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I had my 9yom 4th grade daughter take the online placement test for BA 4A and realized that while she can do the computations, she doesn't do them the BA way. So she solves 27x6 by just multiplying as is, not (20+7)x6 and then distributing/adding. And even the 199x80 problem she multiplied out rather than doing it as 200x80 and subtracting out the extra 80. The examples continue -- for the perimeter of a odd shape she just added every side instead of seeing how it could be a full rectangle, etc.

She's been asking to try BA, but I'm thinking maybe we need to start back earlier. Thoughts from experienced BA users? She knows long division, etc., but obviously there's more to BA than computations. Thanks!

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She's been doing MM? I'd say start at the beginning with BA.  She will learn tons of new stuff she didn't get in MM.  The Geometry chapters are brilliant, much better than MM's geometry.  And the variables chapter in 3C? None of that is covered in MM 3 or 4.

My dd did all of MM3 plus BA 3A & 3B in 3rd grade.  This year she's doing most of MM4, and the rest of BA3.  The BA stuff is easily as challenging as the MM material, for her running a half a year or so behind seems to be the right pace.  I don't think your dd will be bored, as you say, there is a lot more to BA than computations!  I find the two programs to be really complementary for a bright student who isn't a math whiz.  MM provides the extra, sequenial steps and the extra practice for when she needs it, but BA is great for challenging and stretching.  I let my dd choose which she wants to work on each day and I find we move through them both in parallel pretty smoothly.

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I would recommend starting with 3A.  We started Beast Academy 3B as a supplement to Singapore 4A/4B for my 9yr old in 4th grade.  We ended up continuing through 3D and are starting 3A now before moving on to 4A.  The ways the little monsters teach you to think about problem solving is wonderful.  For us, level 3 was not out of line at all with Singapore 4.  We found most of it to be appropriately challenging.  The estimation section really helped with teaching how to quickly assess a problem and rule out answers that are not even close without having to work the problem which is really beneficial on timed standardized tests.  The example you gave above on how Beast teaches multiplying is covered in level 3. I don't have level 4 yet to compare, but I wouldn't hesitate recommending level 3 for 4th grade.

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Thank you both; that is very reassuring! (And I can see that I really need to update my signature as it is quite out of date, but yes, most of that 4th graders math has been Math Mammoth and she has also done into the LOF Intermediate books.

@Chrysalis Academy  -- are you planning to have your dd stick with that MM/BA combo through MM6 and BA5 if those get done in time? Does she do all the MM pages/problems, or do you just assign her select ones?

(Now I just to figure out what to do with my 11yo approaching pre-algebra...not sure if I want to put all our eggs into the LOF basket, but not thrilled with anything else I've seen for her either. I guess that's another thread, but if anyone wants to comment, I wouldn't mind! haha)

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My math whiz kid hit the first math he couldn't fly though when we did Beast.  It's HARD.  I would equate Beast 3 with Singapore 4, and other math at a 5th grade level.  And there is a lot to be gained from the 3rd grade books even if they are a good bit past that.  The *thinking* is wonderful!  I would probably start with Beast 3 for any kid 4th to 6th or 7th grade.  Except my 4th grade girls, because they aren't ready yet.   :)

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Thank you both; that is very reassuring! (And I can see that I really need to update my signature as it is quite out of date, but yes, most of that 4th graders math has been Math Mammoth and she has also done into the LOF Intermediate books.

@Chrysalis Academy  -- are you planning to have your dd stick with that MM/BA combo through MM6 and BA5 if those get done in time? Does she do all the MM pages/problems, or do you just assign her select ones?

(Now I just to figure out what to do with my 11yo approaching pre-algebra...not sure if I want to put all our eggs into the LOF basket, but not thrilled with anything else I've seen for her either. I guess that's another thread, but if anyone wants to comment, I wouldn't mind! haha)

Yes, we will probably continue to use both MM and BA through 6th grade at least.  She did pretty much all the MM problems through third grade, but starting in 4th, no, not all.  (My older dd did MM 4-6, so that's the experience I'm drawing on here).  There are a few whole sections of MM we will not do, focusing on the BA material instead, like geometry and measurement.  And on the very computational MM lessons, I usually assign half the problems to start with, and only do the other half if she needs them.

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Yes, start with 3A.  If she flies through year three, then she flies.  I started my younger boy in BA 3a at the end of what would be his third year.  He was finishing up SM 3.  When I decided to make the switch.

That means that we have just started his 5th year, but we are about to start BA 4b.  Yes, we are 'behind' but I am not worrying about it.  He is engaged and happy with his math. I also think he is learning so much more!

BA is going to stop at year 5, with the idea that then a student is now ready to go into pre-A in year 6 and Algebra in 7th. I am perfectly fine with ds2 doing pre-A in 7th and Algebra in 8th. This is not a kid who is going to be doing high school geometry in 8th and Algebra 2 in 9th.  If he were, that would be fine as well, but he's not.  And I know he's not because he didn't zoom through BA 3 like some kids do. So, I am perfectly happy working through BA at the speed at which we are going, knowing that he will most likely hit AoPS pre-A in 7th.

