It has taken me since September to realise that I simply do not have the time anymore to recreate the same depth and breadth of study I managed with my older ones for my younger ones. I want to. So badly. But if I don’t buck up my ideas A9 will be A16 and she will still have no clue about any civilisation past the Ancient Egyptians. It is a hard decision to make: creating my own history units or using a boxed curriculum. Really though, the choice has been made for me. I am too involved in my older children’s school work to have the time to create my own history units, so really the choice is between a boxed curriculum or nothing. Nothing isn’t an option. So boxed it is. I have both Mystery of History and Story of the World.
Choosing Mystery of History
I chose Mystery of History, based on the fact that I own all four volumes and only own the first two Story of the World (speaking of which, if any of my UK based readers would like to have those two volumes (and I think I have the note pages/activity book for both as well) let me know in the comments and I shall post it to you for freeeee!) Also, the Mystery of History is steeped in Christianity, which is so important to me.
Anyhow, I gathered all my Mystery of History bits and bobs, as well as a few supplementary resources, and I have been plotting and planning how to use them:
Mystery of History: Main Book and Audio Version
A9 already enjoys listening to these audio CDs before falling asleep. However, I thought it might be handy to also use them during lesson time. The girls can do some colouring while listening, and this frees me up to get the activities ready.
I will photocopy everything I need for the week from here. Mystery of History is set out so that three lessons are completed in a week. I intend to do the first on a Monday, the second on a Tuesday and the third on a Wednesday. Each Thursday we will spend the day doing the hands-on activities I have planned and Friday we will do the timeline, challenge cards and review exercises. This resource includes the pre-test, the ‘What did you miss?’ exercise, the maps required in each lesson, as well as extra activities, toys and books which would simply add a certain excitement to each lesson.
I will photocopy these out one week at a time. These are used to help the child remember all they have learnt during the week. They can be collected and used to review lessons from weeks past. Each card pertains to one lesson and it contains all the most important information from that lesson. There are lots of different ways to use these cards, which I will be sharing as we go along.
This student notebook contains age appropriate notebooking pages specifically aimed at each lesson in the main curriculum. There are note pages for younger writers, older writers as well as for those who wish to type their work directly on the note page. There are also additional question and answer questions to check understanding.
This is a set of 36 colouring in pages. Each page has the contents of that week’s lessons mixed up together, which makes for a fun ‘seek the lesson’ exercise. I have two girls who love to colour in, specifically whilst they are listening to something read out to them, so I will also be using some MOH linked colouring pages.
This is another product from the folk at Bright Ideas Press to go along with each volume of Mystery of History. Very similar in nature to lap book pieces, these are folder books to accompany each lesson in the MOH volumes.
I have chosen to use the timeline notebook pages from Jimmie’s Notebooking Fairy site. These will easily slip into the back of our binder (see below), and go well with any timeline figures. I have chosen to use the timeline figures which match the colouring in pages. These are simple, clear and best of all, free!
Mystery of History Volume 1 Binder
The Mystery of History binder is dissimilar to most history files in that it is arranged chronologically by continent. The girls will have one each and will keep all their work, in addition to photographs of all their projects.
Lots and lots of hands on activities
Of course learning here does not occur unless it is accompanied by lots of hands on activities. I am excited about this aspect as I will still be able to use my own creativity to come up with lots to do, making and creating items which will reflect the girls learning. We intend to leave Thursday as our activity day as they do not go over to Granny’s house on a Thursday.
Mystery of History has map work included each week and I am able to print out maps with both the printable resources and the folder book resource described above. I also have a few great books which I used with my older ones which are just too good not to use:
These are free printable planning pages for volume one of MOH and are simple and user friendly pages to plan your week of MOH learning
So that’s it. Hopefully this will allow me to keep some creativity whilst making sure my daughters are getting the education they deserve.