Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mystery Of History Prep

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I mentioned in an earlier post our youngest will be using MOH Volume 1 in the coming term for history. This isn't a new to us curriculum, but it is new to us to use it on it's own.

It's also a little bit more prep-work then I've had to fuss with in a long while too, but hopefully all that will pay off.

Truthfully, I picked this curriculum for our boy because he's really not interested in literature heavy curriculum. This has made some of the prep work both easier & harder for me. I'm a book person, & as I'm looking things over books come to mind that I know would be fantastic with a given lesson. That's the easy part. The hard part is reigning that in & reminding myself that we picked a non-lit heavy curriculum for a reason.

In the end I split the difference & pulled resources from our shelves & put them in a basket. The idea with the contents of the basket was not to over whelm him with choices, but provide a few voluntary choices he can have access to if he desires. He's prone to hear about something & want more information about it, & this will provide him with a place he can go to seek that information if he wants. However, there are some items in the basket that will be a mandatory part of his routine. We'll see if that lasts for the entire time we're using MOH or not, but for now it's our game plan.


The items on the left hand side of the basket represent the mandatory portion, & they each serve a purpose:

What's In The Bible: My boys are a bit on the older side for these videos, but we own a few & may acquire the ones we don't. While we're accustomed to seeing Veggie Tales & puppets for the younger crew there really is some great stuff in these that I think he'll enjoy hearing in the realm of his history lessons to help make those connections firm.

Drive Thru History Holy Land: These are not new DVDs, but it's been a while since we watched them, & let's face it, my kids love these videos. They love how down to earth & funny the host is & they really appreciated seeing things we only read about. We'll be watching these unscheduled, more in a, "Hey, let's pull out.."

The Ark The Reed & The Fire Cloud: Actually, we intend to use most of the books written by Jenny L Cote as they will match up so beautifully with volume 1 of MOH. I was really debating which books I wanted to read aloud with our boy, & that was hard a choice until I remembered this series. We only own a couple of the stories, but our library has a few more,  the local bookshop seems to have the rest if we wish to acquire them in that fashion.

Student Discover Bible: This isn't really a Bible per-say & it won't remain in our "mandatory" pile forever. We'll be using it while we await on our copy of Journey Through The Bible to arrive. Basically both books allow an inside view at artifacts from ancient times that tie into the Biblical stories we are familiar with.

Great Ancient Egypt Projects: This book is really optional, all though it landed in the mandatory pile. It's full of extra details about Egypt & projects he can choose from if he wants. He has his moments of wanting to be really crafty & then moments where he'd prefer not to. Also, MOH has it's own stash of activities to pick & choose from. However, we own the remainder of the books in this series save for the Ancient China one which I'm hoping to purchase this year. Each book has a project or two that I know will really appeal to him so we'll see how that goes.

Kings & Carpenters: This is one of those fantastic Ancient Jobs to love or loathe books. I showed him the Ancient Egypt one, but he said he remembered it really well & would rather not read it, but he wouldn't mind hearing this particular one as he doesn't remember it. That may be because Morgan read most of it on his own. These books are really fantastic for giving you an idea of the many things happening at various times in history & how the pecking order of the day would have unfolded.

Lamps, Scrolls, & Goatskin Bottles: We had this book for Morgan when he did ancients, but somehow or another he never got to it. I pulled it off the shelf while discussing things with Jayde & into the basket it's gone. While the book is loaded with a variety of craft projects, I've thrown it into the "mandatory" side more for the aspect that it shows of live in these times & places.

A Child's Geography Of The World Holy Land: I picked up this book a year or two ago in one of their Dent type sales. I was really excited about it, but by the time it arrived things were well into a routine & it was hard to slip this one in. However, with Jayde using MOH which is only scheduled for 3 days per week I found the perfect opportunity to weave it into his MOH without weighing him down further. We'll do this at the pace of 1/2 chapter per week.

Encyclopedia Of The Ancient World: When my kids are learning history I really prefer that they hear about the same events from multiple sources. History is biased & the bias is always based on who's side of the story you are listening to. If you doubt me, purchase a book about the Revolutionary War from both the USA & Britain, you may be surprised at the differing perspective of events. MOH is a single source & I really don't want to add tons into my boys day to weigh him down, so instead I pulled out the same encyclopedia that was used when the eldest did ancients. Truthfully my boys love reading encyclopedia. They love looking at artifacts they've read about, gaining a new perspective, checking the maps, & so on. If our boy reads 3 pages a day M-W he can finish this entire book in the same time it will take him to finish MOH V1, which, honestly, is a much more balanced approached then we've used previously.

How People Live: This may be one of those oop books that I often recommend if people can get their hands on it. It's a beautiful book & my boys love it. It's been about 4-5 years now since we've used it on a regular basis & with the use of A Child's Geography I thought it might be fun to have a gander at the various peoples from the countries we read about.

Ancient Egypt Sticker Book: I bought this in one of Book Depository's fantastic 24 books in 24 hour type sales. I'm pretty sure we paid something like $3 for it including shipping which was just amazing. Morgan was beyond Ancient Egypt at the time, but I had intentions of giving it to Jayden because he loves sticker books... only, I hid it so well I couldn't find it & had to go buy him a new sticker book of the Lego variety instead. Never mind that. I finally found the book, & thought he might really enjoy putting the stickers in their places while listening to his lesson from MOH as he'll be using the audio version.

MOH Challenge Cards: Is it just my kids, or are yours nutty about trivia games too? If one of my kids is having a downer day the other is prone to pull out the trivia cards from any one of the various trivia games in the hall cupboards & a challenge is born. We purchased the challenge cards when Morgan used MOH 1 & had them on the kitchen table to use after dinner each night. Jayden has the option of doing them during school hours of putting them on the table & doing them with Dad each night. Knowing this kid, he'll do both at some point.


We also have our MOH notebook. As we owned MOH in audio fashion we went ahead & snagged the download of printable & appendixes. I'm not gonna lie, this was the most annoying download I have ever purchased. Ever. Seriously. It was so incredibly finicky about where it was located on my computer to print & what program I open it with that I was about to throw in the towel & just purchase the big ol' MOH book, but eventually with some help from Mr S we got it sorted out.

I printed out everything we needed & separated it with file folder pockets. The end result is nice, but I don't think I'll bother with the download for Vol 2. Instead I'll just acquire the actual book & move forward from there.

My notebook happens to have a clear pocket on the front so I wrote up a basic schedule of how we'll use MOH & slipped it in the front of the book. Basically M-W he does an oral pre-test with me, this will allow him to see he doesn't know everything in the lesson {all though he likely will for the first few, but we shall see}, & then he'll move on to do the lesson on his own, read the encyclopedia, & then narrate to me about his lesson. He has the option of using his challenge card with Mom or Dad, & then on Wednesdays he has his weekly quiz. Pretty simplistic, but by writing it out it allows him to know how long his days may or may not take.

Other then all of the above, I have flagged 3-4 books that I may assign as audio books for him to listen to. Again, this was a hard thing because there are a fair amount to be had, but I tried to keep the idea in mind that we only needed a few to add a bit of pizzaz or flair to his lessons, not drowned him. He does have access to a vast amount of audio books both in Audible & Learning Ally so he'll have plenty of books at his disposal.

It looks like a great year in the basket & on paper, but we'll see how it all pans out.

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