I really struggled with purchasing Primary Early American History from Beautiful Feet Books. I depend on the homeschool blogging community to get a feel for a curriculum before purchasing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find much on these books. There are many reviews of the Beautiful Feet curriculums and forum discussions listing all the pro and cons…really nice information but not what I was searching for. I want to know how the books and curriculum were actually used…too easy or too hard…did the kids love the curriculum…was it a ton of work for mom…Also, coming from the public school system, I had no concept of “living books” or learning through literature or notebooking. I ended up putting off purchasing this curriculum for over a year trying to determine if it was the correct choice for my family.
Primary Early American History is for grades K-3. I also got A Child’s First Book of American History by Earl Schneck Miers for Oldest to read through as well. We are using the curriculum with my fourth grader and two second graders. Littlest loves to be read to so he usually ends up in my lap. We just finished the first book Leif The Lucky by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire and the corresponding lessons (first ten lessons) in the teachers guide. My crew loved the study! We would read a set number of pages in the book and discuss the questions. They also colored illustrations from the book (free download from BFB) and had copy work assignments. The coloring pages and copy work are kept in a composition notebook. My kids were not crazy about the copy work and complained some. JR is only six and he just wears out with too much writing so I started writing his very lightly in pencil and he would trace over my writing with a pen. Everyone’s attitude was greatly improved when I started awarding good work with a sticker…little things like that do make a difference.
The big surprise with this curriculum is that it isn’t just history. I was very happy to discover my little scholars were also studying Christian character. I loved pulling the Bible off the shelf!!! We applied passages of Scripture to the life of Leif Erikson and his father Erik the Red. We studied what it means to have a conscience and wondered how history may have been different if the Vikings had not abandoned their colony in North America. We enjoyed this first book so much that none of us want to do just two lessons a week. We usually did one lesson on Wednesday and another on Friday but I think we will change things up for the next book and add another day.
They are always begging me to read the rest of the story. I even caught my very reluctant reader with the book!!!At the end of our study I added a map page and we charted the courses of Erik the Red and Leif Erikson. The map came from National Geographic’s MapMaker page.
We made “Viking Bread” sort of…there really are not any recipe books from the era. You can find a ton of recipes from a web search. I studied this page from a Viking re-enactment group and came up with a couple of recipes.
Horrible Histories silliness…Leif Erikson and Words We Get from the Vikings. They have a ton of fun Viking videos to watch! Remember to preview anything from the Horrible Histories You-Tube channel first!!