Our Favorites for Homeschool High School U S History -

Summary:  Our favorite homeschool high school curriculum for U S History.  How we used frugal homeschool high school curriculum to make our own course.  Sharing also free complete homeschool high school options for American History. Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

Are you looking for frugal resources for U S History for your high schooler? 
Would you like to put your own course together, or used a prepared curriculum?  Today, I'd like to share frugal resources for both. 

Let's start with making your own course, using some very frugal resources that I have found recently...Then after that I will share some frugal complete resources for those who want a prepared curriculum for high school history.

There is no reason to have to break your budget to provide quality resources for your teen's high school history studies.


When it came time for our high school US History studies, we used a variety of sources, and made our own course.  To do that, we picked a spine, then added in some geography, literature, and a little art history, for fun.  My teen was a big part of putting it all together. 

So, I'd like to share with you how we went about putting together our own course, which included:
- a spine
- literature options
- geography
- a  primary resource
- and some art.

1.  FIRST WE NEEDED A SPINE....My teen was a big part of choosing this resource, which served as a spine, ie a guide to follow and structure our course around.

Short Lessons in US History

With short lessons, this book gives a clear overview of US History, with quizes, mapwork, and critical thinking questions to ponder.
We searched for something that would cover everything and also encourage critical thinking.  

We found this book to be engaging while covering all the essentials of our country's history, in it's 11 chapters, each of which included:

-1.  Time Line - related dates for each chapter
-2.  Activating Prior Knowledge - questions to look for as you read
-3.  The text, with sidebars and brief biographies
-4.  Critical thinking questions
-5.  Activities - map work, reviews and puzzles.... click here above to read the rest of my review of this frugal book.


There are lots of ways to add living literature to your history studies.  Of course, if you add in American Literature, then you will be doing two high school credits, US History for one, and American Lit for another high school credit.

One can pick and choose fiction and non-fiction such as:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Uncle Tom;s Cabin
The Federalist Papers
Tom Sawyer
Miracle at Philadelphia
Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Edison - from Heros of History
(there are so many other choices, of course)

At our house, we decided on Oak Meadow's American Lit course. 

That gave my teen a credit for English as well as one for US History.  We combined the two courses and got 2 credits done together!

Oak Meadow was very good for my daughter, with lots of comprehension questions and critical thinking questions to ponder for each novel included. 

If you are looking for something similar but much more frugal check out...

American Literature by 7 Sisters 

This is a 100 + page resource can be used for a whole year long credit in English, and it includes literature guides for so many of the great classics of American Lit. 

American Literature by 7 Sisters is ideal for independent study because it is written by homeschoolers, all set up for your high schooler with no busy work. 

I have a lot more information on this well put together course in my review called 7 Sisters American Literature


We did not do every project in this book, but it was a great supplement to our studies. 

U.S. History Map Activities

This book is set up in a workbook style which my teen enjoyed, with comprehensive mapping activities for each major event in US History.  

By answering the questions and mapping out each historical event, my daughter got a hands-on feel for what she had studied.  

And by writing about it and mapping it out, important historical events were easily memorized.


This book goes back to the original sources, including documents, speeches, and legal decisions that helped to shape our country. 

It was so convenient to have this at hand, and it eliminated the need to search the internet for these.  Click here to read the rest of my review on the Patriot's History Reader, which has Christian slant.

It's from Rainbow Resource also, very frugally priced.  This homeschool curriculum site has tons of resources, workbooks, textbooks, and innovative programs for homeschoolers, from K - 12.  I highly recommend it as a source for curricula and we used it a lot.  (I have no relationship with them.)


This book added a lot of fun to our studies.  

The Boston Massacre, Paul Revere's Ride, the End of the Civil War, are all famous paintings included in this book, which teaches about design, rhythm, and perspective...and it is offered as a book or a cd.

I recently found another great art book that is make to add art to your American History studies.  

And it is full of American landmarks!  Your student will learn information about our country's famous historical landmarks, while learning how to draw them.  

Chalk Art Options - 

American Landmarks.
There is an ebook made by Tricia Hodges from Chalk Art.com on American Landmarks.

The lessons are taught by a professional artist, and will give your teen a nice introduction to art using chalk pastels.  It is available at a frugal price here.  

Next, I's like to switch gears and talk about some prepared curricula for American History.

Next, let's took at frugal prepared curricula for U.S. History, if you would rather use a complete course and save yourself the work of putting one together yourself.....


We found a number of frugal and secular resources to share with you.  First let's look at a course from Glencoe, a well established curriculum publisher, who offers a frugal US History course called...

American Vision offers a complete US History book, a student center that goes along with it, and free videos for each chapter. 

Free videos...I love that.  

American Vision can do all the work of putting together a solid and creative history course for you. And it is a very frugal choice as well.  

This course explores American History from 1775 through the 21st century, through an interdisciplinary approach that includes literature, art, and biographies. 

The book includes the following:

1. Vivid and Accurate Re-telling of US History
2. US Geography with National Geographic Maps
3. Primary and Secondary Sources
4. Related Activities
5. Appendix with Supreme Court Case Summaries including:
- American Lit Library
Critical Thinking Lessons, such as "Find the Main Idea, and Determining Cause and Effect"

This book is available used on Amazon here for around $20.00. That's the student edition. I recommend also getting the teacher's edition.

Glencoe also offer what is called the Glencoe student center.

GLENCOE Student Center - FREE

Here they offer many more online activities, and it is a part of the Glencoe Online Learning Center, which has a whole lot of go-to activities, links, and more...To add a lot to your study of The American Vision, check out the web activities, vocabulary cards, e-puzzles and games, interactive maps and more.

And they offer free videos too...

Videos for Each Chapter - FREE

I love how Glencoe puts together their history books.  We used their World History book in 10th grade, and it taught so many of the critical thinking skills to my daughter. And they had primary sources, references to art, and great essay questions to ponder as well.  

There was a quiz at the end of each section, which we used at times.  Just click above for free videos that teach the important history concepts that are included in each chapter.

Next, I'd like to share another prepared curriculum option, and this one is from Oak Meadow...

2.  Oak Meadow US History

This is another great option for US History from Oak Meadow, a well established secular educational publisher that we love....

"This course explores American History from 1775 through the 21st century, through an interdisciplinary approach that includes literature, art, and biographies.  It encourages integration of information, critical thinking skills and more, while the student learn US History in depth.  Great for college prep." 

Oak Meadow US History  consists of a book written by Oak Meadow that goes along with the Glencoe U.S. History book discussed above.  It includes tons of creative and innovative discussion questions to go along with Glencoe.

What are your favorite resources for high school US History?  I love reading your comments... so please share your knowledge with others here or on facebook.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college senior, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschoolcollegegifted/2e and
wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

Want to stay in touch?  

We joined the iHN Massive Guide to Homeschooling History.  Click here to reach more great posts from this blog hop

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Homeschooling high school gives you and your teen a chance to be together, side by side, as they enter the all important high school years, and begin to explore their future possibilities in life.  

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