BiblioPlan: My Thoughts

by GfG on February 6, 2013 · 69 comments

67 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 37 Pin It Share 28 Email -- Google+ 2 67 Flares ×

This is our fourteenth year homeschooling.  From the beginning, I knew I wanted a core curriculum that had living books at its core.  That was non negotiable.  At that time, the only curriculum I found that did such a thing was Sonlight.  I fell in love with it at first sight.  We used Sonlight for eight years.  I will share my thoughts on it next week, but this week I’d like to share my thoughts on the spine curriculum we are using this year: BiblioPlan.

First of all, let me clarify what I mean by core/spine curriculum: this dictates the main “theme” of our year.  For us, this means history, reading, read aloud, and geography are all connected.

I am guiding children at every end of the education spectrum and that fact dictates a lot of my decisions.  Know that from the get go.

Ok, on to my thoughts on Biblioplan!

I have used Modern (1850-2000; my first year wit BP) and Ancients (creation to fall of Rome; my second year).  This review is based on that, coupled with my thirteen almost fifteen years of experience (which affects my opinions on currics, whether I want it to or not).  Also, I did not buy their map program.

BiblioPlan is a classical education curriculum that offers much more than just history, but that is the main topic.  Read this intro page on their site to get the gist, since they say it better than I can.

Pros for BiblioPlan in my opinion: 

  • I can use this curriculum for the entire family.
  • It is a three day week plan and only thirty-four weeks.
  • The history is just enough to learn, but not so much that we feel like history majors.
  • It is not teacher intensive and there is no prep work each week.   (Can I get an amen?!)
  • They offer weekly discussion questions/comprehension questions and even six week tests (for 8th grade and up) that are based on the history only (these are called Cool History).
  • I can substitute books I already own without affecting the history comprehension questions.  This also means that people who would rather substitute with available library books can do so easily.
  • It is a terrific balance between historical fiction and nonfiction.
  • They sell a well done spine book (titled BiblioPlan History Companion) that is written from a Christian worldview.
  • They break the assignments into reading levels.
  • They break the assignments into five groupings, making it easier to know which one your child fits into well.
  • Several different spine history books are scheduled from which you can choose.
  • The spine options are different for each grouping, which allows a grade level appropriate book, but keeps all ages in the same time period.
  • The way the break up the four year cycle makes sense to me and does not cram too much into one year.

biblioplan 3 WEB

  • The components can be bought separate.
  • Assignments are just the right size and can be adjusted however you wish.
  • The Bible readings have a different focus each year and are terrific for supplementing whatever a family is already doing. (Ancients focuses on history parts of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  Plus the high schoolers read the Book of Job and the Book of Acts. Early Modern focuses on the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Modern focuses on the Parables.)
  • Missionaries are highlighted.
  • More than one book is suggested for each level each week, so you can choose which one or ones you want, based on your child’s abilities and your wishes.
  • Writing activities are suggested.
  • Optional books and activities (such as movies) are suggested each week.
  • Has a family read aloud schedule and it is really good.
  • It follows a classical cycle of four years.
  • A nice description of each book is provided so you can decide which ones you want easily.
  • Coloring page collections for each year is an optional resource.
  • The lesson plans (BiblioPlan Family Guide) and all the other components are very affordable.  I spent $145 for all four levels (not including books) with lesson plans, The Companion, Cool History, Coloring Pages, and answer keys.
  • You get free updated BiblioPlan Family Guides when they update.
  • The book choices for 3rd and up (I didn’t buy for all 5 levels, but for 4) are good and affordable.
  •  Family Discussion Guides will be available soon to encourage family discussion, including Scriptural application and faith, of history!
  • (ETA) PDF versions are available for EVERYTHING!  This means you can save a TON if you are paperless family!  We are not paperless, but I buy the PDF versions of most things because then I can reuse them for the next kiddo coming up the pipe without telling the first, “Write your answers in a notebook.”    I also print out the lesson plan pages in the Family Guide for each kiddo and put it in their binder so they have their own copy.  If you know a reasonable printer, this saves a lot money.
  • This is a curric that can grow with a family nicely.


