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Confused about High School History Schedule

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I have been happily adhering to the Well-trained Mind suggestions for History using a 4-year cycle of Ancient thru to Modern History.  We have used all the Story of the World books and last year completed The History of the Ancient World.  


I purchased The History of the Medieval World to used 2016/17 (year 2 of the 4 year cycle) and I have become quite confused about how to complete the final cycle.


HOTW Ancient did not cover the fall of rome which was where SOTW ended.

HOTW Medieval only covers to the early 12th century.  SOTW Middle Ages & Renaissance went through to the 16th Century.  

HOTW Renaissance only gets to 15th century in 94 chapters.  


How are we supposed to get through Modern History again in the 4 years?


Should I even be using HOTW?


Any suggestions greatly appreciated.  I'm really stressed about getting through it all using these texts, but love the writing and the study guides and maps.

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I wondered that too.  I'm going to try to have my daughter get through HOMW and HORW next year, but she's just going to read some of it, not really "work" with it.  It boils down to about 50 pages a week, and I think she can handle that.  We shall see.


Otherwise, I don't know.  I'm not sure SWB's books, while *excellent* and very readable, are right for a four-year cycle in high school like they are for elementary.

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I am not sure it is currently set up as a full 4 year cycle, maybe that is the plan for the future.  On their curriculum map they show using the 3 books through out the 4 years of high school. 


With high school history you also need to be aware that some colleges require that students do credit US History, 1/2 credit Government, 1/2 credit Economics, 1-2 credit (s) World.  Other schools just say you need 3-4 Social Studies credits.  So you might want to check what colleges they are thinking of just in case you are required to do a dedicated credit in US History.  That might change what you are planning on using.

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I posted a similar question a few months ago, and didn't get a clear answer! We are starting 9th with History of the Ancient World this year.  I was confused about how to get all of that in too! I don't want to skimp on modern period because that year we will have to cover government and state history as well. So I can't let the books overlap into our Am History year.  Maybe we just stop where we are at that time and call it good before moving into senior year. We will be reading lit from the time periods, and my kids have been through the cycle twice in grammar and logic stages too. 

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One way to do it is to do:


Ancients- Early Middle Ages

Middle ages-Reformation

Explorers-Civil War

Civil War-Modern Times


This does not always line up with the textbooks, sometimes you have to add in additional resources.  I don't follow the 4-year cycle, though as I follow VP's cycle for 2nd-6th, then do a two-year survey, before doing Ancients-Middle Ages, Middle Ages to Modern Times w/Geography, US History and US Gov/t/Econ (and even that plan is subject to some alteration due to a kids' interests).  Thus far, I don't have history kids -- I have math/science kids.  #4 seems to really like history, though :D

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If the SWB books are working well, you might want to consider reading books 2 and 3 in one year and cutting back on the study guides if need be.  It doesn't seem that the pace of the 2nd and 3rd books is going to allow adequate coverage of modern times, especially since you probably want to get in quite a bit of US history along the way.  I was also concerned that my DS might be more doing his own thing by 12th grade -- I have no inkling of that right now, but the changes each year in the teen years are breathtaking -- so I didn't want to back load too much of history to 12th grade...I'm aiming for covering history in 3 years.


We used the 4 Story of the World books years ago, and they worked great, but we abandoned HotAW early in 9th grade.  For 10th grade, we're planning on using Duiker and Spielvogel's World History as well as The Great Courses three-course sequence on the western European middle ages by Daileader, and I'm hoping we'll get through the early 1800s.  I have the three SWB high school history books, but some other books (like Duiker and Spielvogel or Strayer) seem more like history books both to DS and me; I'm sure SWB's books would work fine.  YMMV: my solidly STEM 8th grader turned into liking history the most in 9th grade, although I think that transition started in 8th grade.

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we did HotAW in 8th for just this reason.  He does 2 chp's a week, doing all the Q's in the workbook (it's a reasonable fraction of his writing at this point).

We'll do:


-HotAW in 8th

-HotMW in 9th

-HotRW in 10th

-US History in 11th (and probably AP US Gov, since it seems like there'd be a lot of overlap)

-probably AP European History 12th


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I am facing the same challenge in continuing our trivium studies and meeting state  social studies graduation requirements.


What I am thinking is 2 years world history: year 1 ancients, year 2 medieval - renaissance. The third year for explorers - modern times I plan to focus more on American history while at the same time covering European history of the same era. We will have to take a separate govt/econ credit either senior year or as summer electives.  I am not planning to continue the cycle for the senior year unless we can get the credits out of the way during summers. I will let my student decide that one.

