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The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance (Second Revised Edition) (Vol. 2) (Story of the World) Paperback – April 16, 2007
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“This may well be the best multi-age read aloud narrative of world history yet to have been written.” (Homeschooling in Japan)
About the Author
Susan Wise Bauer is a writer, teacher, and historian. Her books include The Story of Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, the History of the World series (W. W. Norton) and the Story of the World series (Well-Trained Mind Press). She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, as well as an M.A. in seventeenth-century literature and a Master of Divinity in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature. For fifteen years, she taught literature and composition at the College of William and Mary.
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Top Customer Reviews
The greatest strength of this book is that Mrs. Bauer gets to the point of what is significant about the people or events she presents. Many books tell interesting stories, but few tell why they matter. I really appreciate this facet of the book.
In addition to history, the author gives simplified summaries of significant myths and literature (e.g., Beowulf, the Arabian Nights). These stories are probably one of our daughter's favorite parts of the book.
Our child likes the readings.
In order to give a summary that is simple enough for a child to grasp, many thing must be omitted which inadvertently distorts history, but I don't see any way around that for this level of study.
Being a survey of world history, there is no connected narrative. You're in Europe one week and China another. My child finds this interesting, but I wonder if she'll retain very much of what we're studying. I would prefer a connected story of Western Civilization to World History.
Our child enjoys the stories and the author does a good job summarizing what's significant, rather than burdening students with irrelevant minutiae. I question how much she'll retain, because each chapter is brief and moves from place to place. However, if she likes it should spark her interest in history as she gets older.
We are finding supplemental readings (biographies or historical fiction) for people who I think are interesting or significant, and I recommend that for anyone who uses this book.
Two other supplements we are using are Bauer's activity book - the map exercises are nicely done - and the Sonlight "Book of Time," so that we can locate people and events in time as well as place.
Story of the World Volume 2 The Middle Ages is the second volume of a four volume "Story of the World" book set. The book is divided into forty-two chapters which are comprised of the following:
Ch. 1 The Glory That Was Rome
Ch. 2 The Early Days of Britain
Ch. 3 Christianity Come to Britain
Ch. 4 The Byzantine Empire
Ch. 5 The Medieval Indian Empire
Ch. 6 The Rise of Islam
Ch. 7 Islam Becomes an Empire
Ch. 8 The Great Dynasties of China
Ch. 9 East of China
Ch. 10 The Bottom of the World
Ch. 11 The Kingdom of the Franks
Ch. 12 The Islamic Invasion
Ch. 13 The Great Kings of France
Ch. 14 The Arrival of the Norsemen
Ch. 15 The First Kings of England
Ch. 16 England After the Conquest
Ch. 17 Knights and Samurai
Ch. 18 The Age of Crusades
Ch. 19 A New Kind of King
Ch. 20 The Diaspora
Ch. 21 The Mongols Devastate the East
Ch. 22 Exploring the Mysterious East
Ch. 23 The First Russians
Ch. 24 The Ottoman Empire
Ch. 25 The End of the World
Ch. 26 France and England at War
Ch. 27 War for the English Throne
Ch. 28 The Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal
Ch. 29 African Kingdoms
Ch. 30 India Under the Moghuls
Ch. 31 Exploring New Worlds
Ch. 32 The American Kingdoms
Ch. 33 Spain, Portugal and the New World
Ch. 34 Martin Luther's New Ideas
Ch. 35 The Renaissance
Ch. 36 Reformation and Counter Reformation
Ch. 37 The New Universe
Ch. 38 England's Greatest Queen
Ch. 39 England's Greatest Playwright
Ch. 40 New Ventures to the Americas
Ch. 41 Explorations to the New World
Ch. 42 Empires Collide
To round out your history curriculum I would highly recommend purchasing the activity books and test packets which accompany each volume. These resources are available in either paperback or PDF-download.
Based on our experience with this series and the content of the curriculum, I would recommend it for Grades 5-8. Overall we have been pleased with Ms. Bauer's approach to world history. To continue your study of World history, I would recommend Story of the World Volume 3 Early Modern Times "From Elizabeth to the First Forty-Niners."
I do history with all of my children at the same time, so my current students are 5, 7, 10, and 15. They all enjoy these stories, and are able to see how history is not a disconnected, unrelated jumble of names and dates, but a fascinating story that continues to this day.
We use this book as one of our "spines" and supplement with lots of other books to expand the narrative (as suggested in the Activity Guide in this series). I read aloud from this book (and series) almost daily. Highly recommended!
The thing I love about this book is that is can be used for so many different age groups and since it is a story book, you can read it over and over again. I love anything that can be used for many children, it saves me so much money in the long run.
Right now, we are using this, along with the activity books, for our fourth and fifth grader. We do from time to time, come up with extra activities, if the kids have really enjoyed learning something. The two books combined are a pretty complete curriculum.
Story telling can really made history come alive for kids! I highly recommend this program.