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My oldest is moving into the logic stage next year and I'm thinking about history. We've done sotw for 4 years and we all really like the books. DS9 is quite interested in history and has actually been rereading previous volumes, which makes me think that I definitely need to at least add something in or maybe change our spine completely. Ideally I'd like to do history all together (next year my school age children include a 3rd grader). I like sotw for the 3rd grader and as a family read. I was looking at On the Shores of the Great Sea (I usually tend to like the early 1900s curriculum so it caught my interest).  I found a couple of older posts about that book, but not many. Is there a reason?  And I've also thought about just including Kingfisher Encyclopedia. Has anyone done both sotw and another spine like On the Shores? Or will that be way too much work (for me and ds9)?  I'm kind of struggling with how to add in more for ds9, still make this a subject we all do together, and not completely overwhelm ds9 (and kill his love of history).  

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In our house I moved the middle grade kids to Human Odyssey and followed a chopped up schedule that another boardie put together that correlated those books with SotW. That way everyone was reading about the same time period and cultures. The middle grade students dipped their toes into their first text book and we could still do timelines and read alouds together. Sometimes, when a topic wasn't covered in Human Odyssey, they would listen in to the SotW section.

As something to look forward to, my high schoolers and i have really enjoyed the History of the _____ World books the last two years.

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We’re right with you. I’m leaning towards not having a spine-type book next year. I haven’t found one I love (still looking!), so I’m working on an outline of the events/topics/people I want to cover and hunting for interesting topical books.

I also have another child in the mix, although she’s only 6. This year I am doing Ancients with her and I plan to move her into the SOTW2 time period next school year. I am planning to assign most of the history reading to my oldest rather than doing it aloud with him. I’m not sure if it will work, but that’s the plan!

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We did SOTW when my oldest was 1st through 5th (we integrated in additional US history which pushed it to 5 years). This year my kids are 6th, 4th, 2nd, and K, and we started back at ancients using the Oxford University Press The World in Ancient Times series. In some ways I like it more than SOTW. It has so many pictures!! And it doesn't bounce around between regions and cultures, but rather sticks with one with only occasional sidebars telling us an important contemporaneous event in another part of the world. OUP is usually recommended as a logic stage history, and as independent reading it would be, but as a read aloud it has worked really well for all my kids this year.

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We're currently on our second loop of SOTW, with second and fourth graders and a tag-along pre-K.  SOTW is working fine for us as a spine, and the fourth grader's enjoyment is not diminished by the fact that he remembers many of the stories from his first time through.  To stretch him a little, I am:

* having him keep a timeline and make a list of facts each week from the Usborne encyclopedia (will switch to Kingfisher for SOTW2), per WTM suggestions

* handing him (or having him find at the library) extra independent reading that is a level up from his brother's - sometimes he just reads, sometimes we discuss, sometimes I ask for a written narration

* expecting him to write his own paragraph narration while I scribe for his brother

* doing periodic primary source work, mainly from the free Reading Like a Historian site (https://sheg.stanford.edu/history-lessons)

I've previewed some of the OUP World in Medieval and Early Modern Times books for next year, a continuation of the series @wendyroo mentioned.  They're much shorter than SOTW, but I don't think we could get through all of them in a year.  If I just had logic stage kids, I might use the OUP books as a spine, but since I'm reading aloud to youngers anyway and doing activities with another family with a spread of ages, SOTW is a better fit for us.  Next year I plan to keep SOTW as the spine again, and periodically assign the eldest a chapter from one of those books to discuss with me and summarise or outline.  I think they lend themselves to comparison - eg the Empires book naturally suggests discussions about points of similarity and difference between leaders and empires.  You might find similar benefits with the ancients series, although I haven't looked at it.  I do have Dorothy Mills' Book of the Ancient World (Memoria Press), and it would be above my 4th grader's interest level - I'd say it's harder than the OUP books I've looked at.

You might check out WTM for reading list suggestions for fifth grade, as well.  If you're adding in Epic of Gilgamesh/Bible selections/ Iliad/ Odyssey/ Aeneid etc you might find there's already plenty of challenge.

