# If you use Beast Academy as main curriculum...

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What do you use to reinforce or even teach some concepts that require plain teaching or drilling, and cannot just be "discovered"? Specifically, I showed her long division and she just got it, but I also have Kumon worksheets I pull from so she doesn't forget (which she can and does :)).

We just started Fractions in BA3 and one lone problem required double digit multiplication. I cannot recall if this was taught explicitly but I don't think so. I showed her quickly how I do it, but I think I need some proper instruction and practice. I have looked to khan but I must say i hate their elementary stuff. They show approx 15 ways to do long division and neither of them straightforward and all foreign to me (I just know one way. It will do :)). So Khan is out because I've developed such antipathy to it. Anything else? more kumon? There's no teaching there but I can just show a few and let her practice. Normally she grasps things very quickly the first time but needs reminded after that...

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We just started Fractions in BA3 and one lone problem required double digit multiplication.

Did the solution in the back provide another method to solve the problem? Often, I see/solve problems from BA and/or AoPS differently than the solutions written out in the back of the book.

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46 minutes ago, Noreen Claire said:

Did the solution in the back provide another method to solve the problem? Often, I see/solve problems from BA and/or AoPS differently than the solutions written out in the back of the book.

This was online but no, no special solution that would bypass the multiplication.

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I did get Kumon workbooks for multi-digit multiplication and division, but they were fairly useless for us. DD did the multiplication mostly in her head, using strategies as taught by BA. She automatically converted all long division problems into fractions and simplified as much as possible, and the Kumon books rarely gave a division problem she couldn’t simplify down enough to just do it in her head as well.

She has now completed Algebra 1, does multiplication using only the strategies taught in BA (no straightforward algorithm), and long division problems through simplification. It works for her.

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I have had one child do Beast 3-5 and move on to Algebra, another that started in 3 and is now finishing up 5, and now I'm starting over with a third child in Beast 2 (the first to start since this year was published).  All that to say I've done some Beast by this time 😉

I used to worry a lot about the lack of review and the lack of drill.  I found that Beast does cycle back to old topics occasionally, though, as they relate to the new ones.  And for the most part my kids haven't needed drill because they weren't memorizing an algorithm.  They actually just understood what they were doing. (The outlier to this being memorizing multiplication facts, which in their defense they say to stop and memeorize.)

Sometimes something hasnt quite "clicked", though.  In particular fractions (for one), and long division (for another).  When that's happened I found the easiest and most affordable route to be the topical Math Mammoth books, in PDF form so I can print (and reprint) them.  They include very clear instructions as well as practice and a ton of games/online resources.

Edited by Coco_Clark
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We did BA as a spine with Math Mammoth for explicit teaching of topics for a while and eventually switched to MM as a spine and BA as review (that is, not using it as the discovery method, but for enrichment/problem solving/ thinking practice).  When we did it as a spine, which was kind of a fail as my kids are not discoverers, and used MM to shore up this or that, it worked well.  It's just that it worked SO well, with so much less frustration and time spent than BA, that eventually it made sense to just go with what worked better for us.

A lot of it, though, I didn't bother to even go to MM for, I just taught from what I knew how to do.  I used to have a huge fear of that and bought all kinds of curricula, but after a long time of just teaching it myself anyway because they didn't get this or that topic (from more than just math, of course), I realized that if you know how to tell time, you really don't HAVE to have a book tell you how to tell your kid how to tell time, for example.  But I can't make up puzzles, so BA kept its usefulness.

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7 hours ago, moonflower said:

We did BA as a spine with Math Mammoth for explicit teaching of topics for a while and eventually switched to MM as a spine and BA as review (that is, not using it as the discovery method, but for enrichment/problem solving/ thinking practice).  When we did it as a spine, which was kind of a fail as my kids are not discoverers, and used MM to shore up this or that, it worked well.  It's just that it worked SO well, with so much less frustration and time spent than BA, that eventually it made sense to just go with what worked better for us.

A lot of it, though, I didn't bother to even go to MM for, I just taught from what I knew how to do.  I used to have a huge fear of that and bought all kinds of curricula, but after a long time of just teaching it myself anyway because they didn't get this or that topic (from more than just math, of course), I realized that if you know how to tell time, you really don't HAVE to have a book tell you how to tell your kid how to tell time, for example.  But I can't make up puzzles, so BA kept its usefulness.

I wanted to reply to this, but this is pretty much exactly what I was going to say.

