I am pleased to bring you this guest review from my friend and fellow home school mom Crystal Levin. She has been homeschooling for 12 years and has children ranging from 16 years old to 4 months. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and I’m excited to have her share about the new curriculum she is using this year.
The Good and The Beautiful
I have been promising this review for a while but with life and new babies it just got pushed back. However it’s because of the new baby that I even tried this curriculum. I am a homeschool mom to 8 wonderful children, but I had noticed that even I was dreading school. When that happens I know it’s time to reevaluate what we are doing. Enter The Good and The Beautiful. This curriculum is fairly new to the homeschool scene and made all kinds of promises. I have to tell you they were promises that I loved. It combines grammar, Art study, handwriting, spelling, literature, and geography into ONE. All of this and and zero prep, it was really too good to be true. I decided that at the price point I didn’t have too much to lose so I bought Pre K, Kindergarten and Level 5.
The quality of the materials is amazing. The pages are a heavier paper and it is in full color, something that’s important to my girls. It truly is zero prep, I open the book and read the lesson with my girls and we are done. Each lesson is packed with ONLY important information. I cannot tell you how much that means to me, I do not need 20 worksheets on the A sound but give me a card to review for a min or so before the lesson and I’m good. The Pre K and K is just what you’d expect there is phonics work and poetry memorization along with letter formation practice and practice using each new sound you learn. Pre K also goes over numbers and even starts Art Study. The phonics cards are laminated and numbered and each lesson tells you what you need. The Pre K even has hands on activities that use house hold items such as pennies or cotton balls. The best part, It only takes me about 10 to 20min per kid for the pre K and K and in that time I feel like they have had a full, meaningful lesson with zero fillers.
Now once you get to the upper level it’s a bit different. Each child has a check list that tells them what they are to do for the day. The book TELLS the child how their week will be structured. They do poetry memorization every other day and alternate days between grammar flash cards and geography flash cards. As the parent I spend about 5 min reviewing these with my student (I have 2 in level 5 at the moment) Next you do sentence dictation. Each day you read 5 sentences to your student, they write them down and you check, any words misspelled they correct and then write 5 times. This takes maybe 5 or 6 min depending on your student. Then my favorite part is the shared reading. You and your student take turns reading to each other. Each day it’s about 2 ½ pages. Once that’s done the student completes the work in their book and you are done. The student then does independent reading in their reading book for the time you decide. In our family it’s 10min.
Every aspect of this curriculum is very well laid out. Everything has been planned for you and it is wholesome. It truly lives up to its name, The Good and the Beautiful. They don’t just stop at grammar however they also do Science, History and Math as well as Art. They also have a Nature Notebook and Creative Writing Note book. Right now we are also using their science and my daughter wanted the Creative Writing Notebook.
I love how easy the creative writing notebook is for her to use. It starts out by giving you the tools to write. It has you describe colors and sounds, textures and colors. Once you have done that it starts building your creative writing skills. It has made a nice addition to her school work and is something she actually ASKS to do and as a mom it doesn’t get much better than that!
Science is set up as unit studies and takes about 8min of prep. You have to look at the material list for the experiments (all house hold items) and maybe print off a sheet for your children. I took about an hour and laminated all the vocabulary cards and put together all the mini books so I wouldn’t have to do that later. Each lesson is easy to follow. You review words that you need to know, do an experiment if applicable and read. There are options to find other books on the topic you are studying as well as how to go beyond the basic lesson for your older students. With the Water Unit there is the option to buy a book pack and I did. I cannot tell you how much I love the curriculum I have used so far. It has truly helped me simplify my homeschool while still having a solid quality curriculum. This is a Charlotte Mason style curriculum and so it reflects the values found in the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling.
So, how much will you spend on this? Not very much at all, I find this is a very affordable curriculum. You can either purchase the PDF which is very inexpensive or buy the physical curriculum. I chose to buy the physical because after look at printing costs and the expense of my time I would much rather buy it all done. Their website is very well laid out and the folks that monitor their Facebook page are very responsive. I will continue using this curriculum with my children. We are all using the Science and so far 4 are using the literature. I have another child who uses her own thing. I have been using this for a few months now and so far I’m really happy!!
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The Last Archer (Green Ember Series) is only $.99 (prices subject to change)
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