The parent – teacher conference for my youngest daughter (1st grade) was last night. As most of you with school age children for whom there are still parent – teacher conferences know, the parents before you are always talking long past their time. If you’ve never noticed this, you’re those inconsiderate parents so stop it! Anyway, I passed the time by perusing the hallway walls which are adorned with the student’s class work and projects. Something bothered me about what I saw.
I blacked out the names just in case my blog is so popular other parents see their prodigy’s handiwork. So it’s clear I’m not picking on other kids, one of these is my own daughter’s work.
What bothers me is the horrendous spelling errors. Understandably, they’re only in first grade, I don’t expect them to write with the depth and clarity of J.K. Rowling. But I do expect words to be spelled correctly. After I was presented with my child’s writing classwork, there was more of the same: poor phonetic spellings — many misspelled words even for being phonetically spelled.
I decided I needed to ask why the spelling was so off the mark. I wanted to know if the allowance for gross misspellings were related to Common Core. My biggest concern is that children in these earliest learning years will have the wrongly spelled words ingrained in their memories thus making it more difficult to spell properly later on. In fact, my daughter still has to fight the urge to call a ‘snake’ a ‘stake’ because I misspoke the first time she saw one.
It turns out that the allowances are Common Core related. It seems that it is more important that the children feel like they ‘completed a task than it is that they completed the task correctly’.
I have less to worry about for math, my daughter is proficient in her math skills, for now. However, the teacher hesitantly admitted that the curriculum was not very good and she needed to create a supplemental curriculum to make the lessons understandable.
Other deficiencies in the Common Core curiculum can be found elsewhere online, if you’re curious. I’m hoping there are enough dedicated teachers willing to buck the system — even if quietly — to ensure children get an education whilst in their care.