After attempting to work our way through SOTW for the last three years, I think we are finally to a point where my girls will actually get something out of it. It took the first three years to make it through the first nine chapters. At first, they struggled with listening. When we would go through the review questions, they didn't know any of the answers. Getting narrations out of K was like pulling teeth. We set the program aside for a while.
When we resumed later, they were better listeners and were able to answer at least some of the questions afterwards. I still had to remind them to pay attention while I was reading, though. Narrations were a tad bit easier for K, although she still seemed to not want to do them. H was to a point where I thought she could handle them, but she lacked the ability to retell without me putting a lot of the words in her mouth. We shelved it again.
And a time or two after that.
During our first week of school, we did some review of the first nine chapters. Fortunately, through much drill over the past three years, they still retained key points from those chapters. They know about the Great Pyramid, papyrus, the story of Gilgamesh.
Today we began learning about Ancient China. I was quite impressed with their listening skills, their ability to answer the questions that followed, and yes, even their narrations. Here is what they both told me about the story Lei Zu and the Silkworm:
The Empress discovered silk by the silkworm. A silkworm's silk cocoon fell into her cup.
When the silkworm's silk cocoon fell into her cup, Lei Zu's maid went to get her a new cup. The maid helped Lei Zu unwind the silk a million times. The dressmaker turned it into a cloth, which the dressmaker turned into a robe for the Emperor.
While it might not have been a "million"times, I think we are finally on our way to a productive year of history!