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mathmarm

What's a good follow on from Miquon and Saxon 3?

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I'm on the fence about Beast Academy. I've sat with the 2A and 3rd grade books and was just kind of underwhelmed by it. I had just assumed I'd go with BA, but it might not be the best fit for us.

We use a blend of a mommy-made program, Miquon (1-6) and Saxon (2-3) and it's been spectacular. Jr has unbelievable number sense and can confidently manipulate numbers in a number of ways and is a whiz with arithmetic of whole, rational and decimal numbers. He understands base-10 masterfully, and we've explored base-2 and base-5.

He is weaker in word problems, but Saxon demonstrating word problems visually with models was really helpful to him in unpacking the language so I purchased Kumon Word Problems 1-4 and FAN Math Process Skills books 1-4, to continue that same visual method and it's helping a lot and he's moving fast (already in grade 2 book of both).

He'll start Kindergarten 1st in the fall, so which math-paths would you recommend we consider at this point for him?

Edited by mathmarm

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My oldest is math-oriented and understood many concepts at an early age without being taught.

I feel like for those kids, math in elementary school can feel like a holding pattern until other skills/maturity catch up with their conceptual understanding. How did we fill that gap? Life of Fred, math living books (quark has a lovely list linked in her signature, I believe). We did do the Beast Academy 3-5B books (the ones available at that time. Even when they contained information he already knew, he enjoyed them.) For all of those options, I scribed whenever he needed it. We used large square graph paper. We used the white board.

Someone once recommended having different math threads: arithmetic, problem solving, conceptual, word problems, etc. so they can work on different skills at the appropriate levels.

Eventually he started AOPS PreAlgebra and we worked through it slowly together.

MEP is another option to consider. Or Singapore Challenging Word problems, since that is an area of relative challenge?

 

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With Beast, it's hard to say how a kid will react to it until you actually try it out. That being said, I did not use Beast 2 as it did not exist when we were doing it. Beast 3A, Chapter 1 Geometry is not easy. IME, it's the toughest chapter in Beast 3. In fact on their website, they suggest that if it is too difficult or frustrating to skip it and loop back later. 

Saxon never appealed to me personally because it is far too spiral for us and moves too incrementally. Singapore Math worked very well for us especially the Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems books. Some families choose to only do the TB with the IP and/or CWP. I think that the best part of SM are the word problems. I actually used both SM and BA as I think there are weaknesses and strengths with both programs. DS wrapped up AOPS pre-A which he primarily self-taught himself with the book in about 7 months. 

Cleo Borac has a series of books called Competitive Math for Gifted Students which is pretty good. I sincerely hope that the revised edition does not have so many solution errors as the first edition. Zaccaro's Challenge Math series is another good resource. Glen Ellison's Hard Math for Elementary for upper elementary students is excellent as well. Borenson's Hands On Equations will be good fit for your son if he responds so well to visual approach to word problems. The HOE book of word problems is really good. We also did a lot of logic type books as well.

Maybe consider Math Kangaroo for a low key math competition? He could do it next year.

Edited by calbear

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59 minutes ago, Black-eyed Suzan said:

My oldest is math-oriented and understood many concepts at an early age without being taught.

I feel like for those kids, math in elementary school can feel like a holding pattern until other skills/maturity catch up with their conceptual understanding. How did we fill that gap? Life of Fred, math living books (quark has a lovely list linked in her signature, I believe). We did do the Beast Academy 3-5B books (the ones available at that time. Even when they contained information he already knew, he enjoyed them.) For all of those options, I scribed whenever he needed it. We used large square graph paper. We used the white board.

Someone once recommended having different math threads: arithmetic, problem solving, conceptual, word problems, etc. so they can work on different skills at the appropriate levels.

Eventually he started AOPS PreAlgebra and we worked through it slowly together.

MEP is another option to consider. Or Singapore Challenging Word problems, since that is an area of relative challenge?

 

Wondering where you’d start with Life of Fred for a 2nd grader right on grade level? Many thanks.

OP have a look at MEP. I’m not math but I feel like there’s so much going on in that program. 

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5 hours ago, Black-eyed Suzan said:

My oldest is math-oriented and understood many concepts at an early age without being taught.

I feel like for those kids, math in elementary school can feel like a holding pattern until other skills/maturity catch up with their conceptual understanding. How did we fill that gap? Life of Fred, math living books (quark has a lovely list linked in her signature, I believe). We did do the Beast Academy 3-5B books (the ones available at that time. Even when they contained information he already knew, he enjoyed them.) For all of those options, I scribed whenever he needed it. We used large square graph paper. We used the white board.

Someone once recommended having different math threads: arithmetic, problem solving, conceptual, word problems, etc. so they can work on different skills at the appropriate levels.

Eventually he started AOPS PreAlgebra and we worked through it slowly together.

MEP is another option to consider. Or Singapore Challenging Word problems, since that is an area of relative challenge?

