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aspiecat
07-15-2014, 08:42 PM
I used SOTW Vol. 1 some years ago now (when DS was nine!), and was wondering of the validity of using it now he is in high school. Hmmm...actually, he's on track to complete his Sophomore year in one semester (his idea...we think he'll do it) but the History curriculum I've chosen...I am not sure if it's truly clicking with him.

He's understanding it all, and able to discuss the concepts at length, however I feel he is not enjoying it. That in itself isn't a problem, but he wants to do Civics, Economics and Geography as well as History this semester, and I don't think this History syllabus is doing the "small amount of information...gather more from other places...discuss LOTS...watch DVDs on particular interest areas...etc." thing that he REALLY gets a kick out of.

SOTW seems to be that. I recall we would spend time after reading whatever chapter and doing the associated activity talking about what he'd learned, and the number of times we would find a reference to the information he'd learned and go "Ohhh! Remember such and such from Story of the World?"

To this day we talk about things he learned in Vol. 1, and it makes me wonder if we are going down the right track. I can make a transcript from almost anything - having some evidence of what he's learned is not the issue; the only thing I worry about is him not losing his passion for History.

Any thoughts? SOTW is really designed for kids in elementary and middle school, but can it be used as a spine for high school kids as well? Anyone actually done this?

Aspie

farrarwilliams
07-15-2014, 09:51 PM
I don't think I would. The level of reflection and analysis in there is just so low. It's literally a bunch of facts told as stories to make them go down easy for kids. Don't get me wrong, I think that's good, but it's just not what I would want for high school. The point of SOTW is that kids will remember bits later and that will give them a head start on the deeper thinking. I think it could work for a middle schooler with no exposure to world history, but not a high schooler. I think you just need a better text.

LadyMondegreen
07-15-2014, 10:08 PM
I have to agree with Farrar. I recently finished going through the series with my 9yo (it took about two years), and I would not feel comfortable assigning high school credit for SOTW.

Does he need a credit in World History to graduate? Would Civics, Economics, Geography and American History cover the social studies requirements for your state/the college your son hopes to attend? Could you then just have him read SOTW for fun?

laundrycrisis
07-15-2014, 11:13 PM
This is probably pathetic, but as an adult, I have learned more history from SOTW than I ever learned in high school and college combined. Why ? Because it was the first history text that ever held my interest. I went from there to read and enjoy some more history - Olivia Coolidge, Howard Zinn, James Loewen. I get the idea that SOTW is not a challenging history text. But perhaps it could be a starting point for more digging.

justabout
07-16-2014, 02:17 AM
This is probably pathetic, but as an adult, I have learned more history from SOTW than I ever learned in high school and college combined. Why ? Because it was the first history text that ever held my interest. I went from there to read and enjoy some more history - Olivia Coolidge, Howard Zinn, James Loewen. I get the idea that SOTW is not a challenging history text. But perhaps it could be a starting point for more digging.

That is exactly what I was giong to say. Get him to read it critically and then to dig up more sources/different points of view.

MoonSprite
07-16-2014, 05:00 AM
I am usually totally for a "do what works!" approach, but even I would hesitate using SOTW for high school.

I know of at least one curriculum off the top of my head (Winter Promise) that used to use that for K & 1st graders (though I think they have changed that...).

Maybe as a jumping off point - but really - the amount you would have to add to make it high school level - why not skip the SOTW part and just get HS level non-fiction books from the library to read chronologically, in the areas that really interest him?

laundrycrisis
07-16-2014, 05:32 AM
I see it so often used for very young kids and I truly just don't get it. Does not compute. I guess I am history-defective or something. I tried it with a 3rd grader - total over-the-head failure. I may try again with it this year for the same kid as a 6th grader...but I suspect it may be too challenging for him. His reading is fine - he has read the entire Harry Potter series, and is working his way through the Percy Jackson series. But history that is any more than an outline of the high points is such a detail-bogged garble for both of us. He used the history textbook that came with Calvert last year. He managed all the checkpoints and then immediately forgot absolutely everything. I'm pretty much the same way. I even feel that SOTW has too much detail. I personally believe that history or science at the level a person can actually learn and retain something is more valuable than "appropriate" material that won't stick. This year, again, I will have him chew his way through the Calvert materials and do the checkpoints, but I'm not sure much will stick. But if he reads SOTW, there might be some kind of interesting memory hook that makes something stick.

