Showing posts with label Beautiful Feet Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beautiful Feet Books. Show all posts

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ancient Greece and Archimedes study continued

As previously noted, we are moving through the Heart of Dakota study: Creation to Christ. We're currently up to our laurel leaves in ancient Greece.  Here are some notes and projects on what we have done these past few weeks. I put the name of the study in ( ) for those who are new to the abbreviations.


images from
With HOD (Heart of Dakota) we have been able to substitute a few of the suggested books under the historical reading area.  I came across the Magic Tree House books (again-I sorta forgot about them but my older kids liked them way back when) and found they have one devoted to the Olympics/ancient Greece. I reserved it through our local library and also found they created an additional book to go along with it to give more info on Ancient Greece! Score. So These two books served as our mystery book selection.  If you decide to use these two just look for them via your library or maybe you already have them on your shelves. It was not a difficult read or challenging to say the least, but the additional info book served to rehash what he was learning throughout the study itself.  [They are: Magic Tree House #16: Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne and Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #10: Ancient Greece and the Olympics]


Sorry it is blurry. I found this idea via a MOH (Mystery of History post...sorry not sure where it is tho...). Basically the student colors with yellow crayon a wide area all over the paper. Then colors over it with black. This is the tricky part-if your paper is not higher grade, when you etch, it will rip or not work right. So anyway-yellow then black over. Press very hard to get a nice thick coat of black. Then etch out a vase shape, and then design.  We tried many things and found-get this...the Pampered Chef scraper tool to work the best. I know-go figure.  If you don't have one, try a sculpting tool used for clay projects or Play-Doh (seriously, check your kids stash) or an edge of something sharp but not dangerous.  They will get that black shavings everywhere so I had the boy do it over a spread out sheet or two of newspaper.  Messy.

He decided on an octopus and waves for his. We had a book open with various pics showing different art/vases found from that era.  The people [very popular theme] would have been too complicated so the four legged [must have been in an accident or something and lost a few limbs] octopus made the cut (or in this case 'etch'). Be careful about what books you use.  I keep thinking of the movie The Birdcage.  I silently chucked when thinking back on that moment in the movie when the dude's dad and his mate had the table set with their dishes that were Greek inspired (cough...dudes playing 'leapfrog' not).  Yah. Go thru the material first unless you want to explain how the Greeks were very, very free with some things.  I found these books to be safe enough [some may want to cover a few images if they seem a bit too racy]...and again-got them via the library:

Product Details
The Nature Company Discoveries Library:  Ancient Greece  
(this is a Time Life book and shows no official author)

Product Details
 Uncovering History: Everyday Life in Ancient Greece 
by Cath Senker
(images from

We did an experiment found in the Science Projects Ideas in the House by Robert Gardener.  This is noted as a part of the BFB HOS (Beautiful Feet Books History of Science)  program that I am piggy backing with HOD.  I didn't think it would work but it did. 

I spotted this beauty on Ellen McHenry's site some time ago, then had to wait til we were into the Greece study.  Just look under the free downloads icon, then Geography/Maps.  You can find some ancient China, Rome and Japan stuff there too. This does take a lot to print so be sure your ink and paper levels are good to go.  This is fun once you get the hang of it.  Dad, the boy and I managed our way thru it by mostly guessing, but learned along the way. And he was getting (well us too) some geography lessons in there too. Score again. 

And there you go.  Some more ideas on studying Ancient Greece.   

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Archimedes project

Here is a fun project we did as a part of the BFBooks History of Science guide/curriculum.  The boy wasn't being super neat but he was also using a big, chunky charcoal pencil from our art supply so that probably didn't help.  I just taped the paper to a dowel and we stuffed it in the labeled paper towel tube. I still have to scrounge up some yarn for the carrying strap, but wanted to share with ya now.  I will get pics of the notebook up soon-once we have more stuff in it as it is pretty sparse yet, since we just started it this week.

