MyWorld Interactive Social Studies Review

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 [W]ith its student-centric, practical and activity-rich approach, colorful texts and digital resources MyWorld Interactive can be an easy to use, affordable and highly engaging social studies curriculum.

What We Like

Affordable full year social studies curriculum
Engaging, well-made, interactive workbooks
Thorough learning
Colorful and approachable teaching resources
Project-based, student-centric approach to
Tons of digital resources with option for
physical text, as well

But watch out for

Originally written for school setting
Offers many different components, not the most
compact curriculum

What Is MyWorld Interactive Social Studies?

Produced by Savvas Learning (formerly Pearson), MyWorld Interactive Social Studies is a project-based social studies curriculum aimed at elementary through middle school students in both traditional and homeschool settings. 

Covering history, economics, civics, geography and more, the series teaches using a combination of print and digital text, activities and games, literature, discussions, investigations and plenty of online resources, such as audio/video files, ebooks and various on-screen tools. 

What Ages Or Grades Is MyWorld Social Studies Intended For?

MyWorld is a social studies curriculum aimed at students at the K-8 level.

The series is divided into two broad levels: K-5, where subjects are taught in a more integrative manner similar to other elementary school social studies programs, and American History, World History and Geography, which are aimed at grades 6-8 and are offered as standalone courses. 

In general, the series is standard aligned and its levels largely match the level of writing, topical rigor and appropriateness, activity difficulty and expectation for achievement of the grades for which they are intended. 

That said, the program is sold as a homeschool option and parents are, of course, free to make use of whatever grades and materials best suit their child’s (and homeschool’s) needs and interests. 

In fact, we feel that the program makes this quite a bit easier for parents compared to other grade-aligned curricula, particularly as each level in the series includes quite a few teaching tips and ideas for individual differentiation, multimedia resources and leveled and differentiated readers, which can allow parents to more easily tailor lessons to students learning above or below grade level. 

What’s Included In MyWorld Interactive Social Studies

Like the company’s popular Elevate Science program, Savvas’ MyWorld is a pretty rich curriculum and comes with a variety of tools and resources that parents can make use of during lessons. 

These include a print student interactive workbook (also available as an etext), a digital teacher’s edition, leveled readers and various digital resources and tools that are available on the Savvas Realize online learning platform. 

Student Interactive Workbook

The MyWorld student interactive workbook is where students will spend most of their time and serve to link together the various different resources and activities that a chapter of lessons can involve. 

In their print form, these interactive workbooks are full color, consumable textbooks that contain lesson texts, games and activity ideas, directions (or links) to digital resources, vocabulary lists, exploration questions and so on. 

They also contain ample space for student responses to prompts, which students receive as they go along or towards the end of a lesson, which forms the interactive part of the book title. 

The workbooks are illustrated and highly dynamic, featuring tons of colorful maps, pictures, illustrations, charts, song lyrics, info boxes, illustrations and more, and are in our opinion pretty fun for students to go through, look at and work through, especially compared to the bland formal textbooks typically offered by such courses. 

picture of student text in myworld interactive social studies showing colorful pictures and illustrations

The books are also approachably and fairly casually written on the whole, being directly written to the student, rather than the parent or teacher.

While they perhaps may not trigger the same level of interest as a story-based or narrative-based social studies curriculum, such as History Quest or The Story of the World, the texts’ writing style does keep things interesting and prevents the topics from becoming too dry, difficult or intimidating to read.

At the same time, MyWorld manages to keep things pretty high level and professional, teaching all the facts, concepts and vocabulary one might expect of a social science resource at this level, so there isn’t any need to worry about it dumbing down the learning. 

We also found the workbooks to do a pretty good job at keeping its learning and resources well-organized and straightforward, with each lesson pretty clearly directing students to points of inquiry, digital resources, readings, questions and activities.

As a result, students (and parents) should be able to work their way through their interactive workbook with little risk of getting lost or confused. 

On the downside, homeschooling families should note that the series is written primarily for a classroom setting. 

