This is my third year using The Mystery of History in our homeschool, but my first year using it with a highschooler! I have been using this curriculum with all my daughters of various ages and grades. I love how I can put them all together and customize their learning to their level.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free product in return for my honest review. I was not financially compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates in any way.
History is one of those subjects that I love to do with my children together as a family. It has always been natural for us to study the same time period, and read from the same books together. It makes it easier when you have multiple children you are homeschooling, to keep them on the same track. This year we are using Volume III – The Renaissance, Reformation and Growth of Ages with an 8 year old, 12 year old and my 14 year old daughter who is in the 9th grade.
Since my oldest is now in highschool I wanted something that would add more enrichment to her studies. We have enjoyed our history studies and she wanted to complete the whole series, instead of switching to another history curriculum. I love the flexibility of The Mystery of History and of homeschooling, that we could keep going with this series even through high school.
Using The Mystery of History in High School:
When I was looking over the website this summer, to see what I wanted to add for our new school year, I came across the new Video Lectures on Demand. As soon as I saw the sample lectures, I knew that I wanted to use these with my oldest this year for some extra enrichment. Signing up was extremely easy. Once you have subscribed and created a log in, you will find your membership under your account. Once you click that, it will take you to main page where the lectures are located. I went ahead and immediately bookmarked this on my daughter’s computer so she could access it easily.
The lectures are broken down by week and quarter. There is one lecture for each lesson. My girls still listen to the audio book, and go over the textbook, notebooking pages, coloring pages and quizzes together. When they are completed with the lesson for that day, that’s when my oldest continues her studies by watching the lectures by herself.
My 14 year old daughter has been using the video lectures alongside the audios and textbook since September. I asked her to write down her honest thoughts on the video lectures, how she uses the lectures in her school time, and what she likes about them. Since she is the one that is actually using the lectures, I thought this would be a great way to see it through her eyes on how to utilize them in your homeschool with your older children.
Here is a sample video lecture for Volume III – The Renaissance, Reformation and Growth of Ages:
My ninth grade daughter’s review of the video lectures:
I used The Mystery of History Volume I in 7th grade, Volume II in 8th grade and now I am using Volume III in 9th grade. I listen to the audio book while following along in the textbook. Since I am dyslexic this really helps me to focus. I also do the notebooking pages, quizzes and tests for each lesson when applicable. When I am done with those I then watch the video lectures.
It is a lot of fun to listen to Mrs. Hobar’s voice (audiobooks) for so many years and then see her on the video speaking directly to you! These lectures are great because they are normally not too long, ranging from 10 to 25 minutes. They are easy to access by logging in to the website which I have bookmarked on my computer.
I’m a visual learner, so I was excited to be able to add the videos to my history lessons. Watching the videos really helps me dive deeper into history with a better understanding. I like how Mrs. Hobar shows you the different family trees, beautiful maps, and artwork when we are studying a specific artist. Sometimes there are virtual field trips that she will play for you. I really enjoy it when she does that because it makes the people and places come alive! She will show the video or pictures on the main screen while she is still talking at the top right of the screen, like the photograph below.
Mrs. Hobar also goes over the pretest for the next lesson with the students at the end of the video.
I like to keep extra notebook paper in my history binder. When I am watching the lectures I keep my binder open and take notes on the lectures while I am watching them. I enjoy taking notes because she will sometimes cover different things that she did not talk about in the audio book lesson. I write these things down and sometimes I copy the family trees, a flag, or artwork into my notebook. My mom says that this will make a great keepsake for my portfolio at the end of the year.
There is just one thing I don’t love about the lectures – they are recordings of other online classes she has taught in the past. Sometimes during the lecture she will ask her students to answer a question using Skype which can be a little distracting to me. I would like to answer the questions, but I can’t because it’s a recording.
(Editor’s note: Of course, this challenge can be solved by taking a live course with Linda Hobar, who is continuing to teach live classes. For course offerings, visit: https://themysteryofhistory.
Overall, I really enjoy watching the video lectures alone without my siblings and spending time taking notes. I feel like I am learning much more about history with the addition of the videos. The lectures are never dry or boring and always interesting and engaging. I look forward to this time in my school day.
~ Abigail Shelton, age 14, 9th grade
My daughter and I are very pleased with the Video Lectures on Demand. They are engaging, and interesting and keep her attention. She has been able to remember even more details on the subject matter since adding the lectures. I attribute this to all the visuals, which really make it come alive for her. If you are homeschooling multiple children, yet want something more enriching and special for your oldest to do on their own, these are a great fit!
In our homeschool we are using:
The Mystery of History Volume III – The Renaissance, Reformation and Growth of Ages – textbook and companion CD
The Mystery of History Volume III Video Lectures on Demand – for my 9th grader. I have also added in some of the suggested books and movies to her schedule which she spreads out during the year. My daughter does her history lesson 3 times a week and will receive a full one year world history credit at the end of the school year.
You might want to check out our FREE Planning & Portfolio Pages to use with The Mystery of History:
Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate)! She is a an eclectic, Charlotte Mason style homeschooler that has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!