Looking for a chronological homeschool history program?
Want something more fun than a history textbook?
When it comes to homeschooling and history studies, I’m not sure you can have that conversation without mentioning The Story of the World.
About The Story of the World
The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, is a four-volume set covering the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. If you click on each link below it goes to the Well Trained Mind Website where you will find samples of the text, activity book, and test book for each level.
- Volume 1 – Ancient Times – from the earliest nomads (given a date of about 6000 B.C.) up through the last emperor of ancient Rome. Intended for grades 1-4.
- Volume 2 – The Middle Ages – the Fall of Rome to the Renaissance. Intended for grades 2-5.
- Volume 3 – Early Modern Times – the era of England’s Queen Elizabeth I through the California Gold Rush and the forty-niners. Intended for grades 3-6.
- Volume 4 – The Modern Age – from 1850 up through the end of the twentieth century. Intended for grades 4-8.
The books are written at increasing levels of difficulty, and can be read aloud to younger children or read independently by older children. The Story of the World is written in such a manner that the ages and grade levels can be very flexible. You can easily dumb down or build up according to the needs and ages of your children.
The Story of the World books are intended to be used as spine books around which you build a complete study. One of the ways they help you do that is through the corresponding activity books. There is one for each of the four volumes.
For each lesson in the activity books, there is:
- a compilation of review questions – These are meant to be used after the chapter has been read. Younger students can orally answer or older students can write the answers on their own. (You can purchase a Review Questions Worksheet pdf for each book that has the same review questions but in a worksheet format so students can write their own answers.)
- narration exercises – The instructions in the activity guides tell how to have children narrate (summarize orally) the main ideas from that chapter in two to five sentences.
- reading lists (for both history and literature)
- map work
- coloring pages
- activities to accompany each section of the text
The Story of the World text and activity book together are meant to be a full-year’s worth of Ancient history instruction for the recommended 1st through 4th grades. But can easily be used through 8th grade.
Each book also has a corresponding test book that includes the answer key. They contain a test for each chapter in the book and utilize various types of questions such as: multiple-choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and true-false.
Tests for volumes two and above include some questions that require answers written in complete sentences, and the tests for the fourth volume add essay questions into the mix.
All The Curriculum Choice Story of the World Reviews
Now that you have a nuts and bolts overview of The Story of the World series, check out the personal reviews from our authors here at The Curriculum Choice.
In this review learn about how Cindy uses it in her home, and explore the benefits of using this curriculum.
“We have always been able to use the program as a family without any trouble. Obviously, older children are able to do more or go further some of the time, but younger children aren’t left behind by any means.
In homes where each child learns in different ways, this program can easily meet everyone’s needs and learning styles.
When you keep all of the coloring pages, maps, and other activities organized into a notebook, you will have a wonderful memory book that is also valuable as a review of Ancient history.”
Tonia says, “We’ve used the complete series from first grade through fourth grade and it’s one of our favorite homeschooling resources.”
One of the things she loves is that with two books and a library card you can create a full & complete history study each year.
In this review Tonia shares with us her weekly schedule for completing The Story of the World in her homeschool.
“I had been trying to decide on a History curriculum that we would be using at home and was delighted to find out this was the one the co-op would be using. It probably helps that I “teach” the activity lesson at co-op each week.
Each week, I read two chapters to my children, ages 7 and 5, then we discuss what I just read. Sometimes we will do an activity at home, most weeks we just do it at co op with the others.”
“In using this curriculum, I have discovered a few drawbacks. Because the book is chronological, it often jumps from continent to continent and then back a few chapters later. For older students I don’t think this would be much of a problem, but for students on the younger end of the spectrum it can be a bit confusing. This can be remedied by going through the book out of order. “
Read this review to find out how Brenda adapts this curriculum to suit her needs.
“With a toddler in our household, read-aloud time has become a little harder to come by. We used to sit together and read from this book or that for what seemed like hours a day and soaked up every minute it. Once my little guy entered the scene, we don’t have the luxury of hour upon hour of reading aloud.”
With the Story of the World audio CD’s, at least part of my problem has been solved!
- The kids can listen to the reading lesson without my direct involvement.
- They can re”read” stories they’ve particularly enjoyed without my direct involvement.
- They can even sit and listen to several stories at a time without my direct involvement!