I stalked the mailman waiting for these books. I was given this product for free and I was compensated for my time. However, paid for my time does not mean paid off or that a company will receive a glowing review. I don’t roll that way. ALL opinions are my own and for sure I will always tell you what is on my mind. When I do accept a product it’s because I’m giddy to tell you about it. Read my full disclosure here. Now on to the fun stuff!
Let’s face it! Whether you’ve homeschooled your kids from the beginning or started part way through, choosing high school literature can be intimidating. Until I started using Beautiful Feet Books a few years back, I made the high school years unnecessarily stressful. You want the peace of mind knowing you prepared your teen well by using great books whether he chooses a career or college track.
Too, don’t miss the awesome giveaway below!
How to Narrow Down Your High School Literature Scope
Understanding that you have to have goals or reasons other than needing literature in high school makes it easier to narrow down your choices for literature and curriculum providers.
That may be an obvious statement, but there are many factors that you want to consider when choosing a program for your junior or senior teen.
I have several reasons for using and believing in Beautiful Feet Books:
- foremost is our love for literature-based history to avoid a boring and blah approach to history,
- thought-provoking books which may conflict with our world view or tug at my teen’s emotions are part of my job in preparing him for adulthood,
- the role of the teacher is valued, respected, and encouraged with this curriculum to shape the teen’s understanding,
- as the supervising teacher, I need to be the one to decide when and how we will deal with sensitive adult themes,
- all of my sons need to be exposed to literature which may be covered in higher education,
- a passion for history of any time period is awakened and appreciated through the use of living books, and
- although non-fiction is important for a framework of facts, advanced literary criticism happens when a teen selects from excellent fiction literature to analyze.
My reasons may or may not include classic books, but they always include good books or living literature.
Too, having the opportunity to cover modern world history was not something I even thought about covering with my first high school graduate.
Sticking to the commonly held belief that high school teens need to have an emphasis on American history or U.S. government, I over emphasized those time periods with my first graduate.
Of course, hindsight gives you perfect vision. So I knew with my second and now third high school teen that I could tailor and tweak to suit their needs because Beautiful Feet Books is flexible when it comes to covering history.
Most of the middle school and high school curriculum includes two history eras. I never appreciated this fact until I switched from a strictly classical approach to a more eclectic approach with an emphasis on unit studies.
At first notion, this dual history period approach may seem hodgepodge. However it’s quite the opposite for a true historian. And there are two main reasons.
1. Past history and today’s current events always have multiple world powers and key players in action at the same time.
While it’s true that an in-depth study of any civilization would make a fascinating study, my goal for high school is for my sons to have a framework of key events in a time period.
2. Being able to pull back and look at events happening in the world at the same time helped my teens to make a meaningful connection to what they’re learning.
Juniors and seniors especially have the maturity now to see that one area of history is part of a much larger piece of the history puzzle. Being able to pull back and see the broad strokes of history like the events in the U.S. and world history simultaneously works well for both a history lover and history hater.
For my history lovers, it gives them additional topics for rabbit trails. For my one history hater, (yes I can’t believe I had a child that came from me that wasn’t wild about history) he got an overview of key events without overwhelming him about details which didn’t interest him.
That is exactly why I love the way Beautiful Feet Books designs their courses. All of the benefits of teaching it to adjust to each of my teens likes and dislikes along with my need for minimal teacher prep makes it a superior high school literature program.
The Nitty-Gritty of Modern U.S. and World History Literature
I know you want the nitty-gritty like I do. Look at what this level includes and the details:
- it’s designed for Junior and Senior levels of high school,
- it covers American and modern world history from the 1850s into the 2000s,
- you can award one American history or modern world history credit and one general literature credit,
- it’s a one year study, but we go a bit longer because we school into the summer and we like to spread it out,
- it is Christian-based, but as with all of their literature and questions, it’s easier than some other providers to tweak to what I want my sons to know,
- these beautiful books: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Rifles for Watie, The Red Badge of Courage, Virginia’s General, Up From Slavery, Around the World in Eighty Days, A History of the Twentieth Century, The Jungle, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Yanks are Coming, Stalin: Russia’s Man of Steel, No Promises in the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hitler, Churchill, The Hiding Place, Night, Unbroken, Victory in the Pacific, Hiroshima, Lost Names, America and Vietnam: The Elephant and the Tiger, Red Scarf Girl and The Kite Runner,
- and it has a general literary analysis study. My goal was to be sure that Tiny had a general grasp on literary concepts. We used another language arts resource to enhance this one. Although literary analysis is very important to me at this age, it can be fun. For us that means learning it from books we love.
My emphasis on literary analysis leads me into another valued part of this curriculum which deserves the spotlight and it’s the Study Guide or teacher’s guide.
Modern U.S. and World History Literature Study Guide
I hesitate to call it just the teacher’s guide because at this age your teen needs to be independently delving into the Study Guide. Of course, it’s a teacher guide too.
Because the Study Guide is jam-packed full of teaching tidbits, supplements, and background information, you’ll want to take your time understanding how it’s set up.
