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observing as a parent, who was educated outside of US, but whose children are attending a well-rated US public school 8th grade:

  (a)  my child is an 'A' student (getting over 92% on most tests)

  (b) the student cannot do basic algebra without help.
  
  For example cannot convert   a^2 + 2ab + b^2 , back into
(a+b)^2

  Does not even know what a geometric proof is.
Eg. proving that 2 triangles are equal when each of their sides is equal, would be way beyond any knowledge that was presented in school.

  (c) Can do many simple problems 'quickly' and efficiently.

  However, cannot even approach a problem that should take say a genuine 1-2 hours. I am not even talking about more complex ones.


  So the whole way of thinking about Math (and science subjects)  -- is targeted towards 'secretarial/data entry' kind of activities.

  Quick tricks, filling in blanks, fitting answers...

  There is a complete lack of homework problems that require a creation of any kind of approach/ thought framework... 
(and then testing out that creation).

  Instead, they are overwhelmed with huge number of simple stuff.

  But, as I know form being in the industry, 
  it is that kind of job skills that being replaced by computers, or outsourced...

  (d) Student is trained (or may be brainwashed) to think that material in school and good grades -- is not just necessary, 
  but absolutely sufficient 
  (with exception of social work and leadership skills... always can do more of those...)

So the resulting mind set is:

  If I get good grades, and if I am tired and busy with 
all the homework -- then that's a sufficient indicator that I am doing exceptionally well.

This makes it very difficult, almost impossible for a parent to penetrate through this wall, (plus the social media, and peer-pressure cancers that constantly compete with me for influence on the child).

  I feel like my kids are just being treated as 'head count', in some 'feel good' & 'reward for participation' virtual video game,
 whose purpose is to create a fake reality,
 to reduce their chances of being competitive,
 ... and I cannot do anything about it.


Apologies if I sound too frustrated.



That's super weird. In eighth grade (2013-ish, not long ago) we had an entire course on geometry that was all about proving theorems and turning some given information into "the shape satisfies the definition of a parallelogram because..." The tests were exactly what you described you wanted: hour long journeys where you applied the theorems and postulates we learned up to that point to prove something about a shape. I struggled a lot but ultimately I believe I am better at thinking because of it. If you want some books:

The textbook we used: https://www.amazon.com/Geometry-Ray-C-Jurgensen/dp/039597727...

The Art of Problem Solving: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Problem-Solving-Vol-Basics/dp/097...

AoPS is pretty good but more geared toward math competitions. The reading is ok but the problems take some serious thought and if you can get your kid to do one a day s/he'll probably be better off for it.


Your post reads like notes for a Black Mirror episode. :(




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