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Questions about Mystery of History for a 1st grader...


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Hi! I've lurked here for years, but I finally decided to post. ūüôā So far, a¬†relaxed (and super inconsistent)¬†approach has worked fine and my kids (6 & 4) have learned a lot, &¬†they're doing great.¬†They're little, so they've had¬†lots of play time, and some short lessons on math, reading, and handwriting (not every day... not even every week). However, I just started working part time. So¬†now I have fewer hours with my kids and¬†I have to plan better if I'm going to get anything done this school year.

I want to use Mystery of History Vol. 1 for 1st grade history but it's SUCH A BIG BOOK and it has a full 36 weeks worth of lessons. The other subjects are a little more flexible and/or they have fewer lessons so I'm less worried about those. We'll do math, language arts, etc. on Mon-Thurs, so Fridays will have more time for history. I'm thinking of reading the lessons/stories on M/W/F during breakfast, and doing the timeline and looking at maps on Friday... skipping the quizzes, and most of the activities.  I want to get some kind of narration going for the 1st grader, but definitely not for every subject.

Here are my questions:

Can you make Mystery of History work with lighter schedule than the book suggests?

Is Mystery of History suitable for narration, or would it be better to have him narrate a fun read-aloud (e.g. My Father's Dragon series)?

Is it worth it to do MOH1 this year, just to get the history cycle started?

I love the idea of chronological history and the timeline, but I don't want to get stuck on the idea of starting this year if it's going to stress us out & add too much pressure. I have read so many history reviews and while I'm not in love with MOH, I think it fits what I want better than any others.

Thanks for any thoughts you can offer! 

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MOH 1 is very easy and gentle. Most of the lessons take only 5-10 minutes to read aloud, and most of them are Bible stories, many of which my kids were already familiar with, so we skipped those and I just mentioned to them that so and so from the Bible lived at this time too and made a note of it on the timeline. We didn't do any of the activities or quizzes. We read, did the map work, and made a wall timeline. We also did read alouds related to the time period during our read aloud time, some of which were recommended in MOH but others that were recommended other places. It worked fine for my 1st grader for narration. She narrated, I wrote it down, she re-read it to me.

Honestly, the 2nd time around we did Story of the World and I was much more happy with that. I liked the idea of incorporating Bible history into our history, but it ended up feeling like Sunday School and I didn't like that. YMMV

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If you skipped some of the lessons, you could shorten the book. There are lessons in there about various religions in the world and gods/goddesses and personally, I would skip those with a 1st grader (although I know many disagree with me). Or, like Momto6inIN said, if you want to skip some of the Bible lessons, you could shorten it that way.

Yes, I believe it would be very suitable for narration, even moreso because the lessons are on the short side. Of course, you can always mix it up and narrate from history sometimes, and other books sometimes.

Whether it's worth it or not, only you can answer. While I don't think history is entirely necessary for that age, I do think it can be fun and is full of good stories, so no harm in starting now, if your kids will enjoy it. In order to keep it light and fun, you could just read and narrate, make a wall timeline, and skip the rest. That's what I do for most of elementary school history.

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They recommend MOH for grades 4 and up--usually you would only use it with little ones if they are tagging along an older sibling. That's not to say that you can't use it, but some younger kids might not really be interested yet. I did use it when mine were 3rd and 1st, and that worked fairly well.

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