I envy you the time you've already put in doing Greek with your kids - koine and classical are not that different, and you might find they get a kick out of translating a few lines of something you're reading elsewhere in your history work 🙂 

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7 hours ago, wendyroo said:

We did SOTW when my oldest was 1st through 5th (we integrated in additional US history which pushed it to 5 years). This year my kids are 6th, 4th, 2nd, and K, and we started back at ancients using the Oxford University Press The World in Ancient Times series. In some ways I like it more than SOTW. It has so many pictures!! And it doesn't bounce around between regions and cultures, but rather sticks with one with only occasional sidebars telling us an important contemporaneous event in another part of the world. OUP is usually recommended as a logic stage history, and as independent reading it would be, but as a read aloud it has worked really well for all my kids this year.

I'll look into that-thank you!

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12 minutes ago, caffeineandbooks said:

We're currently on our second loop of SOTW, with second and fourth graders and a tag-along pre-K.  SOTW is working fine for us as a spine, and the fourth grader's enjoyment is not diminished by the fact that he remembers many of the stories from his first time through.  To stretch him a little, I am:

* having him keep a timeline and make a list of facts each week from the Usborne encyclopedia (will switch to Kingfisher for SOTW2), per WTM suggestions

* handing him (or having him find at the library) extra independent reading that is a level up from his brother's - sometimes he just reads, sometimes we discuss, sometimes I ask for a written narration

* expecting him to write his own paragraph narration while I scribe for his brother

* doing periodic primary source work, mainly from the free Reading Like a Historian site (https://sheg.stanford.edu/history-lessons)

I've previewed some of the OUP World in Medieval and Early Modern Times books for next year, a continuation of the series @wendyroo mentioned.  They're much shorter than SOTW, but I don't think we could get through all of them in a year.  If I just had logic stage kids, I might use the OUP books as a spine, but since I'm reading aloud to youngers anyway and doing activities with another family with a spread of ages, SOTW is a better fit for us.  Next year I plan to keep SOTW as the spine again, and periodically assign the eldest a chapter from one of those books to discuss with me and summarise or outline.  I think they lend themselves to comparison - eg the Empires book naturally suggests discussions about points of similarity and difference between leaders and empires.  You might find similar benefits with the ancients series, although I haven't looked at it.  I do have Dorothy Mills' Book of the Ancient World (Memoria Press), and it would be above my 4th grader's interest level - I'd say it's harder than the OUP books I've looked at.

You might check out WTM for reading list suggestions for fifth grade, as well.  If you're adding in Epic of Gilgamesh/Bible selections/ Iliad/ Odyssey/ Aeneid etc you might find there's already plenty of challenge.

I envy you the time you've already put in doing Greek with your kids - koine and classical are not that different, and you might find they get a kick out of translating a few lines of something you're reading elsewhere in your history work 🙂 

Thank you! I've thought about doing SOTW as a read aloud and just adding in the extra stuff for the oldest (I think he would enjoy drawing maps, for example), but one thing I'm worried about is killing his history love. If we just read SOTW will he get bored? I am determined to have our reading choices (most of them) match the time period this time, so I guess that will definitely help add in the extra history stuff.  Maybe I'm just way overthinking this (that's a common thing...sigh...) and I should just keep it simple with SOTW and kingfisher plus extra book reading.

I'll keep that in mind about the Greek! Probably not for this stage (our curriculum taught about 20-30 words and then started going into grammar, so we can really only read a few simple sentences-ha!), but that would be fun in the next stage if we're ready for it.

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I added Drama of US History series by Collier to our SOTW 3 and 4 for logic stage and it was GREAT.  It adds a lot of reading, but the books are self-contained and topical, so you don't need to do every single one, you can just pick topics.  Also, they are available audible if that makes it easier.  The physical and kindle books have nice pictures though.  

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Seconding the K12 Human Odyssey books. Nicely narrative, but a step up from SOTW. Good layout and pictures. Very inexpensive used on Amazon. 
 

I like the OUP books too, but we used them as resources for rabbit trails and particular interests rather than as a spine. I borrowed them from the library.

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49 minutes ago, LauraClark said:

@wendyroo: I'm having a heck of a time finding any previews of OUP. Help?

