Beautiful Feet Review + My Father’s World Adventures

Beautiful Feet books. 

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They do it to me every time.

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Online or at a conference, I am drawn to them.

Moth to a flame.

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We are using their Early American History: A Literature Approach for Primary Grades along with My Father’s World Adventures.

I love reading to my kids. The majority of the books studied in EAH were all ready on my book list for MFW. I had flipped through their guide at the FPEA convention this year and loved the way they went through each living-book. The study can be completed in two years or in one year, depending on how many lessons you decide to complete each week.  I will say from the onset that I am in no hurry to complete Adventures. Maybe we will finish in one year, maybe it will take two. What I know for certain is my desire to make the most of this wonderful season in their lives.

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They employ the Charlotte Mason method of education: reading, reasoning, relating and recording. If I am going to incorporate something, I want it to integrate well with the learning style we employ. Beautiful Feet meets the standard.

The EAH guide opens with this quote from Cervantes:

“…the ultimate end of writing is both to instruct and delight.”

We just completed our first book study, “Leif the Lucky” by Ingri & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire.  Instruction and delight indeed!

I would have read “Leif the Lucky” this year, no matter what. Its just too excellent of a book to pass up on. However, we would not have delved into the book to the extent that we did without this guide.

Topics like the principles of self-control and moral sense, were discussed by looking at the text and digging through scripture. We memorized a poem and used a dictionary.  EAH made us stop and really reflect on this book. Each lesson provided socratic questions to further enrich our discussions. Beautiful coloring pages, which are free to download, accompanied the lessons. This gave my children a closer look at the d’Aulaire’s gorgeous artwork. My son was inspired by these exercises and now tries to imitate their work in his own independent projects. Nothing sweeter than amateur d’Aulaire-esque Lego mini figures and dragons.

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There are 19 books studied in this guide. They all pertain to American History but not all match up precisely with MFW’s schedule. For example, Leif the Lucky, Columbus, Pocahontas, Jamestown and Pilgrim Stories all fall nicely into the sequence. But in later lessons we will be reading through Winter at Valley Forge while we study different states. I am ok with these themes not lining up perfectly. I don’t want to rush lessons in one curriculum or pull back on another just to make them meet up. It will be interesting to see how the children react to newly introduced books that relate to something they learned weeks prior. What will they still recall? How will a slower study of a living-book influence their understanding of the topic? How will this fit into the framework of their timeline now that they know “what happens next”? 21513_1

I have not purchased the entire package of books used with the guide. I plan to find them little by little on thrift sites or at used curriculum sales.  Some we will be able to find at our local library and I can decide later if we would like to add those books to our personal library.

I’ll be checking in throughout the year as we try and incorporate these excellent Charlotte Mason based curriculums. If you are using Beautiful Feet books along with My Father’s World, please chime in the comments and let us know how your experience has been!

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