I’m excited to finally share our The Good and the Beautiful review with you today!
I heard a lot about TGATB before we finally decided to give this homeschool curriculum a try – we’re part of a couple of co-ops where other moms and dads have often recommended it.
Before trying TGATB, I purchased early learning, preschool, and kindergarten workbooks and activities at Costco, Amazon, and various bookstores.
I thought I’d be able to manage with these educational materials and some scheduling but structuring interesting lessons proved to be harder than I thought – especially with a very active second child now!
This faith-based homeschool curriculum looked like a great opportunity to establish a more organized (and less redundant) learning schedule!
Keep reading to learn:
- can Christians use The Good and the Beautiful
- how advanced is TGATB
- is the Good and the Beautiful grade level
- the Good and Beautiful controversy (is it Mormon)
- Math, Language Arts, Science, and Kindergarten reviews
- TGATB cost plus is it worth it
- the Good and the Beautiful free resources: book list, YouTube, and audio books
- how to do a placement test
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I could earn a commission if you make a purchase using them. This comes at no additional cost to you and all opinions expressed are my own.
The Good and the Beautiful Review: Unsponsored Homeschool Mom’s Real Opinion
Beginning your homeschooling journey can be overwhelming.
There is so much to learn and UNLEARN in the process!
If you need to plan around a busy schedule that includes work, managing your home, and multiple children’s extracurricular activities, a boxed curriculum with a well-thought-out course plan can make things so much easier.
The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Options
TGATB currently offers the following courses:
- Language Arts
- Science & Health
I’ll break each one down below.
Is the Good and the Beautiful grade level?
Yes, TGATB offers fundamentals like Language Arts and Math according to grade levels.
The Good and the Beautiful offers Language Arts courses for:
- Kindergarten Prep
- Level K
- Level 1
- Level 2
- Level 3
- Level 4
- Level 5
- Level 6
- Level 7
- Level 8
- High School 1
- High School 2
- High School 3
- High School Honors
We’re nearly finished with Level K and will be picking up Preschool and Level 1 this June.
I’ll share our Language Arts Review once my daughter has completed all of the coursework.
Handwriting courses are available for preschool-level children (ages 2.5 to 5 years old), Kindergarten, and Levels 1 through 7.
Levels are based on Grade ranges – for instance, Level 2 is meant for Second and Third Grade, while Level 7 could be used for Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade students.
My Kindergarten aged daughter started with the Level K Handwriting Workbook and really enjoys the exercises here.
Math courses are available for K and levels 1 through 6.
My oldest really enjoyed Math K!
We’ll be getting Level 1 for her and Preschool Math for her little sister this summer.
I’ll share our Kindergarten Math Review early this summer.
The Good and The Beautiful offers family-style history lessons for students in Grades 1 through 12.
Each course features upper-grade level lesson extensions for older kids!
At the time of writing this review, there are five history course options available:
- History Course Set Year 1
- History Course Set Year 2
- History Course Set Year 3
- History Course Set Year 4
- US Constitution and Government
I completed my Bachelor of Arts in History and really look forward to diving into these lessons next year with my daughter!
As the saying goes, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”!
There is so much we can learn from studying the past.
Science & Health
TGATB offers science courses for preschool-aged children up to Grade 8.
At this time, their current course list includes:
Little Heart and Hands Science
- Fields and Flowers (Preschool to 2nd Grade)
We’ve tried Little Hearts and Hands so far and loved it – this science course is aimed at Preschool to 2nd Grade.
Both of my girls enjoyed listening to the stories and movies this one offers!
I’ll share our Science review and experience with this course for littles soon.
- Weather and Water (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Space Science (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Chemistry (Grades 5-8)
- Wonders of Energy (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Motion and Simple Machines (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
Life and Earth Science
- Ecosystems (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Birds (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Mammals (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Arthropods (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Geology (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Botany (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Marine Biology (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fish (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Paleontology (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Kingdoms and Classifications (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
Health and Safety
- Health and the Human Mind (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Health and the Physical Body (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
- Maturation & Sexual Reproduction (Grades 3-8)
- Safety (Grades 3-6, Grades 7-8)
To complete the science courses above listed for Grades 3 and up, each student will need his or her own Student Journal.
