procedures

This is probably more of rant than an enlightening observation, but...

What's up with these rules we teach our kids about moving decimal points around for multiplication and division?  First off, these procedures are rarely used by anyone.  We use a calculator for goodness sake.  But more importantly, these rules become pure magic.  There is no number sense, no common sense and no math sense.  My son has no clue how many times $0.25 should go into $6.  There is no checking for the reasonableness of an answer.  There is just a procedure and a box around the answer.  One of his "word problems" (read: do the same thing you just did 12 times and put a word at the end of your answer) had four-digits divided into five-digits.  The answer was clearly a bit less than 10.  But he had no clue which way to divide, much less about where his answer might be.  I used a calculator to verify that the answer was 9 and saved him some pain.

I hope the common core will solve things like this.  I don't claim to know all the answers.  But there's got to be a better way.

NOTE:  I'm quite impressed with my son's teacher.  I'm sure she is forced by California's calculator-free assessments to teach much of what she does.