The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child; Activity Book One: Ancient Times, First Edition Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-12-10 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 9 user ratings

" We met with another family to read through this together. I love it, but it loses a star because my children are not as enthusiastic about it, I'm not sure why. It works well as an audio book in the car, but it seemed more of a chore to them if I read it as part of a school day. I definitely want to go through the series again - maybe will do it as a bedtime read next time. " said.

" This is another book that will span a complete school year & I don't want it in my currently-reading shelf so I'm reviewing after one month. The content in this book is detailed enough that my 1st grader asks questions, but not too in depth that she loses focus. So far we're loving it - she asks me to read more when I stop! " said.

" Though written for primary school students to give an overall history of the world, this book is still a great read even for adults. The audio CDs are read by Jim Weiss; so you really can't go wrong there.I probably don't agree with some of her dating of certain events; but this is still a terrific history primer. Absolutely recommended. " said.

" Great basic overview of ancient history for children age 7-10, including nomads, the development of agriculture, Egypt, Assyria and Babylon, Greek city states and myths, and of course Rome. Some slant towards Judeo-Christian history at times, but this is not heavy handed, and didn't bother me or my children. It also makes sure not to focus only on northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Indian and Chinese ancient civilizations also get a look in, which is great. " said.

"This book is so great. I read it to my kids and while my oldest enjoyed it, I think I benefited most from reading it because it brought ancient history full circle for me. History has always been a bit foggy in my mind; I remember random bits and pieces from different eras but never felt like I had the whole picture. This book doesn't go into a ton of detail about each person or civilization, but does a great job at putting history into story form and helping you see what was happening at a given time. I'm definitely going to read the other books in the series." said.

"This is a four-volume history of the world, meant to be used over four years. I am using it as a two-year introduction to world history, for my son. (Again, we’re late to the party, so we’re doing what we can do.) My son has really enjoyed our history time—when we move homeschool to the family room and he snuggles up to hear me read stories about empires and kings and all sorts of things. I have not yet tried the companion workbooks, so I used the internet to find worksheets and projects related to the reading. I am going to try the workbooks next year, because I ended up having to pay for the decent worksheets most the time, anyways. TeachersPayTeachers is a good resource for this. I have to say, I enjoyed our history reading and projects, too. We will be using the remaining volumes next year. Recommend." said.

Many history books are very long/thick and very boring. So many people find it hard to read. Well, this book seems to be less thick and tries to make the whole thing fun. I am very excited to read this book. At the start of the book it talks about what history is, how we can know or learn history by any journals, letters, or any other records they made in the times. But in times where there were no writing, we can learn from what they have remaining like buildings. Or we can see from drawing.

Anyways, the book talks about how the Nomards lived. They could have had a hard time living since they have to survive through the summer. Then it talks about them moving to live at the fertile crescent and finally starts farming. It seems amazing how they know to make a dugout for enough water to flow to the crops. Anyways, they farm and lives together with many people which makes a village.

Then the book talks about the people that live near the Nile river in Egypt. Since the Nile river floods a lot, it was hard for people to live at first but later on, there was silt where it flooded so it was great for farming/growing crops. Because of this, they had a lot of crops to eat and to store. Before, Egypt was divided into Upper and Lower Egypt but it was united into one at about 5000 B.C.E by King Narmer.

It talks about how writing is important and how Egypt was one of the earliest countries to use writing. The first writing was called hieroglyphs and it was more like drawings than writing since it was pictures that had meanings to it. They wrote in stone tablets at first then used clay tablets. Then they made papyrus which is paper. We could know the important things that happened in Egypt before but when they started to use paper, the paper was easily damaged so we know little about Egypt when they used paper.

Egypt became rich and strong when it became united because there was no more fighting and they farmed or built buildings instead. We call this the Old Kingdom of Egypt. In the Old Kingdom of Egypt, they made mummies and the book describes the process of making it and how it is kept. In Sumer, the cities still fought with each other and so were called city states. They all had different rules and were all separate. Sargon tried to unite the cities. He had took over the King of Kish by poisoning him. He had the army on his side. He fought the cities and eventually took over all of the cities. He made one set of rules and used the army to force the citizens to follow it. This was called military dictatorship. His empire lasted years because of the army.

Then the book talks about a person called Abram that lived in Ur. which was ine of Sargon's cities. It shows the bible where Abram got told from god that he will be the father. of a nation. He and his wife gave birth to a son and named him Issac. Issac then had a son named Jacob. Jacob then had 12 children. Then the book talks about Joseph who becomes in great power in Egypt and lets his family come into Egypt and live together.

Mesopotamia was not a peaceful place to live since there was war all the time. A king named Hammurabi inherited the city Babylon from his father. Hammurabi wanted his empire to be governed by just laws. And he as king just make justice appear in the land to destroy all evil and wicked. He did not want to make people do thing by army/force. He conquered lands around the city and soon conquered all of the southern part of Mesopotamia. He made laws and carved them into a stone and called it the Code of Hammurabi. All people had to follow it. Even the king himself. The book gives examples of the laws.

Hammurabi rebuilt temples and encouraged people to give sacrifices to the gods. People then thought they could know what the gods were doing by looking at the stars so they knew really well about the stars. They said that when the earth goes around the sun once, it is called one year. They separated it into 12 months and into a day, to 24 hours, and 60 minutes for a hour. We use the method that the Babylonians used.

In the north, a king named Shamshiadad was a ruler who just wanted to be in control over the whole world. He was the kind of Assur. He took his army and his two sons. When he conquered over a city, he gave it to each of his sons. He wanted everything and everyone to obey him. And if it wasn't they were killed. His cruelness spread all over and cities surrendered when they were about to attack. So, he conquered all over the northern part of Mesopotamia. He did not attack Babylon because he knew that it was very strong.

When he died, he gave all the land to his sons. But, the sons did not take care of it well. So, Babylon came in and took over. Hammurabi let the people there take care but make them follow his Code of Hammurabi.

Later in the book. it tells the story of Gilgamesh.

Just like ancient people of Mesopotamia lived near rivers, ancient Indian people lived near rivers too. They settles near the Indus river, which is also called the Indus valley. Thanks to the river, they were able to grow crops with enough water, have water to drink, and to have a way to transport goods such as food, metals, wood, spices and etc... They grew rich.

Farmers that live at the Indus valley grew crops but also grew fruit such as melons and cotton. They used water buffaloes and elephants to plow their fields. The people had their houses made of backed clay/mud. They had court yards, wells, toilets, and drains. They also had public bathrooms. It was an amazing place. But, at around 1750 BC/BCE, people left one by one and nobody lived there anymore. We still do not know why.

People of China also lived between rivers such as the Yellow and the Yangtze river. They grew crops but also grew what Egyptians and Mesopotamians couldn't grew. They grew rice. The soil had to be very wet and wet for a long time. And, China had the right land to do so. (also, they had the right temperature) The people all lived seperatly in different villages but became united by Huang Di. In legends, they say that Huang Di discovered medicine and taught people how to cure illness. Also, it says that Huang Di's wife, Lei Zu, discovered how to make silk.

After Huang Di's time, there was the Shang family. During the Shang Family, they used bronze for weapons, wheels, and for farming tools. These did not rot like the ones made in wood so they survived until now. They used the first writing which were in forms of pictures. They were inserted onto bronze plaques that still survive today. Most people who lived in China were farmers. The book tells a story about a boy who goes out into the fields and help his dad with farm work for the first time.

The people of Africa did not leave much writings or much artifacts behind. So, we know little information about ancient Africa compared to ancient Egypt. But, we can know that people lived in Egypt from the very earliest of times. A long time ago, the Sahara desert was not a desert and had trees, grass, fertile soil, flowers, and many wild animals. We can know this from Archaeologists who dug up the hard earth of the Sahara desert and found ancient pollen of trees, grass, and flowers. There were also many bones found, which tells that animals lived there.

But, the rains got scare. The river dried up. The trees, grass, and flowers withered and died. The soil dried and cracked. Animals and people who lived there immigrated to the south and stayed were there was a river or lake, where plenty of water was. The south part of Africa would live in peace and cut off from the other ancient world since there is a massive sand in between. The book tells some stories that have been passed on from person to person.

The pharaohs of Egypt grew weaker and weaker. They lost control in the army, temples, and courts. Egypt's power started to vanish. But, a man named Amendment became the pharaoh, determined to make Egypt strong. He worked hard and did make Egypt powerful. This was called the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. Amendment decided to make Egypt stronger by enlarging the land. Their target was Nubia since it was full of riches. They fought dozens of battles and Egypt eventually won. They changed the name Nubia into Kush. The Nubians were in control by the Egyptians for 700 years. A Nubian women became the wife of a pharaoh, Nubians found their own dynasty, and even became pharaohs themselves. Egyptians are basically Nubians as well.

Hyksos are warlike nomads who moved from place to place to find new land to conquer. They attacked Egypt. Egypt's army was weak and the Hyksos had very strong weapons that were new to the Egyptians. The Hyksos won and took over. But later on, the Egyptian princes got together, armed themselves with the newest weapons and rebelled. They got their kingdom back. They used the new strong weapons to conquer other places and be Me strong once again. This time is called the New Kingdom of Egypt.

Thutmose was the general in the Egyptian army. When the leader of Egypt princes became king, Thutmose was his right-hand man. He married his daughter. Thutmose became the pharaoh after the king died at 1524 BC/BCE. He thought that his job of being pharaoh was to make Egypt's empire even larger. He made Canaan a part of Egypt. He took over the land of the Hyksos which had took over Egypt before which made him feel very proud. He was so sunken in the happiness of victory that he kept on fighting. When he died, Egypt was twice as large as it had been before.

Now, Hatshepsut was a women and the daughter of Thutmose. She wanted to be pharaoh, and so did her father. but, her brother became pharaoh since she was a women. But, her brother was always sick. He got sicker and sicker until he died. He said that he want his son to be the next pharaoh, but the son was only a baby. The people agreed that Hatshepsut would rule until the baby grow and was able to rule himself.

But, when the time came, she refused to give the crown. She said that her father meant the pharaoh was for her so she was now in the right place. When people started to say no since she was a girl, she wore men's clothing and wore a fake beard around. She did not fight any wars but she lead expeditions to Africa and brought back tons of riches. She rules over Egypt in her will till her death.

Amenhotep was like any other pharaoh. But, one day he claimed that there was only one god and the Egyptian gods were fake. He said that there was one god and said that he was Aten. He did not let people worship their gods and only Aten. But, when he died, the people rebelled. They erased all records of him and moved out of the new cities he built. Monotheism failed in Egypt.

Tut was pharaoh when he was seven years old. He helped the people to run the new god Aten out of the country and start worship their old gods. He died when he was eighteen years old but wasn't placed in a pyramid. his tomb was in the valley of kings, where the robbers couldn't find or get to. Howard Carter had found the tomb and opened it up with his friends. People believe that the curse from the tomb had made the person who helped Howard open the tomb die in 7 weeks and Howard's canary get eaten by a cobra on the day it was opened. There was a cobra carved into Tut's mask that was supposed to spit fire onto all the enemies.

The next chapter tells the story of Moses and how he helped the people of Israel escape from Egypt. This story comes from the Exodus. And it tells us that Egypt was losing it's strength once again.

The people who lived up in the north of Canaan were called Phoenicians. They were the greatest sailors in the ancient times. This was because they decided to become traders. Their land was dry, rocky, and sandy. This made it hard to grow wheat and to raise animals since there were not much grass and water to make the animals fat enough to eat. They cut down the tall cedar trees that grew in their homeland and floated the logs to other countries. They built beautiful furniture and sold them expensively. They sold dry fish, salt, embroidered cloth, and dug up metals in different areas.

They were famous for making glass. They were the first glass makers to invent glass blowing. They were also famous for their purple dye made from snails. It took so many snails that they sold it expensively that it was called the color of the king.( Since it was so expensive) The book tells a story written by a writer named Virgil about the beginning of the city Carthage.

The Assyrians fought Babylon and lost, which made them become a part of Babylon. But they rebelled. They flooded the whole place, washing everything away. They took over all the cities in their path, going up and down the Tigris and Euphrates river. They even marched up to the Asian Minor and forced them to obey Assyria. The Assyrian king even took over Egypt, making the pharaoh of Egypt obey Assyria. The king of Assyria hunted lions for fun, and when he fought in war, he fought like a lion himself.

The Assyrian king wanted the people to know him as the king who collected books. So, he ordered his people to gather books and to write books. He made many rooms to put the heavy, thick clay tablets. This was the first library. And he was the first librarian.

After the king died, the Assyrian empire fell apart. The Babylonians wanted revenge. They took over Assyria, destroyed Assyria's most beautiful city, Nineveh and broke down walls, gate, ripped off doors of the library and destroyed the clay tablets. Some had survived though. ^^

Then Babylon settled to rule their own kingdom. Babylon's empire wasn't as big as the Assyrian empire since they did not conquer Egypt but was almost as big. For years, the Babylonians were known as the strongest people in the world. The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt Babylon from the flood and spent a lot of time to make it beautiful. He built walls around the city to keep it safe. The book mentions about the story in which the king becomes mad.

The king of Babylon was afraid of the Persian empire since they were strong and growing. The Persian empire was also afraid of Babylon. The king of Babylon asked to marry the princess of Persia, Amytis. Persia agreed and they sent Amytis. Nebuchadnezzar fell in love with her at first sight. He gave her all the riches and everything, anything that could be needed. But, she missed her home. The king built an artificial mountain and put a garden all over the mountain, making the geography similar to Persia. He gave it to Amytis as a present and she goes into the garden everyday, pretending that she is back home. The garden is called the Hanging Garden of Babylon. The Hanging Garden of Babylon is one of the Seven Wonders in Ancient History.

We learned two of the Seven Wonders in Ancient History. One, the Great Pyramid of Giza. Two, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

There were people who lived completely surrounded by water. These people built their homes on an island called Crete. Long ago, Minoans settled on the island. They entertained themselves by leaping over bulls. Boys and girls could be in the bull jumping team. The Minoans trained athletic kids to be bull jumpers. This was because the bull jumpers always got the best food, place, and wealth.

They were also known as the best ship builders. The king made the Minoans build very strong ships so that they can sail through the Mediterranean safely without getting raided. Also, he made it so that the army could be on the ship. They were able to fight on water. They became the strongest in the world. So strong that they did not need walls to protect their palace. The book tells about king Minos and the Minotaur.

The Minoans disappeared mysteriously. Historians think that they left the island because of a volcano in a nearby island. Strangers landed on Crete. The Mycenaens from Mycenae took over Crete easily since there were barely any people. They learned how to build ships from the few people who remained in Crete. They used the ships to sail to islands and make colonies.

The Mycenaeans had bronze weapons and shields. They also had chariots the could use in wars. But the barbarians near them learned how to make iron weapons which are stronger then bronze weapons. Some even learned how to make warships. They took over for hundreds of years. The barbarians did not leave any written records so we barely know anything from these times. Because of this, we now call this time unknown or "dark".

The barbarians in Greek looked less like warrior tribes as time went. They started more fancier homes with kitchens, bathrooms, rooms separated for men and women. They became Greeks. They built houses near each other which formed villages. The villages formed cities. Each city had an army and a government. The Greeks began to learn how to read and write. On guy decided to write down the stories that have been told from mouth to mouth. His name was Homer and he was the first great Greek writer. People say that he wad blind so he listened to the stories he heard, and wrote them down using the Greek alphabet. He wrote about the Trojan war and the Odyssey. The book tells a story from the Odyssey.

The Greek celebrated courage and strength with a big festival, called the Olympic Games. It started when two ancient cities in Greece made peace with each other after several wars. Only men were allowed to enter the games. Girls were only allowed to watch. But, women who were married could not even see the games. They were not even allowed to be near where the games was happening. They could be put to death.

The Assyrians were in charge of Babylon again after they rebelled against Babylon. The Assyrians started to conquer the cities around them.But, Babylon made friends with Medes. Together they destroyed Assyria. This time, once in for all. Babylon and Medes was the strongest nations in Mesopotamia, but not for long. A new nation got stronger, Persia. Persia was a tribe of shepherds. The king, Astyges was a bad man. He asked his servant to kill his grandson because in his dream, his grandson overthrew him. The servant asked a Shepard to kill the grandson for him instead, which he didn't. Cyrus, the grandson grew older and overthrew his grandfather.

He led the war against Media. He fought for three years and finally won. Cyrus was then the king of Persia and Media. He was a great warrior but was also a good and fair king. He let the Medians stay at their homes and even gave some power to Median noblemen. Since the empire was so big, he made both Persians and Medians officials in his kingdom. The Medians did not think to rebel since they were being treated very well. Cyrus wanted to make his empire more rich and powerful. He thought of conquering the Asian Minor. He knew that the person who owned it was Croesus, the richest king. He took his army up to the kingdom of Croesus and conquered it.

He also wanted Babylon. The people of Babylon was sick and tired of their king so it was easy for Cyrus to conquer it. He also took over Canaan. He was a merciful king. He let the Jews go back to their land and worship their own gods. The kews were so thankful they called him,"The Anointed of the Lord" He was the greatest king of the world. There was one country he did not own though. It was Greece. The Greece and Persians would soon meet in battle.

Athens and Sparta were the largest. Greek cities, but rebelled in very different ways. The Spartans taught how to be strong and victorious, while Athens taught how to be wise and educated.

The Greeks were polytheists/ which meant that they believed in several gods. The Greeks believed in a family of gods. These gods were very interested in the human world and sometimes did good and b
" said.

" Our "text book" this year. A well written, charming account of ancient history that kept my children's attention all the way through. For a textbook type book, this series really can't be beaten. " said.

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