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REVIEW: The Story of Civilization – Volume I – The Ancient World


REVIEW: The Story of Civilization - The Ancient World


The Story of Civilization – Volume I – The Ancient World





TAN Homeschool has done it again. If you liked The Story of the Bible, you will instantly recognize the same great format with The Story of Civilization. Slated to be released in four volumes, one each year, with the first being released June 1, 2016, this series is going to be a must-have in your family’s homeschool teaching arsenal. Similar to The Story of the Bible, you will receive a wide range of materials, covering first grade all the way up through eighth grade. 

Look, you know your kids best – and TAN Homeschool recognizes that many families need not just affordability, but versatility and the ability to customize the material for each child, making the experience not just unique, but suited for your child’s specific needs. As a homeschooling mom of six, five of whom are still schooling – 9th, 5th, 2nd, kindergarten and preschool, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this set for my kiddos. What I loved most about the style of writing is the storybook format. The reader is completely engaged by being placed in the midst of the story. The language used is wonderfully descriptive and pulls students in.

You’ll receive the textbook, test book* and a card with a digital code to access the video lectures online. Take note that the this series will not include DVDs shipped to your house, but instead you will be granted access to the lectures online, making it easy to locate. These three items are targeted for middle schoolers. 

Similar to The Story of the Bible, the activity book and teacher’s manual** are geared toward elementary students – grades 1-4. Note: the activity book contains oral exercises that are not found in the teacher’s manual. At the time of this review, TAN Homeschool is in pre-order mode ONLY. All products will be available at the beginning of June and available for shipment then. 

BONUS: when you order the entire set, you will receive a FREE copy of the Timeline Map. That’s a savings of $14.95!

*textbook and test book are companion pieces

**activity book and teacher’s manual are companion pieces


$12.95-$39.95 for individual items

$154.70** for the complete set*

*When you purchase a complete set, you will receive a free copy of the Timeline Map {$14.95 value}


  • suggested age range is 1st-8th grade, or schoolhouse model
  • textbook & test book
  • test pages are perforated for easy removal, answers are at the back of the test book
  • activity book & teacher’s manual
  • dramatized audio series {CDs}
  • streaming video lecture series
  • timeline map




TAN Homeschool wanted to create this history series because they saw there was a need for Catholic homeschooling families. So many of them were either using outdated and archaic manuscripts written for children in the 1930’s, or they were using Protestant manuscripts that painted the Catholic Church in a negative light, or at least ignored the Church’s contribution to history.  TAN Homeschool set out to make a fun and exciting book that would be faithful to the Church because they knew there were so many families hoping for such a book.

Pulled from the product description page

Children should not just read about history, they should live it. In The Story of Civilization, the ancient stories that have shaped humanity come alive like never before. Author Phillip Campbell uses his historical expertise and story-telling ability together in tandem to present the content in a fresh and thrilling way.  

The Story of Civilization reflects a new emphasis in presenting the history of the world as a thrilling and compelling narrative. Within each chapter, children will encounter short stories that place them directly in the shoes of historical figures, both famous and ordinary, as they live through legendary battles and invasions, philosophical debates, the construction of architectural wonders, the discovery of new inventions and sciences, and the exploration of the world. 

Volume I, The Ancient World, begins the journey, covering the time periods from the dawn of history and the early nomads, to the conversion of Emperor Constantine.  Children will learn what life was like in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome, and more, as well as learn the Old Testament stories of the Israelites and the coming of Christ. 

The strength of the content lies not only in the storybook delivery of it, but also in the way it presents history through the faithful prism of the Church. Have you always wanted your children to learn about world history from a Catholic perspective? Here, you’ll have the trusted resource you’ve always wanted.


Pulled from the product description page:

Phillip Campbell holds a BA in European history from Ave Maria University and a license in secondary education from Madonna University. He teaches middle school history and Sacred Scripture for the St. Augustine Homeschool Enrichment Program as well as high school history for Homeschool Connections. Mr. Campbell is the editor of The Complete Works of St. Cyprian of Carthage (Arx Publishing) and has self-published several books through his website, Cruachan Hill Press.His writings have also appeared in such publications as the St. Austin Review and The Distributist Review.

