I come from a long line of history buffs.
My mom, my dad, my siblings – we all showed an interest in and excitement for history.
My sister and I used to pretend to be in various stories throughout history – pioneers, explorers on boats, helping Anne Frank escape from the Nazi’s instead of being captured.
But by the time I was in middle school, history changed for me. Dramatically.
While I still found the topic fascinating, it became more about memorization and dates than the stories themselves. Not only was it not as much fun, but I don’t remember much from the learning itself.
In fact, as an adult, I realize most of the history lessons I retained, came from the stories I heard and cherished as a child.
Please know, although I received books and was compensated for my time, I only share products that genuinely work well for my family (in the hopes they might also work for yours!)
History Through Literature
My boys are a lot like I was at their age.
They love history. They love the stories. And they are boys, so they love hearing about the wars, the good guys winning, and the victory.
But as they have gotten older, I have worried about how to transition them to higher level learning. We have used Beautiful Feet Books for history since they were very young, with wonderful success. (George Washington is still my youngest son’s hero thanks to Beautiful Feet). But I wasn’t sure how it would translate for the middle and high school years.
When I learned that Beautiful Feet Books had introduced a new history pack for Modern American and World History, I was excited to give it try with my boys. (Not only were we ready for a Civil War through Modern Times curriculum, but my oldest son is fascinated by WWI. I wanted to strike while the iron was hot!)
Since we were already such big fans of Beautiful Feet Books, this was an easy transition.
As in the younger years, the lessons use a Charlotte Mason approach. For each topic, the course of study includes reading, reasoning, relating and recording. Most importantly, literature about and from each time period and country fuel the learning.
History For The Middle Years With Beautiful Feet Books
My sons are eleven and fourteen and both have some learning differences that require accommodations. Beautiful Feet Books has continued to be an excellent resource for them, even as they mature. Here’s why it works so well –
Story Based History
Clearly, I am a fan of learning history through literature. Not only is it more compelling, but my own experience has taught me that if I want my sons to really retain the information, telling a story (rather than rote memorization and facts) is the best approach.
Easily Accommodates Learning Differences
My youngest son is profoundly dyslexic and would not be able to complete any history curriculum independently. Beautiful Feet is a wonderful option for us because it so easily accommodates his needs. For example, I often read the various stories to him outside, while he drew with sidewalk paint. It kept his hands busy and allowed him to better focus on the material. Reading a wonderful book aloud is much more rewarding (for both if us) and more effective, than if I were reading a textbook to him. It is a much better accommodation for his attention gaps and dyslexia.
This is an excellent benefit of this curriculum. My boys vary greatly in terms of their overall knowledge of history, their maturity, and the approaches that work best for their learning. Beautiful Feet Books spanned the gaps between them and allowed our entire family to learn together. Often, my oldest son would read the book aloud to his younger brother while I got a load of laundry started. Then, we would all discuss the learning and answer the questions together. It became a kind of family activity rather than a boring old history lesson.
Honestly, Beautiful Feet really is just beautiful. The pictures in the books, the works of art featured in the study guide, even the language used – it’s all so beautiful. I couldn’t help but feel inspired as we worked through it this spring. The books are not just telling beautiful stories, they inspire with artful images and gorgeous design.
Beautiful Feet Books has been a wonderful option for us this year. So much so, I am a little sad to be at the end of the study. I think I will miss all the conversation with my kids this summer.
Beautiful Feet Books inspired us to learn together, dream big, and discover a more modern, global view of history.
Interested in trying out Beautiful Feet Books with your family? Good news! Right now, Beautiful Feet is offering the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate! Enter here and good luck!
Beautiful Feet Books $50 Gift Certificate
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Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.