the 58 pages of data on every student in Louisiana. I heard this from BESE board members mouths. InBloom can neither promise or verify that all that data will not be sold, hacked, lost, or misused. Seems like one big giant risk to me! Here is some information on Data Mining.
  • Control. When you have a national curriculum, which is what this WILL be in the end, do you think you will have ANY say in how your schools are run? Absolutely NOT. Gone will be the days in which you can hustle on down to your Parish BESE board meeting and have a say about curriculum, textbooks, etc as was done years ago when St. Tammany parish parents and teachers successfully removed a horrible math curriculum. (Which they did, with the help of a well established Mathmetician, Dr James Milgrim, who now says he cannot support the Common Core Math Standards.) You, as a parent and taxpayer will have NO power. NONE. Your school took Race to The Top money? Then they have to do what the standards say.
  • True teachers will be pushed out. After all, if ALL the schools are teaching the SAME thing…why would anyone need the actual gift and talent of TEACHING??

  • Some standards are dumbed down, some are pushed too far.  The basics of math have been changed so they teach them convoluted ways of doing math. Informational texts supersede classic literature.
  • The actual standards (and by default curriculum) are NOT FIELD TESTED. This boggles my mind. In a world of drug testing, food testing, warning labels, and enough lawsuits to cover the stupids of the world, we are willy nilly implementing educational standards that are NOT TESTED? That have NOT been proven effective teaching materials or methods? That have NOT been really adapted to childrens individual developmental needs? This is LUNACY! The site for the standards claim they are evidence based, but that is NOT the same as field tested and they know it.
  • It just doesn’t make sense. It boils down to this…it just doesn’t feel RIGHT. I feel like we’re being sold a rotten bill of goods. We are being sold on something that no one really knows how to pay for, how to implement, and how it will truly affect our children’s education.

And sadly, I hear from many who don’t know, or care. Private school parents…you better talk to your directors because the New Orleans Archdiocese has accepted CCSS. So have many others.

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Homeschoolers? Don’t stick your head in the sand. ACT, GED, SAT’s and other national tests that our kids use for college entrance and to ‘prove’ themselves will ALL become aligned to the Common Core.

Are you childless or your kids are grown? Don’t bother looking away because it is YOUR tax dollars being used to fund this, both federal and state.

There is SO much wrong in the world today, and maybe I’m a conspiracy nut, (but my tin foil hat is at least a stylish chevron print.)  but I honestly worry about our children, and as long as this great state allows me to, I will educate them in the ways I see fit.

Amy Dutsch
Mother of two, former teacher, small business owner and founder of
Parents and Educators Against Common Core Standards in Louisiana.

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124 Comments on "{One Mom’s Opinion} Why We’re Homeschooling This Year"

  1. This will prove to be a blessing in disguise for you. Home schooling has so many benefits. You will never be sorry!

    • We as teachers may not always agree with the changes being made in our school system but lets not forget why we teach. This generation of children need us more than ever. I don’t care if common core sucks, I’m going to keep teaching to the best of MY abilities because I don’t suck. Regardless of what common core tells me I need to teach, it doesn’t mean I can’t teach above or beyond it. For those of you who are deciding to leave public school settings because you don’t like common core, think about the the students you’re leaving behind. They need us!! As teachers, you control what happens in your classroom. Just because the common core seems dumbed down, it doesn’t mean YOU have to dumb it down in the classroom. It also doesn’t mean you can’t teach them about amazing literature because CCSS focuses more on informational text. Politicians may end up making decisions of what gets implemented in our schools but we’re the ones in the classroom. Ultimately, we make the final decision within our own classrooms. Teach with excellence because the kids deserve it.

      • Just wait until they monitor your classroom to make sure you’re teaching what they tell you to.

      • Like your statement. Not all teachers care this much. My son had both good and bad teachers. Unfortunate for him public system failed for my l.d. child
        As for my grandchild schools won’t get a 2nd chsnce to fail.

      • Bravo! I commend you. Thank you so much for your perseverance. God bless you richly this school year and beyond.

  2. I am not sure why you are upset by the repetition in the curriculum. Isn’t that how we learn…by doing something over and over again? Also, “explain” means that the answer needs to be in word form not a picture or a number sentence. The CCSS allows for the subject areas to intermingle, such as writing in math. It also seems that the math that you reference is trying to meet the needs of all students because as a teacher you should know that students are individuals and each has a learning style. If the curriculum was not meeting your child’s needs you would probably be complaining of that instead.

    • Teacher 2,
      The thing about repetition is that yes, it is how we master information. Yet if a child derives the correct answer, repetition leads to frustration and eventually you have lost that kid in that subject- they shut down & lose interest. Also, isn’t it such a waste of time when so many other important things are being neglected so they can get good test scores?

      • Teacher 2, you are one of the many reasons that there are now over 1200 students homeschooling in St. Tammany Parish. You fail to realize that parents know best for their children. If a parent and child are BOTH telling you that working a math problem five different ways is frustrating the child and impeding the learning process, your job is to say, “You’re right, lets see how we can fix this situation.” Instead, you try to belittle the parent and completely ignore the needs of the child.
        For the many people that will be coming into the homeschool community for the first time this year, welcome! Please consider joining the largest free and inclusive group in St. Tammany: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/STP_Homeschoolers/

        • Amen. I’m a frustrated parent in AZ. I cannot even help my 4th grader! A simple division problem now needs 10 tables and dots to solve. Nothing is common sense and none of it works. They are using NY Engage math here despite the warnings of world renown mathematicians! The first problem is never done anymore either, so you cannot even work backwards to figure them out. I’m so angry knowing that there has to be a hidden agenda here. Why not take advice from mathematicians that can teach children years ahead of their grade using REAL tips? No nonsense techniques or just plain math? I wish I could home school. I don’t know what else to do?! For now I send the “Greek” worksheets back and tell the teacher we cannot figure out this math. I used to spend hours a night looking online trying to decipher the tables and dots for an addition problem. I don’t have the time or patience. They all need to be ashamed.

      • Working around people who always gets frustrated with repetition training I have learned it is an attitude problem. I have no doubt that repetition like this will make it easier to recall and apply the information. Definitely, not true that with repetition you risk losing the child to the subject. It is with repetition a person builds confidence in a subject and from the confidence in the subject the person will build a love for the subject. Crazy how before Common Core, many Homeschoolers would say Public School is too rigid, it doesn’t allow students to think outside the box. So, they come up with a different structured curriculum with the goal to improve the failing school systems and now they say they are being too lose and make you do simple problems too many times, they are being too free with their grading standard.I don’t know if this will improve the system or not, but I will give it a try before I cry BS with everything about it.

        • concerneddad | August 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply

          I’m sorry, but this is NOT repetition. Repetition is doing the SAME thing over and over. Forcing them to learn 5 different ways to solve the problems is convoluted. They take multiple learning styles and force them to all then ALL of them. Rather then teaching to the child. This means many kids are forced to get frustrate because they don’t learn in all those ways

          • So learning that their are different ways to learn something is a bad thing? Teachers are supposed to only teach to your child and not the other 30+ kids? Teachers are to teach only to the majority who learn a specific way and ignore the other students? Or should a teacher try her best to reach every student. I do not always agree with Common Core as I teach Special Education, but I am calling BS on this article. Everyone has their own opinions and good for them. The real issue is those who choose to homeschool and those who do not. Like Jason said, the last trend was public school was too rigid, now it is imposing different learning styles. Wow. Let’s see it Common Core works before complaining about it.

      • You are so right. Thank you, it seems you took the words right out of my mind and mouth. Some people are just scared of the things they cannot comprehend, therefore they go with the flow instead of trying to understand it and base their decision on their understanding of the matter at hand. That fear is what is crippling us as a people. I’m so thankful for those of you who stand up for what you believe in. After all, our children are the future and it seems to me like the government is programming robots instead of educating the next generation to handle the issues we will be leaving at their feet. It is ridiculous and is so infuriating. I will be signing my son up for homeschool. How are the parents expected to stay involved if we are only confusing the kids because the way they are being taught is nothing like the way we were. I honestly feel like I confuse him more than I help sometimes. At least with homeschool I will know we are on the same page and I can be helpful to my little sponge. Now I need to find a good homeschool organization or whatever. I’m new to this, so I better get to my research.