Mr. Campbell served as the mayor of his hometown of Howell, Michigan, from 2011 to 2015 (the youngest to ever hold the office). Mr. Campbell and his wife reside in southeast Michigan, where they homeschool their five children. He is a regular speaker at homeschool conferences around the United States.


  • none reported; however, it was reviewed by a PhD. from Christendom, Dr. Brendan McGuire, who verified the historical accuracies for TAN Homeschool.


  • follows schoolhouse model
  • super interactive with various methods to reach students where they are {CDs, streaming video lectures, textbooks, textbook, activity book}
  • budget friendly


  • none reported


  • yours could be FIRST
  • share your experience in the comments


Intended for: families, anyone using schoolhouse model
Good for grades: elementary and middle school
Parent/teacher involvement level: moderate to high, depending on needs of student
Prep time: medium when used on your own
Teacher’s manual: available for purchase and used with the activity book
Educational philosophy: schoolhouse model
Catholic: yes


::partial rating based on the text and test book only::





Catholic Sistas was not paid to do this review – the publisher offered free materials in exchange for an honest review of this product. All reviews are current as of the publish date. If you notice that a review contains information that is no longer accurate, please email us at and we will be happy to amend this review.


To enter,

1) share this contest on any social media outlet, email to friends or family, or your local homeschool groups and tell us where in the comments


2) answer the following question in the comments below:

“Why do you want to win the complete set of The Story of Civilization, Volume 1 – The Ancient World?”

OPTIONAL additional question:

For those who have purchased the audio drama CDs in the previous series – The Story of the Bible – what was the primary its purpose? i.e. Did you use it in the car for long road trips? Do you have a child with a learning disability? or a child who just hates or struggles with reading?


ONE lucky winner will win an ENTIRE set of The Story of Civilization – Volume I – The Ancient World, which includes the textbook, test book, activity book, teacher’s manual, audio drama {CDs}, and the streaming video lecture series, and the  timeline map, making this a value of $154!




Jeanie Deters

Congratulations, Jeanie! 

  • Angie H. - I would really like to win The Story of Civilization because our family tried a different, very-popular-amongst-homeschoolers history program and became disappointed at the omission of our Catholic history. We are really excited to learn history with SOC!May 16, 2016 – 1:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah Vearrier - I would LOVE to win “The Story of Civilization”! As a homeschooling mother of seven, I love to be able to combine multiple children for history. I have used Story Of The World and enjoyed it but I would love a curriculum that is solidly Catholic.May 16, 2016 – 1:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - 1. I posted this review on the FB group Catholic, Military, and Homeschooling.

    2. I have used all the Story of the World books and have long wished for a Catholic version. I definitely plan to get Story of Civilization.

    Optional: I bought the Story of the Bible CDs to listen to in the car, so children of all reading levels can listen, as well as Mom and Dad! We like to make productive use of driving time.May 16, 2016 – 1:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Tammye - Will they add a section for high school eventually or is there a way to add highschool to what is offered?May 16, 2016 – 1:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Martina Kreitzer - The material really is suited for middle school, so I would say any high schooler just coming to learn the Catholic Faith, this would also be a good resource, but if your children have been well catechized to this point, the material may be somewhat remedial at the high school level. Great question, though! I do hope a high school version is in the works!May 16, 2016 – 1:57 pmReplyCancel

      • Tammye - Thank you!May 16, 2016 – 7:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Maureen - 1. Shared with my local Catholic homeschool group.
    2. I love how SOTW is written, but it has always bothered me that it has a Protestant slant. I would love to use this with my 6 kids.May 16, 2016 – 2:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Mary K West - Shared in our Catholic co-OP group. I would love to win this to have a great history program for our homeschooling family!May 16, 2016 – 2:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Cindy Kelly - LOVE the classical model of homeschooling! We have been using RC History as a family for 5 years and just began using it in our co-op setting. I have always envied SOTW format and wished there was a comparable version incorporating the Catholic faith. I’m drooling over this curriculum! Sharing this on my personal FB page, as well as our homeschool co-op website and FB page.May 16, 2016 – 2:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Leah M. - We have The Story of the Bible (Old and New Testament) and really are enjoying it. I’m planning on using The Story of Civilization already, it would be great to win it! 🙂May 16, 2016 – 2:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Leah M. - We have The Story of the Bible (Old and New Testament) and really are enjoying it. I’m planning on using The Story of Civilization already, it would be great to win it! Shared on Facebook 🙂May 16, 2016 – 2:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Anne Wynne - 1. Shared on Facebook!
    2. Would love to use this. Used Story of the World with my older kids, but have 4 more kiddos first grade and under. I would be SO EXCITED for a Catholic series.May 16, 2016 – 2:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Jessica Lanigan - I shared this post on my Facebook timeline! I’d love to win this set because I almost bought the Story of the World set to check out for my 3 little ones, until a friend posted about the Story of Civilization. We haven’t done much history study yet, as my oldest is 7, but I thought this would be the perfect way to introduce it!May 16, 2016 – 2:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Laura O - Shared on my facebook timeline.

