Simply Good and Beautiful Math Review

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With its fun videos, gorgeously illustrated texts and wide variety of activities and puzzles to help with practice, Simply Good and Beautiful Math can go a long way in making learning a lot easier for everyone while still providing a thorough math education.

If you are looking for an engaging, hands-on and thorough K-8 math curriculum with short and interesting lessons that can fit most budgets, Simply Good and Beautiful Math should be at the top of your list.

What We Like

Compact curriculum – not that many books or
items to purchase
Comprehensive math curriculum
Fairly rigorous but still approachable and clear
Strong conceptual component
Lots of opportunities for practice and review
without drill
Very multisensory
Short, easy to sit through lessons
Activity rich
Strong non-denominational Christian curriculum

But watch out for

Somewhat text heavy at times
Grade levels are pretty prominent on covers

What is Simply Good and Beautiful Math?

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is the redesigned math curriculum from homeschool publisher The Good and The Beautiful, and is intended to replace their well-known and eponymously-titled math program, The Good and The Beautiful Math. 

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is an affordable and visually-rich homeschool math program aimed at students in grades K-5 (with Grades 6-8 in the works).

Through a combination of books and videos, students are taught the essential concepts of math and engage in a variety of hands-on learning activities, from traditional manipulatives work to games, explorations, stories and puzzles. 

It is important to note that Simply Good and Beautiful Math is also a non-denominational, Christian faith-based program that weaves biblical quotes and value-based learning into its comprehensive math learning. 

For Which Grades is Simply Good and Beautiful Math Intended?

Simply Good and Beautiful is a K-8 math program. 

As of writing, the program is available for Kindergarten through grade 5, with material for older grades currently in development. 

That said, as a homeschool program we feel it does lend itself to being fairly easily used by students outside its normal grade range.  

At the younger levels, the program is parent led, requiring little in the way of reading and makes ample use of rich visuals and hands-on explanations, activities and exercises, which can help precocious preschoolers become interested in and grasp the materials, respectively. 

In a similar vein, the simple, careful and clear explanations of math concepts and plentiful, hands-on activities can be ideal for older students who might be struggling with math, helping them solidify their understanding of abstract concepts and math fundamentals. 

The one drawback that parents of older children might face is the fact that, as would be expected from a grade-based math program, the grades for which the books are intended are printed quite prominently on the covers, which may cause some hurt feelings if parents aren’t careful. 

How easy is it for homeschoolers to find their appropriate level?

 Simply Good and Beautiful isn’t common core standards-aligned and more or less follows its own scope and sequence. 

As with many non-standards aligned programs, it can be a little tricky for new parents and those moving into the curriculum from another to know with which book they should start. 

Overall, The Good and the Beautiful does a pretty good job at providing resources for parents to find their level in their math program. 

The company freely offers math placement tests for each level, as well as sample lessons and videos for parents to try out and figure out if which grade level is most appropriate for their child, which is fairly generous compared to most other math curricula out there. 

It also makes it quite easy for parents to try out a lesson and see how they and their child respond to the methodology and style, which we thought could be very helpful and is kind of cool.

What’s included at each level

What is included in Simply Good and Beautiful Math depends, to a large degree, on what grade-level the student is intending to pursue.

The curriculum can broadly be divided into two (something we’ll discuss more in-depth later) – Simply Good and Beautiful Math for K through Grade 3 and for Grades 4+.


Intended for a younger age group first coming to grips with more abstract symbols and concepts, the K-3 levels are involve more manipulative use and include: 

  1. A Simply Good and Beautiful Math coursebook – this contains all the lessons, exercises and instructions for teachers required to teach each grade;
  2. Math Box – As with similar programs, such as Saxon, Singapore and Math U See, Simply Good and Beautiful’s early math curriculum does involve the use of manipulatives in each lesson. These are sold together in a nice wooden container that helps keep things in one place. 

Grades 4+

At around Grade 4, the program moves away from more specifically-designed manipulatives and leans more on an assortment of hands-on activities, puzzles, games and exercises that tend to use commonly found household items. 

In addition to more complex math activities, at this grade level Simply Good and Beautiful Math begins to hone students’ ability to do math quickly in their head, i.e. mental math, with their book Mental Math Map Mysteries.

