The Old Way Vs. The New Way – Is common core ruining your child’s life?

Common Core Source: Is common core ruining your child’s life? Welcome to the age of hyper-parenting and pressurized schools. What can we do to return the child to childhood? The New Way: Parenting as product development Micromanagement impedes a child’s ability to learn on their own. Hyper-parenting involves wanting to give our children “perfect” childhoods. Sports Music Art Scouting Languages Vacations Church The goal is to be the best. But we’re sacrificing depth for breadth. –Why? Consumerism: We want perfect teeth, perfect vacations, a perfect home, and perfect kids. Lack of Confidence: Less Children + At an older age = Less Chances to Parent Entire industries thrive on parents fears… (helmets for toddlers; guides on how to make your child a genius) Competition: Globalization means you have to be top notch to get ahead. Other parents: “What do you mean your child doesn’t have a tutor?!” Slow parenting doesn’t have to mean slower development, it’s just proceeding at a natural pace. Decompress: Leave behind your wi-fi, to-do’s, and routine. Car camping or renting a back-country hut Take unstructured time: Where kids have to be creative to find something to do. Children need time to: Read Write Think Dream Draw Build Create Pretend Play is the most natural way to learn… And promotes self-awareness.

Learn the Difference Between “Eustress” and Distress

Eustress = natural level of stress to feel as we confront life. Ex. loving soccer and feeling pressure during a game. Distress = stress to the point that a child feels overwhelmed. Ex. Being physically stressed during a soccer game because of the four events you did before hand. But even when you take steps to de-stress your kid’s life at home, common core threatens to destroy your kid’s childhood at school.

Old Way vs. New Way:

Kindergarten lesson on Frog and Toad Together: Old Student Task: Retell the story’s events (beginning, middle, and end) Identify characters and setting Common Core Task: Compare and contrast Frog and Toad’s adventures and experiences. Collaborate with classmates to determine comparisons. 2nd and 3rd-grade lesson on Charlotte’s Web: Old Student Task: Who is telling the story? How does Charlotte feel at the end? How do you know? Common Core Task: What is your point of view about Wilbur? How is it different from Fern’s point of view about Wilbur? How is it different from the narrator’s point of view? 2nd and 3rd-grade lesson on Apollo 11 (spaceship): Old Student Task: What is the spacecraft called? What are the names of the three astronauts? Common Core Task: What is the author trying to convey when he says,”these men are dressed for colder, stranger places. They walk with stiff awkward steps…?” What makes the voyage an important historical event? Common Core was meant to elevate higher level thinking, but simply raising the bar doesn’t help more kids succeed. By forcing a harder curriculum: Many students fall even farther behind –> Get discouraged –> And drop out New York was the first large state to implement common core Under old standards: [% children meeting standards] Math: 65% Reading:55% Under common core: Math: 55.1% Reading: 31.1% Leaving: Students demoralized to tears Teachers unprepared Dehumanizing In NY: 5th-grade teachers follow a new, 500 page scripted curriculum.

Case study: Algebra

Algebra is taught in the 8th grade under Common Core (a plateau in child brain development) Making it much harder to deal with and retain new concepts Rationale: Students with algebra have more options when they graduate, and the earlier one takes algebra, the more advanced courses they can take before college. Some kids might be able t take algebra in the 8th grade–> but should we force everyone to? In Real Life: Algebra at too early of an age turns kids off to math and often becomes a cited reason for dropping out, ultimately leaving kids with fewer options. 8th-grade Algebra proficiency levels plummeting: New Mexico: 43% Tennessee: 39% West Virginia: 35% Oklahoma: 33% In the real world, how many times will an employer ask you for a proof of the quadratic equation? It’s important to push activities that are developmentally correct. The aim of common core is to increase stem proficiencies and higher level thinking. Then why do many of America’s most well-educated parents: Homeschool Or send kids to: Waldorf schools Montessori schools Where there is ample time to play and flexibility for children’s developmental differences?
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2 Responses

  1. Emily

    I wish that this post had included some positive aspects of the common core or some options for alternatives if the common core were to be no longer implemented. Although I believe the statistics, I feel that this post is a bit dramatic with saying that by challenging students they are going to drop out of school. As a teacher, I am aware of the difference between when I am challenging a student and when I am frustrating a student to the point of defeat. Differentiation can and should be used so the common core is not so “demoralizing.”

  2. Jane

    I am sad that we seem to be moving farther and farther away from developmentally appropriate curriculum. And I am sad that education has turned into a competition, a race to the top, instead of a system that nurtures and facilitates all children learning together to the best of their ability.