Thursday

Making Beautiful Feet Fit Our Feet

Supplemental and Additional Resources for Beautiful Feet's Intermediate Ancient History Guide

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For history this year I chose to use Beautiful Feet's Intermediate Ancient History guide with both Grace and Sophia. Beautiful Feet has been around in homeschool circles for a couple of decades and takes a Charlotte Mason approach to the subjects utilizing living books, notebooking, and discussion. We had previously used their geography course a couple of years ago and enjoyed it a lot. When it came time to choose history for this year I thought, “Why not give Beautiful Feet a try? We liked the other guide we used from them.” I can honestly say that I made the correct choice! It has been a great curriculum especially since it’s simple enough to tweak it if you wish or just use it as is for a great history study. Of course, I chose to tweak it, and I wanted to share what I did and the things I added to the course.


There were two major changes I made to the program. I got rid of the spine used over the entire course, Streams of Civilization, and replaced it with other spines for each civilization. I just could not abide reading such a boring textbook with an otherwise wonderful Charlotte Mason approach {Sorry, Beautiful Feet!}. Second, I reordered some of the lessons to make them fit into the flow of history instead of tacking them on at end. You will especially notice this in the unit on Egypt.

Since I was combining my second grader, who’s technically too young for the program, and my fifth grader, I wanted to make sure my second grader didn’t get left behind so I added in books on her level as well. I also added in some hands on activities, supplemental reading, independent readers for each girl, and documentaries. All of this sounds like quite a bit, but it really worked out to fit in the time frame we had perfectly. Also, since the program is fine the way it is, if we couldn’t get to some things we had scheduled, I didn’t sweat it. The girls have been learning TONS!

Plans for the first twelve lessons in the Beautiful Feet Intermediate Ancient History guide are listed below. I will add more of my plans as we continue through the guide so look for upcoming posts. I am NOT going to list the plans in the Beautiful Feet guide as that would violate their copyright. All I will do is list the lesson number from the guide. Of course all of the things I’m using with it and have planned could definitely be used on their own or with a different program if you desired.

RESOURCES USED
Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors from Simply Charlotte Mason. I used this book to replace Streams of Civilization in the first third of the guide. I also use it as a spine during our study of Egypt. This makes a great living book alternative to Streams.

Egermeier's Bible Story Book. Reading from the actual Bible is what is scheduled in the guide, but some days that was a LOT of reading. I chose to use this Bible story book because 1) I already owned it, 2) it has comprehension questions in the back about each section, and 3) it made the readings shorter, but still got the gist of the story across. (used for the entire guide)

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. Lafevers. This book is used as a fun, fictional read aloud for the first 12 lessons. It’s about a girl living in turn of the century London who can see the magic curses that the ancient Egyptians put on their artifacts. Her dad is curator of a London museum and her mom is an archaeologist in Egypt. The book is like Night at the Museum meets Young Indiana Jones. (used for 12 lessons)

Gilgamesh the Hero by Geraldine McCaughrean. The classic Mesopotamian hero story is rewritten especially for upper elementary readers. This was Grace’s independent reader while we studied ancient Mesopotamia. There is a free study guide for the book available here (Download the Ancients Logic Student Lessons 1-7. The guide is on pages 30-33.). I just used the discussion questions from it. (used for 6 lessons)

Science in Ancient Mesopotamia by Carol Moss. I love this series for its simplicity and great pictures. Also, most libraries carry it so that makes it friendly to your bank account as well. We used this as a supplemental book while we studied Mesopotamia. (used for 3 lessons)

Gilgamesh the King, The Revenge of Ishtar, and The Last Quest of Gilgamesh by Ludmila Zeman . This picture book trilogy is the perfect introduction to the Epic of Gilgamesh for early elementary children. While Grace went away to read her version of Gilgamesh, Sophia, Levi and I cuddled up on the couch to read one of these books. Technically not an independent reader for Sophia, but I considered it that way. (used for 3 lessons)

