Mystery of History Volume 1

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twfleger

  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 19, 2014
  • Grades Used: 3rd, 6th, 9th
  • Dates used: 2012 - Present
After 13 years of homeschooling, I believe I have finally found a history curriculum that I can truly enjoy and learn from. I have tried numerous other curriculum (Sonlight, My Father's World, Biblioplan) which are also GREAT curriculum...they just weren't great for me.

I will just list the pro's and cons of Mystery of History (MOH) that I have found so far.

Pros:

1. Short lessons that speak at a level that doesn't confuse or bore. Linda Hobar (author of MOH) brings out the fascination of the aspects of what she is teaching. She is constantly comparing what she is teaching with God's word, and showing how history is really "His" (God's) story. The lessons are just the right length where I don't get bogged down with people and facts. I used to have (still do, I suppose) a learning disability in which I became confused and lost very quickly and easily if something was taking too long to explain and was explained in ways that sounded too high-tech. I just want the facts, how cool they are, and how they relate to my world...if that makes sense.

2. The review ideas are fantastic. You know how you just forget someone's name right after meeting them even if you found them to be truly interesting? What helps you to remember their name after a period of time? Meeting them again and again. MOH puts review in every lesson to help you remember what you learned the week or weeks before. This is sadly lacking in most history curricula. MOH does review with memory cards, quizzes, and exercises that are fun and interesting.

3. There isn't TOO much reading. With our past curriculum, we would be reading about 4-5 books at once, and it got confusing. With MOH, you can add in whatever works for and interests your family...as much or as little as you want.

4. The Activities each week are optional, and there are different activities for each level that your child is at. Whew! No more forcing a 2nd grader to do the same thing as your 8th grader. The activities teach your child to research, explore, and have fun learning history! I love that you aren't given the same worksheet or assignment week after week.

5. Awesome Coloring Pages, Notebooking pages (different kinds for different ages!), challenge cards, and Folderbooks! I purchased the whole set for the discount, but we aren't using the Folderbooks. I like the notebooking pages more, and there is no need to use both, I don't believe.

Cons:

1. Ummm...honestly, I can't think of any. I'm not crazy about the "Illuminations" product that I purchased from Bright Ideas Press. It ended up not working for me at all, and seemed to have too much wasted fluff and a lot of books that didn't really relate to the time period we were studying. That isn't written by Linda, however.

I hope to blog more about MOH, and if you are interested, come and visit me at http:\\www.traceys-journal.blogspot.com :)

shell64865

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
  • Grades Used: 7th
  • Dates used: 2013
This curriculum came highly recommended and as my son loves history and we were excited to try it. I'm so glad it was loaned to us and that we did not waste our money on it. I understand that it is written to be used on various age levels, but my son could easily read a weeks worth of lessons in less than an hour. He did enjoy some of the activities, but felt that others were just "busy work" so we didn't complete them. We have simplified the timeline, using bulletin board border to write on, because the timeline work was just too extensive and a little confusing. I believe that this curriculum is severely lacking in overall world history information and that if used alone, students will not receive everything that they need. It provides wonderful Biblical history facts, but is weak in everything else. I have also found several errors and discrepancies regarding dates/facts leaving me curious about the authors qualifications to write the text. We were looking for history with a Biblical view, but had to switch to something else and I can not recommend this one as anything more than a supplement.

nojo317

  • Reviewed on Thursday, May 23, 2013
  • Grades Used: 3rd & 6th
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
We enjoyed MOH 1 this year and plan to use Vol. 2 next year, but if I were to use this volume again I would do things a little differently. There are 36 weeks of history with learning about three different things each week. It was too much. I would've eliminated at least 6-8 weeks worth of history (obscure stuff my kids likely have already forgotten about anyway) and then focused that freed-up time on a few areas of history to dig in deeper (e.g., Ice Age, Ancient Egypt, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, etc.) I added on some read-a-louds that focused on some of the areas I wanted my children to know a little more in-depth, but it was A LOT to do that. So while I do recommend this curriculum if you're looking for a Christian classical approach to history, I would make it with the above recommendation to make your year a little less frantic trying to get through so much history and not really getting below the surface. I understand Vol. 2 is less than 30 weeks of history, and for that I'm so grateful!

JamesBrooke57

  • Reviewed on Monday, May 20, 2013
  • Grades Used: 1st and 4th
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
As someone who has enjoyed learning history since childhood, I am very pleased with this particular curriculum. My children (ranging in age from four to nine) have enjoyed the short, engaging lessons. They have also greatly benefited from working on their timeline, utilizing creative license as it pertains to the different historical stories. For example, when we studied Stonehenge, I sent my children out into our front yard to find small pebbles and attempt to build a miniature version of Stonehenge. The pebbles were light enough that we were able to glue them to heavyweight paper and apply them to our timeline, along with the appropriate label and dates. Also, when we studied Amenhotep (one of the Egyptian pharaohs), we made a figure out of a popsicle stick, drew a face on it, wrapped in tissue, and added a few embellishments. I have many more examples of how my children, one who particularly relishes the opportunity to turn anything into an art project, have been able to solidify their understanding of the lesson through the timeline project. However, that is just one small (and totally optional) facet of the curriculum.

Another great part of MoH is the frequent review of what has been learned. Granted, the review questions are often over my first grader's head, they are quite appropriate for my fourth grader. Also, at the end of each lesson, the author provides a hands on activity for each school age group ("younger," "middle," and "older"). If we chose to do an activity, we generally stuck with the "younger" group, however, I would assign my eldest the "middle" group's project, as well, from time to time.

Finally, I plan on using MoH again this year, because we weren't able to finish all of Volume One this year. I am very excited to delve back in and learn more about the earliest civilizations, and I believe my children are, too!
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