We really enjoyed using Story of the World last year and I found it super informative even for me. So of course we are using volume 2 this year. For volume 2, I bought the item separately because we did not use the audio book last year. The main reason I do not use it is because some of the things in the textbook are gruesome and our daughter is sensitive. So instead I read the sections before had and summarize or omit the gory bits. I did get the activity book and the test booklet. Volume 2 of Story of the World goes over the time period from the fall of Rome to rise of the renaissance. The activity book I feel is a must have for this curriculum. It has a bunch of information in the teacher manual section and the student pages are so much fun for kids. The teacher manual is hands down my favorite part of this curriculum. It lets you know other books you can get that talk about the same things that you are reading in that chapter. Review questions to ask on the most important information as well the answers that go with them and even narratives exercises. For these they want your child to write 2 to 5 sentences about the topic that you give to make sure that they have grasped what was being taught.
Then there are a bunch of projects that you can do for each chapter. We typically only do 1 or 2 of the projects. They list all the things you will need and the instructions. The projects are art, crafting, cooking, games and activities. Every one we have done has been a ton of fun and they really help with getting the child into the history lesson. The teacher manual will also have the instructions for the student pages so you know what should be done. All the student pages go along with the chapters of the textbook. There are maps, coloring pages, cutting and even drawing pages. The book does allow you to photocopy the student pages if you are using the book for home use. So if you have multiple kids doing the same class they can all enjoy the student pages.
A lot is coved in this history curriculum. Different countries during the time period of the middle ages, as well as the things that happened during this time. How the people lived, advancements in science, etc. We did get something called UGears 4Kids Knight on Horseback with our 2nd grade Timberdoodle kit. I waited until the textbook talked about knights to bust it out. It is a cute little kit where your child gets to build a knight on a horse and then paint it. Our daughter loved doing this little kit. So while the kit is not a must have I would suggest it as a fun little project. Story of the World though is something I consider a must have for any history class. What do you use for history? Have you used Story of the World before? Let us know in the comment section below.