I just have one complaint about this curriculum - I didn't write it! As a two-decade home educator, I've been trying to write a needed missing link in home education. This book is it!!
There seems to be two basic types of history books out there:
1. Textbooks that give trite summaries that fail to inspire our kids to interact with historical periods and that tend to instill a sense of boredom.
2. Exciting "idea book" type hands-on programs that give timelines, maps, ideas, crafts, etc. that you are told to integrate with historical instruction. The problem is, most of us don't have the time, knowledge, or money to buy or research these historical periods to teach the "meat" of information we don't know ourselves. Plus, there are those days as a homeschooler where we need the kids to be more autonomous than others. If the curriculum depends on us 100% of the time, we're going to fail. If the curriculum depends on handing a kid a big book or computer and hoping they discern what the key points to isolate, they will often become distracted and fail. With this self-directed approach, assessment becomes a big issue - either by neglecting to test or by exhausting the home educator who is required to create these constant assessments.
Mystery of History gives the beginner to advanced home educator the best of both worlds. A great, easy-to-read segment of history is covered each day. The student is able to read it themselves and then, is asked to write a summary card of the key point and dates. A timeline is recommended with the choice of format. The teacher can be as involved or uninvolved in the process as life dictates that day and then, can assess student comprehension based on the cards and regular testing provided in the manual. Additional ideas, crafts, reading etc. are given for varying grade levels that allow the teacher to amplify and expand the info given when desired.
It's chronological (very helpful with learning challenged kids) and a perfect balance between self-directed and teacher supervised. Ample opportunities for creativity abound, but consistent no-frills flow is also insured. It works well with multi-grade teaching since the text is supplemented with advanced work suggestions.
I love this and will just have to file away my efforts at writing the same concept.