Looking to ditch the textbooks and use real books in your homeschool? Here are the best ancient history living books for your middle school student that will keep them engaged and interested.
We all know that the best way to learn is to find the subject matter interesting and to have fun while learning. If you want to use interesting books to inspire your child’s love of learning, a well-written, engaging story can be a great way to do it.
Charlotte Mason called this type of literature living books.
But what is a living book, you ask?
It’s a book that doesn’t just tell a story but brings the story to life through vivid descriptions, interesting characters, and a plot that keeps your child’s full attention.
However, the middle school years can be tough. It can be hard to get them interested and keep them engaged in learning. Ancient history seems so, well . . . ancient.
Don’t despair, here are the best ancient history living books for your middle schoolers.
This is a sponsored post. I was compensated for my time but all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. You can find my disclosure policy here.
The Best Middle School History Living Books
I am always looking for new titles to add to my homeschool library. My first choice is always a book that enriches the learning experience by inspiring the kids to ask questions, seek answers, and formulate their own opinions.
Most living books encourage students to interact with the story through dialogue, debate, and research. They are written by passionate authors who love the subject, rather than by textbook committees tasked with sanitizing and condensing history.
But homeschooling parents are busy! When are we going to find the time to research and find this wonderful literature to include in our homeschool?
Don’t worry, someone has already done that research for you and pulled together the best titles to include in you ancient history study.
Where to Find the Best Living Books?
I’m going to let you in on a homeschool hack . . . pro-tip . . . insider’s secret. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or spend hours at the library pouring over every possible option.
The wonderful people at Beautiful Feet Books specialize in finding all those fabulous literary works to include in your homeschool and learning. And when such a wonderful curriculum provider offers me a look at their selections, of course, I say yes.
What Makes Beautiful Feet Books Different?
Beautiful Feet Books offers a wide-range of Literature Packs from Kindergarten to High School, that are Charlotte Mason inspired and include teacher’s guides to help you go beyond simply collecting a stack of books.
Their easy-to-use guides make learning an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the entire family. It also gives you a simple structure that doesn’t control your homeschool but lays out a plan that allows you to do the next thing.
Intermediate Ancient History with Beautiful Feet Books
Ancient History has always been a fascinating topic for me because it’s an area I feel my education was severely lacking. Luckily, as a homeschool parent, I get to learn right alongside my children.
When I opened the Beautiful Feet Books box, I was delighted to find many of our longtime favorites, such as D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, Augustus Caesar’s World, and the Encyclopedia of the Ancient World.
But why stop there? BF Books has also included wonderful historical fiction such as The Bronze Bow, Adara, and The Golden Goblet.
This study will start you and your fifth through eighth-graders from the beginnings of civilization in Mesopotamia and Sumer. Then, you journey through ancient Egypt, the wanderings of the Jews, and the division of the Israelites. Finally, you learn about the beginnings of democracy in ancient Greece, the rising Roman Empire, and the birth of Christianity.
The Teacher’s Guide provides hands-on activities to reinforce the story, while vocabulary lists, comprehension questions, research topics, and website links make this book a valuable resource that will engage your whole family. The Teacher’s Guide provides the structure you want and the flexibility you need to teach this complex period of history successfully.
What Does the BF Books Intermediate Ancient History Literature Pack Include?
In short, the Beautiful Feet Books Literature Packs contain everything you need for a year-long study. Specifically, the Intermediate Ancient History Pack contains a Teacher’s Guide, Timeline, and 13 required books.
The Teacher’s Guide is so easy to use and just what I love to see in a homeschool curriculum. When I see grids and have to flip back and forth, I lose any flow and concentration I might have that day. This guide is simple. Each lesson is listed from 1 to 97, and you simply proceed through each day.
Charlotte Mason simplicity at it’s finest.
The lesson plans are also divided into five time periods:
- Ancient Sumer and Mesopotamia
- Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Israel and Judah
- Ancient Greece
- Ancient Rome
Each period includes optional supplemental literature selections, as well as hands-on activities to add to your study. What I also love about the optional literature and activities is that it isn’t too much. We’ve all see curriculum overflowing with ideas and book options that we become overwhelmed. My perfectionist side comes out when that happens, and I figure if I can’t do it all, why bother.
The Beautiful Feet Books Teacher’s Guide is a great balance of simplicity and ease of use.
Each literature pack from Beautiful Feet Books contains some of the best living books available for the topic. The Intermediate Ancient History Pack is filled with thirteen books perfect for a literature-based history study.
- Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne
- Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World
- Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster
- The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Speare
- The White Isle by Caroline Dale Snedeker
- Theras and His Town by Caroline Dale Snedeker
- God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah by Joanne Williamson and Daria M. Sockey
- The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
- Adara by Beatrice Gormley
- The Golden Bull: A Mesopotamian Adventure by Marjorie Cowley
- The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum
- City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction by David Macaulay
- D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D”Aulaire
Perhaps you’ve been homeschooling for a while, like myself, and several of these books have already found their way into your home library? That’s okay; Beautiful Feet Books makes it easy for your to remove up to three unneeded books and reduce your expense.
Ancient History Timeline
If you’re like me, you always intend to create a timeline, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. The BF Books timeline makes it easy and your kids can complete it without a lot of extra work for you. Everything they need is included, which means it will actually happen.
The Intermediate Ancient History timeline includes 36 dated illustrations to help your children understand the colorful events of the ancient world. Well-known figures such as Hammurabi, Akhenaten, King Solomon, Homer, Solon, Pythagoras, Hannibal, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and many others take their place with major historical events such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the construction of the Great Wall of China, and the birth of Christ. This timeline helps students understand the chronology of historical events and a fun project.
It features illustrations of significant events and people, which students cut out, color, and glue to four 6″ x 34″ cardboard strips that are foldable for convenient storage in the student notebook. If you want the whole family to benefit from the timeline, hang it up and watch it take shape over your year of study.
The Benefit of History Living Books for Middle School Students
Homeschooling a middle schooler can be tough. They feel they are too old for picture books and aren’t quite ready for the heftier books of high school and beyond. However, we don’t want to bore them with the regurgitation of facts and dates often found in textbooks.
That’s why continuing to use living books in middle school is a great homeschooling option. The vivid descriptions and engaging stories keep their attention and bring the past to life in a way they can understand.
However, pulling all of it together from scratch can become an overwhelming task for a homeschooling parent who still has to find the time to cook dinner and pay bills. So take that chore off your plate by using Beautiful Feet Books.
When you do, you know you are getting carefully selected books that will encourage and complement your homeschool without all the endless searching.