Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: Geography Through Literature

How does one teach geography using literature? Perhaps this question has popped in your head while browsing through the programs we offer or seeing friends post about it on Instagram. It's a completely valid question. After all, most geography is taught by studying and memorizing maps, capitals, elevations, etc. We believe that there is a lot more to geography than stats and facts, we believe that geography has a way of shaping us and what better way to understand this than by reading great stories?

The geography around us determines so much of our behavior as human beings. We don't often think of it, but the history of humanity cannot be separated from geography and ecology. Civilizations cropped up around water sources. Mountains divided cultures back when traveling over them presented insurmountable challenges. Droughts, floods, natural disasters shaped geographical landscapes and therefore human behavior. We cannot be separated from our surroundings and our geography program helps us understand how geography shaped mankind and mankind has been trying to return the favor since the beginning of time. Our Geography: A Literature Approach for Intermediate Grades opens student's minds to the amazing study of this science in a whole new way. One of our most popular programs, this combines great books with detailed mapping assignments so students understand the history, ecology, biology, and humanity of the places they're studying. 

Here are excerpts from a couple of reviews we just received of our Geography: A Literature Approach study. 
 "I cannot wait to gush about the literature-rich geography curriculum we’ve been using!" writes Caitlin from My Little Poppies

I believe that you could homeschool the elementary years with your library card alone...And yet, this is easier said than done...I’ll be honest: I love when someone does all that work for me. I love an incredible book list or a literature-rich curriculum.
And that’s where Beautiful Feet Books comes into play...I knew this curriculum would be a win for our family before it even arrived on our doorstep. Our family adores Holling Clancy Holling, winner of the Newbery Honor, the Caldecott Honor, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. Holling’s amazing stories which are filled with fantastic illustrations and geographical and scientific facts." To read more of this review and see pictures of the maps and books that are included in this study, click here
Ami from Walking by the Way wrote about using this study with her active, nature-loving son: 
"I have this kid who wants to live outside. When he's not outside, he's inside–learning about wild edible plants or how to build a survival shelter or maybe finishing his math so he can go back outside. 
I asked him if he wanted to try some history, and he looked through a few things. He settled on a geography program from Beautiful Feet. I admit I was a bit nervous. Was my bird-calling, plant-loving, waterfall-chasing boy going to enjoy this geography program? We started on the first book, Paddle-to-the-Sea, and he was hooked: a boy building a miniature boat, the Great Lakes, a pond, a marsh, birds. Yes, he was hooked. And he learned a ton. And I learned I love this program for many reasons."
As alluded to above, this study uses Holling C. Holling's wonderful books and focuses on North American geography with an introduction to world geography. We've published custom maps to go with each of the books and students work on coloring, illustration, and marking those maps throughout the course of the study. 
Photos: My Little Poppies

Photo: Walking by the Way
The Study Guide provides lesson plans with reading assignments, research projects, activities, mapping projects, and much more. 

We offer everything is an affordable discounted package (that ships for free!) and you can buy additional maps for each of your students! 

We hope this helps you get a good idea of what this pack is all about. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. If you have a question, chances are others do to, so please ask away! And thank you to our reviewers, Ami and Caitlin!

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


"We used Early American History last year with our 3rd and 1st graders...and a toddler! It was our best year yet! Rich conversations and deep connections--that's why we're homeschooling. These books became the heart of our days."
Kortney G

Check us out at

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Why BFB?

"This has easily been the most natural and relaxed curriculum I’ve used in my entire eight years of homeschooling. Ever." Shelly

"I can't recommend this curriculum to enough people. We used it for my daughter's 4th grade year. I would say the only problem we had was that she loved the books so much that several times when I would assign her the reading, she would tell me she finished the book already!!! She took them to bed and read them over and over all year. We absolutely love this curriculum." Tonya F.

"We just finished up the early American package and loved it! The kids looked forward to the stories and retained so much info. I was surprised how much they learned!" Tamara

"Our family thoroughly enjoyed the Early American Intermediate study this year. History comes alive with this wonderful collection of books!" Stacia

For those of you who are not familiar with our studies, here's what they are: big piles of wonderfully written, beautifully illustrated, and impeccably researched literature organized by an easily adaptable, clear, simple-to-follow study guide. We began writing our study guides way back in 1986 and have been improving them ever since. We believe that teaching history using the best literature available is not only the greatest way to teach this important subject, it's the most fun, interesting, engaging, and thought-provoking approach. And our guides also make it the easiest! We've put years into researching each guide: sorting through hundreds and hundreds of titles to find the very best books. We break down each collection of literature into approachable lessons with do-able reading assignments, conversation provoking comprehension questions, fun activities, vocabulary lists, and more. For sample pages, click here.
Additionally, as established publishers, if we find a wonderful book that is no long readily available because it's out of print, we search out copyright holders, restore text and illustrations, and bring these lost treasures back in to print! Ensuring that the lost literary treasures of yesteryear are available to today's families is one of the passions that drives us! Did you know that the following titles are all titles that are exclusively published by Beautiful Feet Books?

