amyrobynne Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 I found Beast Academy through some crazy rabbit-trailing just now and my mind was blown because the creators ran a high school math camp I attended in the mid-90's. I received the original Art of Problem Solving books long before the whole curriculum existed. I've been a math nerd for a very long time, participated in state-level math competitions, etc. This is our first year homeschooling -- my older kids are 8 and 6 and will be doing Saxon 5/4 and Saxon 2 this year. I pretty much chose Saxon because their private school used it and it seemed like a solid curriculum. But now that I have all the books, I'm not super-excited about Math 2 in particular. I'll stick with it this year because I bought all the stuff and I can't flip-flop decisions indefinitely, but part of me was hoping something awesome would turn up for next year. My 1st grader understands big picture math really easily. If it wasn't for those pesky math facts to memorize, he could zoom through things crazy-fast. My third grader also tends towards the science/math side. My husband is a physics teacher so we're pretty math-oriented over here. Anyway, can you wonderful folks help fill me in on what Beast Academy is all about? Is it geared towards future math team nerds? I'd love to find great ways to challenge my kids in math. I glanced through a couple threads and some people said they plan to use it as a supplement. Does it not have enough to stand on its own? Does it start after the math facts are thoroughly memorized? How does it compare to Saxon or maybe Miquon (the only things I've looked at much -- I got a couple Miquon books for fun math this summer). How do the levels match up to Saxon? I'd appreciate any insight! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Shelsi Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 I can't give many answers - my son is 8 yrs old and we use Math U See which over all we're really happy with. My ds excels at math & really enjoys it so when I stumbled across Beast Academy I decided to buy it as a supplement as something to do for fun or whenever we just needed a break from our regular stuff. We just got BA today in the mail. I tried to get ds to look at it but he wasn't interested. So I put it on the book shelf. Later this evening I found him laying on the floor next to the book shelf reading the Beast Academy guide. He sat there and read the entire thing in one sitting! So while we haven't used it yet, I'm really impressed with it so far. I really liked what I saw as I looked through the workbook. Personally I would hesitate to use it as a full curriculum mostly because it's not fully released yet. Also, I'm a math nerd too so it's not really an issue, but there's not any help for the parent in teaching the material - that could be a huge issue for many. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

