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Overwhelmed by all the SOTW extras - what are must-haves?

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#1 plath


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:24 AM

We plan to start SOTW1 this winter. I will have a new baby in September, so I'm starting to plan now. So far, I have the text and the activity book, but I'm overwhelmed by all the extra books to go along and free resources online. What did you find a must have for your family? I know I would like to get the audio as dd loves audio books.

#2 EKS


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:46 AM

We found that reading a few supplemental books (definitely not all of them!) along with most chapters made the experience much richer. You could just use the library for this, but I found it was easier for me to just buy the books used so that I had them on hand when I needed them.

#3 plath


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:47 AM

Which ones did you find helpful?

#4 Bree


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:53 AM

About every 3 weeks or so I go through the AG and check and see what my library has and write the reference number by the books and then I get what I can. Sometimes we may miss a week or two depending on busyness and the mood of all my kids ;) Anyway those weeks we just use the UBWH and it is fine. I also print off a notebook pages for my oldest so he can do narration of what we read. I will say the extra books are wonderful and help my 6 year old a lot, but if you can't get around to it don't worry. Since your oldest is just 5 don't feel like you have to rush through in 1 year. We did Ancients over 1 1/2 and had a blast :)

#5 Walking-Iris


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:48 AM

I have been diligently ILL all of the recommended books because I have no clue what is useful or not just by a glance at a title or author when it comes to history books for children. This is an ongoing project for me and I am not done yet. But I will say that there isn't really a good way (for us anyway) to read or use all of those extra books, there's just too many of them. For starters they are all over the place in regards to age level and appropriateness. No way (no way) would I read something like Mara Daughter of the Nile out loud to my children, for example. I felt it was little more than a historical harlequin romance novel. Also I did not like the Usborne Time Traveler books. We're a pretty open minded family, but I felt the nudity in the Egyptian book was a bit much. Other people may feel differently. So what people liked or found useful may depend on different families needs, likes, values etc.

My advice would be to get one of the encyclopedias. I personally like the Usborne internet linked one.

Another book that my family really enjoys is the Egyptians and Their Neighbors.

We also really like Usborne Prehistoric World.

The DK Eyewitness books are good. There's loads of them for all kinds of subjects, not just history.

The Jim Weiss audios are good.

Magic Tree House Research Guides are well liked here, and really more appropriate as read alouds with a young child.

I would look for a good book of Bible Stories (whatever works for your family), and other collections or picture books of myths. (African, Egyptian, Greek).

The three Gilgamesh books by Ludmila Zeman are beautiful. My oldest really loves them.

I really like D is for Doufu An Alphabet of Chinese Culture.

Some of the Dover coloring books are fun.

Most of the other books I would use the library for, and buy used if you feel you'll get use out of them.

But really I wouldn't worry over much about history with such a young child. I would maybe try to do some projects and read a lot of the picture books recommended. Make it fun. I personally found that the majority of the recommended books were not at a 1st grade level. Maybe some young children would listen to a history book read aloud, but mine wouldn't. My oldest wouldn't even. They're for looking and talking about the pictures, or perusing on ones own.

At that age I would focus on the literature aspects of history.

#6 Monica_in_Switzerland


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:07 AM

Here is what we used this year. I put our favorites in green. We used the CDs as well, and LOVED being able to just put in the CD and park them in front of their coloring pages!

Archaeologists Dig for Clues
Discovery in the Cave

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
Egyptian Diary
Seeker of Knowledge
Boy of the Pyramids

Gilgamesh trilogy

D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths (audio CD)
The Trojan Horse : How the Greeks Won the War

King Midas and the Golden Touch
The Aesop for Children

Roman Diary
City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
Pompeii, Buried Alive!
Children’s Bible

One Grain of Rice

All of them were good, but the green we especially liked.