Simply Good and Beautiful Mental Math Map Mysteries

It also includes access to an assortment of online, short instructional videos (which we’ll discuss later). 

A full Simply Good and Beautiful program in Grades 4+, therefore, includes: 

  1. The Simply Good and Beautiful Math coursebook
  2. Access to videos 
  3. Mental Math Map Mysteries
  4. A printed answer key for parents 

All told, Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a pretty compact and efficient way to learn math for homeschoolers. 

Compared to other math curricula that include things like teacher’s manuals, student workbooks, test books, review books and more, 

Simply Good and Beautiful has one book that covers instruction, practice and review, and doesn’t have a lot of stuff that parents have to buy or much in the way of clutter that will fill up a house. 

In addition, many of the materials are offered on PDF, so parents can reduce the amount of shelfspace further by purchasing the coursebook and downloading digital versions of the answer keys, for example. 

Simply Good and Beautiful Math Curriculum Style

Broadly speaking, there are a few things that categorize Simply Good and Beautiful’s way of teaching math to students. 

Spiral Curriculum

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a spiral curriculum. 

This means that students will encounter the same topics in math, obviously increasing in complexity and depth, throughout their studies. 

They will learn one concept for a period, move on to another, then revisit that first one at a later time in more detail.

In this way, students are exposed to a wide variety of math topics in a period of time, they don’t feel “bogged down” by spending too much time on a single idea and ultimately get a lot of opportunities to review concepts so they don’t forget things over time.  

This is as opposed to a mastery curriculum, such as Singapore Math or Math U See, where students will dive deeply into one topic, spending perhaps weeks on a single concept, before moving to the next (once some level of proficiency is reached). 

Conceptual Math

Simply Good and Beautiful Math takes more of a conceptual approach, in our opinion, to math education than some other programs, like Saxon for example.

This means that the curriculum dedicates a good portion of its time to making sure students understand math concepts, that is the why behind math, rather than just spending time showing them how to solve equations in a step-by-step way (i.e. the how of math). 

Conceptual math tends to produce a deeper understanding of math and tends to foster more engaged and creative mathematical reasoning and thinking. 

In line with this, rather than offering pages filled with computational drill, there is a stronger emphasis on problem solving, word problems and various games and puzzles within Simply Good and Beautiful Math. 

To be sure, it is not as pure of a math concepts program as some others, and the program does include a fair amount of straightforward computation and mental math and math fact practice, as well. 

Hands-On Learning

Like Wild Math and some other programs we’ve looked at, Simply Good and Beautiful Math places a very strong emphasis on hands-on learning.

Whether it is with manipulatives in the early grades or with everyday items, each lesson contains a variety of explorations and activities that allow students to take a more active and engaged approach to their math lessons.

screenshot example of simply good and beautiful math hands on activity

 While perhaps not every student’s cup of tea, this hands-on learning can be great for students who enjoy tactile learning and those who are having a hard time grasping more abstract concepts in math.


Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a faith based homeschool program. 

It is a Christian math curriculum, which means that lessons can, from time to time, include references to and quotes from the Bible, directly reference Jesus and include content promoting positive Christian values and morals. 

Example of the good and the beautiful's faith based math approach

It is an inclusive and non-denominational Christian math curriculum and, when quoting the Bible, references the King James Version, which should make it broadly applicable to those following most streams of Christianity. 

How it Works

Each level of Simply Good and Beautiful Math is contained within one coursebook, which includes both lessons, practice and review.

There are 120 lessons at each level, which are divided into 3-4 units that parents and students will go through over the course of a year. 

Parental involvement and teaching

As it covers students in early grades as well as older students, Simply Good and Beautiful Math almost splits its curriculum between K-3 and Grades 4+ and really uses two almost parallel teaching styles to teach, which we find kind of interesting.

Simply Good and Beautiful Math for K-3: Parent-led teaching

For early math, owing to the presumed age of the students involved, Simply Good and Beautiful is parent-led. 

The books are written to the parent, rather than the student, and parents are generally given a script to read to the child with fairly thorough, but easy to use, prompts on how to conduct lessons. 

example of scripted learning for younger children in the good and the beautiful's math program

As they move through the lessons, parents also work with their students with the activities and puzzles, quiz them on math facts and correct their work.

As a result, the K-3 stage of Simply Good and Beautiful Math is quite heavy on parental involvement.   

Simply Good and Beautiful Math for Grades 4+: Promoting Independence 

As students move through Simply Good and Beautiful Math, they take on more independent work (commiserate with their growing overall capabilities) until, by Grade 4, the program becomes much more of a self-study course.

At these levels, the books are written to the student, rather than the parent, and students do a lot more of the learning and practice on their own. 

screenshot of simply good and beautiful's lesson for older kids promoting self-study

It is at these levels that the program adds video instruction that students can watch, in addition to brief written lessons, before proceeding to doing lesson practice and review. 

At the upper grade levels of Simply Good and Beautiful Math, parents can take a step back a bit and focus more on overseeing the process, rather than spending time teaching it. 

This helps free them up to either do other tasks or teach other children.

More importantly, perhaps, this shift towards self-study also encourages self-reliance and a general independence in learning in students that we feel is quite important for growing students. 

That said, being a homeschool program there’s nothing really stopping parents from modifying the course a bit to be more parent-led, should that be what is beneficial to the student. 

Manipulatives & Their Use

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a very hands-on math program.

At the K-3 level, lessons refer to and make ample use of the company’s Math Box,  an assortment of (mostly) wooden items that students use that can represent abstract ideas and math concepts. 

Unlike the typical Cuisenaire Rods and counting rods that are found in most math programs, The Good and The Beautiful gets pretty creative when it comes to math manipulatives and its Math Box. 

To be sure, the Math Box offers classic manipulatives that can be found in other programs for this age group, such as clocks, coins, shapes and money. 

Beyond that, however, depending on the grade level in question, Math Boxes can contain things like dice, boats, little helicopters and even jets. 

These items make the Math Box a little more fun and different to use than other curriculum offerings, and can be as amusing for kids to use as they are illustrative. 

In older grades, Simply Good and Beautiful Math doesn’t really make use of the Math Box, but rather builds a variety of different hands-on activities into each lesson. 

These typically use common household items (conveniently listed at the beginning of each lesson), such as rulers, dice, measuring tapes and more. 

These activities not only give students a bit more of an active learning experience, helping them understand abstract math ideas a bit better, but also can, from time to time, demonstrate how math is commonly used in everyday life, which is nice. 

Simply Good and Beautiful Math Books: Look, Feel and Style

Simply Good and Beautiful Math books are full color and are richly illustrated and are, on the whole, very visually attractive books that are far beyond what is offered in most math textbooks. 

In addition to standard diagrams, charts and representations, each lesson is interspersed with tons of full color hand-drawn illustrations and photos that can grab and maintain kids’ attention, and can really help them visualize concepts from the book. 

screenshot showing rich illustrations in simply good and beautiful math

And, while there can be a lot of text on each page (especially at older levels where students are given a fair amount of word problems), generally speaking these are interspersed with a good deal of visuals and the sentences and paragraphs are kept fairly short, which keeps things flowing along at a decent pace. 

That said, students who are struggling with reading may have a harder time working on their own at upper levels, given the greater amount of word problems and problem solving. 

While the video instruction, short lessons and plentiful illustrations help, they may still get frustrated from time to time.

On the whole, Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a very interesting and unique curriculum in that it goes the extra mile to split its overall curriculum into parent-led and self-study sections. 

We feel it really fits the traditional development that students will go through as they get older, becoming increasingly more capable of learning independently and often seeking out opportunities to do so. 

And while this does mean that the program’s broader format isn’t as consistent throughout as some other programs in terms of feel, to its credit Simply Good and Beautiful Math does slowly build up to this independence in learning, so it’s not that much of a shock to students moving into Grade 4.

The program slowly introduces independent work and activities written to the child starting in grade one, and increasing the proportion of this work (and decreasing parental involvement) in the curriculum through Grades 2 and 3. 

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is also a very engaging program that can be a lot of fun for kids to use, as well.

Each book is beautifully illustrated and contains a plethora of fun exercises to do throughout the lessons. 

Rather than providing a black and white page of drill exercises, Simply Good and Beautiful Math lessons include a lot of interesting hands-on activities, both as part of the lesson and as part of the review. 

example of activity in the good and the beautiful math lesson

These tend to bring math to life for kids and allow students to hone their skills without burning out as quickly as they might with traditional drill. 

Finally,  Simply Good and Beautiful Math’s conceptual approach to math is pretty clear and gets kids thinking about what they are doing and why they’re doing it far more than more traditional, computational curricula. 

The program’s various puzzles, exercises and activities involve a good deal of problem solving that can help students think more creatively when approaching math and, as with other concepts driven approaches, can serve as good preparation for higher level math courses later on. 

Interestingly, and unlike a typical conceptual math curriculum, Simply Good and Beautiful Math does include a good deal of review and practice, with dedicated sections for targeted review and math fact building in each section, which can help solidify learning and help increase speed and accuracy when doing math problems on their own.

Overall, while Simply Good and Beautiful Math is thorough and comprehensive in its approach to math, offering a good deal of interesting challenges, word problems and problem solving exercises alongside standard computation problems, it remains fairly approachable throughout. 

We feel that it is a usable curriculum for a wide range of students. 

The clear explanations and hands-on, approachable nature of the curriculum make it suitable for those who have generally had trouble with math and even those who fear the subject, while its problem sets and puzzles can provide a challenge for those who enjoy the subject matter. 

That said, while comprehensive, we don’t believe it to be the most rigorous conceptual math program out there and gifted math students or those looking for a highly enriched program may not find it to be enough and may need to supplement it with a more purposefully-challenging program. 

What Are Lessons Like?

Lesson Length 

Simply Good and Beautiful Math keeps its lessons pretty short and to the point, at 10-12 minutes in Kindergarten and up to 45 minutes or so at the Grade 5 level. 

We liked this system of many shorter lessons (rather than fewer, longer ones) for a few reasons. 

  • Shorter lessons can better accommodate younger students and those who have a hard time sitting still for a long time
  • Lessons seem more focused and there is far less busywork
  • Shorter lessons tend not to overwhelm students quite as much with information, and
  • Shorter lessons are easier to work into homeschool schedules, especially for busy homeschools and larger families that might be teaching several kids at once

On the other hand, they do have their drawbacks, such as the fact that not as much material that can be covered at once and some kids may feel that they’re just hitting their stride before coming to the end of a lesson. 

Lesson format and style

In general, lessons in Simply Good and Beautiful Math are pretty well structured and tend to follow something of a consistent format. 

For K-3 this involves: 

  1. A mini review of any previous concepts or lessons
  2. The instructional component of the lesson 
  3. Independent review and practice (for grades 1+)

At the older grade levels (4+), the lessons follow a similar but slightly different format

  1. Students begin the lessons by watching a video
  2. They can then (or in place of the video) read a written mini lesson
  3. Lesson practice
  4. Review

The lessons themselves are quite dynamic and active, with lots of activities and puzzles to engage in and explore concepts with, and we didn’t feel there to be a lot of busywork overall.

At the younger levels, formal learning and exercises are accompanied by a variety of stories and passages, which can be interesting for students and a nice break from formal math learning. 

They also fit The Good and the Beautiful’s more general literature-based approach that it takes with its other curricula. 

The lessons do keep things interesting and are kept from becoming repetitive through the use of a wide variety of activities that students work on. 

In addition to regular computational math exercises, lessons can include puzzles, hands-on manipulative work, white board activities, games, word problems, challenges and more. 

Some students enjoy getting to the point and prefer a more straightforward, computational approach to their lessons, and may become frustrated or bored with these activities. 

However, we feel this diversity of activities tends to keep Simply Good and Beautiful Math’s lessons pretty lively and engaging and do a pretty good job at preventing most kids from tuning out. 

Another thing we like is that lessons in Simply Good and Beautiful Math offer a good deal of practice and review compared to some other conceptual math programs out there, particularly mastery based programs. 

Through the activities and exercises, and periodic reviews, kids get to hone and solidify what they’re learning and develop stronger and more accurate functional math skills, rather than only developing a conceptual understanding.  

Simply Good and Beautiful Video Lessons

With Simply Good and Beautiful Math, at the older grade levels, students have access to a variety of online videos that they can watch to help them get a better understanding of math concepts.

Links to these videos are embedded in each textbook at the beginning of a lesson as a QR code, but can also be found through The Good and The Beautiful’s website with a little searching (each lesson has a lesson number attached to it, which is helpful). 

The videos themselves help explain general math concepts and are kept pretty short, at less than 10 minutes or so. 

