*This post was written as a review for Beautiful Feet Books in exchange for compensation. Everything you read in this article is based on my personal experience with using their history curriculum and is 100% truthful. If you’d like to read my full disclosure, you can find it HERE.
Beautiful Feet Books
Beautiful Feet Books’ history through literature packs have a gentle, Charlotte Mason approach. This history curriculum is meant to be read aloud to students to create a simplistic learning experience.
Lessons are designed to be customizable per student’s age and maturity — making this a super flexible curriculum.
These books include many historical moments that touch on amazing topics such as heroism and bravery. However, they also cover tougher issues such as tragedy and injustice.
With that said, these historical moments are always presented in a gentle, age-appropriate manner.
Our History Curriculum Struggle
When I first got word that I could try out this history curriculum for my young daughter, I pretty much jumped at the chance.
I had heard Beautiful Feet Books mentioned by other homeschool moms over the years, but I had never taken the time to research them on my own. I had no idea they had such extensive curriculum packs and definitely wish I had looked into these history books years ago!
Because much like math, finding a great history program has been a huge challenge for our family!
We’ve tried many different types of curriculum over the years. Some we have enjoyed, others not so much.
However, we have never quite found that perfect fit. So needless to say, I was already on the search for something new for our upcoming homeschool year and I’m so glad Beautiful Feet Books came up on my radar.
Early American History Curriculum Breakdown
First, I just have to share how beautiful some of these books are!
We got the chance to try out Early American History (primary) and they are so pleasing to the eye!
We are huge book lovers, so sorting through all these amazing pieces of art was a lot of fun for us.
Second, can I just say the teacher’s book is nothing short of perfection? Cause it totally is!
This book is by far my favorite!
When I first held that book in my hand, I already knew I was in love!
I thrive with a plan and this one was SO good!
Most lessons were short and precise — definitely a win for this busy homeschool mom. Plus, you can easily adapt or expand on any lesson — making this one of the most flexible curriculums I’ve used to date.
I’m not a huge fan of long-drawn-out lessons and I love being able to switch things up with ease. So needless to say, I was completely thrilled with the simplicity and flexibility of this history curriculum!
I also totally loved the gentle suggestions on how to approach younger students and more advanced students!
This teacher guide comes in full color with beautiful illustrations and is complete with a list of each book included in the curriculum as well as a brief description of the topics or persons covered.
Check out a simple breakdown of some of my favorite portions of the teacher’s guide below!
These are super useful!
Rabbit trails are basically just a brief synopsis of additional books that can be used for each unit.
These extras are in no way required. However, they can easily take your child’s history experience up a notch with little effort on your part. Simply check these titles out at your local library and add them to your plan!
The best part? As the parent, you get to pick and choose which additional resources to use! Use none, some, or all — totally your call.
If you plan on completing this course over 2 school years instead of one, you will find these extras to be very beneficial!
Most units include online resources to further the study of each topic. Since some children are visual learners, these resources can make a wonderful addition to reading the books!
Ok, this is my absolute favorite part of the teacher’s guide!! Each unit has a recipe that goes along with the time period or peoples studied. Some of these look so good too!
What better way to complete a unit than with historically or culturally accurate recipes? Seriously though!
The Early American History Primary Pack contains 23 reader books that are used throughout 7 different units.
These books are so amazing, you guys!
While we have only made it through the first book together, I have personally looked over each one and can hardly wait to get through this entire curriculum with my young daughter.
She loves learning and she loves reading, so this history curriculum has been a wonderful fit for her so far!
Check out my full breakdown of each unit below!
You can easily tackle this 6 lesson unit in 2-3 weeks.
This unit uses the book “Lief the Lucky” — which is such a unique title!
My daughter has never studied the Vikings before, so she thoroughly enjoyed following Leif on his journey to a new home in a foreign land as well as all of his other voyages and adventures along the way.
This story is super unique in the fact that it was written down in manuscripts, but wasn’t read for hundreds of years! These stories of Vikings had been lost and forgotten — it was so cool to experience this first alongside my daughter!
The Indigenous Peoples of North America
This is a super short unit, having only 3 lessons total. You can easily complete this one in a week’s time.
My daughter and I are currently working through this unit and it has been super fun for me to revisit one of my favorite historical topics from when I was a young child.
The indigenous people of North America unit includes reading only a portion of the book “The Discovery of the Americas” – super simple!
This book follows nomads during the stone age that migrated to parts of North America, Central America, and South America & finishes during the Columbus age.
It is super visual and includes tons of beautiful illustrations, including maps that truly bring history to life.
I love how this book touches on different types of civilizations and ways of life. It even briefly touches on the life of Lief Ericsson from the Vikings unit as well — which my daughter was totally thrilled with.
