Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Story of the World

Some of you may be familiar with the book "The Well Trained Mind" by Susan Bauer. In my opinion, it is a fantastic resource for parents who are homeschooling, or just looking for ways to supplement their child's educational experience during the summer or after school.

I have been homeschooling my children this year, and have been on the look out for a child-friendly way to teach basic world history. A few of my friends recommended Susan Bauer's "The Story of the World" program, so I thought we would give it a try.

You can order "The Story of the World" in hardcover or paperback form. Also, you can purchase a 7 disk CD set for your child to follow along. If you are feeling extra ambitious, you can even purchase an accompanying activity book for your child to complete exercises after a chapter has been read. We skipped the workbook this year, and have just been enjoying the fun stories on CD.

This year we started off with the first installment (Volume 1), which deals with ancient times (antiquity to the last Roman Emperor). The program recommends that your child be 9-12 yrs of age, but my 5 and 7-year-old have thoroughly enjoyed their "history time" with this program. I have my 7-year-old follow along in the book while the CD plays, and my 5-year-old usually ends up in the same room coloring, and thoroughly interested in the story being told.

I love that my children are having an introduction to history at a young age. I also love that the book includes both East and West world history. My children have Chinese ethnicity, and they loved learning about how the Great Wall of China was built, and the buried army of Terracotta Warriors- something that may have not been touched on in western-based schooling.

There were a few negative comments in the Amazon reviews about Ms. Bauer having a Christian slant to her historical presentation. There are a few biblical figures mentioned in Volume I, and she does recount the birth and life of Christ. I did not personally feel that any religious agenda was being pushed. She objectively spoke to how these characters fit into the rise and fall of civilizations, and the birth of modern-day Christianity- which is indeed history book worthy.

We haven't tried out Volumes II-IV yet. Anyone have experience with these? I would love to hear about it!

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