I used BA as a full curriculum for 3rd grade and it was fun, but I consider it our "lost year" in math. He worked the puzzles but did not retain the procedures. I didn't want to let it drop because I was hung up on BA being the best and hardest option. But in reality, Math Mammoth is giving him plenty of challenges while building those solid core skills. And it includes a puzzle corner too once in a while. I intended to use BA as a supplement, but really we are so busy with MM and progressing so well I just didn't.

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Is it double-digit multiplication that you don’t think she’s come across, or double-digit multiplication as it relates to fractions?
The former is covered in 3B.

The multiplication chapter covered single-digit multiplication; multiplying large numbers ending in zero; and multiplying multi-digit numbers by 1/2, 2, 4, 5, 8.

The perfect squares chapter covered squaring single-digit numbers, squaring two-digit numbers ending in 5, and squaring other two-digit numbers.

The final chapter, on the distributive property, covers multiplying a single-digit number by a double-digit number & multiplying a two-digit number by a two-digit number.

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I've found that BA has quite a lot of review, they just work it into problems (rather than labeling the page review). Sometimes, the kiddo doesn't remember, at which point we look back in the book. Sometimes I'll give them some review questions just for drill (like multi digit multiplication or long division or whatever-MM blue books are a great resource). I find with multiplication, the kids tend to use the distributive property fluently rather than the algorithm I learned as a kid. They get quite quick at mental math by the later books, and it gets cycled through pretty regularly. For example, my 3rd is doing BA 5 and the integers chapter has had some review on multidigit multiplication and long division. (Not retaught but a fair bit of practice).

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Do you feel that your child needs supplementing with another curriculum or do *you* need the help of another curriculum?

My experience with Beast Academy is that there are many places where you can say "That was not explicitly taught".  Beast will teach the student all the pieces they need to solve bigger problems, and then step back to see if the student can take all those pieces and use them together.  It's something I've had to remind my son when he says "I don't know how to solve this".  Actually, you do know how!  Let's take a step back and break down the problem into smaller parts that we know how to work with.  I remember in the 3rd BA level, he got really tired of me saying "I think we could solve this easier if we used the Distributive property. Let's try it and see!"  He was determined to prove to me that the Distributive property was utterly useless.  He eventually conceded it might have some applications, lol.

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We use Right Brained Fractions for targeted fractions practice, Math Mammoth unit for Measurement, Kumon for multiplication facts (which I've found is useless for my oldest), and Mindware Algebra Antics for basic computation practice. If he comes across anything specific he doesn't understand in BA then I use a whiteboard and make up some problems breaking down the steps conceptually and practicing for a few days.

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I have found that BA has enough review built in for my kids. It doesn't look like review, but it is there. They have to use previous concepts to complete new problems, and each year also builds on previous info taught. I have my kids mainly do the workbooks and then BA Online as review. So on any given day, they do 30 mins in the workbook on whatever section comes next and 20 mins wherever they want in BA Online (so long as they are working towards new stars). This is working very well and I won't be changing it for these specific children any time soon.

That said, we did do math facts practice with Xtramath daily (the 7yo still does) for simple fluency.

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23 hours ago, square_25 said:

Interesting! How long have you been using BA, and which concepts have you used it for?

I've been using it for a few years now. I'm not sure what you mean by which concepts. We use the books in their entirety, and they cover normal math topics plus some for each grade. My 9yo is about to start level 5 and has completed the program up to that point. Dd7 is almost done with level 2. I'm very familiar with many math programs as a result of an in depth search for my oldest special needs dd over several years (Saxon, CLE, Miquon, Math Mammoth, MEP, TT, Gattegno, Kitchen Table Math), and I have been impressed with the hidden review in BA. All the problems are very carefully chosen. I wouldn't say BA is for every kid, but for some kids it is absolutely wonderful. I will likely use it for the 4yo when she's ready too.

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34 minutes ago, square_25 said:

I guess I was wondering which concepts they were familiar with before starting. I do use BA, but mostly after the concepts (like, say, place value, multiplication, or fractions) are solid.

This is purely for my own data! I like BA better than most things I’ve seen, but I do have some reservations about it.

Gotchya. My two that are doing BA did either all or most of Miquon first, which I believe goes through 3rd grade level and is very conceptual. They had math facts down or were in the process of working on math facts (dd7 still has to do Xtramath daily, dd9 is proficient enough that I don't make her). They had very basic fraction knowledge and decent place value understanding.

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