Nature Homeschool

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The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

February 4, 2020 by Isis Loran 5 Comments

The good and the beautiful was a curriculum I stumbled upon on Instagram 3 years ago.

It was so beautiful that I had to try it. Was the beauty of the curriculum worth the hype?

This post will cover the pros and cons of this curriculum without bringing in a religious perspective into it.

My back story of using the good and the beautiful (TGTB)

I purchased level 2 for my grade 2 daughter a couple of years back. At the time didn’t know how advanced it was and we struggled. Looking back, we should have used level 1 and I highly recommend that you take the placement test .

I tried something else the year after, and this year I’m using the Good and the Beautiful pre-k (with my preschooler), Level 1 language arts (with my grade 2) and Level 3 language arts (with my grade 4). I also picked up the typing books and level K primer, as well as musical multiplication.

The pros of the good and the beautiful language arts

The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts

Cons of the Good and the Beautiful Language Arts

Language arts homeschool curriculum

In general, I find the Good and the Beautiful to be a very appealing and complete high quality curriculum.

I’ve really enjoyed their old fashioned looking readers and now they offer a whole library of high quality books. They’re started introducing fun language arts games that I’m looking forward to trying one day.

Personally, we don’t only use TGTB for language arts, I’m a very eclectic homeschooler . I pull in from many different curriculum and I also add in CM, Waldorf and Brave Writer into our homeschool days. That being said, I’ve really enjoyed using TGTB even if I have to tweak it to our families viewpoints.

Our preschooler is really enjoying the pre-k, although again, I think she needs more time before she’s ready for it. I plan on using the level k primer at the beginning of kindergarten and continuing with the level K. Our family never completes a full level in 1 year because it’s such a comprehensive program . I’m ok with that though!

The musical multiplication was ok, but my grade 4 wasn’t hugely keen on it. I haven’t tried their other math levels yet. The typing lessons seem good, my grade 2 daughter has enjoyed them, although it’s still a little hard for her.

Have you tried this curriculum?

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About Isis Loran

good and beautiful review

Nature Homeschool is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Many of the links to products on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend products that I’ve used based from my own homeschooling experience. I do make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from these sales.

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February 20, 2021 at 9:31 am

We are using the Pre-K books for home preschool of our 5-year-old and or 3-year-old. I like the pictures very much and I like the simplicity of the lessons. I often skip portions that will take longer to explain to the children. So, most of our work has focused on tracing letters, practicing sounds and letter names. And I am looking forward to the K Primer before our 5-year-old begins school this year. I will probably run this Pre-K for our 3-year-old and 1-year-old next year when both are 4 and 2. But I found that the activities were not enjoyable unless I had a starting activity that was more interactive and fun. so we have a human anatomy workbook with activities that get them excited for practice and learning and talking together and listening. After starting that activity book they’ve become more excited to finish the day of lessons with some tracing and looking at the pictures and so on. I did not find that the Pre-K program was very religious in content. but we have been using an illustrated Bible stories to read some of that content outside of The Good and Beautiful. It is not likely we will be using this program for additional homeschooling. But I am interested in a few additional science programs that they have in the curriculum that I may purchase as summer break material or something to supplement classes depending on what public school creates for us.

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September 28, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Do not buy physical products from TGTB! We are using TGTB for Language Arts for my 4th graders this year, and although we like the curriculum, I will NEVER purchase anything from them again. I bought the spiral-bound workbooks for Language Arts, and they started falling apart after just a couple of weeks. The pages were coming out of the bindings and it was a mess. Unfortunately, rather than stand by their products, TGTB only refunded me $5 to have the books rebound. What a pain! We’ll probably use the curriculum again for 5th grade, and we’ll definitely use their great book list for book recommendations, but they’ve lost me as a paying customer.

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October 4, 2021 at 2:51 pm

I’m sorry that was your experience. Here in Canada it’s still been cheaper to pay for the shipping than local printing. It’s been 2 years since ordering physical products from TGTB but ours were really well printed and bound.

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July 30, 2022 at 9:26 pm

Hello! Thank you for sharing your experience. Would you be willing to briefly share how you tweaked the curriculum to fit your family’s views? Did you re-write or omit parts? Did you have to spend time explaining how it presented views different than your personal views? We are also non-religious homeschoolers, and I really feel like everything except the religious components would be a great fit for us. Would love to hear more specifically how you handled the adjustments. Thanks!

August 2, 2022 at 5:01 pm

Hello Michelle, I just bought the newer language arts versions and I don’t need to tweak very much to be honest since writing this blog post. I find as the levels go up for language arts, it will have more mention of God or the odd art history painting to look at that’s more religious, but a lot of art throughout history does so it doesn’t bother me to teach. The kids extended family is very Roman Catholic, so we do allow our kids to learn some aspects of religion so they understand others beliefs, but I don’t see it in this curriculum the way it was when I tried to ‘tweak’ Language lessons for a living education which was way more Christian. Hope that helps!

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good and beautiful review

The Simple Homeschooler

Our Good And The Beautiful Language Arts Experience: A Crazy Honest Review

I have so badly been wanting to write this Good And The Beautiful language arts review…but I have also been putting it off.

You see, this curriculum is massive in the homeschooling community, and there are very strong opinions on either side about it.

The more I have used it, the stronger my opinion has become, and I am understanding why this curriculum is such an emotional lightning rod for people.

I am over halfway through the book with my youngest child, and I feel ready to lay it out there.

I’m aware it won’t be popular, but it so needs to be said.

This is what you will find in this over-the-top honest review:

Real Quick Overview of The Good And The Beautiful Company

The Good And The Beautiful is an affordable, faith-based curriculum that offers math, language arts, history, science, and handwriting for grade levels K-8. High school levels and pre-k level are not available.

It is known for having high quality artwork, an amazing book list, wholesome literature, and minimal daily prep time.

Unit studies are also a big piece of the identity of this curriculum. Families can purchase just a single science unit to try out TGATB before committing to a bigger purchase.

Public school and private school parents can take advantage of the supplements offered to round out their child’s education.

I personally LOVE that The Good and Beautiful curriculum offers free downloads of their math program and language arts levels. They seem to be very committed to making homeschooling accessible and affordable for everyone.

****Just a heads up that the curriculum is full color, so the free pdf downloads may be more expensive to print than you think. It is a nice way to preview the curriculum though!

The creator and founder, Jenny Phillips, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Good and the Beautiful does contain Christian content that focuses on high moral character, but the content does not fall under a specific Christian denomination.

Phillips’ Mormon faith is not present in the curriculum. As a Christian homeschooling mama, that is important to me.

Why I Switched To The Good And The Beautiful Language Arts Curriculum

My 6-year-old was finishing up kindergarten last year on a high note. She was flying through this reading curriculum , but I could tell that she was getting a little tired of it. 

It does have a repetitive nature to it, so I thought I’d try to find her a new curriculum with a little more *sparkle* to keep things fresh going into first grade.

The Good And The Beautiful was running a wicked sale before rolling out a new edition, so I snatched up their language arts program.

I’ve always heard chatter about how fantastic (and beautiful!) the curriculum is, and I thought it was a great time to check it out.

As most of my readers know, I am a curriculum addict who does not want to recover.

What I Love About The Good And the Beautiful Language Arts

1. all in one: reading, spelling, grammar, and writing in one lesson.

This was a big draw for me. 

I really like that it blends a lot of different subjects that most homeschool families buy separately. The result is a huge savings in time and money.

With a 6th grader, 3rd grader, and 1st grader to teach, I was really drawn to slimming down how many separate subjects I was doing with my youngest.

****I already had a spelling program I was using, so I skipped those portions in the curriculum. You can read more about the spelling portions further down.

2. 120 Lessons And Done

So many curriculums out there have a full 36-week/5-day-a-week schedule, That can be daunting to keep pace with.

I love that there is so much wiggle room with The Good And The Beautiful Language Arts! 

You could easily make it a 4 day/week schedule, leaving room for co-op, errands, appointments, etc. in your week.

3. Rotating Review And Lessons: Not Predictable At All

The lessons are so varied and different that you never know what you’re going to get when you flip open the book!

You will find picture studies, character stories to read for listening comprehension, simple games, independent work, spelling dictation, poetry memorization, and more!

The daily review also rotates so it does not become repetitive or predictable. Every few days your child is asked to go through sight word ladders, flash cards, or a timed reading list. 

And sometimes there is no review at all. 

4. Fun Ways To Get Through Reading Lists

I really appreciate the cute things that are suggested to help kids have fun with going through a word list.

For example, one page called for the child to place a small snack (we used veggie straws) on each word after it is read correctly.

Another page had the student follow the words on a stone path to get into a “zoo.”

So simple, but so cute!

5. No Teacher’s Manual

It can be very tedious to keep track of two books and constantly be flipping back and forth between the two to find out what you’re supposed to be doing.

I really like that you can sit side by side with your child and just do what is in the course book. There are directions written in red to the homeschool mom, and the black text is for you to read aloud to the student.

There are also daily checklist boxes right on the page to help you keep track of what you completed in the lesson.

This made the curriculum so open-and-go friendly and approachable to use. 

What We Don’t Love About The Good And The Beautiful Language Arts

This is sort of a searing list.

It might even be the most honest thing you ever read on the internet.

I’m fully aware it’s not going to win me any friends here, but I’ve got to put it out there, Homeschool Mama. 

1. Insane Expectations For Younger Children

My kindergarten daughter was flying through her reading curriculum before I decided to switch to The Good And The Beautiful Language Arts.

As I said, she was getting bored with the format, so I decided to switch things up for 1st grade. We did the placement test and it turns out that she needed the kindergarten book. 

Because TGATB has kindergarteners doing things like:

As we started going through the book, I could not believe that anyone would think it was appropriate for a 5-year-old to work at this level. 

I have taught two other kids to read, so I am aware of grade-level expectations when it comes to reading. Kindergarten is usually about solidifying letter sounds, blending CVC words, understanding consonant blends, and maybe a handful of sight words (depending on your curriculum).

So if you are thinking of using this curriculum, please know it is a very aggressive approach to literacy…which is usually something homeschoolers try to avoid.

As you can imagine, I skipped or ignored a bunch of things in the kindergarten curriculum that I thought were insane – even for my 1st grader.

2. Spelling Program

The spelling program that is woven through the curriculum seems to be largely based on dictation.

That means that the student will learn to read some words, and in the same lesson , they are asked to write out the words on a piece of paper from memory. The curriculum assures you that the child will not be discouraged by you correcting all of their mistakes.

If they were simple CVC words, I would understand that. But many of the spelling words are sight words that can’t be broken down by sound. 

For example, words like “said,” “blue,” “come,” and “read” are included in the spelling lists.

I just don’t understand this methodology because it is hard for students to even write correct vowels at this age.

In fact, many kindergarten and 1st-grade curriculums skip spelling altogether (valuing a focus on reading first over spelling) or they use simple copy work to introduce spelling.

Instead of the TGATB spelling, we decided to use Spelling You See for my 1st grader and we’ve been very happy with the stress-free progress we’ve made so far.

3. Long Lessons

Holy moly, the lessons can get looonnnggg.

Some of the lessons are short and sweet, but some have so many pieces to do that it could be over an hour long. Which is criminal for a kindergarten-level reading lesson.

As an example, Lesson 74 called for the student to:

I am mindful of how much my young child can reasonably be expected to sit and focus. I often cut the lessons in half or omit things in order to make them more enjoyable (for her and me).

4. Mini Books And Other Readers Have No Plot

It took me a while to figure out why my kid did not enjoy the little books that come with the curriculum.

One day it dawned on me that it was because there is no plot. Like at all.

Each page is about another little kid doing something like singing, playing, or praying. The pages do not go together as a book should. 

It does not tell a story. There is no beginning, middle, or end. 

I still have my daughter read them for practice, but I also add in Primary Phonics readers because they are so fun!

I want my kid to be excited to read, and they really deliver in that area. For example, there is a silly story about a man who can’t get a mole to leave his garden.

Another story tells about a dog who won’t behave on a bus. And another tells about a young circus elephant trying to fit in.

I do not understand why Jenny Phillips didn’t try to write something a little more engaging for kids. Especially when she had so many sight words to work with to build interesting storylines.

5. Multiple New Concepts Taught in One Lesson

Young kids, especially 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds, do best when given one new concept at a time to chew on. 

The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts program seems to embrace that with how they roll in new lessons, but I started to notice that they are sneaky about adding in extra concepts.

For example, the lesson that first introduces “silent e” also includes words such as come, done, have, love, and some. 

It is already very challenging for young children to transition to long vowels, so I can’t understand why they would include these rule breakers in the VERY FIRST lesson. It is confusing and adds an element of doubt as kids try to break down their first silent e words.

We just did a lesson on /-ed/ being added to the end of words. The first lesson included ALL the possibilities for what that /-ed/ could sound like: /d/, /t/, and /ed/. 

I thought that was a lot, and then I saw that the list of practice words included: waved, saved, and shared. 

So then I had to stop and explain that the vowel is long because the “silent e” has been replaced with the -ed. That should be in another grammar lesson (at a different grade level actually).

Other lessons have had my child learning a new list of sight words on the ladder, a new phonogram during the main lesson, and then also learning new “challenge words” in the assigned reader. 

 It’s just too much for little ones to take in one lesson.

What My Daughter Thinks Of The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts

“Mommy, um, I like it, but I don’t love it. Do you think we could look for something different?”

She went on to say that she thought the curriculum was above her head. She has so many different things to remember between the extensive sight word list (aka memorized letter pictures) and phonics rule breakers. I can tell she feels a bit stressed.

To be fair, her reading has progressed, but I don’t see the confidence and joy that she had with our previous reading curriculum.

I feel that is so much more important to focus on the long-term goal of reading for joy, than the short-term goal of “my kid is reading above grade level.”

The Good And The Beautiful Language Arts Would Be A Good Fit For You If:

TGATB Language Arts Is Probably Not For You If…

Recap: The Good And The Beautiful Language Arts Review

If you already use this curriculum and it works for you – awesome!

But if you have used TGATB and it blew up in your face, I just want you to know that it’s not because your child isn’t bright or that your homeschool isn’t good enough.

The curriculum is off the charts aggressive. 

Friends of mine have said that the higher levels of the program are also overwhelming to their children. It is just so much to do every day and kids get discouraged with feeling the weight of the expectations placed on them.

If you are considering The Good And The Beautiful Language Arts, you can’t say that I didn’t warn you before you started. 

I would encourage you to take it slow, utilize the placement tests, keep a close eye on your kid, and follow your intuition. You are the perfect teacher for your child and you will naturally know how to handle whatever comes up.

Have you tried The Good And The Beautiful? Drop a comment below and share your thoughts! 


I forgot to mention my daughter is 6 years old. I’m also part of a coop school and we’re trying to pick a LA curriculum that would work well for kids 3-9 but I can’t suggest TGATB after my experience, I was wondering if we can do Jolly phonics for the younger group 3-6 and still figuring out what to do for the 6-9 group. Would love your advice!

