One of my first blog posts was a review of the Beautiful Feet Books, Early American History – For Primary Grades. You can read that first post here:
I so enjoyed my first experience with that curriculum, that I have worked through several other Beautiful Feet Books Guides in the last few years. This year, as I prepared our tracks for the fall, I knew it was time to re-study early American history, now that two more of my children are school aged. I bought the Early American History – For Intermediate Grades, which follows the same time line as the guide for Primary Grades, but uses different living books for older, more advanced readers. Because my oldest is such a veracious, advanced reader, I decided to use both levels side by side. The books suggested for the Primary Level are simpler chapter books, or picture books, whereas the books suggested for the Intermediate Level are slightly more advanced chapter books. My approach right now is to read aloud the Primary Level books to all four kiddos, usually doing that first, and reading the Intermediate Level books aloud to the two oldest kids, or giving the Intermediate Level books to my oldest to read on her own. It doubles up on the reading, but no one seems to mind.
The time line that is followed starts with the stories of the Vikings and their exploration, followed by the Puritans, Benjamin Franklin, French and Indian War, George Washington, Revolutionary War, War of 1810, and the events leading up to Civil War.
Re-reading the Elementary books with my young ones has been enjoyable for ME, reminding me of what we studied with the older kids a few years ago. And the extra reading of the Intermediate level has really helped give more depth to the study of the events, times and people. At the point of this blog, we have gotten through Benjamin Franklin, and are diving deep into the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War.
One book in particular from the Elementary level that I really like is The Courage Of Sarah Nobel by Barbara Cary. The story follows a young girl who helps her father start their home and farm in the unsettled areas of Connecticut. It is a great story of the expansion of the Europeans through the eyes of a child. The Total Language Plus company has a Grammar Guide for this book as well, so we will be using that for our grammar during the winter months.
A set of books that is used in both curriculum is the picture books written and illustrated by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire. These beautifully illustrated books are some of my favorites to read aloud. The books included in the history study are Leif the Lucky (a Viking), Christopher Columbus, Pocahontas, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Buffalo Bill. Even if you don’t use the Beautiful Feet Books history guides, having these books on your shelf will enrich your homeschool library!
If any of these books sound interesting to you, follow this link to find out more. Beautiful Feet Books