Archaeologists Dig for Clues by Kate Duke and/or The Magic School Bus Shows And Tells: A Book About Archaeology by Joanna Cole. We used both of these books to introduce our history studies. The kids preferred the Magic School Bus one which is more story oriented while the other is more factual. (used for 1 lesson)

Science in Ancient Egypt  by Geraldine Woods. We officially only read the first chapter from this book about the yearly flood of the Nile and how the Egyptians dealt with that problem and blessing. The other chapters are very interesting as well, but I didn't schedule them. (used for 1 lesson)

Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne. Sophia loves Magic Treehouse books so she was excited to see this show up on her independent reading list for our history studies. Very basic and very simple, but a perfect introduction to Ancient Egypt for younger children. (used for 5 lessons)


Anubis Speaks!: A Guide to the Afterlife by the Egyptian God of the Dead by Vicky Alvear Shecter. When I heard about this fictional version of the Ancient Egyptians' Book of the Dead, I knew that my mythology loving girl would really enjoy it. I was right! Grace read this for her independent reading. (used for 6 lessons)


Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs by James Rumford. This picture book biography about Champollion, who was the first person to translate hieroglyphs, is wonderful. It inspired Grace to do a notebook page about him and Sophia to attempt to learn hieroglyphs as well. We actually used this as part of our spine reading instead of the book listed in the Beautiful Feet guide. (used for 1 lesson)


The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt by Claudia Logan. Come along an archaeological dig in Egypt! This books lets you experience it through a fictionalized account of a real dig that occurred two years after Howard Carter's famous find. Sophia read this as part of her independent reading. She loved it! (used for 3 lessons)


Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World: This DVD put out by the BBC is more like a movie than a documentary! It tells the story of three western men who greatly influenced our knowledge of Egypt, Howard Carter, Giovanni Belzoni, and Jean Francois Champollion. Thankfully our library had a copy of it, but it is definitely worth purchasing or getting through inter-library loan. Our entire family was enthralled. (used for 6 lessons spread out over the study of Ancient Egypt)


Egypt: Engineering an Empire: A good DVD to show the building achievements of the Egyptians. It's more technical than the other DVD we watched, but it is interesting. My kids would have given this one a 3 out of 5 stars, but I definitely thought it added value to our study. (used for 2 lessons)


Three books are scheduled in the guide that we also read from during the first twelve lessons: The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt , Tales of Ancient Egypt, and Pyramid. All map work, timelines, notebooking, and discussion questions are found in the Beautiful Feet guide as well. We did kind of do our own thing when it came to the notebooking, but we followed Beautiful Feet's suggestions as well.


