This post is a review of Beautiful Feet Books History of Science pack.
Beautiful Feet Books Publishing offers multiple packages of books that can be used as stand alone curriculum for history, science, and/or character studies, to enhance your current homeschool choices or to use with your school attending children in the evenings or summer breaks. (I have had a couple friends/readers mention they do this and I think it is SO cool!)
Last year Beautiful Feet Books Early American History set was the foundation for our history study and it was delightful. You can read a review of Beautiful Feet Books Early American History here.
This year we dug more deeply into Ambleside Online and following it more closely is quite intense with its selection of books, but I didn’t want to lose the beautiful books and thoughtful guides that BFB has curated. As a compromise of sorts I opted to do The History of Science from BFB and passed all of Ambleside’s science lessons on to my husband. He has gotten behind on his readings, and I am not in the least bit phased. They’ve had a beautiful, rich year of science from this thoughtfully crafted combination of books and the teacher’s guide.
I never would have thought to piece together an historic overview of science, but it is really so neat to see it come together over the centuries and to see major breakthroughs that resulted from an understanding of previous discoveries. While I was happy with the depth and breadth of this study for my boys, I was pleased with the gaps it filled in for myself. I had many “aha!” moments going through this with the boys on the history side of things. (Well, let’s be honest – there were many moments like that with the science facts, too. But history was more interesting.)
The History of Science pack includes eleven books and one audiobook that cover the scientist and his or her work. The books chosen are living books – rich, engaging, interesting accounts of the scientists and their lives.
The scientists are:
Leonardo di Vinci
Alexander Graham Bell (audio)
George Washington Carver
The Wright Brothers
The History of Science set is rounded out with two accessory books chosen to compliment the above mentioned biography books and to explain the science more deeply, a timeline to place the scientists in history, and a teacher’s guide.
We did not use the timeline as provided as we keep our own book of centuries.
The teacher’s guide divides the books and experiments into 85 short lessons. It lays out all of the supplies needed for the experiments the children will be doing to match the scientific study. There are also discussion questions, research and writing assignments, and words to define and add to the students ever growing glossary they keep up throughout the course. We did not strictly adhere to all of the assignments that the teacher’s guide recommends. (And guess what – nothing imploded!) The teacher’s guide is beautifully and thoughtfully put together and is an excellent resource, but at the end of the day it is designed to serve us and my boys would have died had I required all of the writing. So working with the guide as my helper, and the insight I have of my own boys, we maximized our year with A History of Science without doing it all.
A special moment during our study was while I was reading the boys the book on the life of Louis Pasteur they instantly drew connections to yeast growing from their own experience with bread making. That is what I find so very beautiful about using living books – they connect with living beings with their living ideas. We had a beautiful conversation about yeast using the book as our springboard, Google for some answers, and their own experience as their passion.
We got behind on school a bit when I broke my ankle and we have a couple of books left to read to complete our studies, but they will be read through our summer break as bedtime reading (seriously: love that their science books can double as bedtime reading books that they love!). It has been another delightful year utilizing Beautiful Feet Books!