Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fighting Fear and Hatred with Story



by Rebecca Manor

Over the past few months I've adopted a bit of an ostrich approach to the news. I haven't been
checking Facebook or reading the news, finding it too sad, too depressing, too disempowering. I've been focusing my attention homeward and but over the weekend I could no longer ignore the news as friends in Charlottesville alerted me to the heartbreaking events of this past weekend. I don't come here today to make any political statements as many have more eloquently denounced the hate and evil on display. I echo their voices and wish to empower you as parents. Within our homes we have the power to fight the hate and anger we saw displayed so vividly this past weekend. We have the ability to shape a generation that can listen with empathy, can live with the light of eternity coloring their vision, and can hold tight to that future seen by John, "After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.


When we can fill our children with what is truly noble, we will be equipping them to stand against the evil that marched from the shadows this weekend. As parents, we have a wonderful opportunity to pour into our children stories filled with heroes who stood against evil, warriors who opposed oppression, friends who reached out to the friendless, and defenders of the marginalized. Story is one of the most powerful weapons against what we see on display in Charlottesville, Kenya, Syria, and in our own hearts.

Stories open up space in our hearts to listen to people who have lived lives different from our own. Stories tear down walls because we are no longer able to hide behind our prejudices when we are forced to confront the truth. Beautifully written fictional stories like The Hundred Dresses gently open up opportunities to discuss prejudice with our little ones. Miss Rumphius plants seeds of beauty in tender little hearts and inspires the desire to leave behind a legacy of graciousness. Amos Fortune paints an eloquent picture of the unwavering strength of true humility. Reading books that relate the first-hand experiences of enslaved people opens our eyes to this evil that tragically still exists nearly everywhere. And, of course, scripture reminds us that relinquishing our rights is right and exactly what our Savior did. Giving our children opportunities to hear from people whose life experiences are vastly different from our own reveals struggles we can only imagine. The tales of men and women who stood firm against evil can inspire bravery in our families as we decide to stand up against both great and small evils in our every day choices.

What we all saw over the weekend is part of the fallen human condition. Ultimately, as a Christian I believe the only permanent solution is the return of Jesus, but I also know that the sin of hatred grows most quickly in a mind without imagination. Imagination allows us to enter into experiences we cannot live ourselves. The beauty of a well-developed imagination is its ability to give us a taste for what others experience in their daily lives. Combining a curiosity and desire to know more about all people with the ability to imagine their reality is a powerful weapon against prejudice.

Reading stories with our children also allows us to confront evil as we encounter it in the books we read. Whether it's an epic historical struggle like World War II, or the evils of racist depictions of people, or tales of cruelty, providing a context in which to discuss these realities with our children in age-appropriate ways helps them prepare to confront them in real life. If a child is raised to adulthood without an understanding of the reality of evil and the power we have to defeat it, he will encounter a world full of unsurmountable threats and dangers. The irony of a protectionist approach to raising children is that it fails to prepare them to confront depravity, both inside their hearts and outside their front doors. This is not to say that childhood should be filled with tales of awfulness. I firmly believe in fiercely protecting childhood. It's more of an encouragement to read, read, read! As G. K. Chesterton so eloquently stated in Tremendous Trifles, 1909:
Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear.
Read fairy tales to fire up those imaginations. Read authentic historical accounts that portray historical characters in all their good and bad characteristics. Read books that grow your child's world and mind. This is one of the many ways we can stand against sin and evil and show our children what it means to love boldly.

Monday, July 31, 2017

$300.00 Giveaway! CLOSED


THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR ENTRIES!

We are so excited to offer three of you a chance to win a $100.00 gift certificate to Beautiful Feet Books! Just in time to order your curriculum for next year. To enter, simply review a Beautiful Feet Books product on our website or one of the following websites and comment below with the link to the review. You can post reviews on all of the sites for extra entries. To enter, review any of our study guides or books at bfbooks.comGoogle+Homeschool Reviews, and/or on our Facebook page. Just click the hyperlinks and you'll be taken right where you need to be to leave a review. Then, once your review has posted, comment below with the link and you'll be entered. You can post your review once on each site for additional entries and you can review more than one product for even more entries. We are running this giveaway for one week so get your entries in by next Sunday night. You MUST comment on this blog entry with a link or links to your reviews!  Winner will be announced next week.
Here are some of our programs you may want to review:
Modern American and World History