Again-as the other post noted:  I am piggy backing this unit with the HOD study to beef up the Greek section    because it is fun :) and adds a bit of spice to it.  It is just my way, nothing against what is already in the HOD program.  I also found a neat art project to do via the Mystery of History website and will share that once we have completed it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

HOD: Creation to Christ updates on projects

If you have been following the Heart of Dakota posts, I guess you'd appreciate an update right?  It's been a while.  Sorry about that, but here is a snippet of some of the projects.  Mind you-I failed and did not order the notebook that goes with this program, so I have had to create a lot of my own stuff.  I am still considering it but with only 16-17 weeks left, I dunno if I can now justify the expense.  I may just continue to make my own pages and call it a day.  I will let you know what I do, but for now-here are some of the poetry and history things we have done so far (we're at week 18).

As stated in earlier posts, I am not super impressed (sorry Carrie, not meant to be a slam-it is just me I guess, I like variety) with the likeness of the art projects.  I would love to see some revision with a  few more techniques taught for this area.  Since I do love art, I have been able to bring in my own flare here but for those who don't have such an artsy background-well it could prove to be too monotonous for their student (as it was with mine) but they may not know how to fix it. I suggest getting a few art books or programs and adding in projects that closely relate to the original if possible [yes, I am aware this defeats the purpose of an all-inclusive program.  Since no one curriculum is going to hit a bulls-eye every time, it goes without're gonna have to add your own personality here and there in order to keep the boredom and ho-hum away] .

Anyhoo-in the leaf one, we did splatter painting on top of the leaves (quite close to her instructions) so that is not a new one there, but the blue one has salt added over the watercolor to give it texture and a different look.  It is one of our favorites so far.  The bottom one with the tree is OK, neither of us were liking that look too much.  My son actually begged me to not make him paint so much these past few units. I agreed, so I have only required the copywork for a lot of them-hence the lack of pics to show you.  The reason I am even going down this bunny trail here is that  it totally illustrates the need for you to remain in control of your curriculum. If it doesn't fit your student or needs help-well by all means TWEAK away!  The coming months should prove to provide more opportunities to add in some projects that may not be included in this program. Once we encounter that, I will be sure to post. But for now, thought I would share that little tidbit.

History Projects

This is the salt dough project we did.  I had trouble finding a good map, so it is probably not super accurate. Oh wellers, he got the gist of it.  LOL....

I believe this has it's own page in the notebook, but obviously without it-I had to improvise. It illustrates how the tribes were divided and the student can take the cloth strips and place them into the appropriate sections, like the prophet Ahijah did, as described in the bible.  I do like a lot of her history projects so that area requires few changes (would be a lot less around here if I had just bought that darn notebook when I got the guide..but hey, money was tight and I had to get the minimum...lesson learned)....


Seen now this is where I cannot leave well enough alone.  I have loved (since I pretty much began homeschooling) the Beautiful Feet books programs (I have a much older version, I am sure it has been updated since I bought mine many moons ago).  The History of Science is no exception.  I like to have the student focus solely on this program for their science either in 5th or 6th grade...but with the HOD program...I let it slide....until now.  I knew it covered Archimedes.  I wanted to beef up what is in the program because the boy just isn't doing (too much and over his age/abilities at times) of the rest of the program so I knew I could add some stuff, yet keep it from being overwhelming.  So we're going to at least do the Archimedes lessons in the BFB program along side HOD's reg. schedule (the Archimedes and the Door of Science is a part of the HOD program as well).  I have  created his science notebook that he will keep his notes, pictures and discoveries in (as per required in the BFB program), along with the timeline and the books for this unit.  I also reserved a boat load of books from the library on ancient Greece, scientists and such too.  I will probably have him cover this 2-3 times per week.  I will see how it goes and obviously, post once I have a good handle on it.

