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American History for middle schooler - AAH/TQ/Guest Hollow?


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#1 RanchGirl

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 02:35 AM

Can anyone compare/contrast these 3 programs (All American History, Truth Quest, and Guest Hollow) for me?

I have the student text for AAH1 and that was my plan, but I am wondering if that is a bit too dry, especially for a middle schooler. He is not an avid history buff so far. I would love to spark a little interest there. He currently does MOH willingly and retains the facts, but doesn't put a lot of deep thought or enthusiasm into it. As we get into American History, I really want something kind if "inspirational". But, he is extremely math/science oriented so I am not sure if the lack of excitement about history thus far has been due to my teaching/curricula or if it's just not going to be his thing. I'm not giving up yet though! :) He does really enjoy reading biographies and has read quite a few already about famous people in Am Hist... so I want to assign a few to go along with our spine but not a ton.

I want something that will spark his interest without taking so much time it kills any hope of him enjoying it. Whatever we use, he will also be doing Critical Thinking in US History and possibly IEW's US History series for his writing as well.

#2 lisak

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:11 PM

Well, we use Guest Hollow and Truthquest at my house, so I can offer a bit on both of those. My 11 year old is using Guest Hollow. So far we haven't stuck strictly to the program; we have added books, took longer working through the History Pockets, and are taking our time. Basically she does reading on her own, does a bit of drawing using Draw Write Now and uses the History Pockets. We discuss a little bit, but I don't discuss every book and chapter. Basically I ask her what she thinks about such and such and she volunteers what she is learning, or what she likes or doesn't like about the books.

My older daughter has used Truthquest for 4 years now. We began with Ancient Greece and are continuing; she is now in the Renaissance and Reformation period. I make a schedule using the guide, she does the reading, and we do a bit of discussion. I read enough of the guide to have a gist of what is going on. I read some of the books she reads and discuss them a bit, but do not read every spine, fiction, or biography she reads. I had great plans for map work, a time line, and drawings relating to the period, but none of that has happened. She did choose to work on a piece of artwork in the Renaissance style. This was her choice, not assigned.

I really like both programs. I think the Guest Hollow is working well for my younger daughter and I feel that I can tweak it to fit her needs, especially since I didn't pay for it. I did purchase some books and a few history pockets. Truthquest works well for my older daughter. Since my younger daughter is more hands-on, I needed something along those lines for her and I wanted American History, so we went with Guest Hollow. Also, Guest Hollow has a schedule prepared, so that was a bit easier with the younger daughter.

Now, truthquest does have a yahoo group and it is very active. There are many posts for every age group. So if you are considering this, you might sign up and just read past threads. There are also some schedules in the files section that might be a help.

Good Luck.

#3 joyofsix

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:14 PM

We're using a bit of Guesthollow along with SL book selections and anything else I find interesting. I kinds of thing this is and intro class for my ds since I will make sure he does American history again in high school. We're following any rabbit trails we feel like and adding in or subtracting projects from GH as we feel like.

#4 mama25angels

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:27 PM

Well, we use Guest Hollow and Truthquest at my house, so I can offer a bit on both of those. My 11 year old is using Guest Hollow. So far we haven't stuck strictly to the program; we have added books, took longer working through the History Pockets, and are taking our time. Basically she does reading on her own, does a bit of drawing using Draw Write Now and uses the History Pockets. We discuss a little bit, but I don't discuss every book and chapter. Basically I ask her what she thinks about such and such and she volunteers what she is learning, or what she likes or doesn't like about the books.

My older daughter has used Truthquest for 4 years now. We began with Ancient Greece and are continuing; she is now in the Renaissance and Reformation period. I make a schedule using the guide, she does the reading, and we do a bit of discussion. I read enough of the guide to have a gist of what is going on. I read some of the books she reads and discuss them a bit, but do not read every spine, fiction, or biography she reads. I had great plans for map work, a time line, and drawings relating to the period, but none of that has happened. She did choose to work on a piece of artwork in the Renaissance style. This was her choice, not assigned.

I really like both programs. I think the Guest Hollow is working well for my younger daughter and I feel that I can tweak it to fit her needs, especially since I didn't pay for it. I did purchase some books and a few history pockets. Truthquest works well for my older daughter. Since my younger daughter is more hands-on, I needed something along those lines for her and I wanted American History, so we went with Guest Hollow. Also, Guest Hollow has a schedule prepared, so that was a bit easier with the younger daughter.

Now, truthquest does have a yahoo group and it is very active. There are many posts for every age group. So if you are considering this, you might sign up and just read past threads. There are also some schedules in the files section that might be a help.

Good Luck.


:) Excellent!!! advice about how to use these two programs. I'm using TQ right now and plan to use some GH along with our Sonlight next year. I'm glad I bought the Sonlight guide used and really cheaply since I can use so many free programs and don't really need it.

#5 Chris in VA

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 03:46 PM

Just wanted to add that you might find doing some reading in Hakim's Story of Science series would add a little spark--just read about the time period you are covering. Also, Milestones in Science does history of scientific discoveries in a hands-on way. Thought I'd throw that out there for ya!

#6 walkermamaof4

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 04:31 PM

We are doing a blend as well. I am really glad I purchased the TQ guide, even though it isn't my spine, bc/ I use it to get any books I can off of Paperbackswap and Bookmooch. We've managed to get quite a lot! And I like it for the movie and extras choices. My friend loves using it to get the plan for using Light and Glory as her spine. We use BF as ours. We also own SL3 and follow its IG for my older 2 but they do all of that independently. We only discuss what we read-aloud from BF. We did just begin a History Pocket for fun. And we have some Time Traveler cd's from Homeschool through the Woods. It has been a fun year, our best yet, and our first to hodge-podge it like this.

#7 RanchGirl

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 10:14 PM

This sounds great, thank you all so much for your advice. I think I'm going to test the waters with combining Truthquest and Guest Hollows and lots of reading and printables/notebook activities and see how it goes. Like joyofsix said, he will get it again in high school so right now I just want to get him more interested in history.


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