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Beast Academy - but the price??? $$$!!!

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#1 Jay3fer

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:21 PM

Is anyone else balking at the price of this curriculum? It looks great, and We're going into Grade 3 math in the fall, hopefully, but the book cost, with 2 x 4 books for the entire year, is going to be up over $200 ok, I was dumb... $108, plus shipping... :scared:
(and that is IF they get the third and fourth released in time; I have no information on this one way or another)

Any ideas on how folks are justifying/affording the cost?
(our current math curric, JUMP Math, requires 2 $11 worktexts - < $25 for the entire year... although I am planning to buy more Life of Fred at $16 a pop)

Edited by Jay3fer, 01 June 2012 - 03:58 PM.


#2 deerforest

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:30 PM

Beast Academy A and B Guide and Practice are $54. So, I assume C and D would be similar. That's only $108.

ETA: We have several of the LoF Elementary series, and I don't feel there is any comparison. The math and challenge in Beast Academy is superior. LoF was fun, but BA is fun and challenging. Just our experience and opinion!

#3 DaffodilDreams

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:33 PM

It is expensive - and we're just using it as a supplement. Dd8 loves it and begs to do more, but I don't know if I can keep up with the expense. Trying to decide if it's worth it . . .

#4 eloquacious

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:37 PM

Planning ahead for the future here... are Beast Academy materials consumable? We'll "only" be afterschooling and the school offers Singapore math, so everything we do will be extra, but the price might be justifiable if we can use it again for #2 and possibly #3.

#5 LittleIzumi

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:41 PM

Beast Academy A and B Guide and Practice are $54. So, I assume C and D would be similar. That's only $108.


:iagree::iagree: Not even close to $200 for the entire year 3. Plus, the guides are full-color on nice glossy paper. I don't know how they're making money on them at all, actually!

#6 deerforest

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:43 PM

Planning ahead for the future here... are Beast Academy materials consumable? We'll "only" be afterschooling and the school offers Singapore math, so everything we do will be extra, but the price might be justifiable if we can use it again for #2 and possibly #3.


The Practice book is consumable; the Guide is a comic book style full-color book. I only have one child, but I would probably get a Practice book per child.

#7 Jay3fer

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 03:56 PM

Beast Academy A and B Guide and Practice are $54. So, I assume C and D would be similar. That's only $108.

ETA: We have several of the LoF Elementary series, and I don't feel there is any comparison. The math and challenge in Beast Academy is superior. LoF was fun, but BA is fun and challenging. Just our experience and opinion!


Doh! Guess who needs a math program... you're absolutely right. :lol:
Still - $100. Not AS eye-poppingly scary, but still... way more.

#8 LittleIzumi

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:13 PM

Doh! Guess who needs a math program... you're absolutely right. :lol:
Still - $100. Not AS eye-poppingly scary, but still... way more.


More than Jump Math, but as much or less than most curricula for that grade level.

#9 Spy Car

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:28 PM

Give the quality of the printed materials themselves (good paper, full color glossy art in the Guides) combined with the "niche" market of the books, not to mention how awesome they are!, I'm very pleasantly surpassed how economical these books are.

Worth every penny.

Bill

#10 ebrindam

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:32 PM

We have them and with the quality of the paper, artwork and coolness factor...I feel like they are giving them away.

#11 Farrar

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:53 PM

That's less than Singapore, especially if you include all the bits.

Yes, more than Jump or MM or MEP, but not more than much anything else, I think.

#12 DianeW88

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:02 PM

:001_huh: I consider them to be very inexpensive as far as curriculum goes. Even if it was $200 per year...I wouldn't blink an eye to pay that for a math curriculum.

#13 Alte Veste Academy

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:08 PM

There is price and then there is value. BA is a good value and that is what matters to me.

#14 elegantlion

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:34 PM

I think there is value in investing into the correct math program. We used Singapore in elementary and we started on LOF in middle school. When LOF wasn't working as well for ds I considered returning to the upper levels of Singapore. I didn't because of budget, which is about 100/yr for the basics. Guess what I ordered last week, yup, Singapore Discovering Mathematics. We've floundered with math this year trying to use about 3 different programs. When I went back to look at Singapore I realized it had worked, ds thinks the way Singapore teaches, it wasn't broke and I tried to fix it.

I received the materials today and almost cried because it's really what we should have been using all year. I've only skimmed the materials, but I'm kicking myself.

So probably more than anything else, investing in a working math program is essential. We would have tried Beast Academy if it was age appropriate.

#15 beaners

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:50 PM

:001_huh: I consider them to be very inexpensive as far as curriculum goes. Even if it was $200 per year...I wouldn't blink an eye to pay that for a math curriculum.


And I couldn't fathom paying that much for a single elementary-level subject. Is there really a math program out there that costs this much? Is it better than the reasonably priced options?

I've been following all the hype about Beast Academy, and I've been considering it because we are rapidly approaching that level. I personally can't justify adding in another math program when what we are using is sufficiently challenging (and already purchased/downloaded.) If what we have wasn't working or I didn't already have books on the shelf, I might be swayed into buying it. Assuming my children cooperate ;), we'll probably go with AoPS after elementary math.