Journals are based on two age groups – Grades 3-6 and Grades 7-8.
So, for example, if you have a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old, you’ll need two separate journals – one Grade 3-6 Student Journal and one Grade 7-8 Student Journal!
There are also add-ons available in the forms of Read-Aloud Books Packs and Extension Unit Studies based on age range (for instance, Grades 7-8).
TGATB offers several fun electives for homeschoolers:
- Birdwatching (Grades 3-8)*
- Creative Writing (Grades 3-8)
- Nature (Grades 3-8)
- Creative Arts & Crafts (Grades K-6)
- Typing (Grades 2-8)
- Drawing (Grades K-5)
*The Birdwatching Notebook is available to purchase as a physical notebook or as a free download with a subscription to the Good and Beautiful email list.
More Homeschooling Organization Tips:
- Cute + Easy Kids Art Supply Storage Ideas (to Get Organized Today!)
- Our Easy Peasy Kindergarten Homeschool Schedule
- 7 Actionable Steps to Create a Productive Mom Morning Routine
How advanced is The Good and the Beautiful?
Honestly, I would say it’s a little advanced – maybe a year ahead of what’s taught in schools.
In comparison to our public and Catholic schooled friends and family here in BC, my oldest is reading at a slightly more advanced level (for Kindergarten).
Math seems to be very similar though.
How long are the lessons?
To give you an idea of how long it takes us to get through a lesson, I’ll break it down by our full school day.
We hang out at the kitchen table and do schoolwork for a total of around an hour and 40 minutes every morning – that includes a 20-minute break between two Language Arts lessons and two Math lessons.
So at one hour and 20 minutes of school time, that works out to about 20 minutes per lesson (80 minutes / 4 lessons = 20 minutes).
Twice a week, we also do Science 🙂 that takes about another 15 minutes.
We purchased our TGATB course package in the middle of March this year but my goal was to complete our Level K package by the end of June regardless of our start date.
Since there are 120 lessons in both Language Arts and Math, that meant breaking it down to 60 days.
In order to meet our goal, we also do school six days a week right now.
M really enjoys school and our time together though, so it’s working well for us so far.
Once we move onto Level 1, we’ll do one lesson a day from all subjects only 5 days a week though!
Can Christians use The Good and the Beautiful? Is it Mormon?
The Good and the Beautiful offers a faith-based non-denominational Christian curriculum.
It focuses on God, family, nature, and high moral character.
The course creator, Jenny Phillips, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints but the course itself does not contain references to this faith.
TGATB’s website states that they have reviewers and users from the following denominations:
“Lutheran, Assemblies of God, Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mennonite, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nazarene, Methodist, Non-Denominational, and Seventh Day Adventists”
We’re in the midst of Language Arts, Math, and Science right now and have yet to come across doctrine specific to any denomination.
Here’s a sample page from Math K.
Bible verses are quoted from the King James Version.
So what is the Good and the Beautiful controversy?
I’ll do my best to tread lightly on this subject although I do think it’s important to address since it’s what nearly stopped me from purchasing our curriculum.
When making a purchasing decision, we all look at the positive AND negative reviews so when I came across the “controversy”, I was concerned.
As a born-again Christian, I still have a lot to learn and am currently in the midst of reading my Bible from start to finish.
For reference, I grew up in a traditional Croatian Catholic household but lost my way after years of secular government-funded schools and post-secondary education.
This is part of the reason I’m so adamant about a faith-based education for our children.
Hopefully, that backstory inspires someone on the fence to pursue homeschooling, haha!
But back to the controversy.
Basically, it comes down to the fact that some Christians have pointed to Phillips being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a reason we should not use TGATB.
However, after reading multiple other reviews and experiencing the Good and the Beautiful homeschooling curriculum for ourselves, I haven’t come across any content within the coursework that reflects the LDS faith.
