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  1. #11


    I really want to caution people about the link between the Beast placement test and the actual practice book content. They're just really different in style and difficulty. They're like they're from different programs. The placement test is ONLY testing if your child has covered the prerequisites in order to potentially be able to do the work. It doesn't really give a flavor for if a child can deal with the difficult puzzles and hard problems in Beast. Maybe yes... maybe no.

    But I agree with the above - any kid who is motivated with math and shows some aptitude should have a chance to try out Beast and see if it works for them (I don't think it's right for all mathy kids or that only mathy kids work well with it... but it's a good indicator). Hopefully it will work out for the OP's son. OP, don't get discouraged if he likes it overall but the second chapter (I think it's the second) in 3A is hard... 3A has a heavier geometry emphasis than the rest of the 3rd grade books. It's okay to let go of some of the multiominos stuff if you need to. Or of some of the squares with multiples of 5 or some of the others things in that vein, at least in terms of mastery.

    MUS is a weird program in that it insists on mastery of a smaller number of skills, but a higher level of mastery. I'm not sure what the placement tests specifically look at though. I would actually say Math Mammoth is more difficult in many ways than Saxon - but they're such different programs. Again, it could just be the emphasis.
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  2. T4L In Forum Aug19
  3. #12


    Just want to make it clear I wasn't making a link between the BA tests being like the practice books. As Farrar says, they do just give an indication if your child has the knowledge base to do that book or if they have got the knowledge from the one they have just completed that they should have. I just meant that the OP, since her son got the required number of questions correct on the 3B test on a second go, should consider him as passing that in terms of having the required knowledge to do 3B. By what I have read on Beast Academy anyway.

    My daughter always does really well on the practice books and the tests are a nightmare but I think that must be her processing speed issues if the tests are meant to be easier! For the test, she usually sits down and will happily do all the ones she knows immediately. Then its a process of meltdown ("I don't know what to do!"), lengthy discussion, calm down activity, how about you just try 2 problems and then have a break and do something you enjoy, tries 2 problems and generally gets them correct, and repeat. She never has these issues doing the practice book each day though.

    I also would never call her a mathy kid. She has always done ok at math, but I consider her weak at math because she did not understand it. She always has said things like "I am bad at math", "I hate math" etc. etc. I picked it because it had the comic book, she is a reader and if I can get her to read for math then we are set, and the short placement tests. She has loved it and never had any problems doing it very independently.

  4. #13


    I can't remember off hand if your son is going into 4th grade this fall or just finished 4th grade in ps this past year but either way, I see no problem with starting BA 3A. BA is a very challenging curriculum and they even recommend that 3rd and 4th graders start in 3A and that an advanced 5th grader MIGHT be able to start in 4a. Beast Academy is a very different program from most math programs and asks the student to look at math differently than a math program that shoots for the middle of most student's understanding in any given grade level. Starting from the beginning and just going faster though the parts that are easy just makes sense because it is so different.

    I would also remind your kids that one of the great things about homeschooling is being able to work at their own pace. They are going back not because they are not as smart as they thought they were but just to make sure that they know all the material really really well so that future math courses will be easier. Plus they don't have to wait for all their classmates to understand before moving on. If they understand a lesson without a problem, they can go on to the next one. It's possible that they could do more than one grade level per year moving at their own pace.

    If they are still really hung up on grade levels, I would start them out on Math Mammoth since they tested closer to grade level on those and then work on filling in holes with supplements such as the Math Mammoth topic books. To add some challenge, I would add in Beast Academy or Primary Challenge Math. If they enjoy stories, they might like Life of Fred as a way to review previously learned topics in a way that doesn't make them feel like they are behind. I lent out my Life of Fred Fractions book to a friend who is homeschooling her 8th grade daughter this year after being ps'ed k-7. Her daughter has always struggled in math and needed some help filling in the holes. She has been really enjoying working through the Fractions book and finally feels like she's understanding math even though technically LOF Fractions is aimed at about 5th grade.

  5. #14


    Thank you all SO much for all of the input! You've been so incredibly helpful!

    I'm so grateful to have been alerted to Math Mammoth because it is exactly what I was trying to find and it will allow them to continue from where they've left, and I love how easily customizable it is to each child. It will be easier for ME to teach them, which is a huge deal this first year.

    I am still going to order Beast Academy for my son. Like I said, he absolutely loves much so that I have math tutorial videos on my phone that he made for his friends on his own accord (swiped my phone and made He is super excited about Beast Academy, so we will use it as a supplement.

    So Math Mammoth for both, Beast Academy for my son as an extra, and I will try to find something suitable for my daughter for extra practice...but I'm more worried about just getting her up to scratch than anything else.

    Thanks again, y'all!!! <3

  6. #15


    That happened with my son, but looking at the tests, i found a huge gap in his knowledge that accounted for his scores. He was doing really well (he was able to do long division without an issue) but he struggles specifically with multi-digit math. Because he never fully mastered that one skill, he was failing math.

    This year we're going back and re-teaching (its going faster than expected!) and then we plan on doing the placement test again to see where he is.
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Whoa...has anyone else had this happen with math placement tests?