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Mystery of History versus TruthQuest?


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We are new to HSing this year with a 5th, 2nd and 4 yo, all boys. We are using Simply Charlotte Mason Genesis thru Deut & Ancient Egypt. I have so loved that we are reading straight through the Bible and I have loved doing the history with the Bible. However, we are not enjoying Letters From Egypt. My children are finding it hard to understand (I think the older style language) and uninteresting. We do map drill each week and I also purchased Carole Marsh's book of Africa and Egypt just so we could learn a little more about the countries of Afria, we generally do one page each week. I try to pick one that coordinates with something we are learning about in Letters, just to give them a feel for the culture of the country, etc.

I am not happy with their geography retention. Right before Christmas even my 5th grader only correctly identified 20 countries in Africa. I don't feel he really knows anything about the countries except Egypt and while I'm happy with the knowledge they have gained about ancient Egypt, pyramids and boat building, I am feeling that the history is weak and we don't have a lot to show for what we have done. I understand that with the CM method and their ages a lot can be verbal, but my 2nd grader, in particular, loves to look back at the pages he has colored or work we have done in science and I think it helps to cement his learning. We just don't have a lot to go back and look at with our history and Bible. They have gained a ton of Bible knowledge by learning the stories in chronological order, so I'm thrilled with that.

So I have 2 questions. Should I consider supplementing with some additional history? I have looked at Mystery of History and TruthQuest. I wonder if TruthQuest is going to be too deep for us at this point. I like that Mystery of History has some activity suggestions, some are geograhpy and quizzes to help you see what they are learning. However, the sample week I looked at didn't list Bible passages to read for the week, but did have questions from the Bible that weren't covered in the lessons I read, so maybe they do list daily Bible readings?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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There is an appendix in the back of MOH with Bible readings.


I'm kind of combining MOH 1 and TQ this year (My kids are 6th & 8th grades), but I'm really only using TQ for some of the commentary and the thinkwrite questions. I already had resources that I liked for extra books (mainly Sonlight, but I drew from a variety of sources this year), so I'm not really using the TQ booklists.


MOH and TQ are very different in that MOH is strictly chronological, while TQ will have you follow a culture over time (I haven't used the younger level of TQ, the US history one). So, for example, MOH might have a reading or two on Egypt, then talk about what happened in China in the next reading, then in the Bible, etc... whereas TQ will have all info on Egypt in one section. TQ covers the main cultures (Egypt, Greece, Rome, Middle Ages...) but is mainly a Western Civ. kind of view, whereas MOH will be a bit more well-rounded but not as indepth (you will need to add other resources to go more in depth--not really necessary at your kids' ages, but for older kids).


Personally I'd be thrilled with a 5th grader that can name 20 countries in Africa. I'll bet most adults can't (some don't even know Egypt is in Africa).


I wonder though if you wouldn't be happier with a geography based unit study type curriculum? I've never done Galloping the Globe or Around the World in 180 Days or some of those...not sure what all is out there, but maybe that's more along the lines of what you are looking for?


HTH some, Merry :-)

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I would have to say that MOH and TQ are completely different. MOH can be a self contained study especially for younger students. For your 5th grader you will have to add in extra reading to beef it up. TQ is mainly a booklist with a little commentary in there. There are also the Think Write activities. In my case TQ has been more just a guide as to what books to read when. MOH is a program all within itself with activities and extra booklist included. There is also alot more map work included in MOH. You could look at adding MOH to your study and only using the history part since you SCM seems to give you plenty of Bible. Or use TQ to give you a good booklist for whichever period or culture you are in.

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Thank you ladies! This is a great help just hearing some of the differences. The other curriculum I keep looking at is My Father's WOrld. I just feel the cost is so high! Anyone else have other comments?

If you are going to be using spines for TQ then you are back to older texts. If you using individual books then some might be an issue and many won't.


MOH has a good conversational style and remains one of my all time favorites. That said it is history. I think what you are doing sounds fine. You will build on it as you go. I personally love depth, but we have to slow down to get it and thus have ended up spending 7 years on our first history cycle.


The most important thing is to keep it fun on the level their on now. If they don't want more depth, that is fine. If they want more then go ahead and add in some additional biographies or history texts. High School is the time to worry, and then only after you get all the other pieces of school in place. History really is not a topic to worry over.



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