Cons for BiblioPlan in my opinion:

  • Eighth grade is placed with high school and some of the books are just not eighth grade friendly.
  • The Companion is too meaty for elementary grades.
  • Buying books for each level can get costly (a pro in favor of Biblio that affects this is that substituting a book does not change anything, which is not true for other currics AND I really don’t know a way around this kind of thing when schooling a wide age range).
  • One of the optional spines for Year 4 and the only one  that is Christian (other than BiblioPlan’s Companion) is not available (Mystery of History).  In BibioPlan’s defense, it’s not their fault.  The reason it bothers me is that there is no Christian spine for elementary students, since I believe the Companion is over their head.
  • All but one (Mystery of History) optional spines are secular and one of them has questionable accuracy during Biblical time periods (Story of the World).


Pros: flexible, affordable, wide age range, classical, good balance for fiction & nonfiction, variety of spine texts, Christian, easy to use with a growing family

Cons: some secular spines, adjust for eighth grade (based on your child)

Overall, I am incredibly happy with BiblioPlan.  The only curriculum that I believe would meet all of my qualifications and make my work load as well as my students’ work loads the weight I want would probably be a curriculum I create myself from a few currics.  I am not up for that, so BiblioPlan is what I will be sticking with from now on. Lord willing.

Next week I will review Sonlight.  The week after that Tapestry of Grace.   The week after that, I’ll share why I left each of those.

BiblioPlan is a wonderful curriculum that meets my needs (or at least most of them) and fits my family. 

ETA 4/22/14:  I have updated this review because I have now (almost) completed a second year of BP and an updated version (my first year was not the updated/revised version).  Notice all cross outs as updates.  I also updated the intro paragraph explaining with BP years I have used.

You can read some other reviews too.  And Why I Left Tapestry of Grace and Sonlight.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
67 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 37 Pin It Share 28 Email -- Google+ 2 67 Flares ×

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth Anne February 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Thank you for giving all this insight on BiblioPlan. One quick question. I noticed that you said “I spent $145 for all four levels (not including books) with lesson plans, The Companion, Cool History, Coloring Pages, and answer keys.”…when I was looking on their website, there was another book called the “Family Guide.” Did you use this part of the program?


GfG February 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Yes, the lesson plans are actually called the Family Guide. Sorry. Old habits. 😉


Jennifer February 7, 2013 at 11:46 am

Thanks for doing this. I have many questions. I think I might wait until you do the other reviews. I just love Sonlight, but I can’t do this for more than one kid.


Thyme February 8, 2013 at 12:53 am

I can’t wait to read all about this series! I’m so interested! :)


Becky B March 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

I’m looking into curriculum for next year as it will be our first “official” (and by that I mean the my oldest will be in K) homeschool year. I went to Biblioplan’s web page and got totally confused lol! Any advice on how to figure out what I would order for a kindy? I’ll also have a k3, but I know I want to use Rod & Staff About 3 series for him :) Thanks!


GfG March 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

The good news is that you can really pick and choose. The most important part is the Family Guide because it is the lesson plans.
If it was me…For just a Kinder kid, I would want the Family Guide, Coloring Pages (depends on the kid… an advanced one may not want them, but they would be a good reinforcement and could be something the K3 could do with your oldest), Family Discussion Guide (maybe), and Cool History for Littles. I would come up with my own crafts, but it would be tempting to buy their plan so I wouldn’t have to do the research.
Which spine book to buy depends on which year you would be using. If anything but Year 4, I would go with Mystery of History for the ages you have.
After you get the Family Guide, you can decide which books to buy.

Does this help? I’m happy to answer any questions.

in Him, Mindy


Nicole March 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I am planning on using Biblioplan next year for my six kidlets! I am so excited to try it out! I am trying to decided if I want to use the Cool Histories or continue with narrations/outlining facts….any insights? I also, struggling between the SOTW maps vs. the Biblioplans Maps. Which do you use? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Nic @


Kim Adams June 2, 2013 at 2:24 am

(Let me say it’s fun to find moms excited about the same things..yeah!!!) Thank you so much for your reviews. Simple, quick and easy to read!!! You’er a girl after my own heart. I have 4 boys and I’m starting SL this year with 2 of them. They will share the same core. I did a rough 6 months of Ambleside as we transitioned out of an off-campus public school program and moved to Hawaii. I was so encouraged to find a curriculum (Sonlight) that was covered through the Charter Homeschool program they have here in Hawaii (fully paid). My kids love living books and we have grown so much this year in our family reading, but they are also SUPER excited about Math and Science. I was reading your BiblioPlan post and I was wondering if you share what math and science you are going to use?


