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They Do Not Teach Math In Public School: That Is All

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    They Do Not Teach Math In Public School: That Is All

    Having just come from the public school system — a great charter school, even — and then completing the first three weeks of actual “homeschool” (as distinct from “virtual school at home”), I can confidently say, with a hint of bitterness: “They do not teach math in public school.”

    Because: Wow. 😒

    Just the sheer staggerment of how far behind my kids are is astounding. My younger son should be ready to review 2nd grade math in readiness for 3rd. (Nope.) He barely has a handle on 2nd (barely). My oldest should be reviewing 4th material in preparation for 5th (already a repeat, since he “supposedly” completed 5th grade Math last year at his charter school).

    .... crickets .....

    My older daughter is doing the best out of all my students who can actually do math. But even she is struggling to be on-grade.

    The math program we are using (Seton) is good. Solid. On grade. Thorough. But it’s not necessarily mastery-based the way Rod and Staff is. (Poo!) I like its emphasis on word problems (a weak spot), mathematical terms (commutative, associative, identity, inverse properties, etc.) and that it’s an all-in-one workbook (not a TM + a student book + blacklines + flash cards + homemade manipulatives — yiiiiiiikes). But if they cant do the *basics*, the best textbook in the world means exactly nil.

    So we are doing Xtra Math daily on the computer, a back step in grade each with Seton workbooks (so they can get acquainted with the style of its math curricula) and 2nd grade black lines (that I just happened to save from when my kids were doing MP full time). We’ll get to where we need to go pretty quickly, I think. Despite their challenges, the kids are bright and hardworking, so I don’t doubt they will catch up by the end of the year.

    But dang! I rue the day that my kids were taught “New Math” and regrouping instead of learning by rote. The latter is so mich easier and about a light year faster. And we will now end up losing so much time because...? Teaching Math in public school is too hard? Not a priority? Who cares because they’re just going to pass them to the next grade no-matter-what-anyway?

    This is “Why Johnny Can’t Add”.

    (end rant)

    Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
    Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
    Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
    The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
    ~Pope St John Paul II

    #2
    Every now and then I have to come out of my shell to share, especially when a topic speaks to me. A year and a half ago, after trying to tutor my nephew in the afternoons, after full days of school, my sister finally agreed to pull him from the "top-notch" Catholic school he was in (considered the best in the area), and have me homeschool him. It has been over 18 months, with time off due to COVID, and we are only now back to approaching the topics he was supposedly learning when he left school. He was in the middle of 5th grade but tested into 3rd grade math when we started. 3rd grade math. He still has trouble with his times tables. The school just kept pushing him forward when there were clear indications that he was struggling. Also, he never read a book in five years of parochial school. His reading comprehension and ability to read aloud was ....🙀. On a positive note, he just completed The Hobbit and he says he enjoyed it. He is also in the R&S 7th grade text, with some difficulties that I am approaching with Kumon books. So, you are not alone in your experience. The school system is failing our children. It is shocking. And every time I hear some crack about homeschooling, or we have to go on the defensive about our right to choose for our children, I get so angry. The truth is, I could do nothing more than read to my kids each day and teach them math and Latin and they would out-perform the majority of kids who spend 8 hours a day in school. Best wishes for a wonderful school year. It may be uphill for a while, but it will get better.
    2020-2021 - 21st year homeschooling
    DS 17 (Struggles with autism, but he has come so far; is headed to college)
    Nephew 12 FFLatin with some of 5A
    DD 11 5A
    Nephew 7 SC2
    Nephew 7 SC1

    Graduated:
    DS 29 Working on Master's in Architecture
    DD 22 Graduating this year, self-designed major
    DS 21 Graduating this year , dual major in music and philosophy
    DD 19 helping school her cousins; knits incredible things

    Comment


      #3
      I have a dear friend, sits on the local school board, just bleeds school colors. She was polite with my homeschooling, but never really "got it". You know? Well, her child has severe medical issues and they decided to homeschool through an online public school platform to reduce risks. She's a super involved parent, but she was blown away by the new expectations. Her child had zero ability to work independently. She is clawing her way through math and only able to do it because her mom had her do xtramath and elephant math since last year. She's barely reading at grade level, only because her mom just kept on her constantly. Kid said she had her first spelling test in 4 years (last time in first grade). Mom is just shocked.
      Covid is ugly and scary, but it's opening a lot of parents eyes to school reality. Their children are getting a very different education than their parents received.
      My niece attends an incredibly expensive private parochial school. Her parents are just tickled at how well she knows multiplication. My daughter was struggling. Ever smug, they directed the child to recite her multiplication table. She began to sing some silly song in silly voices. My kids were like ????. After listening to this performance, my daughter said, "so what's 3*5?" Her cousin just looked at her. "Oh I don't know that, I just know my song. It helps me". That's not multiplication, that's a choral performance folks, but her parents insisted she KNEW her multiplication down cold.
      Its smoke and mirrors over substance.
      Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

      DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
      DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
      DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

      We've completed:
      Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
      Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Anita View Post
        Having just come from the public school system — a great charter school, even — and then completing the first three weeks of actual “homeschool” (as distinct from “virtual school at home”), I can confidently say, with a hint of bitterness: “They do not teach math in public school.”

        Because: Wow. 😒

        Just the sheer staggerment of how far behind my kids are is astounding. My younger son should be ready to review 2nd grade math in readiness for 3rd. (Nope.) He barely has a handle on 2nd (barely). My oldest should be reviewing 4th material in preparation for 5th (already a repeat, since he “supposedly” completed 5th grade Math last year at his charter school).

