Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?

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Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Hi Bogles,
I've read through a number of threads on supplemental math education for children, and there's many helpful suggestions, but I'm always keeping my eye out for new resources. I have a bright, wellrounded and driven 8yo who adores math and while we're working with his teacher to keep him occupied, he just seems to have an endless appetite for learning more and has specifically asked for more math work.
He's currently having a lot of fun programming through Scratch, but I'm looking for something with a little more structure  kid enjoys activities where he can chart his progress. We'd also prefer something that requires minimal coaching from us  the idea is to give him an opportunity to explore, not to implement a rigorous homework regime.
The Beast Academy series seems like it might fit the bill, but are there others? Does anyone know of a series that focuses more on logic and puzzles?
I've read through a number of threads on supplemental math education for children, and there's many helpful suggestions, but I'm always keeping my eye out for new resources. I have a bright, wellrounded and driven 8yo who adores math and while we're working with his teacher to keep him occupied, he just seems to have an endless appetite for learning more and has specifically asked for more math work.
He's currently having a lot of fun programming through Scratch, but I'm looking for something with a little more structure  kid enjoys activities where he can chart his progress. We'd also prefer something that requires minimal coaching from us  the idea is to give him an opportunity to explore, not to implement a rigorous homework regime.
The Beast Academy series seems like it might fit the bill, but are there others? Does anyone know of a series that focuses more on logic and puzzles?

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
What about something like a Turing Tumble?
General overview:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_Tumble
One product example:
https://store.turingtumble.com/products/turingtumble
YouTube would have additional video descriptions.
General overview:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_Tumble
One product example:
https://store.turingtumble.com/products/turingtumble
YouTube would have additional video descriptions.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Our kids (OK it wasn't just the kids) enjoyed this series. It looks like at least one has been updated and the other two are available online.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoombinis
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoombinis
 TomatoTomahto
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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Our moderately accomplished math child benefited from Art of Problem Solving, but those resources are intended for grades 512; highly recommended.
User Vulcan has children who are extremely accomplished in math, and hopefully will come along to share if his kids used anything at earlier ages.
Congrats on your child.
User Vulcan has children who are extremely accomplished in math, and hopefully will come along to share if his kids used anything at earlier ages.
Congrats on your child.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Math Olympiad and Continental Mathematics League problems sets and tests provide all sorts of intriguing material. If an organized competition is not available or not desired, the materials can also be used noncompetitively. Note these are problems/puzzles and not course work. You do have to respect some of the restriction on obtaining and using materials.
Many of the problems can be solved creatively and intuitively but also can be solved by methods a student is not yet familiar with that provide teaching moments. The latter, of course, would require supervision and coaching.
I have used these materials for "challenge" work with small groups of 4th and 5th grade students.
If you want a fun game for three or four kids try SET, which is available in card decks and also as an online app. You can also use that game for some examples of permutation and combination material. Writing out the rules of the game in symbolic logic might interest some one  meaning to symbolically define the definition of a "set" in the game.
Many of the problems can be solved creatively and intuitively but also can be solved by methods a student is not yet familiar with that provide teaching moments. The latter, of course, would require supervision and coaching.
I have used these materials for "challenge" work with small groups of 4th and 5th grade students.
If you want a fun game for three or four kids try SET, which is available in card decks and also as an online app. You can also use that game for some examples of permutation and combination material. Writing out the rules of the game in symbolic logic might interest some one  meaning to symbolically define the definition of a "set" in the game.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Also, play chess with him, charting is as simple as when he beats you, he'll remember that for the rest of his life, and it checks your three boxes above and then some.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Yes, indeed, and there are also opportunities to join a chess club.
I'm not sure bridge falls in the same category quite at this age but it can be a fun somewhat intellectual game, possibly best avoided in college, however.
There is also Go.
I won't suggest poker.

