Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Forgetting Plates and Auditory Processing

Conversation with my daughter this morning....

Me: how are you doing this morning?
Anna: Fine...forgetting a plate.
Me: forgetting a plate?

I'm wondering...what bearing does this have on how she's doing? Where is the plate--in her room? I've told the kids not to keep dishes in their rooms. What's so important about this plate?

Anna: For. Getting. Up. Late!

Yes, I'm auditorily challenged this morning!

I often have a similar glitch--the spaces between words disappear and my mind has to tease out the sounds and decide which ones form words. When I was 7, I asked "what?" whenever my mother spoke to often that she had my hearing tested! What I heard was...


My hearing tested fine, and I learned to stop saying "what?" all the time, to pause, and to wait for the sounds to separate into meaningful words in my mind. And it works...most of the time.

There is that line in Jingle Bells that puzzled me for years. It made sense to me that they were "making spare-ribs bright." That meant they were putting lots of barbecue sauce on them--one of my favorite meals! It would be warm and cozy after a breezy sleigh-ride. But why they took soap with them was just beyond me. ("a one-horse soap and sleigh.")

And then there was that country song..."You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille." I could never figure out why he was so worried about his crop in the field, since he had 400 children. My mother would have put those children to work in that field, and they'd get the job done! Years later I laughed when I was "four hungry children."

Enunciation. It's a good thing!

When I started homeschooling, I learned about Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and my glitches started making sense to me!

If you've ever questioned your child's hearing and not found anything wrong...this may be what's going on.

Some things that help:

Slow down just a bit when you read aloud. Pause just slightly more between sentences and paragraphs.

Have your child sit where he or she can watch your mouth so that the sounds will be crisper. For example, letters like M and N can be very difficult to distinguish, but it's easy to see the difference in how we form these sounds.

Do school work in a quiet room with few distractions--your child will be using a lot of energy trying to focus on what you say. This is especially important for reading and spelling work.

Use multi-sensory methods to reinforce your teaching, rather than relying on one method (this has been found helpful for all kids, actually, but is even more important when a child has a struggle with one particular method). Don't attempt to explain things all orally--use manipulatives to "show" what you are saying in math, or letter tiles for reading or spelling. (Programs like Math-U-See, All About Reading, and All About Spelling integrate manipulatives.)

Shorten explanations and directions. (Remember the teacher on the Peanuts cartoons?! That's what our children hear when we talk too long or too quickly!) wah-wa-wah-wah-wahhhhhh....

Don't avoid reading aloud--my daughter sometimes has similar missteps in her hearing, and when she was young, she often didn't enjoy our read-aloud time. I think continuing with read-alouds strengthened this mode of learning for her though, and she came to enjoy read-alouds a lot (still one of the favorite parts of our day--here's one of her favorite ways to listen!)

Allow for “lag time” while your child processes what you just said--they need time to let all the sounds become (hopefully meaningful!) words.

Don't take it personally if your child becomes frustrated or argumentative during a lesson--that may be a sign you need to back up a bit, review something easier, and try the new concept again in a bit or even on a new day.

And...laugh. After all...forgetting a plate IS pretty funny!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Petrifying Purple Pajama Incident

I think it's been long enough that I can share this story safely. I have a confession. I'm responsible for spreading a stereotype all over town here.

Oh the shame!

It was a cold day in February about 2.5 years ago...

I went to the doctor's office to pick up some paperwork, took my son to guitar, went INTO the bank (not just the drive-thru, noooo...), went into the library, and helped my son get his "adult" library card (where we freely admitted he has no picture ID because we homeschool). As we turned to leave the library, I realized that I still had on my purple nightgown!!!

I had been cold when I woke up, so I threw on some pants and a big warm sweater over top, thinking I'd get dressed later. We got busy with school, I did some work, and then it was time to go to guitar so we left...and my then 14 year-old, dearly beloved son said nary a word to me about my snowflake-bedecked nightgown sticking at least a foot below my sweater!

While I was driving to his guitar lesson, we saw a guy who was sagging almost to the knees! We had such a hoot--really, I don't know how the guy could walk, he looked so ridiculous--but there I was not even realizing I was in my PJ's and making my own fashion statement, LOL!

