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## AOPS or other online for supplemental math challenge

By C&W'sMum , June 20, 2022 in Accelerated Learner Board

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C&w'smum.

My 10 year old just finished RSM 6.2 advanced pre-algebra class and did great, but the class is moving back to full in class and he preferred the flexibility of online. I am looking for an extracurricular activity that doesn't have excessive homework, because he attends a b&m school and has homework for his math class in school. Even with differentiation, school doesn't fully challenge him in math. So to keep the spark we have done RSM since he was in kindergarten. He loves the Beast Academy books and still takes them to bed, even though he finished them a couple years ago. I've read several reviews from parents about AOPS that kids did part of the homework and were still fine. He currently does about half to 75% of the RSM homework and still consistently scores around 100% on the quizzes. I'd also appreciate if any of you have suggestions of online classes other the AOPS. Unfortunately, many of the online classes I have seen are during school hours.

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The AOPS Online classes don't really have quizzes or tests. They do have problem sets each week with challenging problems. Some of the courses also have writing problems, which are like proofs. AOPS Online classes also don't give traditional grades. Instead of a percentage or letter grade, they use colored bars. If you're not worried about getting an actual grade (it sounds like you aren't, since this is for enrichment and your child is in another school), then I suppose he could just do however much of the homework he has time to complete. However, I'm not sure that taking the class this way would be worth the cost. The online class is completely text based. There is no video. There is no audio. So you're reading a transcript of a class in real time. The student is expected to come to class having already read the textbook chapter. There also isn't really any "Real time" help or office hours. They have office hours (also text based), but it often takes awhile for answers to come through after you post your question. If your son won't have time to do much work or reading outside of classtime, then it might be much more cost effective just to have him read the textbook on his own. Then, if he has time for "homework," he could use ALcumus, which is AOPS's online question bank.

Every kid is different, but in case it helps you to have an idea of what the workload is like: For my DD, she spends about an hour a day on AOPS Online classes (depending on the class). Intro to Alg B was harder for her - it was her first online class and first experience with AOPS Online, and she sometimes spent 2+ hours a day on it. But none of the classes have been as intense for her since that one. Python has been the easiest one for her so far. I barely see her spend any time on it...

welll there is the option that AOPS is developing separate from their existing online program that is associated with their brick & mortar program. https://virtual.aopsacademy.org/

Or alternatively take a look outside of AOPS. My son does AOPS with WTMA, but he giving Alphastar a go this summer. https://alphastar.academy/

If he doesn’t need a class-type setting, he could self-teach with the AOPS books and work problems on Alcumus. That’s actually my daughter’s preference at this time.

## Sequoia Gifted

Have you looked to see if there are any Mathcounts teams or Math Circles in your area?

Here’s another option, too, that one of my families passed along as a referral: live.poshenloh.com.

The new 12th grader after-schooled Thinkwell from the third grade up. We started with pre-algebra and finished with college calculus in 10th. Math was year round with the goal of keeping him at least two yeas above grade level. It was low pressure, roughly 3 hours per week. Because he did not accelerate at school., all school math was review. Thinkwell is all videos, with automatic gading of homework, and test. We tried Derek Owen, a very popular option here, but it did not work for us. We never tired AOPS. There was no way that he was going to do all that reading.

On 6/22/2022 at 1:52 PM, Sequoia Gifted said: Have you looked to see if there are any Mathcounts teams or Math Circles in your area? Here’s another option, too, that one of my families passed along as a referral: live.poshenloh.com.

^ Po Shen Loh is the national coach for the US International Math Olympiad team.

How about RSM Online, at the .3 level instead of .2? We've been generally happy with our online RSM teachers, though we did switch once.

Otherwise, another kid (ds) really liked the typing format of AoPS online. Some kids like it. Some don't.

RSM and AoPS are really different from each other. My RSM kid wouldn't really like AoPS, and my AoPS kid wouldn't have liked the video format. I do have one kid who has done great in both, though. The AoPS are a lot more puzzly than RSM, IMO.

You could also just have your kiddo do a few Alcumus problems each day.

We've found the AoPS homework load to vary a lot from class to class. The core classes seem to have a lot more work, whereas the number theory and counting and probability have a lot less.

- 4 weeks later...

As per usual, this board is full of great suggestions! I am particularly intrigued by the live.poshenloh.com option. The website just seems engaging and fun, and the classes seem flexible.

On 6/23/2022 at 6:31 AM, gstharr said: from the third grade up. We started with pre-algebra

Prealgebra in 3rd grade? Was this after just the 4 functions and a few applications or after accelerating through a full elementary curriculum?

On 7/18/2022 at 8:40 AM, C&W'sMum said: As per usual, this board is full of great suggestions! I am particularly intrigued by the live.poshenloh.com option. The website just seems engaging and fun, and the classes seem flexible.

I believe it's meant for highschool students - think AMC level

12 minutes ago, Malam said: Prealgebra in 3rd grade? Was this after just the 4 functions and a few applications or after accelerating through a full elementary curriculum?

This adventure started as a lark. Our local community college offers a weekend kiddie college. The kiddie college offers 1-6 grade math and english enrichment classes. He was in pre-school at the time, and the program clearly statted "no pre-schoolers." But, we were going to the college for swimiming lessons anyway, so we sat in the 1st grade math class to what would happen. Well, he got hooked on the class and finished the curriculum in six month, and then finished the second grade class in another six months. So by thime he got to kindergarten he had completed 2nd grade math. In kindergarten, we started 3rd grade math at CTY. CTY used Stanford's Red Bird math programs for elementary levels. He finished 3rd grade math in afew months, but then took a year and took a 1 1/2 years to finsh 4th grade math. He could handle the 4th grade math, but his reading had to catch up for the word problems. Now, he was in the 3rd grade at school, when he flew through CTY''s 5th grade math so quickly that we decided to skip 6th grade math, and hwent straight to pre-alg. Pre-alg took 1 1/2 years of afterschooling as maturiety caught up. So, by the 5th grade he was afterschooling alg1.

From my experience and talking with other parents in the kiddie college, young kids can learn the 1-3 grade math curriculum much earlier than it is taught at school. Our accelertion resulted basically from going to a one hour weekend class, and about three one hour lessons, per week, year round.

10 hours ago, gstharr said: young kids can learn the 1-3 grade math curriculum much earlier than it is taught at school. Our accelertion resulted basically from going to a one hour weekend class, and about three one hour lessons, per week, year round

Were those at-home classes following the same syllabus as the kiddie college? Also, did you have to lie about his age in order to sit in on the 1st class? Did he get hooked immediately or did it take a few weeks? Did the kiddie college compress a full 1st year curriculum into just a few weekend classes, or did they assign home lessons for parents?

## 8filltheheart

23 hours ago, Malam said: Prealgebra in 3rd grade? Was this after just the 4 functions and a few applications or after accelerating through a full elementary curriculum?

Some kids just get there bc they master concepts very quickly or independently without needing to be taught. My now post-college ds skipped levels of math simply bc of how he learns. He taught himself the concept of multiplication and all of his multiplication tables simply through playing with Legos. When I realized what he had done, I jumped him to a 3rd grade math book without his missing a step. He ended up just doing portions of a 6th grade math book bc so much of it was review. We only covered new concepts. He took his first alg course at age 10.

My current 7th grader will be in geometry this yr. She isn't as natural at math concepts as her older brother. She just learns things quickly. I only had her working on math about 30-45 mins per day (and only 170ish days per yr), but she completed more than 1 grade level per yr.

FWIW, I don't think there is anything special about being more advanced in math. Strong mastery is a much better goal than advancing. WHen they become decently advanced, you need to have a plan for how they are going to continue to have access to higher level math courses. DE at a CC is most likely going to be a very poor fit for advanced math kids. Having access to a 4 yr U that will allow them to enroll in math beyond cal 2 makes it easier.

On 7/19/2022 at 7:14 AM, Malam said: Prealgebra in 3rd grade? Was this after just the 4 functions and a few applications or after accelerating through a full elementary curriculum?

