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Opportunity on the horizen . . . need to talk history curriculum for high school....

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An opportunity is coming up that I might have to teach history in our upper school. (Right now, I teach history to middle schoolers using SOTW.)


I need to think through some things, and one of them is what curriculum I would use. I have always favored Spielvogel. If I went with him, I would want his World History: The Human Odyssey to use over the four years. I have the books, teacher's text and study guide


I'm open to looking at other materials, but they need to be usable in a traditional classroom setting. Please make suggestions (links are appreciated) and tell me why you like your suggestion.


It's been a while since I've looked to see what's available for HS history, so please don't assume I know about some newish stuff!



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Oh, definitely, Chris. That's the plan all along. Fine Arts and literature will be incorporated. Our upper school English teacher is right on board with this, thankfully. Our five year plan is to redo the upper school history and literature into an integrated, chronological sequence. We just didn't realize that the upper school history teacher would be leaving this year. Opens up lots of opportunities in an easier way! :)

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My eldest dd attended a homeschool extension program that used Spielvogel.

They also used Cornerstone curriculum by David Quine to create a "core". Cornerstone is a Worldview program that focuses on literature. The students took 3 classes that were correlated: History, Worldview, and Composition. The History class was based on Spielvogel, The Worldview class based on Quine's Worldviews of the Western World, and the Composition class supported these classes. In 11th and 12th grade the Composition class was a Rhetoric class (book linked below).






The combination of these three classes was an excellent preparation for my dd in college. The only thing I felt it lacked was some of the nuances of literary analysis.

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We are doing APUSH this year as well as Am. Lit. We used America Past and Present as our main history text. It comes with two little primary source booklets called Voices of America Past and Present. Each primary source and collection of primary sources for a chapter are accompanied by essay/short answer questions. There were tests and writing assignments tied to this book on the NROC site. We are also working our way through Zinn's book. I have found some good essay questions on the internet to go along with the reading. We sample some of the essays from the AP us exams for tests and projects from time to time.

We have tied this in with Am. Lit. readings primarily from the Norton Anthology. Also, we have had The Scarlet Letter, Huck Finn, Great Gatsby, Uncle Toms Cabin as novels so far. (coming soon are The Glass Menagerie, Invisible Man, Slaughterhouse5, Franny and Zooey, Bright Lights Big City, Grapes of Wrath, The Things They Carried, The Interpreter of Maladies). We have read quite a few of the "founding" documents and essays, sermons, and letters from early America in the NA and in other sources.

This is a homemade program. But, the dd is really enjoying it and getting a lot out of it. Wished we could have done World Lit/World Hist this way.

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I like Western Heritage by Kagan. My understanding is that it's a text often used for AP classes. I think it is accessible for most.

ETA: It is very similar to Spielvogel Western Civ, chapter outlines, great pictures and maps, portions of original source documents, chapter questions, online support, etc., but it's visually more appealing to me, bigger type, more vibrant pictures, and not as dry as Spielvogel. I've never used or even seen Human Odyssey so maybe they are similar in those areas.

Edited by Karenciavo
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Karenciavo, can I jump in here and ask how you use Kagan with TOG? I got it, having read some comments by you in the past about it, and indeed it is nicely written, engaging, straightforward to outline, etc. Since TOG doesn't schedule it, how do you meld them? You work through Kagan and do the TOG pages or books when they apply? You coordinate Kagan to TOG and and slow down the TOG weeks where necessary?


I haven't gone through Kagan and figured out how many sections there are in each chapter and what we're really looking at. Does it kind of get dull to stretch one spine out for 4 years??


(Hopefully some of that is helpful to the op too, hehe.)

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Usually I'm scrambling on Friday (the 1st day of our school week) to find what my children have to read. I match the topics in TOG with Kagan. And then I only write them down 1/2 the time so when the next kid comes along I do that all over again. :tongue_smilie:


I don't think it's been dull stretching it out. My children look at the spines as simply summary of everything else they will read for the week in their primary readings.

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