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Our New History Curriculum - Story of the World

In our first year of homeschooling we used Sonlight with my nine year old daughter. She LOVED it! I loved the way there was so much beautiful literature used to bring history to life. This year, however, I needed to a) save money and b)combine history for a nine and six year old. I had heard so many good things about The Story of The World, so I did some research and we jumped in with both feet this past week. So far I have spent $30 on our history program (I bought the story book, activity guide, and test booklet), and I don't anticipate spending much more. You can't beat that.

My greatest concern was being able to bring great literature into this history program, and I found a site that makes the connection between Sonlight titles and The Story of The World. I have found Satori Smiles to be an invaluable resource to me.... she has the SOTW chapters coordinated with additional readings, DVDs, activities, and so much more! I simply referred to her site, then got on our library's website and reserved the books I would need. (If you're going to do this, make sure to give yourself 2-3 weeks lead time for the books to arrive at your library.) You can also find a lot of information at Home's Cool - which arranges all of the Sonlight books to coordinate with The Well Trained Mind. Awesome.

Hopefully I can keep a detailed account of our activities with SOTW so that maybe others can benefit from our research and experience. I will be adding a tab on my blog just for SOTW. We are starting from the beginning, with Ancients (Volume 1). I made a notebook for each of my children - and I found these great covers for free at Barefoot Meandering.

I put together a notebook for each child. (After searching for "free notebooking pages, SOTW" I also found some pages for narration and recording our activities.) I also had the activity guide for SOTW unbound and three hole punched so I could put it in our own binder. There are so many maps to photocopy that I wanted to do this with ease.

This week we went through the Introduction, which included "What is History?" and "Archaeology". The kids interviewed their grandparents and completed the family tree section from the activity guide. Yesterday afternoon they spent several hours with my husband's father, who walked them through that family's side of history. What a blessing to have him so close and willing to teach them. The learned so much from him! Miss B also learned from my parents about one room schools and farm life. All of my children's grandparents grew up during the Great Depression, so their stories are very interesting.

The Archaeology section was fascinating for all of us --- here are the books we used:

Miss B also asked the librarian about archaeology and she pulled five or six general books for her. The kids have been leafing through these this week. The Archaeology For Kids book is an exceptional book, with many activities to go along with it. We learned about seriation, the eight steps of archaeology, and lots more. The kids are getting a fascination with King Tut, so I have a feeling we will be spending some time on him in a few weeks!

All in all, I would deem this week a huge success with our new history curriculum. Have you used Story of the World? Do you have any resources you could recommend?

Reader Comments (11)

We used the first SOTW book when Makayla was just 5. Literally all we did was read each day and then she drew a picture about it and I wrote down her narration of the story. She still has it and still can tell you all the stories four years later! I love using story for history.


January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTristan


Simply Charlotte Mason has a book finder that allows you to put in the time-frame, etc...and they bring up lists of books you can read for your specific genre! Love SOTW...we're considering that and the books from Sonlight. Still not sure, though. I thought you had and were going to use Sonlight Core 4....Hugs!

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca (me!)

I am currently doing Sonlight Core 2 with my kiddos...but I have heard lots of good things about SOTW.

We are also trying to add more notebooking into our history studies ~ thanks for the great links :)

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendi

We love SOTW!! My kids LOVED the Egyptian chapters. I found some cool DVDs at the library. I am going to check that Satori website. I usually just look a few chapters ahead and do a search on the library website for books on the topic, but having a guideline would be helpful.

We just read about Ancient Africa and then made some of the food in the Activity book for that chapter and everyone loved it!!

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

Loved the ancients with story of the world! It was sooo much fun! We will start it again in a year and a half! Make sure to read all three Gilgamesh books! they are my favorite!

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie Thompson

We use Story of the World too. I really like it!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

We are also using Story of the World and are on Vol. 2. Thanks so much for the links, I will certainly check them out.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

You have a talent for finding online resources. (I've got this pig/truffle visual in my head). Thanks for the links and have fun with SOTW. We certainly enjoyed that series.

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJILL O. MILES

We use SOTW too! Have you seen this one?

April 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Just a head's up...the Barefoot Meandering link has's probably not a site you want to send your readers to any longer. I had printed something from her site and tried to access it again and it's an adult site. :(

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I am so glad that you chose this history curriculum and more so that I found your blog to follow you on the journey :) :) :) My husband and I attended our first homeschool convention. I had heard about SOTW and The Mystery of History and have researched a little. I was checking out one of the booths and was looking at SOTW. There was a mom there purchasing some of the material. I conversed with her a little and was wondering about what age I could start using this and she said that she loved using the CDs and that her youngest son was wish (same age my oldest daughter is now) when she began using the curriculum and because she used the CDs he listened to it with his older siblings as he played with blocks, puzzles and other manipulatives. I pictured myself doing just that and I'm prayerfully considering purchasing the materials in the next year. It will be nice to see how things progress with you and your precious ones. :)

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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