At times, the workbook will make references to that setting (such as by having activities configured around classmates, teachers, etc) and so may need some adjustment to fit a smaller, home learning environment.

picture of classroom-based activity in myworld social studies showing need to adapt to homeschool

Interestingly, and like many of Savvas’ other digitally-connected curricula, the print MyWorld interactive workbook is also available as an e-text and is accessible on the program’s Realize educational portal. 

screenshot of myworld interactive  social studies digital text

By and large, the e-text contains the same material as the print version but allows students to type directly into its pages using small pop-up textboxes. 

screenshot of digital typing area offered in myworld social studies

This can make the digital version a bit more helpful and effectively for those with dysgraphia and other writing-related difficulties. 

The digital workbook also contains a number of student-friendly tools, such as copy/paste, highlighting, bookmarking and even a read-aloud function, which can also make learning a bit more productive and accessible for some students. 

One thing we particularly like about the e-text is that it is able to be used offline, which can be good news for parents of younger children who don’t feel comfortable leaving their child with an active internet connection. 

Teacher’s Edition

Each of Savvas’ MyWorld Interactive Social Studies levels also comes with a teacher’s manual, or teacher’s edition. 

Accessible to parents as a digital text on the Realize web platform, the teacher’s edition looks and feels much like a traditional teacher’s guide, with a reproduction of the student interactive workbook in the center of the page and the lesson’s goals, teaching tips and other information printed in the margins. 

screeshot of directions and help offered in teacher's guide in myworld interactive social studies

In general, we feel that the Teacher’s Edition is pretty comprehensive and can provide a lot of helpful resources for parents teaching MyWorld (and social studies, in particular) at home. 

The guide lays out each lesson’s objectives and goals, provides straightforward topical overviews, literature connections, definitions for vocabulary terms, guided questions for oral discussions and, of course, an overview and explanation of the program’s digital resources. 

One thing that we particularly liked is that the Teacher’s Guide also provides a good deal of help and tips when it comes to lesson differentiation, which can be very helpful for students who have learning difficulties or who are learning outside of a traditional grade progression. 

On the downside, the Teacher’s Edition is only available as an e-text in homeschool bundles, which can take some time to get used to, and (much like the student interactive workbook) it is written to traditional classrooms and teachers and so it, too, may need to be adjusted for home use. 

Leveled Readers

Covering topics such as history, geography, civics, economics and more, each level of MyWorld Interactive Social Studies also includes a number of leveled readers to help students get a better and deeper understanding of the topics they’re learning about, as well as help them develop stronger literacy and comprehension skills through dedicated exercises. 

Depending on the grade, these readers can touch on a variety of different topics, including family history and ancestry, local environments, the environment, biographies of various important figures, important figures and peoples in history and more. 

The readers themselves are relatively short, full color, nicely illustrated and, in our opinion, pretty fun to read, with approachable writing that brings events, concepts and people to life. 

Interestingly, Savvas also offers specific lesson plans for these readers, which summarize their content, highlight main concepts and vocabulary for each chapter, offer tips for troubleshooting and differentiation and more, all of which can be quite helpful for new homeschooling parents and those who are a bit rusty in the topics involved. 

Perhaps more importantly, the books are offered at several different levels of reading difficulty and complexity, including below, at and above grade level. 

This allows parents to create a literature-rich and in-depth exploration of social studies topics for their students that matches their student’s ability to read (or adjusts for any difficulties they may be having).

Digital Resources

Finally, homeschool MyWorld Interactive Social Sciences packages also come with access to Realize, Savvas’ digital learning platform. 

In addition to providing students and parents with digital copies of their respective texts, Realize also provides them with access to an assortment of digital resources that are intended to go along with each lesson. 

Notably, MyWorld makes use of digital video instruction, where students can watch a cast of  live (or in some cases animated) actors, often children their own age, explore ideas, concepts and locations related to the topic at hand, often as a way of getting students interested in a topic before diving deeper themselves. 

These videos play in a small window when clicked on and are typically not too hard to sit through, being only a few minutes long and usually containing things like animations, pictures, humor and even cartoon animation to keep things lively. 

screenshot of video offered in an myworld social studies online lesson

In addition to the videos, Realize also gives parents access to a number of digital tools that can be helpful in managing a child’s social studies over a year, such as progress tracking capabilities, scheduling and lesson planning tools, the ability to monitor and view student lessons, work and assignments and much more. 

screenshot of some of the tools available for myworld interactive social studies online

All this can be particularly helpful given the amount of resources and topics touched upon in MyWorld Social Studies, and in particular can be a great option for parents subscribed to other Savvas products or who don’t have their own homeschool lesson planning, scheduling and monitoring system.

