Summer Math Camp 2016: Math Enrichment Is for Everyone!

Greetings, my fellow parents, friends, and math enthusiasts! As we head in summer's direction, I am beyond thrilled to again offer Math Camp for the sumer of 2016! This year's theme is "Enrichment Math Is for Everyone", and boy, do I mean it. Whether you'd like your child to sharpen essential math skills, or explore and experiment with math far beyond what any school curriculum can do, Math Camp is the solution (get it? solution??). We will do all this and more. We'll use the highest-quality curriculum to work out problems and puzzles that stretch our minds and stir up lively conversations, while doing lots of work on reinforcing fundamental skills. We'll collaborate on activities and games and boost confidence levels as students take on active roles as problem-solvers. And we'll have so much more fun than your math teacher ever allowed you to have, back in the day!

Since last year's outrageously fun sessions filled up quickly, I am now offering Summer I and Summer II sessions as follows. There will be no more than four students in each session. The grades listed below refer to the grade your child will be entering in the fall. To enroll your child(ren), simply contact me by phone: 224-392-8994, email: tracyloland@gmail.com, or on this site to inform me which session you're enrolling in, and to arrange for payment to reserve your child's spot. Payments can be made on my payment page, or we can meet in person if you prefer to pay by cash or check.

If you're interested in summer Math Camp but these times don't work for you, just contact me; I will offer additional sections on different days/times as needed. I will also continue to offer individual and group instruction all summer long.

Math Camp sessions are held in my home in southwest Evanston, near Main and Dodge.

Summer I, from June 6--July 1 (8 sessions), $200

Grades K--2: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00--11:30 am

Grades 3-5: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00--4:30 pm

Grades 6-8: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00--11:30 am

Summer II, from July 25--August 19 (8 sessions), $200

Grades K--2: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00--11:30 am

Grades 3-5: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00--4:30 pm

Grades 6-8: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00--11:30 am

Interested in learning more about my thoughts behind this year's Math Camp theme? Great! Just keep reading below...

The March issue of The Atlantic features a terrific article on what it calls the "Math Revolution." Across the U.S., more students than ever are becoming proficient in very high-level, problem-solving mathematics, and are vying to compete in prestigious competitions like the International Math Olympiad. As a math tutor, it's a thrill to watch this unfold, and to play my part by helping students navigate challenging material.

Here's the thing, though: this revolution is almost exclusively happening at the extracurricular level. These aspiring math Olympians have parents who can research and pay for accelerated after-school, weekend, and home-study math programs and tutors. And from my observations as both parent and educator, I see that these students are typically ones who are already identified (either in their schools, by their parents, or both) as talented or gifted in math.

I have two concerns here. First, and perhaps most apparent, is a social justice concern: when the most sophisticated, high-quality math curricula available today are accessible solely outside the walls of public school classrooms, socioeconomically disadvantaged students (and many middle-class students, for that matter) don't reap their benefits. This year, I am working to do my part to level the playing field at least a little here in Evanston; for every four students who enroll in Math Camp, I will offer one reduced-rate scholarship spot to students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches at school. Contact me for more information!

The second problem I see may be less apparent, but it's at the heart of my professional crusade: these "enrichment" programs and materials should not be reserved for just those students already identified as gifted and talented. I can personally attest, as a tutor of math students at all levels, that a high-quality curriculum such as that from The Art of Problem Solving (AoPS), is *tremendously* effective when used with students across the spectrum of ability levels. I routinely use the AoPS curriculum, particularly their wonderful primary-grade Beast Academy books, to help students who are trying to reach their grade level, and the responses I receive from both students and parents are overwhelmingly positive.

In fact, I've seen AoPS founder Richard Rusczyk say essentially the same thing in interviews; he believes the reach of the AoPS materials can extend beyond preaching to the choir of competitive-math kids. I contend that if more students across ability levels were taught from such a rich and engaging math curriculum, the number of gifted and talented young American math superstars would soar through the roof and on to infinity.