GfG June 2, 2013 at 9:23 am

It is fun to meet like minded moms! :)

We use Teaching Textbooks for 5th grade and up and Right Start Math for younger kiddos.

Apologia science for elementary and Hugh school. I use ABeka for 7th grade as a transition from Apologia elementary to high school.


Amy June 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I ran across your blog and inspired to look into Biblioplan more. I’ll be honest, their website is quite confusing. I have an upcoming 1st grader. We did Sonlight for Kindergarten and felt it was way too much reading, etc. I have two younger children not in school. Do you think this is good for a mom with younger kids to take care of? Also, I’m assuming there are answer keys with the Family Guides. I only saw it mentioned on the Teacher Guides for co-ops on the website. Thanks so much for your review, I am eager to learn more about it and hope I can figure out what I will need.


Melissa August 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I am curious how much time do you spend each day on the Biblioplan schedule? We are going to use it this year and I am making our schedules :)


GfG August 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Hmmm… Let’s see…
SOTW read aloud: about 20 min
MOH read aloud: about 10 min
reading to K child: about 15 min
family read aloud: about 30 min
Bible reading: about 10 min
discuss Cool History Questions (once a week): about 20 mins

The rest, the kiddos do on their own, so the time is varied by level and skill.



Christi August 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm

This is the best review I have read so far! Very informative. We are using ancients this year with our seven left at home and so far, loving it!


Jennifer January 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

Thanks so much for your review! I have a daughter that will be in 8th grade and a son that will be in 4th next year. I’m considering doing the Modern BP. I understand from your review that you feel the Companion is too much for elementary ages. From the samples, I would tend to agree with you. My question is, can you still answer the questions in the Cool Histories workbooks easily without the companion- just using one of the other spine books? Also, which spine would you recommend for Modern? Thank you!


GfG January 17, 2014 at 11:14 am

The Cool Histories are dependent upon The Companion. We bought The Cool Histories: Classic for the younger kids this year. These questions are dependent upon Story of the World, not The Companion. We use Story of the Word AND Mystery of History for our spines for the younger kids. MOH has not come out with their modern version yet, so I would use SOTW and the Classic questions.

BiblioPlan will be coming out with a younger version of The Companion in the next few years. It will not be rewritten, but it will be in more bite sized pieces.



Stephanie February 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Hello! I found your site when doing a comparison between Biblioplan and Sonlight. We’re doing SL Core B this year with my 7.5 year old 1st grader. I also have an 5 year old daughter who listens in on the reading. I had intended on doing SL next year but my friend does BP and it intrigues me. We are a family that LOVES history and reading. I like the idea of buying a plan that can be used for 4 years but not sure if I need to add anything in that is included in SL but not in BP. Next year will be my first year schooling both kiddos and trying to do some teaching simultaneously with minimal to no prep work. I would really appreciTe your insight!


GfG February 19, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Hi, Stephanie!
So.. is your question, “What should I add in from SL to BP that BP doesn’t have?”

Happy to help, just need more clarification.


Stephanie March 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Yes, you summed it up quite well. :) I’m curious what I should add from SL to make sure we’re all covered. Thanks!


Stephanie March 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I also wondered if it’s necessary to start with year 1 (Ancient). We covered some ancient history this year but I’m kind of itching to do the medieval one but I’m afraid I might be jumping too far ahead. Does the order matter?


GfG March 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm

I don’t think the order matters, as long as you cover each time period eventually.

Hmm…I add some SL books that BP doesn’t include. I can’t remember which ones. I go through BP’s list each year and substitute with books I have from SL if I have them and if I like them. If a BP book sounds intriguing, I will buy it, but I try to use what I have from my 5 SL cores and 3 years of TOG.



Megan April 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Hi! I am so grateful for your reviews of the homeschool curriculums! I used Tapestry of Grace years ago and have just recently decided to home school again. There is JUST NO WAY we could afford TOG right now. :( BiblioPlan looks like a great tool for our family! Here is my question . . . does it give Writing Aids, like TOG? I am NOT creative so I really have to rely on curriculums. Also, do you have to buy additional books to accompany this curric? Thanks so much!