An example of a video lesson can be found below:

Before diving into a math concept, the video lessons start off by connecting the lesson to real life in some way, often using props, videos and other imagery. 

This tends to make the videos kind of fun and help frame and contextualize the learning, effectively showing kids how the math they’re learning connects to everyday life, which is cool. 

The host of the videos is energetic and interesting, and she explores and explains things in a simple, approachable way that does a good job at clarifying math concepts without dumbing the material down or talking down to students, which is something we appreciate. 

She also tends to use a lot of visuals throughout each lesson, either in the form of whiteboard learning, in-video diagrams and pictures or even manipulatives and props, all of which can help students better understand what she’s talking about. 

screenshot of simply good and beautiful math video lesson

While the bulk of the videos are about explaining concepts, with practice and review left to the workbooks, occasionally the videos will offer students exercises to do, requiring them to pause the video and resume when they are done. 

This allows students to follow along with the learning in a more interactive way and keeps them on their toes somewhat. 

screenshot of simply good and beautiful video lesson demonstrating concept with whiteboard

Overall, the video lessons are, despite their short length, quite educational and can really help students transitioning into self-study get a better understanding of the material before they dive into the practice. 

We also like that they add a bit more multisensory learning to Simply Good and Beautiful Math, providing a good deal more audio/visual learning to the hands-on/tactile components. 

How easy are lessons to teach or follow?

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a pretty open and go math curriculum, is fairly well scripted and so is quite easy for parents to teach and, later, students to work from.

For parents teaching the K-3 level directly, the workbooks do a fairly good job at telling parents what to do and say in order to teach the material effectively, to the point of providing them an exact script from time to time. 

Not every homeschooling parent likes this level of scripting, preferring to teach their children more naturally and organically, but it can be a great and very useful option for parents new to schooling and those uncertain about their own abilities to teach math.

Further, as long as parents have gathered and organized their materials at the beginning of the year, it pretty much eliminates any lesson prep time, which is nice for busy parents. 

Grades 4+ are really written more for the child and so scripting is less of a concern, but the books do offer a good deal of clear instruction, including video lessons and detailed step by step guidance that should carry most students through with a minimum of parental intervention.  

Simply Good and Beautiful Math Pros and Cons


Highly affordable and compact curriculum

Despite its full color textbooks, manipulatives kits and activity sets, with a full year’s learning costing well under $60, Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a very affordable homeschool math curriculum and is significantly less expensive to buy than similar hands-on curricula out there. 

Further, since there is really only one workbook to buy at any given level (as opposed to also needing a teacher’s guide, exam books, etc), it is also very easy, compact and convenient to purchase and own. 

Comprehensive math program

Simply Good and Beautiful Math certainly doesn’t skimp on the learning. 

Although it moves at its own pace (not common core), we feel it covers the entirety of the scope and sequence of math topics that students are expected to learn in a fair amount of depth, at times even exceeding common core state standards. 

Fairly rigorous and challenging while still approachable

Simply Good and Beautiful Math’s clear and visual lessons, video learning and hands-on focus make it a very approachable program for students that can help them grasp math concepts a lot easier. 

That said, its conceptual approach also delves deeper into the understanding of math than some more computationally focused programs and the greater proportion of word problems and problem solving exercises adds a good deal of rigor and challenge to the program, as well. 

Lots of review and opportunities for practice

One weakness that many conceptual math programs have is that they tend to be stronger on theory and weaker on drill and application. 

Each Simply Good and Beautiful Math lesson involves concept reviews and a good deal of practice, and each unit ends with a fairly comprehensive assessment. 

This greater level of consistent practice allows students to develop stronger skill fluency as they move through the curriculum. 

Well scripted, open & go curriculum for parents and students

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a very well-scripted curriculum. 

At the K-3 level, which is more parent-led, lessons are highly detailed and act as something of a step-by-step guide to help parents teach the math content to their kids effectively, to the point of providing an actual script or dialogue for instruction. 

As a result, parents only need to open the workbook to the right lesson and can essentially start teaching. 

At the older levels, students are expected to engage in more self-study. Similar to earlier years, the books provide a great amount of instructive detail and step-by-step learning that really makes following a lesson quite easy for students. 

Learning from the workbook is also supplemented by highly engaging and approachable video lessons that can provide additional instruction in math concepts, as needed. 

