Admittedly, history is my least favorite subject to teach. Or, I should say, was my least favorite. This year, however, we found Mystery of History and we couldn’t be more pleased. The lessons are short enough that we don’t get bogged down with unnecessary details, and the conversational style with which it is written eliminates any intimidation. Because the length of the lessons is shorter than many other curricula, there is plenty of time for supplemental activities and such. The textbook has quite a few worksheets and puzzles to supplement, as well as quizzes and tests.
One of my favorite features of this curriculum is that it is in chronological order. I find it much easier to relate events in history to one another when the events are presented in the order in which they occurred, rather than just learning the history of each continent or country separately. It eliminates the “well, what was going on in the other parts of the world while this was happening?” question. The use of timelines throughout the course reinforces this chronological order. Even I, as the parent / teacher, am finally grasping the order of historical events much better than when I was in school!
My children really enjoy notebooking. Because we do history together, I read the lessons to them, and they take notes based on my readings. There are some great notebooking pages over at notebookingpages.com that we have used (more on that site later). But, honestly, my boys needed a bit more than just an empty page to fill up, so I began writing my own “follow-along” worksheets. The kids have responded well to this, and their retention is through the roof. Combine the great notes they are now taking, with supplemental worksheets from the text or the web, plus map activities via Wondermaps, (more on them later as well) and some excellent documentaries from Netflix, and we are all learning, and enjoying, history much more than we ever have. Bravo to MoH and Bright Ideas Press.
A sample of some of our notebook pages. The one on the far left is from notebookingpages.com. The other 2 are the “follow-along” worksheets I made. 🙂
And here are a few resources for supplemental worksheets, activities, etc. (Please note that there are also official Mystery of History supplemental CDs, lapbook packs, etc that you can purchase directly from them. I, however, have not tried any of those, so I cannot comment on them one way or another.) Enjoy!
Dynamic 2 Moms (a LOT of lapbooking goodies for younger kids too!)
Notebookingpages.com (you can sign up for free access, or a paid membership for more goodies)