Living Books Curriculum

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  • Reviewed on Friday, October 16, 2015
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2015
I have purchased many of the book available in the Living Book full Curriculum. I have to wonder where are the discerning Christian parents? For starters, many of the books in the curriculum contain heavy Common Core elements (such as the Usborne books). I am homeschooling to avoid Common Core; there is no way I am going to buy Common Core homeschool textbooks. One book in the first grade packet Wild Places: Mountains, Jungles & Deserts (also and Usborne book) shows the bare breasts of tribal women. Are these the kind of materials we want to teach our kids with? I also noticed that Living Books Curriculum has elementary students reading works of David Thoreau and Emerson. As a Christian, I do not want my children reading these works until they can understand that Transcendentalism is far from Christianity. It is a form of Paganism, which heavily involves nature worship and being one with nature. I want my children to love nature, but most definitely not in the way that Transendentalists did. In my opinion, the works of Thoreau and Emerson are not suitable for the very young and impressionable. These are just a fewissues that immediately jumped out at me. Who knows what would be found in a deeper investigation.

I simply want to warn parents not to jump on board with a curriculum simply because it has a Christian label or calls itself a ministry.

blue j

  • Reviewed on Thursday, August 20, 2009
  • Grades Used: 5th
  • Dates used: Jan 2009 - August 2009
I have started using a much more "overt" Charlotte Mason style of teaching with my children this past year as a necessity for one of our older daughters. As a result, the curriculum that I was using became to cumbersome as the shear amount of books needed to be whittled down so that we could get more depth from our studies. In my search to find something similar to the curriculum that we had (we used it for 11 years and LOVED the books) but had much more of a CM flavor, I ran across LBC. Their whole curriculum is designed around Charlotte Mason's philosophy.

After much debate on my part, I purchased it for all of my children Junior in hs to my 2nd grader. I knew I would have to supplement for my older ones. However, for me it is much easier to add books for the older kiddos than setting aside books that our whole family has come to love.

The short story is that we've enjoyed this curriculum so much that I already have grade 6 to use as soon as we wrap this level up. I have developed a Constitutional Studies course for my older two girls to go along with the grade 6 materials that all 4 of my kiddos will be using. However, I find that this curriculum gives me the feeling of much more freedom, so that I don't feel like I'll weigh the kids down with additions. And, it is very comprehensive - as much so, I would say, as our other beloved curriculum, yet my girls seem to retain much more of what we cover than they did with our other. I'm just sorry that it took me this long to figure out just how freeing yet effective the CM style could be and this particular curriculum was for us.

ETA: There is a CD included in the curriculum with all several helpful articles, the paintings that will be covered, and even includes a lesson plan book that is designed just for this curriculum. By uploading it to I was able to get the Black and White version printed w/ a cover and comb binding for about $7.50 which is, in my opinion, very competitive in price with the others that are out there that you'd have to "make it work" to use it.

Also, the LBC site has forums where you can ask questions, buy used curriculum, etc. This could be a great resource for those who would like to know more about the curriculum before purchasing as well.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, June 17, 2009
  • Grades Used: 2nd grade
  • Dates used: 2009
I can't say enough about this curriculum. We have tried so many different ones and weren't happy with any of them. I bought this one in February I think and started it as soon as I could. The kids are now excited for school and the planning is so much easier!!! It is very flexible which is what we need. I use the 2nd grade for all my kids (ages 3-8) and it works fine. The only change I have made is one of the history books was well above the level of the kids and very boring so I just substituted with a different book we already had. All the other books are very fun and full of information. This is the best we have had by far. We will be using this again next year.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, September 26, 2007
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2007
I just started using LBC with my 1st grade DD, and absolutely love it! This curriculum is very comprehensive and has everything I have been searching for and trying to piece together myself for months! I was mainly searching for a new History curriculum when I came across LBC, and love how they include both American and World History at each grade level. I already owned quite a few of the books listed as part of the LBC 1st grade curriculum; therefore the last minute adjustment has gone along quite smoothly, we have pretty much picked up where we left off in our previous studies, just loving the History sooooo much more!

June 2008
This is a follow up to my first review. Although I love the idea of LBC, we are finding some of the History book choices for grade 2 to be a little too advanced, and just not of interest to dd. In researching a new History curriculum I found a complete curriculum that is a perfect fit for both student and teacher, we will be using Heart Of Dakota for grade 2 with dd age 7 and for preschool with dd age 3.