Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader in Common Core Math?

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with kids being challenged a bit, but this goes beyond challenging our kids. Let's face it, most (kids and parents included) would honestly tell you that math is too hard for them, boring or just not their thing.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

With school being back in session now for most, if not all, I am beginning to see the all too familiar homework complaints, especially with math homework, show up on my Facebook feed.

I realize that I am not the norm having been a math brainiac and even taught middle and high school math before having my own kids. So, my kids most likely don't have a leg to stand on with stumping me with their math homework even in the years to come.

Which may or may not be a blessing to them!

But still, the trend is that kids' math is becoming harder and more challenging at younger ages now, especially with Common Core that is the curriculum used in many classrooms across the country still.

Math patterns, algebra and even word problems take center stage now for the youngest and earliest of math students.

Most parents don't seem to stand a chance in answering many of their kids' math homework problems, let alone help or explain to their kids.

Just this past week, a check that a father wrote to his kid's elementary school went viral when the dollar amount was written in Common Core math and the punchline was that even the elementary school hadn't a clue what to do with this.


So, this got my wheels spinning with wondering how many parents could actually outscore a fifth grader on their math homework.

If you are curious to see if you are smarter than a Common Core fifth grader in math, take my quiz below:


1) My Smartie box has 27 red, green and pink Smarties. I have twice as many red Smarties as there are pink Smarties but there are three times as many green Smarties as there are red Smarties. How many more green Smarties are there than red Smarties?

a) 12
b) 3
c) 18
d) 9

2) 1/6 of the fruit bowl has bananas in it, 1/3 of the fruit bowl has apples in it and 12 or 1/2 of the fruit bowl has pears in it. How many bananas and apples are in the fruit bowl?

a) 4 bananas and 6 apples
b) 6 bananas and 4 apples
c) 4 apples and 8 bananas
d) 4 bananas and 8 apples

3) What would be the next two numbers in the following sequence?
1600, 800, 400, ____ , ____

a) 500, 600
b) 200, 100
c) 200, 0
d) 0, -400

How do you think you did?

Do you think you could help your own kid with their math homework, if they brought these questions home tonight?

Here is the thing, even though I could and can indeed help my own kids with all three of these above questions, I truly don't think that the current Common Core curriculum of teaching our kids the above math concepts in only fifth grade to just sadly pass a test is a fair representation of what most fifth grade kids and even their parental counterparts many years older than them could solve.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with kids being challenged a bit, but this goes beyond challenging our kids.

Let's face it, most (kids and parents included) would honestly tell you that math is too hard for them, boring or just not their thing.

Do I want to fight my own kids to do this math in only 5th grade?

Do you?

Yet, it is sad that the above is what legislators that are most very likely disconnected from a current 5th grade math classroom deems as acceptable or even the level that a current 5th grader should be performing mathematically.

As a former math teacher and now parent, I can clearly tell you this current way of teaching was most definitely not dreamt up by a classroom teacher. And yet the classroom teacher is the one taking the brunt of the disgruntled complaints and even the flack from the same legislators, when kids are scoring up to snuff or even opting out on these government mandated tests.

So why are these same men and women seemingly trying to sabotage our kids from actually learning math and other school subjects on a more age appropriate time schedule?

See these same legislators expect our kids to somehow be able at younger and younger ages to think conceptually and outside of the box, when more often than not it just isn't possible for the average young kid to do be able to process or think this way.

And yet the fact remains that this this present curriculum isn't really teaching our kids to think at all, but more or less sadly to just perform for the test itself.

I am honestly scared for my own kids, who are a few years out of 5th grade each, but nonetheless will have this once math teacher mom in their corner when they do get there. You can bet I will opt my kids out if the current trend continues or somehow manages to be even worse.

However, will it be enough for my own kids?

I am truly doubtful if those who are dictating the education guidelines have it their way.

What do we have to do to prove that no two kids learn the same way or at the same rate nor at a higher level of thinking at an even earlier age?

This is just common sense not common core.

So my final word to these same individuals in the position to think logically and positively change the education system once and for all!

*For those who wanted to know the answers to the above Math problems, here they are:

1. a = 12

2. d. = 4 bananas and 8 apples

3. b. = 200, 100

*This article originally appeared on Confessions of A Mommyaholic.

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community