        Ps. I also have a degree in applied science of criminal justice and with a college education I had a hard time helping my first grader with homework (math). What a shame!
        Concerned mother in Bush, la

    • Who would I complain to? We have no power now as parents at BESE.

      • Well said Amy!

      • It is a mistake to concede that you as a parent have no say with BESE. You should be writing, calling and attending meetings. The data sharing contract between John White and inBloom was stopped because of the testimony of to local parents and their children. Teachers like me who are fighting back need the support of parents. Our legislators need to know your story. By the way, St. Tammany School Board voted against Race to the Top thanks to some active and observant members who continue to advocate for public education.

        • You’re right, and I am in touch with many on the forefront of this fight, I attended meetings where the BESE members said it was news to them. If st Tammany did not accept RTTT funds, why did a local Title 1 school guinea pig CCSS this past school year? Why did STPSB say they are pushing ahead with implementation for THIS school year not 14/15 as previously predicted? Why did Jindal say he accepted no stimulus money but I found a document where he signed off accepting RTTT money? (That document is since gone from the web)
          Teachers absolutely have my support, I am friends with many, some who oppose and some who don’t. It’s their tired words about testing, worries for our special needs children and their stress levels that keep me fighting this fight even though we homeschool now. I’m not done spreading the word on this.
          HR5 may help us some but I’m doubtful.

          And there is debate as to whether White has truly pulled us from InBloom.

        • ProPublicEducation | July 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Reply

          Thank you, GeauxTeacher. St. Tammany Parish school board members did vote in Jan. 2010 NOT to participate in Race to the Top for several reasons, one of which was that doing so required agreeing to the Common Core standards, which had not even been written at that time. No St. Tammany School currently participates in Race to the Top. They do, however, have to participate in Common Core because the governor and state supt. signed the entire state up to participate in that. Do your part: be active, go to meetings and correspond with your legislators.

          • In the end, Jindal signed us up, the the Parish BESE board took it along. When education was LOCAL, they could have said NO, we don’t want to participate in that. However, these are not those times.

            And if we do not have RTTT funds, who is going to pay for all the Common Core nonsense? Taxpayers.

    • You are so wrong. CCSS will force our children to learn to their testing ONLY. I personally would prefer and am teaching my grandson to THINK FOR HIMSELF, to use the brain God gave him to its fullest potential, CCSS will NOT do this. And to answer your question, NO repetition is NOT necessarily the way children learn. Repetition for my grandson will only get you a FLAT REFUSAL to do more. Wait until you are forced to teach children that when they see the color white that it is actually black, you will be forced to convince them of such idiocy

    • Repetition in education is supposed to be repeating a concept over a period of time. Explaining the same problem 5 different times on one worksheet in second grade is NOT repetition. It’s just tedious, and is a guaranteed way to ensure that the entire class of 2nd graders will grow to hate math. That isn’t about learning styles, that’s simply about the developmental stage of a 7 year old.

    • I agree with you Teacher 2. I don’t understand what is so awful about looking at a problem from different angles and solving it in different ways. The worst education systems in the world teach rote memorization rather than teaching a good understanding of WHY we answer questions a certain way. To me, math questions like this are teaching kids to think critically which is more important than just memorizing numbers. Knowing why 2+2=4 and being able to explain it both with words and numbers (and more than just saying “I know because I listened”) is really important. It shows that the children are thinking critically which, in the long run, will do much more for their little minds than just memorizing it.

      • Nae, could you please explain 2+2=4 to me in words and numbers? Seriously, I want to know how that is done. I can’t imagine how I was ever able to get through college since I must have a very little mind according to your logic.

      • As applicable teaching methods, fine, but when they are not ALLOWED to use simple algorithms that’s where I have a problem.

      • Common Core is a small portion of Agenda 21 which combines the USA with the United Nations. If you are unaware of what Agenda 21 is, just google it and get educated. Common Core and the entire Agenda 21 program will be the death of America’s freedoms as we’ve known them. Agenda 21 is real, has been coming and being planned for decades and is very close to becoming the law of the land.

      • Homeschooler2 | July 23, 2013 at 1:58 am | Reply

        This isn’t about whether 3*4=12 because according to the Common Core promoters, it doesn’t matter if the student got 3*4=11. As long as he can explain why he got that answer. CC is ridiculous. http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/07/common-core-standards-3411-is-ok-as-long-as-you-can-explain-why-video/

      • If you are going to go that route, then the only valid response would be a logically rigorous response using the symbolic notation of Frege’s mathematical logic or Russell’s/Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica. It only took the latter 100 pages to ground the logical definition of a number. That is why “explaining” in words why 2+2=4 is so stupid. These symbols are already linguistic in nature. It would be like asking elementary school kids to translate “My shirt is red” into different words/symbols using the theory of light and wave lengths with scientific terms and advanced mathematics. Otherwise, you’re just asking why they “feel” 2+2=4, or why their shirt is red.

        • Excellent response Joe Smith. Explaining simple math in words is not how you learn the concept of simple math anyway. You have 2 apples. You add 2 more apples. How many apples do you have altogether? How exactly is a written answer better than just answering 4?

          And Joe labeled one of the many problems with Common Core exactly. The written answer is supposed to be about “feelings”, not logic. We are going to have a generation of BS-ers who are going to get REALLY GOOD at explaining why they feel 2 apples plus 2 apples actually equals 5 apples, and still get credit for the incorrect answer. Common Core is all part of caring more about not hurting kids feelings if they get an answer wrong than teaching kids right from wrong.

          It’s a very bad precedent to set. Just like not allowing competition in sports anymore. There is no score, everybody is a winner. This up and coming generation is sadly being screwed over because of us with programs like Common Core. They are missing out on many of life’s most valuable lessons.

          I strongly believe that public education is drastically going to change in the next decade and I am praying it’s for the better. More children being schooled at home, an increase in charter and magnet schools, and more school vouchers/school choice are our children’s best hope. NOT nationalizing the public school system. The problem with just giving Common Core a chance is once it gets in the school system it will be very difficult to get out. There are already plenty of reasons to NOT implement it. Why let it happen to find out if there is anything good about it?

          And I haven’t even touched on how creepy data mining our kids is!

    • The math techniques used in the video seem okay–as an extension. First, students should master the tried and true procedures that have worked for so long. Use these other ways for estimating, for checking, for follow-up to show understanding; use the “around the world” techniques for a cooperative unit, bonus activity, or enrichment opportunity, but NOT INSTEAD OF the curriculum. Dependence on calculators is ridiculous. Fast food workers have no idea how much money they should receive for a purchased meal until the computerized register tells them. We should teach students to use calculators well, but again this is not a substitute for the basics.

      When my niece was in “gifted” 5th grade, they did an “around America” type of math activity. But she couldn’t do it right, as smart as she was, because she had never mastered her multiplication facts. I ended up teaching them to her…but she still lacks confidence today, in her late 20s. Nothing beats the basics for skills areas like math and English. As a teacher and administrator, I have found that a combination the traditional and the creative work well. We cannot dismiss the old ways, but neither should we be open to new ideas, especially those that challenge students to apply and synthesize. Unfortunately, it has become an either/or situation, and the students will lose.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to write. My child is going in 6th grade and attending a private Catholic School. The school will be adapting it this year. I live down the bayou and still trying to understand what is about to happen. I don’t like what I’ve heard so far but no one else seems to be concerned as I am.

  4. Same here in Alabama, sister! Pulling my 2 out of public school to homeschool next year, thanks to Common Core. We gotta do, what we gotta do!

  5. Bravo, Amy! Great blog post and well stated. Glad I don’t have young ones in school anymore. Have fun and don’t forget that recess is a very important part of the curriculum. LOL

  6. What blows my mind is that is not making any news…at all…anywhere. No mainstream media – impacting 50+ million children and nothing. That scares me more than anything. That means this is such a coordinated effort, a stealth attack on our children

  7. We obviously disagree about Common Core, but I wanted to thank you for the math video you embedded, because I had never seen that video before.

    As a math teacher, I couldn’t agree more about the poor quality of the teaching methods in the Everyday Math and Investigations textbooks. Partial-quotients division and lattice multiplication only confuse students and parents and prevent parents from helping kids with their homework. In fact, I’ve seen schools that use Everyday Math specifically instruct parents NOT to try to help their kids if they are struggling.