Yes, I'm definitely beginning to feel like we're headed for a holding pattern and I don't like that thought. Jr. loves math and I don't want to turn him off or bore him with excessive amounts of repetition. I also don't want to leap fully into Algebra just yet either.
We are pretty good at giving him accommodations to help him with the writing and organizing of his math, but he loves to write and prefers to do as much of his own writing as possible. So far he really loves his word problem books because he gets to write and draw a lot. He's got pretty good handwriting for a kid his age so we often let him. 

I had not thought of MEP,  which level would you recommend? Does anyone sell it already pre-printed and bound?

5 hours ago, calbear said:

With Beast, it's hard to say how a kid will react to it until you actually try it out. That being said, I did not use Beast 2 as it did not exist when we were doing it. Beast 3A, Chapter 1 Geometry is not easy. IME, it's the toughest chapter in Beast 3. In fact on their website, they suggest that if it is too difficult or frustrating to skip it and loop back later. 

Saxon never appealed to me personally because it is far too spiral for us and moves too incrementally. Singapore Math worked very well for us especially the Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems books. Some families choose to only do the TB with the IP and/or CWP. I think that the best part of SM are the word problems. I actually used both SM and BA as I think there are weaknesses and strengths with both programs. DS wrapped up AOPS pre-A which he primarily self-taught himself with the book in about 7 months. 

Cleo Borac has a series of books called Competitive Math for Gifted Students which is pretty good. I sincerely hope that the revised edition does not have so many solution errors as the first edition. Zaccaro's Challenge Math series is another good resource. Glen Ellison's Hard Math for Elementary for upper elementary students is excellent as well. Borenson's Hands On Equations will be good fit for your son if he responds so well to visual approach to word problems. The HOE book of word problems is really good. We also did a lot of logic type books as well.

Maybe consider Math Kangaroo for a low key math competition? He could do it next year.

I kind of wish that they sold BA chapters as individual workbooks because the books are not evenly paced in my opinion and there are only a few units in the 3rd grade set that I feel are valuable to us at this time, but I'm not keen on spending $108 to get only a fraction of the program.

I had not thought of Primary Math, but I will take a look at Intensive Practice and maybe Challenging Word Problems. If we have FAN Math is CWP redundant, or does it extend?

Thanks for the suggestions, I will check out Cleo Borac and Zaccaro books.

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I haven’t found anyone that sells MEP printed and bound, but if you do let me know! I responded on CWP/FAN in another thread 

Edited by madteaparty
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8 hours ago, mathmarm said:

 

I kind of wish that they sold BA chapters as individual workbooks because the books are not evenly paced in my opinion and there are only a few units in the 3rd grade set that I feel are valuable to us at this time, but I'm not keen on spending $108 to get only a fraction of the program.

I had not thought of Primary Math, but I will take a look at Intensive Practice and maybe Challenging Word Problems. If we have FAN Math is CWP redundant, or does it extend?

Thanks for the suggestions, I will check out Cleo Borac and Zaccaro books.

 

BA online is good for this. It allows for easier spiraling and review, imo. 

Edited by MeaganS

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I haven't seen the Fan Math word problems, but I would imagine that it does not get as challenging as the CWP book does. I have the other Fan Math Express Math books and they seem to stay on grade level. The CWP book has no instruction in it just a couple of worked out examples for each section. It's just a book filled with word problems by topic. For each topic, there are two sets of problems. The first set is at grade level of the textbook. The second set gets pretty challenging. For IP, the problems start off at the same level as the SM textbook and then they get harder and harder as you go along in the topic. 

I didn't have a problem with teaching my son how to use bar modeling techniques to solve the problems in CWP. However, that is not true for everyone. So, I would say it would depend on how you think you would do (and how he would do with you teaching him) without the explicit teaching of strategies for approaching word problems. The CWP books are filled with lots of word problems as they are about 200 pages. The IP books are a mix of problems and word problems.

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17 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Wondering where you’d start with Life of Fred for a 2nd grader right on grade level? Many thanks.

OP have a look at MEP. I’m not math but I feel like there’s so much going on in that program. 

 

Life of Fred elementary placement is tricky. We just started up at the beginning and moved quickly through, but that’s a more expensive option. I recommend looking at/trying a book before you fully commit. Some kids like Fred and some don’t.

Here’s what the author says about placement. 

https://www.stanleyschmidt.com/FredGauss/21 Questions/1020 Where to Start.html

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4 hours ago, MeaganS said:

 

BA online is good for this. It allows for easier spiraling and review, imo. 

If you get the monthly subscription, can you print pages from the online BA books?

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We had a similar problem last year for kindergarten. We ended up with a hodge podge: BA3 (the geometry chapter was the easiest for my son), lots of living books, bits of Mep, Fan math and CWP,  Times Tales, a couple MM units. It's been much easier in first grade to do BA, not because of the difficulty but because he has the ability to focus on something that he's not necessarily interested in rather than needing that entertainment or discovery aspect. There was definitely big periods where he did little more than just review or read math.

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@Sarah0000 I've now purchased the complete set of books for CWP, FAN Math, Kumon Word Problems and Daily Word Problems. (Hubby thinks I've gone insane! He may be right!).

We're going keep the math routine we have and continue to  do some lite arithmetic each day, but I think we'll just park and play with the pre-algebra skills from Saxon and Miquon a little bit longer. I think I'm going to let his math be the "easy" and "fun" subject for a year or so.

On 3/29/2019 at 10:36 PM, Sarah0000 said:

We had a similar problem last year for kindergarten. We ended up with a hodge podge: BA3 (the geometry chapter was the easiest for my son), lots of living books, bits of Mep, Fan math and CWP,  Times Tales, a couple MM units. It's been much easier in first grade to do BA, not because of the difficulty but because he has the ability to focus on something that he's not necessarily interested in rather than needing that entertainment or discovery aspect. There was definitely big periods where he did little more than just review or read math.

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Does anyone have any experience using Primary Grade Challenge Math with their 1st grader Ker?

I like that it has flexibility in the level of challenge that you can do.

Do you think that using PGCM would make it harder (or easier) to transition to using Beast Academy for his 1st 2nd grade year?

Edited by mathmarm

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I just looked back at my notes of what we did when DS was a K'er during the latter half of that year. It worked well for him because he was reading about 3rd grade level if I recall correctly. We did not separate the problem sets. He is not the kind of kid who likes to go back through a book. So, I waited until I knew that he was ready to tackle Einstein level challenge problems. He was also using the Borac Competitive Math Practice books. BA2 wasn't around when my son was that age but since he was doing SM3 that year, it would not have been a problem. I had used BA a level behind SM all the way through. So, my notes say that he was doing BA3 in first grade.

Edited by calbear

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Thanks! This is great to hear! Which Borac books did you use?

20 hours ago, calbear said:

I just looked back at my notes of what we did when DS was a K'er during the latter half of that year. It worked well for him because he was reading about 3rd grade level if I recall correctly. We did not separate the problem sets. He is not the kind of kid who likes to go back through a book. So, I waited until I knew that he was ready to tackle Einstein level challenge problems. He was also using the Borac Competitive Math Practice books. BA2 wasn't around when my son was that age but since he was doing SM3 that year, it would not have been a problem. I had used BA a level behind SM all the way through. So, my notes say that he was doing BA3 in first grade.

Now that your son is older, how did it work out for your family being so far ahead of the BA curriculum schedule?

Saxon/Miquon has been a powerful combo so while I hadn't wanted to use BA ahead of grade level I'm wondering if and where/when I'll be able to use BA in his elementary years?

If we do PGCM and revisit topics from Saxon and Miqoun for K then will Borac and BA be a good path for 1st grade?

 

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@mathmarm I didn't spend time thinking about whether or not my son being ahead of the BA curriculum schedule. I just work with my son at the level he is at and thought mostly about going broad with math exposure especially with problem solving and non-traditional math topics. We used a lot of other math resources (that are mentioned on these boards) along the way as I was disinterested in racing forward to get to calculus early. Being ahead meant that we could do take time to explore rather focusing on the next grade level progression. While he could be even further ahead if I just used one curricula and avoided all the math resources we incorporated, I think that his grasp of math and his enjoyment of it would have not been the same. I just used BA in tandem with my main curricula. So while I was using SM 4A, I had SM IP3B, SM CWP 4, Fan Math Express Math Strategies 4, BA3C/D plus several other resources in play. I just had Beast going on to go deeper in topics he had seen already in SM. He didn't have to learn the basics, but he could take what he knew and go deeper with the problem solving if that makes sense. I just used the resources sort of in a loop schedule. Nothing strictly planned out. We just fell into a rhythm. That might drive other people crazy, but that's what worked for us. 

He likely would be in Geometry by now if we didn't spend time meandering around doing other stuff. It's not important to me to get there faster as long as he is exploring math in ways that is still enjoyable, challenging and thought provoking. 

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My daughter went through about a year at 5/6 years old where the next step in math curriculum was a tad bit too challenging for her and she just plain disliked all other math curriculum. I had written a blog post about the resources we used at that time, in case any of it is helpful to you: http://everchangingchild.blogspot.com/2016/05/what-math-break-looks-like-at-my-house.html.

At the time, it did feel like a holding pattern, but I realize now that it wasn’t. She preferred learning new concepts to practicing ones she was already familiar with (still does, really), and she needed some time to mature before she could struggle productively with the more challenging material. Just to say that a “holding pattern” might not be an altogether bad thing!

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10 hours ago, Jackie said:

My daughter went through about a year at 5/6 years old where the next step in math curriculum was a tad bit too challenging for her and she just plain disliked all other math curriculum. I had written a blog post about the resources we used at that time, in case any of it is helpful to you: http://everchangingchild.blogspot.com/2016/05/what-math-break-looks-like-at-my-house.html.

At the time, it did feel like a holding pattern, but I realize now that it wasn’t. She preferred learning new concepts to practicing ones she was already familiar with (still does, really), and she needed some time to mature before she could struggle productively with the more challenging material. Just to say that a “holding pattern” might not be an altogether bad thing!

Thank you for sharing that list of resources! It gave me a few titles/ideas that I didn't know to even look for.

I have a lot of resources now to consider and use, and I feel a lot calmer already.

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