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For one Dc we started our 4 year history cycle earlier too as we need his last year of schooling free of history to focus on other, more necessary, courses.

There were no supporting extras to go with the HoTW texts so we elected to go with a discussion based approach instead.  I decided to edit some of the content in the HoTW books when we started out  :tongue_smilie:


High School History Cycle

1: Creation to the Fall of Rome, included HoTAW (age 13)

2: Fall of Rome to the Renaissance, included HoMW & HoRW (age 14)   

3: World History 1600-1850 (age 15)  

4: World History with a New Zealand and Australian history focus 1850 to present day (age 16)


No history (age 17)


Our Dd won't be using HoTW at all: and, after she completes Modern Times World History, this year, she'll be choosing the eras she wants to study in history for the next two years. 


Hoping you find an approach that will work for you.



Edited by Tuesdays Child
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Shhhh.....don't tell Susan, but this is the one subject where I didn't worry too much. LOL.


I did an AP World History course over two years so they could explore whatever they wanted to explore which turned out to be WW2 history for one boy, vikings for another, and Ancient Egypt and Sumeria for the third. They did sit the AP exam at the end of the second year. I followed, loosely, and I didn't bother to have my course approved by the college board, so I listed it as honors world history on their transcript for 10th grade. 


We followed with US history the 11th grade year because I thought that made more sense to have it closer to US Gov and Econ during the senior year.


For their fourth - I let them choose an elective. We covered just enough to be worthy of high school credit, but were not particularly rigorous by any stretch. Since all of my kids were specializing in sciences in high school, I needed to make room for more time per day for that and wasn't willing to let English, Math, or foreign language slide.


Not a typical course sequence, however I've had three kids get into U of MI which is a top school, and while two chose to attend, the other who is going to WMU never had them blink at that either. DD applied to 12 colleges and universities and was admitted to all of them with scholarships, each of the boys so far have applied to five and was accepted at all five again with scholarships of some kind. So I am thinking that when it comes to history, there is probably a bit of wiggle room.


3 Social Studies credits (1 each of world history and US history plus a half for US government unless the student takes AP Gov, and then a half credit of elective) is the graduation requirement for Michigan. 

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While I think that SWB intended to do four books for her Hot*W series, I remember a post on her blog a few years back where she mentioned that as she got further in history, she realized how difficult it was to cover an era in one volume.  Also, she is writing this series for an adult audience.  It might be a match for some high school students, but I don't think there is a failure in doing something else for high school.


DS1 did:


9th:  Modern Era - Causes of the Civil War through the Cold War

10th:  AP US Government and AP Comparative Government

11th:  AP European History

12th:  AP US History


Because of the demands of his CC classes (primarily calculus and chemistry), US History fell to the bottom of his to do list.  However he and ds2 thought that they were well prepared for the AP exam, not from one year of studying, but from several years of learning history and just being in a history oriented family.  I'm a little bummed that we didn't do more of what I'd planned for the APUSH, but I'm thrilled that the first 10 years of history built a strong foundation for more specific topics.


DS2 diverged even more:


8:  Modern Era - Causes of the Civil War through the Cold War

9:  AP US Government and AP Comparative Government

10:  AP European History, and Reischauer Scholars Program Japan Studies, and Sejong Korean Scholars Program

11:  AP US History

12:  AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics


DS2 is definitely sold on history and politics.  This is his intended concentration in college.  Again, the first couple swings through the history cycle built a good foundation.


DS3 will be doing a year of cultural geography for 8th grade, because I feel that this is a particular hole in his education to date.  Then we'll see what comes next for him.

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Thanks everyone.  All of your ideas have given me something to think about.  Here's what I have decided to do:


We will cover into 15th century.


I'm going to use the Great Courses Middle Ages Daileader series and some of both Foundations in Eastern Civilization and Barbarian Empires of the Steppes as a spine.


We will listen on Audible to all of The History of the Medieval World and The History of the Renaissance World for Read-aloud.  We will not do all of the hundreds of questions in the Student Book.  Last year he listened to The History of the Ancient World and was able to answer all of the question quiet easily, so comprehension and understanding is good.


We have the Famous Men series and many Sutcliffe and Henty etc books for me to give him to read independently.


We will do plenty of outlining, and writing assignments based on the history that will build up to various reports and comparative/contrast essays.  This will be instead of writing all the single sentence answers required in the student books.

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