Mystery of History Volume 2

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archers1359

  • Reviewed on Friday, October 11, 2013
  • Grades Used: 7th-8th
  • Dates used: 2013-2014
This is an excellent history curriculum! We've tried different ones over the years trying to find that right fit for us. We tried lit based ones and while I liked the concept, it didn't work out. Then we went the other way using text books from Abeka and BJU which turned out to be too rigid and dry. It became one of their least favorite subjects which was very upsetting to me as history is fascinating (although I didn't think so in school and I really do not want my kids to find history drudgery like I did).

Then I discovered MOH and it sounded good but I was leery about getting my hopes up 'til we tried it. For us, this is the perfect blend of structured lessons with freedom to go further. We're using the audio CDs, as my boys have so much to read in their other subjects, this gives them a break. This is how we use the curriculum. On Monday, they take a pre-test, although some weeks we forget to do that. They listen to their lesson while taking notes (this reinforces note taking skills, which is my addition to the program). After the lesson they write a memory card with basic facts from the lesson to study from and review later. They usually do an additional assignment that correlates with the lesson. They do this Mon, Tues, and Wed. On Wed. they make 3 time line pictures for ea. lesson that we add to our time line. They like the artistic change of pace. My oldest takes his time with his and makes some really nice pictures. My youngest isn't artistically inclined and sort of rushes through his, but he likes the time line idea and doesn't complain about doing his part. There's an option in the program where the kids can use ready-made figures or make their own. Not only is making your own cheaper, but I like seeing what the kids come up with for images (the author includes recommendations for making timeline figures, but we don't use them) and it'll be more sentimental to look back on later. Also on Wed, they review their memory cards in preparation for a quiz or work sheet on Thurs. On Fri they usually play a medieval history game. I try to keep Fridays a bit more laid back for them as they have a pretty rigorous program. We all have this balancing act as homeschoolers between challenging them without stressing them out and overloading them. In the program, the author's suggestion is history 3 days a week or if doing history everyday she suggests taking Fridays off. I prefer to make Fri a game day or movie day. Although my youngest prefers games as movies are more time consuming. (He's very time conscious.) Overall, this has been the best history curriculum I've come across, as it fits us perfectly. I love the structured lessons, but there's time to add some additional research or reading or projects to them. I have added 4 history projects this year with 1 of them being a biggie, a typed report and presentation where we invite all the family. I call it a project party. (That gives my kids added incentive to work hard and do their best.) Also, all of their books in lit are historical fiction taking place in medieval times to correlate with their history curriculum, which I found on my own. I've had to come up with my own lit questions and vocab because the books I chose with my kids in mind were mostly out of print and there wasn't a study guide available for them. They also have to do book reports on every book they read for literature. I think it all works to help reinforce the history lessons. The main reason I like this curriculum is that the kids are remembering the lessons, even from the beginning of the year! I can point to something on the time line and they can tell me about it without hesitation! Also, this can be very easily self-taught, which is a plus for me as I work part-time outside the home and they are on their own part of the day. It's been much more peaceful since my job is more of a coach instead of a teacher. I help them reach our combined goals and make sure they've got the tools they need and make sure they stay on task, and that's all I need to do. This curriculum fits us perfectly! Although for hs level I'm thinking about creating my own from scratch. I have not been able to find a world history curriculum that emphasizes studying fighting men throughout the ages. I've got boys and naturally they're into battles and warriors. So, I'm going to try creating my own curriculum! If it doesn't work out, I know which curriculum choice to fall back on! Hope this review helps and God bless you on your journey!

luv2dream13

  • Reviewed on Thursday, March 10, 2011
  • Grades Used: High School
  • Dates used: 2010-11
I have used the MOH series for several years and have really enjoyed all of them. My high school students use it on their own and I assign them several extra items to do during the week. They enjoy having it chronologically and I also started using Illuminations with the program 2 years ago. Illuminations combines literature and study guides with the history to give the student a well rounded feel for this time period.

anne3boys

  • Reviewed on Sunday, February 13, 2011
  • Grades Used: 6-7
  • Dates used: 2008-2010
Many others have posted well-written reviews here on this. I'll just add and not repeat. I agree that Book 2 is weak where it comes to building in strong scriptural knowledge in correlation with history. Much more could be done in this area.

We discontinued using this series. I don't like the organization of it. The sections have three lessons each, some completely unrelated. If we decide to skip one of the obscure people she sees as important, it makes future review quizzes and post-tests impossible to use. You do not have the flexibility to skip any of the MANY saints and heros of the faith in this book. I do like her narrative. The kids find it interesting too. I just don't like to skip around to different countries and people and then review them all in one thing. I'm an immersion person. We have temporarily gone back to Story of the World, which we also like, but will do high school with Diana Waring. Her unit study approach really allows the student to be absorbed into all aspects of the period. MOH is much more text book like. We did not feel drawn to the projects because we felt like we'd never get through it if we did. Frustrating.

HomeSchoolDad

  • Reviewed on Sunday, December 12, 2010
  • Grades Used: 3rd-6th
  • Dates used: 2010
Format: One woman's view of history, provided as a narrative - you can read it or listen to her read it. Children create their own timeline to visually see how the historical events fit together. Many - optional but useful - suggested activities and external resources to supplement the overview approach of the course itself.

Pros: Mrs. Hobar reading her work makes it easy to cover history while driving, or while doing crafts, art, etc. (all of which you can tie in to History). The textbook is the transcript of the audio CD's so you and your children can be totally in sync between class coverage and listening as you drive/work. She does make the information interesting, without all the dry and droll names-dates-places memorization that you probably had during your own days studying history. Yet the Children actually do remember, and in perspective, historical events that are presented this way, so the course is effective.

Cons: We gave a very positive review to Mrs. Hobar's "Mystery of History volume I - Creation to Christ". However, as a Christian homeschooling family we cannot give a positive review of Volume II - The Middle Ages. Mrs. Hobar seems confused about what the Church really is, and how God acts in history, and passes that confusion on in this volume. As she tells of historical events, people, and places she tries to tie that back in with her faith, which is supposedly Evangelical. Unfortunately she uses much more opinion and feeling than God's Word, so much compromise and ecumenism permeates her understanding and her teaching. When people in history act in clear violation of God's Word, but the world or various religions paint them as heroes, Mrs. Hobar drops the Bible as her reference and uses "I suppose", "I feel", "I think", and "what do you think?" In MOH I, where there was a time correlation between world events and the Bible -they cover the same time period- Mrs. Hobar presented the Bible as the truth and key to understanding world events. But in MOH II, once the Bible's historical account ends, leaving prophecy instead of history for us to work with, she completely loses that perspective and begins to adopt the religious, but decidedly not Christian, world view with "the Church" as having relevance to determine truth - only problem is, it's the increasingly worldly and apostate church and not the Church that has Jesus as its head.

Recommendation: If you want a study of Middle-Ages History with a Biblical view, look elsewhere.
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