The Mystery of History, Volume 1: Creation to the Resurrection Paperback – Jul 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Honestly, I don't think it gets any easier to do this than The Mystery of History. In Volume One Creation to Resurrection Hobar takes readers from a literal, seven-day creation, and a literal Adam and Eve through highly developed humans from the start, dinosaurs, the ice age, and on through to the coming of Christ. However, not only the events that you find in your Bible are included though in this volume of ancient history, biblical history does receive the lion's share of the text (just as it should!) The ancient cultures of China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome are also introduced along with the smaller, but fascinating Phoenicia, India, and even North America (not small geographically, but smaller in terms of mention ' only one lesson). This is all done in a sweeping 108 lessons, designed to be completed over 36 weeks (at 3 lessons per week).
These lessons are written in a conversational tone ' not exactly narrative, but similar to Jeannie Fullbright's Young Explorers science series, as though she is speaking directly to your children. The text is written somewhat simply, an average fourth grader should definitely be able to read and understand it. My oldest daughter (currently 8) really enjoys the chatty style.
Hobar provides much more than lessons, making this a rich, versatile curriculum.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I especially love the 'What do you know?' pretests that encourage them to see what they already know and makes them curious, and the 'take another look' or 'what did you miss' reviews & activities - then there are quizes every 2 weeks, too, which test their knowledge. All of this is in small bites so the information isn't overwhelming. There are many activities to do. Each lesson lists assignments for 'younger', 'middle' and 'older' students. There are 36 weeks of lessons in this volume. The author lists several examples of how organize your week.
You will need to inlcude real books from a library (or you can buy some) to flesh out the lessons - but the same goes for TOG. I plan on making a time line as well.
The only negative I can find so far is that the 5th (last) volume will not be published in time (planned for release in 2014 or 2015 ?), but we can find a substitute curriculum for that last little bit of history - no problem. The 3rd and 4th volumes should be released in time for us. (3rd this spring and 4th in 2011.) For more info you can go to the MOH website, but don't buy there. The prices are better elsewhere.
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.
I like that bible history is included in the chronology. However, I wanted more world history...too much of this text is bible history. We have had to delve into Mesopotamia, Egypt and China and Greece from other sources and therefor are quite "behind" for the year. And we haven't gotten to Rome yet.
That being said, I did feel comfortable dropping our bible curriculum and just using MOH for that, although I do disagree with the author on some of the implications of the bible characters. (especially Gideon)
I think this is more of a biblical history, with some stuff that was going on at the same time in the rest of the world...as opposed to a comprehensive world history text that includes bible history.
My son does not care for history, and this text did not change his mind.
I adore history, but find this text difficult to relate to and not detailed about the most interesting bits.