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The Good & The Beautiful Curriculum Review

*This post (May 2020) is a significant update from the original publication in 2017.

When my oldest son was tiny, my husband and I wrote a family creed of sorts that we say almost every day:

“O’Loughlins are
Prepared
Virtuous
Grateful
Seeking Good
Joyful
Humble”

I can’t think of many areas of my life where I have spent more time Seeking Good than in selecting homeschool curriculum for my family!

Since 2011 when we got serious about our homeschool preparations, I’ve spent hours scouring Pinterest and homeschool blogs and forums to find a “perfect fit” curriculum. I wanted something fun and engaging and wholesome that would also teach all the basics of that subject.

In my search, I amassed an impressive amount of resources for different subjects, but I had to piece them together into my own core curriculum. Homeschooling this way has been incredibly time-consuming!

In 2016, I ordered the printed version of The Good and The Beautiful (TGTB) Language Arts–I was hooked! We’ve continued to add more TGTB subjects each year, and now we’re primarily using TGTB for our homeschool in the 2020-2021 school year.

* I am not affiliated with The Good and The Beautiful and have purchased all of the curricula I will be reviewing. All opinions are my own.  

This post may contain other affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here.

My children chose to work on several projects to go with their HIstory unit in the Good and the Beautiful
One of the best things about this curriculum is my children spend more time learning and working together–and they’re getting along better!

Overall Review of The Good and The Beautiful Curriculum (TGTB)

Our favorite parts of TGTB:

TGTB is affordable.

This is essential for my family. We buy the printed versions of the subjects we use–so worth it to me, and the books are beautiful and fairly priced. I don’t like printing and binding.

However, TGTB generously provides several FREE downloads for various levels of Language Arts and a science unit! I’m very budget-conscious and have tried a LOT of free resources–this is definitely the best quality I’ve seen on the market.

If you prefer to print your own books, I see the Epson Eco printer and HP Instant Ink printers recommended frequently in TGTB groups if you prefer to print your own. We LOVE the HP Instant Ink program for other homeschool printing!)

TGTB is academically rigorous yet gentle.

That takes an extremely delicate balance, and this is the only curriculum I’ve personally used that accomplishes it. My children are learning so much in a way that’s developmentally appropriate and sweet.

I talk more in-depth about the adjustments we make for each child/level for our family in my in-depth TGTB subject review.

TGTB is designed to help us learn together as a family.

In the 2020-2021 school year, my children would be in K, 2nd Grade, 4th Grade, and 6th Grade if they were in public school (with a toddler and newborn baby sidekicks). They have quite varied personalities and learning styles and one would likely require special needs’ services in school.

It’s been an incredible experience to be able to do subjects like history and science together and have everyone come away excited about what they learned!

TGTB is “open and go”

TGTB is the only open and go option I’ve used that’s still enjoyable for my children and for me! I don’t have to read ahead in the lessons to understand what to go over. This has given me more time to work on other projects I’ve wanted to do in our homeschool but couldn’t before because I was spending time selecting the “best” resource for each topic.

TGTB has a non-denominational Christian worldview.

It has been so refreshing. I love that my children can read about and discuss God in their schooling in a way that’s natural and not overbearing. We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I want to encourage all my other Christian friends that this curriculum does not present LDS-specific doctrine. Just that God loves us and wants us to be good people of character.

TGTB teaches good character traits and discernment.

In a world that often celebrates the crude and harsh even in materials for children, I love that these lessons promote discussions about looking for the beautiful and honest in literature and in life.

I cannot think of any real cons of this curriculum because the issues I’ve observed are already being resolved! But for a thorough review:
  • Like every other curriculum I’ve used, there have been some grammatical errors or typos. Each new edition has included corrections of those errors.
  • Every other challenge has been subject or Level-specific. You can read about these in my Subject-Specific Review. Most of these challenges have turned into wonderful learning opportunities for my family.

Our Favorite TG&TB Subjects

(from the 2017 version of this post)

Joseph Michael, age 8: HISTORY 1

“I like history because it’s telling me about what there was in the past. That can help me think of different good things I want to do when I grow up!”

Joseph Michael is like a walking encyclopedia, so it can be difficult to find something that he doesn’t just breeze through because he already knows the material. This History course makes him light up and make so many new connections! He is also a big help in teaching the younger children because of his great enthusiasm for the topics.

Peter, age 6: HEALTH SCIENCE SAFETY UNIT

“I like learning about fire safety!”

I thought TGTB might be too traditional or intense or “dull” to keep this smart and very active boy’s attention. But Peter might love it most of all! He loves the drawing and writing activities and especially likes how the Safety Rules make sense to him.

Sarah, age 5: LEVEL K PRIMER

“I like ALLL of it!”

Sarah finished the Preschool Program earlier this year but wasn’t quite ready for blending sounds at the beginning of Level K. I am so grateful for the new Level K Primer which is the perfect bridge for her! She is very tender-hearted and adores the beautiful illustrations. We love our one-on-one time going through this book!

Emma, age 3

She loves learning with her big brothers and sister!

Emma loves to join in on most of our family lessons. We’ll often find her acting out parts of the History lessons with her Duplos and stuffed animals.

Our Current Favorite TGTB Subjects (2020)

The Good and the Beautiful Homeschool Curriculum Review--we love it!
Joseph Michael, age 10: Handwriting Level 5

“I love the handwriting because I love the art, and it has a good mix of print and cursive. I like that I can improve my writing quickly with it.”

Peter, age 9: All of it

“I can’t decide, Mom! I really like doing school.”

Sarah, age 7: The Creative Arts and Crafts Book

“It’s really fun doing the projects.”

Emma, age 5: Handwriting Levels K and 1

“I love all of the drawing and coloring activities.”

Overall, I give The Good & The Beautiful curriculum my highest recommendation to use in your homeschool! You can learn more and purchase The Good & The Beautiful here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this curriculum if you use it! Please share in the comments or use the contact page if you have any homeschool questions! I’m an open book about our homeschooling journey.

-Maegan

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