Your thoughts between – American History Beautiful Feet & Truthquest

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  • Amy

    I feel like a dragon is breathing down my back.  Here it is Aug. 1st and I am trying to figure out how “to do” Charlotte Mason style teaching?!  Tell me I’m not crazy and it’s worth the effort.  (I bought the 12 DVD set) I think I’ve decided to teach American History to my 8, 8, and 11 year old this year vs. starting with Creation.  Both TQ and BF recommend the younger grades to start there and since I have a 2:1 ratio of ages…  I might go with SCM next year and start with Creation but I’ll cross that bridge next Spring. My goal is to incorporate good literature to teach history this year and try my hand at narration with my girls.  If you have any opinions/knowledge/have used either BF American History or TQH American History please let me know your thoughts.  Thanks in advance.


    I have done only TQ since its release, first with my now 25yo son and now my two boys, 11 and 12.  I’ve done each guide at least once, except the Beginnings guide.  I haven’t seen a BF guide for years so fwiw…

    I love TQ.  I love that the focus is on the “big two beliefs” of every person, event, culture you study.  I love that it is not laid out day by day or focuses on a particular book for a topic but lists many that are available.

    However I understand those are drawbacks for some.  And I also understand that extensive book list can be intimidating and overwhelming.    I’m blessed to own a homeschool lending library with nearly 18,000 living books, many of which are in the guides, so I have most of those books at my fingertips.  I’m also a very flexible person by nature and can’t stand to be tied down to someone else’s schedule.  I’ve been a CM homeschooler for 20 years and TQ fits beautifully.  So TQ is perfect for me.

    Maybe a BF user can chime in with feedback.


    I’ll give my BFB perspective. I used the Early American Primary set the first year we officially homeschooled. I liked purchasing the guide & books as a set. It took a little pressure off to not have to hunt titles down at the library or through interlibrary loan. The lesson plans were a comfort to have but flexible enough that I could add in a couple of books or take one out without any problem. We did skip The Matchlock Gun that time b/c oldest dd would have found it too scary.


    We will use the books again this year for ds7(almost 8) & ds5(almost 6), but I am not following the teacher guide. As we go along, I have found that I become more comfortable pulling together a variety of resources to customize our homeschool program. You may find the same, but don’t be afraid to start small or follow a step-by-step guide at first. If you find it’s not a good fit for your children, you have the freedom to change it. I have many times wanted to purchase both Truthquest & the SCM history guides. They are all good quality programs. Deciding is definately the hard part! 🙂



    I’ve used both TQ and BF and found strengths/weaknesses with each. I have blogged about our use of each extensively, including book reviews. Most recently, I’ve been combining BF and TQ and I think it’s the perfect fit. However, this was after much trial and error so I would not necessarily recommend it to a newcomer. You can read that post here to see what I like about each program…

    You can also click either Beautiful Feet or TruthQuest on the side bar labels and see all the other posts I’ve done regarding these programs.

    With that said, I think for your first year of CM, I would recommend BF or SCM. This will allow you time to focus on basic CM methods such as habit training, narration, and copywork, rather than worrying over which books to choose. As you go along, if you find the reading too light, you can always add more. However, if you’re overwhelmed with choices from the get go, it will be frustrating.

    One other suggestion I have is A Visual American History Timeline of Books…

    This gives you cover images of great American history books from the earliest settlements to modern times. Not only does it make it easier for you to find books, but your kids will remember the books you read and be able to sequence them in history. Our dd, age 11, has memorized the timeline for fun. She’s very knowledgeable about historic events and where they fit time wise. It’s like a visual Book of Centuries.

    Hope you find some help here…

    Many Blessings,


    I have a 7, 6, 4, and a 2 year old. We’ve been using TQH Guide one for a year and will be finishing it this year. We are thoroughly enjoying the selection of books. (Thanks to Robin P! 😉 ) I personally could not imagine doing American History for only one year using TQH. I would check out Melissa’s blog. I’ve used it frequently on my Truthquest journey. It does sound like the visual timeline or BF may be more what you are looking for this year.

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