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
I'm trying not to brag too much so as not to tempt fate, but he's a pretty great kid.TomatoTomahto wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:45 pm Our moderately accomplished math child benefited from Art of Problem Solving, but those resources are intended for grades 512; highly recommended.
User Vulcan has children who are extremely accomplished in math, and hopefully will come along to share if his kids used anything at earlier ages.
Congrats on your child.
I think Beast Academy is AoPS for littles, so I'll take that as a vote of confidence.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Another vote for zoombinis
 TomatoTomahto
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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
8 is still a bit young, but I think it’s better than chess for teaching probability, ethics, codified information transfer, etc. It has the learning advantage that you have one partner and two opponents, although there are times when it feels as though not everyone knows which they are intended to be.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
I adore SET. Totally should have occurred to me  the kid also loves board games. He probably would like learning symbolic logic; he likes rules and patterns. Thanks!dbr wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:56 pm Math Olympiad and Continental Mathematics League problems sets and tests provide all sorts of intriguing material. If an organized competition is not available or not desired, the materials can also be used noncompetitively. Note these are problems/puzzles and not course work. You do have to respect some of the restriction on obtaining and using materials.
Many of the problems can be solved creatively and intuitively but also can be solved by methods a student is not yet familiar with that provide teaching moments. The latter, of course, would require supervision and coaching.
I have used these materials for "challenge" work with small groups of 4th and 5th grade students.
If you want a fun game for three or four kids try SET, which is available in card decks and also as an online app. You can also use that game for some examples of permutation and combination material. Writing out the rules of the game in symbolic logic might interest some one  meaning to symbolically define the definition of a "set" in the game.
I'm a pretty inept chess player (never dedicated time to it) but then he just gets the thrill of beating me sooner! Thanks.
 TomatoTomahto
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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
I didn’t know about Beast Academy, as our son was older when he began his match interest. I don’t know the particulars about it, but if it was created by AoPS, I’d be surprised if it weren’t first rate.getthatmarshmallow wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:02 pmI'm trying not to brag too much so as not to tempt fate, but he's a pretty great kid.TomatoTomahto wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:45 pm Our moderately accomplished math child benefited from Art of Problem Solving, but those resources are intended for grades 512; highly recommended.
User Vulcan has children who are extremely accomplished in math, and hopefully will come along to share if his kids used anything at earlier ages.
Congrats on your child.
I think Beast Academy is AoPS for littles, so I'll take that as a vote of confidence.
FWIW, I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with bragging on your kid, and I don’t believe in fate
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
I have a 7 year old and am interested in what people suggest here. She enjoys Prodigy, but only because she likes the pets, she complains the math is too easy. ST Math follows a typical math curriculum, but it is done more with puzzles that can be fairly challenging (they start easy though). You (parent) can also remove parts the curriculum if you know your child has mastered it so that don't get overly frustrated doing the easy lessons (can be tedious). She also likes Scratch and Tinker. She enjoys Chess and Set as well. Good old fashion legos is also great for designing/planning, etc. We used to play the kids version of Sequence, but the adult version would probably work well. Also, on the games topic... Rummikub is great for seeing patterns and manipulating many possibilities.
I've heard good things about Beast Academy, but have not used it. Does your child like physically building things? Perhaps a project that involves planning, measuring, etc. would be enjoyable? (Like building a little free library)
You can also look and see what online programs are offered by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and see whether or not your child is eligible.
Another thought, is opportunities to support other areas of learning... not sure if your child is equally talented in reading, science, or other areas, but if not providing more support in those areas may also be helpful.
I've heard good things about Beast Academy, but have not used it. Does your child like physically building things? Perhaps a project that involves planning, measuring, etc. would be enjoyable? (Like building a little free library)
You can also look and see what online programs are offered by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and see whether or not your child is eligible.
Another thought, is opportunities to support other areas of learning... not sure if your child is equally talented in reading, science, or other areas, but if not providing more support in those areas may also be helpful.
Last edited by phinanciallyfit on Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
A thumbs up for the Johns Hopkins center for Talented Youth. Our daughter, when she was 13 went and took a summer's course at St Mary's college in game theory. Another Summer she studied theory of mind, a philosophy course. She's now 30 years old and a structural engineer.
I grew up in rural deep south myself where my dad opened factories and the schools were miserable. Back in the 60s, my parents just gave me problem drill books for older grades, and textbooks, and I plowed my way through them by myself. I did this from age 7 to age 13. My mother was rather flummoxed about what to do with the daughter that only liked math and crawling through the woods. By sixth grade I had gone all the way through the high School textbooks. Needless to say I was absolutely miserable in high school, with nothing to do. I did graduate early and went on to become an electrical engineer.
To anyone on here, that lives in a rural area, or an area with poor schools, if your child likes math, it can be a real ticket to economic prosperity. All I had was textbooks but I pretty much figured it out.
I grew up in rural deep south myself where my dad opened factories and the schools were miserable. Back in the 60s, my parents just gave me problem drill books for older grades, and textbooks, and I plowed my way through them by myself. I did this from age 7 to age 13. My mother was rather flummoxed about what to do with the daughter that only liked math and crawling through the woods. By sixth grade I had gone all the way through the high School textbooks. Needless to say I was absolutely miserable in high school, with nothing to do. I did graduate early and went on to become an electrical engineer.
To anyone on here, that lives in a rural area, or an area with poor schools, if your child likes math, it can be a real ticket to economic prosperity. All I had was textbooks but I pretty much figured it out.
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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
It is a weird old "oldiebutgoodie," but in the spirit of reliving my youth I left a copy of Royal Vale Heath's "Mathemagic" out where my grandson could find it, and he was intrigued enough to look at it a few times. This is a book, not particularly intended for children, of puzzles that are mostly creative variations on "magic squares." Anyway it's cheap, it's managed to stay in print since 1953, and it's the kind of book you can often find in public libraries.
Oh, not a math/logic/puzzle book at all, but I will also recommend Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott, as something to invite mathematicallyminded kids to look at. This is a sensationally weird book. The mathematical content is a very good explanation of dimensionalitythe inhabitants of Flatland are two dimensional and live in a twodimensional plane, and one of them is visited by a threedimensional Sphere and has trouble believing the things the Sphere tells him. It is a mix of a) mathematics, b) satire on the social stratification of Victorian England, c) I believe some subtle theological overtones.
Oh, not a math/logic/puzzle book at all, but I will also recommend Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott, as something to invite mathematicallyminded kids to look at. This is a sensationally weird book. The mathematical content is a very good explanation of dimensionalitythe inhabitants of Flatland are two dimensional and live in a twodimensional plane, and one of them is visited by a threedimensional Sphere and has trouble believing the things the Sphere tells him. It is a mix of a) mathematics, b) satire on the social stratification of Victorian England, c) I believe some subtle theological overtones.
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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Fortunately kiddo is an allaround Renaissance type and IMO he's stronger in reading/writing than math. But I'm in agreement that one should generally drill one's weaknesses, not one's strengths. It seems to be easier to encourage reading, however, at least with ready access to a library.phinanciallyfit wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:21 pm
Another thought, is opportunities to support other areas of learning... not sure if your child is equally talented in reading, science, or other areas, but if not providing more support in those areas may also be helpful.