And WHY didn't said dearly beloved son say anything?  He just didn't think about it.  Boys!  I told him he should be embarrassed to be seen in public with his mother in a night gown and should tell me next time!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Homeschooling with chronic illness or pain?

Great new review for Invisible Illness, Visible God on Amazon today! Minnie writes:

I can't say enough about this devotional. It is so comforting to read, especially if you yourself are going through any kind of trial: illness, job loss, relationship problem, etc. It is filled with God's word and promises but also filled with very real emotions that we all experience at different times of our lives. It is hard to use as a daily devotional because I want to read it all at once (it's that good!). 

Amazon is sold out right now, but Barnes & Noble online has it in stock and they also do free shipping on orders $25 and up. 

I have it in stock here on Hope Is My Anchor too, if you would like a signed copy. I talk with so many homeschoolers who are caring for loved ones that have chronic illness or pain. I hope you will check it out!

Friday, August 23, 2013

SNEAK PEEK! All About Reading 3

I JUST had a sneak peek at the "Chasing Henry" story--so adorable! Some friends help this charming little lizard hatch out of a friend, and then try to raise him--and he gets into mischief as only he can! But I don't want to give away the ending... 

And what kid doesn't like the thought of finding lost treasure?  The illustrations, as always are enthralling to kids of many ages.

One more sneak peak at some of the fun activities...My kids would have had so much fun with this when they were learning to read!

See all of the online samples here:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

All About Reading 3 Samples!

If you have been waiting for All About Reading 3, the samples are available online now! (I love the story in Shipwreck about Cedric the Brave Knight...who's afraid of cats!)

You can see samples of the Teacher's Manual, Activity Book, and both readers. Also, here's a placement test to see if your child is ready for Level 3.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hope Is My Anchor: Radio Interview Link

Hope Is My Anchor: Radio Interview Link: If you missed my inteview on Katherine Albrecht's show, here's a direct link . Katherine has lived through breast cancer and really ...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hope Is My Anchor: Radio Interview...Take 2!

Hope Is My Anchor: Radio Interview...Take 2!: My interview has been rescheduled! On Monday, August 5th, 5-6 Eastern (4-5 Central), you can hear me on the Dr. Katherine Albrecht show. We'll be discussing chronic illness and my recent devotional book, Invisible Illness, Visible God: When Pain Meets the Power of an Indestructible Life.

Click here to find out how you can tune in or listen later. Hope you'll be able to catch the show! Merry :-)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hope Is My Anchor: Catch me on the radio!

Hope Is My Anchor: Catch me on the radio!: Friday afternoon, from 5-6 Eastern time (4-5 Central), you can hear me on the Dr. Katherine Albrecht show for her "Good News Friday" Segment! Click the link to find out how you can tune in to this live call-in show or listen to a recording later.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Lee Binz Transcripts, Comprehensive Record Solutions

I've enjoyed a number of seminars that Lee Binz has created on how to determine grades for high school, how to create transcripts, what records to keep, course descriptions, and more. A couple of years ago I purchased her Comprehensive Records Solution, which came with a whole bunch of freebies at the time (access to seminars about transcripts and grading criteria, transcript templates, record-keeping tips...)  It also came with lots of examples of course descriptions and other material.  I've found this invaluable!

Ever wonder how to calculate a grades?

Or how to present your child's accomplishments in a way that colleges are looking for?

Or what records you need to keep and how to organize them?

Check out Lee's FREE webinar for answers to these questions and more! 

I love her transcript samples, and she has forms you can download right to your computer to fill in. Very professional looking. I enjoy making templates for various forms in Word, but this is one time that I really appreciated having something already set up for me and easy to use. (If I remember correctly, there were other formats to choose from--Word is just easy for me, so I chose one formatted in Word).

Lee's Total Transcript Solution also includes access to a lot of great bonuses online, including a free 20 minute consultation call and a month's access to her Silver Care Club. You can see those at the end of the webinar.