How much does it cost? Is it worth it?
At the time of writing this, TGATB course sets range from $20 to $125 per course set.
Books, readers, electives, and games range from $9 to $40 for larger sets.
In my opinion, it was worth it – especially since we got it on sale!
I signed up for the email list and got a coupon for 15% off in March.
According to my research, it also looks like there will be another promotion in June for 10% off.
I imagine there will probably be a sale in November too – seems like everyone has a pretty great discount code out at that time of the year!
Free Good and Beautiful Curriculum
TGATB offers free courses, audiobooks, videos, and a book list on the website.
You can download free Language Arts, Math, and Science PDF files that include Course Books, Booster Cards, Readers, Checklists, and more.
Both the Homeschooling app and the Letter Tiles app are also free and available for download on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore.
There are also free educational activities on their blog!
More Free Homeschool Resources to download:
- 52 Printable Alphabet Coloring Pages for Toddlers (English and Croatian PDF Downloads for Kids)
- European Flags Coloring Pages for Kids (with Country Names + Coloring Guide)
How to do a placement test
I highly recommend doing a placement test to determine what curriculum you should choose for your children!
I considered getting Level 1 for my daughter but am so glad I did the placement test first – it showed us exactly where she needed to begin for an enjoyable start to our homeschooling journey with The Good and the Beautiful!
You can do the Language Arts placement test here.
School Supplies List
Here is a list of some school supplies you’ll need to get started with your TGATB curriculum:
- Dry-erase marker
- Pencils (these are cute and easy to use for little hands)
- Crayons (we like the box that this set comes in)
- Colored Pencils (the storage case here is great for cleanup)
- Scissors (I like these children’s scissors so my daughter can use them too!)
- Glue stick (the purple ones are good for kids so they can see what they’re gluing)
- iPad or Smart Phone*
- Sticky Notes (the colorful ones are more fun)
The Good and the Beautiful offers free apps that are a wonderful addition to the physical paper books you and your child will be working with.
The two we’ve used so far are:
- Good and Beautiful Homeschooling App
- Good and Beautiful Letter Tiles App
A few additional supplies we’ve had to pick up for Language Arts Level K are:
- Index cards (my daughter loves the colorful ones)
- Paint (go for the washable ones – especially with little kids!)
- Googley eyes
- Paper (lined or printer paper is fine)
- Craft knife
- Paper plates
- Yarn (there are a ton of colors available)
- Cotton balls
- Hole punch
- Paint brushes
You likely already have a lot of these at home but if you don’t, be sure to pick up the rest before your curriculum ships!
I can’t tell you how annoying it was not to have index cards or a stapler on day one, haha.
Bonus Homeschool Resources for New Homeschooling Families
Here are a couple of books homeschooling families and those considering it should read:
This is a mindblowing book written by John Taylor Gatto, a New York State Teacher of the Year award winner, with over 30 years of experience in the public school system.
Through history and statistics, Gatto exposes how students are being trained to become employees and consumers rather than innovators and producers. His case for major reform in the public school system is worth sharing.
Keep in mind – this book was written in 1992 and couldn’t be more relevant today!
Are you Canadian? Having a hard time figuring out this homeschool thing?
This book helped me get familiar with the way it works over here!
Lisa Marie Fletcher covers all of the basics and answers the questions on every new homeschooling parent’s mind.
I really liked how she broke things down by province at the start of the book before moving into deeper topics like working while you homeschool your kids!
This was the perfect hold-your-hand guide to getting started for me.
The Good and the Beautiful Review: Final Thoughts
I hope you enjoyed this homeschool curriculum review and that it left you feeling confident in your decision about TGATB.
I’ll be sure to share our Kindergarten review here once we’ve completed our first year too!
Right now, we’re looking forward to another year with this curriculum but may supplement it with other courses in the future if we feel it’s right for our family.
Which courses will you try first? Have you used another curriculum or intend to this school year?
I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
Happy homeschooling, friends!