Early American History for Intermediate Grades
Early American History for Primary Grades
Teaching Character Primary Reading Pack

History of Science

Modern U.S. and World History for High School

History of Classical Music

A Child's First Book of American History

The d'Aulaire Biographies
Terms and Conditions

1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
2. Eligibility requirements: entries must be from persons over the age of 18.
3. Giveaway begins on 7/31/2017 and ends at 12:01AM on 8/6/2017.
4. Odds of winning: the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
5. Beautiful Feet Books bears no liability for technical failures or typographical errors.
6. Winner will be selected randomly from eligible entries on 8/7/2017 and will be notified on the blog within 24 hours. Winners have six months to claim their prize.
7. This giveaway is sponsored by Beautiful Feet Books, Inc. Contact at: letters@bfbooks.com or 800.889.1978
8. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

We would love to hear what you think! Chime in below in the comments section and share your thoughts. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages.  To learn more about Beautiful Feet Books, click here.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Medieval History: A Literature Approach for High School


This study is a journey through some of the best original source material available and is sure to spark your student's curiosity and imagination. Although many people have been taught that the period from 300 to 1522 A.D. was marked by darkness, ignorance, and struggle, this guide will show you that the opposite is true! Rich period literature will show you that it was a time when people were forming ideas that still impact us today. It was also a time of exciting discoveries, new innovations, and wonderful stories. Reading Beowulf will open student's eyes to the terrors of living under the threat of Viking raids. The Song of Roland provides a glimpse into the mores and ethics of a time where the concepts of chivalry were just developing. The story of William Wallace reveals a passionate love of liberty that we still find heroic today. You will also accompany Marco Polo on his travels through Asia, witnessing sights never imagined by the western mind. Songs, hymns, and creeds will give you insight into the religious beliefs of people who lived over 1500 years ago! In this course students will learn about King John, King Arthur, Saladin, Queen Eleanor, Joan of Arc, Shahrazad, Marco Polo, Peter Abelard, Geoffrey Chaucer and many others. They will learn about Martin Luther who revealed a new way to approach God and about John Wycliffe who organized the Bible. Students will read about the life of Columbus, whose discovery of North America changed the world forever. By reading some of the best literature on the subject, students will be encouraged to discuss new ideas and social changes. Links to websites, hands-on activities, discussion questions, mapping activities and much more will bring the Middle Ages to life. Set up in 35 weekly lessons, this study guide provides everything you need to complete an exciting literature based history course.


Here's a listing of the literature used in this course, including our new Medieval Anthology, produced specifically to go with this study. All items are available in our discounted Medieval History Senior High Pack


An Anthology of Medieval Literature - edited by Rebecca Berg Manor
Beautiful Feet Books and Rebecca Manor's Anthology of Medieval Literature traces the development of thought and culture in Europe from the fourth century up through the 1300s. Beginning with excerpts of Augustine's Confessions and culminating with selections from Dante's Divine Comedy, students will trade medieval culture from the beginnings of Christendom to the Age of Exploration. Selections from major works such as The Song of Roland, Marco Polo's Book of Wonders, and The Deeds of Charlemagne are included along with poems, creeds, hymns, and selections from medieval thinkers like Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas. For use with the Beautiful Feet Books' Literature Approach to Medieval History study guide, this anthology will provide high school level students with an introductory survey of some of the greatest literature works of western civilization.


The Medieval World: An Illustrated Atlas - edited by John M. Thompson
Sumptuously illustrating the vivid parade of a thousand years of history, this comprehensive historical atlas concentrates on the Mediterranean world but also shows what happened across the globe between A.D. 400 and 1500 —from the fall of Rome to the age of discovery. Every page glistens with period works of art, fascinating maps, quotes from medieval figures, close-ups of intriguing artifacts, and rich landscape photographs of the places where battles were fought and monarchs were crowned. For every century, a signature city is spotlighted to represent that era's developments. Time lines connect the many dramatic events that took place in these dark and exciting times, which continue to shape our world today. Written by a team of veteran National Geographic writers, this richly illustrated reference includes full index, reading list, and glossary.


