Monday, December 16, 2013

The Mystery of History - Finished, Timeline and Final Thoughts!

When I first realized that homeschooling was going to be a reality in our lives I knew I would want something other than workbooks.  A friend who has homeschooled for years invited my husband and I over to give us an overview of what it was really like.  She brought out several curriculum and two really stood out as things I wanted to own right then and there.  Apologia Young Explorers Science and Mystery of History.  Both were the type of learning I knew I would like (and thankfully my kids too!)

We started Mystery of History Volume 1 last August (2012) and just finished now in December of 2013.  Yes we took a long time.  When sickness came or holidays history tended to go by the way side.  I'm not proud but I am keeping it real.  When we studied Greece we stopped a bit to learn all about Greek Gods and read the entire Percy Jackson series.  We took our time and enjoyed ourselves.  I felt safe doing it this year (and last) because both my kids are not in high school - I feel a bit different about years with transcripts so next year will be a little different...

When I first purchased MOH (Mystery of History), I bought the text book, printable cd-rom and recommended atlases.  This worked great because I was able to keep my book intact.  I should have splurged for the Supplemental Cd collection because I ended up making my own notebooking pages.  In the beginning when we didn't have them I found my kids were not retaining.  They did better when taking notes.  (I eventually ended up with that supplemental cd which saved me tons of time creating my own!)

How I set everything up:

Each week has a manilla  file folder with the week written on it.  Inside is each lesson's notebooking pages, pretest, activities, quizzes/test.  On the outside I write anything additional I need (a book from our shelf, map pages, craft supplies).  I pull each folder out when we start that week and I'm good to go.  I don't get tied down to physical weeks but just keep trodding along.  So we may do two folders in a single week or just finish one.  It really helped me to have everything printed for the whole year so I wasn't looking for supplies.  (same with supplemental readings - I just ended up buying the few I wanted so I didn't have to make a trip to the library for a book on Egyptians or Greek gods. 

One other thing we bought was timeline figures from Confessions of a Homeschooler - they were $5 and it was a inexpensive purchase.

Here is the timeline we completed:

My final thoughts:

I really loved this program.  In the afternoon we would sit around the living room (kids with tv trays and notebooks) and I would read the lesson.  Then we would talk about it and do an activity.  We all learned so much and it was amazing to see how it related to what we were learning about in church.  Our Pastor would mention someone in the bible and my kids would say on the ride home about how we learned about that person!  I loved that they were connecting the two!  We used the pretest as quizzes and did the quizzes that came along with the curriculum as well.  This was just extra for them to catch on to the key persons/dates.  Overall I was 100% pleased with the program!  We start Mystery of History Volume II in January and I can't wait! 

You can read more about this program at! They have 3 volumes covering creation to the renaissance with a fourth volume due out next year!

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