Zee, thanks so much for the kind words about the review! It motivates me so much to hear moms are helped by what I write. As for where to go after 100 lessons, I would look into Primary Phonics (budget option) or Read Bright (premium option). Both are great options that will round out your child’s reading and take them to the place where they can start early chapter books. For LA, I think First Language Lessons from A Well Trained Mind would be wonderful for the co-op setting. Hope that helps!

OMG, this is an amazing review. I honestly thought I was going crazy when my usually kind and sweet daughter would throw tantrums over LA, but now I feel like my every thought on the curriculum which I couldn’t put into words was said in this review. YES, it is super aggressive, My daughter struggles to read and it doesn’t come as naturally to her so of course the dictation spelling, constant mini books and long lessons (not to mention phonic cards PLUS sight word lists) would be overhwhelming. But I spent so much on it I kept wanting to go on…:S However I had enough of the frustrations from both she and I so I paused and we are now doing 100 easy reading lessons and that has helped SO much but I can tell she still doesn’t love LA. Do you have a recommendation of what I should do next after she finishes the 100 easy reading lessons and is ready to move to a new curriculum? I wanted to finish TGATB but only because I bought it, now I don’t care, i’m reading to move on!

Hi! Found your article while searching for G&B alternative recommendations. I’ve used it with my sons (now 12 and 9) for 2 years and have experienced similar pros/cons. What have you tried instead? I’ve had better luck tweaking it based on my kids’ needs, but it would be great to find something that may be a better fit. I don’t find they need as much practice as the lessons suggest, so I shorten them and add in other activities in our day. Both of my sons also hate physically writing, so we practice the concepts in other ways too.

Hi Jenny, If you need an alternative, I would look into Learning Language Arts Through Literature . I also recommend trying typing lessons with your boys. That helped my oldest daughter tremendously. Everything changed when I allowed her to type her writing assignments. Hope that helps!

This is SUCH a helpful post for me as I was *almost* convinced we would start my daughter with TGATB for level K. Wow, I am now convinced otherwise and I think it might be too much for my daughter. We have been working through a TGATB K primer… and some of those lessons even feel kind of heavy for a preschooler, I can see her get overwhelmed sometimes. Can you recommend what curriculum you followed instead? Looking for a gentle, phonics based LA/reading curriculum that is easy for my to manage with 2 preschool and toddlers in the home as well. Thank yoU!

Hi Michelle, We have really loved Primary Phonics. I have a full review of it here . We are about to start the last book and it has been so perfect, low key, and effective for us. It does not include LA, but at that age, I wouldn’t do LA. Just focus on learning to read, proper handwriting, and reading high-quality literature to her. There is loads of time for LA in the years to come. Hope that helps!

Good review! If you are raised Mormon/Lds you can very much see the culture in the teaching style she uses. They lay out a huge plan and expect you to follow everything to exactness. (Read: Filter through it.) And that wouldn’t necessarily be bad thinking, but if it doesn’t fit well for you and your family it’s assumed it’s your problem and not theirs. My take…you described the curriculum correctly, as many would feel frustrated not seeing their children progressing well and thinking it’s the child’s fault when it’s not, it’s the program. Needless to say, we did not have success with the language arts program. Good luck and blessings to everyone else if it works for them. 🙂

TGTB does have handwriting books for PreK and not sure why a high schooler would need handwriting books as they should already know how to write by then. I definitely agree that the older versions of their L.A. curriculum are a little much for younger kids. They’ve listened to parents and have changed those. The newer versions are much more littles friendly.

Thanks for taking the time to drop your thoughts! I meant full lines of curriculum for Pre-k and high schoolers. Some homeschoolers try to use a curriculum (especially math) that they can carry through the teen years, so I try to note that in my reviews. Glad to hear that some changes have been made, and I look forward to reviewing the newer version.

This was so helpful to read. We actually love TGATB BUT my 6 year old has had a hard time in language arts and now I have some insight as to why. She had done great with their math but would get overwhelmed easily in language arts and I was discouraged that she wasn’t grasping the concepts. I feel much better about it now that I have read your thoughts! We will probably still use it because of how easy it is and that it incorporates so much in one curriculum (my philosophy is keep things simple, let them be little) but I will give her more grace for where she is at and skip things that are too challenging and not feel like we are failing. Thank for for this honest and realistic review!

Love to hear all that, Sarah! Glad the review was helpful! Happy Homeschooling 🙂

I feel exactly the same way! We are on a similar journey with our 6yo boy. I actually carried the k course over to his “grade 1” year as I felt it was too advanced for him. It’s good to hear it’s not just him!

We started with this curriculum this year also, and I also am using the previous version instead of their new release for my younger child. (Level 2) The new releases were specifically changed because of all the things you just mentioned: too much in scope and very advanced. I had read a Cathy Duffey review and she went into a lot of detail about the change and it actually influenced my decision to use the older version. I would recommend reading that to anyone needing more thoughts on this, or most any other program out there. What a help! I lightly reviewed the newer version as it has come out. They have changed the phonics approach, I believe, with new cards that are reviewed daily, and their video about it on the website details other points you may find of interest. I would agree that I don’t think the spelling approach is as mindful of rule breakers, etc. I’m also unsure if it is going to stick well, as it’s a part of many other concepts shown at once. I believe it is supposed to be in a spiral review format, so I’m thinking they will be on a review again later, but I’m not sure if it’s just in the general context or with a nod to the actual rule. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that their newest version may be quite different, as they are changing all levels to address concerns such as yours. We are using the new 5th level as well, and the lessons are longer than I expected on some. I’m also thinking about the sentence diagramming that was just introduced (lesson 7) and realizing that it wasn’t a bigger deal for my son, but only because we have done it in some previous grammar-intense studies. (Junior Analytical Grammar 🧡) If we had not, I’m not sure how it would have gone, as it’s much more than subject and predicate. They tackle subject, predicate, adjectives, adverbs, and articles all at once. Hmmmm…. I needed an advanced LA program, but your article will definitely help me continue on with a closer eye on the way the concepts are introduced. So far, we are not in new concept territory for most things, but I’m sure it won’t be long, so I appreciate the heads-up. We also have Hake (Saxon) Grammar and Writing 5th- that’s pretty great so far. It’s the exact opposite – no pictures, quick lessons, similar format to each lesson, but a wonderful approach and it’s a huge win at this early point. I actually photocopy it so he can highlight the answers to help him focus on the work rather than his intense dislike of physical writing. BJU (we did it in 3rd) is a gentle, steadily paced option that flips between grammar and writing. I felt it was thorough but not overwhelming. It worked well for us at that time, especially in their approach to explaining the concepts behind different writing styles or purposes. Just a thought for others. I am a curriculum junky, too, and I can’t help but throw out a few wins. There’s so much out there! I love your blog. I’ve been a reader for a few years and it continues to bless me. Thanks for your thoughts!!

Emily, thank you so much for this comment! I love when people share their homeschooling and curriculum wisdom for other readers to find. And always great to connect with another curriculum addict 🙂

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The Good and the Beautiful Review

Look no further for a The Good and the Beautiful curriculum review. This post lists pros and cons of this popular homeschool curriculum, explains how to use it, and answers common questions in order to help you decide if this curriculum is right for your family.

I am in no way affiliated with The Good and the Beautiful curriculum or company. I do not receive any kickbacks from them, financial or otherwise. The opinions expressed here are my own.

(This post does contain affiliate links from other sources, however. I will be compensated for any purchases made through my affiliate links. Thank you for helping to support my family!)

good and the beautiful review

What is The Good and the Beautiful curriculum?

What and why.

I first heard about The Good and the Beautiful a few years ago from some of my fellow homeschool moms. They had discovered an amazing curriculum and were in love with it! They wanted to share the new find with all the other homeschool families they knew. I liked the sound of it and, naturally, (because I’m all about curriculum chatting!) asked lots of questions.

Per their website , The Good and the Beautiful strives to “teach advanced academics while connecting children to the good and the beautiful in life and learning.” The whole curriculum is very clearly and very effectively designed around this concept.

The author -Jenny Phillips – left a career in music to homeschool her children. She has a degree in English and wanted to ensure a strong academic and character-building education based in “good literature” for her children. She published her dream curriculum in 2015. Since that time, this open-and-go curriculum has grown exponentially. With her own warehouse, tons of books in print, and a loyal following of thousands, Jenny has definitely achieved her dream and apparently met a need in the homeschooling community.

What they say

Per their website , The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum (I copied and pasted this bulleted list directly from their homepage. See the original here .):

What others say

I first heard about The Good and the Beautiful curriculum from other homeschool families who were using it. They could not stop raving about how great it was and how much they were enjoying it. A few things families said repeatedly that they liked are:

the good and the beautiful curriculum review

How to use The Good and the Beautiful curriculum

Next up in our The Good and the Beautiful curriculum review is how to use it. Using this curriculum is fairly simple and straightforward. While not “scripted” so to speak, The Good and the Beautiful teacher guide does provide full lesson plans and instruction on how and what to teach for each lesson. It is teacher-led, meaning that the teacher/parent will need to go over the lessons with the student. However, students grow more and more independent as they progress through each grade level, needing less and less help from the instructor.

The Good and the Beautiful is self-contained. If you purchase their curriculum in full, every subject will be covered, including math and science. You can also purchase each subject separately and piece together several different curricula as fits your family’s educational goals.

The lessons coincide with each other across grade levels. So you as the teacher can introduce concepts to multi-ages of kids and just give deeper material and more complex assignments with each progressing grade. I liked how the workbooks themselves stay colorful and engaging even as the levels progress.

They provide a free booklist of pre-vetted books that are age appropriate and gentle in content on their website. Some books go along with the curriculum and others are recommended side reading. I appreciate the rankings of literary, moral, and educational values of each book to help with choosing. While some of the books may be harder to find, Amazon carries many of the titles . You can also support small businesses through for many of the titles as well.

The Good and the Beautiful curriculum review: Pros and Cons

Every good reviewer knows that no curriculum is flawless. And every curriculum has something positive you can find. The purpose of this The Good and the Beautiful curriculum review is to present my observations on this curriculum in order to help you decide whether or not it is a good fit for your family. The following is a list of positives and negatives I have found.

The Good and the Beautiful curriculum review: In Summary

In this The Good and the Beautiful review, I have laid out what the company says they are, what homeschooling families enjoy about it, how to use it, and a short pros and cons list based off of my own observations. If you are looking for an all-inclusive, conservative Christian, gentle curriculum, then this one definitely fits the bill. It is low-cost and has many freebies available for download. If you are looking for an academically rigorous, progressive or secular, individualized curriculum, then this one is most likely not a good fit for your family.

I hope this review has helped you in your family’s curriculum-deciding process! Let me know in the comments if you have anything to add to my pros and cons lists.

Check the Reviews tab above for more reviews of homeschooling curricula – like Real Science 4 Kids and Logic of English – as well as a few books I review as I read them with my kids – like Amari and the Night Brothers and more!

The Chasing Those Moments Shop contains many educational resources I have put together for your family as well as my own Advent and Easter/Lenten devotional books Jesse Tree Moments and Resurrection Moments . I’d love for you to hop over there and give them a look.

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The Good and The Beautiful Homeschool Curriculum: Individual Subjects Review

by Maegan | May 1, 2020 | Family Life , Reviews | 25 comments

The Good and The Beautiful Homeschool Curriculum: Individual Subjects Review

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Please note: TGTB has updated most of these subjects since this review was last updated in May 2020. I plan to do a complete revamp of this post soon. Please comment below which subjects I should review first!

*This May 2020 post is a significant update from our original review post in November 2017 and includes several new subjects and levels.

My family has been homeschooling since my oldest (almost 11) started preschool. After many, many, many hours researching curriculum and homeschooling methods, trying countless programs, and a lot of prayer, The Good and The Beautiful (TGTB) has been our core curriculum for the past four years.

Currently, our five and seven-year-old girls and our nine and ten-year-old boys are using this curriculum, often joined by our 18-month-old daughter sidekick.

This detailed review covers all of the subjects our family has used from this curriculum company and our honest experiences with each level, including the pros and cons for our family.

For sample pages and video flip throughs, lists of what each course set includes, other reviews, or to purchase the curriculum, you can go to the TGTB website . Each heading in this review will take you to that subject’s description page.

Please check out my overall review of The Good & The Beautiful if you’d like to read that first. Let’s jump into the subjects!

* This post may contain affiliate links . However, we are not affiliated in any way with The Good & The Beautiful company and all opinions are our own .

good and beautiful review

Individual TGTB Subjects

(Designed to be used one-on-one with the instructor)

The Good & The Beautiful Language Arts

Levels 1, 2, and K Primer from the Good and the Beautiful

TGTB LA Level Pre-K

The Pre-K level covers topics like letters and number recognition, letter sounds, fine motor skills, simple rhyming, and shapes.

My daughters both used the preschool book when they were three and absolutely loved it! Our family keeps preschool academic work light, with lots of reading and play. This level was perfect for doing “school” like their big brothers and provided a good foundation for later levels.

I reused the letter Flip Books and Activity Packet for my younger daughter, but they each used their own Course Book.

They both begged to do the “Puppy Book” (because of the cover) every day which is high praise! Their favorite parts were the Flip Books and activities like watercolor letters.

I loved that this level needed almost no prep and used basic supplies for the activities that I already had at home. It was also important to me that my children thought school was fun and engaging.

I don’t have any cons to share about this level! I’m excited to use it with my youngest in a few years.

TGTB LA Level K Primer

The K Primer expands on skills from the Pre-K book including long and short vowel sounds, reading simple two- and three-letter words, sight words, and counting from 10-15.

K Primer Pros

The K Primer was another hit for my girls! They used it when they were age four/early five. We all loved the colorful illustrations and the My First Reading Book. This level also required almost no prep for me which was so helpful as a busy mom!

Both of my daughters mastered the skills in this level smoothly and looked forward to using the Primer every school day. I appreciated that the lessons were short and sweet but still effective.

K Primer Cons/Adaptations

Some families in TGTB Facebook groups have shared that their children had a difficult time transitioning to the Level K book after the Primer.

This was our experience with our oldest daughter. She wasn’t ready for the faster pace of blends and digraphs in Level K. We read TGTB Beginner Books and other simple readers for almost a year before restarting Level K at age 6.

However, our second daughter transitioned with no difficulty from K Primer to Level K at age 5 without any supplementation.

TGTB now has a Primer Supplement available that might be a great option for children who aren’t quite ready to start Level K after the Primer.

*We also did not use the 20 Learning Songs for K Primer, but we enjoy other music from TGTB so we would have probably enjoyed it.

good and beautiful review


I highly recommend using the Placement Tests on the website for LA Levels K-7! TGTB LA does not necessarily correspond to public school grade levels and is considered in general to be more advanced than many other programs.

Level K covers phonics and reading, grammar, spelling, and art.

Level K Pros

We really love the new edition with more consistent daily lessons. And have I mentioned how much I love open and go, no prep lessons! They’re a lifesaver for teaching 4 different LA levels in our homeschool.

My daughters have enjoyed the variety of activities in the lessons, the Mini Books, and the Reader. The Sight Word Ladders have been effective for them, and they love coloring the animals when they complete a set!

Level K Cons/Adaptations

My older daughter uses the phonics cards and has enjoyed practicing with them, but my younger daughter doesn’t use them at all.

