The World History Student Text encourages students to trace the major patterns in world history, following them as they point more and more clearly to the triumph of the kingdom of God. As they journey through time in this engaging survey of world history, students will cover creation, the earliest post-Flood civilizations, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and civilizations in Africa, the East, Asia, pre-colonization Americas, and empires in Africa, India, and Asia.
The 4th edition of this text is only six years old and is still the version recommended for home school families. We did a quick comparison to see if this 5th was worth switching to anyway. Here's what we came up with:
The first thing we noticed is that the book had a new table of contents. While many chapters keep their same titles, some have been revamped. The two chapters on Rome, for instance have been combined into one, and there is a larger emphasis on Asian and African history. Some of these sections aren't new material, per se, but are rearranged in order to correspond better with a chronological flow of history. But there is a whole new chapter on early American history also.
The second thing that jumped out is the reformatting. The book has looked pretty good for a while, and much is similar; the text is essentially the same size and many pictures have been retained, but those seem sharper, more clear. New pictures often offer more detail than before.
The third thing to point out are the new sidebars, which include "guiding questions" and "big ideas" that will direct the student to important concepts as he reads through the book. But many old sidebars (which contained a lot of engaging material) have been eliminated. For example in the Greece and Rome sections, we noticed background blurbs about Troy and Roman Roads were missing. If the student has had a good dose of world history before, this probably won't be a huge loss, but some really interesting factoids are now gone.
Fourth, the chapter questions were good before, but the new ones seem to be slightly more thought-provoking, incorporating the guiding questions the book asks. They also appear to be more apologetic in nature, preparing students to counter skeptics and cynics about concepts. This doesn't really come across as fundamental defensiveness, just good questions to ask.
Our Honest Opinion:
We like the new edition, but the loss of the engaging sidebars from the fourth edition is enough to make us content with recommending that edition for the time being.
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