We use SOTW in my home and enjoy it. We are in SOTW1 right now, so it is all about Ancient History. If you just had the book and read it, it would be very light reading. However, there is the Activity Guide that goes with it that I would highly recommend. It has tons of additional reading and activity suggestions in it. I am constantly getting books out of the library that are suggested in the AG so that we can deepen the study.
In school I hated history because it always seemed like it was about memorizing dates and copying notes. I like that with SOTW, it feels like a story you are reading each week. It covers many major points in history, but it doesn't focus on dates and memorizing names and places. My kids have an understanding of who Alexander the Great was, where Mesopotamia was, why people often lived along the river, of how imporant seas were for trade, etc. They enjoy learning about history and they are getting a great overview.
I also find that I'm loving doing history because it is so easy with SOTW. We usually read the chapter on Monday and they will sometimes verbally narrate some of it back to me. We also usually do the activity pages (maps, colouring pages, word searches, etc.) on Monday. Then Wed. we will pull out the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia I have and the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia and we will look up the corresponding pages and read a more in-depth review of the time period. Then on Friday we will read some book selections that we got from the library. I rarely do the hands-on activities, but my kids often will bring what we are learning into their play.
I am learning a lot along with the kids and it's keeping History interesting and fun. I am a secular homeschooler and I like that there are little spatterings of many different religious beliefs thrown into the book as well. My dd is quite interested in mythology and ds loved the Anansi and Rabbit Shoots the Sun stories. They know that a rabbit didn't really shoot the sun and that Zeus isn't a real god, but I'm sure they are getting an understanding that people believe(ed) different things and a bit about why they believed what they did, and also they see the similarities in a lot of belief systems (have you noticed how popular stories about boys being floated down a river in a basket instead of killed is in ancient beliefs?).
I can't give any info on HO as I haven't used it, but we will be sticking with SOTW for next year as well.
ETA: I have heard concerns that some things aren't historically accurate in SOTW, however almost any book or program I've read reviews on has said the same thing.