With the Comprehensive Records Solutions, I also learned how to make course descriptions. If you have a student who even wants to TRY to apply for scholarships, this is an important step to take. However, even if not, I still find it helpful personally.  This is the one place where I keep a record of all the books we read, what the course was about, what grading criteria I used, what my student's grades were for tests, papers, discussions, lab reports, reading lists and so on. I can at any time look back to see how I calculated last year's math grade, or what books my son read for history to compare to what I'll have my next child read, and so on. The seminars and examples helped me see exactly how to decide grades and organize our records.

If that sounds like a lot of work--it's truly not. I jot down my kids' grades throughout the year--I keep a simple record in my Teacher Binder. Then, at the end of the year, I make a list of all the classes we did. (I also keep a list of any extra activities as we go, and keep this list in my records file--some of those activities might make nice "extras" on a transcript or might turn into classes worth credit--Lee explains how to do that, too.)  I often find a description that is exactly what I need (including examples of what to base grades on), or close to it, and then just type up reading lists and other info. Each year, it literally only takes me one evening (about 2-3 hours) to fill in the transcript and make a complete record of all the classes that my oldest did--and it's such a relief to do this as we go and not have the stress of waiting until his senior year and then wonder what to do!  My son's only going into his Junior year, but already I have looked back at his Freshman year and forgotten things he had done or books he read.

If you are wondering how to grade a subject that doesn't have tests (which happens here because we use a lot of Sonlight materials), or how to best present what your student has accomplished to prospective colleges, this training  webinar has great info to help you.

A friend of mine has Inge Cannon's Transcript Boot Camp, which also had some helpful information, but with the "rubber meets the road" stuff, I find myself using what Lee set up for transcripts, grading, and course descriptions. She had things so well organized, that once I found what I liked and needed, it's been easy to adapt for our homeschool.

In my case, I'm not sure I'll ever need to send more comprehensive records to a school, so the Total Transcript Solution probably would have worked just fine for me. I like having the extra info though, and feel it's kept me better organized, and I'm glad to have the records if I do need them. Even just for my own use year to year, I find I've referred to them often. Lee saved me tons of time and worry by showing me what records to keep and how to keep them, and I'm so thankful!

I don't do lots of affiliate programs, but when something really changes my homeschool for the better, I like to share about it, in hopes that it will help someone else and possibly help me with a few expenses too! So, this is one program I did decide to become an affiliate for. Check out her free webinar and see if it might be helpful for you too, and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Free Summer Reading Printables

If you're looking for some fun reading practice for younger students this summer, you might enjoy some of the free printables from AALP.

All About Reading Activity Bundle

Have fun!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Around the Table Giveaway: Invisible Illness, Visible God

Sharon Fleming, author of Around the Table, posted her review of my book today, AND...she's giving away a copy! Check it out (and you might find a tasty recipe or fun way to get yoru family together around the table when you visit her site!)

Around the Table Book: Invisible Illness, Visible God:

Sharon writes, "She doesn't give cliché answers to deep faith questions, instead she honestly shares her frustrations, doubts, and lessons she is learning. Merry's transparency as she talks about her struggles and faith, and her courage to tackle hard questions like, "How can I love One who makes me bitter?" are an encouragement to all who have ever doubted God in the midst of trials."

Read more.

And let me know if you win!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Year-end Evaluations

I've been doing an end-of-the-year evaluation with my kids since my oldest was 7 and told me that the writers of his math book didn't want kids to understand math! Back then it was a casual conversation, but over the years it has evolved into an ongoing discussion prompted by an Evaluation Form I have my kids fill out.

This year I added a new question: How has God worked in your life or changed your heart this year?

My kids don't always tell me what's going on inside, but this gave them a chance to think and put it down on paper--and we had some great discussions as a result.

How about you? Do you do year-end evaluations? I'd love to hear what questions you ask!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

School Rules

For years, we had this posted on the wall in our kitchen, and I thought you might enjoy:

BTW, one of my kids asked for 100 hugs when I posted it, and so I gave 100 hugs--we both laughed so much! One of my favorite memories!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Invisible Illness, Visible God, Available now!

I'm so excited to finally announce the release of Invisible Illness, Visible God! I've been working on this for the past 10 or more years. Those of you who are familiar with my other blog, Hope Is My Anchor, know that my husband has Chronic Lyme disease. It's not the journey we expected in life, but it's been an honor to walk by his side and seek the Lord together on this journey.

“Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He meets us in the valleys of life, which are normal for His followers. I so appreciate believers who are real, like David throughout the Psalms, and the Marinello's in this precious book. Thank you for your courage and candor in facing the problems of life and finding the man of sorrows on your journey.”  
~ Steve Demme
Founder of Math-U-See and Building Faith Families

" a daily balm for your weary soul reminding you that God is near in your journey...a must read."
~ Shelly Esser

Author and Editor of Just Between Us Magazine 

Invisible Illness, Visible God

When Pain Meets the Power 
of an Indestructible Life

~ 101 Devotions ~

by Merry Marinello

In Stock

Read more about it and check out a sample chapter here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Copywork Part 2: Teaching Literary Elements

As I said in my post on Copywork andDictation Part 1: Teaching Mechanics, I love copywork as a tool for gently teaching all kinds of things, from grammar and mechanics to literary styles and that ineffable quality of “voice.” You can make a whole language arts course out of copywork and dictation if you want to.  So, in this post I want to focus more on literary elements, although my example below includes some mechanics I mentioned as well.

You can teach literary styles just like you can mechanics. I really think it just depends on what you make of it, and how you plan it out.  One year I focused on copywork/dictation as our main language arts.  Here's a copy of a Sonlight post I wrote that year about The Journeyman—how I chose passages and how I taught them:

First, here are some things that I look for in a dictation passage: Did I go "wow" when I read it? Did it strike me as powerful, poignant, a beautiful description? Did it have a great message? Is it good advice? If it's good to read, it's good to study and emulate. A passage I didn't get around to using, but has great description, is the sunrise on the top of p. 37. The two I did use, I'll post below.

The 2nd I absolutely love for it's beauty and it's power. The first I chose because I thought the message was worthwhile, and in many ways, what summed up Mr. Toppan's teaching also sums up mine.

"Will it always be beautiful, Mr. Toppan?"

"Yes," he answered with conviction, "if you keep true to your own feeling for beauty."

"What do you mean by keeping true?"

Mr. Toppan looked at him until his eyes seemed not to see the boy Jared, but the man Jared might become. "It's letting God have your life, so that your hands do the work He wants you to do. You've begun rightly, Jared, for that's the beginning and end of all my teaching."

Notes: I had my kids do this passage over 2 days (btw, from p. 31). I split it where the line break is. I edited some phrases out and the attributions to make it shorter. It's clear from context who's saying what, and I wanted to get to the heart of the passage without wearing out my children. We discussed what it meant when Mr. Toppan looked at Jared and the kids acted out that kind of expression. We talked about what the message meant too. 

We discussed the use of capitals (names, titles), abbreviations (Mr.) and commas in quotes (lots of practice here). We had been discussing commas in quotations and for phrasing, and this selection added a third usage—around the name of someone we speak to. (There's not one after Mr. Toppan because it's the end of the sentence, but there is one before, and then below there are commas before and after Jared's name when he's addressed.)

I don't go looking for passages that teach certain concepts necessarily—I look for powerful writing and then I ask my kids what they notice, then I point out what I notice, we look at literary elements, then we look at the physical aspects of writing. It gets easier as you get in the mindset of pre-teaching.

The 2nd passage we used: "It was a night for the stars to bless with light—for Eliza, who through the travail of her body had given a child to the world, and for Jared, who through the travail of his soul was giving a man to the world" (p. 98).

This passage might not display its full power until you read it in context, but when you do, wow. When I asked my kids what they noticed, my son noticed the parallel clauses right away—the two travails etc... We talked about why this was a powerful metaphor and what Jared was going through. We talked about em dashes and commas around clauses. This one would have been possible to also do from dictation (sometimes I put names or harder words up on a white board).

Sometimes I point out spelling patterns we are working on. For example, you could point out the igh in night & light.  Or that the wor in world is a pattern when "or" stands for the /er/ sound. The ai in travail. How to turn "give" into "given." I wouldn't necessarily go over all of these, just pick a few to focus on so it won't be overwhelming.

I asked if there were any rhyming words, and my daughter found those.  Things like rhyme and meter sometimes show up in prose and add to the beauty of the language, so it can be fun to look for these in addition to alliteration and other such devices.

