A new trend in math at elementary schools around the country has parents pulling out their hair. Mainly because it is the opposite of how most of today’s adults were taught to do simple multiplication in the first place.
According to a Common Core math worksheet that’s gone viral, an elementary child today cannot just say, “5 x 3 = 15.” Instead they have to change the multiplication problem to addition before solving the equation. However, if the child says, “5 + 5 + 5 = 15,” they will still lose points because the problem must be written as it is stated. In this case, “five times three” is really stated as “five groups of three,” and has to be written as such: “3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 15.”
— Boing Boing (@BoingBoing) October 22, 2015
This concept has left many parents shaking their heads and throwing their hands up in despair because they can’t figure out what it is that their child is supposed to do. Why do you have to add instead of multiply, and why do you have to add the second number five times instead of the first number three times? The biggest question is: “Does it even matter?”
More: Common Core controversy
Common Core math is so different from what we were taught in elementary school, it is comparable to being a teenager again and complaining that your parents just don’t understand. There is always going to be a generation gap between parents and their kids, just because times are constantly changing. With education in the world as competitive as it is already, do we really need to add another huge gap between parents and their children, or is it better to allow children to be taught the way that has always worked? Common Core is a great example of the old adage, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”