Anyone who has known me for the past five years knows what a The Mystery of History zealot I am! Linda Hobar's excellent history curriculum has touched the lives of our family in many ways, and we are happy to be back in Volume I this year.
I loved reading Linda's answers and I hope you will, too.
1.Tell us about your family.
This is a dangerous question! There is so much I could say. My family is the most endearing part of my life. But I’m preaching to the choir here as most of you feel the same about your little ones. So, let me give some basics so you can meet my sordid crew.
Ron – hubby. He is a strange mix of fun and overachievement – I fell in love with him upon our first meeting. I married him 6 months later. It was a landslide experience from which I’ve not yet recovered. Ron and I are a high maintenance couple – we require a lot of TLC to keep ourselves on track with one another. We’re both very obsessive compulsive, driven, and manic. We’re a perfect match! Our favorite past time together is kayaking. We make it a regular date for relaxation from our extremism. Ron works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as director of youth baseball. We are trying to relocate to Memphis, TN for greater opportunity in his field.
Heather – she is our lovely college graduate and much like her dad. Heather beat us all with brains, after 11 years of homeschool, she soared through college with a degree in communications from Dallas Baptist University. Presently, she is employed at Starbuck’s – loves the company and hopes to get into management. She is also working for me doing all of my shipping, which is a growing job requiring good management. I love having her as part of my business. It bridges our worlds. She aspires to write historical fiction for children. You can only imagine my delight. She has a special young man in her life who we hope to see her marry about a year from now. In the meantime she is living at home to save money. We love having her back around.
Kyle – my only son, with eyes to die for. After 9 years of homeschool, he is a freshman at Greenville College in Illinois. To his father’s delight, he is playing baseball. To my delight he’s making great grades. He is to biology what I am to history. It is his passion and he aspires to join the medical field in some capacity. He was articulate by age 4 and I think he could be a great writer. He makes me laugh and loves a good back scratch.
Ashley – if any of my children are me, it’s Ashley. Looks and personality – I can not deny she is mine. Ashley is currently in 9th grade, homeschooling after a break of a few years. She is enrolled in Veritas Academy as we are leaning more toward classical education than in the past. I’m very proud of her self- determination and well roundedness. She is a friend to all; bright and cheerful. Presently, she likes math, hates economics, and hopes to be a news anchor one day.
2. What prompted you to write The Mystery of History?
The Lord – through my kids. I used to stay up at night trying to mesh Bible and world history. I had limited resources and said, kiddingly, one day I’ll write my own curriculum. I knew exactly what I wanted – it was in my mind, but not on paper. Then one day, while cooking dinner, I felt as if the Lord gave me the title of the series. I recognized it right away and believe it was a calling of sorts. I went downstairs right then and there and wrote a dedication page to my kids. It remains as is in Vol I. That was the beginning. The Lord provided for the rest. When I heard The Mystery of History, I believed right then and there that I was to communicate the Gospel, the mystery, through my love of history. I wasn’t seeking a career – but am happy now to have one. By being such a leaky vessel, I know it is God’s grace that allows me to write. He has used my quirks, my passion, and my obsessive-ness to further His name. He seems to delight in showing up in such unlikely candidates.
3. How do you think moms can light a fire of enthusiasm for history in their
Read it yourself and find a time period that excites you. Not all will, but those that do will be contagious. Well, not always. None of my children are as enthusiastic as I am about history, but how could they be? It is my calling, not theirs. I think sometimes they humor me when I ooze my history stories over dinner. At the same time, they are very proud, and they do know their history. I think it influences and strengthens our faith as a family as we cannot deny the truth of the gospel. That is one of my points of teaching it all- it is to see God. My kids may never love the stories of history like I do, but I think they’ve caught my love for the Lord. They of course have some growing and testing yet to go through as they are just starting their young lives. But I see them, praise the Lord, on the right track. Their world view is secure – I trust the Lord for the rest to follow as they hit those inevitable bumps and bruises of life.
So, to answer your question. Read with them, show your own oohs and ahhs while learning or relearning the parts of history that got past you the first time. Most of us, 30-40 year olds, had terrible world history growing up. We are playing catch up! Be transparent about that with them and learn with them. It makes for a great growing time together. My kids realize I’m still learning a lot as I go – and I think they admire my passion and will apply it to their loves.
4. Your connections between Biblical history and world history have been fascinating to our family. We have also learned about so many bold Christians who went before us. What do you hope to impress upon the young (and old) minds who are using The Mystery of History as their core history curriculum?
I think I just answered that question above. I hope to inspire a love for God in it all. History is sometimes just history. Sometimes it is a compilation of facts that don’t move us. But other times, it is so real I can touch it. I feel it. I breathe it because it is God’s hand I see in other’s lives who lived long before I did. The common experience of man with the Lord does more for my faith than I can express. When I turn to the Word and it speaks to me, that is life changing. When I read of someone else having that same experience a thousand years ago – I feel part of something so much bigger than me, bigger than this world. It’s inspiring and prompts me to want to “do” my part well. I’ve got one chance at this life. How will I live it? What damage or contribution have others made and where will I fall on that spectrum? I hope others think about these things when reading The Mystery of History. What would their biography look like stacked up against Cleopatra, Jean d’Albret, Oliver Cromwell, or Leonardo da Vinci? (Just to name a few famous faces.)
5. What are the most important things new homeschooling moms should know?
Relax, breathe, and keep good records. Others are watching, but don’t perform for them. Lay it before the Lord. Pray and ask, “Dear Lord, what would you have our family school look like?” It might surprise you. If we all prayed that, we might chuck a ton of our books and be out serving more. Pure religion is caring for widows and orphans but some days its easier to read. Keep a blend of real life with academics. That’s what our kids are desperate for – keep it real. Meals, helps, scripture, service, modeling the Christian life - and then some math and English. That’s teaching.