GfG April 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

You still have to buy the living books you want to use and the spines (textbook-ish books: Story of the World, Mystery of History, The Companion, or Usborne). It has writing suggestions for each week for each level. It is similar to Writing Aids, but not exactly. I believe you can see examples on the free samples here:

Hope this helps more!


Megan April 23, 2014 at 4:53 pm

It helps a lot! Thank you!


GfG April 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I do want to say that a perk for BiblioPlan that isn’t with TOG, is that you can replace the living books with others of similar topics if you like, without affecting anything. For example: I had 3 books on Rosa Parks on our shelves. So, instead of buying the one in the BP plan, I just replaced it with one of my 3. Saving me money. I couldn’t do that with TOG because the SAPS were dependent upon the particular book.


Debbie April 28, 2014 at 12:13 am

What am I missing? How did you spend $145 on all four levels? Looking at the website, the bundle for each level seems to be about that amount. Help. I’d love to spend $145 for all 4 years. :) Thanks!


GfG April 28, 2014 at 7:04 am

Hi, Debbie!
You don’t need a bundle for each kiddo because that would duplicate materials. You only need one Companion per family, so buying a bundle for each level would not be necessary. Also, I buy the ebook version of almost everything.
This year I bought:
The Companion ebook (I, honestly, wanted to buy this in hardback, but the kids like the Companion being in a binder versus the book AND my dh thinks we can save some money printing it out ourselves).
Family Guide ebook
Classic Cool History Questions ebook (Two of my youngest three are not ready to read and retain The Companion and to keep the younger two girls together AND to not make my 11yo feel badly that her 8yo sister could do it and she can’t, we use Story of the World and Mystery of History as the spines for these three kiddos. Classic Cool History Questions correspond to SOTW; why do I do both? Because SOTW isn’t Biblical in worldview and MOH is, so we want at least one Christian spine, but I want the questions for reinforcement and I like the girls doing that independently)
Upper Middles Cool History ebook
Advanced Cool History ebook
Hands on Map advanced ebook (I’m having my 8th grader and 10th grader both do the advanced).
With the conference special (the local homeschool conference was this past weekend), I spent $132.

I will not need to rebuy ANY of that when we cycle back through Medieval in four years!

Factor in printer ink or a printer to print out The Companion…. maybe $50?…. I am at $182. In four years, I will need to reprint only the Cool History and the Hands On Maps. That’s it! I won’t have to buy a thing.

I will now buy literature books, but I am confident I won’t have to buy many because BiblioPlan uses a lot of the same books I have from other currics in the past AND I can sub in books on the same topic if I own them. ex: If a George Muller book is scheduled and I don’t own that one, but I own two others… I can use one of those.

I will do an entire post on how I plug in my books, but I hope you get the idea.


Jen May 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Thank you! THANK you, for the excellent review on BiblioPlan. I, too, have used Sonlight–and loved it–but it’s no longer working well for the age spans of my kiddos. I need something we can all do together, more or less. I’ve also read about (and even tried a quarter) of TOG, but it was too much–in money and teacher prep time.

BiblioPlan looks like it might be *the one*, as you alluded to in another of your blog posts. = ) Well, or at least *the one* until I would have enough time to put together my own curriculum. That should happen about the year that my youngest goes off to college. *sigh*

I read your next blog post where you talk about your hubby working a lot in the summers because he’s a camp director. So. Is. Mine! Ahhh…methinks you are a kindred spirit.

Anyway, back to business. Do you feel that BP is substantial enough for high schoolers? My oldest will be a junior, and the next one down will be a freshman. Did they read The Companion and MOH? Or just The Companion and the other suggested literature?

Sound like my younger two (1st & 4th) would be okay without The Companion? We already own SOTW Vol. 2 , but not MOH. I guess what I’m trying to ask is, should I buy MOH in addition to The Companion, or could we get by without it? If we were doing the Ancient year, I would automatically buy MOH due to the Biblical timeline accuracy issue.

Thanks for your help, and I’ll be praying for you as the camp season begins!