Ancient History Lesson 1/Beautiful Feet Lesson 1

  • Spine Reading: Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors p. 13-bottom of page 16
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 1-3 (We listened to this through my Amazon Kindle Unlimited account while eating breakfast.)
  • Independent Reading: Gilgamesh the Hero chap. 1-2 
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier’s Bible Story Book chap. 1-3. 
  • Supplemental Reading: Archaeologists Dig for Clues and/or Magic School Bus Shows and Tells: A Book About Archaeology
  • Activities: Map work, timeline, and notebooking found in Beautiful Feet
Ancient History Lesson 2/Beautiful Feet Lesson 2
  • Spine Reading: Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors p.16-21
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 4-6
  • Independent Reading: Gilgamesh the Hero chap. 3-4 (Grace); Gilgamesh the King (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 4-5
  • Supplemental Reading: Science in Ancient Mesopotamia chap. 1-2
  • Media: What the Ancients Did For Us--The Mesopotamians part 1 and part 2 (YouTube)
  • Activities: Practice writing cuneiform in clay
Ancient History Lesson 3/Beautiful Feet Lesson 3
  • Spine Reading: Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors p.53- bottom of 55
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 7-9
  • Indpendent Reading: Gilgamesh the Hero chap. 5-6 (Grace); The Revenge of Ishtar (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 6-8
  • Supplemental Reading: Science in Ancient Mesopotamia chap. 3-4
  • Media: What the Ancients Did For Us--The Mesopotamians part 3 and part 4 (YouTube)
  • Activities: Timeline and map work found in Beautiful Feet
Ancient History Lesson 4/Beautiful Feet Lesson 4
  • Spine Reading: Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors p. 55-59
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 10-12
  • Independent Reading: Gilgamesh the Hero chap. 7-8 (Grace); The Last Quest of Gilgamesh (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 9-11
  • Supplemental Reading: Science in Ancient Mesopotamia chap. 5-6
  • Media: What the Ancients Did For Us--The Mesopotamians part 5 and part 6 (YouTube)
  • Activities: Timeline and discussion questions in Beautiful Feet. This website is really fun to explore about Hammurabi, especially the "Solve Some Problems Hammurabi Faced" link.
Ancient History Lesson 5/Beautiful Feet Lesson 5
  • Spine Reading: Science in Ancient Egypt chap. 1
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 13-15
  • Independent Reading: Gilgamesh the Hero chap. 9-10 (Grace); Mummies in the Morning chap. 1-2 (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 12-15
  • Supplemental Reading: chapter from Tales of Ancient Egypt scheduled in guide for lesson 6 (As an aside all of the chapters from this book are not scheduled in the guide. My kids love myths and tales so in lessons where this book was not scheduled we read one anyway. There are enough chapters to last the entire Egypt study.)
  • Media: To celebrate the end of studying Ancient Mesopotamis, we watched this animated version of The Epic of Gilgamesh on YouTube.
  • Activities: map work scheduled in Beautiful Feet
Ancient History Lesson 6/Beautiful Feet Lesson 6
  • Spine Reading: chapter from Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt scheduled in the guide. I did stop reading this chapter at the top of page 16 and move to reading Seeker of Knowledge to finish out the information in that chapter. I did this because the chapter is quite long and by moving to the picture book at this point it helped Sophia stay engaged.
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 16-18
  • Independent Reading: Gilgamesh the Hero chap. 11-12 (Grace); Mummies in the Morning chap. 3-4 (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 16-18
  • Supplemental Reading: one of the chapters from Tales of Ancient Egypt scheduled in the guide for lesson 7
  • Media: first half of Champollion's story in Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World
  • Activities: map work scheduled in Beautiful Feet
Ancient History Lesson 7
  • Spine Reading: Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors chap. 12
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 19-21
  • Independent Reading: Anubis Speaks! p.7-19 (Grace); Mummies in the Morning chap. 5-6 (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 19
  • Supplemental Reading: the other chapter from Tales of Ancient Egypt scheduled in the guide for lesson 7
  • Media: second half of Champollion's story in Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World
Ancient History Lesson 8/Beautiful Feet Lesson 7
  • Spine Reading: chapter from The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt scheduled in the guide and discussion questions from guide
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 22-24
  • Independent Reading: Anubis Speaks! p. 21-30 (Grace); Mummies in the Morning chap. 7-8 (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 20 
  • Supplemental Reading: Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors chap. 1 and one of the chapters from Tales of Ancient Egypt scheduled for lesson 8
Ancient History Lesson 9/Beautiful Feet Lesson 8
  • Spine Reading: chapter from The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt scheduled in the guide and discussion questions from guide
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 25-27
  • Independent Reading: Anubis Speaks! p. 31-44 (Grace); Mummies in the Morning chap. 9-10 (Sophia)
  • Bible Reading: Egermeier's Bible Story Book chap. 21-22 (see discussion for this passage in the BF guide)
  • Supplemental Reading: Pyramid reading and discussion questions from lesson 14 in guide; the other chapter from Tales of Ancient Egypt scheduled for this lesson
Ancient History Lesson 10
  • Spine Reading: Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors chap. 4
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 28-30
  • Indpendent Reading: Anubis Speaks! p. 45-68 (Grace); The 5,000 Year Old Puzzle p. 2-13 (Sophia and I take turns reading this one. She would read one page and I would read the next.)
  • No Bible Reading
  • Supplemental Reading: Pyramid reading and discussion questions from lesson 15 in the guide; choose a chapter to read from Tales of Ancient Egypt that is not scheduled in the guide
Ancient History Lesson 11
  • No spine reading
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 31-33
  • Independent Reading: Anubis Speaks! p. 69-80 (Grace); The 5,000 Year Old Puzzle p. 14-25 (Sophia)
  • No Bible reading
  • Supplemental Reading: pages from Pyramid scheduled in lesson 16 and half of the pages scheduled in lesson 17; choose a chapter to read from Tales of Ancient Egypt that is not scheduled in the guide
  • Media: first half of Egypt: Engineering an Empire
Ancient History Lesson 12
  • No spine reading
  • Fictional Read Aloud: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos chap. 34-36
  • Independent Reading: Anubis Speaks! p. 81-103 (Grace); The 5,000 Year Old Puzzle p. 26-38 (Sophia)
  • No Bible Reading
  • Supplemental Reading: last half of the pages from Pyramid scheduled in lesson 17 and all the pages scheduled in lesson 18; choose a chapter to read from Tales of Ancient Egypt that is not scheduled in the guide
  • Media: second half of Egypt: Engineering an Empire
These are my additional and replacement plans and readings for Beautiful Feet for the first 12 lessons of our history studies and the first 8 lessons of the Beautiful Feet guide. After reading all of this you might be thinking, "Why'd she even buy the guide to start with?" The answer is pretty simple. The guide is cheap, and I like the way it schedules things out. It gives me a good place to start from to rearrange it the way that I want. Also, I played around with the Ancient Egypt section much more than I did the sections on Greece and Rome. Stay tuned for the rest of the Egypt lessons coming up in a few weeks.