The only thing parents should keep in mind is that, having so many resources and tools on hand, it can take some time to get used to the Realize system, particularly for those who aren’t particularly technologically inclined. 

That said, all things told, the Realize platform is pretty well laid out, with plenty of empty space interspersed with colorful icons and so is easy to navigate and hard to get lost in once you get the hang of it.

Approach to Teaching

Blended Digital and Paper-based Learning

Unlike most other modern homeschool curricula, which are usually one or the other, MyWorld Interactive Social studies can allow families to use both digital and pen-and-paper resources to create a kind of blended experience. 

Students can work with physical copies of their interactive workbooks, reading through key lesson text while being periodically directed to various digitally-based videos, audio samples, activities and more.

As a result, students have the option of spending less time in front of a screen but still have all the benefits that come with engaging, high-quality digital resources.

This is true for parents, as well, who can rest comfortably knowing they are reducing their child’s overall screen time but still have access to various course management tools and resources, such as a digital teacher’s guide, scheduling aids, progress tracking tools and so on. 

That said, as we’ve mentioned, the use of physical (or e-texts) and digital videos and tools does mean that students and their parents will have to switch from their workbook or text to their different digital materials from time to time, which can take a little getting used to.

Student-led, project-based chapters and lessons

Lessons in MyWorld Interactive Social Studies are project-based. 

In other words, rather than simply feeding students the information they need, each chapter begins with an overarching question or problem designed to get students interested in and primed to learn about over the course of its lessons. 

For example, a chapter might start off with the question “how does a person get what they need?” as well as a Quest, or a kind of short project that they will need to gather information to complete. 

Over the course of the following few lessons, students might then learn about the differences between needs and wants, scarcity and choice, the idea of goods and services, trade and commerce, spending and saving and, of course, jobs – all things that would help answer the initial question and get students thinking more deeply about how people meet their needs. 

In this way, MyWorld Interactive Social Studies eschews a typical lecture style approach to social studies and makes learning a lot more active. 

The texts and videos essentially guide students along to answer a broader question and encourage them, through various activities and exercises, to think a little more deeply about what they are reading about, rather than simply regurgitating information. 

By creating a more engaging and interactive experience, the series can help students better retain the information they are presented with and, by breaking concepts up into smaller chunks learned over several lessons, can make things a lot less intimidating and mystifying in our opinion. 

That said, as with an inquiry or phenomenon-based approach to learning, project-based learning does require a bit of enthusiasm and curiosity on the part of students, and more reluctant social studies learners may not find it as appealing as a simple and straightforward lecture-style approach. 


Finally, MyWorld Interactive Social Studies isn’t simply a sit-and-read curriculum, but instead its lessons typically include a number of different activities and exercises for students to try out and reinforce their learning with. 

Depending on the grade and chapter in question, students might be asked, for example, to draw a picture, sing a vocabulary list-linked song (or create their own), act out a skit, fill out a chart, caption a photo, complete a crossword, answer a short question, fill out a map, create slides or a presentation, highlight and circle text, or write and submit their own piece of written work using online tools. 

While the curriculum perhaps doesn’t have quite as many games or arts and crafts as programs such as Honest History and others, MyWorld Interactive Social Studies does tend to be far more engaging and even multisensory compared to traditional textbook curricula, which in turn has been shown to help students retain and recall better. 

Further, because the series integrates these activities and exercises as a central part of its project-based learning (with lots of tips and lesson plans for parents to use as guides), a students’ progression through each lesson tends to be a bit more structured than some other activity-rich options out there, which in turn can reduce distraction and the overall amount of time a lesson can take (a frequent issue with highly hands-on/game-heavy programs).

How It Works

As we’ve mentioned, on the whole, MyWorld Interactive Social Studies texts are pretty easy for homeschooling families to use and go through.

The books are aligned to grade level standards for history, economics, civics and geography (with grade 5 being split into two – A and B, representing Pre/Post Civil War history and society), and are each divided into a number of chapters covering a particular concept or area of study.

