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These are textbooks from educational publishing company K12 that we have been using to study world history during the past 17 months. There are three volumes: Volume 1: Prehistory to the Middle Ages Volume 2: Middle Ages through 1914 Volume 3: 1914 to the present We found out about these books from Well Trained Mind. We are just about to finish Volume 2. The books are comprehensive and very readable. One volume can be covered in 5 to 9 months -- more if you supplement with outside books and movies. There are a few threads here on Well Trained Mind about supplemental materials. We baked a Greek meal, read excerpts from the Oxford University Press history books, and watched the movies "Spartacus," "Gladiator," and "Roots," but otherwise have not done much supplementing so far. We will do more in Volume 3. (I am a World War II history buff.) I only have two complaints. First, I would have liked more coverage of prehistory before Sumer. Second, Volume 1 states that Muhammad al Khwarizmi invented Algebra, which is not true. These, however, are quibbles. The books are affordable. Right now you can buy a used copy of Volume 1 on Amazon.com for $4.00. You can buy a used copy of Volume 2 for $3.47. You can buy a full online course through K12 for several hundred dollars, but the books are all you need. We purchased the full online course last year and rarely used it. The books are secular, but can be used by anyone. All the major world religions are covered. For us, pedagogy is simple. I have my son read about 4-5 pages per day (one chapter per week, usually); every day I quiz him on what he has read. I ask simple questions such as "Who is so -and-so" or "What was such and such?" If he hasn't absorbed the material, I have him re-read the entire section. I then quiz him again. If he still hasn't absorbed the material, I have him read the section a third time. Nowadays, he almost never has to read a section more than once. During our lessons, I often will ask my son to point to a particular location on the globe or in an Atlas. This enables him to simultaneously learn about both history and geography. We use Anki (a free flash card app) several times per week to boost retention. We have created thousands of world history flash cards. I back up our Anki cards about once a month. The reading level of Volumes 1 and 2 is appropriate for kids from about 5th grade and up. I would not recommend them to children younger than that unless they are unusually strong readers or have a passion for history. It looks like the reading level of Volume 3 might be a little more advanced. Not only are these great books for kids, they are also excellent for adults. I knew little about world history before starting these books. My knowledge has increased enormously. Recently, I got a perfect score on a SAT World History prep test. In short, these books provide an excellent and affordable way to learn about world history. Highly recommended.
I have created a syllabus for US History for dd's 8th grade year, using The American Odyssey as a spine and adding in a fantastic primary source series from Oxford University Press called "Pages from History," plus some other books and a great number of documentaries. I don't have any comprehension-type questions or map work because dd and I study, and discuss, history together. I will be adding in essay topics as we go, though those are not yet included in the syllabus. (Here's hoping it all pastes in... Darn, all the formatting is gone, including all italics. Sorry if this is a bit difficult to read. I will be uploading this to my (sadly-neglected) blog as soon as I can figure out how to from the iPad. A link will also be inserted in my signature.) United States History This American History syllabus was written for use by an eighth grade student. It can easily be adapted for use by older and (slightly) younger students. All supplemental resources, books and documentaries, are those found in the local library system. The main supplemental books and most of the others contain primary source documents. Other resources may be substituted as one wishes. No historical fiction selections are included as the target student does not enjoy historical fiction. The period 1914-current day does not contain as many resources as the target student covered this period in world history in depth the previous year. The student(s) and parent/teacher should read and watch all resources listed in this syllabus to facilitate discussion. There are no comprehension-type activities, no map work, and no