When I was a student, History was not one of my favorite subjects. But since I began homeschooling my own children, it has quickly become one of my favorite things to learn all over again. Part of that new found love is a result from all of the awesome History programs out there, and Illuminations totally fits the bill!
Never heard of Illuminations? Well I am sure you have heard of the Mystery of History yes? Well, Illuminations is a brand new all-inclusive curriculum from Bright Ideas Press, the publishers of MOH. Illuminations is an all-inclusive, chronological study of history that is Biblically based and centered. It covers Bible, Literature, Language Arts, Geography, History, Science, Life Skills and Humanities all in one very thorough guide that will take you and your kids on an exciting trek through the history of mankind. It is available in 2 levels covering grades 3-8 and High School. There are also suggestions for gently covering the same material if you have younger kids that want to join in the study. For our review, we chose to cover Year 2, 3rd-8th grade.
For this review, we were unable to give it as thorough a tryout as I would have preferred to because we were unable to purchase any of the additional materials that are recommended throughout the program. Luckily, we do have experience with MOH and loved going through the book a few years ago. SO this review is based purely on my opinions from giving the materials a very thorough study. I hope I can do it justice. Please bear with me as there is a LOT to this program and I want to cover a little bit of all of the elements that come together to make this program so unique and fun.
As I mentioned before, Illuminations uses the correlating book of Mystery of History in each year plan. Bible and Geography is incorporated into the study as well. Each weekly plan grid includes everything you might want to do for a thorough and fun study of history including daily history reading, notebooking, bible reading, mapwork, timelines and more.
The way Illuminations incorporates the Literature element of the program is probably my favorite aspect of the curriculum. Literature readings are recommended (and scheduled for you) that coincide with what you are reading in MOH and Bible. But the best part is the awesome study guides that are included. There is a study guide for every book your child will read in the program, allowing you to make sure your child is getting the most rom every selection.
I you choose to follow the Language Arts plans, you will have to make some additional purchases. However if you decide not to, you can still make use of the copywork in the program. You do have a choice of several curriculums to use with Illuminations that are already scheduled in the plans for you. These are Grammar Punk, English From the Roots Up, The Natural Speller, Write Shop, and Foundations to Writing.
Year 2 of Illuminations covers earth and space science using the popular program: Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space. Every single day of lessons and activities is scheduled for you and you will never have to wonder what to cover next. Science plans include reading, discussion, vocabulary, memory work, and hands-on projects.
There is so much more to this program than I can share with you in one blog post, but if what I have shared here with you sounds interesting, I encourage you to check the program out for yourself! It can be purchased as a digital download direct from Bright Ideas Press for only $82.50 for a semester and $165 for an entire year. There are some great sample files available for you to view also and you can find them here.
Make sure you check out the Crew blog post here where you can read reviews on different levels/years of Illuminations, and other great homeschool products by Bright Ideas Press!
DISCLAIMER: This item was provided free for review purposes through the TOS Homeschool Crew. I received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion. Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner above to read more reviews on this and other products by other Crew members.