If you are determining what history curriculum you would like to use this school year, I strongly recommend The Story of the World. The 4-volume series illuminates history in a story-like way making it interesting, digestible and memorable. This is not the dry history many of us had in school growing up where you memorized dates and other facts, took the test and soon forget what you learned.
Each fascinating volume is a full year curriculum. Every four years, you can start the history cycle over increasing depth and complexity to your activities and reading. With each volume, the content and activity book are more challenging. If you enjoy audiobooks, the narrator, Jim Weiss, is fabulously engaging. Even my husband and I love listening to him.
Here are the four volumes with the recommended grade levels. You can adjust and tailor each one to different grade levels and also teach within your own family to different ages. I have absolutely loved reading SOTW aloud to my kids over the years, and there is a four year gap between my oldest and youngest children.
Volume 1: Ancient Times (1st – 2nd grade)
Volume 2: The Middle Ages (3rd-4th grade)
Volume 3: Early Modern Times (5th-6th grade)
Volume 4: The Modern Age (7th grade +)
In addition to the SOTW book, you may consider purchasing the accompanying activity book. Each lesson provides mapping, reading lists, questions, coloring pages and hands-on activities. If you are a crafty mom, you will probably really enjoy these hands-on activities. I am not crafty but do enjoy the questions and mapping.
The activity book is also very helpful if you want to do this year-long curriculum with your co-op or in a pod. I co-taught SOTW Volume 4: The Modern Age this past year at our co-op. We had a blast! Students were responsible for reading and mapping at home. When they came to class each week, we divided them into two teams and had a game show-style trivia competition. Additionally, we shared a meal from one of the places we were studying that week and also engaged in a hands-on activity–usually one from the activity book.
When we began homeschooling eight years ago, SOTW was the first history curriculum we tried. It helped to open my eyes that you can teach children in many different fun and exciting ways. SOTW is a beautiful way to learn the history of the world. Enjoy!
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