My daughter did AOPS Algebra A in 3rd grade. While it is not common, she is not the only one by far. We're currently at Epsilon Camp. Their main program is for 9-11 year olds, and campers must have completed Algebra 1 before attending. In her case, once she found out about Epsilon Camp, she was determined to go and she had one year to get from Beast Academy 4B through Algebra. She put in some extra time, I allowed her to test out of topics she felt she already knew by doing only the challenging problems, and she stuck to her goal. Every time it got hard, I simply said, "This is your goal, not mine. You can stop any time you want to." She'd usually kick something, grumble under her breath, and go back to doing math.

10 hours ago, Jackie said: My daughter did AOPS Algebra A in 3rd grade. While it is not common, she is not the only one by far. We're currently at Epsilon Camp. Their main program is for 9-11 year olds, and campers must have completed Algebra 1 before attending. In her case, once she found out about Epsilon Camp, she was determined to go and she had one year to get from Beast Academy 4B through Algebra. She put in some extra time, I allowed her to test out of topics she felt she already knew by doing only the challenging problems, and she stuck to her goal. Every time it got hard, I simply said, "This is your goal, not mine. You can stop any time you want to." She'd usually kick something, grumble under her breath, and go back to doing math.

Being in 4B as a 7(?) year old in second grade is almost as impressive.

r.e. skipping stuff she already knew - was this just in the aops prealgebra, or through 4B to 5D as well?

When she found out about epsilon camp, did she hear specific stories or was the simple knowledge that a math camp existed enough to light her fire?

Did you give her the option of a less intensive prealgebra option than AoPS?

On 7/23/2022 at 10:55 AM, Malam said: Being in 4B as a 7(?) year old in second grade is almost as impressive. r.e. skipping stuff she already knew - was this just in the aops prealgebra, or through 4B to 5D as well? When she found out about epsilon camp, did she hear specific stories or was the simple knowledge that a math camp existed enough to light her fire? Did you give her the option of a less intensive prealgebra option than AoPS?

In the BA books as well. If she could do the starred and challenge problems, there seemed little reason to make her do the rest. She had read Murderous Maths and some other mathy books on her own. She had watched some of the YouTube stuff like Vi Hart and Numberphile. Turns out she actually learned stuff from all that and could apply the information when a problem was put in front of her.

She actually skipped prealgebra altogether and went directly from BA5 to AOPS Algebra. We did look at the Prealgebra book, but the topics are all covered within BA and she detests repetition.

I did give her the option of a less intensive Algebra 1 program, and was able to get my hands on several other options for her to look over - Jacobs, Forester, a couple others. If she had chosen this, we might have gone back and hit at least some selections from AOPS afterwards. However, she looked at the other books, and most are of the "teach the kid how to do X, then have them practice doing X". She loves the discovery-based method that the AOPS books use, and decided she would rather power through AOPS.

As for Epsilon Camp, it was the knowledge that there would be a group of kids her age working at the same level as her in *any* subject. If I had found a similar camp in science or literature, she probably would have thrown herself into that. (Not writing, though. She would have drawn the line at writing.) She had met only a couple kids who were bright and actually liked academics and were into some of the same geeky things as her, so a camp full of them sounded like paradise. If math was the way to get to this paradise camp, then she would learn more math.

On 7/26/2022 at 1:13 PM, Jackie said: In the BA books as well. If she could do the starred and challenge problems, there seemed little reason to make her do the rest. She had read Murderous Maths and some other mathy books on her own. She had watched some of the YouTube stuff like Vi Hart and Numberphile. Turns out she actually learned stuff from all that and could apply the information when a problem was put in front of her. She actually skipped prealgebra altogether and went directly from BA5 to AOPS Algebra. We did look at the Prealgebra book, but the topics are all covered within BA and she detests repetition. I did give her the option of a less intensive Algebra 1 program, and was able to get my hands on several other options for her to look over - Jacobs, Forester, a couple others. If she had chosen this, we might have gone back and hit at least some selections from AOPS afterwards. However, she looked at the other books, and most are of the "teach the kid how to do X, then have them practice doing X". She loves the discovery-based method that the AOPS books use, and decided she would rather power through AOPS. As for Epsilon Camp, it was the knowledge that there would be a group of kids her age working at the same level as her in *any* subject. If I had found a similar camp in science or literature, she probably would have thrown herself into that. (Not writing, though. She would have drawn the line at writing.) She had met only a couple kids who were bright and actually liked academics and were into some of the same geeky things as her, so a camp full of them sounded like paradise. If math was the way to get to this paradise camp, then she would learn more math.

You know, now that you mention it, CTY summer camp and Davidson's STARS summer canp might be the only other summer camps for similar kids.

By the way, did you use BA starting with BA 1 as your only curriculum? Did you take time to practice math facts / number bonds / mental math, or did you let her go as she could conceptually manage? When did she start learning math formally?

@Malam BA1 and BA2 didn't exist at the time when @Jackie daughter was this age because my son knows her IRL. All of us at this time we pretty much getting BA as it was being published/developed/released.

What a wonderful math story! I hope she enjoys Epsilon Camp!! Let us know how she enjoys it - though it's too late for my very mathy kid...

On 7/27/2022 at 2:40 PM, Malam said: You know, now that you mention it, CTY summer camp and Davidson's STARS summer canp might be the only other summer camps for similar kids. By the way, did you use BA starting with BA 1 as your only curriculum? Did you take time to practice math facts / number bonds / mental math, or did you let her go as she could conceptually manage? When did she start learning math formally?

calbear is correct. We used RightStart Math levels A, B, and a little bit of C. That's when we transitioned to BA3, which was the earliest book out at the time. The online version didn't even exist up until just as she was wrapping up BA5.

We never stopped to practice math facts. With RightStart, the games are the practice, but she hated the games - even while very young she could see right through them as thinly veiled drill and refused to do them. We played lots of actual games, though. Things like Yahtzee, Dragonwood, and Zeus on the Loose, which are actually fun. When we got to multiplication, I hung a multiplication chart above her desk and allowed her to use it all she wants. Memorization came with use, not drill.

As for learning formally, depends what you consider formal. I bought RightStart A when she was tiny because I found it at a good price. When she was 3, I would look through the instructor manual and see what they were teaching and how they were teaching it. I would then incorporate those concepts into play. Once she had those, I'd go back to the book and do the same thing. When she was 4, most her friends went to kindergarten and she said she wanted to start "real school, even if the school is at home" and part of her definition of that was "trickier math, with big numbers". I pulled out level B and we worked on it here and there. She picks up math intuitively, so often times one 15 minute lesson could cover the material in 2-4 lessons. I would say the first "you need to do math today" didn't come until we started BA, and that was only 3 days/week.

Once we started BA/AOPS, it was the only actual curriculum we used. However, curriculum has only been maybe 1/3 of her math. We found so many resources - fun math books, apps like Dragonbox, piles of games, good YouTube channels, and so on. This is probably her greatest strength with math - not that she is advanced or taking X class at Y age, but that she is exposed to a *huge* variety of math at all different levels. She reads books by mathematicians for fun. Last time we attended Epsilon Camp, I came out with an extensive resource list and she loved all of it. I ended up at a lunch table today with two of her instructors here and they casually talked about all sorts of math resources, so I started taking notes.

14 hours ago, Mom_to3 said: What a wonderful math story! I hope she enjoys Epsilon Camp!! Let us know how she enjoys it - though it's too late for my very mathy kid...

She LOVES Epsilon Camp. This is her last year here, as she will have completed their highest level and graduate from the program in a couple days. It's been an amazing experience for her and she's said that camp is ending so soon.

How old is your very mathy kid?

On 6/20/2022 at 8:26 AM, C&W'sMum said: My 10 year old just finished RSM 6.2 advanced pre-algebra class and did great, but the class is moving back to full in class and he preferred the flexibility of online. I am looking for an extracurricular activity that doesn't have excessive homework, because he attends a b&m school and has homework for his math class in school. Even with differentiation, school doesn't fully challenge him in math. So to keep the spark we have done RSM since he was in kindergarten. He loves the Beast Academy books and still takes them to bed, even though he finished them a couple years ago. I've read several reviews from parents about AOPS that kids did part of the homework and were still fine. He currently does about half to 75% of the RSM homework and still consistently scores around 100% on the quizzes. I'd also appreciate if any of you have suggestions of online classes other the AOPS. Unfortunately, many of the online classes I have seen are during school hours. Thank you!