We’ve had to spread out a few of the more intensive reading lessons into a few days for my daughter who has had a more challenging time with reading.

Finally, the course materials can be difficult to keep track of. I’m grateful that my daughters love the mini books, but the books have shown up in all sorts of random places with two children sharing. I wish the books were either in a box or incorporated in the lessons. I keep the books in a Ziploc bag with moderate success.

TGTB LA Level 1

Level 1 includes phonics, reading, spelling, grammar, writing, literature, and art appreciation.

Level 1 Pros

You can download the PDF of this entire level for FREE! We purchased the printed version, but I haven’t seen a curriculum of this quality for free anywhere.

My active tactile learner used this level at age 6/7. I thought it might be too rigorous for him, but he loved it! One of my top homeschool regrets is not starting TGTB with him sooner.

He liked checking off each part of the lesson as he completed it and loved coloring the animals when he mastered sight words. This level was a great confidence booster for my son, and he became a much stronger reader.

The grammar instruction was more thorough than other curricula my family has used.

Level 1 Cons/Adaptations

I did not care for the spelling instruction in this level. I had personally only heard about three of these rules my entire life. As we discussed each rule, my sons quickly pointed out exceptions to each one. And we didn’t do most of the dictation exercises. (Honestly, we did about four.)

The spelling was MUCH better in Level 4 which I’ll address later.

We also didn’t use the Reader or Phonics Cards. My son did not enjoy them and had strong reading skills already, so we focused on other uplifting literature.

*The new edition of Level 1 resolved a con mentioned in the 2017 version of this post. The daily streamlined lessons seem like a great fit for this level versus the varied lesson lengths of the previous edition. I’ll update this review when we use the new version next year!

TGTB LA Levels 2 & 3

I’m combining Levels 2 and 3 because they were very similar as far as pros and cons for our family. Levels 2 and 3 cover phonics and reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, geography, and art appreciation.

As a high compliment to the program, after my sons completed their first school year with TGTB LA, they both placed two levels higher on the placement tests. So our oldest skipped LA Level 3 and our second son skipped LA Level 2.

LA Levels 2 & 3 Pros

Both of these levels are also available for free PDF download on their website!

My boys loved the artwork and interesting stories included in the course books. I was also surprised that they both ended up liking and excelling at the sentence diagram and grammar instruction. Most adults I know hated this part of English class and never wanted to hear about past participles again.

I loved watching my sons become stronger writers. And they devour good books! They looked forward to assessments and the target reading races that showed how much they improved over time. This is exactly what I want from a good language arts curriculum.

LA Level 2 & 3 Cons/Adaptations

We haven’t used the updated versions of these levels. I’m excited to use the new editions with our girls! From the samples on the website, I think the consistent length lessons and fewer components to each level will address the issues we had with some lessons being too long.

Yes, I still skipped most of the spelling instruction in these Levels.

**I just ordered the new Level 3 course book for my son to finish the final third of the course. It’s gorgeous, and I think he’ll love it!

TGTB LA Level 4

Level 4 teaches reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, literature, geography, and art. This level includes mostly independent work for the student, with smaller sections requiring parental support.

Level 4 Pros

Another free PDF level!

This was my oldest son’s favorite LA level! He loved the variety of exercises for spelling practice and the beautiful books included with the course. The challenging word section, in particular, helped him feel accomplished.

The sentence diagramming instruction in this and previous levels has helped our son become a diagramming rockstar.

The pastel instruction and country posters were also a highlight of this level. I learned a lot too!

Although I missed our longer one-on-one instruction time, this level was a great opportunity to see the fruits of our homeschool efforts so far. Our son flourished with this level and became a much more adept and confident writer, speller, and thinker.

After each lesson, I would think “Wow, he did all of this without any help!”

Level 4 Cons/Adaptations

The only con we found in this level was that LA could run a little long when the assignments included a big pastel or poster project. To solve this issue, we just consolidated some of the pastel lessons into separate time blocks.

My son loves The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts

TGTB LA Level 5

Our ten-year-old started this level a few weeks ago, so I cannot make a fair pros/cons list yet. He says he loves the daily checklist and the interesting stories in the readers.

My favorite part of Level 5 so far is the sentence dictation. I know, that doesn’t sound like the most fun. But as I said earlier in the review, I don’t care for TGTB spelling in levels 1-3, so I was concerned the spelling and dictation we skipped in those levels would come back to haunt us.

It hasn’t! Level 4 spelling and lots of time spent reading good and beautiful literature seems to have worked because my son is doing beautifully with spelling in the dication sentences.

*We haven’t used Levels 6 & 7 but plan to use and review them in the future.

good and beautiful review

The Good & The Beautiful Math K , 1 , & 2

Please see the descriptions of each level for the scope and sequence since they vary for each one. TGTB Math incorporates God, real-life math applications, and beautiful illustrations and stories.

TGTB Math is similar to public school grades, unlike the advanced Language Arts levels.

Math K-2 Pros

TGTB Math has done a great job incorporating different learning styles. There are games and movement for kinesthetic learners, charts and manipulatives for visual learners, songs and stories for audio learners, and many other methods of instruction.

Some families don’t like this variety of teaching styles, but it’s very helpful for my family.

I have one child who has almost completed Math 2, one who has completed K, 1, and half of Math 2, and one child who is halfway through Math K. All three children have very different learning styles and personalities, but they have all loved TGTB Math and have flourished with this program.

TGTB Math has regular review and assessments so it’s simple to see areas where a child might need more practice or instruction. It is also easy to see areas where the child excels.

This Math program has helped my children have solid number sense and have confidence that they can figure out challenging math concepts.

My children all love playing with the Math Activity Boxes–the cubes are a huge hit!

Math K-2 Cons/Adaptations

My oldest wishes TGTB Math had a high enough level for him because he sees how much fun his siblings have with Math. I wish higher levels were available too!

Doing every daily dose, bonus activity, and game can make lessons pretty long, especially if you’re doing multiple math levels each day. I only do every part of the lesson when my child needs extra practice for that math concept. You really don’t have to do every thing!

The boxes for the Math Activity boxes have not held up well at our house, and the storage/upkeep for the games and manipulatives can be tedious.

We often do two math lessons a day, but we only do one daily dose.

good and beautiful review

The Good & The Beautiful Handwriting

Handwriting pros.

My family has used Levels K-5 for Handwriting. It’s definitely a favorite subject at our house! The children think it’s great that they can do it mostly on their own and can do it on the trampoline, in the car, or in a pillow fort.

The illustrations are beautiful, and my children LOVE the frequent drawing parts. They usually do one page 4-5 days each week. I have seen improvement in each of my children’s handwriting since they started using these books.

The new rainbow cursive is amazing! The child follows the steps for each letter in rainbow order. My seven-year-old loves that she is able to teach herself “pretty writing.” Even my most reluctant writer looks forward to writing in his book.

Our ten-year-old gets compliments from his grandparents who have beautiful penmanship.

Handwriting Cons

The font and arrows for the lower case “e” in the lower handwriting levels led all of my children to writer their “e’s” backwards when they didn’t do that before this curriculum. It took a few weeks to help them adjust.

I thought we were just weird, but other families have shared the same issue online.

The drawing and coloring elements are perfect for my art-loving family, but this curriculum might not be a great fit for children who do not enjoy drawing and coloring.

TGTB Electives

good and beautiful review

The Good & The Beautiful Typing 1-3

I’m from the Mario Typing generation, so I tried several arcade-style games with my children to teach them typing skills. TGTB Typing program is quite different. I love the video on the description page that explains how the program works.

Typing Pros

Our oldest started TGTB Typing 1 when he was eight, and his typing dramatically improved after just two weeks of lessons.

The lessons are short and focused which has been a perfect fit for our family. Joseph Michael loved that he could get out his recipe stand and Chromebook at any point in the day and complete his typing assignment independently. I only helped with timing assessments.

The Typing programs feature beautiful artwork and quotes and weave spelling, grammar, and poetry into the lessons. It was exciting to hear my son bring up principles he’d learned during his typing lesson.

Joseph Michael finished Typing 3 a few weeks ago and is now a proficient typist and is able to complete many writing assignments on the computer.

Typing Cons

There were a few lessons, especially in Typing 2, when my son was frustrated and felt he was making slow progress. I think this could happen with any typing program, but it wasn’t smooth sailing every day.

I personally don’t think this program would be as effective for younger children who aren’t strong readers yet, versus an online program that will have audio instructions.

TGTB Typing seems best suited for children who are independent learners. My second son isn’t currently motivated to learn typing, so we are waiting a little longer to start this program.

Family-Style TGTB Subjects

(Designed to be used as a group unit-study)

The Good & The Beautiful History 1 & 2

The Good and the Beautiful History is lots of fun!

TGTB History is one of my favorite subjects to teach, and all of my children love history now!

TGTB History emphasizes God and moral character and has four levels that each focus on different time periods from ancient-modern history.

History 1 & 2 Pros

This is the only official  history curriculum (aka not Liberty’s Kids or Animated Hero Classics videos) that we’ve ever stuck with since we all enjoy it!

The History courses require little to no prep which means I actually do history regularly with my children. We usually do 2-3 lessons a week. The activities are fun and meaningful but don’t take me hours of Pinterest planning to execute.

The Keys of History game has been a great review, and my children look forward to playing it. (We’ve only played the Settlers game a few times, but my children enjoyed it.)

The audio dramatizations feel like old-style radio shows, and as cliche as it sounds, they do help history “come to life” for my family.

Besides being engaging and enlightening for my children, I appreciate that this curriculum doesn’t present “revisionist” history. It even specifically addresses the pitfalls of rewriting history to overemphasize character flaws of historical figures, without glossing over the fact that people sometimes do make poor choices.

History 1 & 2 Cons/Adaptations

I didn’t think the PDF Student Explorers would be our style. When I first downloaded them, they felt like “busy work” with a lot of coloring and maps. However, my children love them and request them while we’re listening to the audio recordings. I don’t require them to complete these.

Some of the lessons have seemed long for my younger children (ages 4 and 6). I always separate the Keys of History game from the rest of the lesson so we aren’t doing too much at once for my children’s attention spans.

Between the Big Book of History stories, the lessons themselves, and the audio dramatizations, TGTB can feel audio-heavy for children who don’t learn as well this way. I have one child who soaks up all the audio content but another who doesn’t.

I try to do history during snack time which helps my younger children/non-auditory learner feel bribed to stay engaged during the lessons.

I have seen several criticisms online of TGTB History being too “white-washed or American/Western-centric.” In my experience, it has been more diverse than the history I learned in public school, but it is good to check out the topics for your own family.

TGTB Science & Health

The good & the beautiful health science: safety.

I would recommend this course to all parents, even if you don’t homeschool! These are important subjects for all children and in my experience aren’t skills that children just intuitively pick up as they get older.

We’ve completed this unit twice because we loved it so much! It’s still my second son’s favorite school unit ever because the safety rules were explained so well, and he likes discussing real, pertinent topics.

We plan to review this unit annually.

The Safety Course covers:

The lesson lengths were perfect for my children’s attention spans and understanding (ages 4-10). I feel a lot more peace as my children have learned these skills. The activities are fun, helpful, and low prep.

good and beautiful review

The Good & The Beautiful Science: Botany

I was a floral designer in college, and this unit was perfect for sharing my plant-loving passion with my children. We loved exploring our yard, flower garden, and nature trails along with these lessons.

My children were ages 5-10 when we used the Botany unit, and some of the concepts/vocabulary were advanced for my younger children. We plan to cycle through these units, so they’ll be able to do these lessons again when they’re older.

We particularly enjoyed the Flower lessons and Poisonous/Carnivorous Plants lessons.

The Good & The Beautiful Life Science: The Human Body Part 1

This was our first TGTB Science unit because all of my children expressed interest in this topic.

The vocabulary was a little advanced for my 6-yr-old, but she still liked to participate in the lessons.

**This unit did require a few supplies that I needed to find or purchase ahead of time as they weren’t typical household items.

If your oldest child is in early elementary, I would recommend starting with a different science unit as this one seemed more advanced than others offered by TGTB. Several families have enjoyed starting with Arthropods or the newly released Mammals unit.

The Good & The Beautiful Book List

This list is fantastic. I can’t say enough good things about it. It has over  650 recommended books!!  that have high morals, clean language, and interesting storylines.

My children are voracious readers, and it is difficult to screen every book they’d like to read. I love having this go-to list of books that I can trust to be a positive influence on my children.

good and beautiful review

I hope this review has been helpful in considering if this curriculum would be a good fit for your family! I’m happy to answer any questions you have about our experiences with The Good & The Beautiful or homeschooling in general!

You can comment below with questions or email us from our Contact Page.

*We are not affiliated with The Good & The Beautiful and purchased all items used for review. All opinions are my own. 

The Good & The Beautiful Homeschool Curriculum Review--Several Subjects!

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Hi! How much time do you spend in TGTB curriculum each day? And what do you do for math?


I am so sorry I missed responding to your comment!! We spend 1-3 hours a day doing TGTB, depending on if we are doing Science, History, or Art that day. Sometimes 4 hours if I’m doing a “catch-up day”. The most time-consuming part is doing 3 levels of Language Arts with individual children, but I just work with each one until they seem to be at a stopping point for the day versus the recommended time listed in the books. For Math: Right now my 6-yr-old is doing TGTB Math K, and my 7 & 9-yr-olds are using Prodigy online and the Splash Math app.


How are you enjoying the Math K? Since you have older kids and are doing other math curriculums (since the K is new), I’d like to know your opinion on what you have done vs. what are you now doing with your 6 y/o. Would you buy the next level of TGATB math when it comes out or most likely switch to what you do with your older children?

Hi Lauren! We’re loving Math K. I personally prefer it to other Math programs we’ve used for Kindergarten like Singapore Math (although I like that program also). The “daily dose” section in Math K gets a little dull to me with the repetition, but my daughter loves it. I feel like it’s given my daughter a better foundation for later math principles versus other workbooks my boys used. I’ll definitely be buying TGATB Math 1 for her when it comes out. She might still do some Prodigy math practice like her brothers as she gets older, but as long as TGATB Math stays the same format/quality in later levels I’ll likely still with that as her core math. Hope that helps and please let me know if you have any other questions!


Can’t thank you enough for this review – a timely blessing from God! New homeschool Mama of 7yo/5yo/3yo boys. I purchased curriculum and realized it was not what I wanted (go figure). After even more research, I found TGATB. I have loved everything I can see from their websit, but I wanted to hear what others have thought through their experiences. This post has been very beneficial. Thank you for taking the time to share in such detail.

Maegan-This Blue Dress

Thank you for your sweet comment, Laura! Good luck with your homeschool! I hope you all have a lot of fun learning together. Please let me know if I can help with any questions about homeschooling/TGATB in the future!


Thank you for your reviews! I’m coming from a Charlotte Mason background where lessons are short and not textbook/Fact-heavy. Have you noticed science being overwhelming for 7-9 yr olds; specifically fidgety, short attention span- children?

Venice Williams

Thanks for the helpful review! I have never bought a full curriculum before and I get worried about using it properly. I was also wondering if the History touches on the constitution at all.

