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Math Curriculum Review: The Good and The Beautiful

May 7, 2021

I want to start by saying we have so appreciated the thoughtful and beautiful content in The Good and The Beautiful curriculum. It was such a great curriculum for Sadie in her kindergarten year. It did a wonderful job of making the exploration of several different concepts engaging. She had so much fun! My oldest enjoyed level K and level 1 and made it most of the way through level 2 this year. We have spent 3 years using the curriculum giving us a good perspective on the curriculum and how it works. 

I also want to note that I am aware of the religious affiliation (mormon) of the author and while I do not agree with her beliefs I never saw anything that gave me a check about the academic content because of her worldview. I appreciated the biblical concepts reinforced through the study (creation, character, etc)

Something I love about The Good and The Beautiful curriculum is the daily dose section. It’s a great daily review touching on several concepts in a concise section. I also really liked how open and go the lessons were. Everything was all in one book- no teacher manual and student workbook set up. Beautiful artwork was woven in seamlessly and having the math tool kit made the hands on activities engaging and fun! 

There were, however, a few issues we couldn’t get past as the girls continued to move through the levels of curriculum. After giving it a solid try we’ve made the decision to switch to a different curriculum. Before I share what we moved to I wanted to share where we got hung up. It is important to note that just because TGTB was no longer a good fit for us that does not necessarily mean the same for your family.  One of the wonderful parts of homeschooling you can get to know your children’s individual learning styles and find curriculum to match.

As we moved through the levels I began to notice that although we touched on several concepts we typically didn’t stay on them long enough for my crew to develop mastery over them. Even with enrichment/support activities I started to see the girls struggling in areas of basic number sense. As my oldest worked through level 2 I got nervous thinking about how she would do with multiplication when the time came. Having strong number sense (number representations, place value, number bonds, mental math etc) will make a world of difference as students move toward higher levels of math thinking. I knew we needed a step back to strengthen and add depth to their number sense. Mastery of concepts was a missing element I know that we needed.

Another issue that arose this year as I began to officially homeschool multiple littles was time. The lessons were beautiful and included several games and activities (using materials from the tool kit) but they were also pretty lengthy. Looking ahead to next year when I’m homeschooling three (!) I know I need a curriculum that will give me a greater capacity to meet the needs of all three of my little students. 

In addition, I wanted a gentle curriculum that still incorporates literature and a biblical worldview. 

Which leads me to…Where did we land?

I have heard so many GREAT things about Masterbooks and have thought based on what I’ve heard that it would be a good fit for my youngest. Most people say things like it’s simple to use, gentle for even resistant learners, and not overly time consuming. Best of all, it’s mastery focused vs spiraling. As I noticed that The Good and The Beautiful was no longer a good fit for us I began to consider making the switch as a whole family to MasterBooks for math. 

I can’t give a full review yet because we have only just started. However, I plan to share a more detailed post later in the Summer after several months of using it. Here are a few observations so far- We love how it still incorporates a good amount of literature. The curriculum follows a brother/sister duo Charlie and Charlotte and their adventures. Colorful, fun pages make the workbook engaging. 

Lessons are intended to take about a week to accomplish with several exercises within them. There are usually 1-2 pages (like pictured above) in each exercise. We have been doing a couple exercises a day because so far it’s been a lot of review.

Similar to TGTB, Masterbooks has the teacher instructions right in the workbook. Directions are easy to understand and implement.

One of my most favorite parts about MasterBooks is that it is not overly time consuming. We can do a lesson and I have plenty of time to review and practice with them to make sure they’ve grasped the concept. It’s easy to incorporate my Practice + PLAY activity sets. The kids love the new themes each month and it makes practicing the concepts introduced so much fun! 

Do you use MasterBooks too? What are your thoughts on the program?  If you have questions about either program I’m happy to answer. My knowledge of TGTB is a little more extensive because of how long we’ve used it but I’m happy to share what I see and know about MasterBooks too. Feel free to comment or send me an email! (hello@everydaylearnandplay.com)

Also, very important to note, this post was not sponsored or influenced in any way. Our family purchased both curriculums and the ideas and opinions reflected in this post are my own. 

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  • Reply
    May 7, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for your honest review. I know TGTB is revising the math and releasing it this summer, so I am eager to see if the things you brought up may be revised. I look forward to hearing about your new curriculum. I am currently busy trying to decide what I would like to use with my son next year who misses our public school cut off for kindergarten by a day. Thank you for sharing your honest opinion it is so helpful.

    • Reply
      May 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I think you’re right the writers at The Good and The Beautiful did say they are definitely making the new curriculum more concise and I bet they’ll touch on the other issues too! I genuinely think they write beautiful curriculum and I have no doubt the new version will be excellent- just not a fit for us. 🙂

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