Walking like an Egyptian in the tree house,

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for these resources! I love finding new books to check out, and we'll be studying the ancients this coming school year so I'm in full on search mode now.

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    1. Glad to help out, Jennifer. Ancients is a fun study.

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  2. Thank you for sharing these plans! I have been looking possibly at BF for ancients next year and would also want to switch out Streams. I can't understand why so many companies use it. Great suggestion to use SCM's book. These are great plans!

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  3. Hi. I've been following your blog for a while, particularly your planning posts, but haven't had a reason to comment until now.

    I really love how you supplemented the BF ancients year but you stopped with Egypt. I don't expect you to write a whole post on Greece and Rome when this post was over a year ago, but I was wondering if you could share what, if any, supplements really stood out for you from those two cultures.

    Another thing I was curious about was your ultimate assessment of how your second grader did with this. I'm planning for my daughter, with whom I'll start second grade in July, she is my oldest child and we did AO 1 last year. I'm considering leaving AO in favor of a more do-it-myself style using the guidance Nicole gives on her blog, A Sabbath Mood. Anyway, I was considering doing BF's Early American History but my daughter has asked to do Ancients and has had a sustained interest in that era for a long time. I really don't want to go the Story of the World route, I'd prefer to stick to living books, and while the activity guide is useful for maps and ideas, I really dislike the arbitrary four year history cycle. However, as I was reading about the BF program and the reviews of the individual texts on Amazon, it really sounds like many of them are not recommended for second graders, though I would say my daughter did extremely well with the AO texts, and I anticipated no trouble with commonly criticized AO 2 texts like The Little Duke. So I'm really not sure what to do. Would you say your second grader did better because her older sister was a part of it or did she do well with it on her own?

    Lastly, I noticed today that you posted in a thread where the OP wants to deviate from the texts Mater Amabilis uses. In your comments, you said you weren't doing history or science together anymore. How did that come about? What are you using now? Did the disparity in levels during the year of Ancients have anything to do with it?

    Thanks for your help and any advice!

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  4. Thanks for posting your lessons for the Ancients! I'm starting this unit with my 4th and 6th graders. I just received my box from Beautiful Feet and I truly appreciate your option of replacing the spine! I know you posted these lessons long ago, but is there any chance you could share the rest of your plans? At the very least, could you update me on the spines you used for the other cultures? Thanks again!

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    1. I agree!! I would love to see what you did for the other cultures as well, past the first 12 weeks!!

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