We enjoy using Mystery of History in our family, but we don’t use the curriculum in its entirety. Mystery of History has a textbook that a mom could read aloud. There are activities, quizzes, and many other aspects of it. I’m sure all of these are great, but we don’t use any of that.
Instead, we listen to the audio CDs as we drive around running errands. When lessons are only 5-10 minutes long, it is easy to get at least one in when we drive to the grocery store, library, or any other local errand stop. We often will just sit the van in a parking lot or our driveway to finish a lesson if we arrive before the tract ends.
My kids love history. We memorize a timeline, history sentences, and geographical locations through Classical Conversations. My kids read endless history books from the library. Mystery of History audio CDs are a great addition to everything else we already do.
What do we love about Mystery of History?
It is Christ-centered. Between including Bible history as part of the history lessons, pointing out problems in a false religion or philosophy, and learning about Christians throughout our study of history, there is no mistaking that this is a Christian curriculum. Even with all that, MOH still doesn’t shy away from teaching about the founding of Hinduism or what Plato or Socrates believed.
We recognize names and dates from our CC memory work. While listening to the introduction to the first quarter of Volume 2 yesterday, we heard references to at least 5 points on our CC timeline or in history sentences we recently learned. Mystery of History gives us more information about our memory pegs, but those pegs help the information to stick with us. I don’t particularly try to “match up” our Mystery of History listening with our CC memory work. When we run across something we have memorized, it gives us a chance to review (even if it was something we memorized two years ago).
We learn history that we haven’t studied before. Just from listening to Volume 1 and the beginning of Volume 2, we have learned about people and places that we didn’t know before. We’ve connected history in various parts of the world with each other. The stories of various people are fun to hear and have led to my kids wanting to read more about that person. (In fact, Ruthie’s Faces of History presentation was about someone we first heard about on Mystery of History.)
Great conversations happen when we listen together in the van. We enjoy learning together as a family. Listening together allows our conversations as we walk through the store to be about the current lesson. We can have tough conversations about what martyrs faced in the early church and what persecution people face today.
Listening in the van is an easy way for me to add in more learning to our days. Let’s face it. Sometimes, we just need to run errands. As a homeschool mom, I love when those van trips (and store conversations) are part of our educational experience instead of “wasted time.”
The kids and I were so excited when MOH volume 2 arrived at our house yesterday. We listened to 7 lessons in the van just yesterday afternoon.
Obviously, I can’t speak to the content of volume 3 or volume 4 since we haven’t listened to them yet, but we intend to as soon as we finish the CDs we have. Volume 4’s audio is currently available only throuhg mp3 files but will probably be out on CD soon.
TO LISTEN TO A SAMPLE: Mystery of History’s site has sample audio lessons. We have the ones with some music in the background. When we got to the sample lesson as we listened through volume 1 as a family, my children remembered the lesson. It’s amazing to me how much these kids learn. Go here to hear a sample of Volume 1.
How does your family like to study history?
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