Hi Venice, I’m so glad it was helpful! I think it’s important to remember that you can make any curriculum that you choose work for you and your family! The two years of History that my family has used both covered the Constitution. I think History 3 goes even more into depth with the Bill of Rights. The samples on TGTB site are great for seeing what each unit covers throughout the four books. Please let me know if you have any other questions! -Maegan


I love the math from the Good and the Beautiful. I so wish I could get it for my rising 5th grader. What curriculum do you use for math for your older kids?

Hi Amanda, I wish TGTB Math was ready for my older children too! In the past, we’ve used Prodigy and Math Mammoth. We’re currently using Beast Academy and enjoying it. Thanks for commenting! -Maegan


Hi Amanda – if you’ve had a chance to watch the YouTuber Ashlee of GraceAndGrit she transitions her children from TGTB to Saxon math and it seems to work well and people going from Saxon seem to transition from that to Shormann at the high school level. So that might be a curriculum you’d be interested in looking into.


Hi! I appreciate your in depth review of this curriculum. I like many other parents am considering homeschooling this year, unfortunately for me I am making a late decision. TGTB seems like a really great curriculum, and we would be willing to invest in it. However, everything I need my K and 2nd grade is out of stock and pdf only. I’m curious is you used the PDFs and just got it printed. This seems silly but curious best route to print the material as seems pricey to get it all printed. Thanks!

Hi Kate, I’m so glad the review was helpful! I personally don’t have experience printing the PDFs, but I can hopefully point you in a good direction! There is a Facebook group called The Good & the Beautiful Community that has lots of good info. If you join that and search for “printing company recommendations” there is a great thread with several companies suggested. I often see Family Nest Printing and The Homeschool Printing Company recommended, but I’ve never used them so I can’t share any experience. Big Box stores are usually much more expensive for printing. Some families do the DIY route with Eco Tank printers or the HP Instant Ink Printer I mentioned in my post. If you go to TGTB main website, they recently set up text alerts for restock info and often include that in their emails as well. I know they just had a big restock for Math and LA. Please let me know if you have any other questions about TGTB or homeschooling, and good luck with your family’s journey! -Maegan

Colette Jensen

Hi Maegan, Thanks so much for this detailed review! I read this as we were considering our fall choices and your review gave me confidence in my decision. (We’re new homeschoolers this year and loving every minute.) My question for you is what you do for science for your older kids? I have an 8th grader and we’ve started the botany unit and love it for my younger two, but even the extensions just don’t seem like enough for him. Any suggestions or wisdom from the trenches?? 🙂

Hi Colette, I’m so glad the review was helpful and that homeschooling is going well for your family! Exciting! That’s great that your son is advanced enough to need additional science. My oldest son (11) is still wrapping up a few more science units from TGTB before we decide on his next route for science. Here are some of my thoughts on late Middle School/High School science and what I’ve seen in recommended in the homeschool community, but please know that this doesn’t come from actual experience yet since we aren’t that far in our journey. Once our children complete 8th grade/middle school, we plan to help them do classes through dual enrollment programs so they can graduate high school with at least an Associate’s degree. We’ll likely go that route for science. My daughter (8) has always shown interest in nursing, so she’ll likely have a heavier emphasis on anatomy, biology, etc. As far as science curriculum suggestions, unfortunately, there isn’t one I’ve heard of that a huge group of homeschoolers absolutely love. I have seen Berean Builders, Super Charged Science, BJU Distance Learning, and MEL Science mentioned frequently in TGTB Facebook groups. I hope some of this is helpful. 🙂 I’d love to hear what you end up choosing to do for science! -Maegan


Hi Maegan, I would be interested in hearing more about your plans for the dual enrollment in High School and Associate’s degree. Any help is appreciated. thanks!


Hi there, thank you for taking the time to review this curriculum!! I am considering this for my 2nd grade sone but am curious if you purchased on the exclusive reading books from TGTB or if that was even required. I love the pricing of the curriculum but the total cost of the books on the book list are well over $200. Any advice on whether that is a necessary purchase? Thanks again!!

Hi Erica, I’m sorry I missed your comment before! You definitely do not have to purchase reading books from TGTB! They do have readers that come as part of the language arts curriculum, but honestly I haven’t used those for most of my children. The books from the book list and their library are just great books that have met a specific literary standard. You can learn more about these standards here: (from TGTB youtube channel). I have loved the books we’ve purchased from their book list, but they are not essential for doing the curriculum and are more for building an uplifting home library at your own pace. Good luck with your homeschool year!

Piper Post

Thanks so much for your detailed and honest reviews. I’m curious if you feel as though the stories and images through TGTB are ethnically diverse or more Eurocentric?

Hi Piper, thank you for your comment! I’ve read that TGTB is prioritizing adding more diversity to their materials, and this has definitely been reflected in their most recent releases. The new version of the readers has much more diverse images. Some people feel TGTB History is more Eurocentric. I’m curious to see if that will be addressed in the newer version, but that is projected to be released in a few years. I personally like the history and add literature picks from sources like Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time and similar lists. Please let me know if you have any other questions!


Hi there I am new to the homeschooling group and I have a four-year-old and a seven-year-old both with ADHD. How does the program work when you have multiple children? Can you work with one child while the other is working independently? Is this a more hands on program for parents? Also I was looking at it online and it just seems like a lot of detailed information and a lot of material instead of being on the computer for 3 hours with minimal intervention. My mother goes to church with a woman who suggested this program.

Hi Rachel, since your children are young, they might not be able to do as much work independently. My older children do their independent subjects while I work with my younger children, and then we do subjects like science together. TGTB curriculum is more parent-intensive in the early elementary years. However, if your children are independent readers, they could do some of the coursework on their own. TGTB will definitely be more parent intensive than computer-based programs like Easy Peasy or online public school. TGTB is more “open and go” than other book-based curriculum options because you read directly from the coursebook, especially for language arts and math. Science and history do require some minimal printing/prep and gathering some simple supplies for experiments. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Hi Julia, I’m sorry it won’t let me respond to your question in the thread. I will try to email you this response also. TGTB leans Charlotte Mason style in many ways, but TGTB Science, in my opinion, is more fact-heavy for elementary than most elementary science curriculum I have used or researched. It’s definitely more info than I learned in my public school elementary science classes. This works great for my family because my focus for science at this age is more exploratory/exposure than mastery-based. We have snack time during the reading part and try to do a lot of the experiments to keep my wiggly younger ones engaged. The marine biology unit is available as a free PDF, so that might be a great place to start to see if TGTB is a good fit for your family. We haven’t done that one, but my children have particularly loved the botany and mammals units. Please let me know if you have any other questions!


Hi there! This is my first year homeschooling a 10 yr old and 4 yr olds. We have been using TGTB and love it however it has been the only thing we have used :). I am struggling understanding the grading/testing process. Normal public school would have had many test. The math and lay gauge TGTB has assessment reviews but what do you do for history and science? How do you test your children and if you don’t test how do you make sure they comprehend what they are being taught. Thank you for your thoughts!


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Our Math Journey: Honest Reviews of The Good and the Beautiful, Masterbooks, and Math-U-See Curriculum

Disclaimer: Treehouse Schoolhouse is not partnered with any of these companies and all opinions are based purely on personal thought and experience. Every family and child is unique and may connect with a curriculum that was not a good fit for us. This is simply our path and experience.

When we started our homeschool journey I knew that math would be an area of struggle for me, simply because it’s not my personal favorite subject.

The Good and the Beautiful

The first formal math curriculum I ever purchased was The Good and the Beautiful K (kindergarten). At that time my children were 5 & 6. It was primarily for my 6 year-old, but my younger daughter joined in on some games and such when she wanted to. At that time, school was very casual and we had a lot of time to play games, work with manipulatives, and do lessons. Our days were wide open and long lessons where I needed to be totally hands-on were more manageable. The Good and the Beautiful was a great fit for us at that time. We would spend 30-45 minutes each day on math and it was enjoyable and effective.

Fast forward a year later and we went ahead and began level 1 from TGATB . A few weeks in and I just knew that we had to make a change to something more “open-and-go” with shorter lessons and with the option for my children to work more independently. Lessons weren’t getting done and the kids' understanding of the material was waning. The main reasons were that we were now including many other subjects into our day and just couldn’t fit it all in. We also now had two little ones in tow to keep safe and cared for.

good and beautiful review

Check out the revised versions of The Good and the Beautiful Math here .

The Takeaway

I don’t regret using TGATB for the season we were in. We all enjoyed it as it was such an elaborate, fun, and engaging math curriculum for young learners. I think it was a great fit for the earliest year of our formal schooling when we had the time and space in our days to use it. They have since revised the curriculum to seemingly solve some of the issues we personally had with it and I would still recommend the curriculum as a solid choice.

Masterbooks: Math Lessons for a Living Education

We stopped using TGATB 1 and switched to using Masterbooks: Math Lessons for a Living Education when my children were the equivalent of 1st and 2nd grade. I did so much research and wrote  this blog post right when we began on the reasons I chose it. I really thought it would be a good fit for us and it just wasn’t. In summary, the curriculum uses one long storyline weaved throughout all of the levels. My children love stories, so I thought that alone would draw them in. I also loved that it was more hands-off from me. It was a huge change from TGATB in that it was strictly workbooks. My children weren’t opposed to that but I would’ve liked a happy medium. There were some recommendations for manipulatives using household materials for some of the lessons, but for the most part it was story and worksheet based. Unfortunately, the storylines did not hold my children’s attention and they wanted to skip the stories altogether, but if they did so, much of the actual teaching of the math concepts were also being skipped. I also didn’t love the way place value was taught in this curriculum. The kids were beginning to gain understanding of it, but to me, it could have been presented in a more straight-forward way. One of the activities that the children were asked to do on a continual basis was to make flashcards of the basic math facts with a storyline attached to them. We attempted this at first but it seemed awkward and my kids weren’t into it. We all began to dread math lessons for all of these reasons.

We stuck it out for awhile but I started realizing that my almost-3rd grade son had almost zero confidence in recalling his math facts (addition or subtraction) and my 1st grade daughter started saying she hated math. I started looking around to make another switch and quick.

I know many families that use and love this curriculum, but for multiple reasons it wasn’t a good fit for me or my children and I did not see their math skills strengthening. If we would’ve done all of the lessons as instructed (including all of the stories and flashcards), we may have had a better outcome academically. I personally would not recommend this math curriculum.

We took a math break for awhile after that and simply played math games while I researched for what to do next. Here are a few of our favorite math games:

A month or so later I finally decided on Math U See . Initially the main reasons I went with it was that it is recommended by a few experienced homeschool mamas and by graduated homeschool students whom I highly respect. What really pushed me over the edge was when I discovered that they had an accelerated program to focus on mastery of the addition and subtraction facts (the exact area of weakness I was seeing in my son). I started by getting that program to see if it would be a good fit for the long haul.

Here is what the Math U See website has to say about it.

“Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) provides a new solution for struggling math students with gaps in their foundational math skills set. The AIM programs use proven Math-U-See strategies and manipulatives in combination with an accelerated approach to help students successfully master math facts.”

See more about Math U See AIM program here .

We began using the AIM program and I saw how brilliantly designed the curriculum was. It really clicked for both myself and my son. We worked hard on mastering his addition facts with the AIM program and succeeded in about a month.

At that point I went ahead and decided to purchase the DVDs, manipulatives, and math books for both of my children and we have been all enjoying it now for several months. I see both of my children gaining joy, skills, and confidence in math!

Here is what I love about Math-U-See so far:

Someone else is teaching the concept.

Yes, I said it. I love that Mr. Demme (a sweet and funny homeschool dad and math genius) is teaching my children the lessons. I sit in on the presentation while my child is watching (5-20min, depending on the lesson), and then I have had first-hand experience on how to reteach the lesson if they need more explanation.

It is mastery-based.

This means that the children don't move on until they have mastered a skill. After they have watched the lesson and then narrated it to me (taught me what they learned), the child works out problems according to that lesson for as long as they need until mastered. This is usually a few days- a week for us.

It is cumulative.

This means that while it’s teaching only one new skill at a time…and continuing with THAT skill until it’s mastered, it also reviews past skills. Each week they review bits of everything they have learned in past lessons.

It will grow with my children.

Not all math curriculums go all the way through high school, but this one does. I can’t say for sure, but I could see us using it for the long haul.

I highly recommend Math-U-See and wish we would’ve started sooner! It has given me confidence as the teacher, as well as my children joy and confidence as students. We plan to use it for the long haul.

I hope those reviews were helpful to you!

Thank you for your review! We have been using Math U See but I have not opened the DVDs. I will use them and see how that goes. Thank you again!

Thank you for all the info! I was wondering could you share where the wooden manipulative sorter fir math u see is from?

Looking for 6th grade math

Hi! I have done Math U See Alpha and Beta with my daughter. This next year I was going to move on to Gamma and start my kindergartener on the Primer. But I have been considering switching to TGTB for a change. My biggest struggle with Math U See is how fast we get through the curriculum. I don’t know what to do after we’re done. This year we finished by February/March. I didn’t want to move on to Gamma yet, but I didn’t know what to do for further practice/reinforcement. Do you have recommendations on what to do for that?

I just wanted to come here and tell you I read this post last week. Math has been a struggle for my 9 year old! We have tried so much, even the new good and beautiful and nothing has worked for her. She’s hated it all and we clashed a lot during math. After reading your post I ordered math-u-see. We pulled it right out of the box today and she did 2 lessons and said it’s her favorite! I hope it stays this way! Thanks for sharing what worked for you… I know by just looking at math-u-see I’m going to like it!

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To the Christian Considering The Good and the Beautiful

May 21, 2019 by Rebecca

The Good and the Beautiful

Over the past year I have watched. I have seen this issue divide, I have heard both sides, I have seen the community and TGTB groups, I have followed the threads and gone through the comments. My reasons “why” God drew me away from this curriculum have solidified, they have better words and more logic, and I have such a clear idea of how to communicate that and why I must . I must share this article not to beat a dead horse, or to tear Jenny down, but because there is confusion.

Disclaimer: Let me be clear that this article is not written for people who are LDS, it is written to Christians who are currently using The Good and the Beautiful or considering it and trying to understand the controversy. These are obviously my opinions and convictions and experiences, I do not claim to be God or the Holy Spirit for you and you ultimately have to make your own decision in the matter. The purpose of this article is to help people who are truly seeking for an answer as to why there is so much debate about this to understand the issue more fully.

I never wanted to take on this debate. I didn’t even fully understand the LDS faith myself nor what making that video would mean. But I feel strongly that I cannot stay silent on this, for the sake of even one person who may be debating this and truly in their heart wants to know what God has at least been showing me about the curriculum.

Today, I am going to break down, very clearly, my reasons. If you truly desire to know the answer, pray before you read this, ask God to speak and help you discern what He is saying. Don’t take my word for it, turn to Him.

Why I, as a Christian, do not use or recommend The Good and the Beautiful:

1. the church of jesus christ of latter day saints is not christian.