MoonSprite
07-16-2014, 05:40 AM
I see it so often used for very young kids and I truly just don't get it. Does not compute. I guess I am history-defective or something. I tried it with a 3rd grader - total over-the-head failure. I may try again with it this year for the same kid as a 6th grader...but I suspect it may be too challenging for him. His reading is fine - he has read the entire Harry Potter series, and is working his way through the Percy Jackson series. But history that is any more than an outline of the high points is such a detail-bogged garble for both of us. He used the history textbook that came with Calvert last year. He managed all the checkpoints and then immediately forgot absolutely everything. I'm pretty much the same way. I even feel that SOTW has too much detail. I personally believe that history or science at the level a person can actually learn and retain something is more valuable than "appropriate" material that won't stick. This year, again, I will have him chew his way through the Calvert materials and do the checkpoints, but I'm not sure much will stick. But if he reads SOTW, there might be some kind of interesting memory hook that makes something stick.

Was it CHOW? I think CHOW and SOTW are really similar, actually.
Some kids love that - the way they present history as stories.
Others really do so much better with straight facts type history books.

(My oldest dd much preferred story type history lessons, and with historical fiction to back it up - she ate that up. My ds, otoh, would MUCH rather be handed a non-fiction book on a subject.)

Overhere
07-16-2014, 07:08 AM
I used SOTW Vol. 1 some years ago now (when DS was nine!), and was wondering of the validity of using it now he is in high school. Hmmm...actually, he's on track to complete his Sophomore year in one semester (his idea...we think he'll do it) but the History curriculum I've chosen...I am not sure if it's truly clicking with him.



What about History of the World, Peace Hill's books for older teens and adults?

History of the World: Peace Hill Press (http://peacehillpress.com/history-of-the-world/)

laundrycrisis
07-16-2014, 08:37 AM
No, this was 5th grade, so it was an American history textbook by one of the big textbook publishers.

aspiecat
07-16-2014, 09:13 AM
What about History of the World, Peace Hill's books for older teens and adults?

History of the World: Peace Hill Press (http://peacehillpress.com/history-of-the-world/)

Thanks for the suggestion. This may well be what he needs. Have you used this?

Aspie

banjobaby
07-16-2014, 09:20 AM
Have you looked at Susan Wise BAuer's History of the Ancient World? I haven't read it or used it, but since it's by the same author as SOTW and she also sells an activity guide for it, I thought maybe it'd be up your alley. However, I only see Ancient, Middle Ages, and Renaissance published so far.

aspiecat
07-16-2014, 09:24 AM
Okay. After advice from here and looking at the Susan Wise Bauer series for older kids, I have decided to stick with what we have for now. It might not be TOTALLY ideal for DS, but it's free (yeah, I'm a sucker for that) and comprehensive, going from the Big Bang right up to the past few years. Ms Bauer's history texts don't go as far back as I like, and I am kinda sorta wondering if there will be the harmless, yet still present, Biblical references in the History of the World series. I read some Amazon reviews on this set and one common theme was the lack of in-depth information...at high school level there is a need for comprehensive detail Mz Bauer's books might not give.

I will just ensure that I supplement with other media, and keep the discussions up.

Aspie

Teri
07-16-2014, 09:29 AM
What are you using? Is it Big History?

homegirl
07-16-2014, 12:49 PM
That is exactly what I was giong to say. Get him to read it critically and then to dig up more sources/different points of view.

I think it could be a great starting point. And I think finding a better text would help complete the package. I love the idea of using something familiar to help transition into something at a higher level. It helps question assumptions, promotes investigation with greater depth, and helps set the tone for learning something new by helping to recall the "spark" and genuine love of learning that came with your early experiences of SOTW.

aspiecat
07-16-2014, 12:51 PM
What are you using? Is it Big History?

World History for Us All (http://worldhistoryforusall.sdsu.edu/)

It's comprehensive, but I think more aimed at classrooms than the homeschooler, given some of the activities. However, you can choose between a 'panoramic' version or a 'landscape' one - the former is more general, the latter has far more depth. Either are pretty good, and we're using the panoramic one as it has a lot of information anyway.

farrarwilliams
07-16-2014, 10:14 PM
World History for Us All is good. I think that's a good plan.

