Story of the World

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  • Reviewed on Thursday, December 19, 2013
  • Grades Used: 6
  • Dates used: 2013
My daughter has a hard time reading so I got her the audio tapes of SOTW 3 and told her to draw pictures of what the narrator said.

Great idea except the narrator has such a bad voice. It's totally painful to listen to. Do not buy the audio! It drones on and will make history forever tainted in your child's memory!


  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 27, 2013
  • Grades Used: K, 2nd
  • Dates used: 2008-2009
I used Volume 1: Ancient History.

Pros: It is easy to use. You just read the stories/lessons out loud to your student. Then there is an activity to do along with the lesson.
I liked the mapwork; even my five-year-old did the geography.
Price is decent.
I learned some interesting historical facts.

Cons: My children did not seem to enjoy the stories. I often found them zoning out while I was reading. And then afterwards I would quiz them to see what they retained, and they didn't seem to remember much. I used this curriculum when my children were younger though, so perhaps older students would pay attention better. I also think that my children probably would have paid more attention had the history been American history and not ancient, world history. They didn't understand the people or places they were learning about, and therefore they were bored.

I switched to Bob Jones Heritage Studies, and we all like that so much more than Story of the World. Heritage Studies focuses on the history of the United States, and that is much easier for younger children to understand.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 6, 2013
  • Grades Used: Elementary, Middle-School
  • Dates used: 2006-2012
After trying different programs, my children and consider this to be the best children's history program available.

The stories are engaging, easy to follow, and made sense to my children. I enjoyed reading them, and my children enjoyed listening. We have had many fun discussions about the material. I appreciated that the material was not overwhelming, but at an appropriate level of complexity for my children. I felt that the lessons had a very humanistic and kind approach to teaching, which was a good fit for our family. If the goal of teaching is to spark enthusiasm for a subject, then this is the only program which did so successfully for my own children.

I am not religious, and did not find any problems in this area -- Story of the World is a much better program than the live, secular-based program we used previously.

A very heartfelt thank you to Susan Wise Bauer for writing this series!


  • Reviewed on Friday, May 25, 2012
  • Grades Used: Volume 1
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
I used SOTW Vol 1 this year with my 2nd and Ker. They enjoyed it - we also use the activity guide, a little bit. My Ker in particular isn't a big fan of doing maps with every single chapter, and I feel that the coloring pages are poorly done. But the SOTW text itself is engaging and interesting, and I think it's a great intro to world history - there's stuff in there I didn't even know!