Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mystery of History

One of the many reason I homeschool is to be able to teach my children about our faith in Yeshua (Jesus). I wanted to blend chronological biblical history with our history studies. I looked at lots of history curriculum and I found one that I fell in love with.

The Mystery of History is a history curriculum written by Linda Hobar. Its really for all ages really! It's published by Bright Ideas Press. This curriculum contains clear instructions for how to use it as well as activities for different age levels at the end of each lesson. There are pretests and quizzes, maps, book and video lists, and an answer key in the back. It's so easy to just pick up the book with a little bit of materials gathering and use this curriculum. Even if you don’t do the extra activities it will be worth it and still lots of fun. Bug and even Little Man love it as much as I love it. Next year we will be going through Volume II and I will be cycling back through all the volumes when we repeat our history rotation and using the projects for older children at that time.

Volume I* Creation to the the Resurrection.

Volume II* is The early church to the Middle Ages.

Volume III*Renaissance, Reformation, and growth of nations.

The forth volume is in the works. Revolutions, Rising Nations, and the Present day: 1708-Present Day

*Every volume has Reproducible CD (which is the same as the back of the book, which I liked the CD so I can just print it off the CD instead of dealing with printing from the book.)

*Audio set of the series if you kids are more auditory and you can do school in the car while driving if you like.

*Craft pak CD ROM which has some paper type of activities. Which I have not used.

*Downloadable coloring pages. Which is new and I didn’t use. I spent a lot of time searching for coloring pages and Volume II is in the works. I hope its done when I start.

*Also new is folder books. Which from the samples I seen are lapbooks. Look at the samples, I have a link on my sidebar. These look like a lot of fun.

The series can serve as a complete history program in and of itself, or it can easily be supplemented with historical literature or use with another curriculum (which I also use Sonlight).

Every lesson has activities these activities are ranked according to difficulty (younger, middle, older students). We have done many of them and added them in our notebook.
Some of the activities are extremely easy and require no extra materials. Some have some paper fold activities. For example, in Lesson 24 of Volume 1 on Ramses the Great, we made a “kingdom folder” that categorized the four major kingdom periods of Ancient Egypt. Other activities are making a wall out of blocks to knock down. it’s a mixture of many different things. A few of the suggested activities are more complicated, but well worth the effort. For example, after Lesson 17 in Volume 1 on the Israelites in Slavery, making sun-dried “bricks” from straw and salt dough. We will be getting together this summer with a friend who is also loving Mystery of History to make these. I will post pictures when we do it.

After every third lesson, you do both timeline and map work exercises as well as a review exercise or quiz. We did all of the timeline work (but we used Adams SynChronological Charts or map of history.
We already do a timeline book with Sonlight. Mystery of History has a neat set up for a timeline. We also did the map work, and we skipped the review exercises.

I didn‘t do the “memory cards”,(Since writing is hard for Bug.) but I think they are worthwhile, and I hope to do them eventually. After every three lessons, the author recommends writing 2-3 sentences about each of those lessons on individual index cards with the titles and the dates. After filing them chronologically in an index card binder, you can go back over them periodically to review. For some families who have younger children this may not be something that works for you. They will still enjoy MOH! Another option is that mom can write up the cards for the younger ones.

Overall, the Mystery of History program is thorough, well-written, and appeals to a wide range of ages and learning styles. We look forward to Volume II!

I highly recommend Mystery of History. You will love it. If you do decide on this curriculum, then consider joining one of the yahoo support groups for The Mystery of History. Linda Hobar is frequently writing on the list answering questions and giving updates on what is happening with the other books in the series. It has been a good place for me to glean ideas and learn from others.

If you do not want a biblical point of view in your history curriculum, then Mystery of History is not for you. Have a blessed day.

I did not receive payment for this review, I blog with integrity and the opinions in this review are my honest opinions on this product.

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