It’s not often that a community college professor gets a standing ovation from 150 normally apathetic young adults.
But that’s exactly what happened to my American history teacher at the end of one semester.
Mr. DePalma didn’t bombard us with dry facts or burden us with dull timelines. He told us peoples’ stories. He showed us what made them tick. He connected our hearts to theirs.
I now see my story in the light of those who have gone before.
A huge thanks to Beautiful Feet Books for generously giving my family two of their history literature packs when I approached them about writing a review. I am still giddy at the incredible books my boys now have the honor of owning!
History has so much potential to shape the character of its students.
I knew when I set out to educate my kids at home using the Charlotte Mason method, that history would be one of my favorite subjects to learn alongside my children.
Charlotte Mason was an advocate for ditching textbooks in favor of living books that brought each subject to life. I knew that history was a subject itching for a Charlotte Mason makeover.
Imagine my surprise when I struggled to find history books that actual told a narrative, and not just bland facts. I can’t tell you how many books I bought only to find them either far too advanced for my 6 year old, way too boring, or just plain bigoted.
I was getting desperate. History was supposed to be amazing, inspiring, life-changing.
But instead, it was a chore.
Then I found Beautiful Feet Books, and I knew I’d found my kindred spirit. Beautiful Feet Books uses the best literature to inspire students to greater character and further pursuits of wisdom.
They have gathered the best books out there and packaged them in different history “packs” along with a teacher’s guide that makes planning practically a non-issue.
We’re using the Early American History Primary Jumbo Pack. The time period covered stretches from the Vikings’ discovery of North America all the way through the Civil war. Some books are short “picture” books, others read more like novels. Many of the books had gone out of print, but were thankfully, republished by Beautiful Feet Books.
The D’Aulaire books are drool-worthy. Seriously, it takes all my self-control to put these down and not read all the way to the end in one sitting.
There’s no need to memorize dates and names. My boys get so wrapped up in the drama of the story that they can’t help but narrate what they’ve learned each day when Dad asks them at the dinner table.
I really appreciate that the packs are not narrowly age-specific, and there’s no rush to get through them in a year. I can quite easily keep history as a group subject which helps my sanity immensely.
Another cool thing is that if you already own some of the titles in the pack, just contact Beautiful Feet Books and they’ll adjust the price accordingly.
The best part of the Beautiful Feet Books study guide is that the discussion questions are aimed at your child’s heart. Kids are confronted with people’s strengths and weaknesses. They can see themselves in the victories and failings of real people that have lived before them. These living history books are instilling rock solid character and that is time well spent.