    I would like to win because we will be covering this period of history next school year with Catholic Schoolhouse Year 2.May 16, 2016 – 2:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Rose - I shared with my FB friends, many of whom homeschool. I would love to win this package because my daughter will be entering 6th grade next year and is set to learn about ancient civilizations. This product appears to be fun, and interesting.May 16, 2016 – 3:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Rose - I shared on FB. My daughter will be studying ancient civilizations next year. This program looks interesting and fun.May 16, 2016 – 3:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Carrie Kind - I’m dying to try this series! As a new-to-homeschooling mom of a 6yo, with at least one more (4 yo) coming along, and as a recent convert to Catholicism- my history needs some refreshing! I shared on my fb page and in my catholic homeschool group page… Hope I win ?May 16, 2016 – 4:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Naomi Karrels - I just posted to my local catholic Homeschool group on FB! I am excited to win this freebie because history is a passion of mine. I have not found a curriculum that I have enjoyed. I will be teaching a Kinder and a 3rd grader this coming year and we have another on the way. The long term potential for our family is huge and I would love to own something that is Catholic and complete like this seems to be. 🙂May 16, 2016 – 4:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Laine - I shared this in my local Catholic home school group. I would love to share with my children an engaging history of the world from a Catholic perspective!May 16, 2016 – 5:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Martianne - 1) I shared it in a CM-inspired Baby Steps group I am in on FB


    2) I would LOVE to win because reading together is the “love language-study language” of my children and me, we all enjoy reading history together, and having a Catholic outlook for it as a spine would be AWESOME! A dream come true, really.
    “Why do you want to win the complete set of The Story of ”

    OPTIONAL additional question:
    I do not have audios from the prior series but will say we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE audiodramas in our home as something to listen to in the minivan or at home (bedtime or choretime).May 16, 2016 – 5:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Katie Dolan - I would love to win this to use with my soon to be 2nd grader and 4th grader. I’ve been looking for something I love for history and I think this is it!May 16, 2016 – 6:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah Mason - I shared this giveaway/review on my facebook page.May 16, 2016 – 6:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah Mason - I would love to win Story of Civilization for my sons. I will be doing first grade at home this fall and believe that it would be a perfect catholic history program for my boys. Thanks for the opportunity to win! I shared it on facebook if I didn’t already post that information.May 16, 2016 – 6:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Krista Thomas - I shared this info with our Yahoo Support Group, ARCH11, and shared on Facebook page, thanking Catholic Sistas in the comments section. I really want to win this program b/c I have been hoping that some authentic Catholic publisher would have a Story of the World style program — which works. So, I know this IS the program worth starting and awaiting the next year’s Middle Ages program to continue through high school! Thanks again! God bless you and your ministry.May 16, 2016 – 7:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Melanie - Hi! I shared this post via email to friends & family who homeschool. I would love to win the complete set of The Story of Civilization, Volume 1 – The Ancient World because we are returning to homeschooling next year and the timing is perfect! Plus, my kids love history presented in this way.May 16, 2016 – 7:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Christina - I would love this! Have my eye on SotW, but this is so much better! Shared on fb, Google, Twitter and email! Crossing my fingers win!!!May 16, 2016 – 8:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Marie - 1. I shared this on my FB page.
    2. I have always wanted to see a Catholic version of SOTW. I have never bought that because I guess I was holding out for something more. I would love to win this, as I have a 5th and 3rd grader and would like to delve into history more with them.May 16, 2016 – 9:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Marie - 1. I shared on FB.
    2. I would like to win this because I have always wanted to see a Catholic version of SOTW. I have two boys 5th and 3rd and they would love to learn more history and this would be a great way to do it!May 16, 2016 – 9:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Kim - I shared this on my blog – Bear Wrongs Patiently.

