My late mother-in-law (a dear sweet lady, but math-wise she was at her limit handling a checkbook) [which is actually arithmetic, not math — but I digress] was in terror of Common Core math for her great-granddaughter (then not yet one), after hearing the horror stories on TV. I tried to assure her and some friends in her age group that it was just a different way to approach numbers, but they couldn’t understand why “just memorize the times tables” wasn’t good enough any more. Even though they all had to use calculators because they had forgotten those same times tables over the years, and they had no other backups.
I hope your son ends up better. Sounds like he’s going to be okay. :-)