mitchellf - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
Math is not taught the same like how it was years ago. The majority of the school curriculum teaches math based on the "spiral" method - which is introducing students to an idea but never "grounding" that concept because they will "spiral" back to it.
My second grader is already learning simple multiplication. First he was taught all the sums of double digits and then it went a bit further saying that adding double digits is really the same as a number times two. All these concepts were thrown onto the lessons/homework at "random" and that is because it's based on a spiral curriculum.
Also, you may find that terminologies for math has somewhat changed as well. Last week, I found out that the term "borrowing" in subtraction is not commonly used. Instead of saying "borrowing" it is now being referred to as "regrouping".
The way math is taught is certainly changing - for better or worse. As parents, we just need to keep up with those changes and learn along with our kids.