        .... crickets .....

        My older daughter is doing the best out of all my students who can actually do math. But even she is struggling to be on-grade.

        The math program we are using (Seton) is good. Solid. On grade. Thorough. But it’s not necessarily mastery-based the way Rod and Staff is. (Poo!) I like its emphasis on word problems (a weak spot), mathematical terms (commutative, associative, identity, inverse properties, etc.) and that it’s an all-in-one workbook (not a TM + a student book + blacklines + flash cards + homemade manipulatives — yiiiiiiikes). But if they cant do the *basics*, the best textbook in the world means exactly nil.

        So we are doing Xtra Math daily on the computer, a back step in grade each with Seton workbooks (so they can get acquainted with the style of its math curricula) and 2nd grade black lines (that I just happened to save from when my kids were doing MP full time). We’ll get to where we need to go pretty quickly, I think. Despite their challenges, the kids are bright and hardworking, so I don’t doubt they will catch up by the end of the year.

        But dang! I rue the day that my kids were taught “New Math” and regrouping instead of learning by rote. The latter is so mich easier and about a light year faster. And we will now end up losing so much time because...? Teaching Math in public school is too hard? Not a priority? Who cares because they’re just going to pass them to the next grade no-matter-what-anyway?

        This is “Why Johnny Can’t Add”.

        (end rant)
        Anita,
        I don’t disagree at all with what you say. I remember trying to tutor my niece in algebra and realizing how little she knew about multiplication. Still, can you explain your comment about regrouping? I may be thinking of something different than what you are referring to.
        Dorinda

        For 2020-2021
        DD 17-12th with MPOA(Classical Studies 3), CLRC (Latin 6, Greek 5), Thinkwell (Calculus and Chemistry), Vita Beata (Divine Comedy), American History
        DS 15-9th with Lukeion(Latin 1 and Greek 1), Vita Beata (9th Literature)
        DS 12-7th with Right Start Level H online class, Vita Beata (6th Literature)
        DS 6 - 2nd blazing our own trail with Right Start D and a mix of MP materials

        Comment


          #5
          This is what I mean...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYk3tsUH1x8


          Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
          The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            I watched the video. Absolute classic there Anita. Why solve a simple math problem when you could overcomplicate it beyond comprehension?
            Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

            DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
            DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
            DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

            We've completed:
            Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
            Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

            Comment


              #7
              Amen, Sisters! We have heard from so many disillusioned people this summer who thought they were doing everything they should do: sending their kids to school each day, making sure homework is complete, checking in with them each day - and then they came home and didn't know their times tables or how to make a good sentence. We have spent most of the summer on the phones with these poor parents who are now having to catch their children up. But maybe that's a good thing because now they know that the system they trusted was failing them, and they have the opportunity to fix it!

              Tanya

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post

                Anita,
                I don’t disagree at all with what you say. I remember trying to tutor my niece in algebra and realizing how little she knew about multiplication. Still, can you explain your comment about regrouping? I may be thinking of something different than what you are referring to.
                I too was wondering what she had against regrouping (ie. carrying). That video is crazy :-O
                Cheryl, mom to:

                ds 26, graduated
                ds 25, graduated
                dd 11th Grade
                dd 8th Grade
                ds 6th Grade

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Anita View Post
                  Goodness gracious. I could think of a thousand other things better to do with my time than work out a math problem this way (or teach that way!)...for example, watching my fingernails grow, or golf on TV.

                  Katie

                  2020/21: 7th year with MP
                  DS 16: 11th, MPOA Euro Hist I, CS III, Divine Comedy; Schole Geometry, Spanish; Catholic Social Teaching, A & P
                  DD 13: 9th, MPOA Diploma Program; Catholic Social Teaching, VT Alg. 1
                  DD 9: MP 5, Seton Religion and Spelling, MPOA: FF Latin, Fable
                  Twin DD's 7: MP 2, Seton Religion and Phonics

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well, where to start, besides a thank you that she is far away from my kids and their math instruction. First, the term regrouping is generally used in reference to making or breaking up groups of 10 in multi digit addition and subtraction. I would consider it a synonym for carrying/borrowing, but I prefer the term trading. What she seems to be calling regrouping is more properly called writing a number in expanded form 273=200+70+3. My bigger problems are that she doesn’t seem to know why what she is doing works and it doesn’t sound like her kids know how to multiply. My biggest problem with elementary math teachers is that precious few actually understand math themselves and many are very afraid of math. Add Chicago math(Everyday math)/common core and you get an even bigger problem. Before, kids might not understand why everything worked, but generally could at least memorize the process. Now they introduce many different methods and expect kids to be able to demonstrate that they can use them all. However, the teachers don’t really understand them and the parents don’t understand them and it is all a hot mess because the poor kids have nothing to fall back on. It was a bit of a revelation to me that not everyone in the world does multi digit subtraction and multiplication the way we do in the United States, but they are still just procedures - pick one and move on. My rant over ;-)
                    Dorinda

                    For 2020-2021
                    DD 17-12th with MPOA(Classical Studies 3), CLRC (Latin 6, Greek 5), Thinkwell (Calculus and Chemistry), Vita Beata (Divine Comedy), American History
                    DS 15-9th with Lukeion(Latin 1 and Greek 1), Vita Beata (9th Literature)
                    DS 12-7th with Right Start Level H online class, Vita Beata (6th Literature)
                    DS 6 - 2nd blazing our own trail with Right Start D and a mix of MP materials

                    Comment

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