Cathy Duffy: The Mystery of HistoryTyler Hogan
This excerpt is printed with permission from Cathy Duffy:
“Volumes I and II of a projected five-volume series hold great promise as history resources for Homeschoolers. They are designed so that even inexperienced parents can break free from traditional textbooks. They combine read aloud information with age appropriate activities to create a multisensory curriculum for history and geography with a very strong biblical base. They are designed to be used with children in grades K though 8, although the reading level is about sixth grade.
Volume I relies heavily on Scripture since the Bible is a source for much of what we know about ancient times. Other than that, the historical information is all presented within this book as it might be in a textbook. No other reference works are required for this study except for research activities older students might pursue. However, other books and videos that expand upon subjects are listed in the appendix, lesson by lesson.
Beginning with creation, the study follows biblical history, incorporating other sources as they fit into the chronological story. Thus, Stonehenge, early Egypt, and the Minoans are taught before Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. The little we know about world civilizations is represented by inclusion of lessons such as those on Chinese dynasties, India and Hinduism, and early Greek city states up to the point where the historical record broadens and we have more sources for learning about early civilizations. Although Easter civilizations are given some attention, the focus is much strong on Western civilizations.
Each volume is structured for a school year, with four quarters divided into two semesters. Lessons are arranged in sets of three with the expectation that you will complete three per week. . . .
Three lessons follow, each with a similar format: read aloud information is presented from the book, then you choose an activity for each child to complete. An activity is given for each of three levels. For example, the lesson on Noah suggests that young children play a concentration-type card game. Middle grade to older students might use their Bibles to find answers to a list of questions regarding the account of the Flood. Older students might instead tackle the third option, which requires research about supplies needed on the ark for Noah, his family, and all the animals.
At the end of every third lesson is a reminder for students to create “memory cards.” These are three-by-five inch notecards with key information on each event. . . These are used for oral drill, games, or independent review.
Field trip suggestions are sometimes included at the end of the three lessons, but review activities are always included. This includes work on timelines, maps, and a review quiz. Ten reproducible map masters are at the back of the book.
Linda also shares creative and inexpensive ideas for making timelines, with detailed instructions for using folding sewing boards as the base for portable timelines.”
. . . .
Volume II: The Early Church and the Middle Ages follows the same layout as the first volume . . .There are fewer lessons but each lesson has more content information than do lessons in Volume I. . . .Linda’s selection and presentation of topics is fascinating. Given the huge time period she covers in Volume II, she does a great job of pulling out key people and events so students also get the big picture.