In January we started using TruthQuest History Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome for our studies. It was a great semester with very rich study. This year we continued with TruthQuest but added in Mystery of History because I wanted the mapwork, timeline and activities all scheduled for me.
Well, the combination isn't working for us. Mystery of History has the right pieces academically, but our studies are ending up being very mechanical and lacking depth for my 9th grader. So it was time to sit down and write out pro and con lists and see the big picture.
Mystery of History: Pros
Topic information included
Index card summaries scheduled
Topic reinforcement throughout the year
Mystery of History: Cons
Not deep enough as scheduled for high school
Promotes deep discussion
Additional books required
Must research information for timeline
No reinforcement activities
On paper, it looks like Mystery of History would be the easier choice. But knowing the richness of our TruthQuest study last year I am realizing that it is worth the effort on my part to do the extra research and planning to use TruthQuest. Easier isn't always the best choice. Because it isn't just enough to learn facts or even the flow of history. What makes history meaningful is the people that were involved and how their lives were affected by events. For us, TruthQuest is the program that does a better job of relaying the deeper meaning of history.
Does this mean I don't think Mystery of History is a good program? Not at all. You can see my review of it here. It may be just the program your family needs to cause history to come alive. But I am finally listening to my heart and know that we will learn more through TruthQuest this year.