I encountered this in my 3rd grader's homework. He learned his math tables from 1-5 and knows the 10s and 11s. His homework consisted of 30 multiplication problems; 7 of them were problems that he had never seen before.
9 x 9, 6 x 9, 7 x 6, blank x 7 = 49, blank x 6 = 36, 9 x blank = 63, and blank x 9 = 45.
The worksheet was called "Tracking Down Facts." He was upset by this. It was not covered in the classroom so he had no idea what to do. Leaving them blank is not an option for him -- he hates to get in trouble. He likes to do his homework on his own so he doesn't want to ask me for help. His feelings were anger, frustration, anxiety, hopelessness, desperation and finally he broke down and asked me what the answers were.
I sat down with him and asked him what 9 x 10 was and he knew and then I asked him how he could do some easy math to figure out what 9 x 9 was. He got it and painfully worked out all the other problems. This is how my child is learning math with Trailblazers. How did this scenario play out in all the different homes in town?
This is not helping children think through math problems -- it is teaching them how to cope.
I think parents assume that homework is a review of material covered in the classroom -- at least in early grades. I think that parents would be shocked to know that this is one of the core principles of Trailblazers: let the child struggle through problems they have not seen before and come up with their own strategies to solve them and then painfully explain their answers.