How do I love Story of the World, let me count the ways!
OK, first let’s get out of the way the fact that it’s not Waldorf. Not even close unless the moon and the stars align just so and you happen to be reading the right chapter at just the right time, like we are for Katie Grace right now. We’re reading the Middle Ages and she’s doing the middle ages. Awesomesauce.
But generally speaking? Story of the World is classical curriculum all the way, baby. It’s published by Peace Hill Press and the inestimable Susan Wise Brown. If you don’t follow her on Facebook you should go do it right now because she is really hilarious. An added bonus is that Jim Weiss narrates the audio books.
So why do we do Story of the World? Well, here’s the poop. I have 6 kids. That’s a lot of main lessons. It makes my life easier if we mostly do history and science together. It allows me to focus on things like teaching kids to read and making sure the toddler twins don’t find the knives. It makes my life a little nicer, and I’ve decided I am worth it. I’m sure if Steiner had 6 children all wanting to be fed 3 times a day he would have streamlined things a little as well.
We do enjoy it though. Daniel especially enjoys the stories. They’re told in such a way that the two middle boys like to act them out as I read them. This morning they were in laundry baskets, pretending to be Maori in canoes.
The four youngest pretending to go for a magic carpet ride over the Holy
After the story, we gather at the table. Daniel loves the coloring sheets (I know, I know!) and the older two do map work. Then we usually do some sort of experiential activity. Yesterday we made a snack mix called Moth Mix, because moths were apparently a hot treat among the aborigines. We used almonds instead of moths. Today we created our own kingdoms and dynasties. Katie Grace’s looked an awful lot like Disneyland.
It’s all fairly surface material. I do expect them to do more in-depth studies both on their own and as part of their main lesson blocks as they get older. Katie Grace, for example, is in the middle of a research paper right now. But it’s a gentle introduction to history that they all seem to enjoy.
My only other complaint would be that it’s pretty light on American history. We try to make up for that in the summers. Living in Pennsylvania, there are so many amazing places to visit to learn about America! I also try to plan read alouds that introduce various periods of US History.
What are some of your favorite history resources?