Chronological Study of History (3 out of 5)
The Mystery of History is a five volume history curriculum for homeschoolers, written by Linda Hobar. The first three volumes are available now; the remaining two are to be made available within the next four to six years. The series covers history chronologically: volume one covers Creation through the time of Christ, volume two covers the Middle Ages, and volume three covers the Renaissance. It is written to encourage a Christian worldview, and Bible study is woven into all the lessons.
Each volume of the Mystery of History can be completed in one year and it can be used for any grade, including high school. The assignments are divided into three groups: younger (K-3rd), middle (4th-8th), and older (high school).
A Variety of Assignments
Assignments for all grades begin with an oral pre-test, followed by a short lesson from the text, several hands-on activities, map and timeline work, memorization, and a final quiz. The hands-on activities include art, music, drama, cooking, and other fun projects. Students in the middle and older grades will need an historical atlas to complete the map work assignments. There are lists of supplemental books and movies for each level in the back of the book.
The Mystery of History is one of the most affordable options for history because it can be used for multiple children and multiple grades. It is easy to teach and requires very little preparation time. Christian parents will appreciate the strong emphasis given to teaching history as a means to understand God and his creation more fully. Children will undoubtedly enjoy the many interesting activities and the short lessons that get right to the point.
This curriculum lacks depth; it is probably fine for the primary school grades, but you will need to supplement in order to provide older children with a rigorous course of study. The text can be a bit boring at times, and there is not enough direction for some of the assignments. Some of the hands on activities may be fun, but they won’t really add to the student’s knowledge or understanding.
The Mystery of History will appeal to parents that want an affordable, simple way to teach history with a strong Christian foundation. It is also a good option for parents of multiple children who would like to save time and money by teaching all the children together, vary the assignments and expectations according to age.