These chapters are then each divided up into several individual lessons, which tend to cover topics relating to that concept.

For example, a Grade 4 chapter on US government might include three lessons on sub-topics such as the US government’s underlying principles, how the government works and citizen rights and responsibilities. 

Chapter Opener

Generally speaking, each chapter begins with a chapter opener that starts with the introduction of a Big Question, a kind of broad question that acts to set the stage for further learning/investigation. 

These can include hands-on or kinesthetic activities (which are usually written for a classroom setting but can be adapted to home use with a little quick thinking), discussions and other exercises that can spark a student’s curiosity and interest in the subject matter. 

Students are also introduced to a “Quest,” a kind of project or activity type (an inquiry strand) that students will investigate and work on by learning and then synthesizing information they gather over the course of the chapter. 

Students, for example, might be introduced to a small business owner who challenges students to come up with a business plan for a business the student might enjoy doing.

screenshot showing integration of project based learning in myworld

Following this, students can begin a myStory Spark activity, where they either write down or draw their initial thoughts and ideas about potential answers to the Big Question, a helpful process that we feel can not only can get them primed to learn but can also help parents establish a baseline of what students may know or not know, which can be quite helpful when tailoring lessons to their needs. 

example of priming activity found in myworld

At this point, students are directed to watch a myStory Video on their Realize account, which may be done using live actors going on a field trip or as an animation, but generally involves a more audio-visual exploration of the concept to help kids get a better understanding of things. 

Once this is done, parents may introduce lyrics to a song (in lower K-5 grades) or a rap (in upper K-5 grades), and even play audio files located online, which serve to introduce and demonstrate that chapter’s vocabulary list in a kind of dynamic and fun way. 


Following the chapter opener section, students (or students and parents) then turn to their workbook to begin their lessons. 

As students do so, parents can opt to follow along in their teacher’s guide, which also offers various tips for introducing and guiding discussions, various prompt questions to help students better engage with the material, sample responses for gauging student work and lesson-specific differentiation instructions, which can help structure the lesson activities around a student’s abilities or around any difficulties they may be having. 

As mentioned previously, each lesson in the chapter is centered around a particular sub-topic and usually begins with a quick digital lesson introduction on the Realize platform. 

After this, students read through the text and, as they do so, encounter various tasks to do or questions to complete, such as underlining certain words, picking out key concepts, filling in charts and maps and so on, which serve to reinforce learning, get students thinking about what they are reading and generally work to keep students paying attention to what they are doing, which is always helpful. 

picture of in-lesson exercises found in myworld interactive workbook lessons

Periodically, students will encounter so-called “Quest connections,” which are specific activities, questions and exercises that have students circle back to the chapter’s Quest project and have them work on specific aspects of them.  

screenshot of quest connection in myworld social studies chapter

Interestingly, the MyWorld Interactive Social Studies program also manages to integrate reading skills into its explorations of history, civics, geography and economics.

In addition to periodically including readings from its leveled readers (which parents can choose based on their estimation of a student’s reading skill), the chapters also tend to have specific sections and activities related to different literacy skills, such as working on comprehension, learning about sequencing and cause/effect, summarizing texts, identifying main ideas, drawing conclusions and so on. 

screenshot example of myworld social studies lesson integrating prediction as reading and literay skill

At the end of each lesson, students are presented with that is a sort of lesson check/summary area that includes a few questions to test a students understanding of the reading, some questions to help tease out their understanding of the subject and even a few questions that can have them write about what they’ve learned and including questions touching on how the topic connects to their lives or experiences in some way, which is kind of cool. 

Finally, at the end of each chapter there are little assessments that test a student’s understanding of various vocabulary words introduced in the various lessons, as well as broader questions that have them demonstrate their understanding of the various concepts they’ve learned about. 

example of assessment questions found in myworld curricula

These assessments can have a variety of components and question types to them, from straightforward short answers to answers that have them synthesize information from several lessons in some way, which can make things a little interesting and keep students on their toes. 

Finally, the chapters tend to end with the student writing up or completing their Quest project, a task that usually involves putting together the different Quest connections and notes they’ve worked on over the course of their lessons.

