Homeschool High School Social Studies - Frugal Resources

Summary:  Our homeschool social studies curriculum choices, with frugal or free ones in mind.  Homeschool high school social studies curriculum favorites for U.S. History, World Geography, and more.  What the colleges want for social studies college entrance requirements.  Our high school sequence in social studies.  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.


Social studies for high school can include a wide variety of subjects, such as World History, US History, Geography, Economics, Psychology, etc. 

For college bound teens -  Some colleges look for specifics in this, but our college let us choose from a variety of subjects.  Lots of colleges allow you to pick and choose what you want to do for Social Studies.  

We do not have to do the high school typical social studies sequence, as we are homeschoolers.  Many colleges allow other options such as Psychology, Sociology and more.  (Be sure to check with the colleges to see if they have specific courses that they want for social studies.)


9th Grade - U.S. History - Our Own Homemade Course
10th Grade - World History by Oak Meadow
11th Grade - Psychology by 7 Sisters Homeschool
12th Grade - World Geography - Glencoe

Other Social Studies Curriculum options we considered: 
We also checked out SOS and Lifepacs, Sunlight for social studies, all strong programs. 



In junior year we did Introduction to Psychology, a full year course from 7 Sisters. It was written by a licensed professional counselor who is also a homeschooling mama.

From a Christian perspective it covers the following topics in 15 chapters:

-The brain and how it works
-Genetics and Learning
-History of Psychology (Ancient to Modern Times
-Personality & Theory
-Abnormal psychology
-Psychological testing
and more.

It counted as one of my daughter's social studies requirements for college entrance.  (But check with your colleges, as that differs from college to college.)

Are you looking for frugal homeschool curriculum for U.S. History?  Here's some of our favorites, and how we made them into our own homemade course.


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.

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.

Next you might want to add 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)

We decided to do American Literature and used a course from 7 Sisters Homeschool, that my daughter enjoyed.

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

This gave our daughter a credit in American History and one in American Literature.

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.)

Primary Sources

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.

 ART for US History

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.


I recently found some frugal prepared curricula for US History.  But Glencoe offers courses in other social studies subjects, too, like World Geography - Glencoe.

First let's look at a course from Glencoe, a well established curriculum publisher, who offers a frugal US History course called...

 The American Vision by Glencoe

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 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...


---  Oak Meadow US History

This is another great option for US History from Oak Meadow, a well established educational publisher, but they are not so frugal.

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.

Oak Meadow offers many more social studies choices here.

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 SALE all week at $3.49
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!"

Have you seen the facebook group that I moderate at College Discussions for Homeschoolers?

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?  

Click here to get your free download on college.

Also on the blog:

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.  

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Get more Updates

* indicates required
First Name
Email Address *