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Joy Hakim US History Books - Likes/Dislikes?


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#1 ednkirstin

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:39 AM

If you've used these books, can you tell me what you like or don't like about these books? Thanks! :bigear:

#2 MerryAtHope

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:25 AM

I did SL 100 this year which uses these (and includes a copious amount of notes!) Together it was a good combo and allowed us to see things from a couple of perspectives.

#3 mom31257

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:09 AM

Dd used SL Core 100 for 8th grade. She really disliked the books. After the first three she begged me to let her use something else, so I chose another spine and we continued the literature. She didn't like how much commentary the author gave and the manner in which the author wrote. She felt if was written to younger children as well. For a history spine, dd likes more of a facts approach so she can see plainly what happened.

#4 tammyw

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 10:22 AM

We've liked the first one so far. We're using for grade 3.

#5 swimmermom3

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:01 AM

If you've used these books, can you tell me what you like or don't like about these books? Thanks! :bigear:


Your local library will probably have a copy. Pick one up and read it and then have your eldest give it a whirl. You will find that there are two camps on this board with regards to this series.

Dd used SL Core 100 for 8th grade. She really disliked the books. After the first three she begged me to let her use something else, so I chose another spine and we continued the literature. She didn't like how much commentary the author gave and the manner in which the author wrote. She felt if was written to younger children as well. For a history spine, dd likes more of a facts approach so she can see plainly what happened.


Some students and adults find Hakim's writing style to be irritating, a bit too chatty. Some of the view points may be too liberal depending on your beliefs.

Other students love the books and Hakim's style makes history live and breath for them. It is a personal decision, so check them out.

Sorry to not be more helpful, but on this board, it is not a black-and-white question.

#6 Evergreen Academy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:29 AM

We found the books to be extremely biased, with no apparent attempt at objectivity - quite revisionist. We didn't want to continue reading them for that reason - several opinion-based errors made us question the validity of the rest of the history, and since I don't have the knowledge to recognize all errors, I didn't feel I could trust the series.

#7 EKS

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:32 AM

I have read both the original version and the new concise version (from K12) aloud and I vastly prefer the concise version. It is far less wandery and easier on the eyes (larger font, better illustrations, etc). It was worth every penny.

#8 tammyw

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:35 AM

I have read both the original version and the new concise version (from K12) aloud and I vastly prefer the concise version. It is far less wandery and easier on the eyes (larger font, better illustrations, etc). It was worth every penny.


Do you have a link to the concise version? Is it a one-book, vs 12 books?

#9 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:39 AM

Well, I'm liberal and secular, (so I probably wouldn't object to the content), but I have frankly found them to be unreadable. At least 3 times I have gotten one from the library and tried to read it, but I find them distracting and ADD-inducing. And I think they are very textbook-like, at least in formatting. It's also just too much time on American History for this go-round, we're covering world history over two years and while we do supplement SOTW's American History coverage, Hakim would be overkill.

Every time Kai plugs the concise versions I think I should check them out ;). . . but I think we have American History covered for the logic stage, so I'm just leaving them alone.

#10 tammyw

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

Well, I'm liberal and secular, and don't object to the content, but I have frankly found them to be unreadable. I get one from the library and sit down and try to read it, but I find them distracting and ADD-inducing. And I think they are very textbook-like, at least in formatting. It's also just too much time on American History for this go-round, we're covering world history over two years and while we do supplement SOTW's American History coverage, Hakim would be overkill.

Every time Kai plugs the concise versions I think I should check them out ;). . . but I think we have American History covered for the logic stage, so I'm just leaving them alone.


What's helped us, is to listen to the audio version while also looking at the book. It makes it more "listenable".

#11 swimmermom3

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

I have read both the original version and the new concise version (from K12) aloud and I vastly prefer the concise version. It is far less wandery and easier on the eyes (larger font, better illustrations, etc). It was worth every penny.


Kai, is this the volume that K12 uses for their American history? I thought they had one they had written themselves, not a rehash of Hakim's works. I am just curious, not that it matters now as we are about done. We just tossed the Hakim books in at the relevant time in the Human Odyssey book 1-3.

#12 EKS

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

Do you have a link to the concise version? Is it a one-book, vs 12 books?


It's four books, but they're thicker (and hardcover). You can find it on the K12 store website or at Amazon.

#13 EKS

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:43 AM

Kai, is this the volume that K12 uses for their American history? I thought they had one they had written themselves, not a rehash of Hakim's works. I am just curious, not that it matters now as we are about done. We just tossed the Hakim books in at the relevant time in the Human Odyssey book 1-3.


No, that's their American Odyssey book, which is for high school and written by them. The Hakim books are for their 5th and 6th grade history courses (they used to use the original version of Hakim for this).

#14 swimmermom3

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:28 PM

No, that's their American Odyssey book, which is for high school and written by them. The Hakim books are for their 5th and 6th grade history courses (they used to use the original version of Hakim for this).


I forgot about their 5-6th grade course. Hakim makes sense there. Did you use their American Odyssey book and if so, did you like it?

#15 tammyw

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:35 PM

It's four books, but they're thicker (and hardcover). You can find it on the K12 store website or at Amazon.


Thanks. Wow, they are $60/book! I have already got the 12 book set. Just trying to figure out why these concise versions are so expensive. Unfortunately I am not seeing a "look inside" feature anywhere.

#16 ednkirstin

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:51 PM

Your local library will probably have a copy. Pick one up and read it and then have your eldest give it a whirl. You will find that there are two camps on this board with regards to this series.

Thanks for the tip! I should have known to check my library. Sure enough, they have all 10. As for the two camps, I've been noticing there are strong opinions on both sides. That's why I've been on the fence about them. I guess it's time to check them out myself and see what I think. :) I'm glad I can do it without spending $$$. LOVE the library! Thank you all for your input...it's so appreciated! :D

#17 EKS

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:32 PM

I forgot about their 5-6th grade course. Hakim makes sense there. Did you use their American Odyssey book and if so, did you like it?


Yes, I used AO for my son's 9th grade American history course. I chose it after searching far and wide (and buying something like 10 other books) for a decent text. After reading every word aloud, I can tell you with certainty that it is an excellent text. It is well written and coherent and, like their HO series, places an emphasis on the themes and ideas that unify the narrative. Highly recommended and worth every penny of the $120 I spent on it.

#18 EKS

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 03:34 PM

Thanks. Wow, they are $60/book! I have already got the 12 book set. Just trying to figure out why these concise versions are so expensive. Unfortunately I am not seeing a "look inside" feature anywhere.


I already had the 12 book set as well. I can tell you that after having used both, as far as I am concerned, the money I spent on the concise version was very well spent as it made for a much more pleasurable read aloud experience for my son and me.

The books are a bit cheaper on Amazon.

#19 nestof3

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:07 PM

I love them. I am a libertarian, non-providential Christian.

I find bias in practically everything history-related, so her bias didn't bother me. I pretty much expect something historical and political to have a bias. We discuss history and politics enough that I'm not worried about my kids having a distorted view.

I do not like history texts that are Euro-Christian centered (particularly the "the founding fathers were so Christian and the country was founded to be sort of a New Jerusalem), so I appreciated the lack of this.

I find them quite enjoyable and don't have issues with being distracted by little sidebars.

I adore the audio versions which our library lends. The narrator is fantastic!


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