By the way, this would be a great book to discuss foreshadowing! I don't want to post a spoiler, but I'll just say if you're looking for it, you can guess much of what will happen. This is a book to relax into and enjoy the beautiful language and the unfolding of the story line. There are lots of other passages one could choose for copywork, I remember almost every chapter having choices, you can't really go wrong in this book. Oh, here's another one: "The moon threw a silver cloak across his shoulders and before it was withdrawn, he was asleep" (p. 44). For that one, you could discuss how personification and imagery are used.

If you can’t think of anything great to discuss, that’s ok. It’s fine to just enjoy some passages, or to ask, “what do you like about this sentence?” and then tell your child what you like.  It's also fine to let your child choose something he or she would like to copy. Good literature is meant first and foremost to be enjoyed.

Copywork and dictation used in this way can be foundational to your language arts, or they can just be a fun extra to do as a break from your everyday language arts program. Use it all the time, or save it for just those times when you are inspired. Most of all, have fun with it!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Copywork and Dictation Part 1: Teaching Mechanics

A lot of different curricula use these methods.  Here are some reasons why it can be helpful, and how I have used it over the years.

First, I see two main reasons to use these approaches:  They can be helpful for teaching mechanics (from spelling to punctuation, capitalization, and so on), and they can also be useful for modeling good writing and teaching literary elements. I love copywork as a tool for gently teaching all kinds of things, from grammar and mechanics to literary styles and that ineffable quality of “voice.” It’s also great for helping a child who struggles with writing to build up stamina. You can start with short segments and gradually lengthen them.

When you know your goal for using the strategy, it can help you to know which one to use.  For example, All About Spelling uses dictation.  It pre-teaches the words so that students have ample practice with them, and then uses dictation to practice them in a more “real world” scenario.  Dictation is also helpful for reviewing previously learned words, to ensure that they are mastered, and it makes a good intermediate step between spelling and writing.

You can use dictation similarly for teaching things like capitalization and punctuation.  Teach the skills, and then let a student practice on a short passage.  You can even do things like “French” dictation where you leave blanks for certain words for students to fill in.  Or present a passage with no punctuation or no capitalization, and see if a student can correctly add the needed mechanics.  I found this approach very helpful when I was teaching dialog, for example.

When doing dictation for mechanics, your goal is to read a phrase or sentence once, have the student pay careful attention, and write what you have said. This also helps students build up working memory skills, which are needed for putting all of the necessary skills together for writing independently. If a sentence is too long, break it up into parts or dictate phrase by phrase.  You can gradually work your child up to longer selections.

If your student makes an error, I wouldn't have them recopy the whole thing. Simply put a light pencil X next to the line for each spelling error (or I write P for punctuation and C for capitalization), have them find their errors and fix them.  If they need help finding or fixing any errors, help them and add that topic back to your list for more study.

If there are lots of errors, the passage is too difficult.

You get a ton more mileage out of copywork and dictation if you pre-teach the passage. This is a step that some curricula skip.  Some students may pick up on things naturally, but many others benefit from a direct approach. Here are some ways to pre-teach a passage for either copywork or dictation:

Are there any unfamiliar spelling patterns that your child hasn't yet studied? Teach him the patterns and any related rules that you know.

Are there any spelling patterns he has been taught but struggles with? Review those.

Are there any words that he might not know the meaning? Discuss the vocabulary. If you aren't sure whether he knows them all, have him read the passage to you and ask him if he knows all of the words. Also make note of any words that are hard for him to read--you might specifically ask if he knows what that word means. If not, look it up in the dictionary together.

Point out the capitalization. Are there any new capitalization rules you should teach? Any you should review?

Point out the punctuation. Again, any new rules you should teach, or anything you should review?

Comprehension--does he understand the passage he's being asked to copy? What does it mean? Think about why it's a good passage to copy and point that out to him--it might be because it uses beautiful language or is meaningful, or because it relates to a story he read--does he remember that scene and what happened? Or it might be good to copy because he can learn some new mechanics from it, or because it's interesting.