Yeah, I've never been able to find any samples either. I was able to borrow some of them interlibrary loan before I decided to buy them (and many can be found very reasonably used on Amazon or Ebay).

Here are some sample pictures I took from The Ancient South Asian World. There is typically one archaeologist interview per book, and about 20-25 chapters per book.

There are 8 books in the Ancient World series, so ~180 chapters. (We typically read an entire chapter per read aloud session; my sample is one entire chapter.) That is too many for us to cover in one year, but there are only 5 books in the Medieval & Early Modern World series, so we are just stretching all of the books over multiple years.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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10 hours ago, LauraClark said:

 Maybe I'm just way overthinking this (that's a common thing...sigh...) and I should just keep it simple with SOTW and kingfisher plus extra book reading.

It's the first big transition, isn't it?  In the early years we just did the next thing and folded subsequent kids onto the same train, but suddenly it's time to try to pick next steps for a bunch of subjects.  Remember you don't have to keep the same plan for a whole year.  You could start with keeping it simple as you mentioned, and if after a few weeks it's not working for you, you could let him skip the read aloud time and do more independently instead.  Even SWB, though, lists the grades for SOTW as covering middle school - it's not too babyish when used with age appropriate reading, mapwork etc.

I know you're interested in ancients, but since I don't have any of those I've done as @wendyroo did and included a scan of a chapter from The European World 400-1450 (the only chapter of my copy that the previous owner did not think it worthwhile to highlight almost all of).  I've scanned in black and white but most of the artefacts are color and there's some colored background on the pull quotes and source pages.  One downside to these books is there is no interaction with the source material - no questions to guide thinking/discussion/evaluation - so I will need to add that myself.

@wendyroodo you happen to own the primary source and reference volume?  Is it literally a collection of sources, or does it provide background and scaffolding to do more than just read them?

20210215_072615.PDF

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12 minutes ago, caffeineandbooks said:

 

@wendyroodo you happen to own the primary source and reference volume?  Is it literally a collection of sources, or does it provide background and scaffolding to do more than just read them?

I do not. This Amazon listing has a fairly detailed description of what the Primary Source books are like. It also has one review at the bottom that has a photo of an inside page.

For primary sources, we have been using A History of the World in 100 Objects, Letters of Note, Letters of Note 2, and Reading Like a Historian. Not all of them have a ton of sources for the ancient times, but there will be lots to look at as we head into the Middle Ages.

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4 hours ago, wendyroo said:

Yeah, I've never been able to find any samples either. I was able to borrow some of them interlibrary loan before I decided to buy them (and many can be found very reasonably used on Amazon or Ebay).

Here are some sample pictures I took from The Ancient South Asian World. There is typically one archaeologist interview per book, and about 20-25 chapters per book.

There are 8 books in the Ancient World series, so ~180 chapters. (We typically read an entire chapter per read aloud session; my sample is one entire chapter.) That is too many for us to cover in one year, but there are only 5 books in the Medieval & Early Modern World series, so we are just stretching all of the books over multiple years.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Wow-thank you so much for that. I'll be adding that one to my list of options.

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55 minutes ago, caffeineandbooks said:

@wendyroodo you happen to own the primary source and reference volume?  Is it literally a collection of sources, or does it provide background and scaffolding to do more than just read them?

I used to own both. The primary sources are just primary sources. There is some brief background provided, and some vocabulary definitions on the sidebars 

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2 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

It's the first big transition, isn't it?  In the early years we just did the next thing and folded subsequent kids onto the same train, but suddenly it's time to try to pick next steps for a bunch of subjects.  Remember you don't have to keep the same plan for a whole year.  You could start with keeping it simple as you mentioned, and if after a few weeks it's not working for you, you could let him skip the read aloud time and do more independently instead.  Even SWB, though, lists the grades for SOTW as covering middle school - it's not too babyish when used with age appropriate reading, mapwork etc.

Yes, first transition. That's a good reminder, thank you. That may be a really good solution as I try to figure out this next stage.  And thank you for the samples, too!

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We originally loved keeping everybody together with history - it was so cozy and just the quintessential homeschool ideal to all cuddle up on the couch together and tell stories of long ago! But we reached a point where it just wasn't feasible anymore with kids of different abilities and needs. I don't know if you're at that point or not yet - only you can know that. But when we reached that point, Human Odyssey was a great find. It's the perfect text for middle schoolers and very engaging.

