I wanted to bring you a Story of the World Volume 2 review today. I talked about how I plan Story of the World not long ago. We’re about to finishing up volume 2 so I wanted to give you my thoughts. I also wanted to touch on what is covered in this volume.
Volume 2-Some Naysayers
First off I want to talk about other reviews I have seen for volume two. When we were looking for what history curriculum to go with a few years ago, we really narrowed it down to a couple of curricula. Reviews, both written and video reviews, really helped me go with Story of the World. But I did notice there were a percentage of people who basically said they loved volume 1, but felt starting with volume 2 it lost something.
After going through volume 2 ourselves I would say I can see for some people that the stories may have lost a little imagination possibly, but you have to remember that this is not supposed to be a fictional story. This is non-fiction historical information put into story format. This format makes it more appealing, especially to young minds. Still it needs to be factual history, and not a fantasy.
My son still loves the stories. Whenever we talk about history he still likes our curriculum and says he doesn’t want anything new. This is not always the case with other subjects. I just wanted to address this because I did see a smattering of reviews that complained about volume 2 not being in the same style as volume 1 and that wasn’t our experience. The stories are just a bit more meatier.
So what was our experience? Well for those who are wondering what volume 2 covers, it is called The Middle Ages book. It roughly covers major historical events from the 400 to 1600AD. At the beginning you learn about the fall of Rome and you finish up with the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
During volume 2, my son learned many things. He learned how books were first made and how only very rich people could afford to own a bible. Later he learned about the printing press being made and how that allowed books to be owned by the masses. He was introduced to a lot of different cultures and religions that still exist to this day.
Stephen learned about the plague this year which is ironic in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic. This book was also the first time we really got to see the Americas introduced, which was exciting. We have been covering some American history as part of our U.S. geography unit, but it was nice to start learning a bit of early American history in the chronology of world history.
One of the big hits of this year was learning about the Mongols. This was probably such a big hit because we use a lot of Crash Course videos on Youtube to go with Story of the World. I mean who doesn’t enjoy a good Mongoltage, right? I encourage you to bring other resources into this subject to help make the history become more real and put events in context of other events happening at the same time. Events do not happen in a silo and understanding how things effect one another is a big key to understanding history.
Another big hit was learning about the explorers and their strange thought processes. My son thinks it’s funny that people thought the world was flat for instance. This led to a discussion about how some people are revisiting this backward belief. He finds it crazy that Christopher Columbus thought he had hit the West Indies. He’s completely bemused by these now off the wall ways of thinking.
All in all we enjoyed this year of history. We add a lot of things into our history lessons to help bring history to life. This is why my son loves history! It’s one of his favorite subjects and I think that is worth the extra prep work. Sure you can just open the book, read the follow up questions and do the mapwork and coloring pages and that’s still fulfilling your history requirements. And if that’s all you can do, then your child will still learn from this curriculum.
But if you take the time to really expand the curriculum as they recommend…history comes to life. Your child is a sponge and will soak up knowledge and thirst for more if it is presented in an excited and interesting way. There are some subjects that you can only ‘dress up’ so much before they are mainly facts and figures. But history begs for more in depth study into the reasons why things happened. It’s a study of the human experience and requires more discussion and insight into who we are as humans and as a society.
So what is my Story of the World Volume 2 review? We love Story of the World and Volume 2 was no different. We will be continuing Story of the World with Volume 3 next school year and I am already excited to get it all planned out. Honestly it’s like I am relearning history right along with my son since I lost so much of it in the mental purge of memorizing facts and dates. So if you are like me and learned history that way, don’t be afraid to dive in! Bring history to life!Thanks for reading!