In short – great! Right now the all in one preparation is just what I need. I open to the day’s lesson, read aloud 2-3 pages to the children while they are eating, and send the kids off to do an activity or notebook page related to the reading after that. I love that each lesson comes with activity or notebooking ideas for a range of ages.
After every 3rd lesson my oldest three children make memory cards. Each card has the title for a lesson, the date for that person or event in history, and what my children want to remember about it. Makayla the 6th grader writes her own notes. Joseph and Emma (1st and 2nd) do oral narration and I write their notes exactly as they say them – they just don’t write small enough to fit all they want to say on a 3x5 card.
I also have a book shelf for the children to browse. This has a variety of books related to topics in Mystery of History, some from the suggested reading list in MOH and others I’ve come across.
What we aren’t doing: The timeline. I have not been able to come up with a timeline book I actually like (which I would then have to print several copies of for individual kids who want to do their own figures). We already have a simple timeline up around our dining room that we’re using to reference things we talk about. Want to see it?If you are like me you want to see it closer up, right? I took a series of pictures from left to right. One of the interesting things about this timeline is that it uses scriptural history events as many of the waypoints. This section brings you to Christ’s life.Here you find Christopher Columbus and the beginnings of America, though if you live in a different country you could obviously use other events for main points on a timeline. It is nearly complete! I need to get a family picture for the empty spot above “My Place in God’s Plan”.
Please don’t think I’m terribly creative – I got this timeline idea from the internet. I’m all for simple and with this one I printed a few pictures and the rest I cut out of an extra copy of the Gospel Art Book we had laying around. They are also available online to download at that link. The text I’m thinking came from Homeschool Chic but their site is down at the moment so I’m not sure.
Will we continue with Mystery of History in the future?
Yes and No. I really like Volume 1, which we are doing now. We plan to do the entire book between now and next fall. I borrowed Volume 2 from a friend and skimmed through the stories. I don’t like it much. Too many doctrinal conflicts as we come from a different church than the author. It also covers the Middle Ages, which we did last year before our Renaissance and Reformation studies, we don’t want to go back again so soon.
That means this fall we will pass over that time period, say goodbye to Mystery of History, and dive into Early American History from explorers to the founding of each colony, through the American Revolution, and on up to just before the Civil War. I’m working out the living books list for that right now. Well, technically I am working on several living book lists for my varying ages. More on that another day if you are interested!