Tuesday, May 23, 2017

5 Ways to Beat the COGAT and Advanced Math at the Same Time

Last night I was complaining to my son how boring my blog has become.  The theory and practice of turning a 50% child into a 99% academic power house is pretty tedious and dry.

My older son told me I need to use "click bait" and showed me examples of his classmates you tube channels on video games.  "See, this title is My Amazing Clutch Save, but in the video game he just loses 10 times.  His ratings improved".

This article is dedicated to every parent who have complained that they just can't get their child to do anything at home (basically anyone who has ever contacted me who isn't a teacher) because their child is hopelessly normal.

5 Ways To Beat The COGAT, Improve MATH scores by 100%, and go to Stanford!
#1  Get some really painful advanced incomprehensible math and do it next to your child while she does math.  If you're a caring mom, you're thinking 'Then I'll have sympathy for what she's going through' but I'm a competitive dad and I'm thinking 'Because then I'll have absolutely no sympathy for your complaining.'

#2  Only do a single problem.  I can tell you with 100% certainty that anything your child does every day (or a few times a week) for 15 minutes, he will become the world's foremost expect in a few months compared to his peers.  So I hand my kid a brand new book and ask him, "Find the easiest problem in this book and do it".  Tomorrow it will be a few, then the next few sequentially in order, and before you know it, we're doing another book to make up for missing knowledge because we've done everything except for integrals with imaginary numbers.

#3   Only do new stuff.  Neither math nor the COGAT is about what you know. It's all about what can you figure out on your own that you've never seen before. Why not just do new things at home?  You're thinking, 'Dude, every time my kid sees something he doesn't know he has a temper tantrum', and I'm thinking, 'Dude, who's fault is that?' which is why #3 is on this list.

#4  Stop looking at the freakin' solutions.  You stink as an academic coach.   See if you can go two weeks without grading the child's work.  If your child writes down "4 + 2 = 7" I can guarantee that your child will figure out that the answer is "6" on her own with no help and no solutions whenever she's ready.  No wonder she hates math.  It's just a constant stream of Wrong, Incorrect, Try Again even though she's been learning this whole time.*

#5  Start now.

*There's a lot more steps to this point when you're ready but they're boring. There's also a lot more behind #2 and #3.  The only thing I want to add to #1 is that I clean the toilet and when a child walks in to the bathroom with his math book to ask a question and my face is in a poopy toilet, the question better not be 'Why do I have to do this hard math that I've never seen before?'


  1. What's your reading plan for the summer? Getting library books weekly, how many books, book selection ideas...etc. Any special plan for the summer? Also what do you do when you're on the road, go to a trip, use Kindle or....etc.?

    1. It's essentially the same at all ages, but of course the content varies. I get a stack of books that would have been appropriate for the prior year or two. I call these comic books. I'll pick up any picture book I see at an adult level or higher. If I'm lucky, I'll find something I want to read to them. Then I get 3 books that I think they should read that are somewhat harder in the hopes that they'll read one of them, maybe with help, maybe alternating. I also get one or more 'dictionaries' that could be a science book (at any age), DK, or lately a star wars encyclopedia. Some times I have to go to Amazon. This takes multiple trips usually. Then I let the whole thing run out because eventually they are reading one of the harder books before I go back.
      We use the kindle, but we both have to approve the book or else it can waste a lot of money.
      In other words, I go for quantity. It's somewhat painful for me to wait day after day for them to get down to a book that's quality reading, but they eventually do.
      Warning - this approach if not properly managed results in late fees on good books. No one doesn't like reading in this house. Here I am 5 years after I started doing this, thank you Margaret Wise, and we usually find a gem in the hard books on the first day.

  2. Bingo! You hit the nail on the mom versus dad psychology. And the library book fees!
    Dunno where I'd be or my kids if I hadn't found this site....