# Math Question from a Frustrated First Grader

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Sent in from a Missouri reader:

Frustrated 1st grader says “Mom, can’t I just subtract 8 from 14?”

From McGraw-Hill Common Core aligned curriculum *My Math.*

And no, dear first grader, you must think deeper and have rigor in first grade math no matter how confusing it is to you or even adults. It’s not enough to know the answer to 14-8. Common Core choice architects have made math so confusing this student (and others) may grow up dreading math.

Seems to me it would be easier to take the 14 and split it into 6 + 8 so you would have 6 + 8 – 8 = ??

I showed this to my 21 year old who grew up with math like this (but I didn’t realize how horrible it was at the time). She said that is how she learned to do math and she still does it! She said she learned how to add and subtract in doubles. So . . . if the question were what is 8 + 6 she would take one from the 8 and give it to the 6 to make 7 + 7. They must have only memorized the doubles math facts because she knows 7 + 7 = 14. She said she STILL uses this method (I’ve heard that the first way you learn to do a math concept is the way that sticks with you) and she hates Yahtzee because it requires constant manipulation of all the numbers.

If this is the math curriculum your child is using, work with them to memorize their math facts or they could end up being 21 and doing several different calculations to figure out that 14 – 8 = 6. I knew my daughter was mathematically handicapped by not being required to memorize her math facts but didn’t realize just how messed up she was until today :(.

I can’t begin to get my head around this. As a first grader, I must get my mind in the habit of somehow creating a 10, so I break an 8 apart in order to get to a 10. Somehow I am deft enough to know that I need to know that two fours make an 8, and that taking one of the fours from 14 will produce the magic ten. So I create what looks like an algebraic progression or something to solve a simple math problem.

In my mind, there are only two possibilities. One is this is a deliberate attempt to make math as hard as possible to lower US kids from 25th in Math to 75th or 80th, thus assuring China’s eventual takeover. The other is this is a harebrained scheme to create little mathematical geniuses capable of turning their minds into supercomputers which can be turned on to spit out thousands of lines of code at the mere suggestion of a mathematical or any other type of problem, thus reducing the Chinese to quivering, babbling fraidy cats, stuttering and stammering in awe at their American counterparts’ incomparable abilities.

Let’s see – which is the more likely scenario?

Attention ALL parents. If you are seeing this from your child’s school, it is time for you to unite and fight for their future! Your district can opt out, but they need to SEE and HEAR you! You may not hear your school call it by name (Common Core brings bad press) so educate yourself and become smarter. ASK questions. How did this become a law? Isn’t education ran by the state? Who wrote the curriculum? Is there a money trail? Where is the research? Lastly, SPEAK UP for your child.

Don’t you have to subtract the 4 (that you subtracted from the 14) from the 8 to know what you have to subtract from the 10?