    Fortunately, the Common Core standards will do away with that nonsense, as they specifically require the teaching of the standard algorithms for multiplication and division, which I find very encouraging. Here’s the link to the CCCS page for the multiplication one: http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/NS/B/2

    • I am currently a college student, working toward my degree in education. My math class and math book were common core aligned. I had to learn the lattice method and how to teach it to my future students. It was confusing to some and pointless overall. But it was definitely tied to Common Core. It even listed the common core standard that this was tied to.

      • Lattice multiplication is awesome and actually helps teach the concept of large multiplication. Many children find this much easier to understand. Each child should learn the version that makes sense to them. No child should have to memorize and use all the methods, just the one that makes sense to them.

    • Ryan, maybe you are not from Louisiana, but for a while the state actually had the new curriculum for Common Core online. They have since taken it down. But in the curriculum they included blackline masters (worksheets). In the worksheets for fifth grade it was explicitly stated that two digit multiplication by the standard algorithm might be too difficult for students, so the preferred method of teaching multiplication would be to use the “area model of multiplication.” As a former public school teacher, I had never heard of the “area model of multiplication” but I googled it and suggest others do the same. If anyone thinks the “area model of multiplication” is a good replacement to the standard algorithm, then by all means they should support Common Core. But if they think it to be an abomination to good pedagogy, then they should run as fast as they can to pull their children out of the public schools away from this train wreck.

  8. Good for you. I’m sorry you have to do this, but I’d do the same thing if I were in your shoes. I’m a public school teacher, and I wouldn’t want my own kids to have to go through school now that “teach to the test” is going to be the name of the game. My kids are grown, but if they were in school I’d be pulling them out to homeschool. At least that way they would still find school a joyful experience as well as being challenged.

  9. APPLAUSE! Well written and thought-provoking. I especially like the fact that you sourced all your information with links so that people can read for themselves. I’ve already been hearing a lot about the ills of CC but you illuminated some points I hadn’t thought about! Thank you!
    I too am afraid for my children. My oldest is only 3 1/2, but I am scared to see what will become of schooling in the next couple of years. I’m already planning to homeschool, I just hope it’s not outlawed by then!

  10. You said exactly what I was thinking! Our state has not taken the bait…yet. Supposedly they will let the people know before they make any final decisions so we can voice our concerns, money talks and I fear we have less than a year before we follow. I am starting homeschooling now. I just fear that they will meddle their way into the homeschool life very soon.

    • Homeschoolers will not be exempt if they expect to receive a diploma. As you may know, the ACT and SAT will be lined with CCSS. David Coleman, the architect of CCSS, has taken over as CEO of College Boards. I would encourage those of you considering dropping out to fight from within instead. It is imperative that high stakes standardized testing end. Parents have the ultimate choice of opting out. I am waiting or the first lawsuit filed by a parent and then teachers (relative to the new teacher evaluations).

      • Definitely! If a homeschool student wants TOPS they will eventually deal with CCSS. And when that time comes for us, I’ll teach both ways. I have so many more issues with CCSS than just the standards, though, so it’s a multi faceted problem.

  11. I homeschooled my son from 1st to 4th grade who is

    also autistic. I am also a former highschool teacher.

    Unfortunately, my marriage fell apart and my son was forced to go to school. He went to a private school
    where the A-Beka
    curriculum was taught. Parents, if you can yank
    your children out of the kennel, do so now before it’s too late.

  12. hey, worked for you didn’t it?

    • For whom, Clark? If you mean me, no. I did homeschool in high school for a bit then got my GED. I struggled constantly in math, still do. But I managed to go to college and graduate with a 3.8 honors, phi theta kappa; by my own hard work.

  13. Thank you for this well-written post! The decision to take educational matters into your own hands isn’t easy, but the rewards are great.

    Our family will not be participating in CCS either. We’re going waaay old school and will be teaching our kids at home with books used during the most educated era in American history: Ray’s Arithmetic and McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers, along with lots of Classic literature, including the Bible.

    Hope you enjoy teaching and learning along-side your kids this year!

  14. Amy,
    Thank you for posting & informing parents on this. scary situation. It is absolutely against the law to dangle $ and say the schools cannot receive it unless they are compliant with CC. KY has also adopted this program because of funding.
    We have homeschooled for 10 years now and I have never regretted it. Exercise your right to school your children as you see fit. God bless!

  15. I am speechless…this is spot on! So many of these reasons…albeit for a different topic…was the reason I decided to start homeschooling when my first was in the womb! God bless you and guide you on your new found adventure…it is the most wonderful adventure out there!

  16. Very well written! Welcome to homeschooling! Whatever the reason you start, you will find so many reasons to keep going! Enjoy this time with your children, it is hard work, but so very worth it.

  17. Hollyjollymommy | July 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Reply

    I like the Common Core standards. It’s not memorization like the previous methods of learning math. It teach kids what the numbers really mean. It teaches them to think vs. to memorize. From what I’ve seen in math it is definitely a higher level of learning and thinking. It also allows for creativity in implementing the standards. Schools have been “teaching for the test” for years and years. Where we live there are lots of people moving in and moving out constantly. These standards will allow them to move to a new school across the country and receive the same education. We’ve only had it a year but I think it’s great!

    • Teach2ndGrade | July 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply

      I understand what you’re thinking here. If you learn the concept then you will be able to do the computation. It sounds great in theory. However, our base 10 system is a huge concept that many children aren’t developmentally ready for. Requiring that a concept be mastered before simple computation is like expecting a child to be able to know the grammatical structure of English before they are allowed to put words together. Mastering easy computation skills and then learning the concept behind it later on is as easy as turning on a light switch. Sounds backwards, I know. But think of how easy it was to identify the parts of a sentence in elementary school even though you had been speaking in sentences for years and writing them as well. You didn’t need to know that every sentence must have a noun and verb to be able to communicate properly. You didn’t need to know the mechanics of walking before you were able to run. But you did these things first and when the concepts behind them were revealed they were obvious and easy to grasp. It’s the same in math.

      Besides, I think the most important thing in math is often forgotten, getting the right answer!!! I really don’t care if the guys who designed my house knew the concepts behind the math equations they were doing as long as they were able to get the right answers to make my home structurally sound.

      • Amen and amen! Early elementary-aged children simply aren’t capable of thinking in the abstract constructions necessary to explain mathematical concepts. They need concrete formulas of arriving at the correct answer. And they do need to memorize to some degree — math facts are important. Lay those foundations early on, and allow the child to tackle more abstract concepts later on, when he or she is ready. Those who really think their children are learning to “think critically” because they are required to “explain” their math answers are deluded.

    • I heart homeschool | July 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply

      School have been “teaching to the test”‘ for years and years? WRONG! It was actually not too long ago that teaching to the test was considered UNETHICAL in the teaching profession

  18. CCSS is a set of standards, not curriculum. Your state had a set of standards before CCSS, and yet every district still had a different way of presenting it. This is just like that. And as more and more students are on the move, it is going to be natural that we move toward a more national set of standards. You can’t have kids constantly switching schools where they are expected to learn such different things at different times. It has created a lot of the disparity we see today. Years ago our population didn’t move around so much, and it wasn’t such a big issue. Your privacy argument makes no sense. Data isn’t kept because of CCSS. Data is kept with any state testing. Testing is a totally separate beast that is abused all over this country, including states that have not adopted CCSS. That data can be hacked into no matter what set of standards you are using. Teachers are not pushed out by having a set of standards. Your state had a set before that all teachers were required to teach. The art of teaching isn’t about what is presented, but presenting it in a way that reaches all students. There are positives and negatives of CCSS, as there are with any set of standards that are applied to a large population, but your issues honestly just don’t make a lot of sense.

    • Read again, standards always beget curriculum. Your first sentence is pro common core fodder they are feeding people. Yes we had standards, and I actually have issues with those. I don’t want any standards based on international benchmarks at ALL.

    • The problem with your logic is that military kids have moved around the country every 3 years for at least the last 20+ years. There were not common core standards then and they did just fine. My kids are 2 of them. In fact, common core actually made things difficult for my kids. We moved from a common core aligned state to one that just started Common Core and they last school year was pure hell. Couple CC with the LEAP test teaching and there was so much work. My third grader came home with an hour or more of homework every night. And every time I saw my son’s teacher she looked tired and frustrated. This is not doing anyone any good. Kids are elastic. They rebound easy. And if parents are so concerned with how moving will affect their kids, maybe they should weigh that in their decision to move. It’s not the government’s job to make sure that parents can make dumb decisions and it will be okay for their kids…..

