Homeschool Curriculum Review - The Story of the World Volume 4: Modern Age
I love reading books to my children. I think that they can learn so much from good books. I have found a history curriculum that is not only wonderfully done, but has lists of books that are great for each chapter that you are doing. These books have made learning about history fascinating for my children. The Story of the World history curriculum by Susan Wise Bauer has been so much fun to work through over the years. I can't wait to get to Volume 4: Modern Age - From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR.
If you are looking for a classical approach to homeschooling then The Story of the World curriculum will fit your needs. Susan Wise Bauer is also the author of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home and incorporates those ideas into this history curriculum. Many other history curriculums just pick one area of the world to cover for each time period. I do not think that is a thorough history education and prefer The Story of the World approach that covers many areas during the same time period. This provides the children with a complete view of the world during each time period, not an isolated view.
The Story of the World Volume 1 starts with the earliest people - the nomads - and each volume takes you further through time. Volume 4: Modern Age is the last book in this history series. This time period in history covers such an enormous range of advancement in all areas, I can't wait to find out more and read the books that go along with it.
Each volume in The Story of the World has three parts to it, although you can purchase and use each part separately if you would like. There is the story book, which either a parent reads aloud to the child or older children can read it themselves. You can even get the story books on CD, so your child could listen to it that way if that would work best for you. There is also an activity book and a test book. When my children were younger I did not use the test book, but as they have gotten older they have enjoyed taking a test at the end of each chapter.
The activity book is absolutely wonderful and many people purchase just the activity book to supplement other history programs. It is full of information, review questions to ask after reading the stories to them, book lists, map work and activities pages, and lots of project ideas. Each chapter has a list of activities that you can do to go along with each chapter. These include crafts, cooking ideas with recipes, coloring pages, hands on projects, math problems, writing assignments, and games.
If you are going to use The Story of the World curriculum as a complete history then you do need to purchase some extra books. While there is a list of read alouds to go with each chapter that you should easily be able to find at your library, there are books that are to be read with each and every chapter. They recommend that you purchase four books to go along with it; they are all large history encyclopedias basically. I have three of them and that works just fine, I do not think that you need to get all four that they recommend.
We have really enjoyed working our way through The Story of the World history curriculum and look forward to Volume 4: Modern Age. Please click these links for reviews on Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3.