Why I Love Illuminations

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Illuminations Series

I love the freedom of choices with homeschooling curriculum. With access to the web and a good printer, homeschooling can be very inexpensive. The only draw back, time in putting it all together.

Since I work part time, homeschool and blog…every waking moment counts.

Why I love Illuminations!

  1. The time it saves me on planning school.
  2. I love the literature books. I have observed the hours Maggie Hogan spends on selecting books for the literature selections. I totally trust her choices, especially since I am not a book lover.
  3. I can create a weekly schedule for my kids in about 10 minutes on a Sunday night.
  4. It covers every subject but math. Since each of my kids uses a different math program, it is the one custom subject I add to the program.
  5. The DVD and audio schedule for adding movies to our history topics.
  6. My kids having a weekly schedule to keep them accountable to what needs to be completed. In my home, failure to complete assignment by Friday at 5:00 results in cancelled weekend plans.
  7. All my kids are on the same time period of history. The longer I homeschool the more I need to stream line the teaching in my home.

Soon the frenzy of what to teach next year and the hours involved in researching all the choices will reach its peak. Even if you choose to keep costs down and create your own, spend money on a package, or combine the two options…I pray you have the wisdom to make the choices that are best for your family.

Since I love Mystery of History it’s an easy transition to love Illuminations.

  • Mystery of History is the heart of Illuminations. As much as possible all content in ILM is based on the subject matter of Mystery of History.
  • Study guides are the brain of Illuminations. I love that we can spend 2 to 3 weeks on one book. I do not feel rushed to complete a book. I love the questions presented and the hands-on activities included in the literature guides.
  • Schedule software offers the guidance in Illuminations. I love the new software. I can choose what subjects I want in the grid, I can create subjects not used in the program to add to the grid, I can print a new grid every week.
  • Lesson plans give the added support in Illuminations. Subjects like Easy Grammar come with a schedule on how many pages to do each week to have the book completed by the end of the school year. English From the Roots Up comes with lesson plans on how many words to teach each week, games to play, and note booking pages. Spelling gives you word lists and activities for each level of spelling in the program.

Tuesday a closer look at the literature study guides in Illuminations.

Wednesday a Youtube video on how I create a schedule with Illuminations.

Thursday a Youtube video on other schedule tweaks

Friday combining weeks with the schedule when illness strikes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post may contain AFFILIATE LINKS. Clicking through these links help to support the costs involved in running this blog and sometimes can help with other expenses. You can find my full disclosure under the DISCLOSURE TAB. Thanks!


  1. Alicia says:

    We love WonderMaps. We also love the convenience of using MOH CD’s. On those days when we need to leave the house, we can still get history done.

  2. Laura says:

    I love the new re-design on Illuminations – the scheduling ability is awesome! Can’t wait for the other levels to be updated. I am also loving the Noth Star Geography that is now available to be scheduled in and of course the Lit guides are awesome.

  3. Helen says:

    I love having the fill-able notebooing pages to use with Mystery of History. My sons favorite are the audio books.

  4. My favorite BIP product is Wonder Maps. Good, quality maps are hard to find, but Wonder Maps puts it all into one program. Wonder Maps is easy to use and covers sooo many maps, it is an all in one map program!

  5. Tabitha says:

    We love the Mystery of History audio CDs!

  6. Karleen Mauldin says:

    Actually, I think your blog posts this week will answer my questions. I am “on the fence” as I am down to one student, and am used to picking & choosing varipus curriculum each year. So thank you for sharing your opinions and experiences with Illuminations!

    • Stacey Lane says:

      I hope the posts can help you make an informed choice, being on the fence is no fun.

  7. Kathy says:

    We’re using Mystery of History this year so I’m looking forward to reading your posts this week and learning more about Illuminations. Thanks for sharing the info!

  8. Debbie says:

    We love MOH and CKE, and are excited to try ILM 2 for our 2014-2015 school year! 😀

  9. Jaime Hodges says:

    I love Mystery of History and am very excited to begin using Illuminations this fall. The gift card would be great for purchasing a few extras to boost our curriculum.

