Black Beauty Annotated to Teach Kids Old Fashioned LIFE SKILLS

📖Learn Old-Fashioned Life Skills with Black Beauty by Anna Sewell!📖

I love the simple life we’ve created from the chickens in the yard to the cake on the counter. There is one thing I REALLY REGRET though! 😢

That’s not learning these skills earlier! I would have loved to have created memories like the ones I’m making now, with my family as a child!

Our Black Beauty series is the classic book split into five parts and FILLED fun DIYs that teach kids life skills like...

How to Start a Vegetable Garden
How to Raise Chickens
How to Harvest & Cook Apples at Camp
How to Sew Embroidery Stitches
How to Forecast and Navigate in Storms
How a Horse's Body Workss
How to Care for the Sick
And SO MUCH MORE!
💜 and more!

(View full syllabus below!)

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How do the books work?

1. The Classic Story

We start with the classic book, unabridged, and split it into smaller portions to create small wins! Especially for less confident readers.

2. The Life Skills

Every other story chapter, we insert a skills chapter that matches what the character is doing. For example: In the chapter where Aunt Polly talks to Pollyanna about sewing lessons, the following chapter has a real sewing lesson for kids!

3. The Results

Children and Families who read our books experience a stronger connection with each other, reduced anxiety, and increased confidence and capability!


Thousands of Copies are Being Enjoyed by Families Right Now!


The Syllabus: What Each Book Teaches Families

Click the drop down sections below to view the syllabus for each book.

Book 1: Black Beauty & His First Home

Black Beauty & His First Home

Chapter One

My Early Home (Story Chapter)

Chapter Two
How to Make & Can Blackberry Jelly
A Little Preserving Book for a Little Girl, by Amy L. Waterman, (1920).

Blackberry Jam
Blackberry Jelly
Spiced Blackberry Jelly

Chapter Three
The Hunt (Story Chapter)

Chapter Four
How to Trap & Cook Rabbit & Hare
How to Cook in Casserole Dishes, by Marion Harris Neil M.C.A.
Camp Life in the Woods & the Tricks of Trapping & Trap Making, by W. Hamilton Gibson.

Rabbit En Casserole
How to Trap Rabbits & Hares
The “Twitch-Up.”

Chapter Five
My Breaking In (Story Chapter)

Chapter Six
Birtwick Park (Story Chapter)

Chapter Seven
How to Be a Good Horseman (or Woman!)
Horsemanship for Women, by Theodore H. Mead, (1887).
Riding & Driving, by Edward L. Anderson, (1905).

A Few Terms to Know
How to Place the Double Bridle Upon the Horse
How to Mount & Dismount
The Seat—General Horsemanship
How to Find your Seat

Chapter Eight
A Fair Start (Story Chapter)

Chapter Nine
How Stables are Designed
Practical Farm Buildings Plans & Suggestions, by A. F. Hunter, (1817).

A Combined Horse & Cow Stable
A Plank-Frame Barn

Chapter Ten
Liberty

Chapter Eleven
Ginger

Chapter Twelve
How to Bake Ginger Cookies & Breads
Cookery for Little Girls, by Olive Hyde Foster, (1910).
Ginger Cookies
Warm Gingerbread

Chapter Thirteen
Ginger’s Story Continued (Story Chapter)

Chapter Fourteen
Merrylegs (Story Chapter)

Chapter Fifteen
How to Be Gentle & Kind
Story Lessons on Character-Building (Morals) & Manners, by Lois Bates, (1900).
The Horse & the Child
The Overturned Fruit Stall

Book 2: Black Beauty & His Great Rescue

Black Beauty & His Great Rescue

  •  
  • Chapter One
    A Talk in the Orchard (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Two
    How to Harvest & Cook Apples at Camp

    The Harvest of the Apple-Tree
    Apple Recipes to Make at Camp
    Brown Betty (Baked)
    Baked Apple Pudding
    Baked Apple Dumplings
  •  
  • Chapter Three
    Plain Speaking (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Four
    A Stormy Day (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Five
    How to Forecast & Navigate in Storms
    Clouds
    Rain
    The Winds
    Barometers
    Direction of Wind
    Forecasting the Weather
    Points of Compass
    Plant Barometers
    How to Navigate in Bad Weather
  •  
  • Chapter Six
    The Devil’s Trade Mark (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Seven
    How to be Kind: Part 2
    Manners Lesson
    The Lesson
    “Look at her.”
  •  
  • Chapter Eight
    James Howard (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Nine
    The Old Hostler (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Ten
    The Fire (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Eleven
    John Manly’s Talk (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Twelve
    How to Sew Embroidery Stitches
    Blanket Stitch
    A. To Finish the Edge of Flannel or Heavy Cloth
    B. For Embroidering an Edge—Straight, Scalloped or Irregular
    C. The blanket stitch is also used for working the loop and the buttonhole bar
    D. See Couching, below
    E. See Lazy Daisy or Star Stitch
    Chain Stitch
    Couching
    Feather Stitch
    French Knot
    Hemstitching
    Herringbone Stitch
    Kensington Outline Stitch
    Lazy Daisy or Star Stitch
  •  
  • Chapter Thirteen
    Going for the Doctor (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Fourteen
    Only Ignorance (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Fifteen
    Joe Green
    Chapter Sixteen
    The Parting
  • Chapter Seventeen
    How to Help an Ill Patient
    Ventilation & Warming
  • Without Chill
    Open Windows
    What Kind of Warmth Desirable
    Foul Bedrooms
    Carefully Looking to Warmth
    Cold Air Not Ventilation, Nor Fresh Air a Method of Chill
    Night Air
    Air From Outside
    Smoke
    Airing Damp Things
    Effluvia From Excreta
    Chamber Utensils Without Lids
    Abolish Slop-Pails
    Fumigations

