5 Practical Tips for Using Story of the World

The Story of the World series is a set of history books written by Susan Wise Bauer. Children can use volume one as young as kindergarten or first grade. Volume four can be adapted for children as old as 8th grade making it a wonderful series to use, especially with a large family.

However trying to stay on top of the printing and planning to keep history moving each week can be difficult. Here are five ways to use the Story of the World series without adding excessive planning or stress to your week.

5 practical tips to use Story of the World

5 Tips for Using Story of the World

1. Print out all the coloring sheets you need during the summer or at the beginning of each quarter. There’s nothing worse than finally corralling your children on Monday morning after a hectic weekend and realizing you’re not prepared for history. So print out all the sheets, put them in a binder or file folder, and enjoy a relaxed Monday morning knowing you’re well-prepared!

2. Find out if your library allows you to suspend holds for vacations. This allows you to put all the books you need on hold for a quarter, and then have them go off suspend become active holds on specific dates. I no longer need to spend my Friday afternoons searching the library catalog.

3. Choose your activities in advance and make a list of supplies by week. Just add your supply list to the grocery list when you head to the store. No more wandering through activity books and science books hoping you haven’t forgotten anything!

4. Consolidate children as much as possible into the Story of the World Series. The youngest children can listen, color, and enjoy doing activities with the family. Older elementary children (3-5) can listen, color, and write a short summary of what they learned in addition to doing activities with the family.

Middle school children can listen and do activities with their siblings. In addition, they can create outlines of weekly topics and write short history reports from these outlines. Story of the World Activity Guide includes recommended pages to read in Kingfisher History Encyclopedia. This encyclopedia is excellent for slowly walking children from outlines to thesis papers!

5. Don’t forget to add extra reading from the activity guide’s recommended reading list. It’s a wonderful way to personalize each child’s education. If you have an avid reader, they can read every book possible. If you have struggling readers, chose one or two for a family read aloud or bedtime story.

Using Story of the World can be an excellent method of covering history with your children, keeping the family unified in its studies, and keeping you sane as you educate your children.

What’s your favorite tip for using the Story of the World Series with your children?

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Sara Dennis

Sara Dennis is a homeschooling mother of 6 children ages 4 through 18. After much research into homeschooling in 2000, she and her husband fell in love with classical education and used it as the foundation for their homeschool. Sara Dennis blogs at Classically Homeschooling.
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About Sara Dennis

Sara Dennis is a homeschooling mother of 6 children ages 4 through 18. After much research into homeschooling in 2000, she and her husband fell in love with classical education and used it as the foundation for their homeschool. Sara Dennis blogs at Classically Homeschooling.

8 thoughts on “5 Practical Tips for Using Story of the World

  1. This is our 8th year of using SOTW. We’re completing a second trip thru this series with the same 3 kids 16 months apart in ages. This is wonderful advice for getting the most out of your SOTW investment. Don’t expect the younger ages to map EVERYTHING, but always expect the older ages to map MORE THAN EVERYTHING. I use an atlas (& some free, online TOG lists) to add mapping tasks. The quiz or test product available with each level of SOTW isn’t practical with younger students. I’ve used it to the fullest with my kids during this last trip thru the series, and it is the best opportunity for short answer and essay practice. I’ve added extra readings during this second pass thru b/c really, the stories recorded by Mr. Weiss are good reminders not meant for deep (logic stage expectations) study. This series affords me the opportunity to supplement with MY OWN RELIGIOUS expectations. I’ve been more than satisfied and this series has more than prepared my kids for a life of service, study/work, travel, and fullness in their love of the Risen Savior.

    1. Thanks, Dee Paisley! You’ve added some wonderful advice as well. I’ve noticed that my 5yo may enjoy the series and learn a little bit, but my older children get so much more out of it. 🙂

    1. A friend’s son did that. He curled up with the books and read through the series on his own! They’re a wonderfully well-written and enjoyable series to read. 🙂

    1. I’ve found it’s the make or break point for me. If everything is ready to go, it’ll get done. Otherwise we end up skipping SOTW until later… which means never! 😉

  2. Just started linnesitg to your podcast. Enjoy it a lot. I will be getting some chickens very soon, as soon as we get the coop set up. Have had a garden for years and have grapes, kiwi, apples, etc. Trying to get perennials that don’t take as much work. Glad to have a show that is close to our area. Keep up the good work. You are appreciated.LanaLambertville, MI

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