    I would love to win because I am in need of something with a Catholic perspective for teaching world history. I refuse to use SOTW, so this is just perfect!May 16, 2016 – 10:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Julie - This history program sounds wonderful! I have purchased textbooks and workbooks from at least 3 other publishers (all Catholic), but have never found the right “fit.” I recently started making my own lessons, pulling together various books. I like doing this, but do not have the time to really do it justice. I would love to win this history package!
    (Shared on FB on my timeline)May 17, 2016 – 12:08 amReplyCancel

  • Steph Shipley - Would LOVE to win this! I used “A Child’s History of the World” last year with my daughter and we loved it for ancient history. However, this year doing the middle ages I’ve stopped using it since it’s so biased and anti-Catholic. I was searching for something else to use and am very interested in this!

    I pinned this to my board and shared on Facebook.May 17, 2016 – 1:36 amReplyCancel

  • Kristina - I am sharing this post via email to homeschooling friends. I’m excited to see a Catholic alternative to Story of the World, and am especially interested in using a curriculum that can span a broad age range!May 17, 2016 – 8:15 amReplyCancel

  • Shelby - I shared this to our homeschool group email loop and our Catholic Women of the Chapel FB page. We are about to complete our 5th year of homeschooling and use Classically Catholic Memory which would dovetail wonderfully with TSOC. We currently use Story of the World -which is really a great curriculum (presenting history fairly is a tough gig) and was the only one of its kind for history, until now! It would be great to have a solidly Catholic narrative history series (especially during the Middle Ages!). Thank you!May 17, 2016 – 8:35 amReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Shared (emailed) to some homeschooling moms at our local parish.

    This looks so wonderful. I have Story of the World Vol.1 but never invested or went further with future volumes b/c a friend had told me it was decidedly not including a Catholic perspective. Particularly as it gets in to the later volumes!May 17, 2016 – 1:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Kati - I shared this on our Catholic Schoolhouse page. I would love to win this because I am a convert to Catholicism and used SOTW in the past. It would be awesome to be able to have a similar history curriculum that approaches it from a Catholic perspective and not have to “tweak” things I’m teaching my kids.May 17, 2016 – 10:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Shared on Twitter (

    I’d love to win this because I’m a homeschooling mom and this would be perfect for my rising 2nd grader. 😉May 18, 2016 – 6:26 amReplyCancel

  • Raquel - I would love to win this package, as I am brand new to homeschooling and don’t know where to start – there are so many resources out there, but this one seems perfect!
    (I shared this via email list)May 18, 2016 – 12:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Maureen - Is the activity book reproducible or would each child need his own?May 18, 2016 – 12:21 pmReplyCancel

    • Martina Kreitzer - Good question, Maureen. I didn’t receive that booklet to review, so I can’t say for sure. Try shooting TAN Homeschool a message on their FB fan page and see if they can answer that question for you – definitely share what you find out, too!May 19, 2016 – 8:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Shared this via email. This would be a great addition to our homeschool!May 20, 2016 – 6:41 amReplyCancel

  • Lindsay K - Shared with friend by email and also posted on facebook! Thanks for the giveaway!May 20, 2016 – 9:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Lindsay K - Forgot to say why I’d like to win. I’ve been really hoping for a Catholic alternative to Story of the World. My children greatly enjoyed the first volume of that series (and actually so did I), but I haven’t been comfortable continuing due to the slants in what I’ve heard comes in following volumes. So, this would be perfect for our family!May 20, 2016 – 9:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Cathey Weisbrod - I sent a link to this review to several moms with whom I am starting a Classically Catholic Memory co-op this year. I think the Story of Civilization would be an awesome complement to the timeline and history components of CCM. I also like that it will include a Catholic worldview of history and be great for my WIDE age range of kids. Thanks for the review (I would love to win a set)!!May 22, 2016 – 8:27 pmReplyCancel

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