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Ancient History: A Literature Approach Review by Heather Jackowitz

Rea and Rebecca Berg
Beautiful Feet Books
1306 Mill St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Rea Berg and her daughter Rebecca co-authored this helpful study guide for homeschoolers. The guide is divided into two parts for use with intermediate (fourth through sixth grade) and high school students. Although the cover says, "With additional notes for junior high," the only note I found specifically addressing junior high was in the introduction: "Students in junior high may follow the intermediate study on their own, with the teacher participating as much as possible." Following each section is an answer key with answers to some, but not all, of the questions posed in the guide.

The intermediate level contains 71 lessons, and the high school level contains 91 lessons. Each level of the guide is divided into four sections: The Rise of Civilization, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome. It might take more than one day to complete each lesson, and students will need to complete two to three lessons per week in the lower level and three per week in high school to complete the study in one school year. Each lesson will probably take one to two hours to complete, as history and literature are tied together. In addition to a Bible, you will need the following books for each level:


  • Streams of Civilization by Mary Stanton and Albert Hyma
  • Atlas of the Bible Lands by Harry Thomas Frank
  • Pyramid by David Macaulay
  • Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne
  • The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
  • The Children's Homer by Padraic Colum
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
  • Theras and His Town by Caroline Dale Snedeker
  • The Ancient Greeks by Don Nardo
  • Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster
  • The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Speare
  • The White Isle by Caroline Dale Snedeker
  • City by David Macaulay

(The Ancient Greeks by Don Nardo has gone out of print. Although Beautiful Feet does offer a substitution on their website, the guide refers to the old book.)

Senior High:

  • Streams of Civilization by Mary Stanton and Albert Hyma
  • Atlas of the Bible Lands by Harry Thomas Frank
  • The Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
  • Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne
  • The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton
  • D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths
  • The Children's Homer by Padraic Colum
  • Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster
  • Caesar's Gallic Wars by Olivia Coolidge
  • Quo Vadis? by Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
  • Beyond the Desert Gate by Mary Ray

Students compile a notebook with maps, drawings, writing assignments, and vocabulary. The Bergs have provided excellent comprehension questions for each book and a variety of suggestions for writing assignments. Many of the writing assignments require students to do research, such as this example from the Intermediate guide: "Do some research on the Greek language. From where did it originate? What modern languages are based upon Greek? What literary works were originally recorded in Greek? Copy out the Greek alphabet in the student notebook." Other lessons suggest that students use the Internet with parental supervision.

Beautiful Feet's Ancient History Study Guide is a tremendous resource, whether or not you use it in its entirety. It is very inexpensive and offers a wealth of ideas for your study of ancient history.

Product review by Heather Jackowitz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2007