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3 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

We originally loved keeping everybody together with history - it was so cozy and just the quintessential homeschool ideal to all cuddle up on the couch together and tell stories of long ago! But we reached a point where it just wasn't feasible anymore with kids of different abilities and needs. I don't know if you're at that point or not yet - only you can know that. But when we reached that point, Human Odyssey was a great find. It's the perfect text for middle schoolers and very engaging.

I've been thinking a tiny bit that eventually I'll have (currently) 4 kids in different stages and this togetherness won't last forever...and also trying not to think about that :(. But, you're right. I think we're not quite there yet-probably at the point of doing it all together and then having ds9 do some extra separate things too.

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9 minutes ago, LauraClark said:

I've been thinking a tiny bit that eventually I'll have (currently) 4 kids in different stages and this togetherness won't last forever...and also trying not to think about that :(. But, you're right. I think we're not quite there yet-probably at the point of doing it all together and then having ds9 do some extra separate things too.

This is one reason that I switched to OUP books this year.

Up until last year, I just read SOTW aloud to all the kids; they colored, narrated, and did mapwork - all together.

I knew this year I wanted the 11 year old to do more. I really wanted him exploring primary sources and digging deeper in areas of interest, but I didn't want to overload him by making him read all his history independently. So I switched away from SOTW (he would not have been happy listening to SOTW 1 again - too babyish), so that our read aloud time could still be a significant part of his history.

Now, every day at lunch I read a chapter from OUP. We discuss it a bit, and that is all the younger 3 do for history.

Then, each week DS reads a page spread or two from Kingfisher. I don't try to line them up at all - our reading and his reading are both about ancients, but only occasionally are they about the same culture or exact time period. Sometimes our reading is a preview of things he will come to later, other times our reading is a review of things he has already covered independently. Along with Kingfisher, he also chooses several supplemental sources off the history shelf to further explore aspects of the topic he independently read about that week. We have several books of primary sources, plus books about inventions, art, historical battles, maps, famous people, timelines, etc. He can also choose to watch a Great Courses lecture about a historical figure, city, archaeological dig, etc.

This way, he only spend two half hour sessions each week working independently (which is about all he can handle), but that is plenty when added to all the history read alouds he is listening to (both OUP and historical fiction as literature read alouds).

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12 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

Then, each week DS reads a page spread or two from Kingfisher. I don't try to line them up at all - our reading and his reading are both about ancients, but only occasionally are they about the same culture or exact time period. Sometimes our reading is a preview of things he will come to later, other times our reading is a review of things he has already covered independently

That is helpful to know. I think I have a lot of perfectionism in me and could easily spend hours/days/years trying to line everything up perfectly (when it never will), so it's good to know that it works fine without things lining up.

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I think I'm going to just jump in and purchase some of these on my list now: kingfisher, OUP (maybe 1 book to start with), On the Shores of the Great Sea, possibly human odyssey (I need to look at it more).  I was looking again though SOTW vol 1 and the sections are really much shorter than vol 4 (which we're in currently), so I don't see why I couldn't combine some of the sections and also read aloud from parts of another curriculum. I think that would be about the amount I'm reading in vol 4 now. Then assign some kingfisher for outlining practice and print up some maps for him to document the spread of different civilizations (which he would LOVE). I'm also determined to try to find good literature sources for ancients. Our library is not great so I kind of gave up with stage 1 and just chose good books that didn't fit the timeline (Charlotte's Web, etc) - which is fine, and I'll probably do some of that too, but I just need to "bite the bullet" and invest in some good ancients books.  

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9 minutes ago, LauraClark said:

@wendyroo: is there a specific book you start with or do any of them work?

It doesn't really matter. Each of the books is independent and can be read in any order.

That said, The Early Human World covers prehistory and is clearly first chronologically. Then, in roughly chronological order: Ancient Near Eastern World, Ancient Egyptian World, Ancient South Asian World, Ancient Chinese World, Ancient Greek World, Ancient Roman World, and Ancient American World.

That is the order we are reading them in.

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