Book 3: Black Beauty & His Journey Away from Home

Black Beauty & His Journey Away from Home

  • Chapter One
    Earlshall (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Two
    How to Dress with Style in the Victorian Era
  •  
  • Chapter Three
    A Strike for Liberty (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Four
    The Lady Anne, or a Runaway Horse (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Five
    How to do Basic First Aid
  • The Official Handbook for Boys, Boy Scouts of America, (1911).
  •  
  • General Directions
    Shock
  •  
  • Chapter Six
    Reuben Smith (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Seven
    How it Ended (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Eight
    How a Horse’s Body Works
    The Farmer’s Veterinarian; the Framework of the Body, by Charles William Burkett, (1914).
  •  
  • The Skeleton
    The Skull
    The Shoulder Girdle
    The Pelvic Girdle
    Legbones in Farm Animals
    Feet
    The Nervous System
    The Respiratory Organs
    The Urinary Organs
    The Reproductive Apparatus
    Some Physiology you Ought to Know
    Meaning of Plant Building
    Digestion of the Food
    Process of Mastication
    Gastric Juice
    The Stomach Churn
    Absorption of the Nutriment
  •  
  • Chapter Nine
    Ruined & Going Downhill (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Ten
    A Job Horse & His Drivers (Story Chapter)

  • Chapter Eleven
    Cockneys (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Twelve
    A Thief (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Thirteen
    How to Cook Oats & Oatmeal
    Better Meals for Less Money, by Mary Green, (1917).
    A Treatise on the Art of Making Good & Wholesome Bread of Wheat; Oats; Rye; Barley; & Other Farinaceous Grain , by Fredrick Accum, (1821).
  •  
  • Oatmeal Soup
    Tomato & Oatmeal Soup
    Scotch Oatmeal
    Oatmeal Bread
    Raised Oatmeal Muffins (Uncooked Oats)
    Scotch Scones
    Oatmeal Waffles
    Oatmeal Macaroons
    Oatmeal Cakes
  •  
  • Chapter Fourteen
    A Humbug (Story Chapter)

Book 4: Black Beauty & His New Master  

Black Beauty & His New Master

  • Chapter One
  • A Horse Fair (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Two
    How to Make Sausage Dumplings & Apple Turnovers
  • A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, by Charles Elme Frantcatelli, (1852).
    Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes , (1976).
  •  
  • Sausage Dumplings
    Apple Turnovers
  •  
  • Chapter Three
    A London Cab Horse (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Four
    An Old War Horse (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Five
    Jerry Barker (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Six
    The Sunday Cab (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Seven
    The Golden Rule (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Eight
    How to Care for the Sick
  • American Red Cross Text-Book on Home Care of the Sick, by Jane A. Delano R. N.
  •  
  • Application Of Heat, Cold, & Counter-Irritants
    Hot Applications
    Cold Applications
  •  
  • Chapter Nine
    Dolly & a Real Gentleman (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Ten
    How to be Kind: Part 3
  • How to Teach Manners in the School-Room, by Mrs. Julia M. Dewey, (1888).
  •  
  • Chapter Eleven
    Seedy Sam (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Twelve
    Poor Ginger (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Thirteen
    How Prayers Can be Said for the Dying
    Morning & Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week, by John Habermann.

  • Prayer for the Dying (St. Paul’s Prayer)
    Prayer of a Patient
    Prayer for a Blessed End
    Prayer in the Hour of Death
  •  
  • Chapter Fourteen
    The Butcher (Story Chapter)
  •  
  • Chapter Fifteen
    How to Identify Cuts of Meat
    Foods & their Adulteration, by Harvey W. Wiley M.D. Ph.D., (1907).
  •  
  • Natural Appearance of Cuts of Healthy Beef
    Names Applied to the Different Pieces of Edible Animals
    The Cuts of Veal
    The Cuts of Lamb
    The Cuts of Pork

Book 5: Black Beauty & His Last Home

Black Beauty & His Last Home

Chapter One
The Election (Story Chapter)

Chapter Two
A Friend in Need (Story Chapter)

Chapter Three
How to Make Meat Pies (Story Chapter)
Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking Traditional Dutch Dishes, (1960).
Freezing Combination Main Dishes; Home & Garden Bulletin No. 40, by U.S. Department of Agriculture, (1959).