They believe in a mother God They believe all other denominations of the church have it wrong They believe they had a premortal existence before life on earth as spirit children of God and sat on His council. They believe we can be God They believe that “Man was also in the beginning with God.” and can become gods They believe God was a man just like us and is now exalted (and we can be too) They believe God made woman in the image of his wife-partner (mother-God) They believe in the Godhead but that they are separate beings, not three in one They believe the Bible has errors and can be superseded by a modern-day prophet They reject the concept of saved by grace alone

This just begins to scratch the surface on major issues that go far beyond denominational differences.

This is the #1 argument I get from the LDS community: LDS are Christians as defined by Wikipedia. Sure, according the to the world’s standards, the word “Christian” doesn’t mean much. But according to the standards of the New Testament church, the warning in Revelation that nothing was to be added or taken away, this is deception, false.

2. There is incredible deception in the LDS faith

They are changing their name:.

from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the Church of Jesus Christ. They don’t want any differentiation from their faith and Christianity. It began as the Church of Latter Day Saints.

There is deception rampant in the groups:

In any post where anyone posts any concerns about the roots of the author, hundreds of people hop on (many many of them Evangelical Christians I might add) to say there is nothing to be concerned about. Meanwhile the LDS community (which is huge in the groups) hops on and says we are all the same. It is a Christian program, as is LDS. Like pentecostal to baptist, we all have our differences and LDS is just a denomination. Take a look at a few of the comments on my video from TGTB community:

good and beautiful review

Even LDS are deceived

In some of the comments on my videos I have shared some of my findings on as part of my argument that we are not the same. I was shocked to find time and time again that professing LDS believers said “We don’t believe that!” This is a huge red flag to me and further proof that this is a faith built on deception.

good and beautiful review

The rebuttal that I hear from the Christian community is: “There is no LDS content in The Good and the Beautiful curriculum. Evangelical Christians, Catholics, etc. all came together to approve this had nothing that contradicted their faith.”

Let’s move on to the next point.

3. Spiritual influences and strongholds

Do you believe that there is a spiritual world, with spiritual forces, demons and angels, and spiritual influences and strongholds that you can’t see in the invisible realm? Do you believe the Bible is true?

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:12

It really comes down to whether we believe what the Bible says or not.

The enemy deals with deception, the lines become blurred, he preys on our insecurities. The draw to this curriculum is powerful, why?

• Because we feel so insecure about doing it all and doing enough and this curriculum is in-depth and all laid out, we are drawn to it because we first hear the whisper: “You are a failure, you are messing them up.” And we believe it. • Because of the hype: everyone is using it and the power of herd mentality is real. What are we missing out on? • Because of the spiritual influence: Jenny Phillips isn’t just a practising member of the LDS church, she is a large, influential leader in the faith. She reaches thousands of people through her music and leadership and has great authority in the LDS church and spiritual influence. Part of the draw, the pull towards this curriculum, is the fact that the enemy deals in deception and there is an actual spiritual draw to the curriculum, the enemy is using this to confuse Christians (see point 4) • Because of our friends: homeschoolers are passionate about their curriculum and the pull to “sell” what we are using is strong. You probably heard about this program from a friend who told you it was changing their lives. Which brings me to the next point.

4. Christians are being deceived… and you and I may have a part in it

I see moms all the time who go and ask in the groups and communities: “I saw Rebecca’s video and I am now having second thoughts.” The community pounces on it, “DO IT, there’s nothing in the curriculum, it’s amazing!” etc. etc. etc. all whilst hopping on my back with rumours and false accusations of greed and their rule on my motivations to do it. I can’t really blame anyone, they don’t know me or really care and they are just doing what we homeschoolers do best, selling their success!

But that mom who is questioning, who doesn’t really know the differences, starts to think, “Oh, I didn’t know LDS was just a denomination of Christianity!” They buy it you guys, hook line and sinker. I have watched it happen over and over again in threads:

Mom considering it: “I don’t really know much about LDS” People in the group: “We believe some different things but so do all denominations, we are Christians just like you.” Mom considering it: “Oh” she says. “Wow, I guess I don’t really know much about the LDS beliefs”

And you or I may have had a part in that.

I left the Good and the Beautiful for my kids, for the spiritual influence, for the families who are being deceived and confused. The more I have pondered my decision, the more I realize it is so much more than what meets the eye which brings me to point number 5.

5. This is bigger than the curriculum…

I know these are strong statements, I know that this may make you angry, some of the most hateful comments I have received have been from Pentecostal, Baptist, Evangelical Christians who hate me for standing against this because they LOVE the curriculum and don’t want to be convinced otherwise. They see me as someone who is fighting against the homeschool peace and joy they have found and it makes them angry.

I was one of those people my friends. I fell deeply into this, I wanted SO BADLY to believe that there was nothing wrong with it, that I wasn’t called to that standard, that people were reading into it too much, etc. “You’re just being religious,” I thought to myself. I dismissed them, I pushed against it. And then I researched LDS, I saw the insights on Jenny’s blog, I saw the quotes and pictures were heavily influenced from LDS sources,  I understood what she believed and the worldview that went into this and I just couldn’t ignore it any longer.

It isn’t the curriculum… it is the culture. The culture of the Facebook group where everyone tells you we are all the same, there are no differences between LDS and Christians. The spiritual influence that this is bringing over our kids and homes, and the confusion and deception it is causing amongst homeschool families who aren’t grounded in their faith who are being led astray because some well-meaning Christian mom determinedly preached to them that there was “nothing in the curriculum.”

The fruit that has come since leaving The Good and the Beautiful

I knew that when I left the Good and the Beautiful there would be drama and negativity. I knew I would be bashed and misunderstood. I maybe didn’t understand the extent of the battle I was being drawn into, but I knew God was with me and so I stepped onto the field, blissfully unaware of how that one video would change my life.

But what I did not expect was the fruit in our homeschool–the blessing of stepping out into God’s calling on our lives. The Good and the Beautiful curriculum recommends 45 minutes to an hour of working in their LA course book a day, their History takes about that long as does their Science. I have five children, in my desire to “do it all” I had lost sight of my original vision and intention for homeschooling. We were spending 6-8 hours a day doing school (go watch my Day in the Life video with The Good and the Beautiful on YouTube, it’s intense!). Yes, my kids were growing quickly but was that my goal and purpose? We had no time for anything else, no time for nature studies, no time for Bible and morning basket and art and picture studies. We were a slave to curriculum that I was in love with.

Since leaving we have moved into eclectic homeschooling that is still evolving to be honest. We have a Spirit-led homeschool where no day is like the last and God is consistently drawing us into more homeschool freedom. We do bookwork just a few hours in the morning and have our afternoons to discuss, drink tea, explore the world around us, and follow our interests and passions. A deep sense of rest and peace has settled on our home, regardless of how much we get done in a day. I am free.

I still hear the lie from the enemy rise up: “You aren’t doing enough. You are messing your kids up. They are going to be behind. You need to add more.” But I know that lie too well to not recognize it for what it is. Every time it comes I speak God’s truth over my life, that He has started a good work in our lives and the lives of my children and He will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). I walk in confidence not based on the amount I do or the curriculum I do nor even the results I can see, but in what God has called me to do and following His voice day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

My calling: rise up

Friend, I know this is hard to hear. I will never forget a message I got from someone on Instagram who had purchased The Good and the Beautiful last year based on my recommendation. A few months later I came out with the infamous video and she confessed to me that she was mad–she didn’t want to hear it, she wanted to defend what she was using because she loved it. But over the past few months God worked on her, spoke to her, and she decided to switch. She wrote to thank me for my boldness and strength to say what I said and follow God. For her, it is worth it. For you, it is worth it. For the person who is not sure, it is worth it.

To say I am strong enough to stand against all the hate, that it doesn’t hurt, is just not true. On my own you guys, I am not strong enough. But I know that God has not called me to take a stand just to abandon me. He is with me.

When I first made the full live video on Facebook (which is why on YouTube I am not looking at the camera, I was looking at my phone) I smiled quite a bit though the video. People were super offended by that, they thought I sounded flippant and cruel, like I didn’t care. But here’s the real reason I smiled, I was shocked by the sense of God’s presence. I wasn’t alone, the hate and cruelty couldn’t hurt me. I spoke and each barb that was thrown it was as if I was protected. The video ended, the weeks after were harder than I ever could have imagined. I stopped responding to comments, I stopped going on my computer and phone, I cried, I sought Him again and again, He sustained me then and He will sustain me now.

What about you?

Once again I step out because the time has come. It is my prayer that you will see my heart.

To the people who say this was greed or a decision for money (because I have received HUNDREDS of comments and emails about that and just saw it posted in a thread the other day): I was asked to write curriculum for Jenny. She was a sponsor of mine and I was paid for the promotions I did. I actually made more working for The Good and the Beautiful than other companies I have worked with. I lost money and I lost business by making that video so nothing could be further from the truth. I did not leave to write my Bible curriculum , though that was what I decided to do instead of writing for The Good and the Beautiful.

I have no hate for the LDS community, I disagree that they are Christians, but I could go and have coffee with one of them and talk about curriculum and homeschool routines easily and genuinely. Disagreement is not hatred.

I don’t judge you for your decisions: I believe God has asked me to take a stand and to be more clear but I would never judge you for your decision if you choose to continue using it. The only thing I will caution you against is recommending it so emphatically, being aware of the deception and confusion it is causing and to pray about it earnestly yourself, without an agenda.

I will leave you with some of the comments and emails and messages I have received and one final thought: I spoke in love and received hatred. The divisiveness and intense deception that I have seen since speaking out about my decision to leave has left me with a strong sense of the enemy’s hand. This is battle, between our flesh and our spirits, and one will win. May God give you wisdom as you search out His answer for your family and if you have more questions, feel free to post them below!

good and beautiful review

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To the Christians using (or considering) the Good and the Beautiful homeschool curriculum. Come learn what the controversy is all about and what I feel God has shown me about the debate. #homeschool #homeschooling #homeschoolcurriculum

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Home » Homeschool Curriculum Reviews » Faith-Based » The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum Review

The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum Review

good and the beautiful curriculum review

Have you heard about The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum?  Our family had a chance to work on The Good and the Beautiful curriculum review (three of their science courses), and we loved every minute of it!  But before I get to our review, I want to tell you a little about the company.

The Good and the Beautiful offers Christian-based, non-denominational curriculum and much of it is FREE. The curriculum is created by homeschool mom, author, songwriter, and teacher, Jenny Phillips, along with her team of homeschool parents, reading specialists, teachers, grammarians, historians, editors, and writers.

The Good and the Beautiful curriculum:

“I want to tell you the things I love about your curriculum:      – I can just open and go.      – Everything is explained clearly.     – It is advanced academically.      – I can trust that everything in it appropriate and uplifting.” ~ Michelle

Want to know more? You can learn what the Good and the Beautiful is all about by watching this video.

The Good And The Beautiful Product Review

We had the pleasure (and it was a pleasure!) of reviewing THREE of their science courses.

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

Look how thick the courses are!

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum Review – This unit studies course contains fun, interactive lessons. The course doesn’t require a lot of prep time and/or supplies.  Lessons include:

Lesson 1: Introduction to Space

Lesson 2: Stars

Lesson 3: The Solar System and the Sun

Lesson 4: The Terrestrial Planets: Mercury and Venus

Lesson 5: The Terrestrial Planets: Earth and Mars

Lesson 6: The Moon and Its Phases

Lesson 7: Gravity and the Tides

Lesson 8: Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, and Meteoroids

Lesson 9: The Gas Giants: Jupiter and Saturn

Lesson 10: The Gas Giants: Uranus and Neptune

Lesson 11: The History of Astronomy

Lesson 12: Galileo

Lesson 13: Space Exploration: Part 1

Lesson 14: Space Exploration: Part 2

Lesson 15: Space Exploration: Part 3

Lesson 16: Constellations

Q: Does this unit support an old earth or a young earth theory?

A: The unit supports creationism from a general Christian viewpoint, but it does not point to an old earth or young earth theory, keeping that subject vague and allowing you to fill in the blanks with your own beliefs on this particular subject.

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum Review –  This unit studies course includes many hands-on activities and experiments that explore the properties of water, and it takes a detailed look at the changes water goes through as it passes around and through our world. Children learn how water is used to generate power and electricity.

Lesson 1: All About Water

Lesson 2: States of Water

Lesson 3: Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation

Lesson 4: The Water Cycle

Lesson 5: Bodies of Water

Lesson 6: Water Shapes the Earth

Lesson 7: Oceans, Currents, and Tides

Lesson 8: Icebergs and Glaciers

Lesson 9: Groundwater

Lesson 10: Water Power

Lesson 11: Clean Water

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum Review – Packed with experiments and activities, this science course explores weather and atmosphere. This course is very hands-on and requires more supplies and more prep time than some of their other science units.  Lessons include:

Lesson 1: The Creation of Weather

Lesson 2: Introduction to Seasons

Lesson 3: Why We Have Seasons

Lesson 4: The Earth’s Atmosphere

Lesson 5: What Is Weather?

Lesson 6: Measuring Weather

Lesson 7: What Is Air?

Lesson 8: Air Pressure

Lesson 9: Air Temperature

Lesson 10: Temperature Affects Air

Lesson 11: Wind

Lesson 12: What Are Clouds?

Lesson 13: Types of Clouds

Lesson 14: Rain

Lesson 15: Thunder and Lightning

Lesson 16: Snow, Hail, and Blizzards

Lesson 17: Severe Weather: Tornadoes

Lesson 18: Severe Weather: Hurricanes

Lesson 19: Forecasting Weather

Lesson 20 – Unit Conclusion

As you can see, each course has a varying number of lessons, and thus, each takes a different length of time to complete. It is recommended you do at least 2 science lessons a week. Each lesson is designed to take 40-60 minutes.

So, what did our family love about The Good And The Beautiful Curriculum courses?

A supply list for The Good and the Beautiful Space Science Curriculum

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

Vocabulary cards from The Good and the Beautiful Meteorology Weather and Atmosphere Curriculum

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

Optional Read-Aloud Info The Good and the Beautiful Water and Our World Curriculum

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

Sample Pages from The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum

The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum Review

We LOVE these courses and totally, 100% recommend them!

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Simply Good and Beautiful Math

The Good and the Beautiful has completely redone their math program to make it more efficient and less expensive. Simply Good and  Beautiful Math K through Math 5 are available as of August 2021, and Math 6, Math 7, and Math 8 are in the works.

For each level, both instruction and student activities are included in one coursebook. Separate answer keys are available for all courses except Math K. Just as The Good and the Beautiful does with some levels of its language-arts program, they offer downloadable PDF files for the math coursebooks for grades one through five for free. Pre-printed coursebooks are also available for purchase. (Math K is not free.)

Math K through Math 3 need to be taught by parents. Simply Good and Beautiful Math has streamlined math instruction to make it easy for both parents and students to use in a reasonable amount of time. Kindergarten lessons should take 10 to 12 minutes per day, with the time required for each level gradually increasing up to 30 to 35 minutes per day for Math 3. Math 4 and above are designed for students to work independently for the most part, with instruction provided through online videos and the coursebook. Students working through Math 4 and Math 5 should spend 35 to 45 minutes per day.

