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Thinking about using Hakim's History of US, is this a crazy idea?

Laura Cook

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My kids want to study American history, they are just done with world history for awhile. I have been poking around on the forums reading old threads but still have questions about Hakim's History of US series. I have looked at the samples of the books on Amazon also. So here is what I was thinking, that we could cover one book every 6 weeks starting this next week and spend the next year and a half on them. We would finish them by the end of my oldest child's fifth grade year. But, I've got questions!


  • Are the books going to be way over the heads of my younger two kids?
  • Can one book even be read over 6 weeks without having to really rush through it?
  • Would keeping a timeline and asking them for narrations be enough for output? Discussion ideas geared for 3rd to 5th graders would be helpful. My kids aren't really into projects unless they think of them on their own so I'm not worried about finding ideas for projects.
  • Is there something different you would suggest instead? I bought The Complete Book of U.S. History, thinking that maybe that would work as a spine but it feels like it is missing something to me. I've thought about doing all the American history units from Homeschool in the Woods but I'm pretty sure that the notebooking/lapbooking and the projects would kill us! Any alternate suggestions welcome!

Has anyone done something similar with their kids? Please give me some feedback! Thanks so much!





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I recommend the condensed versions.  I haven't seen the condensed versions, but I've used the 12 volume set.  Ugh.  It's just.too.much. 


I agree. I have the full set, and still think about getting the condensed version instead.


Maybe I'll sell the full set and get the condensed instead. They've been more expensive than I was interested in paying when I looked in the past, but now it looks like I can probably cover the cost of the concise edition by selling the full set.

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They're great books and I love the narrative story aspect of them. But my kids have gotten a lot more out of them starting in middle school. I started reading them when my boys were in 5th and 7th. The older one and I had some interesting discussions as a result of the reading. The younger one sat there with his eyes glazing over. Of course every kid is different, and just making it a chapter a day family read aloud is certainly not overkill. But for me the interaction and learning together was a lot more fun when they got old enough to really get how all of the random events were fitting together in history, and this was something that came later in the logic stage of learning.

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Since so many suggest the concise versions I think I'm going to buy the first one to get a good look at it. If we don't use it now maybe we will later. I was digging through the US history resources on the Rainbow Resource website and and ran across this, Artner Readers Guide to American History. Has anyone used this? Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong. Maybe I need a spine, like the DK Children's Encyclopedia of American History and then fill in with the suggestions from the readers guide.

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