We also watched these videos on youtube:
Mesopotamia (for kids, really well done)
Pyramid based on book by Macaulay- a few possibly inappropriate scenes, use your discretion
And we have not yet watched the City PBS video, also available on youtube. I'm planning o previewing it tonight ot make sure it's ok for my kids.

#7 Tanikit


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 01:02 PM

I do not use the AG with my 5 year old - I just ask my own questions or get her to narrate, we look on our world map (my DD does not like colouring) to find the places and we take out library books - most of the ones listed we cannot get, but there are plenty of others that have worked just as well. If I can find picture books on the subject then these go down very well so I do try to look for some - again we seldom can get the ones listed. I do also use the internet for coloring pages (then we do a lot of sticking and crafts rather than colouring) and we play outside either acting out scenes or making them in a sandpit with toys which works for my hands on child.

#8 2girls&amom


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:23 PM

OP, SOTW audiobooks and Jim Weiss CDs are currently on sale over at Sing n Learn:



#9 Punchie


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

I'm working on a blog post for resources I bought or want to buy for SOTW1 (basically the books we thought were awesome). I would check to see if your library has them, or if you can ILL them. Below is a non-complete list of what we liked enough to buy. I haven't finished the list as of yet.

Here's what we liked:
Archaeologists Dig For Clues
Stone Age Boy
Maroo of the Winter Caves (read aloud chapter book)

the Gilgamesh trilogy by Ludmila Zeman
Rich and Poor in Ancient Mesopotamia
True Books: Mesopotamia

The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus
The Orchard Book of Greek Myths
True Books: Ancient Greece
Tales from the Odyssey Parts 1 & 2 by Mary Pope Osborne

#10 IrishMum


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

I used the AG with my older kids, but not with my then 5 year old. His favourite part of Ancients was History Pockets. He loved them, and did some of the over and over. We got the one on Ancients, one on Egypt, and one on Rome. My older boys loved them too. I didn't require much more than listening to SOTW, doing the maps and a few activities form History Pockets, and keeping a time line, from my 5 year old. Less is more sometimes. He has fond memories of ancients.

#11 CAmomof4


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:12 PM

My just-turned-6-year-old is loving the supplemental stuff. We usually pick one craft-type project a week out of the AG, and the rest of the time just do narrations/maps/coloring pages, depending on the unit. But the extra readings are really interesting to her, and it's nice to offer some variety as opposed to just reading from the same book each time and doing a coloring page. I have found a lot of the books used for very reasonable prices on amazon or ebay. Many people use the library but I have little ones and going to the library can often be a big ordeal - plus, I am lazy, and I like having everything all ready to go here at home. :-)

#12 prairiewindmomma


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:41 PM

Six years ago when the ages of my kids lined up roughly with yours, I would put the recommended books for the next few weeks on hold at the library. Dh would pick them up on his way home from work. Some weeks we got to them, other weeks we didnt. I would focus on just getting the weekly reading down and start having your child narrate. Consider anything else a beautiful bonus. :)

#13 boscopup


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:53 PM

I just went on my library's online site and put on hold whatever books they had that were listed on the AG. These were placed in a book basket to read as we got to them. If we didn't get to them, no biggie.

I could usually tell by the library entry which books would be age appropriate. We mostly did non-fiction and not the literature selections.

#14 tammyw


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:55 PM

We don't use the activity book - we just listen to the CDs in the car and also try to read extra books and dvds

#15 chelsmm


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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:10 PM

We just started SOTW1 with my 7 and 6 year olds. We read the chapter and do an activity. I don't have the AG, but I can easily find activities on the internet. Satori Smiles is a great blog for ideas. I have the Usborn internet linked book and really like that. We have used supplemental books from the library as well. I haven't had the kids do any map work yet, and we haven't started our timeline, but we will. Right now they are in their last two weeks of school, so we only do home school when we have time. We will start "officially" home schooling in the fall.

I am going to order the audio cds. My kids both love Jim Weiss, and it will be great review, as I know my kids will listen to them often. RR also has them for about $25. They are super hard to get from our library.