This Common Core Worksheet Is Confusing The Hell Out Of Parents

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

Can you look at this math worksheet and figure out why the answers were marked “incorrect”?

The image has been viewed over three million times in the last week, and the response has been overwhelmingly… “What?”

Okay, first question: 5×3 does equal 15, so what the hell? My tiny, unCommon-Core trained brain looks at this equation and says, five, three times. Apparently my brain is supposed to be saying, five times three, you idiot. Three… five times. The problem is, as an idiot parent who hates math, I can’t logically figure out why it makes a fucking difference whether it’s five, three times or three, five times — because you will come up with the same answer, every time. What the hell, math?

Common Core is making me feel like an idiot – and I fully admit and recognize it’s why I’m pushing back against it. If it somehow magically makes my child better at math, I will STFU.

But it’s not just math. I never thought I would have a problem explaining basic shapes to a kindergartener. I did. My son came home with shape recognition homework, and I was stumped. By a kindergartener’s homework. It was not my proudest moment. Here’s the worksheet:

Image via Maria Guido

First and second rows: No problem. Got it. Triangles and cylinders — woot!

Third row: Hmm. One has a face, so that’s definitely different. But one is not a whole circle, so probably that one is different, right? It’s a shape exercise, so I should probably just be teaching my kid to avoid the distracting face.

Fourth row: Two are squares, so maybe the rectangle is different? The rectangle is also three dimensional, so that’s different. But the last square is the only one that doesn’t have hard edges, so maybe that’s dif— OH, F#&@!

Fifth row: I need a drink.

I fully admit that I am a person who has been out of school for a very long time, and was hoping to just teach my kid what I learned: if it looks like a square it’s a square. Memorize your multiplication tables. No one told me there would be math involved in this whole parenting, thing. My Greek immigrant mother learned to read English when my older sister learned — there was no way she was helping me with math. And she wasn’t expected to. Maybe the lesson in all of this is that we should just take a backseat and let our kids learn the way they are being taught?

Ugh, don’t quote me on that. I really don’t know the answer to the Common Core problem, or if it’s even a problem at all. I’d just like to be able to complete a kindergartener’s homework with some confidence that my answers are right.

Be right back — I’m going to go study my 4-year-old’s dittos.

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