      • That’s concerns me too, the intensive LEAP test teaching. To spend ALL of third grade teaching a test that will be taken in FOURTH grade? I know they take a practice LEAP but two years of test teaching? Seriously? And what about the fact that teachers and students are required to not share ANYTHING on the test with parents? Teachers face a huge fine if they share anything? There is a difference between test security for cheating purposes and copyright vultures; and hiding content. Wouldn’t you like to know just WHAT is on this test your tortured child is taking?

    • Yes, but every state had their own standards, not federal ones.

    • sorry but you are incorrect jphilli. The standards are attached to a high stakes test and that necessarily requires a curriculum alignment. Textbooks are designed to align with CCSS and that means there is a curriculum. The fact that teachers like me write their own lesson plans and individualize instruction does not eliminate a curriculum. I was an Air Force brat many years ago and moved very often both stateside and Europe. Because educators and school systems know what is developmentally appropriate, I never had a problem changing schools. Standardization is designed to be falsely measured by a std test. Children are not standard. They can be evaluated on the same material in many different ways to determine mastery. While there are some beneficial parts of CCSS, the package deal is terrible. Determining that our children are failures based on a standardized tet is and has always been a crock. I don’t know why parents allow it it hour even seeing the test.

  19. So what happens when the homeschool kids do reach college and have to pass an ACT or SAT Core Curriculum aligned test that they have never been educated on? That is my concern. Will they be able to pass it?

    • There will be Test prep books just as there are now. I will prepare my kids for the test just as others do. And generally speaking most homeschoolers do great in college.

    • Homeschooled kids generally learn how to THINK. That ability supersedes any canned preparation. I’ve been teaching for 20 years in a private school, and homeschooled before that. In all those years, test prep materials have never made much difference in ACT scores. The big scores belonged to the students who read widely and understood what they had studied.

  20. Loved it. We teach our children at home. Love it.

  21. OMGosh you just summed up everything in my head. I just asked the question on my page about Common Core being shady. Thank you and Bravo, this is our first year homeschooling too because of the same.

  22. Good piece, good links…
    Moving to socal from your very area led me to homeschooling quite a few years ago and I have no regrets –
    However, I’ve been staying up on CC b/c it does affect everyone. Who was one of the big names behind this? Why the same guy who is now with College Plus – the people that bring you the SAT. No conflict of interest here people…Gates is big behind this too – the same guy whose foundation has a testing program on middle schoolers where they have bio-bracelets that record the kid’s responses to teachers to see what the kids respond to in the classroom (I have no idea how they weed out responses such as the kid that thinks the girl or guy next to them is cute instead of really liking what the teacher is teaching).
    follow the money, follow the money, follow the money – it has nothing to do with educating our kids but everything to do with lots of money for textbook companies, testing, and training good workers for the system – just smart enough to do the job that they already have picked out for your children (um, I have a tinfoil hat too on some days)

  23. Don’t see my first comment yet but I need to make a correction: the architect behind common core is now with college board NOT college plus. College board brings us the SAT. Sorry.

  24. We’ve been homeschooling for 4 years. The oldest is going into 8th grade this year, and we had considered sending her back for high school for the advantages of equipment and materials for the sciences that we just can’t afford. However, the more I read of this common core, the more sure I am that I’ll just have to find a way to teach her chemistry, despite its costs. Welcome to the league of homeschooling parents, grand parents and aunts and uncles. Find yourself a good homeschool co-op right away. It will save your sanity during the first chaotic year of adjustment.

  25. Over 75% of college freshmen must must take a remedial math and/or english class. They are not college ready but still they are allowed to pass. Teaching and standards that were good 40 years ago are useless. If you want to compete globally you haave to compare yourself with the best. Face it, we are a country on the decline educationally.

  26. What a WONDERFULLY laid out post, thank you so much! As a homeschooler, let me assure you, our heads aren’t in the sand about this. Homeschoolers are up in arms, and are standing side by side with our communities to out CCS, and educate people to the dangers of it. In the meantime, I’m thankful and considered myself blessed to homeschool.

  27. CCSS is all part of the dumbing down of America.The idea of no child left behind is a good concept except that instead of bringing them all forward to a higher level of education they are instead reverting to the level of the lowest student.This does not challenge our kids ,nor does it teach them to think on their own.

  28. Thanks for all the critical info! I heard about this just a month ago and learned for myself, that the former Secretary of Education under Clinton is adamately opposed too!! That should really be a big red flag!!

  29. I wish I could read this in its entirety but I’m having a hard time getting past where you thanked God that your son appears not autistic. It seems no matter where I turn this kind of dehumanizing of autistic and disabled people rears its ugly head.

    • I’m sure Amy will respond herself, but as the Editor here at NS Parent I can assure you we never include content that we feel is dehumanizing of the disabled. I have a disabled son and two others currently in Early Intervention. I believe Amy is thanking God that he has made such incredible progress.

      • To echo Katy as the other Editor here at NS Parent, I can also assure you that we will never include content that is dehumanizing of the disabled. I have special needs children myself as does Katy. I read that statement exactly the same way Katy did as thanking God he has made great progress!

    • Marianne, I am very sorry if that is way it read to you, it definitely wasn’t my intention. What I meant is, I give thanks to God for his progress. I am grateful he doesn’t “appear” autistic but as any parent of a child with special needs knows, appearances are deceiving and are often harder because you get that “oh he doesn’t LOOK special needs” as if there is a certain look to every disability?! No, I meant I’m grateful that his progress has been so great. He has many more issues that are not visible to the average stranger. I’m definitely not putting down any special needs child. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve fought for ten years for a better world for our children and I’m active in the autism community. DEFINITELY not what I meant and I personally apologize if it came out that way!!!

  30. First off, I applaud you for the decision to homeschool and do what you feel is best. There are certainly days I would love to go that route. However, that’s just not in the cards.

    That being said, the problem is not really with the Common Core. The Common Core, in theory, is good. Having students receive a higher depth of knowledge (and actually learning how to learn) is great. Even the assessment questions I’ve previewed take students beyond answering a number of individual questions to answer series of questions that build in complexity and rely on answers from previous questions that push students to exercise persistence in problem solving and function more like real-world scenarios.

    The real problem is in the implementation of the CCSS. What most districts do is take the standards and develop a mandated curriculum that is often sub par and brings everyone to teach to the tests.

    The CCSS should give teachers the freedom to be more creative than they have ever been. However, with district moves, the art of teaching is being put to the side. What needs to happen is more time really teaching teachers how to build more motivating and creative assignments that will excite our kids more and get them to see the fun and value in learning. Right now. That’s not there.

    For example, a few weeks ago, my son (about to attend high school) was with me at Lowes to get supplies for a project we’re working on. The trip led in to a huge discussion about measurement, conversion, geometry and more. At one point, he asked, “Why isn’t school taught like this? I can actually use this.” The CCSS would allow for this type of learning, but not once districts create mandated curriculum.

    Textbooks aren’t the problem either. The CCSS can be taught without textbooks (as demonstrated above), but districts are being promised that the textbooks will prepare students for the CCSS. Meh.

    This is similar to technology. Schools are being promised that technology will raise achievement. Not so. It’s just not happening. Districts are spending billions on technology, across the country,for no real gain. Again, it’s not the technology. It’s the implementation. Drill and kill uses of technology just won’t raise the bar when measured by anything meaningful. But creating lessons that have students really critically think about information they find online and build relationships that can help collaboratively dig into issues and solve problems is where the rubber meets the road.

    In the end, the CCSS only tells what needs to be achieved. It in no way tells how to achieve it. The how is the real problem of all of this.

    • Brain, thank you for that post. As a homeschooler myself, I’m not completely against Common Core. I can see the value in it. And the more I learn about CC, the more I realize that is exactly how I teach my own children. For instance exploring the why of math, we use Life of Fred, as do many homeschoolers which explains that. I taught the concept behind multiplication before rote memorization. Math is becoming more spiral in the classrooms according to teacher friends. Many of us homeschoolers use a spiral math such as Horizons and have been for years.

