Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone,

My 6th-grade son was able to compete at the chapter level mathcounts for our area this past weekend for the first time.   He did OK, but he wasn't able to make it to state.    The whole atmosphere of the friendly competition was very fun and motivating for him though.  He really wants to make it to state next year and has asked me for some suggestions on how to improve his score.  (I'm not sure if that is a realistic goal, but I am trying to encourage him in this area since he is so motivated.)     The problem is, I have no experience with mathcounts!   So I really have no idea what to suggest he do.  That is why I am asking "the hive" for some ideas.   :) 

He would gladly work on math all day.  But because he has other subjects, I limit him to 2 hours per day in the morning.   So that is our current time budget.   My first question is: Is that enough time to do well and make some progress?   He was one of 4 homeschoolers out of hundreds of children at this competition.   Most of the public school kids who do well take some type of math at school, and then spend almost 2 hours a night outside of school working on past tests and taking AOPS courses!    So obviously all of that practice gives them an advantage.

He is doing good with speed/accuracy on the tests for the content he knows.   I think the biggest problem is lack of knowledge on quite a few topics.   He is still working through pre-algebra (using AOPS), but many of the kids he is competing against are working at a much higher level in math.  (Algebra II, etc.)  He gets about a 20 on the sprint normally, but only a 3 on the target.  And most of the content he misses is stuff he just hasn't covered yet.   

So--what should I suggest that he do to finish out the year if he wants to see the most improvement?

Should he just spend his time working through his pre-algebra text and working on Alcumus?  Is working through past MathCounts tests a waste of time at this point?   Should he start working through one of the AOPS Contest Prep-Book this summer?   Or watching the mathcounts mini videos?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ds was a competition kid. Math was his passion. In 6th grade, he was doing about 2 hours per day, maybe a bit more. It was his 7th and 8th grade years where he went up to 4 hours per day.

So assuming his problem solving is good, it is the content that that your son needs to get through. I would finish the pre algebra book ASAP. After that, there are 4 areas of knowledge that are the focus of the competition path: geometry, combinatorics, number theory, and algebra.  So if he wants to do well, he needs to be working to improve on all of these.  You could, for example, work on the algebra and geometry books concurrently for 3 years (they are long!).  And then do combinatorics and number theory in the summer. Really depends on how much he wants to do.  He could have a set 2 hours a day, but then *choose* to use some of his off hours on math.

The person you need to contact is Kathy in Richmond.  PM her as she is a wealth of knowledge.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, he will improve if he works through the AoPS Algebra, Geometry, and Counting & Probability.  He can also work through old Sprint Rounds and Target Rounds, and study the problems he missed.  The MathCounts website has the most recent chapter level exams, and they sell old exams at their store.  Or you can use google to find old exams that others have posted online.  For example, google:  "2015 mathcounts chapter sprint pdf"   The most important thing is to study and understand the problems he couldn't solve.  He'll improve most quickly that way, but he may need guidance.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son competes in MathCounts as well.  Working through past tests has been really helpful for him, to see what kinds of problems he needs more practice with.  For example, most of the problems my son got wrong at the chapter competition were dealing with geometry and probability so that's what he's focusing on as he preps for state.  We noticed a similar trend last year as well, so I would say that geometry in general is a good area to practice.  My son's coach also used the AOPS competition books.  Good luck to your son!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...