New Math


I’m about to start an insurrection against the “new math” they’re using in schools these days. Who’s with me?

Disclaimer: I have both my husband and my son’s permission to post this.  In fact, my husband scanned it for me and said, “There’s some blog fodder for you.”  Heh.

Join the Conversation

44 thoughts on “New Math

  1. I am with you 1000000%. Last month I had my 4th grader write “my mom and dad looked at this question, and even they have no idea what they are supposed to do. Please don’t mark me wrong.” If 2 people with advanced college degrees have capped out on 4th grade math, God help us during the next 8 to 10 years.

  2. DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED. Okay, you got me started. After having our kids in a private, Christian school for 3 years, we’re homeschooling this year. I’m NOT a math person, but heavens, I do know my times tables! But my 5th grade daughter didn’t know what 3×4 equals! They never did repetitions, never reinforced the multiplication facts (or addition/subtraction, for that matter — she was still using her fingers!). There is a revolt against the old, traditional ways of teaching, as if we needed something new. Both my husband and I have better educations than our children have gotten thus far, and we’ve had them in schools where people pay $1000s for the privilege. Public schools are worse.

    Everyone should sit down with their kids periodically and ask simple math questions. You might be surprised.

  3. Oh my word you made me laugh!That looks alarmingly like a math curriculum called “Everyday Math” or something like it.Very controvesial curriculum that involves a LOT of explaining instead of just good old fashioned math.

  4. I have to echo this new Language Based math (as your post clearly shows). Our schools have to have Training Classes for PARENTS… And honestly I agree – what was wrong with the OLD math??

  5. Okay, I just spit biscuit crumbs all over my laptop lauging at this…. This is the funniest post I’ve seen in awhile. I thought this was just a worksheet he was doing. I had no idea that basic math is being retaught. I have a hard enough time doing the “math” much less explaining it. =)

  6. What happened to just memorizing the tables?

    Oh, and let’s talk about reading a clock. If you say it’s 4:45 my child knows the time if I say quarter til 5, he looks at me like I just grew a third eye.

  7. Fortunately, our school district is also big on practicing the facts, and this year they are hitting that harder than ever b/c they discovered high school kids didn’t know their facts and were having trouble in algebra b/c they couldn’t multiply and add fast enough.

    Um. DUH.

    I’m hoping that the pendulum is swinging back towards the middle, and hopefully they are getting some of both.

    Either way, we quiz our kids on math facts all the time in the car. They think it’s fun. Weird kids! 😉

  8. That’s hilarious. With my oldest in first grade I have yet to figure out what this new math is but I am certainly not looking forward to it!

  9. As a substitute teacher at my kids school and as a mom, I couldn’t agree more!!! Our school just switched to this type of program this year, and I already have very mixed feelings about it.

    I totally get and agree that kids being able to explain their thinking is important. However, I think they also need to know/memorize their math facts. The bottom line for me is that, like everything else, it’s going to be teacher dependent. Some kids will have teachers who still require “old math” knowledge as well as teaching “new math”. While others will only teach this new math.

  10. Glad I’m not the only one. We do math facts in the car, too. It’s a good way to keep the kids focused on something other than fighting.

  11. My niece failed freshman math at college because she doesn’t understand basic math- she is an honors student in every other class!!

  12. Oh my gosh, that is so funny! And I can so totally relate because somewhere around 4th grade, my kids’ math becomes too difficult for me. Tell me to explicate a poem, and I’m good to go, but tell me to do a 4th grade math problem and my palms get all sweaty and my head gets fuzzy. I just can’t do it.

  13. I am with you! They use terms I have no clue what they mean, and are going all around the world to just solve the problem! When my oldest was in 1st grade, they had stopped letting them use their fingers to count (I still do that), and now that my other two are getting older, I stress over not being able to help!

  14. Awesome. Please hi-five that kid and remind him that when he’s not in school, he can use a calculator, so he really doesn’t need to know if a # is a multiple of ten. 🙂

    Again, AWESOME.

  15. Oh honey, has my head ever spun around because of this one. I cannot for the life of me figure out why a child must learn 13 different ways to multiply 486×258. If they can perfect one way why irritate and confuse them? My fifth grader is even being taught that there is no need to go from right to left anymore or carry. Huh? And they wonder why half the school calls home with a headache every day. What are they thinking? They are the ones who should be filling in that box.

  16. First of all, that is so funny because that’s what goes through my head – *explain??*

    Secondly, srsly, I think this is the classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Are they trying to help people who are less math oriented by explaining concepts? But then they forgot that a lot of arithmetics is memorization.

  17. I about spit out my drink when I saw this post! It reminds me of when my 5th grader (who currently takes 7th grade math) was in 3rd grade. The teacher would not teach up to his ability level and spent a lot of time making him explain why he did everything because he would tell her “I just know it”.
    I had to show him this paper…he said “oh boy it is a good thing this kid doesn’t have Mrs. C for a teacher or he’s be in big trouble.”

  18. We had a program called Trailblazers for math for the last few years and I was so glad when they let it go this year. It has been much better.

    However, my daughter gets points off all the time for not showing her work in the most convoluted ways even though she gets the answer correct. I just had a conference with her teacher about it.

    AND – we are almost halfway through the year and the teacher just told us we should start working on our multiplication tables. Ya think?

    You are not alone and I love that your son wrote this!

  19. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I agree. The “logic” with school math these days makes no sense or “cents” – lol! I have to look twice and think hard sometimes with my second grader’s math homework… (ugh!)

  20. At least they didn’t ask him how he thought the multiples of two felt about being even… 🙂

    New math is awful. And I like your son’s response. And your husband’s!

  21. It’s crazy, my husband and his friend are total math geniuses and yet THEY shake their heads at this type of math. It’s like a different language. My 1st grader “counts on” instead of “adds” The scary thing is that he is FLYING though math. The only problem is, how do you help a child with THEIR math when you can only explain YOURS?

    Fortunatly my 5th grader’s teacher doesn’t care HOW you solve the problem as long as you show him how, a big bonus for people like me who use tricks to get through math and appreciate the ability to get the answer in the way that works best for me.

  22. I am with you! Math has never been my thing but I usually give my 4th grade son’s math homework to my husband to check because I either need a calculator or don’t understand how it is being taught.

  23. What a riot! If my DD/5 could write that on some of her homework on her own, I would let her. kindergarten homework is waaay more complicated that I ever remember and now I am even more afraid of this new math you speak of!

Want More?

Jo-Lynne Shane on Instagram

Click an image below.

Follow @jolynneshane