The Golden Age of Discovery
We will start this 10-lesson unit in the late summer/early fall as I’ve chosen to use the rest of this curriculum for my daughter’s 3rd-grade year.
This unit uses 3 books — starting with “The Discovery of the Americas” from the previous unit.
Since we have yet to complete this unit, I took some time to look over both books.
“Columbus” starts out by introducing Columbus as a young boy, then takes us on his many voyages as a young man and adult.
I tend to get nervous suggesting any history curriculum that covers the life of Columbus simply because it can be a touchy subject in the homeschool community.
However, I really enjoyed this book!
It didn’t paint the perfect picture that I grew up thinking Columbus to be. Plus, it was also very simple and to the point. While this book only briefly touches on some of the horrors that went on during this time period, I felt it was done very tastefully for young learners.
The thing I look most forward to in this unit?
Reading “Encounter” with my young daughter.
This title is such a great follow-up to “Columbus”.
This storybook is told from a young Taino boy’s point of view. It touches on his peoples’ encounter with Columbus and his men.
While the story itself isn’t fact, it is based on what might have gone through a young boy’s mind during this strange and difficult time for his people.
It was beautifully done and I seriously could not put this one down till I had read the entire thing — very good book.
This is by far the largest unit with 33 lessons and 6 books, so I will try to only briefly touch on each one.
Your young learner will start this unit off by reading “Pochahontas”— one of my absolute favorite history stories as a young child!
This book will take your child on a fascinating journey with young Pochahontas where she first encounters John Smith and saves his life, bringing friendship and unity to their people.
Your child will then journey into the final chapter of Phocohantas’s life, where she marries John Rolfe and ventures to England.
I absolutely loved reading this title and can hardly wait to share this one with my daughter.
Next, your child will experience the other side of this story by reading “Jamestown, New World Adventure”. This title is unique in the fact that it follows 2 young children learning about these happenings through their grandfather’s journal entries.
I really found this one to be a super fun read!
This unit also includes the book “Pilgrim Stories” which is a longer read than the other books included in this history curriculum and has a full chapter book feel to it. This title is a simple compilation of stories about pilgrim life derived from multiple different sources including diaries and journals.
Almost half the lessons from this unit are done using this title — I absolutely love longer reads like this one and can totally see it being a great read-aloud in our homeschool for years to come!
This title is a storybook of Thanksgiving told from Squanto’s perspective — such a unique twist on the thanksgiving tale every child knows!
This book has vivid artwork and follows Squanto as he is taken captive and sold as a slave. Then, through perseverance, Squanto was able to bring people together with his knowledge by helping the pilgrim people survive and thrive.
The next journey your child will take will be with young Sarah Noble. “The Courage of Sarah Noble” is a light read, but so engaging! While it is a true story of a young girl’s continued bravery during a trying time. Some of the details were strictly formed from the imagination of the author.
Such a sweet read though!
I look forward to sharing this title with my daughter — she too is 8 years old just like Sarah was.
Finally, the last book you will tackle in this unit is “Benjamin Franklin”. Everyone knows this classic tale from history and this book tells it so well! The story follows Benjamin as a young mischievous but hard-working boy, then carries on through his adult life telling of all his accomplishments & the difference he made for the American people.
This unit covers so many amazing stories — I definitely look forward to completing this one!
The Revolutionary War
This 14-lesson unit includes 5 books. Starting with “The Fourth of July Story”.
This is such a great read for littles that don’t know the history behind why we celebrate. It follows the road to freedom and the writing of the Declaration of Independence perfectly written for little ears — a super important title!
Next, your young learner will discover the amazing story of “George Washington”.
Not a detail was spared in this title. This storybook starts on a big farm in Virginia, telling the tale of a young George Washington’s life. The story then fades into the more familiar stories we all learned about as young children in school.
Your child will follow George from the battlefield, to meeting his beloved Martha, to becoming our very first president!
This next book acts as a great companion to the previous title.
Your child will go on an adventure with “Phoebe the Spy” – a young woman that disguises herself as George Washington’s housekeeper. At only 13 years of age, Phoebe bravely takes on a job far above the typical requirements of any teenager.
She must keep watch and listen, protecting General George Washington at all costs – this is a beautifully told story of bravery and devoutness!
Next, your child will move on to “The Winter at Valley Forge”. Much like Jamestown, this title is written and read as journal entries. The story follows Corporal Toby Grimes and his extreme survival through the harsh winter at Valley Forge.
Finally, this unit wraps up with “A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution”.
This is a super informative title that covers the creation of our constitution and the foundations of the government.
I absolutely loved the extras in this book! After the story, you will find many additional resources — such as the names of all the signers, important dates to remember, and more.
The Young United States
This 17-lesson unit uses 6 books — some of which I can hardly wait to read with my daughter!
The first book you will tackle in this unit is “Dear Benjamin Banneker”.
