Truth be told…I love talking about curricula. I love learning about new companies, new activities for my children, looking over spelling lists, flipping through new readers. So when people ask me about what I am using with my children, I am always happy to share!
Below I am sharing Part 2 of my curriculum picks for this school year, my picks for Language Arts, History, and Science.
To read Part 1 where I share my picks for Bible and Math click here.
When looking for a Language Arts curriculum I was so overwhelmed. Language Arts encompasses more than just reading and writing. It includes:
Trying to piece together a well rounded curriculum seemed daunting. Then someone told me about The Good and The Beautiful curriculum. It is a complete Language Arts curriculum, so it includes all the components listed above, but also includes Art and Geography!
I had started Kindergarten with my oldest using My Father’s World, but soon realized it wasn’t a good fit for us. It’s a great curriculum, and I have a lot of friends that use it. It didn’t work for us because my daughter had gone to preschool and learned all of her letters and their sounds and was ready to start to read. My Father’s World’s Kindergarten curriculum starts with learning the letters and sounds and my daughter was bored. Maybe if I had started her on 1st grade it would have worked out better for us?
Another reason it didn’t work for us was because it had a weekly layout and planned lessons. I thought I was going to like that but every time life got in the way and we didn’t get much school done I kept feeling like we had fallen behind and rushed to catch up. I had to complete each week “on time” and “catch up”. It ended up being stressful for me, and probably not much fun for my daughter. I do think I might use it for my other children as more of a preschool level.
I mention why My Father’s World didn’t work because it gives the context of why I love The Good and The Beautiful (TGTB). I love TGTB because it has all the Language Arts components built in already so I don’t have to piece that all together myself and research different companies. It also does NOT have a weekly plan which I personally find much more freeing. I can pick it up, do what we can for the day, then pick it up next time where we left off. I never feel behind.
I’d describe TGTB’s Language Arts as rigorous but doesn’t feel rigorous. Concepts are introduced in a fun way, and there is plenty of repetition and practice throughout. My daughter loves the short stories, the reader, and the fun ways the curriculum has her practice what she is learning with fun activities.
One last bonus with TGTB Language Arts… levels 1-5 are FREE in the PDF format! Yup, you read that right! The free PDF includes the course book, the reader, the mini books, and the phonics cards all in PDF form and all completely FREE!! It is a great way to not only see if you like the curriculum, but to save money!
I was not very good at History in school, but I loved hearing all the stories. Maybe that’s why we chose The Good and The Beautiful’s History curriculum. TGTB’s History curriculum has 4 levels. It is a family style curriculum so you can be teaching multiple children of different ages all at once. Each child will cover the same topic at their age appropriate level. Younger children will have coloring pages and copy work, while older children will have lesson extensions to go deeper into the topic.
Each level covers the entire sweep of History from Creation to Modern Times. I liked this feature of TGTB. I had looked at other curricula that spent a whole year studying ancient times and heard that some children got bored by staying in ancient times so long, some parents were bored too! Covering different time periods in History has kept my daughter interested and engaged. I love that she is being exposed to so many different people and events on a level she can understand. She was even inspired to have an Ancient Egypt themed birthday this year!
TGTB’s History set also includes access to audio dramatizations that accompany many of the lessons. I loved this aspect because my daughter loves listening to audio books. I thought this was a fun way to experience history in a different way for her. She often asks to listen to another one once we are through with the lesson!
Years 1-3 have already been released and each have a game included! The game for Year 1 has a board game that my daughter enjoys playing. At her age (7) we just read facts and move pieces around the board, but at older ages she will begin to have to fill in key details from memory! Year 2 has a card game about explorers and settlers, and Year 3 has a game about the Bill of Rights!
Here is a short video showing more information about the curriculum:
TGTB History is set up as 4 Years that you would cycle through. Once you complete all 4 Years you would start back at Year 1. You would be covering the same material but the student explorer sheets and assignment extensions would take your child deeper than the first time the material was covered. I started my daughter in 1st grade with Year 1 History. I plan to use all 4 years of TGTB History for her, and once we are ready to cycle back to Year 1 I will reassess to see if we will continue again with TGTB History or try something else as she gets older. I do feel it is a great program for elementary age, which is the only age I have personally used it for.
My daughter loves Science! It is by far her favorite subject, so picking a great Science curriculum was important. I researched several different companies to find a good fit. Many of them were one topic per year, such as a full year of zoology or botany. Just like with History, I didn’t think that one topic for a full year would hold my children’s attention. What if we picked zoology and then she hated it and we were stuck with it for a year? Other companies just felt too text book for my 1st grader. I feel like there is time for that when they are older. Right now I want Science to be fun for her. Kids are so full of wonder at that age!
So once again, we turned to The Good and The Beautiful. I love how their Science units are laid out for elementary aged children. Each topic is a unit that is 6-24 lessons long. This means we do not have to study zoology for a full year! We can study one topic for several weeks and then move on to another topic. I felt this was a great fit for our family. I liked the idea of giving her an introduction to several different areas of science.
The science units we chose are Intro to Energy, Meteorology, and The Human Body. Each unit has easy, hands on activities, and is open and go! It has been a great combination of information and engaging activities. Again, my only experience with this science curriculum is with early elementary, but it has been a great fit for us. TGTB does offer Science all the way up to high school level and I would certainly consider it.
Here is a short video that gives an overview of TGTB’s Science:
I hope sharing my reasons for choosing The Good and The Beautiful for Language Arts, History and Science can help you as you begin to consider what might be a good fit for your family as well. If you have any questions that I didn’t cover or want to share about what you chose for your family please feel free to leave a comment! Like I said in the beginning of this post, I LOVE talking about curriculum!!