A few years ago, my daughter (then nine) stumbled across a table filled with the most beautiful books she had ever seen (her words) at a homeschool convention she was attending with me. She begged me to stop everything I was doing and go over to the booth with her to buy any of their curriculum that was appropriate for her age and ability right then and there.
As I was speaking that weekend, and unable to break away from the booth where I was meeting and consulting with other parents of differently-wired voracious (and opinionated) readers, I never made it over to peruse their table, though Molly happily took my debit card over with instructions to choose no more than four books to buy, and to grab me some literature to look through when we got home.
Note: I received this literature pack and was compensated for the time it took to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.
It was Beautiful Feet Books, and as soon as I looked through the catalog she’d procured for me, I was smitten too.
That catalog was filled with the most enticing literature-rich programs for science, history, character development, and even quirky and fun things like, “The History of the Horse” and “The History of Science.”
Like most things, the idea of grabbing some of the literature packs for the next school year totally slipped my mind as I got back into the hustle of the routine and end of the year craziness. Though, from time to time, I’d read something about Beautiful Feet Books and remember Molly’s delight, and then forget about actually purchasing again.
Boy do I regret my distraction!
We were given the opportunity to use and review the Teaching Character Through Literature Pack for intermediate students, and I’m completely blown away by the quality of the books and the discussion guide.
Teaching Character Through Literature for Intermediate Grades (roughly 4th-6th) includes the following titles:
- The Hundred Dresses
- The Happy Prince and Other Tales
- Benjamin Franklin
- Caddie Woodlawn
- The Door in the Wall
- The Family Under the Bridge
- The Whipping Boy
- A Gathering of Days
- Call it Courage
- The Little Prince
- The Green Ember
Are you getting as excited as I was when I saw this for the first time? It’s such a wonderful collection of stories, each with a unique focus on different aspects of good character. I am loving the conversations the kids and I are having with these titles.
My biggest problem, actually, is that my 11yo keeps stealing the books before I get a chance to read them with her. She’s annoyed with me because we got a late start to the program and we’ll likely have to put the remainder of the literature pack on hold until we resume more formal schooling towards the end of the summer. We’ve only gotten through the first few lessons in the guide, and she wants to keep going.
I can understand her impatience, as the questions in the guide are designed to spark conversation — not be answered absolutely. This means that they’re open-ended, higher-level thinking, and designed for parents and kids to read the books together AND discuss them together.
I love it.
It’s a curriculum custom designed to forge those relationships based on shared experiences we crave with our children. Do you think that way too? I often think, when I’m evaluating my resons for homeshooling in the first place, that my biggest and most important goal is to really create deep and lasting relationships with my kids.
I want us to have shared stories.
I want us to sit around and remember our homeschooling years as adventures we’ve had together.
Books like the ones in this Beautiful Feet Teaching Character Through Literature Pack, along with a guide that encourages parents and their kids to explore a deeper connection to the text together, help us create those memories.
Why Beautiful Feet?
There are a bunch of different literature-rich programs on the market — some I’ve tried out, and some I haven’t. And, if you’ve followed along here or on the podcast for any length of time, you know that we use a lot of different curriculums and sometimes none at all.
Beautiful Feet Books works well for families like ours with eclectic tendencies and the propensity for falling down into rabbit holes and abandoning curriculums willy-nilly, then picking them back up again at a later time. The study guide in the unit we’ve chosen, Teaching Character Through Literature, builds on itself, sure… but, if we find ourselves in a busy season (like now), we can easily shelve it for a bit, then pick it up with the next book, revisit a few of the previous talking points, and continue on from there.
There are also additional booklists and favorite author suggestions in the guide. They’re like built-in extension ideas, and any parent with gifted or twice-exceptional kiddos knows that the need for extention ideas can pop up unexpectedly with our quirky, voracious readers.
Beautiful Feet Books is a great option for families looking for a versatile, engaging, and literature-rich program that’s going to build relationships around stories, and encourage kids to dig deeper in conversations with each other AND Mom or Dad.
I won’t wait two years to pick up my next literature pack.
And neither should you.
In fact, Beautiful Feet Books is giving away a literature pack of the winner’s choice to each of FIVE winners. Simply enter in the widget below.
Let me know if you enter and what feature you think you’d like best about the Beautiful Feet program in teh comments. I’d love to hear from you.