For example, if the Quest in a chapter about the economy was about setting up a business, students might be challenged to write a short business plan that outlines a hypothetical business including how it works, its name, and what products or services it would offer customers. 

screenshot of myworld social studies project final exercise

How Easy Is MyWorld Interactive Social Studies To Teach At Home?

In general, we feel that MyWorld is a pretty easy curriculum for parents to use in order to teach social studies at home. 

In general, the interactive worktexts and digital teacher’s guides are well-designed, clearly written and straightforward, capable of guiding students and parents through chapters and lessons without much of an issue. 

Further, the teacher’s editions provide parents with a lot of help in tailoring learning to their child and homeschool’s needs.

There are ample tips and directions for how and when to integrate digital content, lots of ideas for differentiation and support, tips for generating discussions and ample guidance for setting up and running activities.

As we’ve mentioned previously, the only real issues homeschooling parents might need to be aware of are the fact that the series is written for a classroom setting with multiple students, which means that some activities may need to be adjusted for home use (and/or may involve the wrangling of other family members), and the fact that chapters may include a number of different resources including: 

  • Video content
  •  Audio files
  • Leveled readers 
  • Discussions
  • Physical activities
  • Questions and assessments
  • And more

This can mean a bit of flipping and clicking around and can mean that parents may have to spend a bit of time getting used to things or even deciding what works with their preferred homeschooling style. 

Is MyWorld Interactive Social Science Secular?

Standards aligned and used by public schools across the US, MyWorld Social Science is a completely secular social studies program.

Outside of the occasional primary source, the program makes no real mention or non-academic study of God or the Bible and tends to approaches history from a secular, humanistic perspective. 

Consequently, it can be a good option for those interested in a secular and neutral homeschooling curriculum but may be less so for those interested in one with a strongly faith-based perspective. 

Pros and Cons



With a full year’s worth of K-5 social studies priced below $80 and middle school below $150, MyWorld Social Studies homeschool kits are fairly affordable, particularly considering they include access to a full suite of digital tools/resources and a full color print workbook. 

Engaging and interactive workbooks

MyWorld’s interactive social studies textbooks are full color, written to the student and filled with activities, exercises, illustrations and even projects that students can complete as they go along, which can make learning a lot more fun and engaging for students compared to a traditional textbook. 

Thorough social studies learning

While approachably and casually written, MyWorld still takes its teaching seriously and provides students with grade-appropriate vocabulary, literature options, in-depth explorations of concepts, interesting review and thorough assessments to measure learning outcomes.

Colorful, approachable texts 

MyWorld texts are colorful and filled with interesting pictures, charts, illustrations, maps, timelines and more, making them a lot of fun to go through.

More than that, the texts are written to the student in a casual manner, which can make learning about history, civics, economics and geography a lot less intimidating and dry.

Multimedia resources

In addition to the text, MyWorld provides students with access to interesting vocabulary-building songs and lesson-related videos that can make lessons a lot more interesting and relevant and can help make things a little easier for auditory/visual learners. 

Student centered learning

Compared to other social studies programs out there, MyWorld Interactive Social Studies is far less of a top-down, lecture oriented curriculum.

The series instead builds its chapters around broad questions and projects that students will investigate through their lessons, ultimately leading them to synthesize a response from their learning. 

In addition, the program’s leveled readers and teacher’s guides also provides parents with a number of tools and suggestions to really tailor learning around a student’s needs.

As a result, MyWorld tends to be more focused on the student, their interest and maintaining active engagement compared to other programs.

Offline and online resources available

Finally, with a physical text and a complete digital platform (including e-text versions of its core workbook), MyWorld can be used as both a mixed pen-and-paper/digital program, as well as a purely digital one, allowing parents to configure student learning around their preferences. 


Written primarily for schools

Although widely available for homeschools, Savvas’ MyWorld Interactive Social Studies curriculum is largely written for traditional classrooms and may include references, tips and activities that aren’t quite tailored to a home setting.

Does have quite a few components to it

With a student text, teacher text, videos, audio files, readers, digital administrative tools and more, MyWorld isn’t exactly a compact curriculum, which may be a bit intimidating or time-consuming for students and parents. 