And now that the thread has been derailed, I'll come back to the original post to say that a lot of mathy kids really enjoy EMF. We haven't used it, so no personal experience, but AOPS, RSM, and EMF have all been strongly recommended by parents at Epsilon. It is online and self-paced.

DS11, a rising 7th grader entering Math 2 class at his school, has been taking online year round contest math classes at Momentum Learning based in Sugar Land TX. They use zoom for meeting/recording and canvas to give handouts and grade homework/tests. They also offer TA sessions. No other support, and occasionally canvas grading could be messed up. Canvas contents are disabled within a few weeks after the class is over. Their classes are either weekday evenings or weekends, which fit his schedule nearly perfectly.

He tried Aops online and Aops virtual academy recently for the first time for non math classes and totally enjoyed them.

On 7/28/2022 at 5:05 PM, Jackie said: I came out with an extensive resource list and she loved all of it. I ended up at a lunch table today with two of her instructors here and they casually talked about all sorts of math resources, so I started taking notes.

Can you share the resource list or those notes?

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Please note that AoPS Academy Virtual Campus will have no classes July 1st through July 7th. Have a great summer break!

## Program Comparison

Virtual campus vs. aops online: which program is right for your student.

At AoPS, we understand that every student learns a little differently. That’s why we’ve designed our K-12 programs for varied learning preferences, age ranges, difficulty levels and subject matter.

AoPS Academy Virtual Campus and AoPS Online School — share some structural similarities, but still differ in key ways. To help you select the program that’s right for your student, we break down the main similarities and differences between the two.

Once you’ve chosen the right program, a placement test or consultation will then ensure your student starts in the right level and class.

## Key Similarities

Same curriculum developers.

Designed by PhDs from MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and more, all of our engaging curriculum is shaped by a common educational philosophy. Curriculum centers on higher-order reasoning skills and deep conceptual understanding.

## Experienced, well-credentialed teachers

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AoPS programs are designed for high-potential students with a great love of learning, so students across all programs have wonderful classmates (and future friends!) to engage and learn with.

## Features at a Glance

## The Math Revolution

The number of American teens who excel at advanced math has surged. Why?

O n a sultry evening last July, a tall, soft-spoken 17-year-old named David Stoner and nearly 600 other math whizzes from all over the world sat huddled in small groups around wicker bistro tables, talking in low voices and obsessively refreshing the browsers on their laptops. The air in the cavernous lobby of the Lotus Hotel Pang Suan Kaew in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was humid, recalls Stoner, whose light South Carolina accent warms his carefully chosen words. The tension in the room made it seem especially heavy, like the atmosphere at a high-stakes poker tournament.

Stoner and five teammates were representing the United States in the 56th International Mathematical Olympiad. They figured they’d done pretty well over the two days of competition. God knows, they’d trained hard. Stoner, like his teammates, had endured a grueling regime for more than a year—practicing tricky problems over breakfast before school and taking on more problems late into the evening after he completed the homework for his college-level math classes. Sometimes, he sketched out proofs on the large dry-erase board his dad had installed in his bedroom. Most nights, he put himself to sleep reading books like New Problems in Euclidean Geometry and An Introduction to Diophantine Equations .

Still, it was hard to know how his team had stacked up against those from the perennial powers China, Russia, and South Korea. “I mean, the gold? Did we do well enough to get the gold?” he said. “At that moment, it was hard to say.” Suddenly, there was a shout from a team across the lobby, then a collective intake of breath as the Olympians surged closer to their laptops. As Stoner tried to absorb what he saw on his own computer screen, the noise level in the lobby grew from a buzz to a cheer. Then one of his team members gave a whoop that ended in the chant “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!,” and the smattering of applause from the other Olympians grew more robust, and finally thunderous. Beaming, one of Stoner’s teammates pulled a small American flag out of his backpack and began waving it. Stoner was grinning. For the first time in 21 years, the United States team had won first place. Speaking last fall from his dorm at Harvard, where he is now a freshman, Stoner recalled his team’s triumph with quiet satisfaction. “It was a really great moment. Really great. Especially if you love math.”

It also wasn’t an aberration. You wouldn’t see it in most classrooms, you wouldn’t know it by looking at slumping national test-score averages, but a cadre of American teenagers are reaching world-class heights in math—more of them, more regularly, than ever before. The phenomenon extends well beyond the handful of hopefuls for the Math Olympiad. The students are being produced by a new pedagogical ecosystem—almost entirely extracurricular—that has developed online and in the country’s rich coastal cities and tech meccas. In these places, accelerated students are learning more and learning faster than they were 10 years ago—tackling more-complex material than many people in the advanced-math community had thought possible. “The bench of American teens who can do world-class math,” says Po-Shen Loh, the head coach of the U.S. team, “is significantly wider and stronger than it used to be.”

The change is palpable at the most competitive colleges. At a time when calls for a kind of academic disarmament have begun echoing through affluent communities around the nation, a faction of students are moving in exactly the opposite direction. “More freshmen arrive at elite colleges with exposure to math topics well outside of what has traditionally been taught in American high schools,” says Loh. “For American students who have an appetite to learn math at a high level,” says Paul Zeitz, a mathematics professor at the University of San Francisco, “something very big is happening. It’s very dramatic and it’s happening very fast.”

In the past, a small number of high-school students might have attended rigorous and highly selective national summer math camps like Hampshire College’s Summer Studies in Mathematics, in Massachusetts, or the Ross Mathematics Program at Ohio State, both of which have been around for decades. But lately, dozens of new math-enrichment camps with names like MathPath, AwesomeMath, MathILy, Idea Math, sparc , Math Zoom, and Epsilon Camp have popped up, opening the gates more widely to kids who have aptitude and enthusiasm for math, but aren’t necessarily prodigies. In Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, math circles—some run by tiny nonprofit organizations or a single professor, and offering small groups of middle- and high-school math buffs a chance to tackle problems under the guidance of graduate students, teachers, professors, engineers, and software designers—now have long wait lists. In New York City last fall, it was easier to get a ticket to the hit musical Hamilton than to enroll your child in certain math circles. Some circles in the 350-student New York Math Circle program run out of New York University filled up in about five hours. *

Math competitions are growing in number and popularity too. The number of U.S. participants in Math Kangaroo, an international contest for first- through 12th-graders that came to American shores in 1998, grew from 2,576 in 2009 to 21,059 in 2015. More than 10,000 middle- and high-school students haunt chat rooms, buy textbooks, and take classes on the advanced-math learners’ Web site the Art of Problem Solving. This fall, the Art of Problem Solving’s founder, Richard Rusczyk, a former Math Olympian who left his job in finance 18 years ago, will open two brick-and-mortar centers in the Raleigh, North Carolina, and Rockville, Maryland, areas, with a focus on advanced math. An online program for elementary-school students will follow. Last fall, Zeitz—along with another math professor, a teacher, and a private-equity manager—opened the Proof School, a small independent secondary school in San Francisco similarly centered on amped-up math. Before the inaugural school year even began, school officials were fielding inquiries from parents wondering when a Proof School would be opening on the East Coast and whether they could get their child on a waiting list. “The appetite among families for this kind of math instruction,” Rusczyk says, “seems boundless.”

Parents of students in the accelerated-math community, many of whom make their living in stem fields, have enrolled their children in one or more of these programs to supplement or replace what they see as the shallow and often confused math instruction offered by public schools, especially during the late-elementary and middle-school years. They have reason to do so. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much of the growth in our domestic economy will come from stem -related jobs, some of which are extremely well paid. College freshmen have heard that message; the number who say they want to major in a stem field is up. But attrition rates are very high: Between 2003 and 2009, 48 percent of students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a stem field switched to another major or dropped out—many found they simply didn’t have the quantitative background they needed to succeed.