      In my local district some of the schools have done away with textbooks and the teachers are to get creative to teach the concepts using places like Pinterest, TeachersPayTeachers and TeachersNotebook. I have seen lots of creative lessons on these sites that align with CC that I will be using with my own children. This is a good thing.

      The bad thing is they are still teaching to the test and high stakes testing isn’t going away. Teachers are not allowed the freedom to go back over 4th grade concepts if they are missed and needed for 5th grade concepts (per a teacher friend). There is little to no discipline due to behavior referrals are tired to funding. The classrooms are still overflowing with 30+ children to one teacher.

      I think CC if done right could be a good thing, but as you said, Brian, the issue is the way it’s being implemented, not CC itself.

  31. Are you moderating comments? Just made a long one and it’s not posted. Just wanted to be sure it went through.

    • WordPress is holding them in moderation, but I’m approving them every chance I get as long as they aren’t rude or inflammatory!

  32. teacher to speech | July 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Reply

    So I have not read every singling comment, but the first few and I am seeing a lot of black and white thinking here. I agree with you, Amy, on many points and I applaud your efforts to homeschool your children. As a early childhood educator first and foremost, I have always had my issues with the public school system. Too many to go into here. The point I feel you on most is the testing. Can we pleeaaase stop testing these kids to death. Ugh. Ok, that is out of the way. I am just now getting back into public school system after years of early intervention work and will be learning more about the whole core curriculum bit as I go along. I appreciate the link you posted with the math example. I actually do think there is merit in teaching those methods. I was someone who struggled with math all the way through school “the old way.” I often spent so much time trying to keep my columns straight that I messed up the math part or vis versa. I think understanding what I was doing (the first concept) and/ or having a way to grid things (the second concept) would have helped me a great deal. Do I think that the child should be forced to show every single possible method. No. How about teaching them all, letting kids practice each (including the old way) for a few problems and then letting them decide which one works best for them. As long as they get the right answer, its all good! I guess what I am saying, is I think there is a middle ground here. Many children would probably end up using the old method eventually because it is the fastest, but for those who needed it, they would have another way to get to the right answer. Also, yes, nationt standards/ curriculum sounds like a money maker for someone at the tippy top. I am right behind you with the tinfoil hat! Sorry for the book!

  33. mommyteacher | July 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply

    As a parent, of a St. Tammany Public School child (an ‘A’ school so we are very lucky there), the math part of the CC was a shocker to me. The Lang. Arts didn’t bother me as a parent- at least not so far. I have an elementary teaching degree- but stay home with the children right now. I learned beautiful ways to teach in my teacher education classes. Setting up wonderful mini-museums, etc. Lots of awesome and creative hands on learning- like a dream school! But, I was disappointed when I found out that’s not how teaching really is right now. How can it be? There’s no time!

    We read classic literature at home just so my 8 year old can get exposed! They sell tons of children’s classics in paperback at Target’s dollar section! They are usually 3rd or 4th grade level and the classics are adapted for this age group- I feel like I found a treasure! Yes, there’s lots of work for parents to do at home even when kids attend a school!

    Years ago (80’s and 90’s) we were taught one way to do each math concept when I was a child. I do like the idea that different strategies are presented initially so the child can use the one that best “fits”. When my daughter comes home with these different strategies (some which I don’t get at all! LOL), I ask her which one feels comfortable and easiest…which makes the most sense, to her?

    She picks, and sticks with that one and her teachers have been wonderful in allowing (and encouraging) the kids get to the answer using their favorite strategy as long as work was shown and it was the right answer!

    When I was helping my daughter with 3-digit subtraction I taught her how to “borrow from the neighbor”. That makes sense to me and to her! I showed her a Khan Academy video that was so awesome and explained the numbers like a house…and each house has a room (place value). Just so easy to “get”. But now in subtraction, the new term is decompose. Someone please tell me how that is easier to understand for a 7 year old than borrowing from a neighbor number and bringing it back home? I have not been trained in this new way as I am not a current teacher- I have a ton to learn before going back to work!! Maybe I am missing something…decompose means to break down, yes, but “borrow” seems much more lower-elementary kid friendly. Why was this term put to rest? Does anyone care to explain- maybe there’s a good answer and I want to know it!

    Explaining and showing math work is important so if an answer is wrong, we know where our kids went wrong in their thinking. I get my daughter to think aloud and tell me how she solved something if it’s a new concept or it’s an incorrect answer. But some, can’t really be explained like that! We dont’ go over and over and over a concept once she’s got it. Review yes, beat a dead horse? No.

    Oh, and as for Science and Social Studies- the teachers have NO time to do science experiments and fun history activities like I was trained and excited to do as an elementary education student! That’s the part that makes me sad- when is there time for that creative learning and hands on experimenting? I’m not saying no teacher still incorporates these things. It can be done and can teach across the curriculum which I love. But, is that appealing to teachers when they are bogged down with paperwork, and pre tests, and post tests, etc.? That’s why the good teachers get no true summer break or holidays anymore. They are trying to hold on the reason they went into teaching in the first place- to instill wonder and excitement and a love for learning via inquiry and hands on learning when possible.

    We’re going on year 3 of this CC for my daughter and it’s 3rd grade, so I’m wondering, since we’re so close to Leap test, how it’s going to be. I’m a little scared- and one reason I’m not teaching right now is because I’m afraid to! I will wait until it’s all fixed up and ready to enjoy again! Something DID have to change I agree. And let’s pray that we find the right way soon while holding on to those wonderful teachers!

    • Yes!! I am most certainly ok with multiple teaching options and allowing the child to use the one they feel fits best. But they are letting them do that (per my experience) my child was “supposed” to do it one way and if I didn’t “get” that way I couldn’t help him. Now, a disclaimer, I am HORRIBLE at math. It doesn’t matter WHAT way you teach me, I won’t get it!

      • mommyteacher | July 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply

        Well, I don’t think that’s right! They should be able to pick a way that resonates with them and as long as they can show work and get the right answer, it shouldn’t matter! This would be ideal AFTER all strategies are taught first though since all kids won’t pick the same strategy. My daughter is super at mental math- but I have to “see’ it and work it out on paper. We’re all different kinds of learners and allowing them to pick their best strategy addresses this.

  34. You’re are telling my story. I have a mainstreamed 11 year old with high functioning autism. We had similar experience with math. I kept thinking, it’s like an English teacher wrote math curriculum. I want people realize, it’s not just because of my sons diagnosis. He is a canary in a coal mine. I did not ever see myself homeschooling. Now I am thankful it’s an option.

    • Special need children, particularly ones with autism are one of my biggest worries with CCSS, very often they need things in black and white. And requiring a child on a 1st grade level (for sake of argument) to take a 4th grade level assessment is absurd to me, utter abuse to me.

  35. Rock on! Just finished my fifth year of homeschooling my two kids aged 8 and 11. You will not be sorry, but you will be bone tired, sister. Good luck!!

  36. Right on! Well – I couldn’t have said it better. The only thing I have to add is “…and this is yet ANOTHER reason why we homeschool.” Any chance you could put a “Press This” button &/or RSS Feed button on your blog? I am going to have to just copy the link for my blog. Good job.

  37. Good for,you. It takes parents who are willing to stand up to this to make a difference. My daughter just finished “high school” and has been homeschooled for the past 10 years. She is entering her 2nd year of college at 17 and has done extremely well at home, has many friends and has had a wonderful education. Standardized testing and curriculum sucked even when we pulled her out of school 10 years ago. Make your voice heard, and this will be a great experience for you and your kids. I never regretted a minute of it. (Btw, we’ll be in Slidell in 2 weeks for vacation. Love it there!)