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Check out the base version of Lumosity. Don't pay for the extra stuff. It has a lot of brain teaser games including math games. It would give your child a broader selection of brain work. Sudoko might also be something to do?
edit: Looks like Lumosity is for 13 and up.
edit: Looks like Lumosity is for 13 and up.
Last edited by The Stone Wall on Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
We have had great success using Beast Academy from AOPS. They have lots of great math and logic puzzles. My kid had a solid CogAT quantitative score after doing it for 2 years, and he really enjoys it.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Another vote for Beast. Both my kids have used it and have done well. I think one has to understand though that Beast really tries to challenge students and often throws a difficult problem into the mix. It is not for a type A kid who is used to getting everything right all the time…..or on the other hand maybe it is good for those types to get stumped once in a while.
Beast curriculum choices are a little tricky in that you have options. A student can work with the books, there are four sections each level, four set of books essentially for each level. I purposely leaving out the word “grade” as kids are often above or below their corresponding grade level. The other option is to use Beast Online which I have found a better option even though we normally do very little screen time in our home. There is a very short video before each section, then problems. There are also games and puzzles.
The textbook is part of Beast Online as well. The online version is $15/month. My kids enjoyed the video format so we moved away from the books over time.
I have been impressed by AOPs the more classes my kids have taken with them. My kids now do the virtual classes with a live teacher.
Beast curriculum choices are a little tricky in that you have options. A student can work with the books, there are four sections each level, four set of books essentially for each level. I purposely leaving out the word “grade” as kids are often above or below their corresponding grade level. The other option is to use Beast Online which I have found a better option even though we normally do very little screen time in our home. There is a very short video before each section, then problems. There are also games and puzzles.
The textbook is part of Beast Online as well. The online version is $15/month. My kids enjoyed the video format so we moved away from the books over time.
I have been impressed by AOPs the more classes my kids have taken with them. My kids now do the virtual classes with a live teacher.

