Story of the World Volume 1-4 Set (softcover)

Story of the World Volume 1-4 Set (softcover)


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Item #: SOTWSS
Grades: 1-5

Elementary Homeschool History perfect for the younger child to understand.

In the quest to cover a little of everything from a particular time period AND present it at a level that a younger child can understand, most elementary history texts are, well, lacking in the "fascination" department. I found textbooks very dry as a youngster, but in my case, it led me to do a lot of library reading on my own. Susan Wise Bauer attempts to remedy this boredom by presenting a chronological history to elementary students using a classical approach and an engaging narrative.

The Story of the World consists of a text and a curriculum guide each for four eras of history.

The readings in the text provide a base of knowledge for the time period covered, and is augmented by the use of the guide, which contains review questions, suggestions for supplemental readings, recommended literature selections, map activities, coloring pages, as well as an abundance of projects that span history, art, and science that are sure to excite the student.

Homeschool History in a story-like format, great for short attention spans

The text itself serves as the starting point and backbone of each unit. Each chapter covers a particular time period, and is placed in chronological order. For example, in Volume One: Ancient Times, Chapter One begins with "The Earliest People" followed by chapters detailing periods of Egyptian, Sumarian, Jewish, Babylonian, Assyrian, Indian, Chinese, African, Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, Persian, Native American, Roman, Christian, Celt, and Barbarian history. The book goes in strictly chronological order, so one time period of a civilization will be covered, and then a different civilization may be covered, returning to another era of the first civilization later to encompass a significant historical event of that civilization. Each chapter is further split into smaller, more bite-sized amounts that lend themselves well to a short attention spans. History is presented in a story-like format that young readers or listeners will appreciate. The author emphasizes that the book is not intended to give a complete overview of the time period, but rather to give the student a chronological order of major events and an appreciation and understanding of different cultures while presenting it in a way that will foster an enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject matter. So, while they wont learn the name of every ruler of a civilization, they will absorb highlights from an era along with particularly notable people and events. Parents often comment on exactly how much their children "pick up" from Story of the World, often impressing adults and other children with their historical knowledge! Mythical stories as well as historical fiction-type passages about young children from different cultures are woven into the narrative to stimulate further interest.

When a chapter has been read, you and the students would then turn to the curriculum manual/actvitiy guide. At the beginning of each chapter in the guide, page references are given for four recommended supplements: Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World, The Usborne Book of World History, and the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History. These selections further flesh out the history lessons, particularly for those periods or civilizations where less supplemental reading is available. When all the chapter reading has been accomplished, the next order of business are the reading comprehension-type review questions for each chapter section. Following the questions, the student is asked to summarize the chapter in a few sentences. The author again stresses that important facts be included in this narrative, but not necessarily every one. A few sample narrations are also supplied. The students narrative is then written and can be illustrated with his/her favorite part of the lesson. You may wish to collect these and place them into a loose-leaf binder, to create the students own world history. After these activities have been completed, you may wish to explore the lesson further, using the list of additional history readings and corresponding literature suggestions. Author, publisher, copyright date, and a sentence summary of each book are provided to help you locate these resources.

A hands on approach to history

Now for some real hands-on work! The activities commence with "Map Work," where a map of the appropriate area is supplied, and the student identifies and marks pertinent areas, routes, and features. The geography section is normally followed by a coloring page, highlighting some aspect of the history lesson, or some other word activity. The consumable student pages provided for these "pencil and paper" activities are found at the end of the activity book. These consumable pages may be reproduced by individual families only - not by schools or co-ops. Finally, the chapter closes with a selection of projects to do to really "get into" the featured civilization or time period. These may be arts, crafts, writing, or science projects, or just fun supplemental activities. Most require only common household supplies and art supplies such as paints & paintbrushes, boxes, newspaper and waxed paper, self-drying clay, etc. Several projects are provided for each chapter, covering a wide range of activities. These could include anything from building your own hut to making your own cunieform tablets, mummifying a chicken, brick-making, baking an African or Greek feast, purple dye, an erupting volcano, an olympic wreath, a Native American sand painting, a Roman chariot, making paper, and LOTS more. Some activities are denoted with a "C" to highlight its use as a good co-op or classroom activity. When youve covered the chapter content as much as is desired, move on.

Story of the World test packets and audio CDs

Other supplementals include test packets and audio CDs. Test packets offer some structured review for chapters covered, and the audio CDs allow you to listen to the content of the texts on the road or wherever a CD player is available. The chapters come alive as they are read by Jim Weiss, a professional storyteller. Tracks run from three to five minutes each to make it easier to track your progress or find a specific section.

Basic Packages include soft cover text, activity book and tests. Complete packages include these items plus the audiobook CDs. You can also get a set of the 4 audiobook CDs, all 4 hard-cover texts and all 4 soft-cover texts.