  38. I am a grandma in my early 50’s. MY Children I Taught all the basics before kindergarten. HEadstart was not formed yet in Ms..My sons were way ahead of their classmates. MOSt parents were not taking time to teach the children the basics ! A NEED the kids should now. I Mean my kids just starting school, they knew their phone number, address, parents first, middle an last name, how to count to 100.. more than basick colors. How to spell their full names. Knew their age.. Also new abc front an back an vowels.. an to read 2 an 3 letter words. MY Son an wife kept putting off teaching the kids the basics.. I Explained How I taught them, an they need to be doing so. THEy were that’s what we pay the school an teachers tax money for, fo rthem to teach. PASSING THE BUCK I CALL IT ! So BBAes struggled.. I babysat from their births up m-f.. So I helped what I could when their, but when a child is not pushed by parent, they don’t want to learn. So I persisted.. FINAlly school sent paper after paper of grades, an they need to learn this, are you helping your child , or neglecting your child. WELL Finally MY Son an wife started help teaching.>NO IN BAbes to not want to learn, parents don’t make me, to NOW aving to learn by PArents say so.. SO We 3 grownups push education.. Youngest child learned right away, an made straight a’s..still today. Oldest Bless him had major troubles, down on himself ! BEcause how he was not taught, then yelled at for being dumb, listen learn from parents.. I Would tell em ITS yOUR FAult not the childs.. IT TOOK along TIME to get him to understand.>HIS reading was worse, so hard for him to learn math problems not reading well too. IT Was a Struggle ! I Would talk with him when pick him up from school, or alone at house, BABE nothings wrong with you. You did nto start out right. An ITs just taking longer now. HE hated it younger brother out did him in all. An HE Failed , an held back , an failed again with summer school passed that year. Finally 2 years ago he picked up on reafing well ! An HE started pulling up math ! HE was a straight a an b student last year ! I Was so PRoud of them Both, An I Told him especially PRoud of him, that he heard HE could do it ! An Now grins come on his face, instead of crying all the time he was stupid. An thought no one loeved him in his eyes. I Told HIM YA know that’s the STUpidist thing I Ever heard ! An saifd yea ya pretty stupid ! HE looked sad an I Tickled him about to death.>NOW take it back I Said.. Say UNcle.. I Hugged him up an said you never were dumb baby, ya just had a learning problem, an its solved now ! BUT LEt me tell ya # Adults could not understand today SMART math as they call it ! The youngest grandson new more than we did ! He was 5 ! HE is our MErit child.. THe teachers had to have teachers who new the curriculum to come teach them ! That’s CRAZY ! Way I seen it the new math is gonna cause a lot of problems.>Simplified was far better.. PERIOD ! MY Generation has produced Multitudes of geniuses ! Things invented n Our century by people who done the simplified maths.. Today the last 10 years..ALL COpy other artists an stuff to make a living.>I Don’t see a whole lot of genius, as in past centuries.. I don’t. GOD HELP the children ! AN the parents, grandparents, an teachers !

  39. Amy,
    You are not a conspiracy nut. There is a power grab going on. It is being waged to control the minds of the people in this country. I read a book about Mary a few years back. During one of her visitations she said, “Satan has entered the church.” The author conjectured it was a molestation scandal, but now that I have seen what is going on around the world I don’t think it was. I think it is the deal making and folding to pressures from groups that intend to involuntarily socialize the entire planet. Is there is historical evidence that we are entering a time when there is a shift of power. Except this time it is global. There is also evidence that the current shift is a “force shift”. However, because the shifts upset the very fabric of society it can be changed to a “freedom shift”. I have also seen evidence that there is some freedom shifting going on. Part of that is people shifting to a entrepreneur economy. The more entrepreneurs there are the greater the freedoms that society enjoys. That is why gov that want power start destroying the ability of the entrepreneur to function. So home schooling will allow you to gear their education to be free statesmen and entrepreneurs. Right now you cannot trust either the Republicans or Democrats. They are both helping special interests supersede our constitutional rights. If you want some more information check out Olliver Demille and the Thomas Jeffersen education system.

  40. I have been an educator for 34 years. In that time I have encountered manyh new strategies developed by text book companies to improve learning basic skills. Every generation has its best solution. Think about this, are we improving literacy and critical thinking, or are we just confusing and frustrating the students? Why are we constantly trying to change the basic ideas of math and reading? I learned by families in math and basic sight word repetition. Remember those SRA reading kits? They worked well because of repetition of families. Why do children love Dr. Seuss books so much? I really think the problem lies with the creators of these books and ideas who want to make a buck promoting their work. I remember having to buy a new textbook for my class just because the professor wrote it.
    The real solution is not in changing the name of the game but raising the standards and expectations of the students to work harder. We seem to be creating a generation who is rewarded for being creative when they figure a way out rather than understanding the importance of consequences for actions. How did Einstein get to be so smart? Why are we not producing more students like him? Baby Einstein seems to have the right idea. Perhaps the creators should develop a curriculum for higher education not the national governor’s council, who ever they are. Hmmm, are they profiting from this new curriculum.

  41. I am the parent of a child who had the unpleasant experience of exposure to a pilot common core math program several years ago. My child was enrolled in a small private school that obtained a grant from the government to teach a program (not a curriculum yet) called Everyday Mathematics(a type of discovery math being used in common core). In order to get this grant, the teacher had to agree to track the children’s progress or lack of while using this program. Teachers were sent to Chicago for training for nine weeks. Parents were strictly instructed not to interfere in their child’s math education. By the end of 5th grade, some of the children tested into 3rd grade math while others were professionally diagnosed with math anxiety. Many children were removed from the school and the school discontinued this math program. Common Core is not about education – it is about MONEY. Your child will be dumbed down so that people in the education business arena will be able to market to parents all sorts of educational materials,programs, etc. to help the child succeed (after all ,they will have the data base with all of the child’s grades, etc. available to them gratis of John White). I must say that their scam works as we have spent a lot of money trying to rehabilitate our child with respect to math. The worst part is the pain that the child goes through on an intellectual, physical, and emotional level. My advice to both teachers and parents is to fight this with every breath in your body and to tell BESE, John White, and Jindal to shut this Common Core/Data Base Scam down now! In the meantime steer your children clear of the unchartered and dangerous waters of Common Core.

    • Thank you, exactly my point, very well said!!!

    • I just want to let you know that Chicago Everyday Math has been around for at least 20 years. I am 28 now and was taught by this same curriculum when I was in elementary school. I learned how to multiple using various alternative methods which emphasize place value and my parents didn’t understand it – but I definitely did. I am a third grade teacher now and also use EM after moving to Ohio from Chicago. Many of the concepts are the same as I remember learning them in elementary school. I’ve also been teaching since before the CCSS were implemented. The EM curriculum has only chanced slightly to account for a few new standards. Many people have their own feelings regarding EM, its spiraling concepts, emphasis on place value, and lack of fact practice; however, this has been debated long before the Common Core standards came out. It’s a little unfair to say that students who learn math using this curriculum are less prepared for the future, when I can honestly say that my elementary school classmates and I were for the most part academically successful – many in AP math classes in high school. In addition, I find it just a little difficult to believe that teachers were sent to Chicago for 9 weeks for training. I’ve been to trainings and a representative for Everyday Math typically comes to the district to train teachers. Training was only for a few days. Many other math (and reading) programs also have representatives who do trainings for educators.

  42. I have been considering alternative education options for some time now, even before I had my now 3 1/2 year old. The more I learn and research and pray the more convinced I am that home school is a great option. I have recently learned about two different education options that I think home school families would benefit from researching. Check out the Robinson Curriculum at http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/ and the Ron Paul Curriculum at http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/. I am very interested in the whole concept of self teaching. Thanks for the article.

  43. mommyteacher | July 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply

    Oh, and I myself have considered homeschooling because of the one on one and the freedom and protecting my daughter from learning the “extras” on the playground 🙂

    Being able to teach hands-on and in authentic ways greatly appealed to me. “Oh, we’re studying about insects today? Let’s go find some in the yard!” You can’t have that spontaneous “get up and go” with a classroom of 35 and that’s really no one’s fault.

    The ability to get up and go (to museums, etc.) and “show” the kids the concept really is a wonderful thing about home schooling. But, the student has to be a good match for the teacher and me as my daughter’s teacher would NEVER fly! LOL!

  44. Thank you for writing this, Amy. I knew when I got to line two of your post (“What do you mean you don’t carry the five?”) that you and I were going to have a great deal in common. When I sat and watched my daughter (who just finished 2nd grade) draw scores of tally marks and other little icons to solve basic arithmetic problems, I knew homeschool was in our future. She was being forced to use four or five different strategies to solve simple equations — none of which were the simple methods we learned in school, and many of which were a colossal waste of time. When I showed her how to carry and borrow, she said she’d never seen that done. When she used those methods at school, her teacher remarked, “Your mother must have taught you that.” Yep, I sure did. I have no problem with giving a struggling student alternative ways of looking a problem to help him understand, but forcing everyone to memorize a half a dozen ways of solving one type of equation is just silly. When I’ve tried to explain my frustration with public school under the new common core, I usually get blank looks. Thank goodness somebody else sees what I’m seeing! We will be homeschooling this fall using a math curriculum developed for Mennonite schools. It’s old-fashioned, and I love it.

