I Am NOT Smarter Than My Fifth Grader

I have several kids.  Two are very young, ages 10 and 8.  And yes, they are in the throws of their elementary education.  One is in 3rd grade, the other in 5th.  Frankly, I’m not smarter than either of them.

In my defense, I earned my MBA from a bricks-n-mortar university and my BSHA at an online university.  I have a pretty good job.  And I’m pretty fairly seasoned and polished.

Now before I am slaughtered for the whole, “Just because you have two degrees-thing,” let me say this.  I by no means…think formal education makes me smarter than anyone.  However, it has sharpened my skills at resourcefulness and it SHOULD qualify me to help my young children with Reading, Writing, and Rithmetic.

Common Core Math.

Back in the day, you know “old school,” our teachers would give us a problem that looked something like this:

6 1/2 – 4 3/5

We would find the common denominator: (10) and then change the mixed fractions to improper fractions and subtract them.

65/10 – 46/10 = 19/10.

Convert our improper fraction back to a mixed fraction and WAH-LAH!!!! Our answer: 1 9/10.

Very simple.

Today’s youngins got something else altogether going on.

Common Core Math.

Same problem:

And by the way, I have now become the expert after many, many consultations with Google and the Khan Academy on YouTube (with my MBA-havin self)….

6 1/2 – 4 3/5 becomes this monstrosity.

Find the common denominator. (10)

6 5/10 – 4 6/10.

Now regroup.

(6-1) + 5/10 + 10/10 = 5 15/10 – 4 6/10.

Did you get all that?


The answer is still: 1 9/10.

Common Core Math.

Where parents who never even understood pre-algebra until their adult years in the first place…are now being required to re-learn astro-physics to compute pre-algebra solutions to help their elementary-school kids pass their math tests today.

Do you know one of my child’s teachers had the nerve the next night..after I mastered the whole Common Core fraction subtraction thing….to send home homework problems that required us to subtract and THEN turn around and add them?

Back to Khan Academy I go.