the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Give your kid that résumé edge “my parents couldn’t understand Common Core so they homeschooled me”

The Common Core Initiative web siteThere’s been a lot of people I’ve read on Facebook and the blogs posting how terrible the Common Core education initiative is, and that’s gained a lot of traction from people who don’t understand the abstraction in thinking required to get to the answers.

Compound this with some truly absurd real (and faked,) examples of Common Core and you’ve got a flurry of both correct and incorrect vitriol because things have changed.

Sorry about that, so has the world.

I first ran into the new math about a year or two ago. Perhaps it wasn’t the newest style, but it was a different way of looking at it than I had learned. It was confusing how my Little Brother arrived at the answers and he didn’t do the method I did. He also made a lot of mistakes in what I considered needlessly excessive scribbling of numbers I found to be abstract and without reason to be there.

Looking back I made a lot of mistakes, in my more direct and to the point approach, but they were different mistakes. My Little Brother’s mistakes were made doing the same operations I’d made the mistakes on, but at different points. Oh well.

It was a different way of thinking about numerical problems that could all be solved with a calculator, cell phone, or trained chicken. It’s a different process than the way I learned, it has a bit more meandering, but it ends up at the same place and theoretically in more of a natural way. Even if it feels unnatural.

There are other things that I’ve seen involving standardized paperwork asking about a child’s sexual health in regards to language rehabilitative stuff, but didn’t we pass 1987 a while back?

They show soaking wet women in bikinis humping cars while eating burgers now during daytime TV on commercials. I’m pretty sure asking a child if they have any signs of sexual abuse or gender identity issues is not going to spontaneously gayify an eight year old.

Perhaps I’m missing something though.

What I’m not missing is what homeschooling does to a person’s future chances. Especially that homeschooling based on the inability or refusal to grasp a concept that most children can is setting your children up for problems later in life.

Maybe things have changed a lot, but as a homeschooled kid I face a lot of glazed over eyes when asked where I went to high school in job interviews. A lot of “what was your or your parent’s major problem,” questions in life, general alienation, and lack of learned social skills.

There are reasons to homeschool your kids. Because you don’t agree with a long-form process to arrive at the same number you would have, or a question that will uncover sexual abuse in some children that might otherwise not stand out, these are not good reasons.

Making it so your child is completely unable to understand how the general public arrives at an answer means college, which will be expecting the new math skills and people who understand, will be spent learning how the hell to do what you didn’t teach.

Your sensibilities are there to be shocked and appalled by the younger generation and what’s going on with and by them. The shitty education system in the US that we’ve had since before I was born is a reason to homeschool. It’s a reason to be appalled. It’s been the same my entire life. This is nothing new.

If you’re appalled by Common Core, but weren’t by what the school systems in the United States were teaching before, you’ve missed the point. Your education was crappy compared to most of the rest of the world, your education was nothing compared to what the previous generation’s was.

If you don’t want your child asked questions that might reveal potential sexual abuse, sexual orientation questions, or food allergies, just own up to wanting someone’s kids to go undiagnosed and live in shame so that you don’t have to answer the hard questions.

Or perhaps there are valid reasons to dislike it, but for most it appears it’s a case of “I won’t take the time to sit down and figure out this new method they’re teaching” and “I don’t want my child being asked questions that might indicate they’re being abused or are sexually confused,” which can happen at any age.

or not… random musings… also yes, I own up to accidentally putting “parent’s” instead of “parents” in the headline as the original involved ownership and I missed it.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.