# Anyone using Beast Academy 3A and onward?

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Hello all!
Is anyone using Beast Academy 3A and up for anyone around the age of 9 or younger?  We are working through this, and while it is really fun, it is quite a problem solving challenge.  I mean, I think it's great, but this seems pretty complex to me, and actually pretty hard.  We are doing it and making it fun, but my 9 year old says he doesn't really remember what we are doing after the fact.  I feel like 3A is really heavy with definitions, and that just does not seem like fun, problem solving math for a 9 yr old to me.  I mean, I really do think it's great, and I want to love it, it's just that this honestly seems like it's geared towards a much older student, even in the gifted realm.  And, I think 3A at least gets really bogged down in these definitions, like geometric definitions of the different kinds of triangles, etc.

What are others finding?  Thanks for sharing!  (It's okay if your experience is completely different, as I'd love to hear that too!)

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Listening in.  I have this tentatively scheduled next year for a 3rd grader (who'll only be 8).  Now I'm a bit concerned...  :001_unsure:

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I am using it to supplement MM. We really haven't made much use of since we are so busy with other things but I do like it and so does my DD who is 8. It's definitely a step up in terms of definitions. They do talk about how to define right, obtuse and acute angles. How to define right, obtuse and acute triangle, and then they get into scalene, isosceles etc. My DD likes it and hasn't complained, but she likes geometry anyway. She thinks it's cool that she can learn the "older" stuff. But this is only one section. Another section is simple skip counting, finding area with grid blocks etc. They def. use more logic puzzle type things but I really like that because it gets her to look at things in a different way. Again, we are using it for a fun supplement so I don't know about using it for a sole curriculum. I personally don't find it beyond the abilities of most 8-9 year olds, but what do I know :)

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I started out using 3A at the beginning of the year with my 9yo 4th grader who was already doing fractions and decimals. She loved reading the book but wasn't thrilled with the practice. We stopped the practice and I let her read the book at her leisure. We restarted it this year (jan) and she loves it now and it has become our primary math. She had read all the 3's and 4A and B on her own. Not sure why the difference, perhaps maturity?

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My 7.5yo is working through 3B. It's slowed her down and made her think about math and patterns and numbers instead of following an algorithm. It has been frustrating for her because she's not an out-of-the-box thinker, but it's been a growing experience for her for sure. And it's been eye-opening for me. The polyominoes were tough! But, s he tackled them without reservation!

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We started when it first came out in 3/12. DD was 7.5, and we were coming off a long stretch of living math only. That first chapter of 3A was tough but we have persevered over the years. I have intentionally meandered, mixing in loads of living math en route. We are inevitably finishing 4A by the end of the month, and we are really sad because 4B is at least another month or two away. I have a bunch of stuff we are going to do in the interim but not a single bit of it involves switching to another math curriculum. This has been pure magic for her, and it has been really hard in places but just so perfect for her!

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I started it last September with my almost-7yo (and his 4yo sister tagging along). What I have found is that the fun format of the Guide makes re-reading it an enjoyable proposition. And each re-reading reinforces the material and also reveals new nuances that help to cement understanding. Therefore the way we tackle the material is that we read a section of the Guide...work a practice page or two...then put it down. Even if the kids are still having fun. Next time we pick it up, we re-read that section of the Guide and then go back to the practice; or we read a new section and do its practice; or some combination of the above. Basically balancing reading the Guide with doing the practice.

We probably went through the Shapes section 3-4 times this way during September-November, but then other stuff got in our way and we didn't really get back to Beast for a while. Today DS asked for it again and opted to work on the toothpick puzzles. We went to the guide and read through the 2 sections that seemed most relevant (ie. the puzzles ask about equilateral triangles so I did the angles section and the triangles workshop section.) As we stopped at all the stop sign exercises, both kids were shouting out answers ("obtuse!" "scalene!") and/or sketching out examples pretty readily. So the material seems to have stuck at some level. :)

So, maybe just give it some time to sink in, and be sure to play all the games in the Practice book too (the communishapes game is custom made for reinforcing the vocabulary lessons!)