Impressive and engaging illustrations and visual style

Rather than content itself with the standard occasional cartoons, charts and diagrams of a traditional math textbook, Simply Good and Beautiful Math workbooks are visually stunning, using a mixture of full color hand drawn illustrations, photos, diagrams and pictorial representations to break up text, illustrate points and generally drawn and hold students’ attention. 

This very visual style makes Simply Good and Beautiful Math a lot more interesting and engaging for students to look at than traditional, black and white curricula. 

Hands-on and Multisensory

Simply Good and Beautiful Math uses a variety of hands-on activities, from math manipulatives to puzzles and games, that make learning more engaging and that can help students grasp abstract concepts more intuitively. 

Along with the video lessons and the workbook’s rich visuals, this makes Simply Good and Beautiful Math a fairly multisensory program that can work well with a variety of students, regardless of their preferred learning style. 

Short Lessons

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a big believer in short and to the point lessons in order to work more effectively within students’ attention spans and homeschool schedules, as well as to help prevent burnout. 

As a result, the curriculum’s lessons are typically 10-45 minutes at most, depending on the grade and topic at hand.

Tons of fun activities

There are a wide variety of activities to try in Simply Good and Beautiful Math that can help solidify learning and provide much-needed practice. 

In addition to standard computational exercises, there are interesting games and puzzles, manipulative work, explorations and investigations with everyday items and far more. 

This variety of activities, aside from being more interesting than just drill, also keeps things fresh and interesting for students as they progress through their lessons. 

Gradually introduces independent learning

While K-3 levels are strongly parent-led, which can be a demand on parents time, as the series progresses it does gradually introduce more self-study components until, by Grade 4, the workbooks are directed at students themselves and students begin working independently. 

This gradual approach is beneficial as it encourages independent learning but does so in a way that won’t be as much of a shock to students – they aren’t suddenly thrown into self-study one day. 


Can be text heavy at times

While Simply Good and Beautiful Math does a good job at breaking it up with illustrations, short sentences and activities, there can be a fair amount of text on each page, particularly with the mini lessons at older grade levels.

While most kids won’t have an issue with this, students with persistent reading issues may have a harder time and become frustrated learning on their own.

Activity based learning not for everyone

While hands-on activities are a great learning tool, some students understand math concepts just fine without requiring them and may prefer doing straight computational exercises. 

These students may not appreciate breaking up a lesson with activities (even if it is short), seeing it as a distraction and may prefer to simply move on. 

Grade levels are very obviously place on book covers

Simply Good and Beautiful Math can be used by homeschool students working at their own pace, outside of traditional grade levels. 

As with many other grade level-based curricula, each book in the series prominently displays the grade for which they are intended. 

While this is fine for precocious learners (perhaps even a source of pride), it can make it more difficult for students who are a bit behind to use comfortably, as they may be embarrassed at using a level below them.

Who is Simply Good and Beautiful Math Ideal for

Students who like to learn in a hands-on way

Some students do best in math when given an opportunity to hold, touch and play around with their math. 

These tactile learners will have much to enjoy with Simply Good and Beautiful Math as the lessons include a good deal of hands-on activity and, at the lower levels, the use of math manipulatives. 

Students who have a hard time sitting through long math lessons

With very short and to the point lessons, Simply Good and Beautiful Math lessons won’t be too much of a strain for students who get fidgety, bored or frustrated with longer lessons. 

Students who enjoy lots of activity-driven learning

 Simply Good and Beautiful Math isn’t just about hands-on exploration of math concepts, there are also a variety of interesting puzzles, games and activities in each lesson that are fun to go through and provide a less boring way of practicing math compared to straight computation. 

Parents looking for an affordable curriculum

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a very affordable curriculum. At less than $60 per year of learning it shouldn’t be much of a strain on budgets, especially for homeschools with several students learning at once. 

Parents looking for an easy to use, open and go curriculum

Heavily scripted and highly detailed, Simply Good and Beautiful Math is quite easy for parents to teach from (and students to learn from).  

The curriculum doesn’t require a lot of previous experience in teaching and requires minimal (if any) preptime on the part of parents and students, making it essentially open and go. 

Parents looking to gradually introduce independent learning

While the K-3 levels are parent-led, as might be expected of a curriculum for younger kids,  Simply Good and Beautiful Math does transition students into more of a self-study model beginning in grade 4. 

