You’re still a few years away from us having to worry about this, but there’s something called Common Core, and apparently, you and I are supposed to loathe it the way vegans across America cringe when they hear the word “Monsanto.”
From what I can understand, in an attempt for America to compete with the rest of the world in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (also referred to as STEM), 45 of 50 of the United States have adopted a teaching system which is intended to help students understand complex problems by picking them apart, rethinking them, and building solutions.
It’s also meant to prepare them for college and work expectations.
In other words, I suppose the theory is that America is too “right-brained.” We need to become more “left-brained” to compete on a global scale.
Maybe we need to start thinking more like computers and less like poets? (That’s my attempt at being sarcastic, by the way.)
I should be very clear to say, I cannot truly be a critic of Common Core, because I am not experiencing it daily, like so many parents are; who I see complain about it on Facebook and Twitter.
Seriously, I can’t scroll through my Facebook feed on any given day without at least seeing one complaint about Common Core.
So from that, I will just assume that you and I both will learn to hate Common Core within the next few years when the time is right.
However, something I will always teach you is to be open-minded. On paper, I love the concept of Common Core.
The question is, “Is it actually more effective?” I don’t know.
It makes a lot of sense to me, though. In school, I never did well in math or science; which ultimately led to me getting an English degree, because by default, it was the one thing I was good at.
Perhaps I could have benefited from Common Core when I was a kid? Maybe it could have taught me to think in a way where I would have actually liked math.
We’ll find out with you.
You know how I am. If I am believe it is ineffective, I’ll let you know.
But as for now, I want to like Common Core. I can’t dislike something I’ve never tried. We’ll give it fair shot.
It’s not like we really have a choice anyway, right?
As a dad, I definitely have my dark, pessimistic side. I feel like way too often, this quote by comedian Louis C.K. perfectly summarizes my outlook:
“The hardest thing about having kids is the days that you spend with them. That’s really the hardest part. It’s just everyday that you have them.”
In other words, parenting is tough. How do I make it? More importantly, how do other people make it?
If we knew all the answers on what to do as parents, I suppose we wouldn’t be reading blogs like this.
But not only do I not have the answers, I don’t have the patience nor enough of a positive attitude. I just don’t, on my own.
By default, I’m way too greedy when it comes my sense of personal free time; which doesn’t help when you’re trying to take care of another little human being.
Plus, I get easily irritated (and grouchy the next day) when I can’t sleep through the night without having to get up a few times to soothe my son back to sleep.
I don’t simply mean these things annoy me: I’m saying they anger me. I don’t like that about myself.
These tendencies of mine keep me from being the dad I want to be.
Strangely though, the best help I found was when I re-programed my radio to WAY-FM, a national, non-profit broadcasting network which features The Wally Show.
Here are 5 reasons why keeping my car radio on a station like this as I drive my son around in the car helps me to be a better dad:
1. Relevant conversations. I get my news updates (and lot of my blog topics) from The Wally Show‘s real conversations about real life events going on; from buzzing parenting topics to pop culture.
2. Positive, yet realistic attitudes. It has become very evident to me that since changing to this station, starting and ending my work day with it, a lot of my own negativity has been re-wired. I catch myself thinking about encouraging nuggets of knowledge I heard on their show when before, I would have focused on the negative instead.
3. Solid, uplifting music. While the songs played in between conversations are largely Christian, they are more importantly positive. Sure, they play stuff like MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine,” but they also play Mat Kearney’s “Down” as well.
4. Good humor. I can always use a laugh, and I always get it when I have this show on. Just look at Wally’s wedding photo (above) for the evidence. I used to be a Free Beer and Hot Wings kind of guy. But now I can listen to goofy comedy and still have a clear conscience for the rest of the day.
5. Opportunities to help others.The Wally Show is a big supporter and fund-raiser for Blood:Water Mission, a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.
Simply put, listening to The Wally Show, as opposed to the average radio station, integrates positivity into my life. And I am an often pessimistic parent who needs that kind of reinforcement that lasts throughout the day.
There’s a really good chance you live in an area where you can pick up The Wally Show on your radio. Click these colorful words to see a list of cities and find out for sure.
Worst case scenario: You can still very easily listen to The Wally Show‘s podcasts by clicking these colorful words if you happen to live in one of the few cities that doesn’t have radio access to the show.
“The only time you should look into your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure they have enough,” comedian Louis C.K. awkwardly tells his daughter on an episode of his FX show, Louie.
Well said, Louis.
And what a pertinent time to hear such a wise proverb. Because my 20 month-old son, as adorable is he may be, has become a complete Mine-O-Saur.
Like the titular character in the book by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, Jack now feels the need to announce ownership of his toys to any other child who visits our home:
As an adult, I think about how seldom in life it’s really ever necessary to have to proclaim “Mine!” to anyone. Yet in the mind of a toddler, he has exclusive ownership of these toys my wife and I worked hard to buy for him.
I look forward to the day when Jack will be able to better understand the point of a wonderful song by Jack Johnson, from the Curious George movie soundtrack, “The Sharing Song.”
The main line from the chorus is this: “It’s always more fun to share with everyone.”
As an adult, I know how true it is. Even if it’s as simple as something like when I offer a piece of gum or a snack to a coworker, I enjoy the sense of helping someone else, despite it being in the smallest of ways.
This past weekend, Jack got to the point where he didn’t even want to go into the living room because his little cousin Calla was there playing with his toys.
He couldn’t tolerate the thought of her playing with blocks that came from the same container. If Calla chose a different toy altogether, then Jack would get upset because she was still playing with one of his toys.
So a couple of time-out sessions were earned.
If only toddlers could get it that it’s cool to share. I never really thought about this before, but I guess toddlers don’t care too much about being cool or how society views them.
Toddlers are too sophisticated for something as juvenile as peer pressure.