essay topics (as of yet) included. One would need to add in whatever one might desire. Textbook The American Odyssey: A History of the United States, Morton Keller, Mary Beth Klee, Joshua Zeitz, and John Holden (ed.), K12 Inc., 2009 ISBN 1-60153-034-X Main Supplemental Books---"Pages from History" series (Oxford University Press) Encounters in the New World: A History in Documents, Jill Lepore ISBN 0195105133 Colonial America: A History in Documents, Edward Gray ISBN 9780199765942 The Bill of Rights: A History in Documents, John Patrick ISBN 0195103548 The Struggle Against Slavery: A History in Documents, David Waldstreicher ISBN 0195108507 The Industrial Revolution: A History in Documents, Laura Frader ISBN 9780195128178 The Civil War: A History in Documents, Robert Seidman ISBN 0195115589 Imperialism: A History in Documents, Bonnie Smith ISBN 0195108019 The Gilded Age: A History in Documents, Janette Greenwood ISBN 9781439518007 World War I: A History in Documents, Frans Coetzee ISBN 9780199732510 The Depression and the New Deal: A History in Documents, Robert McElvaine ISBN 0195104935 World War II: A History in Documents, James Madison ISBN 9780195338126 The Cold War: A History in Documents, Allan Winkler ISBN 9780199765997 The Vietnam War: A History in Documents, Marilyn Young ISBN 019512278X Additional Supplemental Books An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, Jim Murphy ISBN 9780395776087 Voices from the Trail of Tears, Vicki Rozema ISBN 0895872714 Seven Trails West, Arthur Peters ISBN 1558597824 Across America on an Emigrant Train (a biography of Robert Louis Stevenson), Jim Murphy ISBN 0756991447 Children of the West, Cathy Luchetti ISBN 0393049132 Men of the West, Cathy Luchetti ISBN 0393059057 Women of the West, Cathy Luchetti ISBN 09179466022 a copy of the Sears, Roebuck catalog from the 1890-1910 to show the changing society (available in many libraries and on amazon) Shutting out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924, Deborah Hopkinson ISBN 0439375908 Children of the Great Depression (photos), Kathleen Thompson ISBN 0253340314 Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field (all from 1939, across the country), Anne Whiston Spirn ISBN 0226769844 Documentaries America Before Columbus (National Geographic) The New World: Nightmare in Jamestown (National Geographic) Desperate Crossing (A&E/History Channel) Salem Witch Trials (A&E/History Channel) Liberty! (PBS) George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't be King (American Experience/PBS) Lewis and Clark (Ken Burns) Dolley Madison (American Experience/PBS) Mill Times (David Macaulay/PBS) We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes (American Experience/PBS) Roots of Resistance (American Experience/PBS) Underground Railroad (A&E/History Channel) The Abolitionists (American Experience/PBS) The West (Ken Burns) The Gold Rush (American Experience/PBS) The Civil War (Ken Burns) Reconstruction (American Experience/PBS) Lost in the Grand Canyon (American Experience/PBS) Triangle Fire (American Experience/PBS) The Orphan Trains (American Experience/PBS) The Brooklyn Bridge (Ken Burns) One Woman, One Vote (American Experience/PBS) Panama Canal (American Experience/PBS) The Great War 1918 (American Experience/PBS) Influenza 1918 (American Experience/PBS) The Monkey Trial (American Experience/PBS) The Great Depression (A&E/History Channel) Riding the Rails ( American Experience/PBS) The 1930s: The Civilian Conservation Corps (American Experience/PBS) Eyes on the Prize (American Experience/PBS) Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (American Experience/PBS) The American Odyssey Part 1: Becoming Americans Chapter 1:The First Americans Read American Odyssey pages 4-19 Watch America Before Columbus (90 min) Read chapters 1 and 2 Encounters in the New World Chapter 2: Europeans Outward Bound Read American Odyssey pages 22-35 Watch the first two parts of episode 1 The West (early New Spain) Read American Odyssey pages 36-42, read Colonial America pages 22-31 (early English settlements) Read Encounters in the New World pages 107-125, read Colonial America pages 33-38 (Jamestown) Watch The New World:Nightmare in Jamestown (50 min) Read Colonial America pages 97-109 (indentured servants) Chapter 3: Planting (Mostly) English Colonies Read American Odyssey pages 48-51 (Mayflower) Watch Desperate Crossing (137 min) Read American Odyssey pages pages 52-60 (New England, MD, VA colonies) Read Colonial America pages 38-53, pages 55-68 (colonialists v natives) Read American Odyssey pages 61-62, Colonial America pages 