The roots of this failure can usually be traced back to second or third grade, says Inessa Rifkin, a co-founder of the Russian School of Mathematics, which this year enrolled 17,500 students in after-school and weekend math academies in 31 locations around the United States. In those grades, many education experts lament, instruction—even at the best schools—is provided by poorly trained teachers who are themselves uncomfortable with math. In 1997, Rifkin, who once worked as a mechanical engineer in the Soviet Union, saw this firsthand. Her children, who attended public school in affluent Newton, Massachusetts, were being taught to solve problems by memorizing rules and then following them like steps in a recipe, without understanding the bigger picture. “I’d look over their homework, and what I was seeing, it didn’t look like they were being taught math,” recalls Rifkin, who speaks emphatically, with a heavy Russian accent. “I’d say to my children, ‘Forget the rules! Just think!’ And they’d say, ‘That’s not how they teach it here. That’s not what the teacher wants us to do.’ ” That year, she and Irina Khavinson, a gifted math teacher she knew, founded the Russian School around her dining-room table.

Teachers at the Russian School help students achieve fluency in arithmetic, the fundamentals of algebra and geometry, and later, higher-order math. At every level, and with increasing intensity as they get older, students are required to think their way through logic problems that can be resolved only with creative use of the math they’ve learned.

One chilly December Sunday at a school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, seven second-graders filed past a glossy poster showing Russian School students who had recently medaled in math competitions. They settled into their seats as their teacher, Irine Rober, showed them conceptual examples of addition and subtraction by ripping paper in half and by adding weights to each side of a scale to balance it. Simple stuff. Then the students took turns coming to the blackboard to explain how they’d used addition and subtraction to solve an equation for x , which required a bit more thinking. After a brief break, Rober asked each child to come up with a narrative that explained what the expression 49+(18–3) means. The children invented stories involving fruit, the shedding and growing of teeth, and, to the amusement of all, toilet monsters.

Although the students were laughing, there was nothing superficial or perfunctory about their explanations. Rober and her class listened carefully to the logic embedded in each of the stories. When one young boy, Shawn, got tangled up in his reasoning, Rober was quick to point to the exact spot where his thinking went awry (in the enthusiastic telling of a tale about farmers, bountiful harvests, and apple-eating varmints, Shawn began by talking about what happened to the 49 apples, when the order of operations demanded that he first describe a reduction in the 18 apples). Rober gently set him straight. Later, the children told stories about 49–(18+3) and 49–(18-3) too.

Rifkin trains her teachers to expect challenging questions from students at every level, even from pupils as young as 5, so lessons toggle back and forth between the obvious and the mind-bendingly abstract. “The youngest ones, very naturally, their minds see math differently,” she told me. “It is common that they can ask simple questions and then, in the next minute, a very complicated one. But if the teacher doesn’t know enough mathematics, she will answer the simple question and shut down the other, more difficult one. We want children to ask difficult questions, to engage so it is not boring, to be able to do algebra at an early age, sure, but also to see it for what it is: a tool for critical thinking. If their teachers can’t help them do this, well—” Rifkin searched for the word that expressed her level of dismay. “It is a betrayal.”

F or a subject that has been around almost as long as civilization itself, there remains a surprising degree of contention among experts about how best to teach math. Fiery battles have been waged for decades over what gets taught, in what order, why, and how. Broadly speaking, there have been two opposing camps. On one side are those who favor conceptual knowledge—understanding how math relates to the world—over rote memorization and what they call “drill and kill.” (Some well-respected math-instruction gurus say that memorizing anything in math is counterproductive and stifles the love of learning.) On the other side are those who say memorization of multiplication tables and the like is necessary for efficient computation. They say teaching students the rules and procedures that govern math forms the bedrock of good instruction and sophisticated mathematical thinking. They bristle at the phrase drill and kill and prefer to call it simply “practice.”

The Common Core State Standards Initiative walks a narrow path through that minefield, calling for teachers to place equal importance on “mathematical understanding” and “procedural skills.” It’s too early to know what effect the initiative will have. To be sure, though, most students today aren’t learning much math: Only 40 percent of fourth-graders and 33 percent of eighth-graders are considered at least “proficient.” On an internationally administered test in 2012, just 9 percent of 15-year-olds in the United States were rated “high scorers” in math, compared with 16 percent in Canada, 17 percent in Germany, 21 percent in Switzerland, 31 percent in South Korea, and 40 percent in Singapore.

The new outside-of-school math programs like the Russian School vary in their curricula and teaching methods, but they have key elements in common. Perhaps the most salient is the emphasis on teaching students to think about math conceptually and then use that conceptual knowledge as a tool to predict, explore, and explain the world around them. There is a dearth of rote learning and not much time spent applying a list of memorized formulas. Computational speed is not a virtue. (“Cram schools,” featuring a mechanistic, test-prep approach to learning math, have become common in some immigrant communities, and plenty of tutors of affluent children use this approach as well, but it is the opposite of what’s taught in this new type of accelerated-learning program.) To keep pace with their classmates, students quickly learn their math facts and formulas, but that is more a by-product than the point.

The pedagogical strategy at the heart of the classes is loosely referred to as “problem solving,” a pedestrian term that undersells just how different this approach to math can be. The problem-solving approach has long been a staple of math education in the countries of the former Soviet Union and at elite colleges such as MIT and Cal Tech. It works like this: Instructors present small clusters of students, usually grouped by ability, with a small number of open-ended, multifaceted situations that can be solved by using different approaches.

Here’s an example from the nascent math-and-science site Expii.com:

Imagine a rope that runs completely around the Earth’s equator, flat against the ground (assume the Earth is a perfect sphere, without any mountains or valleys). You cut the rope and tie in another piece of rope that is 710 inches long, or just under 60 feet. That increases the total length of the rope by a bit more than the length of a bus, or the height of a 5-story building. Now imagine that the rope is lifted at all points simultaneously, so that it floats above the Earth at the same height all along its length. What is the largest thing that could fit underneath the rope?

The options given are bacteria, a ladybug, a dog, Einstein, a giraffe, or a space shuttle. The instructor then coaches all the students as they reason their way through. Unlike most math classes, where teachers struggle to impart knowledge to students—who must passively absorb it and then regurgitate it on a test—problem-solving classes demand that the pupils execute the cognitive bench press: investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and finally verifying their own mathematical strategy. The point is not to accurately execute algorithms, although there is, of course, a right answer (Einstein, in the problem above). Truly thinking the problem through—creatively applying what you know about math and puzzling out possible solutions—is more important. Sitting in a regular ninth-grade algebra class versus observing a middle-school problem-solving class is like watching kids get lectured on the basics of musical notation versus hearing them sing an aria from Tosca .

In my experience, a common emotion at New York Math Circle, at the Russian School, in the chat rooms of the Art of Problem Solving and similar Web site, is authentic excitement—among the students, but also among the teachers—about the subject itself. Even in the very early grades, instructors tend to be deeply knowledgeable and passionately engaged. “Many of them are working in the fields that use math—chemistry, meteorology, and engineering—and teach part-time,” Rifkin says. They are people who themselves find the subject approachable and deeply interesting, and they are encouraged to convey that.

But excitement aside, the pedagogy is very deliberate. At the Russian School, lessons are carefully structured and each teacher’s lesson plan is reviewed and revised by a mentor. Instructors watch videos of master teachers deftly helping to clear up students’ misunderstandings of particular concepts. Teachers gather by videoconference to critique one another’s instructional technique.

