My daughter collapses under the pressure of her math homework, in tears and aggravated. I try not to help, as it is her homework and I want her to become independent. I also try not to help because I don't understand what the hell she is doing.
Before I gather a mob and light the torches, please know that I embrace progress and like innovation. Most of the time. I'm certain teaching her multiplication and division by sketching a trillion dots on paper stretches her brain. She will master what I call bar math, able to calculate cocktail tabs quickly to the sounds of grungy rock. Her ability to do long division in her head will help her someday. But when did it become bad form to learn what Lexi refers to 'old-fashion' math?
(Because as she put it: "Sometimes old-fashioned times were better. Like they didn't have drunk drivers." What?)
'Scuse me while I yank up my support hose.
Doing two and three digit math problems, without a firm grip on the times tables, strikes me odd. She doesn't know how to 'carry'; she doesn't know what dropping a number means. She speaks another math language.
This summer, I plan on opening the Milton Math Academy. I, Mrs. Milton, will teach my kids some fundamental math skills because I can't imagine being without a calculator and unable to solve a problem without making figures on my handy-dandy cave wall.
But it irks me; it really does. In the race to meet test requirements, we seem to have thrown that dirty ol' fashioned baby out with the bath water. Or maybe I blew my last braincells out my nose this afternoon and am overreacting.
It could go either way.
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