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Homeschooling for History: Need Curriculum Ideas

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by KarenRI, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. KarenRI

    KarenRI Approved members

    Jul 18, 2007
    Hi Home Schoolers,

    My son Nate, age 15 (Sophomore) attends vocational school in a neighboring town every morning for automotive technology. He then travels back to our hometown for his academic classes. Due to the travel time, he misses one period per day of academics, which was World History last year, and American History this year. He has to make these classes up so he can get credits for graduation in time for 2013.

    After discussing our options with Nate's high school principal, we are all in agreement that homeschooling Nate in his missed history classes is the way to go.

    I need some recommendations for high school level World History and American History curriculum programs. I've Googled and searched online and am not finding anything that appeals to us.

    I would like to have something that includes a lesson plan and ideas, online capabilities for enrichment, not too expensive, and not religious based.

    Can anyone recommend anything?

    Thanks so much,
  2. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Jul 16, 2007
    The one we use has some religious basis - I haven't used the older ones but I have used the younger World and American History and enjoyed them. Its literature based

  3. lauraqofu

    lauraqofu Approved members

    Apr 19, 2010
    I'm homeschooling Cass through California Virtual Academy, which uses the k12 curriculum, and I love it. Cass is at the sixth grade level, so I haven't seen the high school curriculum, but I can't imagine that it would be different in terms of quality. It's also a secular curriculum, which was very important to me, particularly in terms of history. I have heard, however, that the curriculum is kinda pricey, but it's possible you can find it on Ebay or Amazon for cheaper.

    Also you might want to check out the Secular homeschoolers site. So much of the information for homeschooling is aimed at religious homeschoolers that it's hard to weed through and find something that isn't religious, and the people on the secular homeschoolers site are great at pointing you in the right direction. They also have a forum where people sell used curriculum so you might be able to find it there. I'm including the link.

  4. KarenRI

    KarenRI Approved members

    Jul 18, 2007
    Thank you very much. I will check out both links.
  5. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    I love the Story of the World from the Well Trained Mind people. It will seem elementary, but as an adult I love it and learn from it while I teach my kids. I guarantee that even though it's written for all ages and my seven year old listens to it, if your kid listens well (or reads well) he'll know more about history than any of his peers. More than I knew leaving college with a BA in history.

    You can get the CD sets second hand on Ebay and etc. and he can listen to them over and over. There's a workbook, but it's not necessarily something I'd recommend.

    I'd start with that, then read on topics of interest from biographies and living histories, then take whatever test the school wants you to take and he'll be great.

    Good luck making a decision.
  6. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    When I was homeschooling that age, I just read one adult level book on American history per week and did a report on it (for my mother). I learned a lot.
  7. sarahspins

    sarahspins Approved members

    May 5, 2009
    K12.com, as mentioned, is also available directly, but it's not cheap... for just a couple of courses it isn't cost prohibitive, but full enrollment is really pricey unless you are doing it under a charter school (for free). I don't know if a charter is an option if you are just supplementing, but you could try to see if there is one for your state and if they would be willing to do some sort of dual enrollment so that he can make up those courses.

    Otherwise, maybe something like Texas Tech's distance school might work. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/uc/k-12/supplemental/ I actually used them for some high school courses about 15 years ago (literature, science, etc), and was pretty happy with it - when I did it, nothing was online (from looking, it seems like some of it may be now?), I mailed in assignemnts to be graded and had to take a proctored test at the end of each course, but it was self-paced and I had no problems with it.
  8. lilwitte

    lilwitte Approved members

    May 26, 2006
    If you want you can also look into BYU online courses. I took a few in high school to make up missed credits from transferring. Once you sign up for a course you have 1 year to complete it. It typically entails online/mail in assignments and a proctored final exam that can be mailed to his high school.
  9. Karenwith4

    Karenwith4 Approved members

    Dec 2, 2007
    Hi Karen

    I have a cople of suggestions. (We're Canadian so we have only covered US history in the course of Canadian History and World History so some of these I haven't used. They are however ones that come highly recommended from a number of forums I visit.)

    The Teaching Company does a world history lecture series on DVD. It's essentially a high school history teacher presenting his class lectures but he does them in costume and his talks are quite entertaining. There is a workbook of sorts which you can use to supplement.
    You can find more info here - but don't buy it until it goes on sale or check your library to see if they carry it. My oldest son has enjoyed this.

    The same company and teacher does a US history program as well but I haven't seen that.

    For American History a couple of resources are often highly recommended on the homeschooling boards - The Story of Us by Joy Hakim which is a series of books. I think this is the TV series that goes along with the books.

    I have not used this either but we have used this author's history of science series which my kids love.

    Another US history resource I hear a lot about is Lies my Teacher Told me.

    For curriculum Pandia Press has a secular History Oddessy program which is highly regarded. There are two books for the high school level.

    I've also heard good things about this program. It's an online program with MP3s, online live classes etc.

    The History Channel, and PBS have lots of educators resources for many of their programs which could also help. Depending on your sons preferences you could probably do a lot of history through watching videos and using these resources.

    Good luck!
  10. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Feb 20, 2010
    We use the Story of Us by Hakim for our Jr. High level student, you can find testing booklets for them on Amazon. The movie linked above is kind of controversial as it has a lot of Hollywood stars who intro things, people who really should not be introducing *history* but I have not seen it. I do have it (there was a free educator's offer a while back) so I can let you know.

    I've used The Story of the World and loved it, but I do not personally believe it is a rigorous enough curriculum to count towards a high school credit. If you did use that, I would supplement it heavily with strong literature supporting each time frame.

    I can't help much otherwise as while I LOVE our high school history course, it is definitely religious based.
  11. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Dec 11, 2007
    I went to our homeschooling meeting last night and several of the moms use 'Mystery of History'. For high school it was a workbook and a large textbook. They talked very highly of it. You can also get a CD with it to print off sheets from the workbook.
  12. PrimAdonna

    PrimAdonna Approved members

    Sep 4, 2010
    Second this. I'd start with History of US (our library has them) and fill in with other books (also from the library). The biography section is a great place to start. You will even find many biographies online free.

    Our Island Story is online and is highly recommended in many curricula.

  13. vettechmomof2

    vettechmomof2 Approved members

    Jul 13, 2007
    We enjoy and like the ease of History Odyssey ( you can check out samples of their plans online for free, the first 12 chapters or so).
    We also ad in SOTW and Teaching Company DVD's but mainly for fun.
  14. KarenRI

    KarenRI Approved members

    Jul 18, 2007
    Wow, great responses and ideas...

    Thank you everyone!

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