77-85 (Bacon's Rebellion) Read American Odyssey pages 62-70, Colonial America pages 85-90 (Restoration colonies) Read Encounters in the New World pages 87-105 (New France) Read Encounters in the New World pages 68-85 (New Spain) Watch next five parts of episode 1 The West (through California missions) Read American Odyssey pages 72-79 ????? (Salem) Watch Salem Witch Trials (50 min) Chapter 4: The Colonies Mature Read American Odyssey pages 82-89 (growing colonies) Read American Odyssey pages 89-90, Encounters in the New World pages 125-145, Colonial America pages 109-121 (slavery) Read Colonial America pages 123-141, pages 167-195 (family life in the colonies) Read American Odyssey pages 91-100 (Great Awakening, Enlightenment) Read Colonial America pages 143-165 (religion) Read American Odyssey pages 100-103 (French and Indian War) Chapter 5: The Road to Revolution Read The Bill of Rights chapter 1 (roots of American rights) **or save for Chapter 8** Read American Odyssey pages 114-121, The Bill of Rights pages 41-45 (protests) Read American Odyssey pages 121-124, The Bill of Rights pages 45-47 (First Continental Congress) Read American Odyssey pages 125-143, The Bill of Rights pages 48-50 (to Declaration of Independence) Watch episodes 1 and 2 of Liberty! (120 min) Chapter 6: The American Revolution Read all of American Odyssey chapter 6 Watch episodes 3, 4, and 5 of Liberty! (180 min) Read chapter 2 The Struggle Against Slavery (the African-American revolution) Watch George Washington: The Man Who Wouldn't Be King (60 min) Chapter 7: Establishing a More Perfect Union Read all of American Odyssey chapter 7 Watch episode 6 of Liberty! (60 min) The American Odyssey Part 2: National Identity and Growth Chapter 8: The Federalist Era Read American Odyssey pages 194-199, The Bill of Rights chapter 1 (if not yet read) and chapter 3 Read American Odyssey pages 200-215, The Bill of Rights pages 73-82 (through Alien and Sedition Crisis) Read An American Plague by Jim Murphy N J614.541 (yellow fever 1793 Philly) Chapter 9: Jeffersonian Republicanism Read American Odyssey pages 218-229 Watch Lewis and Clark (240 min) Read American Odyssey pages 229-237 (through War of 1812) Watch Dolley Madison (90 min) Chapter 10: Nationalism and Economic Growth Read all of American Odyssey chapter 10 Chapter 11: Beginning and Industrial Revolution and a Market Economy Read American Odyssey pages 260-267, Industrial Revolution introduction, pages 19-23, pages 41-57, page 89 Watch Mill Times (60 min) Read American Odyssey pages 267-279 Chapter 12: A New Kind of Politics: Jacksonian Democracy Read all of American Odyssey chapter 12 Watch We Shall Remain disc 2 (75 min) Read Voices from the Trail of Tears by Vicki Rozema N 973.0497 Chapter 13: Changing Sectional Identities Read all of American Odyssey chapter 13 Read The Struggle Against Slavery chapters 3, 4, and 5 Read The Bill of Rights pages 84-86 Watch Roots of Resistance (56 min) or Underground Railroad (150 min) Chapter 14: An Age of Reform Read American Odyssey pages 330-345 (utopia, reforms, abolition) Watch The Abolitionists (180 min) Read American Odyssey pages 345-347, The Bill of Rights pages 87-91 (women's movement) Chapter 15: The Emergence of American Culture Read all of American Odyssey chapter 15 Chapter 16: Manifest Destiny Read American Odyssey pages 368-375 (westward) Watch The West episode 2 (all but Tejas, We Go to Conquer, What a Country) Read entire text of Catherine Sager Pringle's "Across the Plains in 1844) on The West's companion website Read Seven Trails West chapter 3 Santa Fe trail, chapter 4 Oregon-CA trail, chapter 5 Mormon trail Read American Odyssey pages 376-386 (Texas, Polk, war w Mexico) Watch three remaining segments from The West episode 2 Watch The Gold Rush (120 min) or episode 3 of The West The American Odyssey Part 3: Crisis and Renewal Chapter 17: The Road to War Read American Odyssey pages 392-399, The Struggle Against Slavery pages 137-148 (Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Act) Read American Odyssey pages 400-404, The Bill of Rights pages 91-95 (Dred Scott) Read American Odyssey pages 404-407, The Civil War pages 50-57 (Lincoln-Douglas, John Brown, 1860 election) Chapter 18: The Civil War Read all of American Odyssey chapter 18 Read The Civil War pages 57-67, chapters 4-7 Watch The Civil War (700 min) Chapter 19: Reconstruction and Reunification Read all of American Odyssey chapter 19 Read The Civil War chapter 8 Watch Reconstruction (180 min) Chapter 20: The Last Frontier Read Seven Trails West chapter 6 Pony Express, chapter 7 telegraph, chapter 