Welcome to our family’s journey through ancient history with Mystery of History Volume 1. Bookmark this page to see all the resources and activities that we use, listed lesson-by-lesson. I teach this course to all of my children, at all ages.
I have created a PDF download for all of the lessons in Volume 1. You can download it here.
We are reading through the main text of Mystery of History Volume 1, and also using most of the optional resources:
- Companion Guide PDF (this is a free download if you purchase the book new; it includes teaching notes, book lists, activity suggestions, maps, and quizzes)
- Coloring Pages (I use these for my 9-year-old)
- THIS timeline PDF (I purchased once and printed multiple copies on cardstock for my children)
- Timeline Figures (I let each of my children choose whether they want to use these or simply write in their timelines)
- Notebooking Pages (These are part of our daily work; there are versions for older and younger students)
- Folder Books (also known as lapbooks; I’m using these with my 9 and 12- year-olds)
- Challenge Cards (fun for review)
Don’t feel obligated to use every one of these resources if it’s overwhelming to you. If you need to keep it simple, choose one or two things that best fit your kids and your budget. Also, there are bundles on the Mystery of History Website to purchase many of these together at a discount.
Alongside this course, we are using as many ancient history and Bible oriented subjects as possible. I love how immersed we get in a subject, centering all of our learning around it.
- Writing: We are using Institute for Excellence in Writing Ancient History Writing Lessons for my kids who are 12 and up. I’m aligning the writing lessons with the Mystery of History topics. I have the 2014 edition, if that helps. Each edition is slightly different, and so has slightly different topics. My 9-year-old is using copywork that I have personally chosen for each lesson.
|Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons Teacher/Student Combo (6th Edition)
Experience the adventures of the ancient world! This theme-based writing curriculum from IEW exposes students to the ancient world through cultural literature and the study of famous places and events while they learn to write with the IEW Structure and Style writing method. Offering a full year of instruction for students in grades 4-7, these lessons cover all nine IEW Units. Vocabulary cards, literature suggestions, and access to helpful PDF downloads are also included.
These lessons are designed to be used by an instructor who has been through the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style seminar.
Perfect for homeschoolers, homeschool co-ops, tutors, and hybrid schools, this theme-based writing curriculum supports parents and teachers in teaching writing to elementary and middle school students (grades 4-7). Student Book: 362 pages. Teacher’s Manual: 334 pages.‘
- Science: My high school students are taking Biology from the 101 Series, to coincide with the study of Creation. My younger students are using two different books from Berean Builders — Science in the Beginning and Science in the Ancient World. They have a handy chart for using both Mystery of History and Berean Builders together!
|Biology 101: Biology According to the Days of Creation, 4 DVDs
Follow the creation story as you delve into the world of biology. Visually rich and designed for students 15 and up and their families, this biblically oriented overview presents biology following the actual creation days. Nine segments are covered on 4 DVDs; a 114 page guidebook on CD-ROM/DVD includes quizzes for the material in each segment. Contains 20 lab hours. 4 DVDs.
|Science in the Beginning
Science in the Beginning is an engaging, exciting, hands-on, multilevel elementary resource that is the first in a planned series of books by Dr. Jay Wile.
Introducing scientific concepts in the context of history, the days of creation are used as a structure through which a wide variety of scientific topics are introduced, including: light, energy conservation, air & water, botany, the solar system, zoology, and some aspects of human anatomy and physiology.
A total of 90 lessons are included; 15 for every creative day in the Genesis account. The first 12 are “normal” lessons and the last 3 are challenge lessons. Depending on how much science you wish to teach in your homeschool, there are enough lessons to cover every other day for the length of a school year, or, you can finish the book by only doing two lessons a week (and skipping the challenge lessons).
Students will love the hands-on activity that begins each lesson. Most are experiments (that have been field-tested for homeschoolers!), and include step by step directions to keep you on track. As this curriculum was designed for all elementary-aged students to use together, the main lesson text takes a conversational, easy-to-read tone that all students can comprehend; illustrations and photographs are integrated throughout. Review assignments close the lesson; questions are grouped for “youngest, older, and oldest” students. Students are instructed to keep a notebook, and the activities include both drawing and writing type notebook assignments. For evaluation, the notebook or oral questions can be used; tests are not included, but are in the Helps & Hints book (sold-separately).
Experiments use common household goods, though for some items that may not be on-hand, a list is provided at the beginning of the book. A full materials list for each creation-day chapter is also included for easy preparation.
299 pages with glossary and index. Hardcover. Elementary Grades K-6.
|Science in the Ancient World
Science in the Ancient World is an engaging, exciting, hands-on, multilevel elementary resource that is the second in a planned series of books by Dr. Jay Wile.