The Study Guide is divided into five history periods:
- Part I. Antebellum and the Civil War
- Part II. Reconstruction, the Industrial Revolution, and the Turn of the Century
- Part III. The First World War, the Depression, and Segregation
- Part IV. Building Towards War, the Second World War, and the Atomic Age
- Part V. The Struggle for Freedom in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
To help your student hone his ideology and principles there are themes in each section. Some of them are:
- A Study in Freedom and Responsibility,
- A Study in Conviction and Triumph,
- A Study in Fortitude and Forgiveness,
- A Study in Ambition and Courage,
- and a Study in Conscience and Fairness.
In addition to the extensive notes in the Study Guide with background information, points in each lesson guided us on each discussion.
After reading the books like Stalin: Russia’s Man of Steel or Virginia’s General: Robert E. Lee and the Civil War it made for some great discussions about topics like freedom and prejudice. I loved having the themes to guide my teen to comprehend the theme in each book which is a part he has struggled with in the past.
Because my high school kid worked on his own on part of this, I have to rely heavily on the Study Guide for the answers, questions, and some of the background information. Although it’s not easy to flip back and forth between time periods and books, you can easily with the way this is laid out.
Also, some of the books my son read right away and wanted to delve deeper into those topics. World War II is one topic that my son knows well and never gets tired of talking about. Besides reading the books in the curriculum by Albert Marrin, one of our favorite history authors, the Study Guide has more recommended books and videos in the back to feed my son’s love for the Second World War.
Yet another reason I loved using this is that we needed more help in literary analysis. I’ve never been keen on assigning book reports although I know they have a practical purpose which is to train a child to write critically in the older grades.
Because I’ve never forced Tiny to do a formal book report, but have worked on reading a lot of good books I needed to be sure he has a good grasp on literary concepts.
There are six books highlighted to use for literary analysis:
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin,
- The Red Badge of Courage,
- To Kill a Mockingbird,
- and Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood.
Learning literary analysis should be repeated like grammar and it’s best taught in context or while using examples from literature. As an example, earlier I mentioned ideologies listed in each section. The reason this was important is because even at this grade level students can still get confused between the plot of the story and its theme.
Exposing my sons to the basic elements of fiction like plot, setting, character, point of view, mood, and theme are the foundation of literary analysis, but I wanted to be sure we touched advanced concepts as well.
In addition, there are some literary concepts that can’t be recognized until your child is older. Some figures of speech and poetry devices confuses my teen. So the books used gave him a good overall grasp of basic and advanced concepts.
It’s not necessary to break down every novel, but it’s important to choose a few to do. I try to be balanced when teaching literature analysis because I don’t want to suck the joy out of reading, but it’s important for our teens to become critical thinkers too.
Simply requiring my son to write down the term, define it, and explain it to me is a simple method, but it’s the same one I’ve used since I first taught him to read. Too, we wrote a few on index cards for review because just writing it down once didn’t mean he remembered it. Making a notebook like we have as we’ve used Beautiful Feet Books work best for us.
In addition to the literary concepts we focused on, we also chose a few of the essay topics. Essay writing was not my exact focus for him because we’ve done a lot of writing. When we wanted to, however, the Study Guide made it easy for us to choose writing topics.
The Study Guide is much more than an question and answer guide. It is the backbone at this level and it’s all-inclusive.
Our Experience with Modern U.S. and World History Literature by Beautiful Feet Books
Even at the high school level, there is no one-size-fits-all curriculum. As the parents, we still have to be involved when choosing the right curriculum for our teen.
This is my third high school teen to use Beautiful Feet Books because I love their literature and easy approach to teaching. I’ve never been disappointed with the high quality literature, guides, and help for the teacher. This level is no exception.
As the teacher, I don’t think you ever stop worrying if you’ve prepared you teen enough for whatever track you ultimately decide. However, I do know that my first two sons are doing well in college after using Beautiful Feet Book. I know my third teen is equally well-prepared.
You’ll love reading these other posts for how I used
- Read about Medieval History for Middle School
- Read about How to Teach Science Through A Story – Middle & High School
- Read about When We Used Beautiful Feet Books as our History Spine
How to Purchase It.
►Product Name: Modern U.S. and World History pack
►Website: Beautiful Feet Books – BFBooks
► Don’t Miss: The Getting Started page. It’s been such a helpful guide for me through the years.
►Type of product: These is a physical product but the study guide is available as a digital download too.. From their site: This brand-new study features excellent literature for this tremendous span of American and World history from 1850 into the 2000s. This one year study is recommended for 11th and 12th grade. Students will learn a multitude of essential events, concerning political figures, technological advances, social climates, wars, ideologies, and movements all with in-depthstudy notes, discussion and comprehension questions, vocabulary, web links, and essay questions that encourage the mature student to evaluate, think critically, and express their thoughts in writing. In addition to the historical study notes, we have also included essential literary analysis on the finest works of literature in the study.
►Price: Regular Price: $298.09 15% OFF! BFB Price: $253.95.