    • Right, I am not opposed to a variety of methods. And there are more indepth reasons I dislike CCSS, for one I feel no private money should be in taxpayer funded public education, I could go on.

      Someone asked me, “What do you want, to go back to the 1940’s education?”
      I replied, “if you mean memorization, concrete learning, a focus on the three R’s, history, liberty, respect for authority, love of country, limited tests, locally run education, then YES YES YES!”

      But I won’t find that in my schools anymore, so I homeschool. It’s not for everyone, and MY homeschooling doesn’t put down public school teachers or students. I’m not sure why people take it as an afront to their family life if *I* homeschool. They have a right to public education, I have a right to educate my child how I see fit. It’s scary because it’s unknown for many people, and I was one of them.

      Every child is different, but there are still basic things every child needs to know, for sure. So even if by default many of the standards are developmentally appropriate and okay, (which I still don’t agree with because I do not want international benchmarks as a justification for any standards), but even if I was ok with that, so much sneakiness and deception and money trails are going on behind the scenes, I just can’t get on board with it.

  45. Common Core was one of the straws for me. We are homeschooling this coming year. I understand how the Core looks really good on paper, but “for the warning in my heart” I just can’t allow it.

    • Us too, there are other reasons but I was asked to keep this post to ccss and I honestly cannot share some of the other reasons because of who they could affect since I’m not annoymous. But yes, last straw for us.

  46. Tammie Williams | August 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply

    Amen!!

  47. For those of us with kids in special ed, this new curriculum may mean they fall even further behind their typical peers. Already my son’s work is being dumbed down along with all the other kids in the behavior program he is in. The only program that’s ever worked for him. He’s in fourth grade and has never had to write an essay or do a book report. He’s a smart child too. I worry for his future. How will he possibly handle college and a career with an extra watered down education? We are training our child to be unable to think for themselves.

    • Read this article: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/schools-put-genius-child-in-special-ed-tell-mom-he-cant-learn-now-free-and-hes-on-track-to-win-a-nobel-prize/

      This kid is amazing… and public education never thought he would amount to anything. After reading about this kid it makes me wonder if the exponential increase in ADD and ADHD diagnoses correlates with the dumbing down of the public education system. These kids are bored in school and are unable to advance at the level they need. My oldest is going to start Kindergarten this year and could potentially be diagnosed as overactive, but he is very intelligent and is constantly needing new stimulation. He learns very quickly.

      I will be homeschooling him this year and am looking forward to specifying an education for him where he can advance as quickly as he needs. I will also be homeschooling my younger sons when they reach school age. Large classrooms are almost more of a hindrance. So many kids’ potentials go undiscovered.

  48. Connie Zimmermann | August 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Reply

    Hi Amy, thanks so much for your concise and informative post on Common Core. I want to encourage you to write more about it. Please do. 🙂

    My personal primary concern with Common Core is Progressive/Marxist indoctrination. I attended Orleans Parish Public Schools in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and only now do I realize what they did to our minds, and back then it was done much more subtly than today.

    Today, the books and assignments come straight out and tell the children that they know things that their parents will never understand, therefore it is there job to “teach” their parents. And what are these things that the kids are learning? Radical Environmentalism, Community Agitation, Anti-American rhetoric, that it is ok to give up some rights for security, etc. They are stealing our children’s childhood.

    Every time a book or worksheet tells a child to go home and explain something to their parents, that is precisely what the hidden message is. When a parent is told to not try to help the child with their homework… that is crazy talk! But the most dangerous part is when they’ll inevitably be told… “don’t mention this to your parents, because they won’t understand.” At that point, our children are no longer ours.

    Parents have no idea of the war they are in for the minds of their children.

    The people behind the development of Common Core do not have the best interest of America in mind, nor our Liberty. The people in power who were sold this, need to open their eyes now.

    Thank you again for your efforts on behalf of informing the public.

  49. It amazes me how many will quickly DEFEND instead of researching to learn more. Is anyone curious to why SO MANY are fighting Common Core….The government wants to NATIONALIZE education. Look up the definition of nationalize. It means to CONTROL! I am not that trusting of my government….I have raised two adult children and there were interesting discussions at the dinner table about the LIES they were taught in school….And just an FYI, the government has only implemented Common Core in English and Math because they are the LEAST controversial. Wait to you see what they are going to teach about science and HIStory!!!
    Kudos to you parents who have decided to TEACH your OWN children!!! You will see your children won’t have the typical attitude that the typical kids seem to have today. They won’t be angry most of the time for no apparent reason. They won’t be taught that you’re an old racist dinosaur, who knows nothing. They will be more respectful than the average American child today. And they won’t have the “anything goes” attitude taught in the public schools.

  50. If something isn’t broke, why fix it? I believe none of us had to do or learn this comon core mumbo jumbo and we all turned out just fine. Learning something and having to explain something 5 different ways, is very tedious, not to mention frustrating for a child. Its a recipe for disaster, thanks for sharing!!

  51. States are still able to use their “old” curriculum or get “new” books, to go with the new standards. Some of it just needs to be tweaked.
    Data on students has been used in the past. How do you think we get statistics?
    Control- there was a meeting just last week in our district in northern CA to get parent input on how to spend extra funds for the new CC standards.
    Teachers who have been teaching for decades have said they love the new standards and in fact, they aren’t really new standards. Just new ways of teaching.
    Other countries who surpass us in math and science use the different math teachings. Did you know we rank 23rd for math and science? The students will learn classic literature but are sorely lacking in understanding nonfiction. You complain of students being asked how they “feel”- isn’t that what a lot of classic literature is about?
    Aligning to tests is what we have always done, and is the proof colleges want to accept a student. We should be teaching that college readiness is key.
    I have three children, two who have spent ten collective years in public school, and one that I homeschool for kindergarten.

    • I not know what district you are in, but in my Northern CA district, there is NO deviation allowed from the CC curriculum, and long time teachers are very discouraged. Did you know since the Federal take over of our schools, in 79, and BILIONS of dollars, and regulations, standardized testing, ect. Our US students are only 1% smarter. As a college graduate, as a mother of three, and very involved in my children’s homework and education. I can tell you, without any doubt, CC is a disaster. Many parents are complaining; even teachers. My youngest is now in third grade and the curriculum is horrible. It does not allow for mastering the basics, and is all over the place. A students HW, should be age and time appropriate. A parent should NOT have to sit side by side and explain/teach them the concepts. The homework should be review, and repetition until the student(s) master the concepts. Finland is a great model of how ” children” should be taught. They beat is hands down in ” scores”, yet don’t have homework until High School, and have up to 2 hours of recess. Our system is NOT working. You will see, in time CC will prove itself to be an absolute dismal failure.

  52. In response to Melissa – Yes, you are right. Everyday Mathematics has been around for a while. It has also been labeled as “very controversial.” Glad that it has worked for you, but over 200 prominent mathematicians and scientists including 4 Nobel Laureates, one of whom is Steven Chu – Secretary of Energy denounced this math. Check out Wikipedia – Everyday Mathematics or Dr. Mercedes Schneider Beware Everyday Mathematics.

  53. Kathy Willis, MD | November 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Reply

    Ran across this post. We pulled our kids out of private Catholic School in Hammond to homeschool due to common core. Never intended to homeschool but now we love it and doubt we’ll re-enroll even if CC is removed from our school. Hats off to you for taking a stand and you’re right, the fight continues to keep CC out of standardized test.