#16 Gingerbread Mama

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 06:39 PM

I thought the price was pretty reasonable for what you are getting. I will say it is the ONLY thing that has brought DD's math confidence back (and helped her nail down multiplication skills.) I'm glad that I bought it. I will likely use it for YDS, even if only to let him read the comics when he gets to the level where we will do that kind of math. I will for sure be buying C when it comes out, DD begged to do "just one more page" yesterday...we NEVER have that happen. The worksheets are more like games, which is very attractive to her.

#17 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 07:10 PM

TT is over $100 per year. And BA 3 vs. TT3? No comparison.

I'm just sayin'. ;)

#18 stripe

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 07:29 PM

I think it's in the same range as Singapore's books (text + workbook, and that's not counting HIG or extra practice etc). It doesn't strike me as expensive. Cheap, no, but expensive, not really.

There are items at every price range in most markets. There're plenty of cheaper options for math. I have posted repeatedly my suggestions for items that could be used in lieu of or in addition to BA material. Some may be owned by your public library.

If you are happy with Jump math, keep using it.

I think BA is okay, but I am not planning to buy C or D.

And BTW there have been people who've sold theirs. I saw one set of all A/B books that just sold on these boards a few days ago for around $35.

#19 Emerald Stoker

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

nm

#20 crazyforlatin

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:32 PM

Having both BA books, there are other ways to get similar challenging problems without spending $100 or $200. That said, I'm still going to purchase the two, but I'm also in CA, not in Canada.

Maybe Stripe remembers, but wasn't there a thread on finding similar games and problems somewhere else besides BA. It may even be in the original BA thread, and there are some suggestions there, near the end.

#21 kand

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:37 PM

I thought the price was pretty reasonable for what you are getting. I will say it is the ONLY thing that has brought DD's math confidence back (and helped her nail down multiplication skills.)

This caught my eye, as I'm leaning toward getting Beast Academy for my dd who is finishing 3rd grade to use for her Summer math. She is struggling with multiplication both conceptually and learning the facts. Would going straight into BA 3B likely work for a child at the end of 3rd grade (she's almost done with MM3B)? This is a 2e kiddo who is highly gifted, but is dyslexic and dysgraphic among other things and math is really difficult for her right now despite her supposedly strong math reasoning skills. I'm feeling a bit stumped about how to move her forward now that multiplication and division are confounding her.

#22 Alte Veste Academy

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:43 PM

Having both BA books, there are other ways to get similar challenging problems without spending $100 or $200. That said, I'm still going to purchase the two, but I'm also in CA, not in Canada.

Maybe Stripe remembers, but wasn't there a thread on finding similar games and problems somewhere else besides BA. It may even be in the original BA thread, and there are some suggestions there, near the end.


I vaguely remember this and I would love someone to link it here.

However, I will say that for us, there is an enormous difference between having a curriculum that is loved hook, line, and sinker and using 100 wonderful supplements concurrently with a so-so curriculum that Mom keeps having you plug away at because she needs the safety net of a step-by-step program. I love supplements. I have more supplements than we have time for. I have so many supplements precisely because DS9 needed more challenge than any other curriculum could provide. Luckily, finances aside, BA came along and made math rewarding and enjoyable, and not just as the fun supplement that serves as the carrot for after they trudge through their (regularly scheduled and reasonably priced :D) math program.

But, yes, you have a good point! :lol: Not every kid needs BA. Some kids will be perfectly well-served by a good curriculum and a few well-chosen challenging supplements.

#23 boscopup

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:55 PM

that's not an option (yet--Rainbow, are you listening?) for Beast Academy.


Has anyone asked Rainbow Resource if they would be carrying BA? They carry most of the other AoPS books.

#24 Snickerdoodle

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:58 PM

Horrible Ray carries BA.

#25 Emerald Stoker

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:00 PM

nm

#26 Emerald Stoker

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:01 PM

nm

#27 boscopup

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:18 PM

I did ask them, but never got a reply to my email.


Strange. They replied when I asked about another curriculum. :glare:

#28 abrightmom

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:54 PM

I vaguely remember this and I would love someone to link it here. s.


This monster thread has what you are looking for

Start on page 51. If you work back a few pages there are some great recommendations here and there, usually linked by stripe. :001_smile:

#29 Gingerbread Mama

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:02 PM

This caught my eye, as I'm leaning toward getting Beast Academy for my dd who is finishing 3rd grade to use for her Summer math. She is struggling with multiplication both conceptually and learning the facts. Would going straight into BA 3B likely work for a child at the end of 3rd grade (she's almost done with MM3B)? This is a 2e kiddo who is highly gifted, but is dyslexic and dysgraphic among other things and math is really difficult for her right now despite her supposedly strong math reasoning skills. I'm feeling a bit stumped about how to move her forward now that multiplication and division are confounding her.


Well...bearing in mind that I am totally unqualified to discuss 2E kids... I think 3b would be fine if that was the wall she hit (multiplication.) My daughter had started multiplication the second half of third grade, then drilled the entire half of fourth. You would've thought she had them cold when we began Hsing for the second half of fourth. But, no. Nothing was getting them to stick, either. BA has seemed to get them into her head and they are now automatic. So, for us BA was a lifesaver. For the cost I think it's worth a try. They would certainly resell if you ended up NOT liking them.

