Wednesday, July 12, 2017

2016-2017 Beautiful Feet Ancient History Wrap-Up...

RileyAnn finished the Beautiful Feet Ancient History Intermediate guide for the 2016-2017 school year. It was her assigned Year 7 history and she thoroughly enjoyed the study. Below are some thoughts on the various resources and literature books she used.


Streams of Civilization by Mary Stanton and Albert Hyma
The Student Bible Atlas by Tim Dowley
Streams of Civilization Test Booklet
Ancient History Timeline by Rea Berg              

I wasn't sure about scheduling Streams of Civilization, but we decided to go with it. Overall, Riley found it dry, but a necessary component as it provided good background information for the general study. She said the Bible Atlas was an extremely helpful resource and that she most likely would have been lost without it. We didn't use the test book or the timeline. Instead, Riley kept a Book of Centuries.


Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne-
Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green
Pyramid by David Macaulay
The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Ancient Greece by Christine Hatt
D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire
The Children's Homer by Padraic Colum
Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster (also used in AO Year 6)
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Speare (also used in AO Year 6)
City by David Macaulay
The White Isle by Caroline Dale Snedecker

Riley particularly enjoyed the assigned literature. Some of her favorites were Tales of Ancient Egypt, D'Aulaire's Greek Myths, The Children's Homer, Augustus Caesar's World, and The Bronze Bow, which was her number one not to be missed pick. There weren't any literature books that she didn't like.

Additional Recommended Literature

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
Black Ships Before Troy: the Story of the Iliad by Rosemary Sutcliff (also used in AO Year 6)
The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff (also used in AO Year 6)

We read Archimedes... last year and The Librarian Who Measured... several years ago so I did not reassign those. However, I did include the two Sutcliff books in Riley's study, which she appreciated. She felt they were meaty enough to hold her interest, yet easy enough to understand the plot. I'm glad we chose a retelling of these famous epics for her first experience with them. I do intend to assign the actual Iliad and Odyssey in high school. 

Books I Added 

In addition, to the Beautiful Feet Ancient History study, I added the following extra books and resources to Riley's history list...

The Boys' and Girls' Herodotus by John S. White
Genesis: Finding Your Roots by Ruth Beechick (also used in AO Year 6)
Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick
The Story of the Greeks by H.A. Guerber (Christine Miller) (also used in AO Year 6)
The Story of the Romans by H.A. Guerber (Christine Miller) (also used in AO Year 6)

Unfortunately, she didn't care for Herodotus as she found it dry and confusing due to the different names used by the same people. Also, she didn't like Genesis... because it was dull. She said she would rather read the actual Bible than an interpretation. Riley delighted in the Guerber books and felt they made a great spine, filling in details that Streams of Civilization and the literature didn't cover. She also particularly liked the story form of Adam and His Kin.

I still feel each of the added books was helpful in one way or another. I don't regret having her read Herodotus as I felt it was important exposure that she may find necessary or come to appreciate down the road. I also used the Genesis book with Ruben and was personally disappointed as it is held in high esteem. Although, I admire Ruth Beechick and her work for the homeschool community, I also found this particular work dull and would prefer to read Genesis straight from the Bible.

Regarding the Beautiful Feet Ancient History study, I know the Berg's are working on rewriting the guides, which seems appropriate given many of the books used in the intermediate guide are also used at the current high school level. There are few changes I would make at the Intermediate level, but more at the High school level. I would suggest using the Guerber books as the spine at the intermediate level and sticking with either Streams of Civilization at the high school level or possibly the Dorothy Mills' ancient histories as a spine. I would also definitely recommend reading either the Sutcliff retellings or some other variation at the Intermediate level and then assigning a higher level Iliad and Odyssey in the high school level, something like the Fagles translation. 

Overall, Riley had a great history year and spoke very highly of the books and resources used. She completed a variety of notebooking pages as she went along. If you'd like to track her progress from the beginning, here are some thoughts before Riley began the study. Here is an eight week review.  Here is a mid year review. The second two posts include sample notebooking pages she kept.

Also, I scrapped Ruben's history plan part way through the year and switched him to Beautiful Feet's Ancient History study of Rome. You can see which books I chose and what I added here. I much preferred Beautiful Feet Ancient History to Heart of Dakota's Creation to Christ for a variety of reasons. You can read about our Greek study changes here and our Rome study changes here. Beautiful Feet was a winner and RileyAnn will continue with their Intermediate Medieval Study in the fall. 


  1. At this moment I have my pen, paper, and BF Ancient guide open. I popped over here to go over past posts and conversations Guerber's Story of the Ancient World, Story of the Greeks, and Story of the Romans in place of Streams and not loose much when it comes to the content of Streams and the work scheduled in the guide? I know that it would be more reading than Streams. I'm not too concerned about that.

  2. I would love to see how your Ancient History notebooks came out. We are about to start Ancient History and I'm trying to decide if I should prepare the pages ahead of time or just use the composition notebook as recommended.

  3. Aimee, you can find samples of her notebooks by clicking on the links in the last two paragraphs.

  4. I, too, am not using CtC from HoD and am moving towards BF. Ctc is my lease favorite HoD guide and I knew I didn't want to use it for my son. I love how you weave things into your BF ancient study. Have lesson plans you'd like to share? :)