For Him,


GfG May 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm

I think BP is substantial enough for high schoolers if you include the Cool History Questions, maps, and some of the literature guides. We just have them do the Companion for the spine. This coming year we will be doing Year 2 and I will add Trial and Triumph to the reading. Also, I add Omnibus reading for any of the books I choose that are in Omnibus. This is just an extra I like because it addresses worldview discussion. If I would do this on my own, I wouldn’t have bought Omnnibus. Also, while Omnibus is a hefty price tag, I knew I would be able to use it for six kids, so it was worth buying USED. :)



Jen May 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Do you mean Omnibus from Veritas Press? Or is there an Omnibus section within the Cool History for Advanced that I don’t know about yet?

We already own Trial and Triumph, so I was planning on that as well. It looks *really* good. We also have the first two books in the Living History series (I still need the 3rd). I might do a combo of those since they each feature some different Giants of the Faith.

I *love* buying used. Yay for Amazon and used book sales!

Thanks for your input. I appreciate your time. = )


GfG May 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Yes, Omnibus from Veritas Press.

Yeah, we owned Trial and Triumph too. I also really like Courage and Conviction as well as Monks and Mystics for this coming year, for my 8th grader. They are great.

I’m happy to help.


Toni June 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Mindy- can I just say that you rock? :) I love your thoughtfulness in explaining BP and what you like about it. I am leaning towards switching from SL for my youngest 4, mainly b/c I like MOH, and the fact that BP has tests for middle schoolers. My high schoolers will most likely continue with SL b/c they love it and were looking forward to 20th Century World History, although we would cover that time period if we did BP Modern. Just trying to figure it all out.
And BTW, I noticed that MOH IV is being released this summer! I wonder if BP will update their Modern to schedule it in? Hope camp was fun! Love you!


Allison June 9, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Hi! Thanks for your great review of all these three terrific curric’s! After never hearing about BP and then reading your review, I’m really intrigued and might give it a go for my family this next school year. I’m curious to your opinion about using in for young kiddos though. My oldest two who I am currently schooling are 7 and 6 (will be in 2nd and 1st in the fall). Do you think it’s worth it to use BP when they are so young or would you recommend waiting a few years until at least the oldest two would be ready for it…don’t really want to buy it and only use it for the 2nd grader if it’s going to take quite a bit of my time. And do you think MOH (which I have had my eye on for a while but have hesitated b/c of my kids ages again) would be appropriate to start at their ages?



GfG June 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm

I’ve been asked this a few times and, honestly, I’ve avoided it because I don’t want to hurt any curric owners’ feelings, but…
I didn’t start doing full on history curric with my first born until she could read at the 3rd grade level. Would I change that now? I don’t think so, especially if I have littles in addition. So, my answer would depend on the reading and maturity level of your 7yo.
It won’t take a lot of your time and if you’re looking for a curric that you can “grow” with over the years, BP is one that can do that.
Yes, I like MOH for those ages a lot.


Allison June 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Thank you! I just don’t want to jump start into a history curriculum too early and have the kids be overwhelmed or bored :) I will try the online trial they have and see what we think. Thanks for your feedback!



GfG June 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

That sounds like like a great plan!


Stacy July 22, 2014 at 12:28 am

Hi! I love your BP review pages. I’m curious, does year 4 (Modern 1850-2000) cover a substantial amount of US history or is it predominately world history? My student still needs a 1/2 credit for US history and I want to be sure that this curric will have enough US history to earn him that 1/2 credit. The 3 week sample that I downloaded has minimal US history for week 3, so I’m a bit concerned that this will be the case for most weeks. I’ll be checking back soon in hopes that you’ll reply.


GfG July 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

Stacy, In my opinion, it definitely gives enough for a half credit in American history. You could choose books to give more of an emphasis also. HTH!

Thanks for asking!


Stacy July 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Thanks for your input!


Amy Franklin July 23, 2014 at 6:06 am

I just found A Living History of our World through Queen Home School!!! LOVE IT!… Story of the World through a Christain Worldview!


GfG July 23, 2014 at 7:50 am

I will check it out! Thank you!


Stacey Williams August 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

Thanks so much for taking the time to write these helpful reviews about BP! My apologies, as I’d love to hear your input on our situation but it is bound to get lengthy.