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
That's great. I agree, it is easier to support reading, as long as a kid reads willingly!getthatmarshmallow wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:03 pmFortunately kiddo is an allaround Renaissance type and IMO he's stronger in reading/writing than math. But I'm in agreement that one should generally drill one's weaknesses, not one's strengths. It seems to be easier to encourage reading, however, at least with ready access to a library.phinanciallyfit wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:21 pm
Another thought, is opportunities to support other areas of learning... not sure if your child is equally talented in reading, science, or other areas, but if not providing more support in those areas may also be helpful.

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Update: kid is in the next room on Beast Academy online. Seems to like it so far. The parental dashboard is fantastic.
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Great thread.
My kids are really enjoying Prodigy right now. My daughter was a big fan of Reflex. (The school has a license to both so they are free).
My kids are really enjoying Prodigy right now. My daughter was a big fan of Reflex. (The school has a license to both so they are free).

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Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Yep 100% agree on Aops. Seen good progress and like the format for our 8th graderTomatoTomahto wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:45 pm Our moderately accomplished math child benefited from Art of Problem Solving, but those resources are intended for grades 512; highly recommended.
User Vulcan has children who are extremely accomplished in math, and hopefully will come along to share if his kids used anything at earlier ages.
Congrats on your child.
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Re: Supplementary Math/Logic/Puzzle Programs for 8yo?
Just saw this thread. Thanks for the kind words, TomatoTomahto.TomatoTomahto wrote: ↑Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:45 pm Our moderately accomplished math child benefited from Art of Problem Solving, but those resources are intended for grades 512; highly recommended.
User Vulcan has children who are extremely accomplished in math, and hopefully will come along to share if his kids used anything at earlier ages.
Congrats on your child.
Absolutely second the AoPS books recommendation.
They are world class  unlike the drivel that passes for math in American classrooms  and will take your kid as far as they are able and willing to go (or, rather, sit:)
As a case in point, our younger has a picture with the AoPS founder taken at the MathCounts nationals.
AoPS now also has resources aimed at younger kids (including paid classes called Beast Academy) that are good  but we haven't personally used them at the time our kids were that age, relying instead on old Russian/Soviet math textbooks  and lots of time with parents, digesting them (books, not parents:) in a guided fashion.
For computer programming I recommend selfteaching them Python using any beginner book and simple algorithmic problems  just long enough to see if they are capable and interested. If they grok Hanoi towers, the next step is to create a free account at the USACO training website. That'll keep them occupied through high school and beyond.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase