Mystery of History Volume II

Mystery of History Volume II

The Early Church and the Middle Ages

by Linda Lacour Hobar
Publisher: Bright Ideas Press
Softcover Textbook, 704 pages
Price: $49.95
Used Price: $35.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

This curriculum provides a historically accurate, Bible-centered approach to learning the history of the early Church through the Middle Ages. The completely chronological lessons span the continents to shed new light on who walked the earth when, and how God revealed Himself to mankind during this pivotal period of history. (Though highly recommended, it is not necessary for students to complete Volume I before experiencing Volume II.)

Classical

Written by a proponent of making the classical method easier to use. The primary research has already been done for you, but the door remains open for further exploration through age-appropriate activities.

Chronological:

Be it a lesson from Germany, China, Zimbabwe, or Iceland, the author leads students to all corners of the globe in the order that major events occurred there. For example, students will discover that soon after St. Patrick delivered the gospel to Ireland, the Western Roman Empire fell in Europe; Mohammed introduced Islam to world about a decade after King Arthur rode with his knights; the Vikings ravaged parts of Europe while the Maori settled New Zealand; and Joan of Arc tragically burned at the stake while the Inkas (Incas) were building their golden empire in South America!

Complete:

  • Three lessons per week
  • Fun projects and hands-on activities
  • Photos from around the world
  • Historical photos
  • Exercises, quizzes, quarterly worksheets, and semester tests
  • Weekly timeline & mapping assignments
  • Distinctive "Memory Card" method
  • User-friendly format for new or veteran teachers
  • Reproducible student pages and outline maps
  • Supplemental reading and resource lists

Learn how God continued to reveal Himself to mankind. From the incarnation of Jesus Christ to the spread of the Gospel across the globe, the Lord beckons us and calls us to know Him. Some men bow down to Him; some men don't. But God's purpose remains the same. Whether it is the stories of kings and queens, emperors and samurai, knights and inventors, or poets and commoners, the epic continues to unfold in the Mystery of History Volume II.

Sample Week. Note: the book is in black and white—the pictures are not in color.

Bright Ideas Press has an area for Updates, Corrections and Clarifications on their website's FAQ page.

You are invited to join the online discussion group for users of (and those interested in) the Mystery of History II. Linda Hobar (the author) drops in occasionally to lend her expertise. This site is filled with ideas and tips and is a great place to share teaching experiences or receive input to your questions.

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  Very Flexible
Kim of Oregon, 9/6/2011
While I think this curriculum will fall short for older grades, I think it is fantastic for middle school and below. History is now my children's favorite subject because of this curriculum. They love the read-aloud style we use, and when it's time to make a person/object for our timeline, they get so excited!

It's not the most exhaustive history program but very good for grammar and logic stage learners, and it fits well into the four-year cycle suggested by The Well Trained Mind. When we come to a topic we want to learn more about (such as Pompeii), it's very easy to pull in library books or extra resources.

I have learned a lot right along with my children, and contrary to other reviews on this site, I did not find the scanty pictures and/or black and white pictures to be an issue for us at all. It is incredibly flexible. You can rush through the program or take it at a more leisurely pace, you can do all the mapping and crafts or skip them if you prefer, you can make it work for the very young but still find enough stimulation for middle school children.
  MOH, It Is A Winner
Julie of Vancouver, WA, 1/29/2011
In her second installment of the Mystery of History Hobar covers the middle ages weaving in Gods fingerprints through out the text. The student will certainly see how Gods has worked through out the ages directly relating to man. The second volume is set up like the first, designed to be read aloud three days per week, an important note here if you are using it with younger kids the sections to be read become much longer than in the first volume. This is not a concern with older kids, in fact it is an improvement to my mind, but I did notice my youngest sometimes faded off when I was reading and she rarely did in the first volume.

The Mystery of History really lends itself to notebooking which is what we did with all three volumes. Despite the longer texts we were able to complete this less time than prescribed. My criticism would be that the project ideas were somewhat lacking, despite that the kids really enjoyed this curriculum.
  Learning the Mystery
Tracy Fabel, 10/16/2008
I have just finished using Mystery of History II with my 5th grade son and 3rd and 1st grade daughters. We were pleased with how this curriculum made a lot of connections in history, exposed us to people we had often never heard of, and most of all traced God's design in maintaining His truth through the Middle Ages. While the history was often over the head of my youngest, she still remembers many of the stories, and speaks with authority about people like Eleanor of Aquitaine and Bar Kokhba.

There were some difficulties in using this program. We used it as a read aloud, and it is a very large book. It took some effort to complete it in one year. Also, the writing occasionally becomes more casual than I like—less literary. Many of the project suggestions were "fluff" and we mostly skipped these. However, the mapping ideas were often quite good—but I just didn't have the time to get to many of them. My older two children did make summary cards of each and every lesson I read, which was quite an effort, but resulted in a nice summary "book" of all that they learned. We used regular index cards, punched holes in them, and linked them together with rings.

One benefit of this text in comparison to other secular curriculum (like Story of the World) is that Linda Hobar doesn't just tell you about other religions, but she compares them directly to Christianity. This allows the student to see exactly how the religions differ. Mrs. Hobar is an evangelical Christian and is very clear with your student about her faith. Occasionally, however, this gets a little too "preachy" and I wished that she wouldn't teach with such a heavy hand, but let us come to some conclusions ourselves. But overall, I did appreciate that my children were hearing a Christian perspective, and exploring other philosophies and religions by comparing them to the light of God's true Word.

One other potential difficulty is that the other volumes of this curriculum have not yet been written, and this book does not cover the Renaissance or Reformation; this makes it a little more difficult to switch to another curriculum for next year [Mystery of History III is now available]. However, many early Reformation "fathers" are covered in this volume like Wycliffe and Huss.

Overall, we were very pleased with this curriculum. If you, the teacher, were taught history in a public school, you might especially benefit from using this curriculum with your children. The curriculum was easy to use, involved almost no preparation on my part (unless I wanted to do a project), and provided a decidedly Christian perspective on what some refer to as the "Dark Ages"—a time that ultimately carried the "True Light" on to the next generations.