How to Make Meat Pie Freezer Meals
Lamb or Beef Pie
Pastry Topping for Lamb or Beef Pie
Ham Turnovers

Chapter Four
Old Captain & His Successor (Story Chapter)

Chapter Five
Jerry’s New Year (Story Chapter)

Chapter Six
How to Create a Cottage Farm
Gardening for Little Girls, by Olive Hyde Foster, (1917).
The Library Of Work & Play Outdoor Work, by Mary Rogers Miller, (1911).

Creating a Vegetable Garden
Vegetable Guide
Apple Tree Seeds & Vinegar
Making Cider Vinegar
A Henhouse & Raising Chickens
Housing
Food & Feeding
Raising Young Chickens

Chapter Seven
Jakes & the Lady (Story Chapter)

Chapter Eight
Hard Times (Story Chapter)

Chapter Nine
Farmer Thoroughgood & His Grandson Willie (Story Chapter)

Chapter Ten
How to Cook & Bake with Carrots
Classic Variations in Cooking with Texas Eggs
The Belgian Cook-Book, Edited by Mrs. Brian Luck, (1915).

Carrot Cake
Carrot Soup
Stuffed Carrots

Chapter Eleven
My Last Home (Story Chapter)


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Look Inside the Books

Watch this video to look inside our books! Life skills, especially wilderness skills increase children’s confidence and reduces anxiety! Our Books are full of activities and information to boost your child's capabilty and confidence while introducing them to classic literature!


View Our Sample Chapters of Black Beauty & His First Home


What Parents Are Saying

Parents everywhere love using our books to teach their kids life skills, and enjoy classic literature together!


Are You a Homeschool Family?

Here's an example step-by-step workflow of how we, and many of our readers, use our books to homeschool!

EXAMPLE WORKFLOW: The Nitty Gritty of Using the Books

Immediate Goal: To help kiddos train their brains to draw connections between stories, life, skills, and learning. To help children learn HOW to learn from books. To connect as a family. To develop old fashioned skills.

Main Goal: The goal with this particular style of learning is to retrain the brain from “school” methods of learning back to how children’s brains naturally learn:

1. Curiosity

2. Connections

3. Implementation.

In real life learning, we’ll often be talking to a friend, reading a book, watching a movie, going about an everyday task, or experiencing a problem, when we see something that sparks our interest that we’d like to learn more about. Then we’ll often research and then try it ourselves.

Examples:

A. Talking to a friend and them mentioning they made bread from scratch, then researching recipes, or requesting hers, and finally trying the recipe yourself.

B. Seeing someone knit a project on TV, then finding videos and instructions on how to knit, and finally knitting your first project.

Now for the Step-by-Step Workflow

Click each tab to view!

Use the table of contents at the beginning of each book to see what is taught. Everything that starts with “How to” is a Skills chapter. Take a brief look at those chapters so you’ll know what’s ahead.

Read the book together (starting with a story chapter). As you’re reading, the kiddos can have a notebook in hand ready to jot down anything the characters do or say that sparks their interest that they might want to research later. They could also doodle or draw what is happening in the story.

After reading the story chapter, it’s time to ask questions! Not “test” style questions, but conversational questions like….


- What was your favorite part about that chapter?


- Was there anything the characters did or say that you thought was interesting?


- Were there any objects or animals that you thought were cool?


- How did they solve the problem they were dealing with in this chapter?

Read the non-fiction/skills portion that corresponds, and voice connections + schedule the activity (opt.)

Example: in Chapter 3 of The Swiss Family Robinson the characters build a raft to get to shore after being shipwrecked. In chapter 4 is instructions from 1931 on different survival rafts and how to build them. Your little one can draw a design of a raft they would build as you discuss the different types, guess which ones would be most useful to the Robinson family etc. Together you can discuss and decide if this is the kind of project they’d like to try in real life (whether as a miniature or as a full sized project) and if they would, schedule it for the/a weekend.

This gives you a chance to plan, and prepare supplies over the week. It also gives an opportunity to teach kiddos project planning skills as you involve them in the planning process. Sometimes other skills may be added in to that same weekend project as you read. Like having a campfire (Chapter 9) after you’re done building the raft. Or they can research & follow other interests that might have been sparked by the book.

Doing the activity can be exchanged for, or supplemented by, watching a video about it on youtube!

We have some pre-vetted youtube videos that we've watched for you in our Farmhouse Library Membership!

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