Teaching My Baby To Read

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Using Story of the World to Study for AP Art History?

We are listening to Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World Volume 1 right now, and have just finished disc four. So far, I have been very impressed by the way the author ties in history, archeology, mythology and religion into one cohesive storyline. My six year old son Bruce asks to listen to this book, and my two year old daughter Jenna has tolerated it pretty well.  🙂

When we were at my parents’ house last weekend, I got out my old AP Art history textbook, H.W. Janson’s History of Art, so that I could show Bruce some pictures of the pyramids. As I flipped through the section on the Ancients, I was shocked to see picture after picture of things we had just heard about from SOTW.

The Ziggurat from Ur, for example. I think that was discussed on disc two.

Bull jumpers from Crete, which was on disc three.

This all got me to thinking about how much easier it would have been for me as an 11th grader to study for the AP Art History test if I had listened to something like SOTW as a child. Not to brag, but I still ended up getting a 5 on the test, but heck! That 5 was hard to get! Maybe it would have been easy if I had all of this ancient history wormed into my memory as a young child.

Think about this. If a first grader like Bruce listens to SOTW Volume 1 about two-three times at age six, and then listens to it again four years later when his sister is six, he will probably end up remembering a huge portion of the material just through repetition. Then in high school all he would have to do is listen to SOTW one more time and boom! It would be fresh in his head again, and ready to help him write detailed essays on the AP exam.

The take home lesson for me as a parent is that I really need to store these CDs carefully so that they don’t get scratched up. In our household, that’s not as easy as it sounds.

1 Comment

  1. Jean says:

    Hee hee–those images are also in SOTW itself and the activity guide. I never took art history at all…

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