If you are regularly finding more than a couple of new things to teach per passage, it's too hard. If a student makes more than 3-5 mistakes, it's too hard or too long. Shorten it until he can copy it easily, and then gradually work up to longer passages.

One important thing to note: Just because the words are in front of a student, doesn't mean he has the skills to be able to copy them well. He needs to understand what he's copying, or it may as well be in a foreign language, or be a list of phone numbers where we must copy figure by figure without understanding the meaning--and it's easy to make mistakes when copying things without meaning. This actually reinforces wrong strategies (things like guessing, thinking our language is arbitrary etc...) and could be detrimental instead of helpful. So, you want to make sure, however long or short the passage you choose, that he completely understands all aspects of it.

You may find that you need more than one day to work on this--you may need one or two days for pre-teaching the passage before you have him copy it. Count that as part of your total language arts time and keep things doable for him.

If you have a child who struggles greatly while doing copywork, check out #2 on 6 Writing Mistakes to see if this is a strategy you should avoid for awhile. Focus on spelling for awhile using direct, incremental methods such as AAS which uses dictation instead. It might seem like copywork should be the easier of the two, but it's really not easier in some cases.

Next time I’ll write about using copywork and dictation to teach literary elements.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Much is Enough? Race to Nowhere

As I've read homeschool message boards for the past 13 years, again and again I hear moms question,

"How much is enough?" 

Sometimes this question stems from a need for reassurance from more experienced educators. However, many times this question comes about because of fear.  Fears about test scores, about children "measuring up," about our children's futures (can they compete? can they get into a good college? can they get a good job?).

This drive to measure up and excel comes from all kinds of sources--from friends and family who may fill us with doubts or even actively oppose our choice to homeschool. From reading message boards or talking with other moms and hearing the list of things they do. (Side note--comparisons are a dangerous thing.  We assume other families are doing all that we do PLUS those other items that we can never get to.  There is ALWAYS a trade-off.  Everyone has the same amount of time.  If someone else is doing something that you are not--then you are doing something they are not, even if you don't know what that something is.) Sometimes the fears stem from our own sense of pride, of needing to prove to ourselves or the world that we can do this and be successful.

If this rings true for you...ask yourself at what cost, and if that cost is worth it.

I believe academic excellence has value, and that we as homeschoolers should pursue this.  But it is not the only thing of value--nor the thing of highest value. If you feel a sense of mounting pressure, or that homeschooling has become a rat race...get out. Not out of homeschooling--but out of the trap of this way of thinking.

Here's an interesting movie trailer about the Race to Nowhere that I think has as much relevance for homeschoolers as it does for public and private schoolers:

If you find yourself feeling stuck, here are a few thoughts for you:

1, Pray.  What would God have you focus on in your family, for your homeschool?

2, Ask your children to pray.  What is meaningful to them?  What would they like to learn?  Encourage them to take an active role in shaping their education.  That doesn't mean you will automatically pursue what they suggest, but that you'll seriously consider their opinions and ideas.  I've often found that my kids had great things to share about what to study as well as how to study, and we do yearly reviews as well as other conversations to discuss these issues.

3, Search the Word.  Proverbs is full of wisdom and might be a good place to start.  My kids and I are reading Ecclesiastes right now.  "All is meaningless! A chasing after the wind!"  Together we are asking the question, "what is meaningful?"

4, Talk with older homeschoolers you respect.  What do they feel has been beneficial?  What would they do differently?  Then, sit with what they have to say and decide whether it fits your family or not.  There are as many ways to homeschool as there are unique individuals in this world, so consider the counsel of others carefully.

How about you?  Have you felt pressured to keep piling on the subjects?  What changes would you like to make for next year?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Are you looking for good questions to ask your kids, or trying to help them achieve a more in-depth level of thought about their studies?  Here's a great, one-page resource!  It's a list of verbs organized by Blooms' Taxonomy. As you progress down the page, the sections relate to higher level questions. This would be an easy guide to slip into your Teacher Binder, to keep it handy for times when you want to plan a discussion or create an essay assignment for your student.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mystery of History for High School

People often wonder if the Mystery of History can be used for High School. I'm finding that it can be an excellent fit.