The videos can be watched online or downloaded. Many of them run close to ten minutes, so downloading might not be practical. The course books for Math 4 and Math 5 have mini lessons that present the same concepts covered in the videos in very abbreviated presentations that students can read for themselves. If students already know the concept or can grasp it easily with the mini lesson, they do not need to watch the video. However, the videos cover more ground than the mini lessons, so be careful that students are not missing something important. If they struggle with the problems in the Lesson Practice section of a lesson, they should go back and watch or rewatch the video. (Lesson pages include QR codes to help you quickly access the video you need.)

The coursebooks are beautifully illustrated with full color throughout the lessons. If you get the PDF coursebook, there are a number of reasons why you'll need to print out many of the pages in color. First, students sometimes have to identify images by color in some of the lessons in the books for younger students. Second, color printing helps the reader distinguish images and details that might not appear as clearly in black and white. And finally, the books are beautiful, and children will love the color. If you don’t have access to inexpensive color printing, you probably should buy the printed book.

Math K through Math 3 each requires the use of a set of manipulatives that comes in a wooden box with a sliding lid—a different set for each course. Many of the items in the Math Boxes are constructed from wood to make them durable and easy to handle. You can gather or make items to create your own set of manipulatives if you prefer. Instructions and templates for doing so are included on the publisher’s website . (Click on “How do I make my own Math Box?” to watch a video that explains how to put together your own sets of manipulatives for all four levels.) The prices for the boxes are so low, that you might save by buying the boxes ready to go. You will need your own whiteboard and markers to use along with many of the courses.

The educational approach of Simply Good and Beautiful Math is very eclectic. It helps children master basic problem-solving skills and math facts, while also teaching conceptual understanding and mathematical reasoning. It uses a spiral approach, teaching a concept, then revisiting it and expanding upon it bit by bit. The spiral approach also helps build in continual review of previously taught concepts. In addition, the last section of most lessons beginning with first grade is labeled as review.

All courses have 120 lessons, and the lessons are divided into either three or four units. The lessons have lots of variety, incorporating many different methods of learning, such as work with manipulatives, viewing visual representations of manipulatives, games, brief stories, and puzzles. No two pages in the coursebooks look alike. Game mats and instructions are within the lessons where they will be used, so there’s no flipping around or searching for what you need. Assessments are included within each coursebook at the end of each unit. For Math 1 and above, answer keys are a free download under the "FAQs and Extras" for each course on the publisher's website.

The coursebooks are illustrated mostly with drawings of children, with a lot of attention given to diversity. The stories within the lessons stress positive character traits and virtues. There is very minimal Christian content. When Bible references or verses are included, they are from the King James Version.

The Simply Good and Beautiful Math program is unusually creative and interesting. It is an excellent option for a hands-on program. On top of that, even if you purchase the printed book and box for a course, it’s a bargain.

Following are details about the courses I have reviewed. Preview samples of other levels are available now on the publisher’s website.

Math K is presented in three units. It covers the recognition and writing of numbers; counting to one hundred by ones, twos, fives, and tens; even and odd numbers; addition to 10; introductory subtraction; writing simple equations; word problems; greater than and less than; measurement; telling time; the calendar; patterns; shapes and symmetry; graphs; and coins. This sounds like a lot for kindergarten, but the interactive, experiential approach used at this level makes it very workable for the average student.

The Math Box for Math K includes four custom dice, two wooden game pawns, three very small wooden cars, and 15 counting sticks. You can create your own box with comparable items. For the custom dice, one has the numbers 1 to 6, another has numbers 7 to 12, and two dice have equation symbols. The other items need to be the correct sizes. Students will move the cars on tracks on their lesson pages, and the counting sticks need to be a specific length to work for the activities.

An assessment is at the end of each of the three units. Students are not expected to master all of the concepts that have been taught, since they will all be reviewed again in first grade. So the assessments test children only on concepts they are expected to master, and they do not require that children are able to either read or write. The assessments let parents know what they need to reteach rather than serving as tools for grading. There is no answer key since answers should be obvious to the parent.

Math 1 reviews concepts taught in kindergarten, often in the review activity at the beginning of each lesson. The coursebook tells you to skip an activity if your child has already mastered it. From the very first lesson, it begins to introduce what are likely to be new concepts, such as left and right, place value, and the concept of  subitizing . The course covers basic arithmetic skills plus many other areas such as counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 100s; measurement; telling time; counting coins; number bonds; and writing fractions. It teaches addition and subtraction but does not introduce carrying and borrowing. The course often suggests optional YouTube™ videos on The Good and the Beautiful Kids YouTube channel , such as “How to Spell Numbers 4, 5, 6,” and “Months of the Year Song.”  (It might be worth paying for YouTube to avoid the ads.)

The Math 1 Box has a clock face with movable hands on the lid and a whiteboard on the reverse side of the lid. Items inside are plastic coins; play money bills; two custom dice; seven wooden boat figures; and six, double-sided wooden clock faces.

Math 2 lessons are divided into four units. A Review Box at the beginning of most lessons offers students the opportunity to review concepts and skills. Students solidify their skills with addition and subtraction, including regrouping. They are introduced to multiplication, division, and fractions but in a gentle fashion. For instance, it introduces multiplication with skip counting and visual arrays (showing rows and columns of objects) rather than rows of problems to solve. The course also covers many other concepts such as telling time, counting money, rounding, estimating, writing numbers in expanded form, imperial measurements, metric measurements, weight, word problems, Venn diagrams, tally charts, graphs, geometry (polygons, lines, angles, perimeter, symmetry, congruence, and transformations), and identifying locations on coordinate grids. This course covers so many topics that it probably meets or exceeds all state standards.

The Math 2 Box has a clock face with movable hands on the lid. The items inside are plastic coins, play-money bills, a ten-sided die with numbers 1 to 10, two fraction dice, four metal figures (helicopter, jet plane, rocket, and biplane), and 10 three-quarter-inch wooden squares with numbers and colored stars. You will need to supply a magnetic board.

Math 3 reviews regrouping and other addition and subtraction skills then spends a lot of time on multiplication up through multiplying three- and four-digit numbers by one digit numbers with regrouping. A multiplication chart is included near the front of the book along with a page for keeping track of the child's mastery of the multiplication facts. It introduces division along with concepts such as place value to the millions, perimeter, area, order of operations, the coordinate plane, Roman numerals, different types of measurement, fractions, congruent shapes, similar shapes, rounding, graphs, and elapsed time.

The Math 3 Box has one six-sided dice, two custom dice, a 60-inch measuring tape, 16 magnetic shapes, two game pawns, and an array mat. It also has a magnetic whiteboard on the box lid.

Math 4 has four components: the  Math 4: Course Book , the Math 4: Answer Key, Math 4: Mental Math Map Mysteries , and online videos. The first three items are available as free, downloadable PDFs or as printed items that can be purchased, and the videos are available free online (for streaming or download).

This course reviews addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Then it continues with larger numbers for all operations, long division, rounding, estimation, multiples and factors, fractions, conversion of fractions to decimals, addition and subtraction of fractions, all operations with decimals, geometry (e.g., rays, angles, perimeter, area, types of triangles), elapsed time, many types of measurement, prime numbers, composite numbers, data, graphing, probability, and word problems. The lessons frequently review the basic math facts.

Unit assessments are included in the course book at the end of each of the four units. Lessons 117 and 118 are set up as additional reviews for the first two units and the second two units, respectively. These two "lessons" both use a theme of traveling through Italy, with math problems and a puzzle to solve. Answers to lessons, reviews, and assessments are in the answer key.

Math 4: Mental Math Map Mysteries  is used apart from the lessons, but students should complete one per lesson. Each day's mental math is in a small box, with five boxes per page. While Math 4 is designed primarily for independent study, someone has to work with the student for about five minutes as they look at the mental math problems and respond orally. The "supervisor" can check the answer key that is on the reverse side of each page. This works most easily with the printed book since it has a comb binding on the side. The student can be looking at one side of the page while the supervisor can see the other. If you use the PDF, you can figure out how to display what you need or you can print out student pages. TGATB has added an interesting incentive. After every four or five lesson boxes (one page), "the student is directed to place a sticker from page 71 onto a designated space on the map on page 69. At the end of the course, the student will have a completed picture of the map." This is an actual sticker in the printed book, but the PDF has all of the sticker images on page 71, and students can cut and paste the appropriate images. Pages 49 through 68 in Mental Math Map Mysteries is a "choose your adventure" story. The map created with the images shows places in the story.

Like Math 4, Math 5 has four components: the Math 5: Course Book , Math 5: Answer Key, Math 5: Mental Math Map Mysteries , and online videos. The first three items are available as free, downloadable PDFs or as printed items that can be purchased, and the videos are available free online .  Math 5: Mental Math Map Mysteries works exactly the same as for Math 4, so please read that description above. Unit assessments are included in the course book at the end of each unit. Lesson 118 helps students review the entire course in preparation for the final assessment that is identified as Lessons 119 and 120.  Answers to lessons, reviews, and assessments are in the answer key.

Math 5 covers all four arithmetic functions with fractions, decimals, and percents; geometry (area, perimeter, angles, congruency, computing the measurements of a circle, and the use of a protractor and ruler); the conversion of fractions, decimals, and percents; probability; graphing on a coordinate plane; the distributive property; exponents; square roots; many types of standard and metric measurement; negative numbers; beginning algebraic equations; and more. This course should exceed the Common Core State Standards for fifth-grade math

Pricing Information

When prices appear, please keep in mind that they are subject to change. Click on links where available to verify price accuracy.

Digital books for Math 1 through Math 5 are available for free. Math K - Math 3: printed coursebook and Math Box - $49.98 per course, printed coursebook: $24.99 - $29.99 each, Math Box: $19.99 - $24.99 each Math 4 or Math 5: set of printed books (with free online access to videos) - $49.97 each

Core Curricula

Instant Key

Publisher's Info

Note: Publishers, authors, and service providers never pay to be reviewed. They do provide free review copies or online access to programs for review purposes.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

They Call Me Granola

Life is better kept simple., an honest & thorough review: “the good & the beautiful” homeschool curriculum.

An Honest & Thorough Review: “The Good & the Beautiful” Homeschool Curriculum

After a busy summer settling into our new property, chopping wood, planning gardens, and exploring our new 5 acres, we are now almost two months into our school year!  We have a 9 year old, a 7 year old, a 6 year old, and an almost 5 year old.  Of course, like any homeschool mom, I labored   long and hard  over the curriculum decision… wanting the absolute best for my kids.  However, being on a tight budget, “the best” seemed a far off dream.

Enter, The Good & the Beautiful ! (Important note: These are my honest to goodness thoughts about this curriculum, I am not being compensated for this review, and we purchased the curriculum ourselves for use this year).


A friend introduced me to  The Good & the Beautiful just weeks before I planned to start our school year.  I spent hours reading reviews, exploring the freebies, and learning about the mission of this company.  I tear up just writing this post!  As I read Jenny’s mission, her values, and what she wanted to accomplish in creating this curriculum, my heart swelled inside me and I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that THIS is what we were looking for!  I talked with my husband that night, showed him what I’d been learning, and he knew as well.  We ordered the levels we needed and waited in anticipation for them to arrive!

I am not one to skimp on academics so I also want a curriculum that covers all the bases.  The Good & the Beautiful goes above and beyond in that it includes an emphasis on good character and values in every lesson and reading!  This emphasis really spoke to me on a deep level because even above academics, I value character development… Jenny’s curriculum weaves character and values into every lesson.  It is a faith-based curriculum, but it doesn’t delve into doctrine or the deeper concepts of denominational differences.  She keeps it basic and focused on creation rather than evolution, and beauty rather than doctrine, allowing you as the parent, to incorporate doctrine and specific beliefs in according to your particular bent.

My motivation to “do school” swelled ten-fold as I prepared with new energy and excitement… I’m emotional again just now remembering that HOPE  for a beautiful year of exploration and discovery guided by something I couldn’t create on my own. Below you can see the evolution of beauty in our homeschool space – this isn’t a post about our space… but as I anticipated with excitement the beauty of this curriculum, I was inspired to create … I hadn’t even received all the printed materials yet and I was already inspired just by browsing the pdf files I’d downloaded!  Jenny’s dream and passion is truly contagious!

Inspired by the beauty of the curriculum to make a beautiful space to use it...

But first… take a look at these excited kids!

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Look at these photos of our struggling reader/speller… he has seriously grown so much just in these couple months of working with The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts Curriculum .  Look at those words he can READ and SPELL!  The repetition built into the program is fantastic but not tedious or boring.  It’s woven in artfully throughout the program in different ways so as not to become mundane.  The Mini-books (readers) that come with each Language Arts level are beautiful as well. The illustrations are quality, the stories are entertaining – often evoking peals of laughter from my children!

This is my struggling reader/speller who is making so much progress!

Jenny , being a homeschool mom herself, obviously KNOWS what we homeschool mom’s need… Look at this excerpt from one of the language arts books!  Do you see the lovely check boxes!  This “open  & go” style of workbook with it’s handy check boxes make it SOOO easy to keep track of what’s been completed and where we need to start next time!  Being a teacher of multiple children and grade levels at one time I find this feature to be a HUGE help in keeping me on track.

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Overall, I LOVE The Good & the Beautiful Language Arts Curriculum !  We have been using the Level K & Level 2 curriculum this year.  Our 6 year old will graduate to Level 1 probably about half-way through the year and our 4, almost 5 year old, will probably graduate INTO Level K.  Our 8 year old, 9 this week, is working through the Level 2 book and will probably finish it before the year is up as she is highly academic and independent.  She LOVES the geography that is so beautifully incorporated into the curriculum, and is truly learning to understand and appreciate art!  I love all the beautiful pieces and the brief history of the piece as it is mentioned in the lessons.

Frugal Mom Tip:  I would highly recommend purchasing the PRINTED curriculum for at least one child.  I purchased the printed book and the PDF downloads.  I printed the whole download in black and white for each child, and then, when we come to a page with artwork or something else better viewed in color, I pull out the printed book.  In this way I am able to use the printed book for more than one child.  If you can afford to purchase the printed book for each child, I also encourage you to do that just to support this amazing company!

Oh how we are loving science!  We are working on the Arthropod (Bugs) unit this year!  As I was creating our homeschool space the kids were inspired and motivated to prepare for their bug study – energy and inspiration is contagious – The Good and the Beautiful got us ALL excited for the school year!  They scrambled with the small amount of summer we had left to collect various bugs for their bug board!  They accumulated quite a collection!  Here is a sampling!


Check out the variety of Science Units The Good and the Beautiful offers!  None of these sets is over $22 for the PRINTED COPY and all are full color on high quality glossy paper.  We ordered the Meteorology unit for our next unit as we will be finished with Arthropods by the beginning of 2018.  And there are more units planned for the coming years, so keep checking back!

The Good & THe Beautiful

I cannot begin to express how thrilled I am with this course!  My 8 year old is fast becoming an accomplished typist !  She types quickly and accurately without looking at the keyboard, and all without the “video game” style distraction of most modern programs!


We have been using the Nature Notebook this year but I also ordered the Creative Writing Notebook.   The Nature Notebook is wonderful for exploring the seasons.  Once a week is enough to accomplish each season’s activities during that season.  The Creative Writing Notebook is beautifully designed and we can’t wait to use it next year.



