Learning through living books and other American literature textbook options has to be one of our favorite ways to learn in our homeschool. We are classical/eclectic homeschoolers, but living books are a must-have in our homeschool because history through literature is just so powerful. There is just something so magical about reading stories about historical characters that just brings history to life! It makes it tangible and palatable, and it allows you to live it through their eyes and words, in your mind.
Don’t know what living books are? The gist of it is that through living books, like the ones you find through Beautiful Feet Books, you’ll enjoy well-written books that offer more than just fluff. They teach about character, life, history, and more. They are fun and engaging vs. dry and a flood of information that you just memorize. They truly are books that come to life through their vivid and well-written stories.
We’ll be focusing in this post on Beautiful Feet Books and their Modern U.S. and World History curriculum. This is a great resource for any family that loves to read or wants to instill the love of reading in their children. Plus, a homeschool family can’t ever have too many books, right?
Learn History Through Literature With Beautiful Feet Modern U.S. and World History
Let’s dive in, shall we?
But first – in full disclosure, I was given the product for free and have been compensated for my time. This in no way sways my expressed opinions.
Modern U.S. and World History is broken down into FIVE units:
- Antebellum and the Civil War
- Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, and the Turn of the Century
- The First World War, The Depression, and Segregation
- Building towards War, the Second World War, and the Atomic Age
- The Struggle for Freedom in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Other specs about the course:
- Martin Gilbert’s A History of the Twentieth Century acts as a spine for the course.
- Your student will cover 150 years(1850s – 2000s) of history and enjoy some of the best literature available on this time- period.
- The program is based on the traditional 36-week school year which allows for kiddo to complete about seven lessons every two weeks. Some lessons can and will likely be completed in just one day, but others will take more than a day to work through.
- Modern U.S. and World History will fulfill both a history (can be U.S. or World History) and Literature Credit.
- 11th – 12th meaning this is an upper High School level curriculum. Though I could see an advanced student benefiting from these books at an earlier grade such as 10th.
- In the back of the book you’ll find a great resource section that includes:
- Recommended books for each of the five sections.
- Recommended Videos for each of the five sections.
- An answer key.
- A glossary, though they do encourage your kiddo to use a dictionary when looking up the vocabulary words of each lesson.
Here is a full list, also found HERE , of the books included:
- A History of the Twentieth Century (this is your spine)
- Modern U.S. and World History Study Guide (this includes the teacher key in the back)
- Rifles for Watie
- The Red Badge of Courage
- Virginia’s General
- Up From Slavery
- Around the World in Eighty Days (PB)
- The Jungle
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- The Yanks are Coming
- Stalin: Russia’s Man of Steel
- No Promises in the Wind
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- The Hiding Place
- Victory in the Pacific
- Lost Names
- America and Vietnam: The Elephant and the Tiger
- Red Scarf Girl
- The Kite Runner
An overview of Beautiful Feet Modern U.S. and World History
Here is a breakdown of what lessons generally look like.
- Read pages from one of the literature books
- Discussion question
- Research or map work
- Often, you’ll find links you can type in your browser to further study the topic of that lesson
- Occasional lessons include a five paragraph essay assignment.
A note on 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 setup, I feel this approach would be incredibly beneficial. And of course, if you can read the books too – that will really help to encourage on the dialog and discussion of each lesson.
If you’re looking for a new resource to really help bring history alive for your older students, this is one that I highly recommend! These are proof that learning history through literature is enjoyable. Find out more HERE.