To learn more about teaching history using literature instead of textbooks check out our website, We have a "Getting Started" page to help you sort through your options and if you want to read more about this approach, check out these articles and our FAQ page.

We will be updating the blog over the next few weeks with more reviews as well as detailed looks at each of the history programs we offer. Please post any questions you may have in the comments and we'll do our best to answer as quickly as possible. You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook, linked below. 

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Heart Education

"When asking my kiddos about this past year's favorites, my son enthusiastically exclaimed, "History is my favorite!"  I know this is in large part because of the wonderful, rich resources you have provided for our family!  He has been able to make a solid, heart connection to actual people throughout history - God's people, whom He loves dearly. History is not a "long ago, distant date" in which some random people happened to live. The novels you have selected have made "history" right here, right now for my kids. They care about the characters in these books. And because they care about them, they can grieve with them and can celebrate with them through the events that the characters experience. For me, this expands their worldview and their empathy toward others in the here and now. 

Thank you so much for all you do to contribute to the heart education of the next generation!  We are so blessed because of your efforts! 

Many thanks,
Laura S

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Teaching Character Through Literature

Our newest guide is now available! It is our revised and expanded Teaching Character Through Literature study and we're so excited about it. We've added titles, authors, Bible verse memory cards, discussion questions, and so much more to this study. It still has notes and lists for both the Primary and Intermediate levels and is a wonderful resource for families seeking to add meaning to their read aloud time, concentrate of character development, and see depth in conversation. From the description:

Neil Gaiman once wrote, "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” This is one of the many reasons a literature-rich childhood is as important to a child's moral development as vegetables are to his health. We know that reading aloud is important for nurturing academic skills, but even more essential, the stories we choose to tell our children will help shape their moral imaginations. Choosing the best tales, myths, and fiction for our children can be a daunting task, but this guide will provide a roadmap for your journey. Lists of wonderful books for multiple levels are paired with comprehension questions designed to draw character lessons out of the stories. Each title has been picked for its literary value as well as the character traits exhibited by the heroes and heroines. Nothing dry and didactic here!
Additionally, lesson plans make it easy to incorporate these books into your family reading time, while spurring discussions that will jump off the pages and impact real life. Bible verses are provided along with memorization cards to make it easy to incorporate these essential truths into your child's daily habits. This latest edition of the study guide has added dozens of books to broaden its scope while retaining its flexible structure. Use this guide as a reference for trips to the library, to help add depth to family read-aloud time, as a character development curriculum, and more.

Of course, the literature used in the study is the most exciting part, and we're thrilled with these book offerings. Check out the titles in the Primary Pack
~When God Made You
~The Seven Silly Eaters
~Obadiah the Bold
~Rachel and Obadiah
~Wilfrid Gordon Macdonald Partridge
~Last Stop on Market Street
~Time of Wonder
~When I was Young in the Mountains
~Miss Rumphius
~Brave Irene
~Clown of God
 All beautifully illustrated stories of courage, beauty, and wisdom. The study notes and discussion questions help bring out lessons of faith in God, respecting one another as fellow image-bearers, a recognition of sin and the grace of redemption. And check out the wonderful illustrations. These are books your child will ask you to read over and over and over. And we know this from experience because our kids have worn through copies of these books.
From Last Stop on Market Street 
From When God Made You
From The Seven Silly Eaters
And here are the books in the Intermediate level pack

~The Green Ember
~Caddie Woodlawn
~The Happy Prince and Other Tales
~The Door in the Wall
~A Gathering of Days
~Call it Courage
~The Whipping Boy
~The Family Under the Bridge
~The Little Prince
~The Hundred Dresses
~Benjamin Franklin
This mix of classics and new titles will allow your middle schooler to travel from pioneer America to post-war France to Indonesia and England, as well as an imaginary world where rabbits wear swords and fight evil wolves. We hope that this guide brings delight to many families as they discover the joys of reading and discussion great stories together!

