Guest blog posting by: Eshet Chayil
I was the victim of abuse at the hands of my husband. For years he emotionally and verbally abused me. This may sound strange, but I was relieved the first time he beat me. I finally had something to show others. I finally had something that he couldn’t twist and manipulate; something tangible that he could no longer claim was my imagination. When I look at Common Core assignments, I see them as a physical manifestation of the abuse that is occurring, right now, across our country, directed squarely at our children. Allow me to explain.
For a decade I was told by my ‘loved one’ that I was stupid and crazy. I was told that the things that I knew in my heart were right, were really wrong. I was told that the things that I felt in my heart were wrong, were really right. If I said “I have an idea!” I was told, “Don’t think!” If I said “I feel like this is wrong”, I was told, “I make all the decisions, this is MY domain!” If I cried after being yelled at for 4 hours, and asked to be allowed to care for our small children, I was told I was crazy – you see my priorities were backwards; my allegiance should be to my husband first, not our children.
It’s been four years since I left him and to this day I cannot speak or think the words “I have an idea” without hearing him yell back “Don’t think!” You see, experiences build roads in our heads; frequently traveled paths are readily available for our minds to grab onto and go…like a parkway or a freeway. Try as I might, I can’t seem to shake this well-worn path. Now I look to the children that I ‘rescued’ and I look to these new Common Core standards and every bell in my head is ringing. I ignored these bells in the past and I vowed NEVER to ignore them again.
When you introduce mathematical concepts that are developmentally inappropriate, then test that child on these concepts and mark them as having failed, how is that not abusive? You are essentially giving them a task they cannot do and then telling them they are stupid. Now do that over and over, and over again. Are these the rigorous results we are looking for? Or is this simply abusive?
Once the child fails the test they were meant to fail, tell them that they have to forgo music, chorus, recess, lunch and so on…so that they may receive additional instruction to ‘help’ them with the math they had trouble with. Now notice that they are fidgeting about and recommend that they get tested for ADD or ADHD…I have heard this scenario an uncountable number of times. Now we are telling the child that there is something wrong with them mentally. We are telling them that they are crazy. The adults who pulled them out of recess to improve upon skills they should not possess at their age are not crazy; it’s the child that has the issue.
These poor children are meant to make sense out of poorly worded instructions and answer questions in an overly convoluted and contrived manner. Then, they are told what they did was wrong. Children naturally want to please; they want their parents and teachers to be proud of them. Let me tell you from experience, if your hand gets slapped every time you reach out, guess what you learn to do? You stop. You just stop trying. Do you want your children to turn inward? Do you want them to give up? That’s what they will have to do to protect themselves. They will retreat away from their parents and teachers. They will no longer feel safe to take that next step, to reach out, to venture out, and to grow.
This curriculum will cause our children’s minds, hearts and spirits to atrophy. I know you’ve seen signs of it. We have only just begun down this path; imagine what it will look like in 10 years. It took one final, massive beating for me to leave. By then, my brain had been hard wired to except bad as good, good as bad and to believe that I was a small minded, crazy woman who didn’t deserve better. What will our children look like in ten years? Will they be thriving, existing or devolving? What are you willing to do to stop it?
Don’t blindly give your allegiance to someone or something just because they tell you it’s the right thing to do. Listen to your heart. Listen to your instincts, they are sound. It’s when we ignore these warnings that we get into trouble. Our children can’t fix this one, we have to. We have to fight for our children. We have to be a chorus of SCREAMING adults during this election year. We have to be UNRELENTING until this is reversed; the price is far too high to allow this to continue. Don’t allow our children to be abused.