Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Story of the World

Based on the glowing review from Joyful Learner, I picked up the first volume of The Story of the World in the library. Well, I almost choked up on my coffee when I read “Exodus” chapter that is presented just as seriously as “Two Kingdoms of Egypt”. Of course, as someone of Jewish heritage I would love to see some sort of archaeological evidence of the fact that this really happened, but there is none. I was also dismayed to see that the history of the world apparently starts in Antiquity – very much in line with “New Earth” Mar07_Gun theory. It’s kind of sad if some people will never marvel at all the incredible discoveries of prehistoric era – stone tools, fire, bow and arrows, first music and art. So I started “oral history” at home – every day I tell Anna a short story about how people used to live in prehistoric times. She was fascinated to learn about stone tools, hunting with spears and gathering food to eat. When we got to hunting, I gave her a big cardboard tube to make a spear. However, she informed me that she is going to invent the first gun instead (thank you, Little House in the Big Woods!). This prehistoric gun has a lot of heart stickers on it – according to Anna they are needed to trick animals into Mar07_Cavethinking that the gun is actually a Valentine present for them.  It shoots fire and hits animals at any distance. Then she was off hunting dangerous predators of Ice Age – heffalumps and woozles (guess what she’s been reading lately). After hunting some down for meat she bravely captured a few to keep as pets. All this hunting was tiring, so the brave hunter went for a rest in her cave.

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17 comments:

Kylie said...

We are using STOW, unfortunately there isnt much out there in a similar format with an Old Earth/Evolutionary view....so we do need to supplement and discuss some of those points you raised.

We did a Pre-History/Charles Darwin Unit last year - http://ourworldwideclassroom.blogspot.com/search/label/History

I am also using Pandia Press History Odyessy, which is an attempt to secularise STOW but includes loads of other stuff which does add to it.

Have you had a look at Charlie's Playhouse? They have a fabulous list of books broken into age categories, the best compilation I have ever seen.

I couldn't agree more that kids are really missing out on a lot of science if they are never even exposed to this information.

Christy said...

I love the way Anna planned to trick those animals by putting heart stickers all over the gun!!!

Phyllis said...

You might like Usborne's History Encyclopedia. It is not in story format like SOW, but it has a huge section of Pre-history material, with lots of colorful drawings.

Debbie said...

When you made that first strong statement about there being nothing in this book on pre-historic material, I about fell off my chair. I agree with the others though, that there are good materials we just have to look a little harder for them. Thank you for linking up.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Hmmm...it was my understanding, that there is some evidence of the exodus, if you look at the right time in history, at the right places geographically - but it's been a long, long time since I've looked into that. How did you like the rest of the book?

Katie said...

I love the gun story, such a clever little girl!

Ticia said...

Intersting, and see I was turned off by the first few lessons format. Partially because it felt a little too storyish and partially because I liked MOH starting off with Creation and not man in caves, which I thought that's how SOTW started off.

Now, I might have to go back and double check that.

Oh well, love her story and the cave is AWESOME!

Joyful Learner said...

You know I read only the intro and the first chapter. I can give you feedback on the rest once we cover it in the fall. I did love how well the author explained concepts like history and archaelogy in a story format. It was a great springboard for more. I have yet to read any historical text without any bias so it's up to the individual to judge with all the information out there.

Joyful Learner said...

It's interesting that Anna decided to keep some of the animals as pets because I just read somewhere that that's what some prehistoric people did! I think they found a fox buried next to the owner in the same manner as later discoveries of pets being buried. It looks like Anna really got into her role!

MaryAnne said...

Anna putting heart stickers on her gun to trick the heffalumps and woozles is really funny! I love the picture of Anna in her cave, also!

learning ALL the time!!/Susan said...

I agree with Kylie's comment...we use SOTW as a type of overview and supplement a lot. It's only a starting point for us; it is, by no means, our only source for learning about history. I plan to check into some of the resources Kylie mentioned; they sound interesting.
I also agree with Phyllis that the Usborne's History Encyclopedia is great...we have the internet-linked world history version.
Love Anna's pretend play :)

Kim said...

Hmm. Thank you for writing about SOTW. I have read so many great reviews of it, and I think we'll be using it in conjunction with Pandia Press. I didn't realize it had such a religious tilt. I guess I'll have to preview lessons before we read .. And I agree with you about the exclusion of prehistoric studies. Most books seem to do it, and I remember it as one of my favorite parts of history. I'd hate for Crumpet to miss it, so we'll be adding our own units.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Okay, you got me Googling :) I watched the History Channel's Exodus Decoded - you can find it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBBvvDl25F4&feature=related to begin with, on YouTube. It's sort of from a quasi-Christian/half secular view - and I don't buy it all, but it presents some interesting thoughts on dates, and archeology, and if nothing else the special effects are fun. You'd be hard pressed to find any better evidence for prehistoric man, I imagine :)

Kylie said...

Ticia it starts with early man....nomads and the first farmers, definitely a young earth view and no mention of cave men!!!

Joyful Learner said...

If you look towards the end of my post, you will see that I recommended another book called Felix Travels Back in Time. It starts off with Stone Age and offers a visual timeline for kids. I think it's a wonderful introduction which is fun for kids. But please don't analyze it as a historical text as it is told in a fantasy format. If you do, you might be disappointed. I used to tell people this whenever people read tall tales and then criticize it for not being "realistic".

Viki and David said...

We're also reading LHOP thanks to your review late last year. Haven't seen guns come up but tonight I think we pretend ate venison. ;) I love that whole scene.

When I was a child (3rd grade on) I went to the library every day and would read the encyclopedia. Angelina loves DK encyclopedia, DK eyewitness, Usborne atlas, etc. It's not story form but the pictures make our hearts sing and the text is in short blurbs they could ponder on with the pics. I admire your oral narrative approach, though!

Cathy James said...

Oh, she's a smart hunter with that that heart sticker disguise! Lovely to see you at the Play Academy idea swap :)