8 railroad Read American Odyssey pages 462-475 Watch The West episode 5 Read Across America on an Emigrant Train by Jim Murphy N J Bio Robert Louis Stevenson Watch Lost in the Grand Canyon (53 min) Read American Odyssey pages 475-480 (native) Watch The West episode 6 Read American Odyssey pages 481-485 (the west in popular culture) Watch The West episodes 7 and 8 Read Children of the West/Men of the West/Women of the West by Cathy Luchetti Chapter 21: New Industries, New Ideas, New Frontiers Read all of American Odyssey chapter 21 Read 1897 or 1908 Sears Roebuck catalog Chapter 22: Rise of Organized Labor Read American Odyssey pages 506-510, The Industrial Revolution chapter 3, pages 73-83, 85, 93 (child labor, family and private life) Read American Odyssey pages 511-521, The Gilded Age pages 49-65 (Knights of Labor through Homestead) Watch Triangle Fire (60 min) Chapter 23: A Nation of Immigrants Read all of American Odyssey chapter 23 Read The Gilded Age pages 29-47 Watch The Orphan Trains (60 min) Chapter 24: Birth of the Modern American City Read American Odyssey pages 540-544 Watch The Brooklyn Bridge (58 min) Read American Odyssey pages 544-550, The Gilded Age chapter 5 (Jacob Riis photo essay) Read Shutting out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924 by Deborah Hopkinson N J307.764H Read American Odyssey pages 550-559, The Gilded Age chapter 10 (leisure activities) The American Odyssey Part 4: Reform and World Power Chapter 25: The Age of Reform Politics Read American Odyssey pages 564-569, The Gilded Age chapter 8 (farmers' revolt, Populist Party) Read American Odyssey pages 569-571, 580-583, The Gilded Age pages 67-77 (Hull House) Read American Odyssey pages 571-579 Chapter 26: The Road to Equality Read American Odyssey pages 586-597, The Gilded Age chapter 6, The Bill of Rights pages 110-115 (African-Americans) Read American Odyssey pages 598-605, The Bill of Rights pages 106-110 (women) Watch One Woman, One Vote (106 min) Chapter 27: American Imperialism Read American Odyssey pages 608-615, The Gilded Age chapter 9 (Spanish-American War) Read American Odyssey pages 615-623 Watch Panama Canal online at American Experience (90 min) Chapter 28: The First World War and its Aftermath Read American Odyssey pages 626-638, World War I pages 93-95, 108-109, chapter 5 picture essay (the war) Watch The Great War 1918 (56 min) Watch Influenza 1918 (60 min) Read American Odyssey pages 638-643 Chapter 29: The Roaring Twenties Read American Odyssey pages 646-664 Watch The Monkey Trial (90 min) Read American Odyssey pages 664-669 Chapter 30: The Great Depression Begins Read The Great Depression chapter 1 Read all of American Odyssey chapter 30 Read The Great Depression chapter 2 Watch The Great Depression first segment (200 min total) Watch Riding the Rails (72 min) Chapter 31: FDR and the New Deal Read American Odyssey pages 688-703 Watch the second and third segments of The Great Depression Watch The CCC from The 1930s (53 min) Read Children of the Great Depression by Kathleen Thompson, Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange by Anne Whiston Spirn Read The Great Depression chapters 3-14 Watch the last segment of The Great Depression Chapter 32: World War II Read all of American Odyssey chapter 32 Read World War II pages 21-22, 30-31, 37-38, 50, 52-53, 55, 63-65, 78-79, chapter 5 propaganda pictures, pages 96-99, 106-111, 113-116 The American Odyssey Part 5: The US in the Modern World Chapter 33: The Cold War at Home and Abroad Read American Odyssey pages 750-762, The Cold War chapter 1(the bomb to Korea) Read American Odyssey pages 762-766, The Cold War chapter 2 (HUAC, McCarthy) Read American Odyssey pages 766-771, The Cold War chapter 3 to page 78 (Eisenhower) Chapter 34: Society and a culture in the Postwar Era Read all of American Odyssey chapter 34 Read World War II pages 126-131 Chapter 35: The Civil Rights Movement Read all of American Odyssey chapter 35 Watch Eyes on the Prize (360 min) Chapter 36: The Vietnam Era Read American Odyssey pages 828-832, The Cold War pages 80-87 (Bay of Pigs etc) Read American Odyssey pages 832-847, The Cold War pages 111-123 Chapter 37: Rebellion and Reform Read all of American Odyssey chapter 37 Chapter 38: The Politics of Power Watch Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (55 min) Read all of American Odyssey chapter 38 Read The Cold War pages 125-132 (SALT etc) Chapter 39: The Reagan Era Read all of American Odyssey chapter 39 Read The Cold War pages 132-141 Chapter 40: Cultural Politics in a Changing Nation Chapter 41: Change, Challenge, and Possibility