Right now that is pretty much all I have considered and am working on. I will hopefully start the artist study soon and composer. We're still working on the reading and writing so I have to keep that as his main focal point but all these things should prove to make this coming month more exciting.  Now if I can just get the gumption to post more frequently.  :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sonlight VS Beautiful Feet and another option tossed in for good measure

Amy asks:
Hi Sheri, I have twin 12 yr. old girls and am undecided between Sonlight's Eastern Hemisphere core (which has been overhauled this year) and Beautiful Feet (probably the Medieval Period). I just stumbled on BF. Seeing that you've done both, do you have a suggestion? 

Here are the programs she is asking about:

Sonlight Core F: Eastern Hemisphere*

(image from Sonlight website)

*I am basing my opinion on the older version that I own.
The updated one offers 3 weeks to look over and appears to easier 
to read/use.  I won't have access to the updated version until late June when
it is available. Please keep this in mind when pondering this info.


(image from BFBooks website)

Sample pages can be seen by scrolling 
thru the cover image on that page.

*I do not have the updated version so all of my opinions are
based on the old one but by looking thru the samples,
I see they have vastly improved the look/layout and
it is much more appealing to the user

And just for giggles-let's toss into the bunch the 

(images from Heart of Dakota website)

*I have not used either of these two guides, but am currently using the
HOD Creation to Christ one. The layout is the same, the subjects 
covered are the core plus a few extra just like the C to C guide.
I tossed these two in because they hit the era that you mentioned
you'd be interested in for the Beautiful Feet choice. On each page
with the description you can download a sample of the pages for a
better look at what they offer.

There are obviously many more history program choices, but the reader asked specifically about the SL or the BFB so that is why I am focusing on them.  I added the HOD because the layout and coverage is quite similar.  Remember, it all depends on what best suits your family and their current interests. We use them all-mostly because of the eras they touch on and sometimes due to the amount of time I have to put into preparing the material and teaching it.  

Factors to consider:

*The era you want most to cover 
*The manner in which your child(ren) best learn
*Literature vs textbook or unit learning-which best fits your family's style and preference
*Your pocket book-these can be spency unless you do what I do (I will write another post on how to save money on books later)
*Your life right now-is is crazy busy?  New baby?  Family situations that are demanding more time that usual?  A recent or soon to be move?  Any big events that can change the amount of time you have to invest in the planning/gathering and subsequent tutelage of it to your student(s) should be taken into consideration so that you choose a program that is easiest for you and your students to work through without causing undue stress and possible burn-out (for/in you or your students)

Now that you have pondered those factors-you can turn your attention to the program's strengths and weaknesses.  Mind you-this is my opinion and experience noted from this point on.  What worked for us may not for you and vice versa. You ultimately need to decide on what you know will work, take a bit of a risk to test something you never have tried before and just roll with it.  Some of the programs I thought would never hold my kids' attentions or work for them-did. Others I thought were just "perfect" for us went over like a lead balloon.  The nice thing about the above programs is they all hold good resale value and some even offer money back take it with a grain of salt and for those who believe in this-PRAY about it first.  It will make a huge difference in how things go.

They are all good programs in their own right.  All use literature as the foundation of the program and all have some type of layout to follow (which remember-you do not need to do everything!).  All adequately cover an era/time frame so that the child will have a good grasp of basic history in those areas.  Some include additional subjects already figured out in the plan (math, science, lang. arts, writing, etc.) others have a bit of it and some only offer the history with some vocab/writing assignments (BFBooks).  It all depends on what you need and are looking for.  I strongly suggest going over each site and reading through all their information to get a better grasp of what they offer. I also strongly suggest downloading the samples, and asking your dear daughters to look over it too so they can see which program best matches what they like.

Here is the chart you can go over. It is not extensive in all areas-but a brief (personal) overview of them.  I am basing this on my guides and how they worked for us. Right now we are using HOD's Creation to Christ program so I am basing the info on what I see on the site and what we have experienced by using the C to C guide.  I hope this helps by offering some 'real world' opinion/advice.