As a parent of a 9-year-old, I want to tell all of you coming up the parenting pipeline to get ready for it. If you thought homework was bad when YOU were a student... it's HORRID when you are a parent.
Teaching writing has been a challenge for teachers for years. That is one of the reasons why many adults are poor writers; they did not get the training they needed in elementary school and high school.
Teachers have been preparing to use different material and ways of instruction in reading/English language arts and mathematics. Kids may come home with homework that looks different than last year, and certainly different than when parents attended school.
There are some serious questions about Common Core. Unfortunately, these questions and any answers that they may produce are buried beneath conspiracy theories, partisan rants, and crass commercial opportunism.
I suspect one of the reasons conversation about Common Core state standards has gotten so very confusing and inflammatory is because so few articles, commentaries, and discussions ever spell out what standards are.