While the breadth of activities and readings may seem overwhelming, keep in mind that not every suggested book needs to be read, and not every single project needs to be completed. (But Mom, cant we embalm the chicken today?) Spend as much time in an era as suits the students, pacing yourself to cover everything that is of interest. The structure of the curriculum makes it especially easy and enjoyable to use with several children in this age range, and Im sure even older kids would love to get in on some activities too! - Jess

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Why did you choose this?
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This is the best history series for children.
Cecily W on Aug 31, 2022
This the curriculum for Language Arts.
J B on Aug 16, 2022
This is the best history series for children.
Cecily W on Aug 31, 2022
seems like a good fit for our family.
Vanessa N on Aug 20, 2022
This the curriculum for Language Arts.
J B on Aug 16, 2022
It comes highly recommended, the price point is right and we enjoy a narrative and world-wide approach to history.
Kelly E on Jul 25, 2022
World history with biblical history alongside
Sarah D on Jun 3, 2022
I read some online reviews and they stated its a good program. So I want to try if its work for our family
Eka Y on Feb 9, 2022
to go with the TruthQuest curriculum
Janelle R on Dec 5, 2021
Highly recommended to me so we're going to try it
Kristen S on Aug 11, 2021
We used Story of the World Volume 1 last year and my son found it interesting, so we will be using it again.
Guest G on Jul 29, 2021
Great history study - we love them!
Astrid K on Jun 22, 2021
My high schooler loves Mystery of History because it covers all of history from beginning to present. This seems a lot like this curriculum which is designated for elementary of middle schoolers.
Sandra W on Jun 11, 2021
It's got great reviews.
Anny U. on Jun 9, 2021
My daughter is going to college next year and she still LOVES to listen to and read the stories from this series as she relaxes or unwinds from a busy day...this set will move with her to college!
Elizabeth H on May 5, 2021
We have enjoyed SOTW Volume 1 in the past. I have several students needing to read through the entire series together so I needed to buy multiple copies and I liked the price of the whole set here.
Marcia S on Jan 13, 2021
Heard so much of it.
Dongyun Z on Dec 5, 2020
I read good reviews about them from many homeschooling parents.
Inyoung O on Aug 12, 2020
Heard so many good things about these books, I had to try them for myself. I think it'll be a good supplement to Classical Conversations.
Rachael B on Aug 6, 2020
books that my children had years ago - purchased for my nephews
Franklin H on Aug 3, 2020
To supplement our history lessons for Classical Conversations.
Chelsi K on Jul 28, 2020
I saw great reviews on Cathy Duffy reviews..
Bethany O on Jul 21, 2020
Resource recommended with classical conversations and well reviewed.
Paula on Jul 6, 2020
This is a supplement to our history program from Sonlight and need this set over the next two years, so I decided to buy the set all at once.
Linsay W on Jun 7, 2020
I know its a good series! I read it to my sweethearts. - Mrs. Zarnoth.
Albert Z on May 18, 2020
Great history curriculum!
Peggy K on Apr 15, 2020
Homeschool history text
Jen L on Sep 3, 2018
i am looking for compact world history information for my class.
Marie W on Aug 16, 2018
To use with Classical Conversations Cycle 1-4
Diana M on Aug 3, 2018
For homeschool History lessons
Sheena H on Jul 14, 2018
We wanted a comprehensive history to read aloud as a family.
Ashley H on May 13, 2018
Heard it was great
Amy R on Aug 21, 2017
It gives me more information.
Mark G on Nov 19, 2016
Story of the World provides a balanced view of history including world and US history together. My kids (ages 4, 9, and 12) and I have loved the first three volumes and are looking forward to settling down to volume four this year. We use the chapters as a "jumping off point" and then load up on books at the library from the suggested additional reading lists in the activity books.
Jillian Y on Jul 28, 2016
seems like a good fit for our family.
Vanessa N on Aug 20, 2022
It comes highly recommended, the price point is right and we enjoy a narrative and world-wide approach to history.
Kelly E on Jul 25, 2022
Are these first-hand stories or historical fiction designed to give you a view of history back then? If the latter, how accurate are they? Also do you feel it is neutral like the catalog said--my friend said she remembered some controversies that conflicted with faith and had to correct them, so I'm trying to get a feel for what exactly this will be like, thanks.
A shopper on Dec 8, 2021
BEST ANSWER: Although I am not a religious person. I do feel majority of the historical stories are quite accurate and detailed in a manner that my children can understand really well. Even with much of the religion mentioned during certain periods, even though we’re not a religious family I enjoy how it’s explained and working into the readings. My kids do ask certain religious questions sometimes and with reading these books they’re answered in a way I can at least elaborate on because I’m able to understand and learn with them. We’re currently into book 3. I will continue to read them again once my two littles are old enough to understand as well. I feel for what they are, they’re priced really well here too.
5.0 / 5.0
2 Reviews
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1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
My child follows along in the book while listening to the audio.
September 9, 2021
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Fun and easy too read
It gives a voice and context to the many battles and historic events that my kids wouldn't otherwise find significant. My nine year old reads it for fun.
May 13, 2016
over 7 years ago

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