We had used MOH 1 and 2 with Sonlight cores B and C (called 1 and 2 back then) when my kids were younger, and I had always wanted to use them for a 2nd rotation through World History.  I also wanted to follow MOH's schedule, rather than squeeze MOH into Sonlight's 2 year history rotation.  So, when my kids were in 6th and 8th grades, I started with MOH 1 again.  What I found was that MOH 1 was very light for an 8th grader who had used it previously, and who had a strong background in Bible.  Most of the stories were too familiar, and my history-loving son really wanted something more.  It was perfect for my 6th grader though.

So, my son took a break from world history, and did Sonlight's Core 100 for his 9th grade year, while my daughter did MOH 2.  He was looking forward to doing Sonlight's Core 300, but I said he needed to finish the AD years of World History first.  Initially we chose another high school level world history, but after seeing several topics glossed over which I knew MOH discussed with a lot more depth, I encouraged him to give MOH another try.  I gave him one week to decide, but he was instantly hooked!

Volume 2 has shorter readings than volume 3, so he read two chapters per day from Volume 2, and was able to finish up by our semester break.  Now he's reading one chapter per day from Volume 3.  I'm combining this with books from Sonlight Cores G, H, and 200, and he's really enjoying it.

Here's what we're using:

History Resources:
Glencoe World History
100 Most Important Events in Christian History
The Church of the East
What if Jesus had Never Been Born
The Bible Jesus Read
Westminster Shorter Catechism
Heidelberg Catechism

1 - Pontius Pilate - 0-100, 20 pages
6 - The Shining Company - 600's, 20 pages
9 - Son of Charlemagne - 781, 1-2 ch
11 - Trumpeter of Krakaw - 1400's, 20 pages
14 - Leonardo da Vinci - 1452, 1-2 ch
16 - The 2nd Mrs. Giaconda - 1480
18 - The Man Who Laid the Egg - 1500, 2 ch
19 - Luther Biography - 1500, 1 ch
22 - Screwtape Letters - 20 pages
24 - Samurai's Tale - 1500's, 2 ch
27 - King's Fifth - 1541, 2 ch
30 - Mary, Bloody Mary - 1553, 2 ch
32 - Shadow of a Bull, 2 ch.
34 - Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde and other stories


Oliver Twist - 1800's, 1-2 ch (40 days
Robinson Crusoe

Snow Treasure
Outlaws of Sherwood
It's a Jungle out There
Ghost in Takaido Inn
Going Solo

I REALLY enjoyed the Pontius Pilate book, that was a great addition to Core 200.

My 8th grader who is only doing MOH 3 is also listening in on the read-alouds, and many of these line up more with her history in the first semester:

1 - King Arthur of the Round Table - 1-2 ch
2 - Hidden Treasure of Galston - 1171, 1 ch
5 - Ramsay Scallop - 1300's
9 - I, Juan de Pareja - 1600's, 2 ch (this one doesn't fit chronologically, but fits nicely with countries/culture)
11 - Murder for her Majesty - 1558 (Elizabeth is Queen), 1 ch.
14 - Shakespeare Stories, Hamlet - 36 Pages (prelude to Shakespeare Stealer)
14 - Shakespeare Stealer - 1587, 2 ch
16 - Tabitha's Travels (Advent Story)
18 - Shakespeare Stories, The Merchant of Venice (my kids request, there's an Adventure's in Odyssey story based on this I guess!)
19 - Pride and Prejudice (Core 200, just because I wanted to)
24 - Out of Many Waters - 1654, 2 ch
26 - Master Cornhill - 1665 (plague), 2 ch
28 - Escape Across the Wide Sea - 1686, 2 ch
30 - Ravenmaster's Secret - 1735, 2 ch
32 - Kidnapped Prince - 1755, 3 ch
34 - Arrow Over the Door - 1777, 2 ch
35 - The Westing Game - 1960's, 1-2 ch, just for fun

Jane Eyre 1800's, 2 ch
The Sherwood Ring - 1800's or 1900's, 10 days
More Shakespeare Stories

We do a quiz about every other week, and do the semester and final exams.  My son will also be doing a research project, and writes daily narrations on his readings.