Here it goes:
God has led our family to Myanmar for the past 6 yrs, and I’m still learning what works for us as relatively new homeschoolers here. I have a 7 yr old who LOVES to be read to and is on the more advanced side of auditory comprehension. This is where Sonlight has been an excellent fit. It’s been very helpful – not having to make a bunch of decisions at the start of the year regarding what books we need to order (I can’t just pop in at the library or order a book on a whim). However, she has dyslexia. That means that I spend a lot of time in intensive tutoring with her in order to meet her learning needs; just to learn to read and write. It also means she’s independent in nothing, and may not be for a while until she is able to really read her own instructions and her own books. It may be quite a long time before she’s able to read the books that her brain is wired to devour (just not visually).

Middle bro is 5 and he loves to sit in on some books, so I tried combining them in a core. Last week I realized that I was often sternly telling him to be quiet and listen, or he had a glazed-over look about him; i.e. the books are over his head. Bummer, the age difference fits in this core but it was not a good fit for us! So I bumped him back to the P4/5 (preschool) core and he’s loving all the stories once again. He also shows the preschool warning signs of dyslexia, which doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll have it; but it is a real possibility.

Baby is only 1.5, but I know that the years when I will need to juggle 3 in school will come faster than I think; money is limited; and shipping needs to be done judiciously. I really hate the idea of leaving SL, because it is so rich in so many ways. However, I am already finding myself dragging behind the schedule, which I’ve come to terms with as a necessity for this season (the cores are not my daily top priority!). All that to say, BiblioPlan strikes me in some ways as a possible way to continue a rich study of history with living books, it’s way cheaper, and anything in digital format is one less pound toward the 50 lb luggage limit on our occasional US jaunts.

However –if I were to switch to BP –I have hesitations: how to decide which living books/which spines to order along with it; how much time will it take me scouring reviews online in order to decide (vs. just trusting that Sarita and crew did a good enough job for me already); and will I feel a lack from all the great lit selections I’m missing from SL? Also, it “feels” at first glance that BP doesn’t delve as deep into non-Western world history as some of the SL cores – what do you think?

One area I’m not worried about is Bible. That’s something I usually skip in Sonlight anyway, at least in these early years, b/c we’re usually in our own rhythm already.

If this is too involved for you, no worries. I found your reviews and comparisons extremely helpful, so I just wanted to see if you might have any further insights to add to our situation. BTW, in case it’s not clear, we’re not on an American school schedule. We’re not really on anybody’s schedule. We’re just on a get up and work through what we can everyday schedule – I use a timer a lot so that I don’t get too worked up about what page we are in which subjects! :) So, in many intellectual ways I have an advanced 2nd grader, while in the basic academic areas she is still in early 1st grade. I am at least 5 mos out from needing new history/literature read-aloud materials. I want to keep her auditory learning stimulated while continuing to allow plenty of breathing room for the more difficult subjects, which are foundational.

Thanks so much for reading such a long “comment!”


GfG August 1, 2014 at 11:24 pm

I am happy to help and you happened to catch me in a moment that I could. Which is saying a lot because life is crazy busy right now. :)

Ok…. 1) Deciding the books to use. I can not deny that this takes some time, but it doesn’t take as long as I thought it would. I just put my head into it and do it for about 2 days. Honestly, I don’t spend more time that that. Be sure to read my others posts on BiblioPlan for more help in this area.

2) BP has MANY of the same books that SL uses. I do supplement with ones I already own and want to be sure not to miss. BP has really kicked it up a notch and I like their books. I am not sure I can fully say all of them are as good as SL. I still use SL books.

3) I have not found that BP focuses only or mostly on Western. The opposite, actually. I feel it is nicely balanced. You might be a better judge of that since I still see life through American glasses. 😉

I think BP is a better fit for a whole family wanting kids to read at their own level, but still study the same time periods.

After you read the other posts I have on BP, if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

I sure wish I could come to Myanmar to chat with you about it. {sigh}


Shana August 9, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Thank you so much for your review. I am looking to make the switch from Sonlight to BP with Sonlight books (Cause, hello, Sonlight books are awesome). I am a little nervous about switching. I also live overseas in Southeast Asia with 5 kids, 2nd grade and down. Love your site!


GfG August 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Yup, I love my SL books. Use them with my BP just great.