Beowulf: A New Verse Translation - by Seamus Heaney
In 5th century Denmark, a murderous monster stalks the night, and only the great prince of the Geats has the strength and courage to defeat him. The story of Beowulf's terrifying quest to destroy the foul fiend Grendel, his mother–a hideous sea-hag, and a monstrous fire-dragon, is the oldest surviving epic in English literature. Beautifully translated and updated by the brilliant linguist Seamus Heaney.
"A faithful rendering that is simultaneously an original and gripping poem in its own right." —New York Times Book Review

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights - Geraldine McCaughrean
A completely original version of the Arabian Nights by award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean. In order to delay her inevitable execution, Queen Shahrazad tells her murdering husband, King Shahryar, a wonderfully exciting story every night. The brilliant storyteller preserves her life while relating tales of intrigue, adventure, and duplicity. A delightful window into the Persian world.

Joan of Arc - by Mark Twain
Very few people know that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote a major work on Joan of Arc. Still fewer know that he considered it not only his most important but also his best work. He spent twelve years in research and many months in France doing archival work and then made several attempts until he felt he finally had the story he wanted to tell. He reached his conclusion about Joan's unique place in history only after studying in detail accounts written by both sides, the French and the English. Because of Mark Twain's antipathy to institutional religion, one might expect an anti-Catholic bias toward Joan or at least toward the bishops and theologians who condemned her. Instead one finds a remarkably accurate biography of the life and mission of Joan of Arc told by one of this country's greatest storytellers. The very fact that Mark Twain wrote this book and wrote it the way he did is a powerful testimony to the attractive power of the Catholic Church's saints. This is a book that really will inform and inspire.


Canterbury Tales - by Geoffrey Chaucer
Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers twenty-nine of literature’s most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman. For advanced readers due to difficult language and mature content.


Scottish Chiefs - by Jane Porter
This magnificent book tells the story of the brave Scots who rebelled against the tyranny of King Edward during the period of 1296 - 1305. This inspiring tale of courage has been a favorite for generations of readers. The story of William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and the brave Scots who stood up to English tyranny is sure to become a favorite!

The Magna Charta - by James Daugherty
It was Ben Franklin who coined the phrase, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God," and if any historical drama fulfills that maxim, it is surely the saga of King John and the drafting of the Magna Charta. Out of the rich turbulence of English history, June 15, 1215 stands apart as a significant milestone in the progress of human liberty. On that day, a brave band of barons, led by the noble Stephen Langton, and calling themselves the Army of God, stood up to the wicked King John and demanded that he restore the ancient laws of England that he had so unabashedly trampled underfoot. The era is a rollicking one filled with colorful characters like Robin Hood and his Merry Men, Richard the Lionheart, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and many more. Newbery and Caldecott medal-winner James Daugherty brings his own passion for freedom's story to this wonderful saga of the thirteenth century. Daugherty devotes the last part of the book to a history of the "documents" of freedom—what he calls the "Children of the Magna Charta"—demonstrating how liberty has progressed over the ages. Two-color illustrations by the author enhance the drama of this text.

The World of Columbus and Sons - by Genevieve Foster
This is the story of a wonderful, changing, reawakening world—the world of the Renaissance and Reformation. Measured by the lifetime of Columbus and his sons, this book spans the years from 1451-1539. With Columbus as the central figure of this narrative, readers will also learn the fascinating stories of Prince Henry the Navigator, Ivan III of Russia, Gutenberg, Queen Isabella, Leonardo da Vinci, Mohammed II, the African ruler Nomi Mansa, Martin Luther, Erasmus, Albrecht Dürer, Copernicus, Michaelangelo and many others. Told in Foster's engaging and winsome style enhanced by her helpful chronologies and timelines, readers will learn of the religious, cultural and scientific changes that ushered in a new frontier of exploration and discovery.

Here's a note from the author: Rebecca Berg Manor:
This period in history is so exciting and it is my hope that this full-color guide will open up new worlds to you and your students! It is a high school level course and the guide is structured to allow for you to personalize it to each student. It is formatted in 35 weekly lessons with reading assignments, mapping activities, research and discussion topics, hands-on and craft suggestions, vocabulary lists and much more. Knowing that each student is different, I have tried to set it up to allow you to personalize the study to your student's unique needs. Each assignment has been carefully constructed to provide opportunities for each student to personalize the study. One thing that I try to emphasize in the guide is the fact that it is a guide and it's supposed to make your job easier, not harder! It's chock full of ideas and activities but they're not all required. The focus should be the literature, not checking off every single activity. The activities are there to enrich your study, so pick and choose according to the educational needs and interests of your students. Have fun with it!

We hope you find this helpful. Please never hesitate to contact us with any questions. We can be reached at 800.889.1978, letters@bfbooks.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Ancient History: A Literature Approach for Intermediate Grades and High School

Ancient History Intermediate
Ancient History Sr. High 


"I purchased this curriculum last year after a few weeks into the year when I realized what I had planned for ancient history was not going to be enough. The guide was thorough, detailed, and organized in a way that we were able to jump right in and start without much planning. I have one student at each level (MS and HS) so I was able to use one guide for both of them, which is a nice plus. They could discuss what they were learning together because they were both going at the same pace and reading about the same subjects. It was a life saver for this first year homeschool mom." Paige on our Ancient History Through Literature study. 
 

Ancient Sumeria, Egypt, Greece, and Rome become colorful and vibrant in this literature based study that includes separate notes for intermediate (5th-8th grade) and high school level students. Biblical history is combined with the writings of Shakespeare, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Padraic Colum, Genevieve Foster and others.  Detailed study notes, vocabulary lists, maps, lesson plans and tests with answer keys all combine to make this an exciting study that reveals the relevancy of the ancient world to ours today!

Includes references, a listing of relevant websites, vocabulary lists, historical notes, comprehension questions and answer key, and much more. Everything you need to teach ancient history using the best literature available! The Intermediate section of the study guide contains 71 lessons (complete 2-3 per week) and the Senior High section contains 91 lessons (complete 3 per week).

Check out this review from Melissa of Reflections from Drywood Creek. She details the books used, explains how the study works, and shows how she adapted it for her own family. 

Click on thumbnails below to view sample pages. 
Our guides are open and go, all you need are the books and a notebook for your student! And everything is available in discounted packs that ship for free! 


We hope you find this helpful. Please never hesitate to contact us with any questions. We can be reached at 800.889.1978, letters@bfbooks.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Medieval History: A Literature Approach for Intermediate Grades


"Don’t stress about teaching medieval history to your children. My kids devour history through literature, using amazing selections from Beautiful Feet Books." 


"Today, if I had to choose just one program, Beautiful Feet Books would be my top choice at any grade level."


Before we share anything about our Medieval History: A Literature Approach for Intermediate Grades, you may find it helpful to read this series of blog posts from Audria. She wrote in detail about this study as she used it throughout a school year with her son: IntroductionWeeks 1-6Weeks 7-12Weeks 12-18Weeks 19-24Weeks 25-30Conclusion
Another helpful review is available from The Kennedy Adventures.

And here, author Rebecca Manor shares her thoughts on studying the medieval world: 
This period in history is so exciting and it is my hope that this full-color guide will open up new worlds to you and your students! The suggested grade levels are 5th - 8th grade and the guide is structured to allow for you to personalize it to each student. It is formatted in 35 weekly lessons with reading assignments, mapping activities, research and discussion topics, hands-on and craft suggestions, vocabulary lists and much more. Knowing that each student is different, I have tried to set it up to allow you to personalize the study to your student's unique needs. For example, a 5th or 6th grader would be able to use the research topics to discuss new ideas and historical events while an 8th grader would be encouraged to write short research essays. For students who are more tactile learners, there's hand-on activities to encourage the development of those skills. One thing that I try to emphasize in the guide is the fact that it is a guide and it's supposed to make your job easier, not harder! It's chock full of ideas and activities but they're not all required. The focus should be the literature, not checking off every single activity. The activities are there to enrich your study, so pick and choose according to the educational needs and interests of your students. Have fun with it!"

The term Middle Ages probably conjures up images of brave knights and fair ladies, feasts and tournaments, castles and cathedrals. These are the elements of this time period that captures our imagination. In this course students will learn about King Richard, King Arthur, Saladin, Queen Eleanor, Joan of Arc, Shahrazad and others. They will learn about Martin Luther who revealed a new way to approach God and about John Wycliffe who organized the Bible. Students will read about the life of Columbus, whose discovery of North America changed the world forever. The middle Ages was a very busy time full of change. Brilliant minds lived between the years 400 and 1522, the years that are covered in this study. By reading some of the best literature on the subject, students will be encouraged to discuss new ideas and social changes. Links to websites, hands-on activities, discussion questions, mapping activities and much more will bring the Middle Ages to life. Set up in 35 weekly lessons, this study guide provides everything you need to complete an exciting literature based history course.


Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from this study guide:




Our guides are open and go, all you need are the books and a notebook for your student! And everything is available in a discounted pack that ships for free! 



We hope you find this helpful. Please never hesitate to contact us with any questions. We can be reached at 800.889.1978, letters@bfbooks.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Middle School: Modern American and World History

"We have Modern American and World History here...The book selections are terrific! The teacher's guide has great thought provoking questions. Great for conversations about the readings." -Carmen S.

"Beautiful Feet Books inspired us to learn together, dream big, and discover a more modern, global view of history."

"The Modern American & World History is geared towards 5-8th grade students. This makes it the perfect study for middle school history using literature! This 83 pages, full color guide makes it simple and easy for you to open, read, and go!" Heidi from Starts at Eight
So many people ask us what to do after completely our Early American History studies for Primary and Intermediate grades and this is the answer! As we are deeply committed to the idea that students do best when taught what is familiar first, we strongly encourage beginning your history studies with Early American history. You can read more about that here, and listen to Rea explain it even more in a Episode 15 of the Wild + Free podcast. As this is foundational to our approach to teaching history, it makes sense that following our Early American History for Intermediate Grades study, we would offer a Modern American and World History study. The Modern American & World History study covers the American Civil War up to modern day for 5-8th grade students. It is the perfect follow-up to those who have already completed our Early American intermediate course. This new study uses the second-half of A Child's First Book of American History by Earl Schenck Miers as well as a host of new and classic literature. Characters studied over this year-long course include the Wright brothers, Teddy Roosevelt, Gladys Aylward, George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, Sergeant York, Jackie Robinson and many others. Your student will come to appreciate and understand the most tempestuous period in history through award-winning literature. This full-color study guide includes notes on each book, recommended supplemental literature, resources, activities, comprehension questions, vocabulary, and web links. This guide will take you and your intermediate grade student from the year 1860 to modern day while covering the Civil War, Reconstruction, the turn of the century, WWI, WWII, Civil Rights, Korean War, Vietnam War, and contemporary America. Organized into easily followed lessons, students (and parents!) will learn the modern history of our nation along with corresponding Christian principles, poetry, geography, character studies, and much more!

Click on the thumbnails below to see sample pages from this study:


REVIEWS
Click on image to read complete review


Starts at Eight
Not the Former Things

It is our passion to make teaching history easy and accessible to everyone. Great literature is the best way and our guides make it approachable. And everything is available in a discounted pack that ships for free!


We hope you find this helpful. Please never hesitate to contact us with any questions. We can be reached at 800.889.1978, letters@bfbooks.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.

Friday, July 07, 2017

A History of Classical Music: A Literature Approach for Intermediate Grades


"I am not musically inclined at all, however, this study provided an easy way for even me to engage in a classical music study with my children. The CDs, the living books and the extremely easy guide work together to provide a rich study in a doable format that didn't overwhelm our school day and was an excellent addition to our Friday arts focus. The Jumbo pack is worth the investment and we have spread the course over 2 years to match our history studies."
Mrs. Mileshouse

Take a musical journey from the Baroque Period of composition to the Modern Period with our History of Classical Music: A Literature Approach for Intermediate Grades. Beginning with Corelli, the father of modern violin playing, and tracing the development of music composition up to the time of Igor Stravinsky, students will learn of the lives of great composers, the formation of the orchestra, as well as a study of each type of musical instrument. Using the highly acclaimed Music Masters 18 CD collection, students will gain a familiarity with the great works of classical music and their composers. The history of the orchestra is also covered along with each instrument! The great ballets, like Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, and The Firebird are also introduced. A combination of music and biography makes this study enjoyable as well as educational. Designed for 4th-8th grade students the Study Guide contains 75 lesson and we suggest that 2-3 lessons be completed each week for a one year study.

For a detailed review, check out Jimmie's review at Curriculum Choice. You can also read about how Feisty Mama from Farmhouse Schoolhouse uses it! 

Click on the thumbnails below to see sample pages from the guide:



Composers covered in this program include: Corelli, Vivaldi, Paganini, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Strauss, Mahler, Foster, Sousa, Debussy, Stravinsky and more!

We strive to make teaching history easy and inspiring. Our guides are open and go, all you need are the books and a notebook for your student! And everything is available in a discounted pack that ships for free! 


We hope you find this helpful. Please never hesitate to contact us with any questions. We can be reached at 800.889.1978, letters@bfbooks.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.