crazyforlatin Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 (edited) Personally I would hesitate to use it as a full curriculum mostly because it's not fully released yet. Also, I'm a math nerd too so it's not really an issue, but there's not any help for the parent in teaching the material - that could be a huge issue for many. We finished 3A and 3B, as have many others in anticipation of 3C. I actually found that the textbook and workbook did provide enough for a teacher. I'm glad there is no HIG. There are hints at the back of the workbook just in case the parent/student is stuck with the more difficult questions. Granted it's only level 3, but many of the problems can be found in 4th and 5th grade math. Whether it can be considered a full curriculum is hard for me to say since I haven't seen 3C and 3D. However, just based on 3A and 3B, if a child can complete the challenging problems without looking at the hints, then I would say it could be used as the main program for that type of child. But for that type of child, a parent will be adding in supplements because it won't take 3 months to complete one workbook and there are topics in BA that invite further, deeper exploration. ETA: About math facts, BA teaches skip counting for multiplication, so no, it's not assumed the child knows multiplication facts. It's a lot easier to work with grade 3 math if a child knows addition/subtraction facts, but I would not hold off using BA just because the math facts haven't been mastered. BA goes beyond the mundane and shows the child that arithmetic can be a lot of fun. BA, or something like BA, should be used with all kids, not just math nerds. Edited July 27, 2012 by crazyforlatin Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Down_the_Rabbit_Hole Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 We just got ours this past week and when my math allergic dd saw the books she said: "Sure this is a math book?" "When do we start it?" "Any chance we can start school a week early?" (We start in 2 weeks) We are not using it as a main curriculum but as an add on to our main math. I sent an email to AOPS asking if it was intended as a main math curriculum or supplement and this is the response back: ...The four levels for grade 3 (3A through 3D) will represent a full 3rd grade curriculum when complete. Level 3C is being printed now (available in 2-3 weeks). 3D will be available around the end of the calendar year. The three chapters of 3A are not primarily arithmetic related, though the skip-counting chapter provides some of the prerequisites for multiplication. Book 3B is much more arithmetic heavy. 3B provides a strong foundation in multiplication with chapters on multiplication, perfect squares, and the distributive property. We include very little addition or subtraction in our books for grade 3 and beyond. We assume a child beginning 3A has a mastery of multi-digit addition and subtraction. Here is a scope and sequence for grade 3 which relates the material in the book to the Common Core State Standards: http://ba-cdn.beastacademy.com/store/products/3G/Grade3ScopeSequence.pdf That said, the books take a lot of time to produce and it is possible that we will not be able to release new books quickly enough for your daughter to continue using them as a primary curriculum. We anticipate the books for 4th grade being released in 2013-2014, and 5th grade books released in 2014-2015 (potentially late 2015). Eventually, there will be an online component of Beast Academy, but this too will probably be a little late for your daughter... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Mom0012 Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 (edited) For us, it's a fun supplement that is hopefully deepening my dd's understanding of concepts she's already learned. My dd is very good at math, but I believe she needs some practice with standard algorithms as well as some review. I have yet to see any of that in BA. So, while BA takes things very deeply, it would be really lacking for us as a primary program. If you've got a math whiz on your hands, then maybe it would work that way for you. Lisa Edited July 27, 2012 by LisaTheresa Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Mom0012 Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 The three chapters of 3A are not primarily arithmetic related, though the skip-counting chapter provides some of the prerequisites for multiplication. Book 3B is much more arithmetic heavy. 3B provides a strong foundation in multiplication with chapters on multiplication, perfect squares, and the distributive property. [/i] I should clarify that we have only done 3A so far, and I haven't really looked at 3B. We'll finish 3B over the next month and then wait until 3D comes out, so I can order C and D at the same time. If 3B is more arithmetic heavy, then perhaps it would work for more people as a primary curriculum. I still couldn't see it working for us as anything as a supplement. Another problem for us is that my dd finished 4th grade this year, so if the books aren't produced quickly enough, they will be too easy for her by the time they come out. Some of 3A was challenging and fun (particularly the geometry section). Some of it has been too easy because of her age and what she has already coverd. Lisa Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

amyrobynne Posted July 27, 2012 Author Share Posted July 27, 2012 Thanks everyone. I read more threads (and was finally able to open the pre-tests and samples) since my initial post. From what I can tell, my rising third grader would be ready for it now and my first grader doesn't have a solid enough grasp of add/sub math facts or multi-digit add/sub to start now. But I'm not really thinking about switching over completely now anyway. If they aren't really going to be able to produce 4th grade in time for next summer and 5th grade the summer after that, then it would be a problem down the road. I suspect my 1st grader would be ready for 3A a year from now and that might buy enough time to use 3rd grade next year, 4th the following, and so on. Maybe I'll buy the guidebooks now because they would love the graphical novel format and could read it for fun as an extra. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

fourisenough Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 My 7 year old has devoured 3A and keeps begging me to order the next book. I will wait until 3C is ready and then order both 3B and 3C. I agree with other comments that BA works best as a deep, fun supplement to another curriculum. We're using Math Mammoth as our math 'spine'. My older girls used Saxon and it was just too slow; they didn't need the incremental spiral and, thus, it caused a lot of frustration. My oldest developed some bad 'plug 'n chug' habits from Saxon that I'm still trying to remediate! If your kids are mathy, you might find something like Math Mammoth or Singapore to be a better fit. And definitely buy BA - fantastic program IMHO! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

FairProspects Posted July 27, 2012 Share Posted July 27, 2012 I've said this on other threads too, but these books are written for fast processors. If you have an average or slow processor, they will take plenty of time to complete. We are using BA as our main curriculum and it is working just fine. We should be able to finish all of grade 3 in 12 calendar months. That may still be too fast to keep up with the series long term, but other than fact practice, I'm not seeing why this series can't be used as a primary curriculum. ETA: Ok, now I get it. In math, I'm not looking for something that is arithmetic heavy. I'm looking for something that brings higher math, down to an accessible level for younger children. It will be interesting to see if ds likes 3B then. He has loved 3A (except for the skip counting chapter, which was brutal). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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