Many of you are probably familiar with Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of the World history books. I’ve been acquiring them over the last few years to use with our Five in a Row books. I am not a classical homeschooler whatsoever, but the stories are well suited to give the kids an insight into a topic we are already studying with our unit studies.
This summer I was able to get a used copy of volume 1 at a great price which included the activity book. E11 and R9 requested that we do the stories so we started this fall with the introduction. I figured we could start at the beginning and learn a little something about ancient cultures- a topic not largely visited in the volumes of Five in a Row.
There is an activity book that accompanies each volume. It has quite a few activities that match the topics discussed in the text. In addition, there are questions and dictation exercises for each chapter.
We started with the introduction and talked about what history is and how we learn about history. The kids did the Life Time Lines from the activity book.
The idea is to use one or two lessons spots per week to a Story of the World chapter and one activity. Sort of a light approach to Story of the World. I am NOT a believer in chronological history for younger children. The unit study approach to learning that prevails in our home is quite the opposite actually, but it works very well and as our children get older they are absolutely able to place the various stories and topics we have learned into their proper context in the chronology of history. I don’t for a minute believe it has to be taught in order for kids to get it.
Still the history is valuable and the activities are genuine. The plan is to work slowly through this as long as it fits with our studies in other areas. Of course, I’m still going to use it as an extra resource when we come across history in our Five in a Row.
I’m working on a new “schedule” to begin after the new year which of course I will share. It’s taking me a while because I’m trying to align it with our activity schedule. The idea is that a carefully thought out plan will be easier to maintain long term. I’ve got a lot of big ideas on streamlining preschool and making sure we hit the passion pursuits in the afternoon.