This title follows Benjamin, who was born free while most blacks were still enslaved. As a self-taught mathematician and astronomer, Benjamin created his own almanac. He also had a deep passion to see slavery end.
This is a very touching story — one that I personally found fascinating.
“The Year of the Horseless Carriage” is the second title in this unit.
Since this title is an advanced book meant for older readers, only a portion is covered in this unit. However, what is included in the unit is super useful as it covers important topics such as the naming of the White House & the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Next, your child will embark on one of my daughter’s favorite historical events in “A Picture History of Sacagawea”. She recently discovered Sacagewea while learning about the Lewis & Clark expedition and she can’t get enough!
I know without a doubt this will be one of her favorite titles.
Not only does this title follow her life, but it also opens the door for deeper conversations on Native American culture and the hardships they faced.
This storybook was a simple read with beautiful illustrations.
This next storybook, “Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom” was such a good read!
I can’t wait to share this one with my little girl. It’s such a touching story of a young Choctaw girl that befriends a slave boy across the river — which ultimately ends with his family finding freedom.
“Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom” was definitely the title I was most excited about digging into when I opened our box. The story of Harriet Tubman has always fascinated me and this book did not disappoint!
First of all, it’s hardcover — making it any book lover’s dream.
Second, the illustrations are truly a work of art. I can’t even express how much I love this one.
This book is written in storybook format, much like some of the other titles. It follows Harriet on her first escape in the dark of night as well as some of her many returns to the south to those still enslaved.
While the story itself is based on fact, it’s written more as a fictional story based on her spiritual journey — It truly is a beautiful read though.
I also very much love the author’s note in the back of this title. It tells a condensed story of Harriet Tubman’s life, which makes a great addition to the book!
This unit wraps up with the reading of “Thee, Hannah!”. This title is a longer storybook that follows 9-year-old Hannah, a young Quaker girl through a story of acceptance and gratitude.
Hannah is a simple girl, that dreams of fancier dresses, but a chance happening helps her realize fancy isn’t everything. This was a super sweet title to read.
The Civil War
The final unit of this history curriculum includes 11 lessons & our last 2 books!
“Abraham Lincoln” is the first title in this final unit.
This book has lots of vivid illustrations and follows Abraham from birth to the end of the Civil War.
This title is an essential one.
While it covers lots of things from his boyhood, it also covers all the important historical moments we all know — such as the Emancipation Proclamation.
Such an important read for every young learner!
This curriculum wraps up with “Buffalo Bill”.
This title follows Bill Cody from childhood in Kansas to his many adventures as an adult. From his traveling wild west show to settling down in Wyoming.
This was a simple, but engaging read — definitely a great end to this curriculum!
History Curriculum Extras
This was included in the book pack and is used throughout the entire course.
Sometimes your learner will do copy work, write an original thought or story, or complete a simple activity.
My daughter is absolutely loving this portion!
While she’s not a huge fan of writing, she is a creative soul and has thoroughly enjoyed decorating and customizing her notebook — and as a homeschool mom, I’m totally loving the occasional scripture copy work.
This is a free download that is used with the student notebook. Not only are these activities super simple, but they are easy to adapt for any learner — much like the rest of the student notebook activities.
For example, if your child loves cutting and pasting these pictures into their notebook, but doesn’t have the patience or desire to color — they can totally skip the coloring portion.
My daughter actually likes to do this activity in 2 parts. She will cut and paste, then return after a short break to color her picture.
Teaching History Through Literature
Our family homeschools randomly throughout the summer months (June & July) and only 3 days a week during the school year (Aug-May). This history course will only be on our schedule for 2 of those 3 days.
Setting our own pace is one of my favorite things about homeschooling and I love how easy it is to do it with this history curriculum!
While I chose to use these books over the course of a single school year with my young daughter, you can easily spread this curriculum out over a 2 year period instead.
This truly is a super flexible curriculum.
Just to get a feel for this history curriculum, we decided to get a jump start this spring — even though we won’t dive in fully till late summer.
We have absolutely loved everything we have experienced so far! The stories and illustrations are vivid, bringing the history to life and the connections we get from reading together are long-lasting.
I’m so excited to finish this curriculum during my daughter’s 3rd-grade year!
Another Reason I Love This History Curriculum?
Even though we haven’t used this entire program yet, I took the time to look through each and every title. Something I picked up on pretty quickly? They tell multiple sides of each story. So many different points of view and so many personal stories told.
Students will learn about Columbus’s expedition, then hear the other side of the story from a young native boy’s perspective. This happens again with the stories of Pocahontas and Jamestown and so many others — it is so beautifully executed too!
These books truly have become a must-have for our family and I look forward to learning, reading, and connecting alongside my daughter this coming year!
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Ready to start teaching history to your child through reading? Get your own copy of Beautiful Feet Books Early American History Primary today!