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

Thursday, June 08, 2017

High School: Teaching Modern U.S. and World History

Many parents question their ability to teach their high schoolers at home, but we believe that there is no reason to fear the high school years! And we're here to help. Here's our newest high school level study. It's chock full of great literature because we also believe that just because you're teaching high school level students doesn't mean you have to start using dry, boring textbooks. The high school years provide a unique opportunity to read some of the best historical literature available! These books provide a unique lens through which to view the course of human events and provide training in writing style, critical thinking skills, geography, and much more. The books you see pictured here make up our Modern U.S. and World History study and they're books from world renowned historians, biographers, and writers. Classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Rifles for Watie, The Hiding Place, and The Jungle bring color to the black and white annuls of history. Tales of courage like Unbroken and Lost Names inspire character traits we seek to nurture in our children. And the study guide brings it all together with historical and author notes, lesson plans, vocabulary, mapping activities, writing assignments, websites, additional book and movie recommendations and much more. Check out these sample pages from the study guide
If you're curious to hear from a family who used this study, check out this review. And if you've used it, chime in in the comments and let us know what you thought. 

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

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Review: Teaching History at the High School Level

Photo: A Diligent Heart
Welcome! Our 2017 REVIEW SERIES continues with a peek at one of our high school level programs. Marlene of A Diligent Heart shares her family's experience using our Modern U.S. and World History for high school. Her review provides all sorts of details on the structure, scope, sequence, and other components of the study and she had this to say about the discussion questions:

"These aren’t your typical question and answer discussion questions. They are legit get-your-kid-thinking discussion questions with the goal to build toward a deeper understanding and ideas instead of a simple answer to the question.
"Ideally, this is a fun opportunity for you, the parent, to join in and dialog with your kiddo about what they are reading. Because this is such a thought provoking set up, I feel this approach would be incredibly beneficial."
Read more about this classical/eclectic homeschooling family's experience here. Thank you Marlene!

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

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Review: Do I need the guide?

Our review series continues with a  Heidi's review of our Modern American and World history study for grades 5-8. This study picks up where our Early American History studies end and is chock full of wonderful literature selections. One question or comment we often hear is "I'll just buy the books and skip the study guide." This review, as well as all the others we're posting in this series, show why it's worth investing in the guide. It does ALL the work for you! We put months, if not years, into the development of each study guide, so you don't have to! And we keep our guides affordably priced (between $14 and $30 for a full-year study) so you really have nothing to lose. But don't trust us, see what Heidi has to say:

"This 83 pages, full color guide makes it simple and easy for you to open, read, and go! There was no prep work (other than having the study guide and literature on hand), and no printing. Each day I open the book to the next lesson and follow the simple directions. Teaching Middle School History couldn’t be easier!"

Read the complete review here.

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review: Using BFB as a Classical Homeschooler

Photo Credit: Dianna Kennedy
Our review series continues with Dianna of The Kennedy Family Adventures, a Catholic homeschooling mom of five who teaches in a Classical style. Her review of our Medieval History through Literature for grades 4-8 touches on so many topics that we get asked about all the time. For example, here are a few of the questions she answers:

~Will Studying History Through Literature Really Work in My Homeschool?

~How Much Will This Homeschool History Through Literature Cost Our Family?

~What if I Already Have Historical Literature on My Shelves?

~How Long Does it Take to Study History Through Literature?

Dianna also talks about our study guide and how they do all the heavy lifting for you. If you've been considering our Medieval History Through Literature study, definitely check out this review. It goes into great detail on the books included in the study, how it looked for her family when they used it, and much more. Thank you, Dianna, for the review!

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: Adapting BFB for personal beliefs

Image from Raising da Vinci
We at Beautiful Feet Books write from our convictions as Christians and many of our studies include scripture verses and character lessons. We also put a lot of time and effort into each of our study guides to insure that they're as adaptable and easy-to-use as possible. This means that many secular homeschoolers also use our studies and find them easy to adapt to their personal beliefs. After all, good literature is a universal language!

Check out this review from Amanda from Raising da Vinci on how she and her son enjoyed the great literature selections from our Early American History for Primary Grades study. Here's a short excerpt that has been edited for brevity:

"I love so many things about this curriculum. I love how easy the study guide was to read (an inside look is shown below), which makes planning our day super easy (which is SO important with younger kids)...I love that the lessons are short...I love the book choices. SERIOUSLY AMAZING BOOKS!...I love that there is no set order you have to go through the curriculum...I also love that many of these books (depending on your child’s reading level) kids can read themselves... But mostly….I LOVE that they are living books. Kids learn best from stories rather than dry facts from a history book. "
Read the whole beautifully written and photographed review here.

Thank you Amanda!

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