Introducing scientific concepts in the context of history, students will follow the work of the “natural philosophers” who lived from approximately 600 BC to 1500 AD, particularly those Christians who studied the natural world in order to learn more about God. Arranged chronologically, chapters focus both on concepts as well as thinkers, including atoms, Hippocrates, Aristotle, Euclid, Archimedes, Galen, Albert of Saxony, Nicholas of Cusa, and finally Leonardo da Vinci and his insights into many different scientific topics.
A total of 90 lessons are included; divided into chronological sections, each section contains 15 regular lessons and 3 challenge lessons. Depending on how much science you wish to teach in your homeschool, there are enough lessons to cover every other day for the length of a school year, or, you can finish the book by only doing two lessons a week (and skipping the challenge lessons).
Hands-on activities are included in each lesson; most are experiments (that have been field-tested for homeschoolers!), and include step by step directions to keep you on track. As this curriculum was designed for all elementary-aged students to use together, the main lesson text takes a conversational, easy-to-read tone that all students can comprehend; illustrations and photographs are integrated throughout. Review assignments close the lesson; questions are grouped for “youngest, older, and oldest” students. Students are instructed to keep a notebook, and the activities include comprehension and reflection notebook assignments. For evaluation, the notebook or oral questions can be used; tests are not included, but are in the Helps & Hints book (sold-separately).
Experiments use common household goods, though for some items that may not be on-hand, a list is provided at the beginning of the book. A full materials list for each section is also included for easy preparation.
298 pages with glossary and index. Hardcover. Elementary Grades K-6.
- Bible/Apologetics: As we learn any history lesson from the Bible, we read as much of it as possible straight from the scriptures. Additionally, kids 12 and up are going through the Creation Apologetics Master Class from Answers in Genesis. And it just so happens that my youngest kids are taking a similar course for children at church each Wednesday nights. The Bible Project videos are a fun extra for helping to review/understand each book of the Bible. I use the Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos for my youngest.
|The Child’s Story Bible
Originally published in 1935, this beloved Bible storybook is still a favorite with today’s children, parents, and teachers (including Ruth Bell Graham). More than 200 stories from the Old and New Testaments are retold in simple language appropriate for 4- to 12-year-olds, while remaining faithful to Scripture. Also, the colorful illustrations enhance the text.
- Literature: We will focus our literature reading on books written during or about ancient times. Some will be classic works, and others will be historical fiction.
- Geography: These lessons are built in to the Mystery of History companion guide. They are so valuable, especially when comparing ancient maps to modern maps.
Along with the timelines my kids are creating on paper, we also consult two others:
- Bible Timeline Chart with World History from Amazing Bible Timeline (this one is hanging in our hallway)
- Adams Synchronological Chart of History (we have the hardback version of this that we just open up and spread on the floor to look at)
|Adams Chronological Chart or Map of History Foldout
Based on Ussher’s The Annals of the World and featuring colorful artwork representing people and events from creation to the late 19th century, this vintage biblical and historical timeline was originally published in 1871. Post it on your walls and let it inform your kids’ imaginations as they learn. Features 21 foldout 13″ x 28″ panels.
These are especially fun for Ancient History because they show just how intertwined world history and biblical history are, which is often overlooked and/or completely ignored in public school, many private schools, and even Sunday School.
There are some resources that we will use throughout this study, all the way to modern history. You’ll see them mentioned in specific lessons.
- UPDATE 2023: We dropped this book partway through because it was kind of dry, and I felt the Mystery of History lessons were much more engaging. History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer. This is a high school/college level book by the author of Story of the World. Think of it as the grown-up version of Story of the World. I’m using this with my teen son and nephews. We are not reading every single chapter, but most of them. I feel that this gives them a pretty thorough high school level history course. We use the Study and Teaching Guide, as well. I have the hardcover and the Audible version. Audible now has accompanying PDFs with so many of their audiobooks now, and the PDF for this book is so helpful. I print out the full size maps for geography work.
- Draw And Write Through History (with this study we’re using two volumes: Creation Through Jonah and Greece and Rome). I let my 12 year old do the cursive copywork included, and use the drawing lessons for anyone who doesn’t already have a knack for drawing.
- Usborne Books – You can’t beat Usborne for detailed, fantastic illustrations in their history books for children. Though they do not hold to a biblical worldview, I use them because I’m teaching plenty of biblical worldview the rest of the day! I like their history encyclopedias and history readers. Hunt down all the old ones you can find; they have some great current titles, but not nearly as many as they used to. (See my post about my favorites here.)
- Drive Thru History videos: These are fun and fast-paced and my kids really enjoy them. I found a chart where someone planned out which series/video to watch with different lessons.