Can increase screen time

While the program’s interactive workbook is available in physical form, the vast majority of the program’s resources, including videos, audio files, teacher’s books and more are available to homeschoolers in a digital format. 

Although many of the resources can be used offline, the program still will increase the amount of time students will spend in front of a screen each week.

Who is MyWorld Social Studies Ideal For

Those looking for a secular, standards-aligned social studies program

MyWorld is a completely secular, comprehensive standards-aligned program that dives into social studies in a fairly rigorous and engaging manner, making it a good fit for homeschoolers looking for such a program.

Fans of digital learning and resources

Each homeschool MyWorld kit comes with a year’s subscription to the rather comprehensive Savvas’ Realize digital platform where they can receive digital copies of the course workbooks, as well as access to videos, audio, progress tracking tools, writing tools and more. 

Those who prefer a student-centric approach

With a text written to the student, baked in differentiation ideas and tips, leveled readers and chapters centered around a project, MyWorld is a departure from traditional curricula in that it puts the student, their abilities and their understanding at the forefront of lessons. 

Fans of multisensory learning

In addition to reading, students in MyWorld Interactive Social Science can access videos, listen to audio and even participate in physical, hands-on activities – all of which is good news for fans of multisensory curricula. 

Homeschools on a budget

Offering a full physical workbook and access to a pretty complete digital resource and management platform for less than $150 per year per grade (less than $100 at the K-5 level), MyWorld is actually a fairly inexpensive full suite social studies curriculum that can fit most budgets. 

Who Is It Not Ideal For?

Parents looking for a curriculum specifically aimed at homeschools

While some homeschooling families don’t mind using a product that is primarily aimed at traditional schools, others are looking for something a little more tailored for the homeschooling experience and may be less appreciative of a curriculum that they will have to adjust at times. 

Those looking for a faith-based examination of social studies

Although there’s certainly nothing that we feel is objectionable in the MyWorld Interactive Social Studies curriculum, at the end of the day the program is completely secular and so may not be a fit for those interested in a program that teaches from a more faith-based perspective. 

Fans of top-down, lecture-style instruction

While some students may be fans of a project/inquiry-based approach, others may prefer a program that simply and directly states what they need to know and may not fully appreciate MyWorld’s discovery oriented method of learning.


Note: All prices in USD, all prices correct as of writing.

For homeschoolers, MyWorld Interactive is available as a homeschool bundle, which includes a student interactive text and a year’s access to the Realize digital platform, where the remainder of the program’s resources can be found. 

For K-5, these packages cost around $77, while for those in grades 6-8 they cost around $144. 

As always, parents should check for the latest prices and for any discounts or offers that may be available.


Is It Worth the Price?

Overall, we feel that Savvas’ MyWorld Interactive Social Studies can be a very effective and affordable social studies program for the right homeschooling families. 

The series introduces history, civics, economics and geography through colorful, highly illustrated and interactive worktexts that are not only approachably and clearly written, but through their Big Questions also get students thinking about and engaged with the material they are learning about in a more personal manner. 

At the same time, the series’ project-based learning style encourages students to actually apply their new-found social studies knowledge, as well as their reading, writing and critical thinking skills, to solve real world and practical problems and questions, creating a far more active learning experience. 

The series also teaches using a variety of useful digital resources, including audio and video files, readers, teacher’s guides and more, all of which can make the subject matter far more interesting and understandable for all involved. 

Finally, with its leveled readers, teaching tips, rather extensive differentiation ideas and offline/online scheduling solutions, MyWorld Interactive Social Studies is also quite personalizable and capable of being tailored both to a student’s needs and abilities, as well as a homeschool’s unique teaching style and schedule. 

Bottom Line

The study of history, civics, geography and economics may not always be every student’s favorite subject, but with its student-centric, practical and activity-rich approach, colorful texts and digital resources MyWorld Interactive can be an easy to use, affordable and highly engaging social studies curriculum.

Picture of our author and editor Anne Miller

About the Author

Anne Miller is the editor of The Smarter Learning Guide and is a passionate advocate for education and educational technology. A mom of two, she majored in English Language and Literature and worked as a substitute teacher and tutor for several years. When not writing she continues to root for the Yankees and the Giants.