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Link for Ridiculous Math Curriculum
I just finished speaking at an online homeschooling conference, and I promised to post this link on my blog!

If your kids have not mastered math, and you can't figure out why, this may be the issue. The school system is teaching it in a ridiculous way. Watch this video. It's worth your time. If you can see how the school is teaching (or fail to teach), you can correct it at home! So before another school year begins, take a gander at this:



At 3:22 PM , Blogger rural momma said…

That math is crazy!! Ugg!!

It is way more difficult then the normal way.

BTW--I heard you on HOM conference and you were great!! :0) I took lots of notes and I'm pouring over them. I also have your book Honey I Don't Have a Headache, it is also great!! My dh was thrilled with it, LOL.


At 3:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Please read the research about how these strategies aid understanding rather than simply memorization before judging these methods. Also, realize that these strategies are rarely the only ones taught. Usually they are taught to ensure understanding and number sense, then algorithms are taught. A little respect that trained professionals (teachers) might have a clue what they're doing would be nice as well. I hope this didn't come off as nasty. I have the greatest respect for anyone trying to educate a child. However, we all must be careful not to judge, especially when we don't fully understand.


At 7:16 PM , Blogger Tracye said…

That is scary!

"Doomed to failure"???

Only when it's not taught!


At 8:58 PM , Anonymous Jason said…

My wife, a regular reader of yours, just showed me this.. Good grief. This is unbelievable. No wonder people can't do math.

It's such a problem, it's now culturally acceptable to be terrible at math. I've always found it bizarre that it's completely acceptable for someone to say, "Oh, I'm just not a math person." But, were I to proclaim, "Oh, but I'm just not an English person," I'd be labeled a blithering idiot.

To the anonymous person, maybe you need to do a bit more research into what ACTUALLY conveys a concept, so that it becomes an actual learned skill, not something that allows a student to merely regurgitate onto a test. I happen to have the professional training to be a credentialed math teacher (though I later chose to pursue an IT career). I can state without question that these alternative methods just plain stink. They teach the kids to overly complicate a simple problem, allowing more points to introduce errors, or worse, convey nothing other than how to draw a matrix with funny diagonal lines and then add a column of numbers.

To the video's point, the standard algorithm for multiplication doesn't teach place value? I'd beg to differ. Simply explaining that when you move one place to the left, now instead of multiplying units, you're now multiplying tens, hundreds, etc., sinks in pretty quickly.

As if we didn't need more reasons to homeschool our kids. Yikes.


At 12:29 AM , Anonymous amada said…

Hilarious. sort of... for those of us that don't have to worry about what our own kids are learning anyway :)

She totally talks like a news lady!

Thanks for your talk at the HOTM conference. VERY helpful topics. Someday I'd like to read one of your books.

Trujillo, Peru


At 11:17 AM , Blogger Tracey said…

I teach in a school system that does use EVERY DAY MATH. Overall I do like the program. When I teach multiplication or division, I teach all the different methods and let the students choose the one that works best for them or the one they understand better. I don't care how they get the answer as long as 1. they can explain it to me and 2. it's accurate. I also hold a parent night where I teach the parents the NEW methods and a lot of them really like it.


At 11:28 AM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

First of all, the methods are totally confusing. For some people, regular algorithims are hard enough to grasp, let alone ones that make NO SENSE whatsoever!

Secondly, the dependence on calculators that is encouraged is disturbing. How many generations will it take before we have people who can no longer do simple math in their heads? People now rarely even know how to count back change at the register!

Our public schools are crippling our youth for life. That is one of the main reasons I am homeschooling my boys next year. I don't want to raise mindless robots. I want creative thinkers, logical reasoners and God lovers.


At 7:57 AM , Blogger Judy said…

And we wonder why the U.S. is behind other countries in Math! What was wrong with the way we were taught---nothing!! This just goes to show another way our culture is dumbing kids down. They don't want kids to have to "work" too hard--let's just guess, as long it doesn't make them uncomfortable. Oh please!! I am thankful that my children don't go to school. And I do have respect for teachers. I could not imagine trying to reach 25-30 kids, all with different backgrounds, home lifes, ect.. on a daily basis. I wouldn't want to!! I rather tend to the hearts of my children on a daily basis. Lets fact it....I don't care how good a teacher you are, you can not invest that kind of time or energy into making sure every child in your class has mastery (of say, since we watched the video) of multiplication and division. On the other hand, in my humble little homeschool, I can and have stopped what I am teaching and made sure my child "gets it" before moving on.


At 12:07 PM , Blogger Julie said…

That video is from my state - Washington. And that IS how they are teaching math. It's ridiculous.

It's all "teaching to the test" - in this case, the WASL.

If these methods were taught IN ADDITION to plain and simple algorithms, that would be helpful. Some kids just don't "get it" one way, and might learn better another way.

(Gee! One of the benefits of homeschooling!)

But they AREN'T teaching the algorithms.

I commented on this when you posted it earlier. This is a sample of what my 3rd grade son came home with:

"If Ms. Jones has 49 brownies and 7 bags, how will she divide the brownies equally among the bags?"

That seems pretty simple, right? I learned my times tables in 3rd grade (back in the dark ages... you know). If you know 7x7=49, you're done.

But not so fast...

In Wsshington schools, this problem requires a TWO PAGE answer, including drawing a picture or diagram, writing a PARAGRAPH about how you would solve the problem and why you would use that method, restating the problem, and THEN the answer.

Ridiculous is the POLITE word for a family, Christian blog!

Yes, I know, rote memorization is a "lower form of learning"... just like the foundation is the "lower part of the house". But ask any architect or engineer about the importance of that boring "lower" foundation!


To be fair to teachers... these new methods are often imposed from above. There is tremendous pressure put on the teachers, regarding the testing scores - hence, teaching to the test.


At 3:22 AM , Blogger Juliet said…

Hi! I just moseyed on over to your blog because I liked the catchy title! But I've enjoyed the thought provoking posts you've had. I live in Australia, and my children have come home with some strange algorithms too- I wonder how many times I've said "What are they teaching you at that school???"

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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