Beast Academy Review: Why We Switched from Singapore Math to Beast Academy
Beast Academy is a comprehensive math curriculum for grades 3-6 that focuses on problem solving and critical thinking. Below you will find my Beast Academy Review and why we switched to this program!
When I first made the decision to homeschool our three children this year, I knew that one of the major predictors of our success as homeschoolers was choosing high-quality curriculum. At this point in time, my kids want to return to school next year once the pandemic is behind us, so we needed to make sure that what we are doing at home prepares them for the next school year. I originally chose Singapore Math for my elementary-age kids because from the research that I read, it seemed to be rigorous and aligned well with the common core curriculum at the public schools (and in fact, many public schools use Singapore Math).
I made the final decision to pull my kids out of school to homeschool on July 30th. I ordered Singapore Math curriculum the following day, expecting that it would take a couple of weeks to ship and would arrive just in time for our August 19th start date. Over a month later, we still had not received our 5th grade or 1st grade math curriculum. I knew I could “make do” with my first grader until her curriculum arrived but simply could not wait any longer to begin math with my fifth grader.
Around that same time, I had a conversation with my oldest son’s Pre-Algebra teacher and she recommended Beast Academy for students in grades 3-6. Beast Academy is a rigorous curriculum from the makers of the Art of Problem Solving. They offer workbooks as well as an online platform, which you can pay for monthly or yearly.
We opted for the Bundle Option ($150/year) because I still feel that some paper-and-pencil work is important for students rather than having everything online. Here are just a few things to consider:
Disclosure: I purchased the Beast Academy Bundle (online and book version) with my own money. This post is NOT sponsored. However, the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I get a very small percentage if you choose to purchase.
Beast Academy is Rigorous
Beast Academy focuses heavily on problem solving and critical thinking throughout the program. Don’t be deceived by the bright colors and cartoon creatures, this program is NOT easy! Also, it’s important to note that the levels of Beast Academy do not align with traditional grade levels. The creators of Beast Academy recommend taking a placement test, but the general rule of thumb is to start your student 1-2 levels below their current grade level (I personally think two levels below unless your child excels in math). We started my 5th grade son at Level 3 and he is already being challenged! He has asked for my help on a few online exercises and even I struggled with some of the critical thinking activities. By level 5 of Beast Academy, most students are ready for Pre-Algebra.
Beast Academy is Self-Paced
One of the things I love about Beast Academy is that my son can work at his own pace. There are helpful videos for each concept that can be rewatched. If he is struggling with a specific concept, he can take the time to go back and work the process again (or ask for my help). You can also set the online preferences to where entire chapters can be skipped to meet the needs of your child. We typically do one hour of math each week day. Our books just arrived, so we will split the time between the book and the online program.
Beast Academy is Engaging
The bright colors and comic book illustrations make math more appealing to students, especially to those who do not necessarily enjoy “doing math”. My son still does not enjoy math, even with Beast Academy, but this program is much better than the alternatives! This program puts minimal focus on “math facts” and instead focuses on the conceptual understanding of each concept.
Beast Academy Provides Comprehensive Feedback
I am super impressed with the feedback that is given to the parents. Every week I receive an email with all of the concepts covered throughout the week and my child’s progress on those concepts. Receiving a 1 means your child is proficient. Receiving a “2” or “3” is even better and indicates mastery. I have also received automatic emails throughout the week when he does poorly in a given objective. I love that he can be independent but I know exactly what skills he is working on and can step in and help when needed (if I can figure it out, anyway)! 😂
We have opted for Noah, my 5th grader, to work on math for one hour each day, rather than complete specific lessons. I feel like this is an adequate time to challenge him without frustrating him. He spends most of his time using the online platform but also uses the practice book occasionally as well. I am very impressed with the complexity of the problems on Beast Academy (even if he does not always appreciate them 🤪).