The Illuminations scheduler from Bright Ideas Press saved the homeschool year for my 6th grader. I’ve been trying to focus my attention this year on helping two of my children learn to read while loving on my 3 year old and infant. I haven’t had time to create lesson plans for my middle school student.
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Illuminations to the Rescue
That’s where Illuminations saved the year for me. I was already planning on using most of the curriculum already scheduled out in Illuminations. These included The Mystery of History, Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space, literature study guides, Winston Grammar and The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide. For these subjects, all I needed to do was go into the program, set the number of weeks we would be having in our school year and Illuminations scheduled out all the assignments for the entire year. Then, in the beginning of the school year I added in assignments for Math (Math-U-See), Writing (IEW), and Bibe (LifePac).
Now all I have to do is print off the weeks we are on. I usually print about 8 weeks at a time. You can color code each subject but I set all mine to white so I wouldn’t waste colored ink when I printed them out.
What a blessing it has been to have Illuminations this year. I don’t have to worry about planning out each week for my 6th grader. I just print off the pre-scheduled weeks, hand her the weekly chart and she works independently, crossing off the boxes as she completes the assignments in them.
Literature Guides Included
The great thing with Illuminations is that it also comes with literature guides for the student and teacher. My middle school student has been reading the assigned literature assignments and working through the study guides which include vocabulary, discussion questions and activities related to the book.
We were able to choose between three different types of study guides. Illuminations offers Family Study Guides, Read Aloud Guides, and High School Study Guides. All the study guides are included with Illuminations so I could have picked books from different guides throughout the year. I wanted to keep things simple for my sanity and went with the literature selections in the Family Study Guides. A few of the books we skipped, which allowed my 6th grader the opportunity to read a book of her choice during those weeks.
Lots of Subjects to Choose From
I didn’t even use all the subjects and resources provided with the scheduler. Illuminations can schedule out subjects for early learners, grades 3 to 8, and high school. Subjects include history, Bible, literature, writing, copywork, spelling, science, geography, grammar, vocabulary and more!
To utilize the pre-scheduled lessons in these subjects, you have to use one of the curriculum options Bright Ideas Press offers for each subject. You can find a list of all the curriculum options by choosing the Illuminations year you want and then clicking on the “Book List” tab.
How Illuminations Works
Will I Use Illuminations Next Year?
Will I use Illuminations next year? The honest answer is, no. It was a life saver for my family this year but we won’t be using the curriculum associated with Illuminations next year so the scheduler would not be useful for me. However, if I use The Mystery of History and other curriculum choices provided in Illuminations with my other kids in the future then I will definitely consider using it again. It really did make lesson planning a cinch!
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