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The Good and the Beautiful History Review (Year 1)

*Update: after consideration and reflection and prayer, I have decided to not continue with The Good and the Beautiful for our family. There has been a lot of personal attacks directed at me over this decision and the reasons behind this decision. I will leave this post up to help give a review of the content but if you would like to know the reasons behind my decision, you can watch the recorded video on my YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/tyfeqJR7bD4

History is a subject that has a bad rep for a lot of us parents. The traditional way that history is taught in the school system *generally* makes it a collection of boring facts that we were forced to memorize so we could pass a test and promptly forget what we had learned. Now that I am teaching my own children this subject I am taking it as an opportunity to find a better way: for their sake, as well as mine (hey, you’re never too old to learn!). There are a lot of good curriculum options out there. Sometimes a lot of options is a bad thing, it can seem impossible to know where to start or what will work for your family!

The Good and the Beautiful History Review

My kids working in their student explorers notebooks


After identifying the fact that I wanted something that was interesting, my next step was to identify something that fit our family. If you are new to my blog, I have 5 young children ages 10, 9, 8, 6, and 4. I teach 5 different LA levels and 5 different math levels (I know, pray for me). Like a ball in a game of tennis I am batted back and forth amongst my children helping them each one by one, dealing with constant interruptions, and trying not to lose my mind in the process. ANYTHING that can be combined into a “one room schoolhouse” approach is a lifesaver and I try to do this with Science, History, Literature and Bible.

Our Solution: The Good and the Beautiful History

Our solution for History this year is The Good and the Beautiful. This is a comprehensive, 4 year history program that is designed to be worked through in a cycle. We are starting with Year 1 which focuses primarily on Biblical, World History, and US History with a variety of materials (we’ll talk about Canada in a few paragraphs). It is Christian in it’s approach (more on this later) and very easy to do with the whole family. Let me take you on a journey with The Good and the Beautiful History (and make sure to check out my post on why we are using The Good and the Beautiful and what else they offer).

The Good and the Beautiful History Review

What comes in the physical course set (minus the pretty coffee plant!)

What comes with The Good and the Beautiful History?

We were sent the complete Physical Course set of Year 1 along with the read aloud book pack to review for your guys. The Physical course set comes with the course book, the big books of stories and the Keyes of History board game as well as PDF downloads of your student explorers notebooking pages. It also comes with a link to access your audio dramas, which are free with the course! Every few lessons you’ll be listening to a short audio drama that is SO well done! There are 2 different student explorers packs available, one for grades 1-3 that has a little bit less writing and one for older kids. This makes it super easy to print out what you need for your family so that you can all do it together. The sheets are all black and white and we just printed them off at home. They also work really well for kinesthetic learners to have something to color or do while they are listening to the read alouds or lesson.

The Good and the Beautiful History Review

A page inside my 10 year olds Student Explorers binder

Inside your course book, you will be given a whole list of read aloud for each unit that Jenny personally recommends as high character stories for each age group. You can grab these from the library or pick them up on Amazon OR purchase her optional read aloud set which has one set for each unit to read to the kids. This pack is incredibly affordable and the books are ones that we are really enjoying for the whole family.

The Good and the Beautiful History

Read aloud pack

The board game is a high quality game to help reinforce important places, people, and events in history that students are learning throughout the year. The course book prompts you periodically to play the game. You can choose to play this as much as you’d like and it can be played with up to 8 players which means that you can do it with the whole family. Whether you choose to play it cooperatively or competitively, this game is a great way to switch up the learning away from the books.

The Good and the Beautiful History

What comes in the Keyes of History game

How to use the lessons

I put together a super detailed video to walk you through how the program is laid out, what to expect in the future years, an inside look at each of the materials, and who it will work for. Take a look at the video below to learn more.

Frequently asked questions

1. How much is the program?
The complete physical curse set is only $78USD. For a program that you will likely use for all your kids and possibly use more than once, this is a fantastic price! If you live in Canada or internationally, I recommend printing the PDF version to save on shipping.

2. Is there too much US content for Canadians?
I recommend checking out the 4 year history plan to get an idea of the units covered in each year. Year 1 covers mostly Biblical and World History, it has 1 unit that focuses more on US history in the year. For me, 1/4 of the content is not high enough to be considered “too US”. That being said, I will still be supplementing Canadian history, geography and government to make sure we are getting a rounded education. The farther you go in TGTB history, the more US content there is so I am not sure if we will do all four years. But at this point we love the structure of it and we are happy to just supplement with some other resources (blog post coming on that soon).

3. I am concerned about LDS content. As a Christian, do you feel this is a concern?
Let’s first clear up any misconceptions or confusion: I am a strong, Bible believing, Pentecostal Christian. I believe in God, the Trinity being God– 3 in 1. I believe in heaven and hell, that God existed before the beginning of time that He WAS and IS and always WILL BE.

