We switched to using Beautiful Feet guides for history earlier this year, and we have been so happy with it.
If you're not familiar with how Beautiful Feet guides work, let me try to explain just a little bit. We're currently using the Ancient History study guide, which is broken up into three sections: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome. For each section there's a set of living books that is studied. You can buy the books as a set from Beautiful Feet, but I was able to pick up most of the books used, and a few I actually had on hand already.
The guide is further broken up into lessons, one or two of which should be completed each week. Each lesson includes specific readings from the books. Some lesson also include vocabulary words, discussion questions, and mapping activities related to the subject being studied. The readings are organized in a very understandable, usually chronological order, so instead of reading all of one book and then moving on to the next book, sections from several books may be read simultaneously so that the same topic is covered all at once.
Here's an example of one of the lessons from the Ancient History study guide:
1. Read The Children's Homer chapters VI-VIII
a. When Paris was born, what was prophesied about him?
b. Why did King Agamemnon join the fight against the Trojans?
2. Read Streams of Civilization chapter 6 to page 122.
3. Read Ancient Greece pages 20-29.
4. Read "Tantalus and Pelops" (a story of the Olympics) in D'Aulaire's Greek Myths, pages 112-113.
5. Cut out, color, and paste on timeline "First Olympic Games"
There's a lot of flexibility with Beautiful Feet, but that flexibility doesn't mean I have to spend a ton of time preparing anything. I only have to make sure I have the books available and the occasional map printed out. Other than that, it's basically plug and play — just read the next assigned reading aloud to the kids and discuss it.
For the last two years we used Story of the World, and we successfully completed all four books in that time. My kids and I learned so much from SOTW and we all looked forward to history time every day. But now that we're using Beautiful Feet, we've all fallen in love with history even more since we're reading more than just that single textbook—we're reading lots of living books, and the stories of history are really coming alive more than ever before. It's just a richer study of history. Beautiful Feet is a refreshing reminder that history is not about dates and locations; it's about the people in history, their character, their decisions, and their role in the bigger picture of history.