Let every math-loving family delight! The mathematicians behind the Art of Problem Solving are in the process of developing an elementary math curriculum. And, boy, are they on to something good!
First, Beast Academy is primarily taught through a bright, colorful, comic-book style Guide Book. And being a comic book about math, it’s full of smarty-pants type humor. Even though you’ll be giggling, the math is no laughing matter. You get thoughtful dialogue that really delivers age-appropriate instruction in advanced math topics.
On the surface, the topics look like a typical elementary math progression using a mastery approach, but don’t be fooled. The Practice workbooks are full of thoughtful and well developed problems and puzzles that reinforce the lessons from the comic book Guide.
Working through Beast Academy, elementary students are exposed to working with topics ranging from binary numbers to variables. (Yes, you read that right.) Some of the games are just a clever disguise for building in the dreaded task of building rote memorization. And, true to Art of Problem Solving form, students are challenged to tackle tough word problems by developing and practicing problem solving strategies – which is why this is a curriculum that requires a parent or teacher to work with the child.
The biggest drawback about Beast Academy is going to be the price. Each set of books costs less than $30 – but, remember, you need to buy 4 sets in order to complete the entire year.
Interested? Download and print the placement test to see what level your child may be ready for.
Looking for other Art of Problem Solving reviews? Find them here:
- Art of Problem Solving Basics and Beyond for grades 7-10
- Art of Problem Solving, Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 for grades 7-10
- AoPS for High School and Beyond, include Number Theory and more
About the Authors:
Jason Batterson taught math for nine years in North Carolina, coaching several state-champion MATHCOUNTS teams, before joining AoPS. He was recognized by the Mathematics Association of America with their prestigious Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching; a distinction shared by only 50 other middle-school teachers nationally.
Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used Beast Academy? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.