Before I started homeschooling I had this vision of fun-filled days with curriculum that I would create myself and a house full of engaging and exciting projects on the go! I imagined field trips, play dates, and extra curricular classes a plenty! But once I actually STARTED homeschooling, I found my dream wasn't quite in touch with reality.
In my dream I hadn't taken into account house work, helping my husband run his business, trying to start my own online business, my involvement at church, and all the life circumstances that seem to pop up at the worst times. I grappled with my dream but was never fully achieving it and unfortunately the part that was lacking was curriculum. Can you relate my friend?
I finally gave myself permission to let go of the curriculum part of my dream and it has been the BEST decision I have made in homeschooling! I discovered an AMAZING curriculum created by a homeschool mom. This is someone who truly understands the struggle and created a curriculum that meets the real needs of homeschooling families. It is called, The Good and The Beautiful! Just the name of the curriculum was compelling to me but once I read about it, saw samples of it, and talked to people that were using it, I was sold! I ordered it and now that I have used it myself, I can tell you with 100% confidence that this will simplify your life and actually make homeschooling easy.
Let me tell you my MANY reasons of why I think you will love this curriculum too!
1. Open and Go - The amount of prep required for this curriculum is minimal. I have used other curriculum that have taken me hours to figure out in advance! With The Good and The Beautiful it goes like this:
Text written in blue is instruction to you. For example it may say, "Dictate the following words" or "Read to the child". Where it says this there will then be text in black. Text in black is instruction for the child. It is literally that simple! Open the book and read the blue words to yourself and the black words to your child.
2. Comprehensive - Now you might be thinking that simply dictating as I just mentioned might make the curriculum boring or disengaging. But I promise it is far from that! The language arts pulls in beautiful artwork, wholesome stories, geography, and diverse activities. But there is still a wonderful continuity of learning through all those avenues.
3. Progresses to Independent Study - Perhaps you are thinking, "But I don't want to dictate to my child for 10+ years." Don't worry, it transitions to independent study at level 4. Of course you may choose to continue working closely with your child but at level 4 it is no longer required.
4. Materials - At this point you might be wondering how there can be such minimal prep with a curriculum that is so great. The reason is that the materials you will need are clearly laid out in the first couple pages of the book. You don't have to read through the whole book to figure out what you will need for each lesson. This in itself is a huge time saver! I love that I can open the front cover and see exactly what I will need for lesson 1, 5 or 7. This makes gathering materials fast and easy.
5. Crystal Clear Instructions - I have already talked about the open and go style of this curriculum but I want to dive more into the ease of the instructions. I have never once sat in utter confusion trying to figure out what order or how to go about teaching a lesson. I've never been part way through a lesson and realized I should have had something cut out or prepared in advance.
As well as having the materials listed at the beginning of the book, the materials are also listed at the beginning of each lesson. Along with that is a preparation section. If you need to cut something out, it will be written there. If you need to assemble a mini-book, it will be written there. There are no surprises! The instructions in the lessons are clearly written in the order that they should be accomplished. There are even lovely little boxes that you can check as you complete each section (love this!).
6. Multi-age Learning - Okay, this doesn't apply for all aspects of the curriculum but it is a huge plus for science and history! Language arts is not designed for multi-age learning. If you have a kid in level 1 and a kid in level 4, they will each have their own language arts program. But science and history are combined regardless of your children's ages. This means more fun for the kids and a huge time saver for you!
7. Time Based - For language arts every aspect is broken into time blocks. For example, rather than pushing your child to complete all of lesson 7 in one day, your child will work for 20-40 minutes (depending on the level) in his or her workbook. I have found this incredibly helpful for myself and my kids! Before doing this I would spend far to long on a lesson because I wanted my kids to complete it, even though the value was lost because they really weren't focused anymore. With time blocks, we just set a timer and they work hard for that predetermined amount of time. When the timer goes off, they stop.
I am much more balanced using time blocks. I'm not constantly running out of time because I stubbornly want to finish what we were doing. Every day my kids have a set time for their workbook, phonics, sight words, and spelling. I am no longer worried that they aren't getting a little of everything each day. I know you would experience the same peace of mind using this amazing curriculum!
8. Wholesome Content - Just like the title suggests, everything in this curriculum focuses on the good and the beautiful in life. The artwork, the literature, the examples, the activities, they are all wholesome. The curriculum is taught from a Christian worldview but with no specific connection to a religion or doctrine. Any Christian family would feel comfortable and confident in this curriculum.
9. Price - Would you be surprised if I told you that SOME of this curriculum is actually FREE? You can receive a PDF copy of language arts levels 1-5 free! You would have to print it yourself, but this is still a huge savings compared to other curriculum I have checked out.
Even for the stuff that isn't free, this curriculum is much cheaper than many I have looked into. There are different price points depending on your needs. There is the option of purchasing PDF's and printing yourself or purchasing physical copies. For myself, I have done physical copies because it is not more cost effective to print myself. With the cost of physical copies being so reasonable, you would probably have a hard time printing for much cheaper than what is offered on their website. After seeing the quality of my first purchase, it is worth every penny!
10. Kids Love It - We all want curriculum that our kids not only learn from, but that they also enjoy. The Good and The Beautiful meets both these requirements!
After a couple years of homeschooling and struggling with what to teach and how to teach it, my prayers were answered when I discovered this curriculum. It still blows my mind that changing curriculum made such a positive difference, not just in homeschool but in my life! I am no longer stressed or worried about what I am teaching, I am no longer spending hours prepping, and most importantly, I am enjoying the ease of homeschooling with confidence.
If you aren't 100% satisfied with your current curriculum I strongly encourage you to check out The Good and The Beautiful! From the comprehensive, wholesome content, to the minimal prep, to the amazing price, I know you will love this curriculum just as much as I do!