It is nerve wracking to switch, I know. Pray and pray. Make your pros and cons list. Then … order. :)

Thanks for coming by here. Hope to keep hearing from you!


Tiffany August 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Thanks for sharing your review. I have 10 kiddos, so it’s nice to hear when something works for a large family! In your opinion, is the Hands-On Map sufficient to count as geography in high school (like 1/4 credit/year…so 1 credit by the end of all 4 yrs)?
Also, why not just do MOH, as the author lays it out (with all their activities, questions, maps, etc)? Would the main reason be because of the familyguide lesson plans (plus the lit readings already listed on the same page)? — I’m currently trying to decide btwn just using MOH or using MOH with Bibilioplan. Thanks!


GfG August 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Yes, I think doing the maps all 4 years would definitely count as a geography credit. Great idea!

You know, I’ve wondered and thought about how to answer this question…. and…
1) Yes, having the literature for everyone on the same page is great. It’s easy to understand visually and plan for, versus MOH, which you have to go through and “find”.
2) I think the Companion is much meatier and more appropriate for high school, but I honestly haven’t done MOH as a stand alone, so I’m not confident in that.
3) Companion offers more information and details
4) the maps are ready and waiting (does MOH have that?)



Tiffany August 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Yes, that does help…Thanks! Using the Companion over MOH text makes sense for high school level, and I’m fairly certain that’s what I’ll do. I’m mainly thinking about my 6th and 8th graders (which I didn’t specify earlier…oops). And, MOH does have a companion CD, so I can print out all the maps, quizzes, etc (which I will have to do anyway if using it for 2 kids, no matter which curric I go with). I think, for me, it may have to come down to cost (at least for THIS year, since I have MOH and the CD)…ugh, but the TIME saved in making a MOH schedule–aack! And it’s the end of August…double aack! Deep breaths…inhale….exhale. (Sorry for hashing my thoughts out in your comment section, and for having a mild panic attack!) :)


GfG August 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Ha! I completely understand. :) let me know if I can help more.


Salena February 22, 2015 at 3:30 am

I know I’m late to the party here. I hope you don’t mind questions about BiblioPlan at this late date. I’m wondering about the literature aspect. I saw from the sample that the Discussion Guide has questions for the history…are there any discussions for the literature selections?



GfG April 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

There are not literature discussion questions. I prefer this because then we can substitute books we already have and are not bound to the BP list of titles.

I usually do one literature guide per semester for my high schoolers.


Dee April 7, 2015 at 5:11 am

Thanks so much for your review! It makes it easier for me to decide on what to choose for my middle schooler and younger ones. We have used Sonlight and now SOW, but I’m feeling that it’s not enough for my middle schooler. Using Biblio, I wonder how you assess and give grades for older ones?


GfG April 7, 2015 at 8:17 am

There are quizzes and tests included in the Cool History Questions. We use those.


Melissa July 26, 2015 at 4:03 am


Good morning from Spain!! We are currently stationed here. I”m so happy to have come across your blog and your thoughts on Biblioplan!! I’m contemplating using it. It sounds really great!! Trying to make a decision very soon!! We will be starting with Ancient Times.

1. I will have an 8th grader and I was wondering what you meant by some of the High School books not being 8th grader friendly? Do you recommend using some of the books as read- alouds?

2. Maps- Do you use BP’s maps? I”m curious what they look like.

3. We have MOH but not SOTW. Would you recommend that we buy SOTW?

Thanks so much!!
Blessings! :)


GfG July 26, 2015 at 1:27 pm


Glad you found “me”.

Ok… 1) I mean some of the topics may not be appropriate for your 8th grader. It’s something each parent needs to decide. Ex: All Quiet on the Western Front wasn’t something I wanted my 8th grade daughter reading, but was find for my 10th grade son. That kind of thing.
2. Yes. I like them. They are in the FREE 3 week selection on BP’s site.
3. What grades will you be using BP with for your family? I am not a big fan of SOTW for Ancients. Paraphrases Scripture erroneously sometimes.

You’re welcome!


Denise September 13, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Thanks so much for your review. I am switching to Biblioplan from Sonlight in January. I just bought Year 2. How did you decide what books to buy? We live overseas so we don’t have access to a library and the lists are just so long my brain hurts! I love Sonlight read alouds and their selection of literature has been so excellent…I think I am nervous that the books will be boring that I choose. I also have 6 kids though the oldest is 9 with a 1 week newborn as the youngest.


