Saturday, June 17, 2006

the Story of the World

the Story of the World: History for the Classical Child
Volume 1: Ancient Times

From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor
by Susan Wise Bauer

This is the history book that we have started using with Tania. I really like the Classical method rationale that says it makes no sense to teach history the way it is taught in schools. It makes more sense to start at the beginning and end at the end. In a traditional school setting, the child learns history as if the world revolves around them. They usually learn about themselves, then their state, then United States history. Eventually, they learn about other Western cultures, but rarely do they learn about African history or Japanese history. So what the Story of the World series strives to do is teach history from beginning to end for first through fourth graders. And in all honesty, reading the books has been a good refresher for me as well.

Let me just say that the first review on Amazon is very thorough, and you can read it for a detailed critique. Click on the book title, above.

Also, some people have recommended that I buy the activity books to go along with the texts. I have not done so. I am not sure whether I will or not. For now, we are supplementing the text with library books and websites. Like this one. And this one.

It seems that Tania likes hearing the stories in the book, but does not really care about geography matters. There is a story about a nomad girl that she was very interested in. The nomads ate lizards, apparently, and Tania is fascinated by that. But show her a map of the Fertile Crescent, and she could not care less. I think that is totally fine. My goal here is just to give her a brief overview of how things were and what happened. She will learn about the Ancients again in fifth grade, and again in ninth grade. I am sure we can get more specific then. So I want to keep it interesting rather than bore her to death.

I do not think this will take a whole year, so we will probably move on to Volume 2 by January. I guess I am trying to do two years in one because I just want to review what I think she should have learned in first grade before moving on to second grade. One of the things I read about the first year of homeschooling after you bring a child home from school is that you will be surprised at how little they have learned. You just assume that since they spend six hours per day at school, that they are learning so much, but it is just not the case.

Well, to sum up the Story of the World, we are happy with it. I have read through it ahead of time, and Tania seems to like it so far. If she ends up hating it, we'll let you know.

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