#30 kand

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:23 PM

Well...bearing in mind that I am totally unqualified to discuss 2E kids... I think 3b would be fine if that was the wall she hit (multiplication.) My daughter had started multiplication the second half of third grade, then drilled the entire half of fourth. You would've thought she had them cold when we began Hsing for the second half of fourth. But, no. Nothing was getting them to stick, either. BA has seemed to get them into her head and they are now automatic. So, for us BA was a lifesaver. For the cost I think it's worth a try. They would certainly resell if you ended up NOT liking them.


Thanks, Gingerbread Mama! That sounds encouraging.

#31 Spy Car

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:37 PM

If your daughter hit a wall with multiplication, I would advise 3A because it works on pre-multiplication skills such a very interesting section on skip-counting (and the whole thing is not to be missed).

I'd start with 3A.

Bill

#32 crazyforlatin

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:55 PM

I vaguely remember this and I would love someone to link it here.

However, I will say that for us, there is an enormous difference between having a curriculum that is loved hook, line, and sinker and using 100 wonderful supplements concurrently with a so-so curriculum that Mom keeps having you plug away at because she needs the safety net of a step-by-step program. I love supplements. I have more supplements than we have time for. I have so many supplements precisely because DS9 needed more challenge than any other curriculum could provide. Luckily, finances aside, BA came along and made math rewarding and enjoyable, and not just as the fun supplement that serves as the carrot for after they trudge through their (regularly scheduled and reasonably priced :D) math program.

But, yes, you have a good point! :lol: Not every kid needs BA. Some kids will be perfectly well-served by a good curriculum and a few well-chosen challenging supplements.


I'm right there with you. I'm a sucker for any math book recommended here and it came at the right time. In fact, I'm supplementing BA after I figured that there was more we could have been doing. So I started out supplementing MM/Singapore with BA and now I've added another layer of supplements because there are more topics to further explore. Crazy, right?

#33 Spy Car

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:58 PM

I'm right there with you. I'm a sucker for any math book recommended here and it came at the right time. In fact, I'm supplementing BA after I figured that there was more we could have been doing. So I started out supplementing MM/Singapore with BA and now I've added another layer of supplements because there are more topics to further explore. Crazy, right?


Doesn't sound crazy to me :D

I've been supplementing BA with AoPS Prealgebra for the same reason. BA upped our game.

Bill

#34 Greenmama2

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:13 AM

I am balking. I know it would be perfect for DD but for us the shipping is equal to the price of the books. That's a lot of shipping! Of course because it's so new I can't buy it used here. I can get SM used for just a few dollars with almost nothing for shipping...

#35 BugsMama

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:04 AM

is it possible to JUST use the guide (if you were using a different math program and using BA as a supplement?) Or do you need the workbook too?

#36 stripe

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:29 AM

is it possible to JUST use the guide (if you were using a different math program and using BA as a supplement?) Or do you need the workbook too?

No, you need the workbook if you want the "beef" (or maybe I should say, if you want "the beast", or maybe I should say "the beast of the beast"). That's where almost all the problems are, and all the hard problems.

I have suggested Marilyn Burns (Math for Smarty Pants and The I Hate Mathematics! book), Theoni Pappas (Penrose books), and I've recommended taking a peek at the other resources on CIMT's website, and my newest find, Exploring With Squares and Cubes (OOP with a used price that's stable everywhere but Amazon.com -- don't buy there if it shoots back up to $500!). There are also some nice problems in various of Martin Gardner's books, and I've just found The Moscow Puzzles by Kardemsky (also pub by Dover). I bought some of the Brain Math books from Singapore, and they are mostly recycled, Asian-ified Martin Gardner problems (as in, Gardner's volumes are listed in the bibliography, so it's no secret), but these are apparently out of stock now at SingaporeMath.

You're right, Alte Veste Academy, that it's not the same as a curriculum to have supplements. But I think the first chapter of 3A in BA are the most interesting and "different," but I have managed to find other resources that get at these types of problems. The more I look at all of the Brown Paper School books, the more I love them. So for those who were planning to use BA as a supplement, and esp for those living outside the US, I think it may not be the best choice.

However, keep in mind that I have been a bit disappointed by BA. One of the reasons is that the scaffolding of skills is not, in my opinion, done nearly as well as in MEP, which is what I was using with my son as the main math program. I feel it is set up in a very clever way. My understanding of Jump math is that the progression of skill-building is very tight and carefully thought out. If that is what Jay3fer wants, I think she should be very cautious before spending big bucks on BA. I would suggest you rethink why you want to switch and how well Jump is working for you, and if you want to mix things up with some wacky problems, add in stuff from CIMT (either MEP directly or elsewhere on their site), nrich.org's math problems of the month -- both are free, or buy one or more of the supplementary books. I see Math for Smarty Pants and other Brown Paper School Books all the time at my library's book sale.

Those who do want BA should keep their eyes peeled, though. It has gone up for sale used.



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