Mamasylum - Because we all feel like being institutionalized at some point.

Keeping it Real

September 26, 2014

The Common Core Cantina

     Honestly, I’m not completely for or against Common Core. There. I said it. I’m trying to give it a chance because helping with math homework would have been hard for me regardless – old way/new way, meh.

Old Math

Old Math

I wouldn’t have remembered the way I learned oh-so-many years ago, so reviewing before homework time would’ve happened anyway. From my daughter’s perspective, I tell her she’s never had fifth grade math, so it might have been challenging for her anyway. Who knows.


     Having said all that, it’s sooooooooo hard! And not just the math. I was exhausted trying to stay calm, as she broke down; trying not to yell, “I don’t get it either!” when she looked to me to explain it a different way that she’d understand; trying not to vacuum, cook dinner, scrub toilets – anything, but try to figure out and explain how to round a decimal and put it on a vertical line! But finally, it clicked. I got it! I mean, she got it! I can’t explain it ever again, so don’t ask, but it’s done. She had the proudest look on her face afterwards, as I did. I didn’t yell. I stuck with her, and the tears were fewer tonight -hers and mine.


     The process also gave me a brainstorm – The Common Core Cantina.

Math and Margaritas

Math and Margaritas

Tuck in the little ones, kiss your husband goodbye, then head over to this after hours (which nowadays is 8:30ish) establishment. It’ll be a group of Mamas unwinding, escaping, untwisting our brains. You can have a cocktail, or a nap. Watch a stupid TV show, or read a book. If it was a particularly grueling homework session, feel free to enter the bounce room – complete with padded walls. Just remember that closing time is 11:00 because it’s a school night. Plus you’ll probably have to do the dishes when you get home.

Shannon OkaharaShannon is the stay-at-home Mama of one. But don’t ask her what she does all day. Between volunteering in the PTA, coaching volleyball, gardening, carpooling, writing (cheap therapy), publishing a book, and the business of everyday life, she has one foot in and the other out of the Mamasylum. She loves visitors, so get a day pass and visit her at or You can also email her at

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