Today's Wisdom

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review of Illuminations Year 2, Grades 3-8


I've been a fan of Mystery of History for the past several years so when I found out there was a program that used Mystery of History as it's spine I was thrilled!  This summer, I searched and found Illuminations by Bright Ideas Press.  It seemed like all I had been looking for in a program but the price at the time was more than I was willing to pay not knowing if it would fit our family or not.  So, when I got the opportunity for this review I was THRILLED!!  My review is of Illuminations, Year 2, 3rd-8th grade program which also includes some K-2 early learning.  So, it covers ALL 3 of my children!  A+++++!

What is Illuminations?  It is a Bible based, practical approach that uses Mystery of History as it's spine and gives you detailed lesson plans to complement it which include literature, writing, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, bible, geography, timelines, science, and many other supplemental resources such as Netflix movies. 

If you are tired of trying to pull your plan together all by yourself, then Illuminations is perfect for you (and me!).

I have very good intentions each summer but never can finish everything I want to when it comes to planning for our upcoming school year.  Well, with this it is so simple and better yet, still flexible!!  If you choose not to use one of their sources for a subject, you can simply fill in your own information in the schedule grid and type out your new plans.  It is just that simple!

Subjects come with complete lesson plans!  The subjects included in the schedule grids are.........

Literature and Writing

The Mystery of History Volume Two: The Early Church and the Middle Ages
Family Study Guides
Read-Alone Guides
hands-on activities
Copy-work (on several levels) is also provided for those following the Charlotte Mason approach.

A complete spelling program—in daily lessons— written by Kathryn Stout, author of The Natural Speller.

Vocabulary is covered through our literature picks as well as from the optional English From The Roots Up Volume 2 book.

The WriteShop program
Foundations to Writing

Grammar Punk
Winston Grammar
Easy Grammar

The Bible reading schedule is well-thought-out and is a great reminder to cover this with your students daily.

Hands-On Geography
The Ultimate Geography & Timeline Guide

History through the Ages Timeline Figures
The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide
Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space

Early Learners
Parents of early learners (K-2) will enjoy the bonus Early Learners Literature List, daily Bible reading schedules just for them, and we’ve adapted Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space to meet the needs of our youngest students.

Now, all you have to do is decide which one of these resources you would like to use and purchase them to get started.  We stuck with Mystery of History 2, the literature guides, the bible, spelling, and copywork for this review.  But if I had been starting at the beginning of the year, I would have looked into purchasing the rest of the curriculum as well.  They line everything up for you so all the work is done!  You can print off a list of what books and supplies that you will need to purchase and get started.  Many of the literature books can be borrowed from your library which is what we did.  And if you want to substitute a different curriculum that you already have on hand, you can easily do that as well with the schedule grid. 

The only thing missing from the line up is math!  All the rest is fully scheduled for you.  The scheduling is for a four day week which works best for our family too.

Tyler Hogan has some wonderful FAQ videos that he has done that will answer most of the questions you may have. 

You may also download samples here.

Illuminations offers Year 1, Year 2,  and Year 3 for 3rd-8th grades. Future years are in process! They also offer a high school courses for Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3.

You can purchase by semester for $82.50 or you can purchase a full year for $165.  High school costs $47.50/semester or $95/year.  If you need both the 3-8 and high school you can save by purchasing both for a full year at $240.  You will get a digital download file or you can get a CD for an additional $20.  If anything happens to your computer or your file if you have registered it, they will replace your product free of charge.

Would our family purchase Illuminations?  After seeing first hand the detail and plans involved and seeing how much time and effort it would save me I would say absolutely YES!  The price seems steep at first but I can use it with all 3 of my children so that breaks down to $55/per child.  My time is so worth that!  And it is one of those things that my husband will step in and say to purchase because he's just that kind of guy!


Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of other Bright Ideas Press products also.

**Disclaimer:  I was given a digital download of this product for review purposes.  I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions here are my true and honest evaluation.**

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