Further, it does this gradually and gently by slowly introducing increasing amounts of independent practice and review in grades 1-3. 

Who is Simply Good and Beautiful Math Not Ideal for?

Students who prefer a mastery approach to learning

Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a spiral curriculum and units touch on a variety of topics that are learned in smaller chunks and revisited in greater depth from time to time. 

While this is fine for students who enjoy variety or don’t like to spend time bogged down on one math concept for weeks on end, some students dislike shifting from topic to topic and prefer to spend time learning and gaining proficiency in a single topic before moving on.

Students who prefer a more computational lesson design and practice

While hands-on and activity-based learning is a great way for most students to approach math, some students prefer a more to-the-point approach to math and prefer to do drill and computational exercises.

Advanced students looking for a very enriched, highly rigorous curriculum

While Simply Good and Beautiful Math is a thorough, comprehensive and pretty rigorous curriculum in our opinion, with a good deal of word problems, conceptual puzzles and problems solving exercises interspersed throughout, it isn’t the most challenging or difficult math curriculum out there, particularly for advanced or gifted math students.

While certainly challenging enough for most students, the word problems and puzzles aren’t exceptionally demanding or advanced for their grade level and can typically be solved with material from the lessons in a reasonable amount of time- they don’t require learning additional material or strategies to solve, as with programs like Beast Academy for example. 

As a result, gifted math students may go through the program quickly and may need to supplement their learning.

Parents looking for a common core curriculum

Simply Good and Beautiful Math isn’t aligned to common core math standards. 

While it certainly meets (and at times exceeds) these standards in terms of learning, the program follows its own scope, sequence and pace. 

Parents who prefer to learn with a common core aligned curriculum, therefore, may have issues in this regard. 


Note: Prices are correct as of writing. All prices in USD.

Simply Good and Beautiful Math can be purchased as a bundle for well under $70 – typically around $49.97 or $49.98. 

That said, parents can also purchase components of the course individually. 

The Math Box (for K-3) costs about $24.99 for each grade.

The Coursebook costs about $24.99 for each grade.

The Coursebook answer key costs about $9.99 for each grade.

And the Mental Math Map Mysteries (for Grades 4+) costs about $8.99 for each grade.

Overall this means that Simply Good and Beautiful Math is one of the more affordable and compact math curricula out there, being far less expensive to teach per year than some similar manipulative based K-8 math programs, such as Singapore or Math U See. 

It is even slightly more affordable than other budget-friendly options, such as Math Mammoth, depending on applicable discounts and deals. 

Of course, parents should always check for current pricing and any offers that might be available. 

Is Simply Good and Beautiful Math Worth it?

Overall, we feel that Simply Good and Beautiful Math is definitely worth the money. 

Despite being a fairly affordable math program we believe it offers homeschools pretty good value. 

Simply Good and Beautiful Math offers parents and students a comprehensive, thorough and concepts-driven math program with rich, colorful lessons that are filled with a variety of interesting and challenging games, puzzles, exercises and hands-on activities to help engage students and help them better grasp abstract concepts.

It is also an easy to use, open and go curriculum. Lessons for grades K-3 are well-scripted and detailed, requiring very little in the way of preptim, and we feel that even those with little previous teaching experience and those unsure of their own math skills with have little issue using this curriculum. 

For older students using it for self-study, the curriculum is clear and very understandable, exploring concepts thoroughly but approachably and ultimately can help kids develop more confidence in their abilities to learn independently of their parents, which we like.

Finally, Simply Good and Beautiful Math does all this in a very compact form, with one workbook that is supplemented by video lessons and a box manipulatives, meaning there’s not a lot for parents to buy or that will clutter up a house. 

Bottom Line

Teaching math isn’t always the easiest thing for parents or students.

With its fun videos, gorgeously illustrated texts and wide variety of activities and puzzles to help with practice, Simply Good and Beautiful Math can go a long way in making learning a lot easier for everyone while still providing a thorough math education.

If you are looking for an engaging, hands-on and thorough K-8 math curriculum with short and interesting lessons that can fit most budgets, Simply Good and Beautiful Math should be at the top of your list.

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About the Author

David Belenky is a freelance writer, former science and math tutor and a tech enthusiast. When he’s not writing about educational tech, he likes to chill out with his family and dog at home.