  10. melissa says:

    We love MOH! I am curious to learn more about Illiminations.

  11. Vicki says:

    Love Mystery of History

  12. Janna says:

    We are starting MOH this fall and I am so excited! My kids have already enjoyed looking through the book to see what we’ll be covering. We’re all looking forward to making the timeline.

  13. Beth says:

    We use Mystery of History.

  14. Deana says:

    We are planning on using Mystery of History very soon. I have heard such wonderful things about it.

  15. Neat blog! Enjoying getting into the whole hs thing. 🙂 Thanks!

  16. Kim H in GA says:

    Huge Mystery of History fans here. 🙂

  17. glenda says:

    Really seriously considering Illuminations. I was excited when I found your blog.

  18. Sonya says:

    I’m looking forward to following your series! I just picked up MOH at a curriculum fair a few weeks ago. Not sure yet if we will be using it this year, but I’m very interested in learning more about Illuminations.

  19. Amy M says:

    We use Mystery of History and while I got that used- it wouldn’t be the same without the downloadable coloring pages that I bought off of Bright Ideas Press! Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. Becky says:

    We are starting Illuminations 3 this month and I am excited about using the literature guides not to mention MOH vol III. So thankful for both products!

  21. Jamie says:

    We ♡ Mystery of History!!!!

  22. Heather S says:

    I really appreciate all of your posts for MOH. I’ve been very encouraged by you! We have been on volume 1 for 2 years and my littles (5 children-1,2,5,7,9 yrs) have loved it! I’m determined to get us through the rest of volume 1 and into volume 2 by mid-year. I’m going to try to add in some supplements this year and see how that goes. I have looked at Illuminations but at what age would I be able to use the independent study guides? My 9 yr and 7 yr olds have become wonderful readers but writing hasn’t been something we’ve focused on much yet. I typically incorporate all children with our science, history, Bible, art/music, so I’m looking for some things they can do independently. Thanks!

    • Stacey Lane says:

      It’s hard for me to assign ability with age, but my 9 year can write misspelled answers to the questions. I look for content and understanding, not spelling with the answers. He is a great reader so can read the books on his own. We are going to work this year on him being more independent.

  23. Kristen says:

    Love the blog! Can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

  24. barb says:

    I love the WonderMaps

  25. tammy cordery says:

    I think it would be a great thing to look into.

  26. Kylee says:

    We will be starting illuminations year 1 next month and are very excited.

  27. Amy says:

    We have just finished MOH volume one and this is the second time we’ve been through the cycle. It has been a good fit for us. 🙂

  28. Holly says:

    We love MOH as well!

  29. Thank you for sharing this giveaway, Stacey! We love MOH and are super excited about using North Star Geography this year!

  30. Tami S. says:

    We love MOH! The big supplemental pack adds so much to our history studies!

  31. Jessica Evans says:

    I love the look of Illuminations, I keep coming back to it. It looks like such a time saver! We listen to MOH, so it’s definitely a favorite for us. <3

  32. Peggy says:

    Love anything by Bright Ideas Press! We’re using Illuminations for the first time this year and already love it. Your posts are helping my learning curve a ton. 🙂

    If you had to make me choose a favorite I’d have to say Mystery of History. I just love how flexible it is.

  33. Lisa says:

    We just started using Illuminaions last year and love it!! I work 28 hours a week and it has made homeschooling my son much easier. I also like that I could purchase a semester at a time…this made it more affordable for me :). I am now looking into the new high school geography course!

  34. Tarry D. says:

    We love MOH!

  35. Crystal says:

    I would love to try out Illuminations when my son starts 3rd grade in a couple of years.

  36. Cindy says:

    I love the whole idea of illuminations, but have yet to try it. It does look very similar to what I manually do every year, so it would be wonderful to have it done for me.

  37. Jaclyn says:

    We just purchased Illuminations Year One. I’m working on printing out all of the material this week and setting up our binders. Would love to win the gift certificate so I can purchase the MOH Audio book. I have the text, but would love to have the audio to cut down on the amount of reading I must do. Can’t wait to get started. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the program.

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