When you have a lot of children in a wide-array of ages, it can be tricky to combine curriculum–BUT combining is totally essential to saving my sanity! I’ve received lots of questions on how we use Beautiful Feet Books with a 6, 11, 13 AND a 17 year old and this post is going to tell you exactly how we did that this year for history.
If it’s new to you, Beautiful Feet Books is a living literature company. They sell books and curriculum that will totally encourage you to read more with your kids. They offer curriculum packs of living books with teacher guides that are so simple to use.
What does Beautiful Feet Books’ History Look Like?
BFB history is a a huge collection of living literature encompassing a period in time. There’s no tight schedule to follow or loads of supplies to gather. If you have the books and the teacher guide, you are all set!
The teacher guide is supremely helpful to guide you in covering all the books through the school year. (Keep reading to see how we handled using two BFB history curricula at once!) It’s broken up into weeks, but you can adjust this to fit your needs. The guide will tell you how much to read and what order to read the books.
For many of the history packs, there are also downloadable mapping pages, which are also very helpful. We find that having a map out for our history lessons makes it so much more applicable and memorable.
Some of the history packs also include a simple timeline. You can choose to color these in–or not! The timeline pieces represent major points in the history period you’re studying as well as moments in history mentioned in the books you’re reading with the curriculum. It’s super helpful to see it all in a linear visual.
We used the following two literature picks we have been using this year:
How we use BFB Middle + High School Curriculum as a Family
Combining curriculum with all my kids has been an absolute sanity saver for me. There’s no way I could teach all my kids with different sets of curricula–it would just be too much! So here’s a few ways that we easily used BFB Middle and High School curriculum with our family.
- Chose one book to read aloud to the whole crew.
- Assign some of the books as individual reading and have one-on-one conversations with the kids about their books and use the teacher guide for narration questions.
- Use the “spine” as a guide and a reference to use all the time.
- Put up the timeline for everyone to use as a visual.
A day in the life using BFB with a Kinder, 5th, 7th, and 11th grader could look something like this:
- Read from the read aloud all together
- Read from the “spine” several times a week.
- If we have a timeline piece to put up, we will do that together.
- Each of the three older kids would read from their individual books in their free time. (This did NOT feel like an assignment to them!)
- After they have finished a title, I will sit down with them and ask them some discussion questions from the teacher’s guide.
- OR my high-schooler will work on a book report for one if his books. (I did not make him write a report for each title.)
What I Really Love about Beautiful Feet Books
- Any book offered by BFB is sure to be a winner. They are tried and true, living books and their name is a seal of approval in my book.
- For high school, they offer full courses and many of them will give your student TWO high school credits instead of just one. I love that!
- This way of teaching through literature is really adaptable to your family’s needs. Add more or less–whatever works! We vary our approach depending on the time of year.
- If a book isn’t appealing to your family, just skip it. It won’t affect the overall study.
- Teaching through literature is a fresh way of learning that will never get dry or boring–with the right books! Teaching with living literature is so much better than a textbook.
- There’s just some things that are learned best through stories. The lessons stick forever.
- You are able to customize your literature packs based on books you already own or just simply don’t want included. Being someone who struggles conforming to curriculum, I love that their packs are customizable.
What’s Included in (Intermediate) Modern American and World History Pack from BFB
The very best thing about BFB in my opinion is the simplicity. There’s basically a huge stack of amazing books and a study guide for mama and kids to use. This pack includes:
- One study guide
- 23 (awesome!) books
- a timeline
Here’s the books included in the pack. (and if you own some of these, you can omit them and the price of your total will adjust)
- A CHILD’S FIRST BOOK OF AMERICAN HISTORY (this is used as your “spine” for your study)
- ACROSS FIVE APRILS
- THE PERILOUS ROAD
- NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS
- CARVER: A LIFE IN POEMS
- THEODORE ROOSEVELT (I loved this one!)
- THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: PIONEERS OF AMERICAN AVIATION
- SERGEANT YORK
- THE SINGING TREE
- GLADYS AYLWARD: THE LITTLE WOMAN
- ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY
- WAR BOY: A WARTIME CHILDHOOD (This was a favorite to read aloud)
- NUMBER THE STARS (one of my all-time favorite books!)