MOH provides a great spine text to which you can add a variety of literature and projects to round out your high school year.  Here is the MOH website's information for using MOH in highschool.

You might also like these posts on using MOH 1 and 2 with Sonlight, and MOH 3 with Sonlight.

Sonlight and Mystery of History 3

Several people have asked for the book list I put together combining MOH 3 and Sonlight H (plus a few other books) it is at long last!  For those who have previously read how we combined SL with MOH 1 and 2, I updated that post with what we *actually* ended up doing with core G.  There were a few books at the end of my original listing that I saved for MOH 3 instead.

Below is what my 8th grade daughter is doing this year (and my 10th grade son is listening in to the read-alouds).  My son is using MOH for high school this year, by surprise--I'll put what he's doing in a separate post.

History Resources:
Famous Men of the Renaissance and Reformation
Famous Men of the 16th and 17th Centuries
Mothers of Famous Men
Ten Girls Who Made History

We continue to enjoy the Famous Men series, that has been a good addition here.

The first few read-alouds actually start from before the time period of MOH 3.  I worked in two new Sonlight G books as well as a core 200 book.  My son is studying MOH 2 and 3 this year, so I chose a few books that would correspond to the MOH 2 time period as well.  It's not an exact science, I realize, but it's been enjoyable!  These could easily be worked into the MOH 2 rotation instead if you wish.

1 - King Arthur of the Round Table - 1-2 ch
2 - Hidden Treasure of Galston - 1171, 1 ch
5 - Ramsay Scallop - 1300's
9 - I, Juan de Pareja - 1600's, 2 ch (this one doesn't fit chronologically, but fits nicely with countries/culture)
11 - Murder for her Majesty - 1558 (Elizabeth is Queen), 1 ch.
14 - Shakespeare Stories, Hamlet - 36 Pages (prelude to Shakespeare Stealer)
14 - Shakespeare Stealer - 1587, 2 ch
16 - Tabitha's Travels (Advent Story)
18 - Shakespeare Stories, The Merchant of Venice (my kids request, there's an Adventure's in Odyssey story based on this I guess!)
19 - Pride and Prejudice (Core 200, just because I wanted to)
24 - Out of Many Waters - 1654, 2 ch
26 - Master Cornhill - 1665 (plague), 2 ch
28 - Escape Across the Wide Sea - 1686, 2 ch
30 - Ravenmaster's Secret - 1735, 2 ch
32 - Kidnapped Prince - 1755, 3 ch
34 - Arrow Over the Door - 1777, 2 ch
35 - The Westing Game - 1960's, 1-2 ch, just for fun

Jane Eyre 1800's, 2 ch
The Sherwood Ring - 1800's or 1900's, 10 days
Oliver Twist - 1800's, 1-2 ch (40 days
Robinson Crusoe
More Shakespeare Stories

1 - Trumpeter of Krakow - 1400's, 20 pages
4 - Shadow of a Bull, 2 ch.
6 - Man Who Laid the Egg - 1500, 2 ch.
7 - Luther Biography - 1500, 1 ch
10 - Samurai's Tale - 1500's, 1-2 ch
14 - King's Fifth - 1541, 2 ch
18 - Mary, Bloody Mary - 1553, 2 ch
20 - Iron Peacock - 1650, 1 ch
25 - Ghost in Takaido Inn - 1735, 2 ch
28 - Madeleine Takes Command - 1692, 2 ch
31 - Stowaway - 1768, 2 ch
32 - Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde and other stories
34 - Free Reading

2/11 - Explorers' News
3 - Pedro's Journal
5 - Michaelangelo
13 - Good Queen Bess
16 - Shakespeare Stories
16 - Bard of Avon
28 - Peter the Great
Anne of Green Gables

Sometimes my kids will choose a book off the alternates list, or sometimes during the year they'll ask to read another book instead, so I try to work in a little wiggle room for that.

I let my dd pick and choose from the history activities once every week or two.  We do some of the quizzes and the semester and final exams from MOH as well.

I hope this helps!  The dating is just to get a rough idea--usually you can find this information on the back of a book or in the first few pages.  I try to guess how many chapters or pages we'll read, so again, these are guesses.  We're on week 19, and so far have held fairly close to this list.