The Good and the Beautiful History Review

One room schoolhouse… but the 4 year old plays with play dough! 😉

 

There are some LDS quotes throughout all of The Good and the Beautiful content, my concern is less what is in the curriculum itself and more what is not in it. After looking at the LDS insights that optionally go along with the curriculum, I realized the vast differences between what I believe and what the author believes and how that might infiltrate the program and decided that I could no longer align myself or actively promote something that might confuse someone else in their faith. LDS and Christianity are very different, the concern I have is that the LDS community so strongly promotes that they are Christian and just a mere denomination and there are no real differences, which is a philosophy expressed strongly in TGTB groups and one that I am not comfortable being a part of. You can see more on my opinions in the original live video on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoolon/videos/1707321362700573/

4. Is it culturally diverse enough?
I address this question in the video but I’ll do it again here in case my long-windedness made the skip button your friend 😉 There will be a TON of African-American and Native American history taught in years 3 and 4. This was always the plan with TGTB and because those years aren’t out yet, there has been some concern about this. Know that it is coming and the team also has plans to add some into year 1 in the fall to make sure that the entire program as a whole is both culturally diverse and well represented.

5. When should I start?
Another question I address in the video, but let’s do it here too 😉 Start no earlier than grade 1 UNLESS you have a large family with older kids who are ready for this and younger kids who aren’t. If you have younger kids, still teach it all together as a family, just have less expectation of your younger ones to be listening and participating because it’s a lot of reading. In the end, base it on your child and your family. If all else fails, go download the sample on the website and that will give you a pretty good indication of how it will work for you.

Where can I buy this?

You can go to my personal landing page to check out all the different products that The Good and the Beautiful has as well as take the LA placement test. If you go to History at the top, you can see the full 4 year scope and sequence as well as scroll down and see the various packages for sale.

I have also done 3 different YouTube video reviews to give you more insight:

A complete Science lesson with The Good and the Beautiful
A Day in the Life of a Homeschool Mom of 5 (see a complete History lesson including the audio AND LA in action)
A complete review of the Kindergarten LA

Check them out and subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss more curriculum reviews!

Comment Below

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The Good and the Beautiful History Review

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Comments

  1. Good review! I bought this history to use next year with a 1st grader and a 2nd grader. I really like the look of it but I’m considering holding off on it until next year. I think some of it could be a little over my kids heads and they might get more from it by waiting a year, but I do think it looks great. I’ve listened to some of the audio recordings and they’re so fun and interesting! I’m really enjoying your blog!

  2. We LOVE this history! So glad we finally found something that the kids and I enjoy and learn something from every time we open the book, play the game, and listen to the audio recording! It’s also so uplifting and brings the Spirit of Christ into our home. Thanks for the review!

  3. Does it matter if I start with year one or could I start with another year and go in order from there?

  4. Are all of the recommended literature books in print and easily accessible? I’ve purchased too many resources over the years that were full of books I could not get.

  5. I purchased the good and beautiful language arts level 3, handwriting set, typing set, and additional readers. It is not non denominational nor is it classical art and literature as advertised. I did not recognize any classic authors or artwork in what I purchased. All artwork was 1800s or later, so Mormon era. No Rembrandt, Van Gogh, daVinci, or any classic artists, no renaissance art. Also, I’m certain many literature selections are from Mormon literature, poems, hymns, etc. It initially seemed harmless but there were no recognizable authors. There was no Lewis Carroll, Robert Louis Stevenson, Longfellow, Beatrix Potter, or any other classic author you might expect. I was also told the later levels include quotes of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith right next to quotes by Martin Luther King, promoting these mormon heretics as great men and leaders. I did not use and sold my set on ebay and was so happy to have it out of the house. Reading their “wholesome” booklist and “books that did not make the list” booklist (free downloads), they reject several childrens books on George Washington and one on Thomas Jefferson. Why? Because it says the books are historically inaccurate and that is because because Mormons write their own history. I would be very skeptical of the actual history curriculum. Mormons have an agenda to proselytize and want to influence Christian children. They are not Christians. They do not believe in an eternal God who has always been. They believe in a god that worked his way up from man to god, and they believe they can do it too, so they can rule their own planets and populate with spirit babies from multiple wives (which is what they say their god does). Nonsense and heresy. They don’t believe in the same Bible, gospel, God or Jesus. They are not Christians. It is truly not a “non denominational” because they aren’t even in the same field. Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Penecostal, Lutheran, etc, all differ on points of doctrine but generally agree on the main issues of the Bible being the word of God, God being the only God always and forever, Jesus being the sinless Saviour, God born in flesh, and the way of salvation. Mormons can’t produce something non denominational because they are so far from these standards.
    I’m not trying to be judgmental on those who are using it, but I would like to provide a warning for this curriculum that I feel intentionally misleads Christian families down the path toward a cult. Theology really does matter. Be careful with what you bring into your home and teach your children. I am posting this on several sites because I believe Mormons are actively reviewing and skewing reviews of the curriculum.

    • Hi Elisa, can you tell me what you and your family chose to use for curriculum? I am just getting started researching curriculums and came across your review right before I was about the purchase curriculum from TG&TB. Now I am not so sure!

      Thanks,
      Katie

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