Homeschool Curriculum and Resources for High School U. S. History



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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...

- Our Homemade Course in U S History

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 of course we needed to find a spine for our learning....My teen was a big part of choosing this resource,

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.

2.  Next we added in some living literature...

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

3.  Our third step was to add in some geography.  

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


U.S. History Map Activities

U.S. History Map Activities | Main Photo (Cover)
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 each major event, my teen got a hands-on feel for what she had studied.  
  
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.)

4.  Next we found a frugal resource for primary resources -The Patriot's History Reader


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.







5.  Then we added in some art....


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.  

American Landmarks - Chalk Art 

This is an ebook is made by Tricia, from Hodgepodge. 

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.

Prepared Complete Curriculum for High School U.S. History

 

 I recently found some frugal prepared curricula for US History, if you would rather use a complete course, instead of piecing one together. 


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. 

First let's look at the book itself.  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, as it has all the answers in it.

They also offer what is called the Glencoe student center.

Student Center

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

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.

Available on Amazon


Kindle - Amazon 
Also in print - Amazon  

Create your own high school program for your teen, and showcase their accomplishments to the colleges!

Vicki Tillman at 7 Sisters Homeschool High School Podcast says:

"Betsy's book is a terrific resource for homeschooling parents who plan to send their kids to college!  As a homeschool upperclassman advisor, I can attest that the information is spot on!"


Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,

Betsy

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.


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