After a busy summer settling into our new property, chopping wood, planning gardens, and exploring our new 5 acres, we are now almost two months into our school year! We have a 9 year old, a 7 year old, a 6 year old, and an almost 5 year old. Of course, like any homeschool mom, I labored long and hard over the curriculum decision… wanting the absolute best for my kids. However, being on a tight budget, “the best” seemed a far off dream.
Enter, The Good & the Beautiful! (Important note: These are my honest to goodness thoughts about this curriculum, I am not being compensated for this review, and we purchased the curriculum ourselves for use this year).
A friend introduced me to The Good & the Beautiful just weeks before I planned to start our school year. I spent hours reading reviews, exploring the freebies, and learning about the mission of this company. I tear up just writing this post! As I read Jenny’s mission, her values, and what she wanted to accomplish in creating this curriculum, my heart swelled inside me and I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that THIS is what we were looking for! I talked with my husband that night, showed him what I’d been learning, and he knew as well. We ordered the levels we needed and waited in anticipation for them to arrive!
I am not one to skimp on academics so I also want a curriculum that covers all the bases. The Good & the Beautiful goes above and beyond in that it includes an emphasis on good character and values in every lesson and reading! This emphasis really spoke to me on a deep level because even above academics, I value character development… Jenny’s curriculum weaves character and values into every lesson. It is a faith-based curriculum, but it doesn’t delve into doctrine or the deeper concepts of denominational differences. She keeps it basic and focused on creation rather than evolution, and beauty rather than doctrine, allowing you as the parent, to incorporate doctrine and specific beliefs in according to your particular bent.
My motivation to “do school” swelled ten-fold as I prepared with new energy and excitement… I’m emotional again just now remembering that HOPE for a beautiful year of exploration and discovery guided by something I couldn’t create on my own. Below you can see the evolution of beauty in our homeschool space – this isn’t a post about our space… but as I anticipated with excitement the beauty of this curriculum, I was inspired to create… I hadn’t even received all the printed materials yet and I was already inspired just by browsing the pdf files I’d downloaded! Jenny’s dream and passion is truly contagious!
Inspired by the beauty of the curriculum to make a beautiful space to use it…
Maps make everything more beautiful!
Organizing the kid’s individual binders and deciding what things to print in black and white, and what to print or purchase in color.
Our kids are color coded! I think this is beautiful too!
Final touch… the magnet boards!
And the magnet boards are full – it’s also canning day! Dual purpose desks! Also a thing of beauty!
Fast forward two months … We are fully in the throws of homeschooling… and honestly – loving it more than any other year! Allow me to walk you through the products we are using and tell you what we love about them.
But first… take a look at these excited kids!
Look at these photos of our struggling reader/speller… he has seriously grown so much just in these couple months of working with The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Curriculum. Look at those words he can READ and SPELL! The repetition built into the program is fantastic but not tedious or boring. It’s woven in artfully throughout the program in different ways so as not to become mundane. The Mini-books (readers) that come with each Language Arts level are beautiful as well. The illustrations are quality, the stories are entertaining – often evoking peals of laughter from my children!
The Good and the Beautiful
This is my struggling reader/speller who is making so much progress!
Look at these words he can SPELL!
Spelling practice days.
Curriculum is in an “Open and Go” Style. This means there is little to NO prep work for teacher (do you hear that, Mom? No Prep!). In the Language Arts programs, it is literally open and go, NO PREP! Some of the history and science lessons do require some prep, but it isn’t extensive nor is it expensive – Thank you Jenny!
Jenny, being a homeschool mom herself, obviously KNOWS what we homeschool mom’s need… Look at this excerpt from one of the language arts books! Do you see the lovely check boxes! This “open & go” style of workbook with it’s handy check boxes make it SOOO easy to keep track of what’s been completed and where we need to start next time! Being a teacher of multiple children and grade levels at one time I find this feature to be a HUGE help in keeping me on track.
Overall, I LOVE The Good & the Beautiful Language Arts Curriculum! We have been using the Level K & Level 2 curriculum this year. Our 6 year old will graduate to Level 1 probably about half-way through the year and our 4, almost 5 year old, will probably graduate INTO Level K. Our 8 year old, 9 this week, is working through the Level 2 book and will probably finish it before the year is up as she is highly academic and independent. She LOVES the geography that is so beautifully incorporated into the curriculum, and is truly learning to understand and appreciate art! I love all the beautiful pieces and the brief history of the piece as it is mentioned in the lessons.
Frugal Mom Tip: I would highly recommend purchasing the PRINTED curriculum for at least one child. I purchased the printed book and the PDF downloads. I printed the whole download in black and white for each child, and then, when we come to a page with artwork or something else better viewed in color, I pull out the printed book. In this way I am able to use the printed book for more than one child. If you can afford to purchase the printed book for each child, I also encourage you to do that just to support this amazing company!
Oh how we are loving science! We are working on the Arthropod (Bugs) unit this year! As I was creating our homeschool space the kids were inspired and motivated to prepare for their bug study – energy and inspiration is contagious – The Good and the Beautiful got us ALL excited for the school year! They scrambled with the small amount of summer we had left to collect various bugs for their bug board! They accumulated quite a collection! Here is a sampling!
Check out the variety of Science Units The Good and the Beautiful offers! None of these sets is over $22 for the PRINTED COPY and all are full color on high quality glossy paper. We ordered the Meteorology unit for our next unit as we will be finished with Arthropods by the beginning of 2018. And there are more units planned for the coming years, so keep checking back!
