In twelve years of being a homeschool mom, I’ve taught seven of my kids to read. (I’ve got three more to go!) I’ve tried a multitude of homeschool curriculum both as a mom and as part of a homeschool parent review team. I know what type of curriculum sort of works for our unique family and what type of curriculum definitely does not work for our family.
And while I could give you a decent list of curriculum that we’ve liked, and even that I’d recommend, I can honestly say I’ve never found a curriculum that I thought worked perfectly for us. That is, until now.
5 Reasons I Made This Language Arts Switch
My oldest four children are homeschooled, but they all take core classes outside of my home with other teachers. This year, I am the primary teacher for my younger six which at the beginning of the school year included 3 struggling readers, 2 beginning readers, and a toddler. Over the summer I sat at my computer to once again face the daunting question of, “Which Language Arts/phonics program will I be going with this year?” and stumbled upon The Good and the Beautiful curriculum.
From TGTB’s home page…
There is free homeschool curriculum out there, but nothing like this! We offer free course sets (Levels 1-5) that combine and thoroughly cover phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography—all in one easy-to-use, beautiful course.
- emphasizes faith, family, nature, and high moral character
- non-denominational Christian worldview
- uses wholesome, clean literature
- academically strong
- used by hundreds of thousands of children
Furthermore, they state,
” We are on a mission to bring joy and beauty back into learning while creating strong minds and noble hearts.”
Now, that is a mission I can get on board with!
After some further research and administering the Language Arts placement test, I ordered The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Level 2, Level 1, Level K, and Level PreK for my crew. I think it’s important to note that I highly recommend administering the placement test and taking a look at each level before making a decision on where your student should start. I mentioned before that I had three struggling readers, but regardless I do think that TGTB Language Arts is relatively advanced when compared with other homeschool LA programs. I purposefully chose to go back one or two levels with each of my kids. I’m happy to report that my kids are flying through their lessons though! I’ll need to order new levels for at least two of them by January.
I also think it’s important to note that I am giving my honest opinion in this review of The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts curriculum. I have not been compensated by TGTB and I purchased this curriculum myself. I’m telling you this now, because there is going to be some gushing to follow.
I’m not kidding, friends. I. love. this. curriculum.
I’m throwing out all my other LA programs and I’m not looking back. And here’s the 5 reasons why…
1. It really is Good and Beautiful.
I’m an artist and enjoy items that are visually pleasing to the eye. Flipping through this curriculum is nothing short of delightful. Full color art prints and colorful worksheets and games are sprinkled throughout the books. Instructions are laid out simply and efficiently. I know which sentences to read to myself (in blue) and which sentence to read to my student (in bold).
The author, Jenny Phillips, and her team are dedicated to creating and encouraging the reading of wholesome literature. I’ve been surprised more than once by the depth and sweet truths that are even portrayed in their beginning readers! This is so much more than “See Spot Run” or “Pat Sat on a Mat”.
2. It’s affordable.
You may have noticed the word ‘FREE’ mentioned above! And I can hardly believe it myself, but it’s totally true! The Good and The Beautiful’s Language Arts Levels 1-5 are completely free as PDF downloads. You can download them and print them yourself for personal use from your home printer.
In addition to that, all available levels of TGTB LA can also be purchased and shipped in printed form for incredibly reasonable prices! I opted to purchase the physical printed sets and I’m so glad I did. The activity packets are printed on thick cardstock and the course books are printed on thick, glossy paper.
3. It’s simple to teach.
I’m teaching 4 levels of TGTB LA to 5 different students each day. I’m not kidding when I say that I need this curriculum to be open and go. And it totally is. I have one clear plastic tub for each student. Their LA coursebook, activity packets, and phonogram cards all go in this tub. I work one-on-one with each student for about 30-40 minutes a day. The other kids work on math, handwriting, spelling practice, and reading until it’s their turn. I simply pull out a student’s tub, open their coursebook, and pick up from where we left off on the previous day.
4. My Kids Love it!
TGTB Language Arts is beautiful, interesting, and varied. The students get in reading practice, spelling practice, sight word practice, phonogram review, and grammar studies as you would expect. But they also participate in art study, fun games, and projects. Lessons are meant to be kept at no longer than 30-40 minutes, so my kids don’t get bogged down or overwhelmed by sitting for long periods of time. They look forward to and actually ask to do their work!
5. It’s working!
I’m so excited about the pictures above! They show the results of three Reading Assessments that one of my kids have completed over the course of 2 months time. As I mentioned before, this is one of my students who began the school year as a struggling reader. During the reading assessment, I simply recorded his time and how many words he missed. Look at how he’s improved in two short months!! This guy will be ready for the next Language Arts Level by January. Not only is he doing a great job, but his confidence has seen a big boost as well. He carries around books all day, reading them to his dad and his younger sisters.
In addition to Language Arts, The Good and The Beautiful also offers History, Science, Handwriting, and more… all of which are on my wish list. We’ve recently ordered and just started their newly released Safety unit and I’m already thoroughly impressed with how TGTB is handling this important topic as well.
**For a very limited amount of time you can download a FREE copy of The Good and the Beautiful Book List, which is a great resource for finding wholesome and beautiful literature. (Free download is only available until 11/11/17.)**
I cannot recommend checking out this curriculum enough. It’s by far my favorite curriculum purchase of the year if not of all time. I’ll keep you updated as we try out more of TGTB products!
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