What’s Working: The Story of the World

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When my two eldest girls were in high school, we used and loved Diana Waring’s History Alive unit studies. I fully intended to continue to use the same curriculum this year with my seven-year-old son Joel. But I discovered that it was much more involved than he was ready for, and the audio lectures that I loved didn’t hold his interest.

I quickly started searching for another Ancient Civilization unit study program that was more streamlined and easier for young students to understand. Enter The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child (Volume 1, Ancient History). The book is broken down into perfectly sized chapters that are also available on CD (Story of the World Ancient Times Audiobook CD), so that Joel can listen and read along at the same time. The The Story of the World Activity Book has color pages, maps, questions, lists of other books to read, and fun activities and projects that you can do that go along with each chapter.  We also have the test booklet.

Homeschool History Curriculum The Story of the World

My son Joel is enjoying the stories and activities, and he does fairly well on the tests. The best part for me is that it is very streamlined and well put together: I don’t have to do a lot of preparation work unless I want to. There are projects that take a lot of planning and execution, but there are always choices.

For example, we really enjoyed making pyramids: We created sugar cube pyramids and included my sister Elizabeth and her girls in the project. We also used clay to make Sumerian cuneiform symbols.

Homeschool History Sugar Cube Pyramids

One project I would have liked to do but ran out of time for was mummifying a chicken. There were quite a few steps to that particular project, and it took several weeks to complete, so we had to skip it this year. Maybe some other time!

We have enjoyed The Story of the World curriculum series so much, I definitely plan to continue with it. Next year, I plan to delve into The Story of the World: The Middle Ages.

In my homeschool, I approach history on a rotating basis:

  • Year 1: World History – Ancient Civilization
  • Year 2: World History – Middle Ages
  • Year 3: American History
  • Year 4: Modern History

I include geography and government every year: We focus on geography for the first rotation and government for the second rotation. Joel will be in about 6th grade when we come back around to ancient history, and I’m not sure if we will do The Story of the World again, switch to Diana Waring’s History Alive, or possibly do a combination of the two. I really love Ms. Waring’s lectures and how she pulls everything together and shows how history is “His” Story.  Her unit studies are much more involved and require more preparation, but they include music, architecture, cooking, science, and more.

If you are looking for a good history curriculum, I highly recommend both of these options.

What curriculum or unit studies have made history “come alive” in your homeschool? Do you use a designed series such as The Story of the World or History Alive, or do you combine sources to create your own lesson plans for history? We’d love to hear about your history success stories, questions and tips, in the comment section below.

15 thoughts on “What’s Working: The Story of the World

  1. I love the look of this curriculum and hope to be able to use it when my children are older and ready for this type of learning. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and linking up with Inspired Wednesdays.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I am searching for something with less prep work for me next year. I will definitely check out The Story of the World.

  3. My son loves SOTW and history is now one of his very favorite subjects. It is our first year of homeschool, but I will definitely continue to use SOTW in the future. We love it! Stopping by from the Hip Homeschool Hop.

  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog today! I appreciate your encouragement, and thankful to have found another wonder blogger who homeschools. I need lots of help. My 7th grade daughter is currently working through Story of the World, book 1. It’s perfect for my girl who doesn’t like school 🙂

    1. Thank you for visiting us too, Barbie! Your post was exactly what I needed to hear today. My sis-in-law Rosanna (who wrote this post) has homeschooled her older two from late elementary through high school graduation. Feel free to ask us any questions you have on our daughter’s stage of learning.

  5. I have friends who you SotW and love it. We use Mystery of History and really get a lot out of it. Thanks for linking up with my Homemaking Linkup. Have a lovely day!

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

    1. I have seen Mystery of History but haven’t bought it. I love history so I am sure I would love it but I was trying to keep it simple and fun for my son this year to try to develop a love of history in him. I think I have accomplished that with SOTW. Thanks for your comments.

  6. Not only did we finish SOTW 1 this year, but we’re 80 plus pages into SOTW 2 already! My kids aren’t too fond of the coloring pages, but we used the maps, jotting down notes from the reading, adding additional places, and coloring those in. I also found a wall timeline on-line to go with the series – picture cards! – and we’re doing that. Versatile!

    1. Thanks – I will have to look for that timeline. As a History Buff I love timelines and I have a long one I keep rolled up in my desk and pull out sometimes. My son is 8 so he still enjoys the color pages. I personally can’t wait for SOTW 2, so much fun!

  7. I have SOTW sitting on my bookshelf, but we haven’t used it at all yet. Maybe I need to change that.

    Thanks for linking up to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop! Blessings!!

    1. We love SOTW. My son is an audio learner and he loves to listen to the audio as he is coloring in the color page. The next day I read it to him and then we answer the questions and do the map. The next day we might do one of the activities. We review Thursday and take the test on Friday. Works great and he remembers the stories.

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