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We stared at 7.5 and went slowly.  3A was a frustrating learning curve.  DD grew to love it, we're almost through 3D now (she's 8.5)

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My 7yo seems to find it understandable as well as enjoyable.  She is using it at her leisure, so there is no pressure.  I don't think it's too much for a 9yo.

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We started 3A at the end of 2nd grade with my newly 8 yo son. They did get specific about types of triangles, but I think it was done to 1) familiarize you with the language, 2) make you look critically at geometric shapes (there is more to a shape than its umber of sides), and 3) use that critical thinking to problem solve. I honestly don't think they expect your student to have instant recall of all those types of triangles. I think they want the student to know how to compare and use them. In fact, I think that is one of the fundamental differences of AoPS (parent publisher of BA) - they don't want you to just know facts and algorithms and they don't expect you to dwell on and drill them. They value and teach the skils of problem solving, and the ability to think and choose problem solving strategies. You don't become a better mechanic by studying sockets for your socket wrench. You become a better mechanic by working on things, deconstructing, reconstructing, tuning up, and you use your tools to do so (and invaribaly become become more fluid and deft with those tools in the process). My DS has learned his multiplication facts with absolutely zero drill. He made a multiplication chart and learned them by using them in context. I think for BA to be effective for you, you might have to look at it differently than other curricula.

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My older DS completed all of BA that has been published and we think 3A was the toughest one of all.

We are getting ready to start it again with his younger brother DS7. Both my kids began BA after completing SM through 3B with Intensive Practice books, so a lot of material is familiar. My older thought some sections were ridiculously easy compared to SM, while others much harder. It was a mixed bag, but very doable for second and third graders. It is the most loved program in our house.

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My 3rd grader is using Beast Academy as her main math until she reaches the pre algebra book (which my older ones are using).  3A is rough.  3B is much better!  The chapter on multiplication is awesome.  And Order of Operations...  Even though my daughter is very good in math, I made her wait until about halfway through 3rd grade to start the Beast Academy series.  Before that, she used Singapore.  I think BA is more difficult than Singapore (although the Singapore CWP books can be pretty rough).

Just like the pre algebra book, don't give up!  I have to tell my kids that it's ok not to be able to solve every problem in the book.  If you're getting all the problems right, then the math isn't hard enough.   :tongue_smilie:  I'm a big fan of AOPS and plan to have all four of the kids use that as their main math.  They also like Life of Fred, so they're all using AOPS and Life of Fred for their math.

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My 2nd grader, age 7.5, has just started with BA 3A.  I was going to wait till next year, but she begged to start because she "loves Geometry" so I decided to go for it while the passion is there! We're still finishing up MM2, and I do plan to finish it this year, it's still our main 2nd grade math.  We may shift to BA exclusively next year, or most likely we will use all of it and pick and choose some bits from MM as wanted/needed.

So she's not an accelerated math kid, and she is doing fine with BA, but in small doses.  I think for her doing it a little bit each day, or a couple times a week, with no pressure, is perfect.  It's a new way of thinking, hard problem solving and persisting, so I see it as training in how to approach math much more than as about learning the specific algorithms or definitions, at this point.

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My 2nd grader, age 7.5, has just started with BA 3A.  I was going to wait till next year, but she begged to start because she "loves Geometry" so I decided to go for it while the passion is there! We're still finishing up MM2, and I do plan to finish it this year, it's still our main 2nd grade math.  We may shift to BA exclusively next year, or most likely we will use all of it and pick and choose some bits from MM as wanted/needed.

So she's not an accelerated math kid, and she is doing fine with BA, but in small doses.  I think for her doing it a little bit each day, or a couple times a week, with no pressure, is perfect.  It's a new way of thinking, hard problem solving and persisting, so I see it as training in how to approach math much more than as about learning the specific algorithms or definitions, at this point.

This is great to hear.  My DD is not accelerated... and I intend to keep on with our regular math program, but just add in BA on the side (with the option to move to it exclusively, if we get to that point.)

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I plan for my two younger children to go from Singapore 2B to BA 3A. My oldest has gone through the BA 3 books concurrently with Singapore and I love the books.

The shapes chapter in 3A contains the hardest problems we've encountered. I'm not ashamed to say I just skipped them.

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