- Answers.TV is a subscription like Netflix, only all the videos are by Answers in Genesis. They have so many wonderful videos to watch with the first 12 lessons.
|Then and Now Bible Maps, Deluxe Edition
Connect the “Middle East” of the news with the Holy Land in Scripture! Clear plastic overlays show modern cities and countries on top of Bible maps relevant to the patriarchs, Jesus, Paul, and the early church. Expanded edition includes 30 new pages of charts, illustrations, diagrams, and more. Approx. 72 reproducible pages, 9.5″ x 11.25″ spiralbound hardcover from Rose Publishing.
- Then and Now Bible Maps is an amazing resource for showing how the names of the countries in the Middle East have changed over time. It has clear overlays with modern maps to lay over ancient maps. Really cool and very eye-opening for the kids!
- Coloring Pages from My Homeschool Printables are so perfect for your youngest child who wants to be involved in history lessons with the rest of the family!
Each lesson will also include extra resources, such as YouTube videos, books, or printables. Click the specific lesson below to get the details. If you have something fun to recommend for any lesson, leave a comment below that lesson!
For less clutter on my website, I’m posting these as “Weeks” just like Mystery of History is set up. Each week contains three lessons. We don’t necessarily do three lessons in a week, FYI. Sometimes we do two or four, depending on the topic and our real-life schedule. I’m sure you can relate!
Week 6: Lessons 16-18: Hammurabi, China and the Shang Dynasty, and The Israelites in Slavery
Week 8: Lessons 22-24: Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti, Tutaknkamen (King Tut), and Ramses II (The Great)
Week 9: Lessons 25-27 Legend of the Trojan Horse, Ruth and Naomi, and Gideon
Week 10: Lessons 29-30: Samson, Zhou Dynasty, and Samuel
Week 11: Lessons 31-33: King Saul, David, and Solomon
Week 12: Lessons 34-36: The Phoenicians, The Kingdom of Israel Divides, and Elijah the Fiery Prophet
Week 13: Lessons 37-39: Elisha, Joel and Obadiah, and Homer
Week 14: Lessons 40-42: India and Hinduism, The Olympic Games, and Jonah and Amos
Week 15: Lessons 43-45: The City of Rome, Isaiah and Micah (Judah’s Prophets), and Israel Falls to Assyria
Week 16: Lesson 46-48: Hoseah (Israel’s Prophet), Hezekiah and Sennacherib, and Ancient Native Americans
Week 17: Lesson 49-51: The Rise of Athens and Sparta, Manasseh, and The Powers of Mesopotamia
Week 18: Lesson 52-54: King Josiah, Nahum and Zephaniah, and Jeremiah (Judah’s Prophet)
Week 19: Lessons 55-57: Nineveh Destroyed, Habakkuk and Huldah, and The Babylonia Captivity
Week 20: Lessons 58-60: Nebuchadnezzar II and the Hanging Gardens, Daniel, and Aesop’s Fables
Week 22: Lessons 64-66: Pythagoras and the Temple of Artemis, Confucius, and Belshazzar and Cyrus the Great
Week 24: Lessons 70-72: The Roman Repbulic, The Battle of Marathon, and Herodotus
Week 25: Lessons 73-75: Xerxes 1, Esther, and The Golden Age of Athens
Week 26: Lessons 76-78: Socrates, Hippocrates and the Statue of Zeus, and Ezra and Arezxerxes
Week 27: Lessons 79-81: Nehemiah, Pericles, and Peloponnesian War
Week 28: Lessons 82-84: Malachi, Plato and Aristotle, and Phillip II of Macedonia and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Week 29: Lessons 85-87: Alexander the Great, The Divisions of Alexander’s Empire, Archimedes and the Lighthouse of Alexanderia
Week 30: Lessons 88-90: Emperor Asoka of India, the Septuagint and the Colossus of Rhodes, and The Qin (Ch’in) Dynasty
Week 31: Lesson 91-93: Hannibal, Elephants, and the Punic Wars, The Han Dynasty, and the Maccabean Revolt
Week 32: Lessons 94-96: Spartacus, The First Triumvirate, and Julius Caesear
Week 33: Lessons 97-99: The Second Triumvirate, Cleopatra, and Herod the Great
Week 34: Lessons 100-102: The Battle of Actium, Augustus Caesar and the Roman Empire, and John the Baptist
Week 35: Lessons 103-105: Jesus Christ: His Birth, Jesus: His Teaching and Miracles, and Tiberius Caesar, Pilate, and Herod
Week 36: The Twelve Disciples of Christ, Jesus: His Death and Resurrection, and Jesus: The Mystery of History