Part of the problem may be that some people who think they are teaching "Common Core" are really just teaching a different set of rigid techniques. The Common Core standards do not specify

*methods* that all students must use; they state that they should

*understand* things like multiplication so that whatever method they choose to use makes sense to them! So Common Core is on your side, ultimately. But "Common Core" curriculum providers and teachers too often don't seem to be, from comments I've heard.

Here is what Common Core itself says about multiplication (

http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/3/NBT/):

**Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.¹**

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NBT.A.2
Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.NBT.A.3
Multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (e.g., 9 × 80, 5 × 60) using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.

1 A range of algorithms may be used.

No specified methods!

But curricula aligned to Common Core do teach certain methods, which are different from what we used to learn in school,

*because* these methods are expected to help them think through the operations for themselves and see why they work. You haven't shown what your method is; it may well be even better suited to the real goals as the method being taught, or it may be a rote method that works very well but doesn't build understanding. I don't know.

So, although I am not happy with students being told they are

*wrong* for using a different method, there is a

*purpose* to their teaching the methods they do, which goes deeper than just expecting them to do things one way. Perhaps if your child understands their goals, he might find it easier to go along. Explain that the methods they teach are not meant to replace the wonderful thinking he is already able to do; they are meant to provide different ways to look at the same concepts, to give him a broader picture of how numbers work. By learning to do things the way they are taught, he will be improving his understanding in ways he (and you) may not yet see. It's sort of like a coach taking an already-good runner back to the beginning and teaching him different ways to think about running, so that he can become even better by combining his natural ability with deeper understanding.

I've seen many articles putting Common Core in this more positive light, while also acknowledging the errors that are made in implementing it. For example, I found this article,

https://www.vox.com/2014/4/20/5625086/the-common-core-makes-simple-math-more-complicated-heres-why , that explains some of what I'm saying, but comments, "A key question is whether elementary school teachers can learn to teach the conceptual side of math effectively. If not, number lines and area models will just become another recipe, steps to memorize in order to get an answer." I can't judge whether your teacher or curriculum is doing it right or wrong; but you can find ways to make the most of what is being taught.

Here's an explanation of the box method, and why it's worth learning, even though it will not (and should not) be what your child will be using as an adult:

https://www.businessinsider.com/common-core-multiplication-method-2014-6 .