Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Igniting Wonder for World Cultures with Picture Books

Beautiful Feet Books

The following is a sponsored post in collaboration with Beautiful Feet Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I'm a planner. And when it comes to homeschooling, few things excite me as much as discovering new curricula that I think will delight my kids while teaching them valuable lessons. So while I currently have a preschooler, I'm already looking forward to Kindergarten curricula. And my most exciting discovery at the moment, is the Around the World with Picture Books literature pack from Beautiful Feet Books.

(Psst! Don't miss the GREAT giveaway and freebie at the end of this post!)

Quick Overview

ProgramAround the World with Picture Books Part 1 from Beautiful Feet Books
Subject(s): literacy, literature, world cultures, geography
Religious Perspective: Christian
Format: Books
Grades: K - 3rd
Language: English 
Price: $27.95 for the Teacher Guide up to $205.95 for all the materials (books included)

Charlotte Mason's Good Books

Beautiful Feet Books is a Charlotte Mason-inspired history and literature curriculum for homeschool families. (If you are new to homeschooling and don't know about the Charlotte Mason method, here's a post I wrote for a quick overview.)

I consider us to be an eclectic homeschool family drawing from various methods those aspects that inspire and engage us the most. What I love best about the Charlotte Mason approach is the use of living books instead of text books. Living books are those written by authors who are knowledgeable and passionate about a particular subject. They make history come alive for the reader and capture their imagination. I used these extensively with my older children and am now looking forward to using them with my youngest.

I also am striving to raise global citizens who can interact with any person of any background from anywhere in the world. So when I discovered that Beautiful Feet Books has several literature packs that explore world cultures, I was ecstatic! 

A look at the Around the World with Picture Books literature pack from Beautiful Feet Books

A Literature Approach

My favorite way to teach young children is through reading, reading, and reading more great books. And that's exactly what Beautiful Feet Books provides. 

I chose to receive Around the World with Picture Books Part 1, which covers Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. The Asian books dive into China, Japan, Thailand, and India. And the African books explore Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana.

The complete set comes with 17 books, a teacher's guide, and a composition book. Included in the 17 books is an atlas that I've been dying to buy for years, but my big kids were just too old for it. I'm so excited to have my hands on it. More about it below...

BUT if you are on a budget, you can also purchase JUST the teacher's guide ($27.95) and then request all the books from your local library. They probably already have most of them, and if not, would surely be happy to order them for you.

The teacher's guide for the Around the World with Picture Books literature pack from Beautiful Feet Books

The Teacher's Guide

Oh. My. 

That's exactly what I thought when I saw the teacher's guide. Seriously, it's remarkable. It's beautifully done. The full-color guide walks you through each of the 70 lessons and provides lots of extra activities and resources to explore, including artworks, nature connections, recipes, and more.

The guide goes from one country to the next until all 11 countries have been explored. As your student completes the art assignments, they should cut and paste them into the notebook (which, by the way, is imported from Japan and specifically designed for beginning writers). Many of these will be the reproducible maps and drawings found in the back of the guide that your child will color in with colored pencils or watercolors. So the pages of the notebook will mostly contain these pieces of art, with minimal writing. Instead, the lesson encourage oral presentations and dialogue with your children to foster a deep connection both with the subject matter and between parent and child.

The Books

And the picture books have been carefully curated to best represent each country. I love the authenticity of each one and the glimpses of culture that they contain. Some have no words, such as Anno's China, which has only illustrations (the back of the book has descriptions of each scene). Each page is full of activity, a collection of snapshots of daily life in China.

Personally, I love that someone has done all the legwork for me and that I don't have to take time to go and search for books for each country and then try to find them in my library, bookstore, or online. Having it all put together saves me time, which I simply don't have to spare. And the guide makes it possible for me to simply open and teach. I can grab it, look it over, then sit down with my youngest and the book(s) of the day.

A peek inside the teacher's guide from the Around the World with Picture Books literature pack from Beautiful Feet Books

What You'll Need

As I mentioned above, this is a literature-based program. The box that arrives supplies almost everything, but you'll also need the following:
  • colored pencils
  • set of watercolors
  • paintbrushes
  • watercolor paper
You may have all of these already. But I really appreciate that there's not a ton of stuff I have to buy to use this program. 

There's also ingredients for the recipes, but that's certainly up to you if you want to make your own, buy it (if you live near restaurants that serve the dishes), or decide to skip some all together. 

One of the great things about this program is that it very flexible and the guide simply provides you with ways to explore and build on the books being read.

My youngest was there for the unboxing and immediately grabbed the book Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. He was enthralled (to my delight!) by all the illustrations. And we've even read some of the books already at his insistence. Totally okay. We read the same books over and over again. So it'll be fun when we add the activities from the guide - that will give the books a fresh slant. 

If this sounds like type of program you're interested in using with your elementary student, go take a look at their product page for more information!

The Freebie

Beautiful Feet Books is giving away the free eBook, 5 Ways to Know If A Book Is Worth Sharing With Your Kids by Josh Berg. To get your copy, sign up here.

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