The Handwriting courses are wonderful independent work for the kids!  As you can see below, my son’s handwriting has improved visibly in just the past several weeks!

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Can I just say, this History Curriculum is GORGEOUS and FUN!  We’ve been learning about Creation and Ancient Egypt so far.  The activities are not only educational, they are fun as well!  Dressing up like Egyptians, making a representative timeline on the floor demonstrating how LONG the period of Ancient Egypt was as compared to how long the US has been a nation!  I’M learning along with the kids!  The  Big Book of History Stories is high quality, full color, and engaging writing!  We love when we get to pull that book out with a lesson!


This Book List has been a FOUNDATIONAL part of our homeschool plan this year!  The books included on the list are ALL wonderful books you can  truly  trust  to be  safe   for your children!  We have very much enjoyed reading books aloud off  The Good & the Beautiful Book List,  as well as reading alone during Quiet Reading Time.  Our favorite so far is a book we would have never found had it not been for this list…  A Tree For Peter … What a beautiful inspiring read!  The Good and the Beautiful team puts out an ANNUAL update to this list, continually adding to the amount of beautiful books you can feel confident about!

Jenny is graciously offering a FREE book list download to my followers, valid only from 11/8/17-11/11/17 … Check out the sample page below. There are over 500 books listed and thoroughly reviewed on this book list! Click on the image below to find the Book List!


Of course, there is also the question of time!  How much TIME does it take to get through the lessons, and school as a whole for the day.  That is another thing I love so much about  The Good and the Beautiful  !  It’s open and go so I’m not scurrying about during school hours wasting precious time gathering supplies, or printing a forgotten worksheet.  I’m homeschooling four children Level 2 and under, so all of our lessons in the Language Arts book and for History and Science are done with me there.  We start school at 8am, and we’re done between 11-12!  That’s 3-4 hours TOTAL!   I’m not even kidding!  And I spend at least 30-40 minutes with each child INDIVIDUALLY and then we do History together twice a week and Science and Nature together once a week.  I have the family lessons sprinkled throughout the week on different days so it’s not all clumped into one day.  Not only does this 3-4 hours include The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts, History, Science, and Nature… I’m also doing Math with all the kids and one is doing The Good and the Beautiful Typing !  We are ALWAYS done before lunch!  Isn’t that incredible!

As a homeschool mom on a very tight budget , I SOOO appreciate Jenny’s commitment to making The Good and the Beautiful AFFORDABLE !  Not only are the printed materials SUPER reasonably priced, there are also many FREE downloads if you just can’t scrap together the money to buy the printed version!  She STRIVES to make it possible for every homeschool family to have access to QUALITY  curriculum!  This mission and purpose is something I can stand behind and support WHOLEHEARTEDLY!

Look here at a couple of the science units for an example.  You can print the Arthropods Unit at home for only $8.99!  Or you can buy it and have it shipped to you for only $16!  The Meteorology unit is the most expensive unit and still only costs $12.99 for the PDF or $22 for the printed + PDF!  These units are WELL worth that amount of money!

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Also, look at the Language Arts Level 1 Course set.  You can get the whole thing for FREE if you just access the PDF download (look at the color portions on a Tablet or computer or print it in color at home or an office supply store).  Or, you can order the physical course set for only $58 !  How many curriculum’s can you name where an entire year of Literature, Spelling, Phonics & Reading, Grammar & Punctuation, Art Appreciation & Writing (& Geography as well in Level 2 and up)  are included for only $58!  Or, save yourself a couple bucks and print the phonics cards at home and spend only $51 for the physical course set!  This is AFFORDABLE !


Don’t want to buy the whole set… maybe you’ve bought it already and just need the coursebook again for another child?  Buy pieces separately.


That Level K Reader is so cute and fun to read.  Forget other primary readers and their repetitive “blah” style and unimaginative stories.  This reader is wonderfully written to inspire and teach!


If you’re still not convinced, to supplement your research, here are a few other reviews on this amazing curriculum:


Well, I think that about covers it!  I think you can tell that we LOVE The Good and the Beautiful !  Please hop on over to the website and explore the curriculum for yourself!  Download one or more of the FREE Language Arts courses and read the whole thing!  Take the guesswork out of ordering the printed copy by previewing the entire course for FREE!

Don’t forget to take advantage of that FREE Book List Download as well!

Have you tried any of The Good and the Beautiful Curriculum in your homeschool? Comment below and let me know your thoughts as well!


Pass it on:

31 responses ».

Oh my word!! YES!!!!! The Good and the Beautiful has transformed how we do homeschool!!

My oldest also loves acedemics and has been thoroughly enjoying the Level K Language Arts, History Year 1, Handwriting Level 2 and the Nature Book! She unfortunately didn’t have a solid foundation for handwriting until this year (she found it to be quite tedious) but wow, her handwriting has improved so much and is beautiful now thanks to The Good and the Beautiful!! She asks to take her handwriting book to quiet time and for in the car when we go places!

And my second oldest who wasn’t very excited about learning before (because she needed something beautiful and fun!) has also been loving school this year!!! She very much enjoys the Level 1 Handwriting book and I’m thrilled she’s getting off to such a great start. She loves all the games that come with the Language Arts Pre K and they have helped her learn in a way that she feels she’s good at and doesn’t make her feel discouraged. That’s a big deal when you have siblings who learn at very different speeds!

And bonus, my two year old feels like he’s part of it and loves to repeat what my older two are learning while he colors at the table with us:).

We couldn’t have asked for a better homeschool curriculum and are so excited to see our kids’ love of learning continue to grow. The Good and the Beautiful has given them such an amazing foundation in seriously the most beautiful way and for that, we are so grateful!!

Thank you so much for writing this post! It has been super encouraging for me to read as we have just ordered our The Good and the Beautiful curriculum and are waiting for it to arrive. I am currently scared out of my mind with doubt over taking this step into the unknown of “Homeschooling” with our current 8th, K, & Pre-K babies. I’m hoping that all of the wonderful creative inspiration you spoke of will hit me soon! I have been experiencing negativity from our family over the choice we have made to pull our kids out of public school and homeschool them, which doesn’t help with feeling like I can do this. We will be starting this next week and am just praying that it will all be a smooth transition for us. I have loved what I have researched on the G&B but still have no clue on where to start with Math. Especially with my 8th grade daughter! What do you use for math?

My pleasure! I’m sorry you’re feeling judgment from family…that’s super sad. I encourage you to invest time in finding a support group…Facebook is a great easy place to start. Find some local groups and reach out to people. Homeschoolers are a friendly supportive lot! I hope it’s a smooth transition for you as well.

I love that G&B is releasing a math program…unfortunately it’s a little too late for us. I have been using mathusee with my kiddos and will continue with that. It’s not pretty but it is effective. And if money is an obstacle… I’ve never bought it new…always trolling Facebook homeschool resale pages and finding it used. 😊 Good luck in your new adventure!

I have a 5th, 7th, and 9th grader. We are looking to switch up our homeschool approach to a more charolette mason approach. We have never really found our love of learning, and I am desperate to find it. I always worry that if something is too easy, and we finish too quickly, that we haven’t done enough. You would think after nearly 6 years of homeschooling, I would have it figured out. Not yet! Do you think this curriculum would work for high school? We have never done much on formal writing, so I want to make sure that is covered. I really hope this is the answer to us all enjoying learning together. Also, to the mom’s question about a math program, we started using teaching textbooks this year, and we love it!

I couldn’t answer that as I haven’t even seen the HS curriculum. I am going to the convention in July though! I do love what I see about the lower elementary writing! The creative writing notebook is wonderful. I’m hoping it encourages good writing skills in my kids. But each kid is different, and some just don’t put thoughts onto paper like others. And that’s ok. I hope you find your groove! It does take time doesn’t it!?

I just read your informative blog. Thank you. I am seeking input, as a nana raising a grandchild I am new to homeschool. I believe I am largely Charlotte Mason inspired with a bent toward unschool. I hate that term! I can best describe us as a lot of read aloud , great books are a priority. Lots of nature time. Living and working together with lots of childhood play. I planned to use Five in a Row because of the unit approach being a good fit. I was researching a solid math and reading program that we could add. Thus I found the Good and Beautiful. I would truly appreciate wise input. My grandchild appears to have dyslexia but we have not formally tested. He also has severe PTSD but is doing much better.

Thanks for reading. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandson… I hope he finds healing living with you. My son is also undiagnosed dyslexic (it runs in the family)…teaching him is hard and demands loooots of creativity and patience and understanding and trying new things…constantly! But he’s also my most rewarding student to teach. I suggest you get involved in a few Facebook homeschooling groups as specifically ask to be contacted by a VETERAN homeschooling mom… One who’s done it and completed it with a child successfully. Being that I’m still in the throws of it with all kids under nine, I wouldn’t feel right nor would I call my direction “wise” yet. You are wise seeking out help though! I hope you find someone who can give you wonderfully wise guidance.

I will say that my MIL who schooled five dyslexic kiddos said that one of the most helpful tricks she found was to play classical music in one of his ears and lessons in the other. 🤪 I am going to try that soon!

I also got color overlays off amazon. Just search in Amazon for color overlays… I think I paid $20. That helps him track better too.

Thank you for this honest and thorough review. I also love the set up of their desk and board you created. Do you have more info on what you put on there and why? It seems like it would help you stay organized and the kids on track!

I had a few things… “bd” picture so they could see the difference between those letters since three of mine really struggle with that 😛 A Number/Alphabet line on the bottom. Magnets to hold things up (I use Power Magnets that I get on Amazon). Their daily assignments bookmark… has what things I want them to get done on a daily basis. Their poem to memorize. And I cut up one of those gazillion magnets you get from advertisers in the mail… Cut it into slices and put an assignment on each slice (math, spelling, LA, poem…etc) and then they get to arrange them each day in the order they want to do them. Gave them some control! 🙂 Hope that helps!

It mentioned you are using TGTB math for one of your kiddos, how is that working for you guys? I need some major help and structure here for me. I don’t find it enjoyable so I find myself skipping way more than I should… We love TGTB LA stuff is their math just as great?

Hi Mama Hen 🙂 I don’t use TGTB math… unfortunately we are about 1 year ahead of them as my youngest son is starting Alpha level in September. Since they’ve only released K it’s a little late. 😦 But we do love MathUSee for math around here.

Although, if you’re looking for more structure like TGTB LA is… I might go with them. As MathUSee is not that way unfortunately.

Thank you so much for your review! A friend pointed us to Good and Beautiful as we are just about to start our homeschool endeavor! I am in my research phase, this has been most helpful! I have a 5 year old going into kindergarten a 4 year old and a baby on the way! I wanted a curriculum I could reuse, with little prep, that also focused on character and values as well as high academics. This seems perfect! Can I ask what you used for math though for you young kids?? I’m struggling to find a math program that covers enough and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! Have you tried her math program?? Thank you!!

Hi Kayla! I’m glad it was helpful! I’m actually super excited about next year because of The Good and the Beautiful! ❤ I can't use TGTB math unfortunately because our youngest is already past the K level 😦 I'm so sad about that. We use MathUSee… which is pretty easy to find used if you surf the facebook homeschool and resale sites. I've found all of mine used and have up to Gamma (Level 4) with two block sets and I've only spent $60. I make my kids use a notebook for writing answers, so the workbooks are reusable.

I love your classroom set up — and we are considering the Good and Beautiful — I guess I am lucky — we have a Kindergartner this year — so he will be doing the Math — yipee!! 🙂

Hi! I’m trying to figure out how the list of extra books function each year. We’ve been using the level 2 curriculum and only now, in lesson 45, are we starting to read the first chapter book. Flipping ahead, I see no follow up on how to incorporate the book into the curriculum. The last chapter book is introduced with only 5 other lessons left in the year. So, I guess I’m wondering why we’d read these books over ones that my son may find more interesting? I had thought that maybe they were crucial to being able to do certain lessons, but I’m not seeing evidence for that. Can you shed light on this? TIA

Hi karen! My level 2 is in storage as I don’t have a level 2 user at the moment. But i’m pretty sure when She read Prairie School and Lumber Camp Library there was instructions on the page where it was Introduced and a few pages following as well as a page directing a discussion about how the two books were different. My daughter and I really enjoyed this lesson.

Hi! Thanks for your review! I’m wondering your thoughts on History Year 1 for 1st grade? I have a K now using LA and math and we LOVE it! I’m really excited about what I’ve seen of their history, but I noticed on their website they recommend you consider waiting until 2nd grade to start history if you only have kids in 1st or younger. I’m wondering your thoughts on starting in 1st or waiting until 2nd since you’ve been through it. Did your kids get a lot our of it or was much of it over their heads? Thank you!!

Hi Denise! I used History Year 1 with my kids when one was in 3rd, two in 1st, and one in K. I started Year 2 this year and decided to wait till next year. While we did get a LOT out of it and really enjoyed Level 1 it last year, I think focusing on getting my younger kids reading and doing simple math should be my goal this year. We’ll do science as a family too. But I think they’ll retain more and understand more about history and how it relates to the world around them when they are a wee bit older. Because of that, I don’t think it’s super necessary to do it for another year or two even. So much about history can be learned just in the books I read aloud to them and I feel that is better for the ages I have currently. I hope that answers your question!

Thank you so much, your insight is very helpful!

You’re welcome! 😀

I was recommended to look into The Good & the Beautiful but one review I found mentioned it was taking 6-8 hours a day to complete all of the work. I’m wondering if you had similar or different experience with it. I’m completely new to the idea of home schooling especially since I will still be working.

Oh my goodness no! Maybe they have like 12 kids under 10! Lol. I have four under 11, so one is basically independent the other three are one on one. I’m done in three hours. That’s with family read aloud, math, LA, spelling, sight words. Not including history and science. But i only do those twice a week.

I love your input on the programs you are using! I would like to ask where you found your classroom tables and chairs? My daughter is in the process of setting up a homeschool classroom for her Kindergartner and Pre-K children.

😅 well… It was a dining room table I cut in half long ways and used L brackets to attach to the wall. The chairs I got at a college liquidation sale. 🤣sooo… I’m afraid I’m no help at all. Sorry!

You mentioned in your review that you were tearing up while writing it. Well, I was crying while reading it! I’ve heard from a few church friends that they love this curriculum, but I need something that will help my daughter with her dyslexia. I’m pretty sure these years are confirmation that TGTB is what my daughter needs. Thank you for writing such a thorough review, for including pictures, for sharing the money saving tips. You are an angel.

You’re welcome! My pleasure.

Hello! I know this post is kind of old, but I need some help! My (7) year old will be finishing 1st grade CLE this year, and he is really struggling with the reading and LA. I am thinking about trying something different. Do you think that the good and beautiful LA would help a struggling student? I appreciate any advise you could give me. Thank you!

Hi Meagan! It really depends on why he is struggling. I have one dyslexic and it wasn’t what he needed. He needed way more repetition than even TGTB does. So I do my own thing with him just reading through TGTB readers starting at their beginner books and moving onward and practicing through the fry sight words as well.

But if he isn’t dyslexic I’d say TGTB would be great.

