Literature in Illuminations

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by Bright Ideas Press. All opinions are my own. 

It’s important to me for a course of study to have a strong Literature, Writing, and History backbone. I am very, very happy with the richness of the literature offered in Bright Idea Press’ Illuminations curriculum.

Illuminations Literature

We are currently going through Illuminations 1 and my 11-year old daughter always looks forward to reading the literature readings. She really looks forward to doing everything but I tend to capture her excitement when it’s time to move on to the next book.

The stack in the above photo is about 13 weeks of reading. Some readings are electronic and not pictured here.

Illuminations has the literature readings set up to have a family read aloud and a read alone book simultaneously. Unfortunately, with the size of my brood, I cannot do the family read aloud’s with her right now, so she reads those alone, too. However, she always narrates her readings to me and helps clue me in on what I miss out on.

Here are my daughter’s favorites thus far:

The Golden Goblet

While Standing on One Foot

Illuminations Classical Myths Literature

These books (which are sold separately from the package) are all accompanied by study guides within the curriculum (included), written by the authors of Bright Ideas Press.

Literature Study Guides

The study guides ask questions, offer graphic organizers for written narration, and include projects at varying levels. Right now my daughter is reading through the book of Ruth (as included in these readings) and she’s working on a project called a “Number” book–for each number one through ten, she choses a word, phrase, or topic that is in some way important to the Book of Ruth.

Ruth Project

For number one, she chose “one daughter-in-law went with Naomi to Bethlehem”.

Year 1 Illuminations has about 46 Literature titles, including books of the Bible, poetry, myths, and rich historical fiction. It is very well rounded and we love the variety it offers. Some are included with the curriculum electronically, but others need to be bought separately. I buy mine as we need them. You can also check your local library for these titles and only purchase ones they do not carry.

Illuminations is a curriculum built for teaching multiple levels.

For more posts on the Illuminations 1 curriculum, check these out:

Illuminations Lesson Planner {which has been updated for ease of use since this post}

Illuminations 1 Curriculum Outline

Illuminations – Mystery of History Projects



  1. I’m enjoying all of your Illuminations posts! I just purchased Illuminations over the weekend and I’m getting all my extra material together and can’t wait to get started!

    Thanks for your posts!

    • Awesome!! I LOVE their new lesson planner. It makes planning super easy and allows you to focus on teaching and learning along with your children. :)

  2. How would you feel using this with younger kids? Say, second and third grade? I really am considering Mystery of History and I thought this would be great to make it more complete.

    • Mystery of History is definitely suitable, in my opinion, for younger students and the Illuminations curriculum offers ideas to tailor it further for younger students.

      I find the text to be easy to understand and not overwhelmingly long. For my eldest who’s 11, she can read through the lessons quite quickly, so I often offer supplemental reading to further her exploration.

      For younger children, the Mystery of History text could easily stand alone. Remember, for those ages, your focus is to strengthen reading and comprehension skills. They won’t remember everything about the lesson, the goal is to train how to comprehend and remember through these crucial elementary years. Narration of a lesson is very important to strengthen those memory muscles. There are several ways to accomplish that: oral, written, drawn, etc.

      Some of the literature selections listed here might be a little advanced for younger students. Illuminations offers a separate literature list for younger students (K-2) so you can choose what is best suited for your learners.

      I hope that helps, Emily! Let me know if you have any further questions. :)

  3. I spent last year looking at Illuminations and am doing so again. We currently use Heart of Dakota which has been great BUT I would like the kiddos to have an understanding of history that spans the world…not jus the Biblical areas. Are you still enjoying Illuminations? Do you see yourself using it for years to come? My kiddos age ranges would be 9 and 10 or 10 and 11 when we begin it (still trying to decide if I want to do an overview of history from Creation to modern day).
    Do you use most of the curriculum or are you mainly using it for MOH?

    Thanks for taking time to even read my questions (and the more I research the more I question myself…haha!)

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