I cannot begin to express how thrilled I am with this course! My 8 year old is fast becoming an accomplished typist! She types quickly and accurately without looking at the keyboard, and all without the “video game” style distraction of most modern programs!
We have been using the Nature Notebook this year but I also ordered the Creative Writing Notebook. The Nature Notebook is wonderful for exploring the seasons. Once a week is enough to accomplish each season’s activities during that season. The Creative Writing Notebook is beautifully designed and we can’t wait to use it next year.
The Handwriting courses are wonderful independent work for the kids! As you can see below, my son’s handwriting has improved visibly in just the past several weeks!
Each page includes handwriting practice and art! Sometimes just asking to draw or color a picture, sometimes giving more direction like, “Draw a picture of a mountain or a rainbow”. I love that the kids can work independently on their practice as the numbers and arrows are there for their instruction.
Can I just say, this History Curriculum is GORGEOUS and FUN! We’ve been learning about Creation and Ancient Egypt so far. The activities are not only educational, they are fun as well! Dressing up like Egyptians, making a representative timeline on the floor demonstrating how LONG the period of Ancient Egypt was as compared to how long the US has been a nation! I’M learning along with the kids! The Big Book of History Stories is high quality, full color, and engaging writing! We love when we get to pull that book out with a lesson!
We adore the audio dramatizations that accompany the curriculum as well! I really feel they enhance the experience. Also, even though our children are young, we’ve been enjoying the Keys of History Board Game. I, as the teacher, appreciate the sneaky repetition this board game accomplishes! Seriously, all those facts I labored over in public and private school – all here, in cooperative game fashion (we work as a team to “beat the clock”), studied from a young age. These kids will actually REMEMBER these facts when they are adults… and they won’t even know they worked to memorize them!
This Book List has been a FOUNDATIONAL part of our homeschool plan this year! The books included on the list are ALL wonderful books you can truly trust to be safe for your children! We have very much enjoyed reading books aloud off The Good & the Beautiful Book List, as well as reading alone during Quiet Reading Time. Our favorite so far is a book we would have never found had it not been for this list… A Tree For Peter… What a beautiful inspiring read! The Good and the Beautiful team puts out an ANNUAL update to this list, continually adding to the amount of beautiful books you can feel confident about!
Jenny is graciously offering a FREE book list download to my followers,
valid only from 11/8/17-11/11/17 … Check out the sample page below.
There are over 500 books listed and thoroughly reviewed on this book list!
Click on the image below to find the Book List!
Of course, there is also the question of time! How much TIME does it take to get through the lessons, and school as a whole for the day. That is another thing I love so much about The Good and the Beautiful ! It’s open and go so I’m not scurrying about during school hours wasting precious time gathering supplies, or printing a forgotten worksheet. I’m homeschooling four children Level 2 and under, so all of our lessons in the Language Arts book and for History and Science are done with me there. We start school at 8am, and we’re done between 11-12! That’s 3-4 hours TOTAL! I’m not even kidding! And I spend at least 30-40 minutes with each child INDIVIDUALLY and then we do History together twice a week and Science and Nature together once a week. I have the family lessons sprinkled throughout the week on different days so it’s not all clumped into one day. Not only does this 3-4 hours include The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts, History, Science, and Nature… I’m also doing Math with all the kids and one is doing The Good and the Beautiful Typing! We are ALWAYS done before lunch! Isn’t that incredible!
As a homeschool mom on a very tight budget, I SOOO appreciate Jenny’s commitment to making The Good and the Beautiful AFFORDABLE! Not only are the printed materials SUPER reasonably priced, there are also many FREE downloads if you just can’t scrap together the money to buy the printed version! She STRIVES to make it possible for every homeschool family to have access to QUALITY curriculum! This mission and purpose is something I can stand behind and support WHOLEHEARTEDLY!
Look here at a couple of the science units for an example. You can print the Arthropods Unit at home for only $8.99! Or you can buy it and have it shipped to you for only $16! The Meteorology unit is the most expensive unit and still only costs $12.99 for the PDF or $22 for the printed + PDF! These units are WELL worth that amount of money!
Also, look at the Language Arts Level 1 Course set. You can get the whole thing for FREE if you just access the PDF download (look at the color portions on a Tablet or computer or print it in color at home or an office supply store). Or, you can order the physical course set for only $58! How many curriculum’s can you name where an entire year of Literature, Spelling, Phonics & Reading, Grammar & Punctuation, Art Appreciation & Writing (& Geography as well in Level 2 and up) are included for only $58! Or, save yourself a couple bucks and print the phonics cards at home and spend only $51 for the physical course set! This is AFFORDABLE!
Don’t want to buy the whole set… maybe you’ve bought it already and just need the coursebook again for another child? Buy pieces separately.
That Level K Reader is so cute and fun to read. Forget other primary readers and their repetitive “blah” style and unimaginative stories. This reader is wonderfully written to inspire and teach!
If you’re still not convinced, to supplement your research, here are a few other reviews on this amazing curriculum:
Well, I think that about covers it! I think you can tell that we LOVE The Good and the Beautiful! Please hop on over to the website and explore the curriculum for yourself! Download one or more of the FREE Language Arts courses and read the whole thing! Take the guesswork out of ordering the printed copy by previewing the entire course for FREE!
Don’t forget to take advantage of that FREE Book List Download as well!
Have you tried any of The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum in your homeschool?
Comment below and let me know your thoughts as well!