by Bev
(Seal Beach, CA)

Product: Illuminations - Year 2 from Bright Ideas Press

Subject: History (Early Church & Middle Ages) & Language Arts, Bible, Science

Levels Used: 3-8th, High School. I used the 3-8th for a Jr High student.

Dates Used: Just started this school year

Likes: All-in-one schedule for all topics except math; everything I need is there; has crafts scheduled.

Dislikes: Comes on e-file format and I have to print.

This is it! A new curriculum that uses Mystery of History as the spine and plans all language arts, history, science, biographies, novels, and crafts into one easy-to-use schedule.

Illuminations Year 2 (Year 1 came out recently and Year 3 is soon to be released) follows the Mystery of History Vol II Early Church and Middle Ages lessons and activities. A read-aloud book with a Family Study Guide and a read-alone book with matching Read Alone Guide are scheduled with the history. You buy the source books, and Illuminations provides the schedules, ebooks, Read Alone Guides, and Family Study Guides along with many extras: daily lesson plans for spelling, Graphic Organizers (worksheets such as compare/contrast, cause/effect, character development), links to web sites, and writing assignments that go along with the history schedule.

We started our school year studying the Book of Acts and Paul's missionary journeys. My 12 year old son has started a scrapbook for each week of lessons. He mapped Paul's journeys, described the Colosseum, complete with pictures, and gave a short account of the rumor that Nero, emperor of Rome, watched his city burn while playing his lyre. We've used the links to see pictures of Nero, the Colosseum, the Acropolis and detailed maps. This is all from a son, who really only likes science!

I've homeschooled for six years and tried all kinds of curriculum. I LOVE this one. Everything is in one file and I can search for a topic by subject or date. I can pick and choose what I want to do. I decided not to do the science and some of the language arts topics, like writing. (I had other plans for those.) It comes with worksheets and optional scheduled hands-on activities. It's presented beautifully and is very easy to use. The yahoo group is full of great ideas, and I've just jumped right into this curriculum without any problems.

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