Wednesday, November 19, 2008

and we're off!

I know, I've been talking about it for nearly a year now... but we're finally off and running with Story of the World!

The biggest reason I hadn't started was that I wasn't sure how to fit it in to our schedule.  There are so many cool books out there and so many great ideas in the corresponding activity book...

I was a bit overwhelmed... I wasn't sure how to do it justice without reading aloud ALL DAY LONG.  

So, I held off on starting Story of the World in favor of Ambleside Online for Alex.  I organized it for Alex in the form of weekly reading lists.  He really enjoyed it and would go through multiple weeks' worth of reading each week.  Clara wanted a book list too so I started rounding up books at the library to make a list for her.

I still loved Ambleside but I didn't have that feeling of actually "studying something"... you know... that question that random people ask your kids... "so what are you studying in school" (btw... the question makes me crazy at times).  We really didn't have an answer part of the time.  So... I decided to take Alex down to one week's worth of Ambleside a week and supplement with other books relating to Story of the World.  Clara's book list has the same basic formula that I gave a week or so ago, but I've added in reading level appropriate SOTW books too.  Oh... and I'll be adding audio books for those that are a bit above her reading level.

So far, so good.  We're all very happy this week with the new arrangement.  We had toyed with SOTW a bit off and on so we were ready to start Ancient Egypt this week.  I grabbed a big stack of books from the library and then sorted them.... some for Alex, some for Clara and some that just needed to go back to the library.  The fun part is that Alex usually reads all of the books on Clara's list as well as his own.  

Here are some that we've enjoyed this week...

Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Ancient Egypt
The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
Egyptian gods & goddesses (All Aboard Reading)
Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile
Egypt: In Spectacular Cross-section

Alex is also reading this book...

And they are both listening to...
They are both thoroughly enjoying this CD.  Clara is especially enjoying it.  She got completely caught up in the story of Osiris and Set.  I'm glad a I bought this one and I'm excited that I had bought several other of Jim Weiss's CDs to go with other sections in SOTW.

We also watched this....

The subject of this movie (we got it from Netflix) was a little ahead of where we are in SOTW but it did give great views of the Nile (which was a current topic).  HOWEVER, I cannot watch an Imax movie without getting a bit of motion sickness!  My goodness!  The views of the Nile were amazing but did we really need to fly down the river and over waterfalls?  :-)

I had been dreading adding more writing into our school.... but the kids really seem to enjoy doing their narrations to go along with each section of SOTW.  Alex writes his own and they can sometimes be quite.... ummmm.... interesting.  One he wrote the other day was written entirely as dialog between a nomad and a farmer using a shaduf.  We've been studying quotation marks in grammar and decided to put them to use.  Clara dictates her narrations to me and I type them up in StartWrite for her.

Anyway... we're off to a good start with what I feel is a reasonable and manageable plan.  And the kids are loving that we're actually "studying something"!  :-)


Amy said...


I often follow your blog and find great ideas to use with my own children, so thank you! I am a former Chicagoan, and I am completely jealous that you get t homeschool your children in such a rich environment!

I had looked seriously about adding SOTW recently, but I had read some reviews about inaccuracies in it. I was wondering how you found the book to be. Are you finding inaccuracies? If so, do you find that the supplemental books you are using are enough to correct them? I know you are just starting, but I thought I would ask.

Thanks again!


Carisa said...

I am not sure if I have ever introduced myself or commented on your blog, but it's been in my Google reader for awhile now and I enjoy reading your posts.

We recently began SOTW too! I also had a hard time just getting started. My son is 6 1/2. He LOVES it so far, we're up to the ancient writings and actually are going to make clay tablets later today!

I can't wait to see your posts on this in the future, you are always so thorough with your books and resources...I am sure I will get tons of ideas from you!

:) Carisa

Jessica said...

I am a reader of your blog too, I need to add it to my google reader, so I remember it more! But, anyway, we use SOTW too, and I really enjoy it so far, we're kind of skipping around a bit, but just finished studying egypt. I really like how the book is laid out in more of a story form than your typical history book.