I’ve known of Beautiful Feet Books for some time and have always admired their gorgeous collections of books and related materials. I’m sure you can imagine my joy when I was presented with the opportunity to receive a pack to review as part of a group of Beautiful Feet curriculum reviews! I requested the History of Classical Music Pack which is designed for grades 4-8. We enjoy classical music in our home and we frequently bring things up in an unschoolerish kind of way, but I’ve never done anything formally with music as part of our homeschooling. However, we’re to the point in our journey where this is a good time and good fit so we’re doing this unit as a family!
I received this product for free and am being compensated for my time to write this review. All content and opinions are mine and I was not required to give a positive review.
Beautiful Feet Curriculum Reviews
If you aren’t familiar with Beautiful Feet Books, their focus is learning history through literature. Be still my heart. Two of my favorite things – books and history – in one. They have packages for grades K-12 and every one of them is full of delightful books and valuable learning opportunities.
Some of the Beautiful Feet packs include:
- Around the World with Picture Books Part I
- Teaching Character Primary and Intermediate
- Geography Through Literature
- History of Science
- History of the Horse
- History of Classical Music
- Modern American & World History
- Medieval History
- Early American History
Beautiful Feet History of Classical Music Pack
The History of Classical Music Pack is an extensive selection of materials designed to last an entire year if used twice a week. It incorporates geography, history, music appreciation, individual instruments, the orchestra, and biographical information of composers. It’s truly a comprehensive classical music history unit.
The instructor book guides you through each lesson, indicating when to use each part of the pack. It is a guide, not a step-by-step scripted teacher’s manual.
The selection of materials is outstanding. There is so much here and all three of us will have a great appreciation for the scope and depth of classical music when we are done. This will also do an excellent job of giving Caroline a foundation for future history studies in these locations and times.
When we have completed the History of Classical Music Pack, we will have learned about the following composers from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Periods:
(Alas, no Telemann in the Baroque period, but Caroline hears him frequently since he’s one of my favorites!)
As we’ve started on the History of Classical Music, certain names and compositions have already come up. One of the ways Caroline was exposed to many of these composers and their famous works early on was through the Little Einstein DVDs. She has already related certain pieces of music to the various themes of those DVDs. So she has a running start on many of these composers and their works even though we’ve not done formal study before now.
There is a timeline included with the set that you add to each time you learn about a new person. This is great for a visual learner like Caroline.
One thing I do appreciate about this curriculum is that it touches on the spiritual aspects of both the composers and their works. It’s impossible to get an accurate picture of classical music if we ignore the spiritual. A number of men lived lives that were puzzling and often contradictory with their professed faith and I appreciate that Beautiful Feet Books isn’t afraid to raise those questions.
The other huge benefit to this curriculum is that it is complete and appropriately in-depth. To be sure, a homeschool mom can find a composer’s Wikipedia entry and some YouTube videos of famous compositions if she wants to completely do it herself. But how often do good intentions not get lived out? By contrast, History of Classical Music has everything together and does an excellent job of showing how all of it develops and interrelates. It takes the most important and meaningful aspects of learning about the history of classical music and organizes them for you in a very easy to use and fun pack.
Adapting Beautiful Feet Books for Children Who Learn Differently
One thing I noticed right off is there is a fair amount of copying of information suggested. Since my daughter has dysgraphia, there was no way I was going to make her copy all of the suggested information into her notebook. For example, Lesson 1 suggests writing down the names and dates of the Baroque composers out of How to Grow a Young Music Lover. We made a photo copy of the list and she cut it out and put it in her notebook.
Likewise, we are supposed to create maps and label them. I opted to find some maps we already owned and printed off copies.
For Lesson 2 she was supposed to record and define baroque, fastidious, protagonist, and virtuoso. I typed up the four terms, typed up the definitions in another column, and had her draw a line from the term to the definition. I’m far more intersted in her grasping the information about the composers, historical setting, etc. than getting bogged down with writing.
So, all that to say, I’m using the guide as a guide. I’ll adapt the suggested activities in a way that works for our family.
Beautiful Feet Books in Review
Overall, I highly recommend Beautiful Feet Books. For the mom who wants a curriculum with living books and a guide to walk her through a unit, I think it would be a great fit. I am so impressed by what I have seen and hope we are able to use more of their packs in the coming years.
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