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Homeschool Review: Epi Kardia

I had my eye on the Epi Kardia curriculum the moment I had heard of it. I was caught immediately by their name alone as it conveyed exactly the type of homeschooling theology in our home!  Imagine my delight when I was offered a 1st grade set to review!  We couldn't wait for it to arrive!

Epi Kardia is a "historically structured, literature-based curriculum using Charlotte Mason methods" available for grades Kindergarten through High School.  So why Epi Kardia as the curriculum name?...

 (from their website) "The Greek words "Epi Kardia" mean at the heart. At Epi Kardia, we feel the heart of home education is the Christ-centered mentoring and discipling relationship  between parents and their children."    

This completely embodies our goals for our homeschool so I just had to try it out. 
The day the box came in we were so excited!  I had to rip that box open and dig right in! 

                                          (Epi Kardia right as we ripped in the box)              (Zander is happily showing off a peanut stuck to his nose)
My kids were so excited and I was even more pleased with the packaging: eco-friendly packing peanuts!    I joyfully packaged those up for crafts at a later date! (As frugal homeschooling mom, I never miss a moment to reuse and recycle!)
I enjoy the way that the curriculum is broken down into three books so they were not cumbersome to use and their packaging was really pretty! (LOL)

I received the Epi Kardia 1st grade "Lesson Plans" set. This choice is laid out in a daily lesson plan format that outlines each subject for each day, including hands-on ideas, lapbooking suggestions, arts, crafts and more; so you can really just jump in and go!
Epi Kardia offers two different types of curriculum:

1.  Complete Programs -- their most cost-effective option, Complete Programs  can be used for three years each following our methodology.  Using unit overviews, history, science and music/fine arts booklists divided by topic,  along with the suggested projects and activities, you write your own lesson plans.  

2.  Daily Lesson Plans -- Love homeschooling (or want to homeschool) but you know you are not a planner, organized or you have a hard time following through? The Daily Lesson Plans are already-planned-in-advance and are written for specific grade levels.  They include weekly goals and objectives for each subject and daily lessons planned integrating the studies of history, science (K-8), language arts and projects.

Features of Epi Kardia Curriculum
  • Based on Charlotte Mason methodologies include reading whole, living books, short lessons, oral narration, using copy work and dictation to teach grammar and composition, and more!
  • All books listed in the curriculum have been read and evaluated from an evangelical Christian worldview by at least one of the authors 
  • Integrates the subjects of history, science, language arts (including reading, grammar, composition, phonics, poetry, literature studies, spelling) and fine arts 
  • Activities, books and projects recommended for each learning style 
  • Provided in their complete program, components are historical overviews of each time period for teachers/older students, as well as a customizable CD with teaching tools and helpful forms
  • The 100+ page teacher's manuals include abundant information about teaching covered subjects and as well as curriculum related material 
  • The 6th - 12th grade manual includes an extensive section regarding teaching high school writing.  
Epi Kardia is a living book based curriculum, so books are an integral part of it.  In each set there is an outline of books that will be used for that quarter. Although the books are not offered as part of the curriculum purchase, I have found that most are easily found online for free, at your local library, or available used online.  (They even offer the books via links to amazon on their website, to save you time and energy).

Being the frugal family that we are, I've elected to procure the books from our local library and online at the free books sites (as listed in my listing of free curriculum). So far, the books have been fun and fairly easy to get. We love going to the library!

One note however, our library here is very small so I need to request the books from other libraries in our circuit. If this is the case with your location, I very strongly recommend that you jump ahead in the lesson plans to see what books are coming up.  

I read ahead a couple of weeks and log-on to my library request database.  That way I don't have to stress if a book is out and I am placed on a waiting list. Most of my books came in before the two or three week time-line, and I found nearly all of them.  Those we couldn't source online or at the library, I skipped or replaced with others. 

I look forward to finding new books that we may have never been exposed to!  Like others in living book style curricula, I fully expect to find some books my kids will adore so much they won't want to return them.  I have planned for that with a small budget for used books on Amazon. A lot of the books listed are currently available for $.01, so the expenditures won't be too expensive either.

In my humble opinion, Epi Kardia compares nicely with other, more known curriculum such as Sonlight, My Father's World, or Tapestry of Grace.  Of course, each of these curriculum offer their own perspective, features and lesson plans, which makes each one unique and tailored to each families personal needs.  However, I think the Sullivan family has joyfully found our core curricula of choice!

Prices for the curriculum varies according to your curriculum style choice and media. You can elect to buy the spiral bound books (like pictured above) or a CD.  Prices start at $75.00 for a full curriculum book or, you can choose to try their lesson plans, you may purchase the first unit (The Ancients--six weeks of plans) for only $25.  Epi Kardia is so sure you are going to love them, they even offer a full credit if you choose to buy the full set after purchasing the trial.


Dana Wilson said...

Thank you, Diana, for your review of our materials! I am thrilled they are working so well for your family. For anyone interested, we also have a blog with ideas for lesson plans, book reviews, etc., as well as homeschooling support and encouragment! Check it out at

God's blessings on your homeschooling!

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