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Epi Kardia Curriculum

I had my eye on the Epi Kardia curriculum from the moment I 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 discipleship 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 the 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 book-lists 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!

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.

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.

Diana (11 Posts)

Diana is a Christ lead, Eclectic, Slightly-Charlotte, hands-on, lap-booking mom. She is blessed to be the wife of a wonderful man for 17 years and a stay-at-home mommy of two boys; ages 4 and 7. When she is not homeschooling, she enjoys reading, blogging, hiking, camping, volunteering, attempting to sew, tending to their chickens and loving life now in rural Tennessee.

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Cindy April 16, 2010, 10:07 am

    I’ve never heard of this before – and I’m a self-proclaimed curriculum junkie! Thanks for the review. I’ll be looking into Epi Kardia for sure.
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..The Charlotte Mason Carnival Goes on a Woodland Walk =-.

  • Diana S April 16, 2010, 10:44 am

    I’m glad I was able to surprise you! LOL it really is a fabulous curriculum :)
    .-= Diana S´s last blog ..new homeschool freebie resources =-.

  • Jimmie April 17, 2010, 3:19 am

    Epi Kardia also has a fabulous blog with many good articles. I am a fan of it. I’m glad there are more CM styled, literature based choices out there!
    .-= Jimmie´s last blog ..Flexibility in Homeschool Curriculum =-.

  • TulipGirl April 18, 2010, 11:27 pm

    Over a decade ago, I attended church with one of the authors of Epi Kardia. Elizabeth is an amazing woman, steeped in the Word, and has a real understanding of both how children learn and how to teach in a homeschool setting. While I haven’t seen the curriculum which she has developed, I have seen her teach both her children and others h/s children — and know that anything she has written is top quality.

  • Dana Wilson April 21, 2010, 7:23 am

    I knew this review was ‘in the works’ at the Curriculum Choice but didn’t know when it was published! Thank you for the marvelous review, Diana. I’m thrilled to read that Epi Kardia is working so well for your family! As well, thanks for your kind remarks about our blog, Jimmie! I so appreciate your frequent comments.

    Thanks again!

  • Cindy K. June 15, 2010, 12:23 am

    How hard would it be to use this in a secular environment? We are not evangelical Christians, but we do like Charlotte Mason. I guess if we wanted to modify it much to remove the Biblical connections, we would be better off getting the Complete Curriculum instead of the Lesson Plans?
    .-= Cindy K.´s last blog ..Reading Assessment Results are In! =-.

  • Cheryl September 8, 2010, 10:49 pm

    I have been grueling over curriculum tonight. Was excited about My Father’s World and was ready to purchase, until I saw how costly it was! I then looked at Heart of Dakota…too many words! Then I happened upon Epi Kardia’s website and loved that it was cost affective, Charlotte Mason, could get the books separately, and that it seems easy to follow and with a variety of ideas to work with.

    I have 5 children…4 school age. A starting Kinder. Can this curriculum work with the WHOLE famliy doing it together?…like MFW does?

    Would love to know.

    THANK YOU for sharing this with us!

    • Diana S September 8, 2010, 11:32 pm

      What are the ages of your children? I am using it for both my 1st grader and my preschooler but if there is a very large jump in ages, it might be a bit hard to use for the whole family. You would need to take time to “age it up or down” to work with the grade you are working on.
      .-= Diana S´s last blog ..new beginnings =-.

  • MamaJ February 10, 2011, 12:52 am

    I have completely fallen in love with this curriculum but I find it very expensive in the way of books. For each grade there are over 100 books and yes many are reused but even at 2 or 3 dollars each you would still spend 250.00 pr more not including the teaching manual and lesson plans. I was wondering what websites you find free books at. I really want thiS curriculum and would love some resources to make it more cost effective. Thank you so much for your post

    • Diana Sullivan February 10, 2011, 1:19 pm

      I found 90% of the books I needed at the library. We’d log on ahead of time, and reserve the books we would need so we’d have something when we got there. For books the library didn’t have, I would pick a title or ask the librarian for a book that was similar to that one. It worked really very well.

      However, we have since moved to a very small town and our library here is tiny. They do not have 90% of the titles which I find I am replacing most of them. Although it is working for us, we would either need to budget for books or go with a different curriculum. I am not sure where we will land for our next year. HTH

  • Amanda April 14, 2011, 10:32 pm

    I happened upon this website, and am completely enthrolled by it!!! Then I did the pricing. It would be about $420 to get the Complete Program, the lesson plans, and the unit booklets. Is this curriculum just as effective with out the lesson plans? I’m just not sure the difference between the lesson plans, the Complete Program, and the unit booklets?? What exactly is in the Complete Program? Could I do with out the Lesson plans, if I feel confident enough to make my own?? Does the Complete Program have all the different projects, assignments, etc? I’m just so confused:) We are on a very tight budget, and I have been doing my own thing, but it’s so time consuming with my whole crew. Any thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Diana Sullivan April 14, 2011, 11:38 pm

      It really depends on what you want to get out of the purchase. The Lesson Plans are stand alone so you do NOT need to purchase the Complete program AND the Lesson Plans.

      They give you a choice… you can do the complete program which has three years of curriculum in one; that is the complete program. It has its own 100+ page teaching manual and cd’s and such.

      The “Lesson plans option” are a more broken down version of the complete program – outline and setup up for day by day “super structure”. It is sold separately, setup for EACH grade level. Ultimately is was designed for people who just started homeschooling and require the super structure.

      The Whole Curriculum IS the most affordable, comprehensive and flexible of the two. I hope that helps. 😉

  • Amanda April 15, 2011, 9:26 am

    It does! Thank you so much. Just to make sure I have an understand of the Complete Program:) The Complete program has all the book lists, projects, and everything I would need to to do my schooling. The only thing I need to do, is create my own schedule and decide how to incorporate what is in the Complete Program into my daily schooling? I’m so sorry if I am making this waaaaay more complicated than need be:)

  • Jami February 2, 2013, 10:15 am

    We love Epi Kardia. We are Christian, Charlotte Mason homeschoolers that need more structure. As a work at home mom I dont have hours upon end to put together lessons for my 5th grade daughter. Epi Kardia does that for me all in one place CM style!

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