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Anyone using American History Odyssey (Level 3)?


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I am thinking of buying it during the Pandia Press sale, but I haven't seen reviews from people using it.  I'd love to read people's thoughts about it so far and I have some questions as well.  

 

 

Edited by Erica H
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  • 2 months later...

We are using it and I really like it.  We're about halfway through.  There are overview essays included in the program, and then the student is directed to an online textbook (free) to do some of the reading as well.  As long as this textbook remains available online, I definitely plan on using American History Odyssey again in a few years when my younger kids are old enough for it.  It includes mapping exercises and primary source documents.  It also incorporates some literature, such as The Autobiography of Ben Franklin, The Red Badge of Courage, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, and some short stories.  The author suggests that the course is worth 1 credit for history, 1/2 for English, and 1/2 for geography.  We are adding in a few more novels to make a full credit of American Lit. 

 

Is there anything specific you would like to know?

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We are using it and I really like it.  We're about halfway through.  There are overview essays included in the program, and then the student is directed to an online textbook (free) to do some of the reading as well.  As long as this textbook remains available online, I definitely plan on using American History Odyssey again in a few years when my younger kids are old enough for it.  It includes mapping exercises and primary source documents.  It also incorporates some literature, such as The Autobiography of Ben Franklin, The Red Badge of Courage, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, and some short stories.  The author suggests that the course is worth 1 credit for history, 1/2 for English, and 1/2 for geography.  We are adding in a few more novels to make a full credit of American Lit. 

 

Is there anything specific you would like to know?

 

Thank you for your reply!  

 

I do have a couple of questions.  

 

We will be doing American Lit next year separately and I was wondering how easy it would be to only do the history/geography work from American History Odyssey and remove the lit portion.

 

Also, what is the workload like?  My dd will have a pretty tough schedule next year and I would like history to be a lighter subject for her.  

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Thank you for your reply!  

 

I do have a couple of questions.  

 

We will be doing American Lit next year separately and I was wondering how easy it would be to only do the history/geography work from American History Odyssey and remove the lit portion.

 

Also, what is the workload like?  My dd will have a pretty tough schedule next year and I would like history to be a lighter subject for her.  

 

You could absolutely just skip the literature lessons.  They don't tie in to the other lessons at all. 

 

The essays and textbook readings are usually followed by about 5 questions.  Some days I require these to be written; other days we just discuss them.  There are some "spotlight" lessons scattered throughout where your dd will do her own research on a topic (usually a person or event) and then produce a written response.  You could adapt these however you like (i.e., not require the written response, or skip the lesson altogether) if you need to save time. 

 

The program is VERY easy to adapt to fit your needs.  Like I said, if you skip some lessons (the literature or spotlight lessons), it won't mess up the rest of the program for you.  :)  The exam questions seem to come only from the overview essays and textbook readings.   The maps are fun and a nice visual but don't take a huge amount of time. 

 

Hope this helps.

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I would love this if it used an actual textbook.  My kids do not like reading online. 

 

 

I wish it used an actual book too.  My dd doesn't mind reading from the screen, but I worry that the website might no longer be there by the time my next kid uses it (probably 5 years).  I took a chance though, and I really like the program, so I guess I'll just hope that it is still active.

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You could absolutely just skip the literature lessons.  They don't tie in to the other lessons at all. 

 

The essays and textbook readings are usually followed by about 5 questions.  Some days I require these to be written; other days we just discuss them.  There are some "spotlight" lessons scattered throughout where your dd will do her own research on a topic (usually a person or event) and then produce a written response.  You could adapt these however you like (i.e., not require the written response, or skip the lesson altogether) if you need to save time. 

 

The program is VERY easy to adapt to fit your needs.  Like I said, if you skip some lessons (the literature or spotlight lessons), it won't mess up the rest of the program for you.  :)  The exam questions seem to come only from the overview essays and textbook readings.   The maps are fun and a nice visual but don't take a huge amount of time. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thank you so much!  That was very helpful!  

 

One more question (hope you don't mind).  Does the teacher manual have the answers to the questions that follow the readings?  

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Thank you so much!  That was very helpful!  

 

One more question (hope you don't mind).  Does the teacher manual have the answers to the questions that follow the readings?  

 

Yes it does.  Also it contains the completed maps, alternate assignments for some lessons, suggestions for grading, and some internet links for further background reading (if you are interested). 

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Yes it does.  Also it contains the completed maps, alternate assignments for some lessons, suggestions for grading, and some internet links for further background reading (if you are interested). 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions!  I really appreciate it!

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  • 1 month later...

We tried it, and while I liked the layout and style there was just too much reading for my kid.  Plus I did not like the online book, I even printed it, still didn't like it.

 

 

What did you end up using instead?

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I bought this, I started it, I liked it, but then decided to take a detour onto the French Revolution 🙄. I keep finding more French Revolution books that we just must read so our US history year might end at 1776. 😂

The lit is skippable, and because DS is doing a separate American lit class, we are skipping the assigned literature. but I'm adding my own (mostly having to deal with local history).

I too wish there was a paper book.

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They explained to me why they are hesitant to move to a paper book - there are links in the eBook, plus the cost of printing because of color.  I think those were the two biggest reasons.  I think they will eventually sell the books in hard copy since so many people seem interested.  I just purchased the eBooks because of the sale and will probably end up printing some of the teacher manual.  My dd is fine with eBooks.

 

 

 

 

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What did you end up using instead?

I ended up doing my own thing. Some Foner (there's a great companion site with outlines and essay topics etc.) TGC, some printable quick reviews for topics I just wanted to get through.  We're actually stopping at the Civil War then going back to 1500 in West. Civ (next year) and cover through Modern age.

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  • 3 years later...
22 minutes ago, homeschoolandflowers said:

Anyone have the student guide and want to sell it to me? Pandia doesn't print them any longer.  I have the teacher guide but it doesn't include the essays that the students are to read! I can't find a used one online anywhere...

I only have the download.  It wasn't available in print when I purchased it.  

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We are using it now, and doing it over two years at a leisurely pace because it is too much for 1 year.  I absolutely love it, and it is very comprehensive; I feel there is real learning to be had from a course as meaty as HO Level 3 American.  WE also used HO throughout Middle School.  However, I have one whopping complaint about it:  It is tough to schedule because some lessons are ridiculously long and some very short, making it tough to schedule unless you have very "free-form" organization at home.  But even with all that, it is really the best history curriculum I have found out there.

Edited by Reefgazer
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