The Good and Beautiful Language Arts Level K and 1 – review from a Muslim Homeschooler

The Good and Beautiful Language Arts Level K and 1 – review from a Muslim Homeschooler

Assalam Alaikum,

We have been using The Good and The Beautiful curriculum since B was in Kindergarten, and we love it for a lot of reasons. It is a comprehensive, open-and-go curriculum so there is no preparation required on the parents’ part. It is a very gentle curriculum and there are a lot of hands-on activities peppered throughout the course. B loves the hands-on component, and I love the fact that it is no-prep, gentle, with short lessons that are done in under 20 minutes. On top of everything, the pdf of the curriculum is free to download on their website.

With so many positives, why would a homeschooler not be willing to download it? A major factor why Muslim homeschoolers might hold back from using it is because of the fact that it is Christian-based. After using the same curriculum for Kindergarten and Level 1, I made a note on all the places where any biblical references are made. Let me assure you that such places are very few in the curriculum. However, there are general references to God, faith, being grateful, and praying in quite a few places, all that align with Islam. In this blog post, I will mention all the Lessons/page numbers that have Christian content, so you can decide to completely skip it or not print it at all.

There was a poem in the curriculum that was meant to be memorized, but I opted out of it since it promoted singing.

“I wake up in the morning early,

And always, the very first thing,

I poke out my head and I sit up in bed,

And I sing and I sing and I sing.”

Sight words are a major part of the curriculum and the student is prompted to read them every alternate lesson. There was one word “Christ” that I put a black marker on. There is nothing wrong with the word per se, I just did not want unnecessary consistent exposure.

Below I will list down the lessons that had Christian-specific content:

  • Lesson 36: Page 112 takes about becoming like Jesus
  • Lesson 37: Page 114 The Prodigal Son – A story about Jesus on Parables
  • Lesson 53: Page 163 Independent Practice – A cut and paste activity that do and do not describe Christ.
  • Lesson 83: Page 243 contains a story on brothers and “Christ was in the centre of their hearts” You can decide to skip that line, or the entire story over all.
  • Lesson 93: Page 269 Asks if the Bible is fiction or non-fiction. I rephrased the question and asked B if Quran was a book of fiction or not.
  • Lessom 112: Page 320 Independent practice – homophones – the student has to fill in the blanks “Have you _____ about Jesus?” “Have you ______ the bible?”
  • Lesson 113 Page 323: Asking the plural of Church in exercise.

Kindergarten Language Arts

There was only one instance in the entire curriculum where a biblical verse was mentioned at the bottom of a story that discussed good voice and bad voice. The story was a general one, but there was a biblical verse at the bottom which we skipped.

There was also a book on loving dogs in one of the mini-books. Other than this, I did not find any Christian-based content in the curriculum. However, it is noteworthy to mention that the Level K curriculum is not a free download, but available at a very reasonable price.

I hope you find this blog post useful.


2 thoughts on “The Good and Beautiful Language Arts Level K and 1 – review from a Muslim Homeschooler”

  • Salam, I’m very confused by your comment about the mini book on loving dogs. As Muslims we should love dogs, we should love and care for all animals, for all people and for all of creation.

    We should never be teaching children to dislike dogs or any other animal for that matter. This is such a problematic cultural mindset that is not a reflection of Islam. If you follow a madhab that believes dogs saliva is impure and you are required to make wudhu after touching it, then sure, teach that to your kids. But don’t teach them not to love a creation of Allah.

    Aside from this, thank you for the review. It’s really helpful.

    • I never mentioned that we should hate dogs. It all comes down to exposure. I live in a place where almost everyone in my neighborhood owns a dog. My children are exposed to having a pet dog almost everyday and I choose not to reinforce that through literature. This does not mean that I hate dogs or dislike them. Butit is important to teach our children the Islamic stance on owning a pet dog.

      “Whoever keeps a dog in his house is denied the blessing of the angels presence in his house, as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3225).
      According to Islaamic Shareeah, it is not permitted to keep a dog except within narrowly-defined limits, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained: “Whoever keeps a dog, his good deeds will decrease every day by one qeeraat (a unit of measurement), unless it is a dog for farming or herding.” According to another report: “. . . unless it is a dog for herding sheep, farming or hunting.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 2322)

      Dogs are extremely naajis (impure, unclean). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a dog drinks from the vessel of any one of you, let him wash it seven times” (reported by Muslim, no. 279). According to another report: “. . . and clean it the eighth time with earth.” (Saheeh Muslim, no. 280).

      It only remains for us to say that the fact that it is forbidden to keep a dog and interect closely with it does not mean that we should not be kind or feel compassion towards dogs if we see them in a pitiful state. These are two entirely separate matters. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that “a man saw a dog biting the dust because of thirst, so he took his shoe and started to scoop water up with it until the dogs thirst was quenched. Allaah appreciated his good deed and granted him entry to Paradise for it.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 174).
      According to another report, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whilst a man was walking he became very thirsty, so he went down to a well and drank from it. When he came out, he saw a dog panting and biting the soil because of thirst. The man said, He is suffering the same as I suffered, so he filled his shoe (with water), came out and let the dog drink until his thirst was quenched. Allaah appreciated his good deed and forgave him because of it.” The people asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, will we be rewarded for how we treat animals?” He said, “In every living thing there is a reward.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath, no. 2363).


      I hope that clarifies your concern.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *