What exactly is Illuminations?

Illuminations is a year-long homeschool curriculum guide based on the Mystery of History and All American History. Options for teaching all ages from preK to 12th grade make Illuminations a budget friendly curriculum choice for families of all sizes.

Illuminations lays out a plan for the whole family to enjoy the same quality living books, a common history theme, and fun, hands-on projects. The imbedded schedule grids, which already contain the lesson plans, make it easy to choose what you will study, rearrange as necessary, and sort out what each student has to complete.

Detailed literature guides are a cornerstone of Illuminations. Going far beyond a mere book list and reading schedule, llluminations’ literature guides make teaching the carefully selected novels and non-fiction books an easy task.

For even more info, check out the website! Illuminations.BrightIdeasPress.com


What comes with my purchase of Illuminations?

All of the components of Illuminations are described above: curriculum guides, adaptable schedule grids, lesson plans, literature guides (including Family Study Guides and Read-Alone Guides), graphic organizers, and imbedded hands-on activities.

Illuminations itself does not include the books prescribed in the lesson plans. Illuminations is so customizable, with more than one option for some subjects, that we wanted to give you the opportunity to choose your curriculum and also where you get your books from. Many you might choose to borrow or find at the local library 🙂 For more info on what you need to buy, check out our video!


Is there an Illuminations bundle that I can purchase with all of the books for a certain year?

No, there is not. This is largely because Illuminations is so customizable. There is more than one option for some subjects and some families might choose to read some literature books while skipping others. Many of the literature books could also be found at your local library.If you need to purchase a book in Illuminations, we publish a lot of the curriculum used here at Bright Ideas! For items that we do not publish, you can look at Schoolhouse Publishing, who should carry most, if not all, of the books we do not have. You can also check out our video about what you need to buy here!


What age ranges are appropriate for the 3-8 and High School versions?

As the titles suggest, 3-8 is designed for 3rd-8th grade students while High School was written for high schoolers. There are reading suggestions and study guides for younger students making it possible for a student younger than 3rd grade to use 3-8, but we advise you spend a year or two doing something else until they are old enough, unless you already have a student in the appropriate age range using it.

Do I need to start at year one?

One beautiful thing about Illuminations is its flexibility! You can start with any year you prefer. Because history is the spine of the curriculum, you simply pick which history period you will be studying and there will be a year for that. The curriculum does get progressively more difficult though, so we do recommend starting at the beginning if you have the option.


What if my student is already older than 3rd grade (for 3-8) or past 9th (for high school)?

You can pick up Illuminations at any grade. No need to begin at 3rd or 9th. We actually refrain from attaching a certain year of Illuminations to a specific grade because each year is designed to adapt to multiple grade levels so that even multiple students in different grades could use it at once.


Can I use Illuminations for more than one child?

Yes! Each year is designed to adapt to multiple grade levels so that students in different grades could use it at once.


Is there a math curriculum set up within Illuminations 3-8?

No, math must be found separately. Illuminations is very flexible to fit whatever subjects you prefer.


Does Illuminations High School cover all of the required subjects?

No, Illuminations is designed to cover history, Bible, language arts, geography, and life skills. Subjects such as science and math will need to be found separately.


Can I purchase Illuminations for just one subject? Can I purchase just the schedule grids?

Unfortunately, no. Illuminations comes in one package. Yet, you can purchase separately many of the Literature Study Guides used in Illuminations here!


Can I use my purchase of Illuminations on more than one computer?

Yes, you certainly can. Our store will only allow three downloads per purchase, but if you need more than that, you can just get a hold of us and we can get it fixed up for you.


Can I sell Illuminations when I am finished?

No. As a digital product, when you purchase Illuminations, you are purchasing a license to use the product for your family. This license is not resalable.


I have purchased Illuminations for my Mac, but it will not open because it says it is from “an unidentified developer.” How do I get Illuminations open?

Because we are not a giant software company, most computers do not recognize our software. Whatever software you purchase from Bright Ideas is perfectly safe and there is a simple way to open software, even when it will not let you. If your Mac will not let you open one of our programs, locate the application, right-click (Ctrl+Click) on it, and click on “Open.” It will open a box asking if you are sure you want to open a program from an unidentified developer and you can choose to continue opening it. Once you have completed this process once, the computer will no longer stop from opening this program!


I need advice. What do other families do? Can I connect with them?

If you need advice on how other families do things, check out our Yahoo Groups! It’s a great place to ask your questions and interact with other families using Illuminations!