I’m so excited about this review series that I can hardly contain myself! If you read my blog (or know me in “real life”) you already know how much I love Beautiful Feet Books! I tell everyone that the philosophy behind this curriculum saved my homeschool. I began my homeschool career as a die-hard neo classical educator and am now a Charlotte Mason-er (can I say that descriptively?) until the end. We fell in love with home education as a family with the discovery of Beautiful Feet Books and through them…the Charlotte Mason life-style.
I love the set up of the study guide (written by Rebecca Manor) for the course. Instead of numbered lessons the guide is set up by weeks for a total of thirty-five weeks. There are usually four to six assignments each week. The guide is beautifully illustrated and full of internet links and hands-on activities. For this study the curriculum suggests that students keep a notebook for noting discussion questions and vocabulary exercises and a separate portfolio for essays and other exemplary works by the student. The vocabulary lists are drawn from the books in the course to help the child better understand the reading material. The guide clearly points out which assignments belong in the portfolio. There is also a suggested list of books to check out from the library related to the current week’s study. I’ve manage to borrow some of these books from friends and find others cheaply at library sales. I’ll share our favorites throughout this review.
We are now in our second week with the Intermediate Medieval study. My oldest and I (I firmly believe in reading aloud even to my oldest) are nearly finished with Beowulf. We are enjoying this book together. I loved studying Beowulf in my university literature course (many, many years ago!) I kinda wondered how this story was going to work with a sixth grader but I am delighted with the version BFB chose for their study. I’ve truly enjoyed reading it to my oldest. This book is so poetic and the illustrations are lovely. Tomorrow we will finish the book and he will write his second paper for his portfolio. The spine book for the study is The European World: 400-1450. We’ve already read through chapter two. I’ve accepted the fact that spine books are an evil necessity in literature based history studies. However, this book is excellent and when I sat down to explore the book a bit I read the first five chapters without realizing it. The book isn’t dry and textbookish at all. Several times I’ve had to confiscate the book from Oldest when I’ve caught him reading ahead of schedule! That is the sign of an excellent book.
Oldest’s first assignment was a bit of map-work. He didn’t want to wait any longer to begin the study waiting for a blank map to be ordered by mail. He also really likes to draw maps. After discussing a few options, Oldest decided to use tracing paper to make his map. He pulled the large world map off the wall and traced most of Europe and parts of north Africa. Once he is finished with this map he will mount it onto a large piece of poster paper. He was unhappy with his Ancient map from the last academic year because he felt it was too crowded with information. When he feels that his current map is full enough he will attach it to the poster and then trace another map. He plans to mount the traced maps “lift-the-flap style” onto the poster paper as he completes them. I’ll post pictures of his map as he builds it. He also wanted to draw a map himself instead of just mark a pre-made one. I didn’t mind because it was one less thing for me to purchase and I have the map-making supplies he needs on hand.
After making his first map for the study, Oldest read about Charlemagne and wrote a small one page paper for his portfolio. I was pleased with his paper even thought it is a bit short. He hates writing and if given a choice, he would prefer to spend his time conjugating Latin and working long division! We also watched these videos from the History Channel. After learning about Charlemagne he then spent a couple of days on vocabulary studies preparing for Beowulf. Next weeks studies lead us to King Arthur!!! All of my Beautiful Feet Books reviews are posted to this Pintrest board. You can also read Beautiful Feet Books’ interview with me on their blog. I answered their interview questions while my youngest pelted me with Angry Bird stuffed animals… Legal requirements: The government demands that I tell you I received this study free with no guarantee of a positive review according to FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”. All opinions are my own and the materials provided are for a frank and honest review and your experiences may differ… Linking up with All Things Beautiful’s History and Geography Meme She also has a lovely Pinterest Board on history and geography.