SWB is such a serious scholar, I wouldn't worry about there being anything wrong per se in her teen/adult series. BUT... her perspective on history I assume can only come through much more strongly and it's not a perspective I really agree with. I'm sure there's a lot of biblical "stuff" in there because she believes strongly in relying on texts from the time and not on any other evidence and the bible is a text from its time.

CrazyCatWoman
07-17-2014, 12:34 AM
You might want to check out Pandia Press for their History Odyssey Level 3. They have a "try before you buy" option of about 4 chapters that you can look at. It follows the same sequence as SOTW, but has more appropriate activities for the the age. I believe it has books that are to be read as first hand sources, as well as some novels, to go along with research and note taking.

Overhere
07-17-2014, 07:52 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. This may well be what he needs. Have you used this?

Aspie



I haven't used that (and it sounds like your problem is solved), but one thing I have used recently (myself, my kids are teeny!) that might be worth looking for as a resource is this:

Amazon.com: Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World: From the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present (Third Edition) (Vol. One-Volume) (9780393934922): Robert Tignor, Jeremy Adelman, Stephen Aron, Peter Brown, Benjamin Elman, Stephen Ko (http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Together-Apart-Beginnings-One-/dp/0393934926/)

It's intended as a freshman college or AP highschool world history test, and it's awesome. It focuses entirely on the world as a connected place, and is very wide-ranging, but also very clear, with review Qs at the end of each chapter and focus questions at the start, timelines for every chapter, lots of maps, plus two readers of primary source materials to go with the abundant primary sources in the text.

Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A Companion Reader (Vol. 1): Kenneth L. Pomeranz, James B. Given, Laura J. Mitchell: 9780393911602: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Together-Apart-Companion-Reader/dp/0393911608)

Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A Companion Reader (Vol. 2): Kenneth L. Pomeranz, James B. Given, Laura J. Mitchell: 9780393911619: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Together-Apart-Companion-Reader/dp/0393911616)

As with all college texts, it's super-expensive new, and drastically cheaper used. Might be worth keeping an eye on it if you need something for later or as a resource.

aspiecat
07-17-2014, 08:47 AM
Overhere, it looks like a wonderful book! Pity it is so expensive. I couldn't afford that at any point this year, but I will salivate over it LOL.

Aspie

aspiecat
07-17-2014, 11:38 AM
So...this is what we have decided. As DS wants to do his ACT test later this year, he will concentrate on the three areas of importance for that test: Science, Math, Reading Comprehension and Grammar/Style. I've ordered a copy of the ACT "red book" and we'll ensure he gets the skills DS needs to get a (hopefully) good score.

He will do all other Sophomore subjects in the form of projects or short unit studies. This will include History, which we will change from World History to American History and Civics (sob - LOL).

homegirl
07-17-2014, 12:56 PM
This will include History, which we will change from World History to American History and Civics (sob - LOL).

Sounds like a good plan! I did not enjoy American History and Civics when I was in junior high/high school. Now that I've covered a bit of SOTW with my daughter, I realize how valuable it is to be able to place events in a larger context. If I'd been able to make these connections when I was a kid, as opposed to what felt like learning things in a vacuum (which then turned into memorize-test-forget), it may have been more meaningful.

Overhere
07-19-2014, 06:40 AM
Overhere, it looks like a wonderful book! Pity it is so expensive. I couldn't afford that at any point this year, but I will salivate over it LOL.

Aspie

Since you aren't doing world history this year, but might do later, it's worth bookmarking pages for that (and for the volumes of the 2-volume version, which is the same book, just broken into two books at around AD 1300).

I got my copy for @12, which is something like $18: college books tend to go way down in price when the students who use them sell off their used copies, so January and June are good times to pick up a bargain!

Overhere
11-10-2014, 03:45 AM
Overhere, it looks like a wonderful book! Pity it is so expensive. I couldn't afford that at any point this year, but I will salivate over it LOL.

Aspie


I looked at its listing this morning on Amazon (checking bibliographic info), and noticed that the copies are cheap again used, with some of the single-volume versions of the slightly older second edition going for $5 or so. The joy of college texts and their wildly fluctuating prices!