I love math contest problems not for the speed but because they are genuinely good problems and kids can learn a lot by solving them.
Tonight my older son was looking at problem 25 from the 2005 AMC 8:
He had not known how to do this problem when looking through the test yesterday morning. It was fun to hear his thoughts and eventual solution tonight. His thought process is what learning math is all about:
Next I had my younger son tackle a different AMC 8 problem. This one was problem #6 from the 2012 exam:
He makes a small mistake in his solution and has to go back and try to find it. I always love his slow and deliberate thought process.
I feel like it is really important for kids to see what it looks like when other kids solve math problems. Math isn’t all about speed.