Beast Academy is a fun math curriculum created by art of problem solving (aops)
I was drawn to it because it offers math lessons in a graphic novel style format. Our eldest daughter struggles with staying focused and the colorful illustrations and lessons in comic form was appealing.
After I looked at the samples online I really liked the way the lessons were taught. As a homeschooling mom I wanted to buy a math curriculum that I could re-learn any forgotten math concepts easily so I could teach better.
It was also a bonus if I found a company that offers elementary math curriculum and continues into the high school years. Aops offers math curriculum for all grades both online and in print form. We’ve also tried Primary Mathematics from Singapore, Mathematical Reasoning and Math Lessons for a Living Education. I’ve liked and disliked certain aspects of everything we’ve tried so far (and honestly, I’m still looking for that perfect math fit).
Beast Academy can be done with printed workbooks or online (or you can bundle and choose both)
Some parents are intimidated by math so they appreciate an online math curriculum.
Your preference on print vs online Beast Academy will depend on your family and your kids learning style. We chose a bit of both. I often read to the printed guide for the lessons and then either get my kids to do the online questions or workbook . It often depends on how much screen time they’ve had that day or week.
This option is great if you have lots of kids, or if you want to teach one less subject. Math is often one of those subjects that can be challenging to teach over time, and parents often feel better having an expert teach the more difficult concepts.
Beast Academy online offers
- Lessons taught by a teacher for the kids to learn and watch from.
- The same workbook pages as the print for your kids to do.
- Parent section where you can see your kids progress, what lessons they’ve done and the grade they scored.
Beast Academy can be used as a full curriculum or supplement
We’re using it as a supplement, doing it 2-3 days a week
We’ve used Beast Academy in print last year (level 2) and this year we’re using the online and print bundle.
I wanted to share my thoughts and a review of the pros and cons of Beast Academy.
Levels do not = grades
This math program is advanced, and is for either gifted students or to be used at level below your kids grade level
For example the level 2 we didn’t use until my daughter was in grade 3. We finished level 2D in grade 4 and are now using level 3 this year. As I mentioned, we also use other math curriculum. Beast Academy offers a very different way of looking at math, so I personally don’t expect to complete the entirety of a level in one grade year.
There are definitely some pros and cons to this curriculum
- Colorful and engaging lessons in the guide book. This can make math lessons more fun.
- Black and white practice book for less distraction when doing workbook questions.
- The lessons, in my opinion, are great. As a parent, I’ve enjoyed learning math applications with a different approach.
- Lots of support if you choose the online option. You don’t have to teach your kids, you can let someone else do it for you.
- The choice between print books, online or both increases flexibility in how you teach and price point.
- If you use it as a supplement, you could just buy one set of books. For example, if you wanted your kids to get extra multiplication practice you could buy the 3b guide and 3b workbook.
- Guides can be re-used other years with other students. You would only need to buy new workbooks or use the online option for practice.
- Kids have some independence if using the computer, although even in grade 4, I’m often at my daughters side helping when needed.
- Grades can be tracked and lessons monitored online in the teacher section.
- Math lessons taught by a math teacher if you choose the online option.
- The curriculum also includes logic questions and real life applications to the math problems.
- It is meant for gifted students. This math curriculum definitely teaches and looks at math in a different way than most curriculum I’ve seen.
- The questions can be quite advanced in the practice book. Even some adults have a hard time because of the different approach.
- Although I really like the lessons, the challenge has definitely been the practice questions to how my daughter likes the curriculum.
- There are 4 workbooks and guides in a year to cover. This isn’t necessarily a con if you can do a lot of math in one sitting. My daughter can usually only do one page at a time, not the 3 that are sometimes assigned in that section. There is no way we can finish the whole level in one year.
- I’ve heard some kids that love comics and graphic novels actually get turned off from the curriculum! It sounds strange, but if you’re reading them for pleasure and all of a sudden have to learn something, some kids dislike this.
You can see below the size of the workbook practice that Beast Academy has versus some other math curriculum.
Beast Academy is a fun and engaging math curriculum that might need adjusting depending on your family dynamics and math competencies.
We started using it as a supplement, but my eldest (in grade 4) is really enjoying the online lessons. In our homeschool this year we also use Math Lessons for a Living Education which is very very light in comparison. I like rotating hard days and easier ones, and also add in Mathematical Reasoning for extra workbook and logic practice. For the future I could see us using Beast Academy as a core.
Have you tried Beast Academy? What did you think of it?