Many of these programs—especially the camps, competitions, and math circles—create a unique culture and a strong sense of belonging for students who have a zest for the subject but all the awkwardness and uneven development of the typical adolescent. “When I attended my first math competition,” at age 11, “I understood for the first time that my tribe was out there,” said David Stoner, who joined a math circle a year later, and soon thereafter became a habitué of the Art of Problem Solving. Freewheeling collaboration across age, gender, and geography is a baseline value. Although the accelerated-math community has historically been largely male, girls are getting involved in increasing numbers, and making their presence felt. Kids blow off steam by playing strategy board games like Dominion and Settlers of Catan, or “bug house” chess, a high-speed, multiboard variation of the old standby. Insider humor abounds. A typical T-shirt slogan: √-1 2 3 ∑ π … and it was delicious! (Translation: “I ate some pie …”) At the Math Olympiad Summer Program, a training ground for future Olympians, one of the acts in the talent show last June involved a group of youngsters developing computer code while holding a plank pose.

The students speak about career ambitions with a rare degree of assurance. Problem-solving for fun, they know, leads to problem-solving for profit. The link can be very direct: Some of the most recognizable companies in the tech industry regularly prospect, for instance, on Brilliant.org, an advanced-math-community Web site launched in San Francisco in 2012. “Money follows math” is a common refrain.

A lthough efforts are under way on many fronts to improve math education in public schools using some of the techniques found in these enriched classes, measurable gains in learning have proved elusive.

Nearly everyone in the accelerated-math community says that the push to cultivate sophisticated math minds needs to start early and encompass plenty of thoughtful, conceptual learning experiences in elementary and middle school. The proportion of American students who can do math at a very high level could be much larger than it is today. “Will they all learn it at the same rate? No, they will not,” says Loh, the U.S. math team’s head coach. “But I assure you that with the right instruction and steady effort, many, many more American students could get there.”

Students who show an inclination toward math need additional math opportunities—and a chance to be around other math enthusiasts—in the same way that a kid adept with a soccer ball might eventually need to join a traveling team. And earlier is better than later: The subject is relentlessly sequential and hierarchical. “If you wait until high school to attempt to produce accelerated math learners,” Loh told me, “the latecomers will find themselves missing too much foundational thinking and will struggle, with only four short years before college, to catch up.” These days, it is a rare student who can move from being “good at math” in a regular public high school to finding a place in the advanced-math community.

All of which creates a formidable barrier. Most middle-class parents might research sports programs and summer camps for their 8- and 9-year-old children, but would rarely think of supplemental math unless their kid is struggling. “You have to know about these programs, live in a neighborhood that has these resources, or at least know where to look,” says Sue Khim, a co-founder of Brilliant.org. And since many of the programs are private, they are well out of reach for the poor. (A semester in a math circle can cost about $300, a year at a Russian School up to $3,000, and four weeks in a residential math program perhaps twice that.) National achievement data reflect this access gap in math instruction all too clearly. The ratio of rich math whizzes to poor ones is 3 to 1 in South Korea and 3.7 to 1 in Canada, to take two representative developed countries. In the U.S., it is 8 to 1. And while the proportion of American students scoring at advanced levels in math is rising, those gains are almost entirely limited to the children of the highly educated, and largely exclude the children of the poor. By the end of high school, the percentage of low-income advanced-math learners rounds to zero.

To Daniel Zaharopol, the founder and executive director of Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics ( beam ), a nonprofit organization based in New York City, the short-term solution is logical. “We know that math ability is universal and interest in math is spread pretty much equally through the population,” he says, “and we see there are almost no low-income, high-performing math students. So we know that there are many, many students who have the potential for high achievement in math but who have not had opportunity to develop their math minds, simply because they were born to the wrong parents or in the wrong zip code. We want to find them.”

In an experiment that is being closely watched by educators and members of the advanced-math community, Zaharopol, who majored in math at MIT before getting a master’s in math and teaching math, spends each spring visiting middle schools in New York City that serve low-income kids. He is prospecting for students who, with the right instruction and some support, can take their place, if not at the International Math Olympiad, then at a less selective competition, and in a math circle, and eventually at a stem program at a competitive college.

Zaharopol doesn’t look for the best all-around students to admit to his program, which provides the kind of comprehensive support that wealthy math nerds get: a three-week residential math camp the summer before eighth grade, enhanced instruction after school, help with applying to math circles, and coaching for math competitions, as well as basic advice on high-school selection and college applications. Those who get perfect grades in math are interesting to him, but only to a point. “They don’t have to like school or even like math class,” he says. Instead, he is looking for kids with a confluence of specific abilities: strong reasoning, lucid communication, stamina. A fourth, more ineffable quality is crucial: “I look for kids who take pleasure in resolving complicated problems,” Zaharopol says. “Actually doing math should bring them joy.”

Five years ago, when Zaharopol entered M.S. 343, a boxy-looking building in a rough section of the South Bronx, and sat down with a seventh-grader, Zavier Jenkins, who had a big smile and a Mohawk, nothing about the setup was auspicious. With just 13 percent of kids performing at grade level in English and 57 percent in math, M.S. 343 seemed an unlikely incubator for tomorrow’s tech mogul or medical engineer.

But in a quiet conversation, Zaharopol learned that Jenkins had what his siblings and peers considered a quirky affinity for patterns and an inclination toward numbers. Lately, Jenkins confided to Zaharopol, a certain frustration had set in. He could complete his math assignments accurately, but he was growing bored.

Zaharopol asked Jenkins to do some simple computations, which he handled with ease. Then Zaharopol threw a puzzle at Jenkins and waited to see what would happen:

You have a drawer full of socks, each one of which is red, white, or blue. You start taking socks out without looking at them. How many socks do you need to take out of the drawer to be sure you have taken out at least two socks that are the same color?

“For the first time, I was presented with a math problem that didn’t have an easy answer,” Jenkins recalls. At first, he simply multiplied two by three to get six socks. Dissatisfied, he began sifting through other strategies.

“I was very encouraged by that,” Zaharopol told me. “Many kids just assume they have the right answer.” After a few minutes, he offered to show Jenkins one way to reason through the problem. The energy in the room changed. “Not only did Zavier come up with the right answer”—four—“but he really understood it very thoroughly,” Zaharopol said. “And he seemed to take delight in the experience.” Four months later, Jenkins was living with 16 other rising eighth-graders in a dorm at the beam summer program on Bard College’s campus in upstate New York, being coached on number theory, recursion, and graph theory by math majors, math teachers, and math professors from top universities around the country. With some counseling from beam , he entered a coding program, which led to an internship at Microsoft. Now a high-school senior, he has applied to some of the top engineering schools in the country.

beam , which is five years old, has already quadrupled in size—it hosted 80 middle-school students at its summer program last year and has about 250 low-income, high-performing students in its network. But its funding remains limited. “We know there are many, many more low-income kids who we don’t reach and who simply don’t have access to these programs,” Zaharopol said.

There is already a name for the kind of initiative that might, in part, bring the benefits of beam , math circles, the Russian School, or the Art of Problem Solving to a broader array of students, including middle- and low-income ones: gifted-and-talented programs, which are publicly funded and can start in elementary school. But the history of these programs is fraught. Admission criteria vary, but they have tended to favor affluent children. Teachers can be lobbied for a recommendation; some standardized entry tests measure vocabulary and general knowledge, not creative reasoning. In some places, parents pay for their children to be tutored for the admission exam, or even privately tested to get in.

As a result, while many such programs still exist, they’ve been increasingly spurned by equity-minded school administrators and policy makers who see them as a means by which predominately affluent white and Asian parents have funneled scarce public dollars toward additional enrichment for their already enriched children. (The vaguely obnoxious label itself—“gifted and talented”—hasn’t helped matters.)

The No Child Left Behind Act, which shaped education for nearly 15 years, further contributed to the neglect of these programs. Ignoring kids who may have had aptitude or interest in accelerated learning, it demanded that states turn their attention to getting struggling learners to perform adequately—a noble goal. But as a result, for years many educators in schools in poor neighborhoods, laser-focused on the low-achieving kids, dismissed suggestions that the minds of their brightest kids were lying fallow. Some denied that their schools had any gifted children at all.

The cumulative effect of these actions, perversely, has been to push accelerated learning outside public schools—to privatize it, focusing it even more tightly on children whose parents have the money and wherewithal to take advantage. In no subject is that clearer today than in math.

The good news is that education policy may be beginning to swing back. Federal and state legislators increasingly seem to agree that all teenagers could benefit from the kind of accelerated-learning opportunities once reserved for high-aptitude kids in affluent neighborhoods, and many public high schools have been pushed to offer more Advanced Placement classes and to expand enrollment in online college courses. But for many middle- and low-income students who might have learned to love math, those opportunities come too late.

Perhaps it is a hopeful sign, then, that the newly authorized Every Student Succeeds Act, which recently replaced No Child Left Behind, asks states to recognize that such students can exist in every precinct, and to track their progress. For the first time in the nation’s history, the law also explicitly allows schools to use federal dollars to experiment with ways of screening for low-income, high-ability students in the early years and to train teachers to serve them. Universal screening in elementary school might be a good start. From 2005 to 2007, school officials in Broward County, Florida, concerned that poor kids and English-language learners were being under-referred to gifted programs, gave all second-graders, rich and poor, a nonverbal reasoning test, and the high scorers an IQ test. The criteria for “gifted” status weren’t weakened, but the number of disadvantaged children identified as having the capacity for accelerated learning rose 180 percent.

Whether individual states take up this challenge, and do so effectively, is their decision, but advocates say they are mounting a campaign to get started. Perhaps the moment is right for members of the advanced-math community, who have been so successful in developing young math minds, to step in and show more educators how it could be done.

## Related Video

"What we need to work on is getting comfortable with struggle in learning."

* This article has been updated to include the name of the program run out of New York University.

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## Russian School of Math

Parent reviews.

I have had two kids do RSM. One joined mid-year in elementary school and initially found it very stressful, but after that stuck with it for 4 years. After 8th grade they decided to do AOPS on their own over the summer, and just completed calculus at Laney as a freshman in high school (they felt too busy for RSM this year). My middle schooler wanted a break from RSM this year as well, but now wants to do it again next year because they realize how much more math instruction they got. I wouldn’t say either loves math, but they do enjoy being good at it. They both felt like RSM challenged them and made them a lot better at solving problems than they would otherwise have been.

My kid is signed up for both, and enjoys RSM of math more, because it is easier. BMC is more conveniently located, and much cheaper. Their math problems are abstract. Their classes are large and mostly online at present, though some return to in person is envisioned for next year. Parental help is required, at least for the younger kids, because their homework problems are hard. Russian school of mathematics tests the kids and can place them at various levels, either online or in person. Their problems are much more concrete than BMC problems, though more abstract than what is taught at local schools. Classes are small. No parental involvement is required, because the homework is a straightforward application of the class lesson. BMC teaches students to think like a mathematician and invent techniques; RSM teaches specific math concepts using specific techniques. RSM is a business with many franchises; BMC is a public service run by sometimes-disorganized math professors.

Welcome to the Bay Area! I also started looking for math enrichment when my son was in first grade. The main options I found were Berkeley Math Circle, Firecracker Math, and the Russian School of Mathematics. We ended up going with RSM, due mainly to schedule and availability, but it has been fabulous. The closest location to you would be Dublin, but starting in 4th grade there is also an online class option. The best thing about it is that there are 3 levels per grade (accelerated, advanced, and honors), and all 3 are more advanced that what you will get in school. Most kids start in the accelerated level, but they will give a placement test and also make mid-year adjustments as needed. If the honors level is still not a challenge, they will move a kid to the next grade. They follow a curriculum, and introduce abstract thinking (variables) by second grade. You might also check out Beast Academy Online if getting out to Dublin sounds like too much or you want a less expensive option. There is plenty of challenge to be had in Beast Academy, and their programs for older kids, through Art of Problem Solving, are also really great. Good luck!

I want to strongly recommend the Russian School of Mathematics. My kids were also not challenged in school, and they weren't particularly motivated to do Khan Academy. They started, like most kids, in the lowest level RSM offers for their grade, and moved up the following year. RSM offers 3 levels per grade and does a placement test to make sure that each kid will be challenged but able to succeed. After starting RSM in 4th grade, my kids are doing algebra in 6th grade. RSM offers online classes if you don't live close to any of their Bay Area locations. Good luck!

## Middle School Competition Math

If you are interested in math contests like Math Olympiad (MOEMS), AMC 8, MATHCOUNTS, AMC 10, here is a comprehensive list of the best books and resources to help you prepare.

Also, here is a list of Math Contests that you can participate in.

Online Reso urces

Mastering AMC 8 Book and Video Series

This free book covers the most important concepts on the AMC 8 and includes video lectures for every chapter, formulas for every topic, and hundreds of examples and practice problems with detailed video solutions.

AMC 8 Fundamentals Course

These classes covered the fundamental concepts required for AMC 8.

AMC 8 Advanced Course

These classes covered more advances concepts required for AMC 8 and MATHCOUNTS competition.

AoPS Videos

Art of Problem Solving offers hundreds of free videos featuring AoPS founder Richard Rusczyk. They have videos aligned to the PreAlgebra text, the first half of their Introduction to Algebra text, and their Introduction to Counting & Probability text. They also regularly produce MathCounts Minis featuring problems from State-level MathCounts competitions, as well as videos for select AMC 10, AMC 12, and AIME problems. Activity sheets for the videos can be found on the MATHCOUNTS website. All of these videos are hosted on YouTube, most on the Art of Problem Solving channel and the MathCounts videos on the MathCounts channel.

MATHCOUNTS Minis

Art of Problem Solving 's Richard Rusczyk has been making MATHCOUNTS Minis since September 2009. Each MATHCOUNTS Mini video provides detailed explanations for at least one MATHCOUNTS problem and its associated concepts. Each Mini also features an activity sheet to complement the discussed concepts. Here is a YouTube playlist with all the videos.

AoPS Alcumus

Alcumus offers students a customized learning experience, adjusting to student performance to deliver appropriate problems and lessons. Alcumus is specifically designed to provide high-performing students with a challenging curriculum appropriate to their abilities.

AoPS MathCounts Trainer

MathCounts trainer helps students practice for MathCounts. There are multiple levels in MathCounts trainer just as there are multiple rounds for MathCounts.

AoPS For The Win

FTW has it all: an unparalleled array of MATHCOUNTS-style problems, elite competition, customizable games, and player rankings. If you’re looking to sharpen your competition skills, or just want to engage in good old-fashioned mathematical battle with friends or strangers, then this is the arena for you.

AoPS Keep Learning

The AoPS team has assembled fun activities to help kids keep learning, collaborating, and having fun even while safe at home.

AoPS Math Jams

Math Jams are free online discussions hosted by Art of Problem Solving for a variety of purposes, including:

Informational sessions about Art of Problem Solving classes

Review of the AMC and AIME competitions

Introductions to new topics in math and other areas of study

AMC 8/AJHSME Tests

The AMC 8 was previously known as the AJHSME (American Junior High School Mathematics Exam). This link has all of the past AJHSMEs and AMC 8's. Check out Math Contests for information about the AMC 8.

AHSME Tests

AHSME (American High School Mathematics Exam) is basically an old version AMC 10/12 from 1950 to 1999.

AMC 10 Tests

Art of Problem Solving has all of the past AMC 10's. Check out Math Contests for information about the AMC 10.

AMC 12 Tests

This page has all of the past AMC 12 tests. Check out Math Contests for information about the AMC 12.

This page has all of the past AIME tests. Check out Math Contests for information about the AIME.

Parallelogram

Dr Simon Singh , author of the No. 1 bestseller Fermat’s Last Theorem and The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets has created a set of weekly maths challenges – just 15 minutes of interesting, fun and challenging material that goes beyond school maths: mystery and history, activities and oddities, puzzles and problems.

MATHCOUNTS Previous Year's Competition

Last year's school, chapter and state competitions are available for free on MATHCOUNTS website.

MATHCOUNTS Categorized Resources

MATHCOUNTS provides many free problem sets, videos, lesson plans and activities that can complement in-person and online learning. The've categorized some of the best resources for several middle school math topics.

MATHCOUNTS Problem of the week

MATHCOUNTS releases a problem every week. The full archive can be be found at this link.

ThePuzzlr's Introduction to Number Theory Course

This FREE course serves as a fundamental basis of Number Theory for premiere competitions like the AMC 8 and MATHCOUNTS. It covers all the essential topics needed to tackle Number Theory questions. Each topic in this course has a video, explanations, and practice questions/quizzes.

AMC 8 Mock Contest from Po-Shen Loh

Try the AMC 8 Mock Test written by Po-Shen Loh. All problems are original and were created by analyzing the American Mathematics Competitions middle school math contests.

Beauty of Math Channel

This is a channel initially focusing on all Competition Math such as American Mathematics Competitions, AIME, Math Counts, Math Kangaroo, content from Art of Problem Solving and various other Mathematical Topics.

Aops Wiki Problem Generator

This problem generator generates random problems from the aops wiki 1 at a time or in groups.

Brilliant (use this link to get a 20% discount)

Brilliant helps to build quantitative skills in math, science, and computer science with fun and challenging interactive explorations. All of their courses are crafted by award-winning teachers, researchers, and professionals from MIT, Caltech, Duke, Microsoft, Google, and more, with these principles of learning in mind.

Think Matrix (use this link to get 1 month free)

Think Matrix uses AI technology to provide a self-adaptive learning platform. With over 10,000 practice questions in 29 modules and 70+ topics, students get unlimited practice and tests.

## Best Books for Competition Math Math League Middle School Books Math League uses Lulu to handle sales of their books. Each year they prepare compilations of the material that was released at the contests the previous school year. Electronic versions of many of their tests are sold one test set at a time through the "test downloads" link. The first ten years (1997-2007) of high school contests are also sold (for a limited time only!) bundled together through the "test downloads" link. MATHCOUNTS Books MATHCOUNTS provides a series of books with selected problems and their solutions from the contests. AlphaStar Academy AMC 8 PRACTICE TESTS: VOLUME 1 This book is for students who are preparing for middle school math competitions such as AMC 8 and MathCounts. It contains four AMC 8 practice exams with new problems not used in any past competitions and with insightful solutions.

Free Classes

Youth Conway

Youth Conway provides high quality, free, virtual instruction as well as engaging mathematical immersion activities in a time when many similar events have been canceled due to this global crisis.

Math Divulged Classes

Math Divulged is a COMPLETELY FREE online series of classes! They offer a diverse set of topics and levels and participants have complete control over the classes they choose to attend, allowing them to craft their dream schedule. Math Divulged is composed of dedicated competitive math veterans, including MathCounts National Champion, MOPpers, IMO Gold Medal winner, etc

Everaise Academy

Everaise provides 5 week STEM outreach program for middle and high school students that seeks to challenge participants through engaging courses in mathematics, physics, astronomy, linguistics, and biology.

Euclid's Orchard

Euclid's Orchard serves to provide high quality handouts to teach those who are interested in a variety of subjects.

Trinity School NYC Math Team Classes

TrinMAC offered free, virtual math camp during the summer of 2020.

Mallstars Classes

MoTown All Stars Mathematics Team is a team of motivated students dedicated to improving the mathematics community. They offer a number of classes from middle school to Olympiad level.

Pai d Classes

If you are looking for paid Math classes, here is a list of the most popular paid classes.

AlphaStar Academy

AlphaStar Academy offers extensive training programs for gifted students towards national and international Math and Science competitions such as MathCounts, American Mathematics Competitions, USA Math Olympiads, USA Computing Olympiads, F=ma, and USA Physics Olympiads.

Art of Problem Solving

Since 2003, the AoPS online school has provided a unique learning experience carefully designed for outstanding students studying online. We offer a full math curriculum for middle and high school, introductory programming courses, and specialty courses to prepare students for particular math and science competitions. Most of our courses meet weekly for live sessions, and have a variety of types of weekly homework.

Daily Challenge By Po Shen-Loh

One of the best online courses for middle school competition math! Prof. Loh's ability to design problems, along with his engaging and thorough explanations makes their courses are extremely efficient in helping students with little competition math experience advance to a much higher level!

Momentum Learning

Momentum Learning provides tutoring services to elementary and high school students in the Sugar Land, Texas area. Their comprehensive services cover the critical subject areas for educational success in these grades. They provide weekly classes covering a variety of subjects including school math, contest math, coding, science, English, and public speaking.

MathLeague.org

Mathleague offers a number of services designed to promote math and problem solving abilities in individual or group settings. Instructors at mathleague.org run short-term classes to help prepare students for math competitions and develop their problem-solving skills. Classes will be held throughout the school year in person and online.

Awesome Math

AwesomeMath is devoted to providing enriching experiences in mathematics for intellectually curious learners. Through summer camps, publications, curriculum, and competitions AwesomeMath fosters a community that values critical thinking, creativity, passionate problem solving, and lifetime mathematical learning.

AMC Advantage

AMC Advantage is a collection of problems designed to improve problem-solving skills and get students ready or the competition.

RSM AMC Classes

Russian School of Math's selective and tiered competitions program prepares students for the full array of national and international math Olympiads.

John Hopkins CTY Competitive Math Prep

This course is designed to extend skills in problem solving taught in MathCounts, to foster mathematical creativity, and to prepare students for competitions similar to the American Mathematics Competition (AMC 8, 10).

MyMathCounts Classes

They have online classes, preparation books, private tutoring, and other math materials.

Achievable (save 25%)

Achievable provides AMC 8 and AMC 10/12 courses through their memory-reinforcing platform which automatically prioritizes the material students need and then trains them to remember it more effectively on test day.

## MyMathCounts Books

* these books often have typos and errors.

## Get the Reddit app

The r/homeschool community is a place to share homeschool resources, advice, news, curriculum, and learning support for redditors who are homeschooling, unschooling, or educating their children at home (or considering it). Welcome to the largest home education subreddit!

## summer math options, looking at art of problem solving or kahn academy

Sounds good to me.

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## Art of Problem Solving vs Russian School of Math

how much work outside of the class meeting time is expected? |

how much work outside of the class meeting time is expected? RSM gives mandatory homework and optional quests that are more challenging. How long the HW takes depends on the kid. Mine averages about an hour a week. I understand it takes some kids 2-3 hours a week depending on the assignment, |

how much work outside of the class meeting time is expected? RSM gives mandatory homework and optional quests that are more challenging. How long the HW takes depends on the kid. Mine averages about an hour a week. I understand it takes some kids 2-3 hours a week depending on the assignment, It depends on the grade (and level within the grade). My 7th grade DD does algebra, geometry and math competition classes at RSM, and the homework (for all three) takes 2-3+ hours a week. The math competition homework seems to be much harder, and she often doesn’t do all of the problems. In the earlier years, homework took less time. My 4th grade DD, who is in the hardest section, takes about 1-2 hours to finish homework. |

Is there an admission process of Art Of Problem Solving? My kids are above average but not gifted-both in AAP. We joined AoPS after the first quarter. DS, third grade, had a Zoom evaluation with a Teacher. She asked him to solve problems and then to explain how he solved the problems. She wanted to give him tips for completing the problems in a different way but he had used the techniques she was going to walk him through. He jumped right into the AoPS class for third graders with no real issues. The class has homework, it takes him about 20-30 minutes to complete the homework. We have him complete it on Mondays since he finishes his asynch days. I will say that you need to choose your class day and time carefully, we were told that we could not change classes due to a conflict. We choose a day that we knew would not conflict with his sports and other activities. So far it has been all virtual but we will continue when it returns to in person. I can find a coffee shop to hang out at while he attends class. He really enjoys it. He likes the math games that are included in the homework and he enjoys the class period himself. It is more challenging and we like the problem solving element of it. |

Russian Math has two tracks, one for normal kids and one for high-performing ones. I believe AoPS is smarties only. I am not sure about that for AoPS. There is an evaluation but I don't know if they don't accept kids or simply place them in the appropriate class even if it is lower then their current grade level. |

Just fyi, RSM has three levels within a grade. |

Anyone have experience with Mathnasium and then AoPS or RSM? We are not super happy with Mathnasium but AoPS seems intimidating. My kids are in advanced math but neither is a math genius. |

Anyone have experience with Mathnasium and then AoPS or RSM? We are not super happy with Mathnasium but AoPS seems intimidating. My kids are in advanced math but neither is a math genius. I thought that AoPS would be more over the top then it is. It does move at a good pace but the Teacher has been great about helping kids and meeting with kids who were struggling a bit with the concept after the class. She picks kids to walk through how they approached the problem, and there are normally a few different approaches. The program encourages kids to try and tells them it is fine to get the wrong answer and ask for help. I have been impressed. |

Bumping. Trying to decide between these two (aops/rsm). Does anyone have any dislikes to help decide? Are any teaching methods better? |

It is shameful how parents are not letting their kids have a normal life and forcing them to learn Math. Tsk, Tsk. Also, this is cheating and dishonest and opportunity hoarding and elitist. Your kids will have mental problems and will become depressed and hurt themselves and other.... (OK, this is what y'all would have said if it was an Asian-American run prep and tutoring school - LOL) |

Mathnasium worked for my kids when they were younger 7-11. One was advanced, one was on pace, the third needed help. So it was convenient to take them to one place where they could work on their different concerns. As they got older and stronger in math, Mathnasium was less helpful. |

Just fyi, RSM has three levels within a grade. Interesting. So both my kids are in advanced math in FCPS, both get 4s, and they both just tested one grade below in AoPS. |

My kid did AOPS for two years. He is gifted in Math and attended a magnet program. We didn’t continue after the second year because he is not a self starter. He was not sticking to the completing the homework. AOPS is definitely for gifted children. It would be a mistake to send an above average child there. It would require a lot of parent involvement. I have had friends borrow our books so that is something you could try as well. |

It is shameful how parents are not letting their kids have a normal life and forcing them to learn Math. Tsk, Tsk. Also, this is cheating and dishonest and opportunity hoarding and elitist. Your kids will have mental problems and will become depressed and hurt themselves and other.... (OK, this is what y'all would have said if it was an Asian-American run prep and tutoring school - LOL) So true. |

Bumping. Trying to decide between these two (aops/rsm). Does anyone have any dislikes to help decide? Are any teaching methods better? We have only done AoPS and have enjoyed it. DS is in third grade, Advanced Math and was placed in the third grade class. He has enjoyed the classes. I am hoping that next year will be in person instead of virtual, even though that adds commute time and requires I find a coffee shop to hang out in while he is in class. |

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RSM and AoPS are really different from each other. My RSM kid wouldn't really like AoPS, and my AoPS kid wouldn't have liked the video format. I do have one kid who has done great in both, though. The AoPS are a lot more puzzly than RSM, IMO. You could also just have your kiddo do a few Alcumus problems each day.

report. 09/23/2020 13:38. Subject: Art of Problem Solving vs Russian School of Math. quote. Anonymous. We did AOPS prealgebra, as well as Mathnasium and Fairfax Collegiate math. AOPS was definitely the most rigorous, although I would hesitate to enroll DS during the school year because it is a lot to cover.

Offline. Anonymous wrote: DP, but from what I can tell, a main difference between AoPS and RSM is how they handle the very advanced students. In AoPS, the kid tests into and takes class with a higher grade level. This can be a bit socially awkward, though, since the kid won't have a peer group of similar aged kids.

RSM is probably takes everyone and just place them on different levels. report. 03/15/2018 07:29. Subject: ... Does anyone have any experience with Art of Problem Solving vs Russian School of Math or for that matter other programs that use out of the box approaches? Both programs seem very rigorous (or at least different) compared to more ...

AoPS Academy Virtual Campus and AoPS Online School — share some structural similarities, but still differ in key ways. To help you select the program that's right for your student, we break down the main similarities and differences between the two. Once you've chosen the right program, a placement test or consultation will then ensure ...

It isn't exactly in the style of AoPS but it might suit your needs. It's very well written with a lot of problems to solve. The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition) by Douglas Giancoli: https://amzn.to/3PQA4oj. Hi there, In mathematics, there are books called "The Art of Problem Solving".

At AoPS, we understand that every student learns a little differently. That's why we've designed our K-12 programs for varied learning preferences, age ranges, difficulty levels and subject matter. We offer four distinct program offerings for students ages 6-18.

The RSM education system typically follows a traditional teaching approach, which may not cater to all learning styles. Students who require more hands-on or interactive learning experiences might struggle with this system. Besides, you should check out Beestar. It is an online math resource and I have heard that it is good and effective.

As you know, Art of Problem Solving includes 11 books that comes with their solutions and they are PreAlgebra, Introduction to Algebra, Introduction to Counting and Probability, Introduction to Geometry, Introduction to Number Theory, Intermediate Algebra, Intermediate Counting and Probability, Precalculus, Calculus, Problem Solving Volume 1: The Basics, Problem Solving Volume 2: And Beyond

In my experience, a common emotion at New York Math Circle, at the Russian School, in the chat rooms of the Art of Problem Solving and similar Web site, is authentic excitement—among the ...

Their math problems are abstract. Their classes are large and mostly online at present, though some return to in person is envisioned for next year. Parental help is required, at least for the younger kids, because their homework problems are hard. Russian school of mathematics tests the kids and can place them at various levels, either online ...

RSM teaches math in a more traditional manner then AoPS does. DS enjoyed both programs but would choose AoPS over RSM if AoPS was closer. That said, we asked if he wanted to continue with RSM next year and he said yes without any hesitation. RSM does have math competition as an option, it is a separate class that kids can test into.

Procedural Approach vs. Conceptual Approach. Saxon Math relies on example and repetition. It is "procedural" in nature. Your student will be presented with a new concept, shown how to understand it through a series of steps, and then will practice the concept over and over. AoPS is primarily "conceptual" in its approach.

AoPS online school helps thousands of students each year develop tools needed for success in top-tier colleges and in prestigious math competitions. Ready to join our community? Pick a class that best fits your interests and schedule. Online math classes, advanced math textbooks, math games, and more for high school and middle school students.

This is a channel initially focusing on all Competition Math such as American Mathematics Competitions, AIME, Math Counts, Math Kangaroo, content from Art of Problem Solving and various other Mathematical Topics. Aops Wiki Problem Generator. This problem generator generates random problems from the aops wiki 1 at a time or in groups.

Art of Problem Solving has been a leader in math education for high-performing students since 1993. We launched AoPS Academy in 2016 to bring our rigorous curriculum and expert instructors into classrooms around the United States. With campuses in 8 states (and growing!), our approach nurtures a love for complex problem solving, which is fully ...

Wᴇʟᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ʀ/SGExᴀᴍs - the largest community on reddit discussing education and student life in Singapore! SGExams is also more than a subreddit - we're a registered nonprofit that organises initiatives supporting students' academics, career guidance, mental health and holistic development, such as webinars and mentorship programmes.

Choosing a Course. Our general course recommendations can be found on our Recommendations page.A special note to parents whose students are finishing up Art of Problem Solving's elementary school curriculum, Beast Academy, can be found on this page. If you are new to AoPS, you may have heard from other AoPS students and parents that our classes are very challenging.

Anonymous wrote: RSM gives mandatory homework and optional quests that are more challenging. How long the HW takes depends on the kid. Mine averages about an hour a week. I understand it takes some kids 2-3 hours a week depending on the assignment, It depends on the grade (and level within the grade).

7. The top row of the map consists of our core curriculum, which parallels the standard prealgebra-to-calculus school curriculum, but in much greater depth both in mathematical content and in problem-solving skills. For this reason, we often recommend that a new AoPS student who has already taken a course at their local school "retake" the same ...

AMC Problems and Solutions. You can find problems and solutions from the math contests run by the American Mathematics Competitions on the following pages: AMC 8 / AJHSME Problems and Solutions. AMC 10 Problems and Solutions. AMC 12 Problems and Solutions. AHSME Problems and Solutions.

Art of Problem Solving AoPS Online. Math texts, online classes, and more for students in grades 5-12. Visit AoPS Online ‚ Books for Grades 5-12 ...