- TWENTY AND TEN
- THE LITTLE RIDERS
- AIR RAID–PEARL HARBOR
- YEAR OF IMPOSSIBLE GOODBYES
- HISTORY OF US: ALL THE PEOPLE
- ECHOES OF THE WHITE GIRAFFE
- STEALING HOME: THE STORY OF JACKIE ROBINSON (my baseball-loving kids loved this one)
- WATER BUFFALO DAYS
- RONALD REAGAN: OUR 40TH PRESIDENT
What’s Included in (High School) Modern U.S. and World History Pack from BFB
- One study guide (at this level, my high schooler can use this on his own)
- 24 books
Here’s all the books included in this pack:
- UNCLE TOM’S CABIN (such a classic!)
- RIFLES FOR WATIE
- THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
- VIRGINIA’S GENERAL
- UP FROM SLAVERY
- AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS
- A HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
- THE JUNGLE
- ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT
- THE YANKS ARE COMING
- STALIN: RUSSIA’S MAN OF STEEL (my biography-loving kid saved this one to take to camp this summer so he’d have something good to read)
- NO PROMISES IN THE WIND
- TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (another amazing classic!)
- HITLER (my bio-loving kid loved this one too)
- THE HIDING PLACE (gosh I love this book!!)
- NIGHT (this is next to my night stand to read ASAP!)
- UNBROKEN (my teen boys really liked this one)
- VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC
- LOST NAMES
- AMERICA AND VIETNAM: THE ELEPHANT AND THE TIGER
- RED SCARF GIRL
- THE KITE RUNNER
Beautiful Feet Books Suggested Course of Study by Grade:
These book packs are so dang good, I would honestly love to collect them all! Even long after my kids have flown the coop, these are awesome books to have in your home library. That’s what so wonderful about BFB, you won’t be culling tons of curriculum at the end of your homeschool career–you’re going to want to keep these books forever!
You could easily use BFB books every single year, K-12 grade. Here’s an idea of how you could do that.
- Kindergarten: TEACHING CHARACTER PRIMARY READING PACK
- 1st Grade: AROUND THE WORLD WITH PICTURE BOOKS PART I
- 2nd Grade: AROUND THE WORLD WITH PICTURE BOOKS PART II
- 3rd Grade: EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY PRIMARY PACK
- 4th Grade: WESTERN EXPANSION OF THE US PACK
- 5th Grade: GEOGRAPHY THROUGH LITERATURE PACK + HISTORY OF SCIENCE PACK
- 6th Grade: TEACHING CHARACTER INTERMEDIATE READING PACK
- 7th Grade: ANCIENT HISTORY INTERMEDIATE PACK
- 8th Grade: MEDIEVAL HISTORY ADV. INT. & JR. HIGH PACK
- 9th Grade: EARLY AMERICAN AND WORLD HISTORY JR. HIGH PACK
- 10th Grade: GOVERNMENT & ECONOMICS
- 11th Grade: MODERN U.S. AND WORLD HISTORY PACK
- 12th Grade: ANCIENT HISTORY SR. HIGH PACK
CONNECTING WITH BEAUTIFUL FEET BOOKS
I love to follow my favorite homeschool companies on social media, especially Instagram. You can follow Beautiful Feet Books there too. You can also go to their website to request a catalog. It’s a beautiful look at all the literature packs they have to offer. I’ve started using my catalog as a wish list!
We’ve also used BFB Character Study for a year and LOVED it!
Need to get organized this school year? Grab this free calendar to create a framework for your year:
Here’s a few more book lists you might like:
- 95 Awesome Biographies for Kids
- Connecting with your Teens through Books
- 100 Fabulous Books for Teaching History
- Our Massive Book List for Middle Ages History
Living books are always a big part of our homeschool curriculum:
- Learning Well Community Does Language Arts
- Top Ten Homeschool Curriculum Choices
- My Day in the Life with a Sophomore, 6th grader, 4th grader, and preschooler
- Our Homeschool Plans and Book Lists