Mystery of History: A “Living Book” Approach to History

Since beginning our homeschooling journey twelve years ago, I have developed a genuine love of history. All those facts and dates that were such a jumble during my own school years are now being replaced by fascinating stories of the people and events that make up history.

In order to help my children love and learn from history, I’ve adopted a “living” approach to history. I know I need a program with some structure to guide me, but I also want the freedom to add in plenty of extra reading: biographies, historical fiction, and classic literature from the time period.

I’ve found that Mystery of History makes an excellent spine upon which to build a living history

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Overview of Mystery of History

Mystery of History is a complete chronological study of history from a Christian perspective. While many programs cover historical events by continent or by country, Mystery of History begins with Creation and presents people and events from all over the world in chronological order.

The author, Linda Lacour Hobar, clearly shows God’s hand in history and presents the Gospel as the true “mystery of history.” Biblical and secular history are intertwined, helping students to see how well-known people and events in the Bible fit into the big picture of history.

The complete Mystery of History program is contained in four volumes:

  • Volume I: Creation to the Resurrection
  • Volume II: The Early Church and the Middle Ages (A.D. 30-1460)
  • Volume III: The Renaissance, Reformation, and the Growth of Nations (1455-1707)
  • Volume IV: Wars of Independence to Modern Times (1708-2014)

Using Mystery of History

Each volume of Mystery of History contains everything needed for a full year of study; there are no separate manuals or keys to juggle. The books are softcover and include reproducible maps and activity pages. A special section in the appendix contains an extensive list of books and videos for further learning, listed by lesson and divided into three learning levels.

Each volume is divided into semesters, quarters, and weeks. Each semester covers one major time period and closes with a semester test. Each quarter begins with an “Around the World” section, which contains information about the time period being studied. Worksheets at the end of each quarter review the material that has been covered.

Each week incorporates the following:

  • Pretest–an ungraded learning activity designed to spark the student’s interest in the next few lessons
  • Three lessons–each lesson covers one person or event with a reading selection and activities for three different levels
  • Memory cards–small summaries for each lesson are written on index cards for weekly review
  • Review activities–people and events from the week’s lessons are added to the timeline, and related mapwork is completed
  • Cumulative review–either a quiz or a worksheet that covers all material studied from the beginning of the course

Interested in how we use Mystery of History in our homeschool? Watch for a post next week with all the details!

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  1. Jackie Betancourt says:

    Thank you for sharing this. We are also new to MOH and really enjoy it! I can’t wait to read your next posting on this. God bless!

    1. Judy Hoch says:

      Nice to hear from you, Jackie! We are loving MOH so much that I’m wondering why I didn’t make the switch before! I’ll be posting another update on Wednesday or Thursday. 🙂

      1. Jackie Betancourt says:

        I hear ya, Judy! I kept tossing around the idea of MOH for quite some time and have finally made the switch, too. My children and I love it, and we actually even bought Illuminations Year 1 to go along with it. We’re starting tomorrow! Can’t wait to read your posting, thanks again for sharing with us!