Common Core is hitting home for me. My daughter’s school sent home a kindergarten common core workbook. After looking it over I have some questions.
Granted, I’m not an early childhood learning expert. I’ll admit to working out a plan to have her be the youngest child to solve the Rubik’s cube. She was three months old.
Using ‘incremental’ learning, I bought a Rubik’s cube and removed all the stickers except for two white stickers.
The idea is that I would have her learn to get the two white stickers together. Then, as a reward, I’d add another sticker and keep doing that, adding a new sticker each time she mastered the new cube, until all 54 stickers were put on the cube before she turned four.
I didn’t force her to do the cube, knowing that she might resent it. Instead I’d leave the sticker-less cube lying around in places where she might notice it and pick it up on her own.
Needless to say, she never showed any interest in the mostly black cube and is now nearly six years old and has no interest in the cube whatsoever.
I also don’t know much about what kindergarten math was like before the common core. For all I know, what is in this workbook is not very different from what they have been doing before that.
I’ll be interested in hearing from people who are experts in early childhood education and who can tell me if I’m being overly harsh on what I see in this book.
A good teacher, like the one my child now has, does know how to take even a crummy curriculum and adapt it to make it appropriate for the class. There could be inexperienced teachers who don’t yet know how to distinguish good resources from bad resources and who will do what the book says.
There also could be situations where a principal forces teachers to do it ‘by the book’ and not use their professional judgement — the principal at my daughter’s school seems to be more flexible than that.
But even so, when tens of thousands of dollars are spent on bad books and surely the interim assessments and analysis that go along with them, then that is just a big waste of money which I’d rather see a school use to offer more special events, programs, and field trips to make school a fun place for my child.