FWIW, in my state we have to test our kids in 4th grade.  I was a bit worried because he was technically doing third grade math in fourth grade. We started BA 4A at the end of his fourth grade year when he was taking the test.  I gave him the CAT test.  He scored in the 99% for his grade, so clearly what he is learning is fine for what his peer group would be expected to know.

3A.

Bill

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We're in the same boat.  My 8yo 4th grade daughter finished MM3 last spring and went from there to Beast 3A, and is now in Beast 3B.  I think she'll get to some of Beast 4 this year.  She didn't know how to do problems like 27*6 at the beginning of the year, so Beast 3 was definitely appropriate.  She likes the comic book style, and usually the first page or two of problems at the beginning of a new topic is easy for her.  She's enjoying math more than in previous years and seems to be learning a lot.  I'm absolutely fine with her going through Beast 5 in 6th grade and starting pre-A her 7th grade year, when she'll be 11, turning 12.

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I am thinking of getting the Beast Academy books as a fun supplement for my dd 6th grade and dd 4th grade.  Do you really need the workbook or is the instruction book enough?  I am not looking for my girls to learn arithmetic but to see examples of problem solving.  It would be a snuggle on the couch and read together sort of thing.  Is that possible with these?  Thanks

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I am thinking of getting the Beast Academy books as a fun supplement for my dd 6th grade and dd 4th grade.  Do you really need the workbook or is the instruction book enough?  I am not looking for my girls to learn arithmetic but to see examples of problem solving.  It would be a snuggle on the couch and read together sort of thing.  Is that possible with these?  Thanks

The instruction books are fun, but a lot of the problem solving "meat" is in the workbooks (including stuff that's not in the instruction books).  The workbooks are also full of great puzzles.  I wouldn't skip them.

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Agreed, if I were to skip a book it would be the Instruction book.  Although dd would rebel if I did so! But the truth is, my dd doesn't always understand the lesson as presented in the comic book, she usually needs to work through problems in the workbook to really get what the little monsters are trying to convey.  The workbook is the critical component, IMO.

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Thanks for the information.  It looks like I will be buying the whole set.  In time my boys can get more out of them too.  I'll think of them as long term investments. :-)

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I agree that's it's worthwhile to start with 3A for the problem solving and logic it teaches.

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The workbooks are where the learning happens.  The guidebooks are an introduction to the topic and are certainly beloved, at least by my kid, but heart of the program is in the workbooks.

And you don't read in the 'comic book' every day. That was a big disappointment to my kid, lol. You read in the guide book (the comic) and then you might spend 2, 3, or 5 or more days working through the workbook. It varies from unit to unit. The guide is a launching pad and gets the student ready for the unit. The first couple pages of the unit are pretty simple. They look a lot like what happened in the guidebook. Then, in the workbook, you take the next step, or a variable is thrown in, or you are asked to combine the new skill with an older one and see what happens. If you don't have the workbook to work through you won't see any of that stuff.

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My 8yo is just finishing up 3rd grade (end of this calendar year). We are about to start at 3A so technically she will be nearly a year "behind". She easily placed into 4A (maybe higher, I did not test her) but I decided to start from the start at 3A anyway for a couple of reasons; firstly beast does do some things in a slightly different manner so i thought it would be beneficial to start from the start, and secondly I want all of level 5 to be out when we get there and not have to wait for the next book. I have looked through 3A in great detail (it arrived 2 days ago, huge excitement!!!) and I am expecting her to fly through that one, sigh, but hopefully the rest of level 3 will take a little longer...

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Great feedback, and appreciated the other question about using it as a supplement with an older child as well.  Based on what everyone is saying, I'm going to go ahead and order 3A and 3B for now and see how it goes. You guys are great!

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I agree with everyone to start at 3A and get the workbook.  The first chapter on geometry is certainly not easy, even for an adult!

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We are just finished 3A, and we chose to start after completing SM3. We plan to use it in tandem with SM4. I find a lot of benefit in doing both. SM helps him get a broad grasp. Then when we loop back around with Beast, he is completely focused on all the great problem solving and deep learning and not mastering the basic underlying skills. Boy, though, that first chapter on geometry in 3A is tough...It is not for the faint of heart. It really took a fair bit of work to get through. I learned quite a few things I didn't know about geometry as well and was stumped by a few of those challenge questions. It forced me to wrestle with the problems. Sometimes, we would spend 30 to 45 minutes working just two problems.

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I do also use SM CWP, not because I don't think BA is a complete program, but because I think every student benefits from looking at math problems presented in a different way. We do a couple questions a few times a week. We also do a 'warm up' before starting BA that involves a mental math exercise and a plain old daily math review. Some days we do a math sprint instead.

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