History with Living Books term 1 | Beautiful Feet Books

Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God.

This year, for the first time ever, I am following a set schedule for our history reading- using the engaging books and useful guidebook published by Beautiful Feet. You can read my intro post to this living books approach to history here. Now that we are finishing off our first term (6 weeks) I wanted to write an update on how it is working for us.

Term one led us through the lives of Leif Erikson and Christopher Columbus with the beautiful D’aulaire books and the thoughtful questions from the guidebook.Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God.Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God.

“There was once a boy who loved the salty sea. He would be a seaman when he grew up. He would not be a weaver like his father, who sat all day in a dark, little shop weaving yarn into cloth. A ship would be his shuttle, the waves his warp, the wide and bounding sea his loom.”

That is just a taste of the beautiful language these books contain that paint such vivid images for your mind and dance you through history with living books.

Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God.

Here is where I must offer up my secret confession:

I was terrified about the pace.

I know many whom stretch these books into two years.

But can I be honest? The pace is much slower than what we normally do.

Two books (which was 18 lessons) over the course of 6 weeks seemed painfully slow.

I had previously read the boys Leif the Lucky as a bedtime story in one night and I wasn’t entirely certain what to think of this slower pace that the manual lays out.

I dutifully followed the reading plan laid out in the guide, and while narration and conversations have always been a part of our family culture, I have been pleased with this slowing down and marinating of the characters. We have labored, adventured, and talked over these men for 6 weeks. I feel as if we know them more intimately.

“Having found the book which has a message for us, let us not be guilty of the folly of saying we have read it. We might as well say we have breakfasted, as if breakfasting on one day should last us for every day! The book that helps us deserves many readings, for assimilation comes by slow degrees.” -Charlotte Mason

Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God. Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God.

I had formatted, printed and bound all of the resources from BFB for the Early American History books and we have kept pace with working through them.  My third grader is not overly enthusiastic about coloring in the pictures, but my second grader enjoys doing that as I read. Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God.I have really enjoyed the questions that the guide shares to stimulate conversations. A lot of them focus on the character of a person, and I am convinced that this is a powerful way for us to learn. In fact, it is point number 11 in our list of 13 ways to help protect our children from the addiction of pornography. Connect them to great men of the past – talk about the strengths and weakness. Cause and effect.

The Early American History guide book has done an excellent job at extracting deeper conversations with our sons about the character of Leif and Columbus and I am looking forward to us finishing off the life of Columbus (an oral presentation is required) and studying the life of Pocahontas, the details of Jamestown, and some of the pilgrim stories in term two.Dance through history with living books that paint beautiful images in your mind, connect you with great men of old, and lead you through deep conversations on character, cause and effect, and God.

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Jessica Lynette

14 Comments

  1. This looks fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing. We tend to read through books pretty quickly too so this is a great reminder that sometimes we should go back and take a slower pace:)
    As an aside, a long time ago I purchased one of the Little Pear books based on your recommendation. My kids loved it and my almost 10 year old still pulls it our sometimes to read again. Last weekend she went camping with some of her friends and it was among the books she brought to read (she tends to wake up before everyone else and reads until they get up too). She said that two of her friends loved the stories so much they wrote down the title and author to ask for it on their birthdays:) Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. i would love to know how you set up your bound notebooks for your kids! I get a little overwhelmed with papers.. and we are going to be starting this history so I love your method!

    • I am still waiting to hear from the publishers if I can share it … but your comment inspired an idea if they say no… I can do a how-to! 🙂

  3. Any more word on whether or not you’ll be able to offer these wonderful notebooking pages? Or how you made them? We are doing Early American History as well and the glue sticks are killing me 🙂

    • Denise – no update. But I think I will do a how-to in the next couple weeks!! It has been wonderful having NO GLUE STICKS!! haha.

  4. Can you share what fonts you used both for the cover and the inside? Thanks!

    • Sorry – this comment slipped between the cracks and I am just now seeing it.
      The cover font was BFB’s book so I am not sure what it was.
      My own pages used Tolyer – that line has a few variations and I am not sure which one it was. I purchased the font from a bulk font discount site a while ago.

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