Denise September 13, 2015 at 7:33 pm

I just read through your comments and got my answer! No reply needed! :)


Nevar September 17, 2015 at 1:58 pm

I am wondering what you might recommend for our family as far as where to start. I have a 5th, 4th, 2nd, preschooler, and 2-year-old. And I was drawn to SL because of the literature and the structure; however, looking at BP, its kind of a no-brainer. Now, its all about where to start. We are with a charter and my 5th grader is supposed to be studying American Hx, however, looking at BP, and considering sticking with it all through our schooling years, it seems best for her to start with year 1 so she can get exposure at least 2x with all of the 4 years. What do you think? You mentioned the companion being too meaty for the younger kids, what do you recommend instead based on their ages. MOH is great, but you mentioned the questions didn’t match the cool hx questions, is that right? Also, if SOW doesn’t work great for Ancients (based on bible), what did you do instead for the younger kids? Also, if i get the lit packages from SL, how do I use those to support BP?

Thank you for your time!


GfG May 1, 2016 at 10:15 pm

I just saw this comment for some bizarre reason. I’m so sorry!

Did you get help?


Michelle May 1, 2016 at 9:36 pm

I am new to homeschooling, and have been exploring curriculum for my 5th and 6th grader.

So from studying Biblioplan it seems to hit history, geography,and literature. But it seems I would need to find something else to cover grammar, spelling, vocabulary, writing mechanics, creative writing, is that correct? Do you have a suggestion for these areas? How does Biblioplan assess how much they are retaining? Thanks for your help!


GfG May 1, 2016 at 10:14 pm

That’s correct. Well…. there are lots of options. I like Teaching Textbooks for math at those grades. Wordly Wise for vocabulary. All About Spelling for spelling. Write Shop for writing.

BP has Cool History Questions for each week and those can be used for checking retention.



Renee May 17, 2016 at 8:55 am

Hi! I was wondering if you could suggest a history curriculum for kids starting 3rd and 5th grade? We’ve done Sonlight up until now but it really wasn’t working to keep my kids together (some of the books are too mature for my 3rd grader, we weren’t using their LA, and the reading became too much). Biblioplan looks great but maybe better for middle school? Have you any experience with the Trail Guide to Learning? Maybe a year of geography would buy us some time before jumping into Biblioplan? Agh. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated!


Moorea May 26, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Thank you for your review of BP, it has helped me tremdously. I am fasinated by BP and am checking into using it. However, I cannot figure out why I need to get Mystery of History or Story of the World as well as the Companion and Remember the Days. Also, I’m so glad I am not the only one who finds the BP site confusing, maybe this is why I’m having to ask you this.


Kristine January 2, 2017 at 12:29 pm

I am using VP (not self-paced) and I really want a more literature-based approach… So many people I know use and love Sonlight and I’ve been thinking of switching to that for my daughter next year — because everyone says how wonderful the US history cores (D and E?) are. But if I do that, I’ll have to do two cores (since we have a 6 year age span and I don’t want the younger two in D/E yet). I’m afraid 2 cores will be too much. Are you still happy with BP? After having done SL for so long, do you feel like it gives them as good a base in History? Thanks!!!


Kristine January 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm

AND, do they love history as much? (Most of my friends’ kids who do SL just love the read alouds and history overall…)


GfG January 2, 2017 at 2:07 pm

I am still happy with BP and will use it until our youngest (with Down syndrome) joins the ranks, then will reevaluate.
My kids might say they don’t like history, but they LOVE all the books. It’s hilarious to hear them talk about them and say they don’t like school. But they aren’t a fan of doing the questions and maps, but I think it helps it all “stick”.
They love the read alouds still.



Alexis May 28, 2017 at 9:24 pm

Hi! Next year will be my first year homeschooling. I have really appreciated your posts about BiblioPlan and why you chose it as well as your responses to the MANY comments about this post. Someone had posted about an alternative to Story of the World… “Living History of Our World”
My question is, have you had a chance to check it out and if so, what do you think of it?


GfG May 28, 2017 at 9:51 pm

I haven’t seen or heard of it. Sorry. :)


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: