Grade: 3rd and up
A few weeks ago, I borrowed Story of the World for Thumper on audio tape. I first heard about it through What Did We Do All Day. She uses it with the Writing with Ease curriculum. We’ve not gone that route yet, instead just listening in the car when we run out of things to listen to.
Thumper has been begging to listen to this series, along with Magic Treehouse. I dole it out though because she’s been speaking way too much English and doesn’t seem to remember what she’s reading in Chinese.
Last week, I finally decided to look at my saved podcasts and re-discovered my Children Can Read World History podcasts from ximalaya.com that I’d saved months ago. We listened to the first 6-7 stories in the car and I’m amazed at just how closely it hews to Story of the World, though the content is sometimes different.
This publisher has 5 sets of history books that I know of:
- 說給兒童的世界歷史 Children Can Listen World History (ximalaya!)
- 說給兒童的中國歷史 Children Can Listen Chinese History (we have!)
- 說給兒童的台灣歷史 Children Can Listen Taiwanese History
- 寫給兒童的世界歷史 Children Can Read World History (ximalaya!)
- 寫給兒童的中國歷史 Children Can Read Chinese History (we have!)
The listen version are a bit more theatrical. The one we listened to, Chinese history, jumps around a little bit. I think the focus is on interesting stories throughout history. Children from preschool to second grade can listen. The Children Can Read World History one, the history is a bit more connected and obviously meant for the older kid who can read, and I’m sure can understand the move advanced vocabulary.
We have the Children Can Read Chinese History books at home, purchased 2-3 years ago. When I asked Thumper to read them it was way too hard for her. In fact, I think it’s still a bit over her head. However, I think if you listen to the series instead, you can start a bit earlier, maybe 1st grade? It’s a bit boring for Astroboy for sure right now and he’s in K.
These are the contents of the book. There are 16 books total.
For example, the first book I listened to talked about the Big Bang and how the earth came about in the first, similar to what we talked about in the Long Black Strip lesson we just had. It then talked about the Babylonians and the Sumerians, just like Story of the World. Each topic is about 8-10 minutes long in the podcast, with 105 total. Story of the World has about 93 in its first book, 4-5 minutes each.
That’s why I’m really liking this series. I was originally going to record story of the world but this will do for now. I think at Story of the World (SOTW) is probably way more detailed. SOTW is very simple and like its title suggests, stories. Whereas this one is a bit more encyclopedic in content. It still mimics STOW a lot. Just like SOTW, it talks about the Egyptians and other people in Mediterranean area, India, Greeks, Romans, etc. I found it interesting its story about China is a bit different from SOTW version. So to me they complement each other.
Some of the first chapters were a bit soft and sometimes the person recording steps away from the mic a bit. If she makes a mistake, she just rereads. But otherwise the audio is very good. She has a Beijing accent, which means everything’s very clearly enunciated. And she reads just a bit slowly so it has an audiobook quality.
I really really hope that Thumper is able to finally pick up some Chinese vocabulary this way. I’m thinking that maybe I will stop SOTW until she’s done with these podcasts. This will be my test to see if listening to something auditory first enables you to remember it better than reading it.