That being said… at only 7 yrs old I wouldn’t start to worry. He’s a boy and often boys take to reading a little slower. If you’re consistent practicing sight words with him and reading every day he’ll get the hang of it!

I don’t think he is dyslexic, he is just not very interested in learning to read. I was hoping that TGTB might interest him more than CLE has.

It might. It doesn’t hurt to try. All their stuff is free to download and print and then if you want to buy you can. Or just use from the download. Maybe just download and print the first ten or so lessons and see how he likes it. But with anything positive gentle consistency is key for anything to “work”. Homeschooling is hard… but with patience you’ll see the progress over time. 😊

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The Good and the Beautiful Review

Based on online research and 67 The Good and the Beautiful reviews, The Good and the Beautiful's overall score is 4.0 out of 5 stars. The Good and the Beautiful's review score is based on The Good and the Beautiful's customer ratings, its brand popularity, its price competitiveness, as well as the breadth and quality of features it offers to customers. The The Good and the Beautiful review table below incorporates summarizes 67 The Good and the Beautiful ratings on 12 features . You can also compare The Good and the Beautiful against popular alternatives like Penn Foster , Time 4 Learning and Home Science Tools . or you can view the top 50 brands in similar categories, such as , and .

Brand popularity

Ecommerce rating, payment options, shipping & returns policies, coupons & discounts, customer-specific discounts, financing options, company values, ethics & policies, customer service & brand, privacy policy & data security, loyalty, rewards & partnership programs, have you purchased from the good and the beautiful share your own the good and the beautiful review:, the good and the beautiful review: the good and the beautiful pros & cons.

The Good and the Beautiful ( ) is a very popular home schooling resource which competes against other home schooling programs like Penn Foster , Time 4 Learning , Home Science Tools , AOP and The Keystone School . Based on our in-depth The Good and the Beautiful review , when compared to its competitors, The Good and the Beautiful ranks as the the #1 top-performing brand in its category. Read the full review below for more details.

The Good and the Beautiful's strengths are:

Knoji has 67 The Good and the Beautiful reviews and ratings as of June 9, 2023. Knoji editors and the Knoji shopper community have reviewed The Good and the Beautiful and compared it against 63 top home schooling brands , reviewing The Good and the Beautiful based on product and store features such as interface usability . Knoji reviews and ranks and other home schooling programs based on how many features each offers and based on a 5-star rating scale. Based on these factors and 67 The Good and the Beautiful reviews, The Good and the Beautiful earns an overall score of 4.0 out of 5.0 points. The Good and the Beautiful offers 12 total features . The Good and the Beautiful's review score is also boosted by the fact that it is a popular brand with good recognition among consumers.

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Fields and Flowers—Course Set

With beautiful illustrations, captivating stories, hands-on activities, and engaging videos, Science for Little Hearts and Hands: Fields and Flowers is a gentle introduction to science for the youngest learners. 

This science unit for young children is a gentle introduction to exploring God’s amazing creation. Learn about bees, trees, and so much more…

This course includes a full-color Parent Guide that walks you through teaching the lessons. Each lesson includes either a beautifully illustrated story from The Big Book of Science Stories: Fields and Flowers , or a short, engaging video. 

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Science for little hearts and hands the big book of science stories—fields and flowers.

The Big Book of Science Stories: Fields and Flowers contains fifteen beautifully illustrated stories that will inspire interest and wonder in a variety of science topics. Your child will enjoy learning about Adam’s Ants, Lucia’s adventures with her family on Frazier’s Fir Farm, and Anthony’s Lizard among other engaging and educational stories. The Science for Little Hearts and Hands Parent Guide: Fields and Flowers lessons will prompt you when to read each story.

The Science for Little Hearts and Hands Parent Guide: Fields and Flowers is also needed to complete this course.

Science for Little Hearts and Hands Parent Guide—Fields and Flowers

The Science for Little Hearts and Hands Parent Guide: Fields and Flowers walks you through teaching each of the 30 interactive lessons. Each lesson requires minimal preparation and includes either a beautifully illustrated story from The Big Book of Science Stories: Fields and Flowers , or a short, engaging video. 

The Big Book of Book of Science Stories: Fields and Flowers is also needed to complete this course.

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Science for little hearts and hands the big book of science stories—fields and flowers (pdf).

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Glenn and his goat go everywhere together. That silly little goat simply provides Glenn friendship and laughter until, one day, the goat helps Glenn find “gold” hidden in plain sight. This whimsically illustrated Silver Tales Series story is just right for Level 2 readers who will grow in their appreciation of hard work, family, tradition, and nature’s gifts.

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Atlas and His Amazing Adventure , Peter the Persnickety , Gwennie and the Great Green Forest ,   Glenn and His Goat Find Grandpa’s Gold , Hugo the Hero ,   and Princess Penny Saves the Day are part of our  Silver Tales Series . These hardcover Level 2 books with whimsical illustrations and uplifting messages are all original publications and can be read in any order.

Facts About Frogs & Snakes by Sue Stuever Battel

I can read it all by myself! Young readers will be excited to learn about two of their favorite animals in this fun, fact-filled book. Close-up photographs of real frogs and snakes will fascinate young readers as they keep reading to learn about the behaviors, diets, habits, and more of these interesting animals.  Facts About Frogs & Snakes  is just right for children reading at Level 2. Five challenge words will help them stretch their skills.

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Uh-oh! These beetles and butterflies are mixed up! Are you able to put them back together?

Two  Butterflies and Beetles Flip Books  are a hands-on, independent activity perfect for preschoolers to explore as they match up different insects or make silly creature combinations.

Six beautiful, engaging insects included in each flip book. Not sold separately.

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Six beautiful, engaging insects included in each flip book. Not sold separately. Original publication. Purchase above.

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A beautiful life, common sense media reviewers.

good and beautiful review

Danish romantic drama has mature themes, strong language.

A Beautiful Life movie poster: Musician and Producer.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

People deserve opportunities no matter their stati

Elliott is hesitant but takes opportunities offere

The film is shot in Denmark and filmed in Danish.

Men get into fistfights. A man lost his parents to

A man and a woman kiss, take off each other's tops

In the English subtitles: "f--k," variations on "s

Car, musical instruments, and clothing brands. Mai

Adults drink, sometimes in excess. There's mention

Parents need to know that A Beautiful Life is a Danish romantic drama featuring characters dealing with grief, love, and fame. There's a lot of swearing, including "f--k," variations on "s--t," "ass," "damn," and "goddamn," as well as "hell," and more in the English subtitles. Sexual content is alluded to…

Positive Messages

People deserve opportunities no matter their station in life. Talent can't be forced if it's not there. Jealousy can be a destructive emotion. Forgiveness can bring resolution. Family is who you make it.

Positive Role Models

Elliott is hesitant but takes opportunities offered to him and steps up to life's challenges. Lilly and Suzanne have past trauma and abandonment issues to work through. Oliver is a selfish and irresponsible man.

Diverse Representations

The film is shot in Denmark and filmed in Danish. One of the main characters is played by an Iranian-born actor.

Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.

Violence & Scariness

Men get into fistfights. A man lost his parents to the sea when he was just a boy. There's mention of a person committing suicide by jumping off a hotel balcony. A person's house burns down.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

A man and a woman kiss, take off each other's tops (only male chest shown), then wake up the next morning in bed together. There's more kissing in underwear. Another man hits on women at a bar, talks about "p--y" coming his way, and mentions a threesome. A married man and father cheated on his wife. A handsome musician attracts mobs of screaming female fans.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

In the English subtitles: "f--k," variations on "s--t," "ass," "damn," and "goddamn," as well as "hell," "moron," "p---y," "balls," "piss off," "shut up," "loser," "fool," "jerk," and "coward."

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Products & Purchases

Car, musical instruments, and clothing brands. Main actor Christopher's music. YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink, sometimes in excess. There's mention of getting "s--tfaced."

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Beautiful Life is a Danish romantic drama featuring characters dealing with grief, love, and fame. There's a lot of swearing, including "f--k," variations on "s--t," "ass," "damn," and "goddamn," as well as "hell," and more in the English subtitles. Sexual content is alluded to rather than shown, beyond kissing. One character talks about getting "p---y" and having "threesomes." The main characters are all dealing with grief over the loss of loved ones in the past, and how they died or committed suicide is discussed. A man's house burns down, and men get into fistfights. Adults drink, sometimes in excess. There's mention of getting "s--tfaced." The lead actor is a pop star in Denmark and this film could inspire viewers to seek out his music.

To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

Where to Watch

Videos and photos.

A Beautiful Life: Christopher works the docks.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the Story?

In A BEAUTIFUL LIFE, Elliott (Christopher) works a day job as a fisherman while trying to save up money to restore his deceased parents' boat, where he lives, to its past seafaring glory. One evening, he accompanies friend Oliver (Sebastian Jessen) on guitar for a music gig. When Oliver chokes, Christopher belts out the rest of the tune. His beautiful voice captures the attention of music producers Suzanne (Christine Albeck Børge) and Patrick (Ardalan Esmaili). Suzanne offers Christopher a load of money to come make music with her, partly as a ploy to get her emotionally-estranged daughter, Lilly (Inga Ibsdotter Lilleaas), to produce his music and stay home in Denmark. Elliott and Lilly fall in love, but when Elliott becomes famous seemingly overnight, Oliver comes back into his life looking to capitalize on Elliott's newfound fame, and Elliott and Lilly have a falling out.

Is It Any Good?

The Danes do melodrama well, and this romance -- set to melodic tunes by the blue-eyed pop star Christopher -- will tug at your heartstrings. A Beautiful Life is a small cut above many of the romances Netflix has churned out in recent years. Its dramatic points are a little edgier and a little less predictable, and the romance is more mature. Christopher makes a fine acting debut here and the film succeeds where it needs to, even if the singer's rise to fame and romantic relationship feels rushed, and some of the characters -- notably the mother and the producer -- rest heavily on clichés. The music is a nice addition.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about the musician who plays the main character in A Beautiful Life . Did you find his acting convincing? What other examples of films can you think of that have starred singers?

Have you watched other films or series from Denmark? Did you find any similarities to this one?

How does this compare to other romantic dramas you've seen? Why do you think this genre is so popular?

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Suggest an Update

Our editors recommend.

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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Home » Film » A Beautiful Life (2023) Review – An inspiring journey of an artist finding love in all places

A Beautiful Life (2023) Review – An inspiring journey of an artist finding love in all places

Here is our review of the 2023 Netflix film A Beautiful Life, which does not contain spoilers.

Life moves incredibly fast, and sometimes people can get stuck in the same routine. It’s important to have dreams and to have the ambition to become something greater. Just because you have to make a living in a job that you do not have your heart set on doesn’t mean you can’t do what you actually want to do.

What  A Beautiful Life  explores is the ability to grow at any stage in life. Elliott is someone who is just living for the next day because of his current profession. His heart is not one with the sea as a fisherman, instead, his heart lies with the music industry. He has been in the shadows because his friend overpowers him and he always gets what he wants because of who his father is.

Director Mehdi Avaz explores one man’s dream to move forward in life with something that he has always wanted to do. Elliott keeps fighting and challenging himself throughout the film, but he doesn’t forget to humbly be himself.

A Beautiful Life review and plot summary

Elliott is a young fisherman works extremely hard to make a living during the day to keep himself afloat. But his love of music is where his passion lies. He has an incredible voice and he plays guitar. He plays a gig with his close friend, who doesn’t have the strongest voice. It’s clear that he wanted to be the lead singer and kept his friend as backup, which doesn’t make sense if he has a better voice.

At this one gig, there were music producers in the audience and once Elliott starts singing the entire room stops for him. His friend noticed how people responded and wanted to wait for the producer after the show. Unfortunately, his friend gets into a scuffle with some bad people in the alley and Elliott defends him.

The producer follows Elliott to the police station and offers him money for his singing capabilities. He really wants to perform and get out of this life that he’s currently living. His friend doesn’t have his best interests at heart and he sees that. He has a gambling addiction and survives off his father’s money, which is the opposite of how Elliott lives.

Is A Beautiful Life good or bad?

A Beautiful Life  is a sweet film that shows the love artists have for the industry and the different passions they express. It’s important for Elliott to stay true to himself and his roots while navigating this industry no matter how he gets there.

Even though he does come off as reserved, there are moments in the film that show his big heart. It is a good film that has a bit of romance as he opens himself up to other possibilities in his life.

Is A Beautiful Life worth watching?

If you are looking for a heartfelt inspirational journey then this is something you should watch. Elliott has a wonderful voice and the dedication to his craft is inspiring. His soul comes through the songs he sings and it’s an enjoyable movie because of it.

Elliott finds a new family that uplifts him and wants him to succeed. Once the romance comes in it does overpower the rest of his journey, but it’s important for him to dive into something new to change his life for the better.

What did you think of A Beautiful Life? Comment below.

You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix.

Additional reading:

Find where to watch this and more with our Discovery Tool

good and beautiful review

13 thoughts on “ A Beautiful Life (2023) Review – An inspiring journey of an artist finding love in all places ”

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Great movie loved the music

'  data-srcset=

Found the movie and enjoyed it from start to finish. The characters were complex enough to provide conflict with their desire. The music and lyrics were compelling. I will look for a CD of this performance.

'  data-srcset=

Beautiful movie, all the feels that I was wanting to feel. Music. Love. Oh my God. Love this movie. Love all the cast. Bravo! ???

'  data-srcset=

I say this was the Best love story the best music the best movie in 2023; I cried, laughed, and cried again. A Beautiful Life deserves an an Oscar; I love ?? this movie.

'  data-srcset=

Goose bumps beautiful story beautiful singing omg I feel totally melted away . The guy reminded me of my younger years omg if only he had this movie to inspire things would have grown .you touched my heart as if it was my life .

'  data-srcset=

Great inspiring movie! Loved the songs!

'  data-srcset=

Liked the movie. But I found the use of swearing was not needed.

'  data-srcset=

If you are going to eat and watch this movie make sure you have a barf troff near by. So cringe worthy and so many events are unlikely and blown out of proportion. Moves to fast and the main character doesn’t have any major problems to be acting like such an idiot with a once in a llife time opportunity at his door step. The English voice overs aren’t the greatest. It’s so lame I wonder how it was released! Who else puked during this?

'  data-srcset=

A simple storyline with great music. Though predictable it’s quite a pleasant movie to watch.

'  data-srcset=

Not only is Christopher a good /great singer. He is also a good actor.. Loved this movie . Just what the doctor ordered for so many folk who love music and a happy ending.One of those movies you will watch again and again.

'  data-srcset=

Lip sync is terribly frustrating

'  data-srcset=

It was a great movie! Even if the story is predictable, there is a character growth. The songs are really made from the heart. I love the last song sang at the last part and it made me cry! ??

'  data-srcset=

A beautiful movie filled with love and beautiful songs. I loved it ??

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    Was the beauty of the curriculum worth the hype? This post will cover the pros and cons of this curriculum without bringing in a religious perspective into it. My back story of using the good and the beautiful (TGTB) I purchased level 2 for my grade 2 daughter a couple of years back. At the time didn't know how advanced it was and we struggled.

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