  54. I totally disagree about repetition… My third grade son, is NOT getting enough repetition, and NOT afforded the opportunity to LEARN the basics. They spent one month on multiplication, one month on division, and now doing 3 part questions, that even my 9 th grader struggled with ( it took her two times to figure it out). He is so discouraged!! Then they have this ” Brain Builder” folder, for English!! He can’t even understand the directions. He has had NO spelling words, until this week. The assignment was: long e, ( e, y, ee, ie) same for 4 other letters. He was to write a spelling word for each one. Instead of focussing on one concept, one grouping… There were 4! So he learned nothing!! When I was in 3 rd grade, our homework was age appropriate, for our minds. My parents did not have to sit by my side and TEACH me, and explain my HW. We had a list of spelling words, we had to write them 5 times each, use each word in a sentence and then had a spelling test on Friday. We were given ” drill” sheets of math. We mastered those basic concepts, before moving on. My oldest is 22, I have watched this ” progressive” govt. teaching methods now for 17 years, and it keeps getting worse. My oldest started with HW packets starting in K!! Ridiculous!! I have watched my younger two, STRUGGLE, because they are not mastering the concepts. My aunt taught 2 & 3 rd grade for over 25 years, and had a masters , was bilingual and a ” reading specialist”. She QUIT; she just couldn’t take it anymore. She frequently goes over my sons ” assignments”, and says ” this is horrible, and NO way to teach children”. So either those on charge, are COMPLETLY stupid, or they are purposely dumbing down our children. Also a required book for reading in 11th grade, is nothing put a porn book, from the eye’s of a pedophile. Going into detail, while he rapes, moleste children. The author a women, writes, and I’m not quoting but something like this… ” as I entered her dry vagina”… And even more horrific passages. Commen Core is destructive and lacking any ” Commen Sence”!!!

  55. I have a son in the 1st grade (public school, South Louisiana) and at this point may not pass to the 2nd. I am considering homeschooling him next year but know NOTHING about homeschooling, I hate to “just google it” – in this case too much information does not equal true or quality information…if anyone can help by giving me really helpful sites to visit I would be so very appreciative! I’ve started with the LA Dept of Education…but I am wondering is there is more out there….any help would be great. Please and Thank You!

    • Hi Erica,
      I know it’s been awhile since you posted your comment, but I hope you get this reply. I was very nervous when I first started homeschooling 3 yrs ago. Don’t let that stop you though. There are so many curriculums out there that you can do. What I’m learning is it’s really about learning your child and the way they learn and what their interest are. I started with Abeka, which is a really good curriculum, but it was not for my son. I have used spell to write and read, saxon math, and the list can go on. I’ve have poured hours of my time into research on the public school system and homeschooling because I want to do the best for my children. The more I’m learning the less I fear I’m gonna mess up, because as the lady said in the article I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot possibly do worse than what the public school system is doing. Google John T. Gatto, I learned so much from some of his work. Also, I went to the library and just started reading about homeschooling. Some stuff I agreed with and some stuff I did not. That is the beauty of homeschooling, you can do what suits your family, you are in charge of their education. Google the Harding family, thier story is both encourageing and amazing. I hope this helped a little and they you stay encourage to make this change for your family.

  56. I am in florida and currently developing curriculum for my autistic son for 5th grade next year. This will be his last year in public school as long as common core is alive.
    He is near tears and his anxiety is worse since learning cc. He does not understand it. He has a test tomorrow and is having chest pains at 10 years old because his teacher told him he must do math the way it is taught with no exceptions. I told him do it however he can get the correct answer for himself, and do not fret a bout what his teacher says..I told him thinking independently is to be respected and no matter what I’m proud of him. He begged me to start homeschool tomorrow! I have to figure out how to go to a one income house , but I am right behind you !! I think the negative comments about your views from teachers are conceived by the fear that soon there will be not enough students in public schools and their jobs will be cut. To that, I say a REAL educator would fight for the RIGHT thing to do. Everyone else is just a sheeple!

  57. You are welcome to do what you want. Homeschooling can be really rewarding and really effective for families who take it seriously and know what they are doing. I wish you the best.

    Just know, every single reason you listed as to why Common Core is terrible, is completely not true. These are common talking points for anti-common core mouth pieces. They are either based on faulty assumptions (like the idea that Common Core tells teachers HOW to teach, which is 100% false) or based on outright lies.

    Hence why you have italicized quotes, but not actual sources to support your claims.

    The reason this bothers me is because the anti-common core people, or those who become convinced to speak out against it, or reject it, end up doing so for non-sense reasons. There are plenty of real things to complain about when we talk about the Common Core. you managed to touch on none of them.

  58. Thank you for writing this! I have a kindergartner this year and never even knew what common core was, I have since began to educate myself with every article and blog I can get my internet scrolling mouse on. We are what 3 months in to the year and have already been put on retention for Kindergarten (which isn’t even mandatory in my state) I see her struggle and we work with her at home but her frustrations haven’t ceased. To top it all off she also has been dealing with bullying (my daughter is shy and quiet) the pressures she faces socially on top of academically have made for a very rough and discouraging school year. I went in with these happy expectations of her coming home to tell me excitedly what she learned that day, instead I’ve seen my happy carefree girl warp into an introverted, overly emotional, stressed out 5 year old. Every thursday is test day in our school and it’s absolutely miserable for all of us. I see her crumbling under the pressures to conform, I see her struggle with these tests, I see her turning away and resisting to read because she’s so frustrated….it isn’t even fun for her to learn this stuff! I feel that it is totally wrong for her and I have since been looking into charter school/homeschooling. Unfortunately for me, my husband isn’t on board yet with the idea of pulling her from the public school system (even though charter school is technically a branch of public school but with more parental control) however he has started to ask questions about it more recently. I’m hoping to get her out of there and get rid of these frustrations and unnecessary struggles. Learning shouldn’t be this way 🙁 I remember loving to learn, I remember feeling like there wasn’t anything I couldn’t learn about and I found interest in a lot of things (I was a public school kid up until 5th grade when the struggles became too much and my mother decided to homeschool me) I had a unique opportunity that so many don’t get to have, I got to travel and learn. We did a history of the united states and then traveled thru 7 different states, stopping into neat museums and national monuments, writing papers about the experiences and history of it….I want the same amazing things for my children and I feel that common core is creating little zombies that either conform or struggle to conform, it’s just not acceptable to me. Thank you for your research and thank you for your encouragement. I know that homeschooling isn’t for the faint at heart especially when you weren’t planning on it but bless your heart for taking a stand against common core and doing what you felt was the best choice for your child! We are still the parents and our children’s best interest and success are important, it matters!

  59. Ok I’m wanting to homeschool my daughter but have a few questions for you lovely experienced ladies! I am not educated with a degree to teach, will I fail my child then? I’m so scared I’m not going to “be enough” for her(2nd grader)! Also if the SAT’S and all the others are going to eventually be the CCSS should I teach her common core? I mean that’s the major reason I want her out of public school. I know my worries might seem petty and irrelevant to some of yall but it is a serious concern for me. Suggestions please?

    • HI! I wouldn’t worry a bit! A degree does not make a good teacher, and any one can homeschool! You have a love, desire, and goal…you’ll be fine! Take some time to learn about homeschooling, methods, styles, etc, you’ll soon find it’s nothing like public school and most kids flourish!

      As for assessments, they change all the time. I will tell you when I was in high school, cough, years ago…I dropped out. I still managed to study myself by checking out test prep books, and pass the ACT just fine. I got Into college just fine and graduated with honors. Your child can do the same. Homeschooling with likely arm her with far more than she will,even need to pass tests. You can prepare her with test prep just like anyone else, including public school kids! Also keep in mind, many colleges don’t even CARE about tests anymore, they know it’s irrelevant to their true understanding and knowledge. They look at transcripts, interviews and grades! Do not fret! You got this! If you’re in La, please see http://www.facebook.com/groups/louisianahomeschool and we’d be glad to help you!

  60. Kristine,
    I am thankful for you convictions but the truth is you cannot add or take away from the Curriculum and the assessments will show if you are. You will be one of the first teachers they will weed out through these aligned assessments. This is part of the problem. Teachers who want to give a well-rounded education are going to be weeded out and they already have your replacements entering the workforce. You will not be allowed to do this. Our son will not be at his public school come August because of this very reason. We love our teachers, but the truth is they will be let go. This is a battle of good over Evil. A spiritual battle! I was a teacher for 19 years. I know the reason most people go into this career and unfortunately that is no longer what the gov. is seeking in teachers. They want conformity, if you are unwilling to conform you are no longer needed. It is comparable to Hitler’s Germany.
    I will continue to pray for you and teachers like you.
    Tammy

  61. My child has no life because of Common Core. We hate the time helping her because we see how much see hates it. There is so much stress around it, and my daughter now hates school.

  62. It’s your argument that doesn’t make sense. Have you actually read the Common Core? I have, and none of it sounds particularly unusual. Any decent school will already be meeting those standards.

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