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Reefgazer

High School World History

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I'm looking for recommendations for high school world history.  Something comprehensive, and teacher supports would be a bonus.  We did the four year world history cycle for middle school, but DS is too time-pressed in high school to go that route again.  We are looking for  a 1-credit-worthy course.

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If he has done at least one history cycle previously, I highly recommend Ways of the World.  It focuses on themes rather than minutiae.  It stands on its own, but it's concise, so you can add supplements according to your son's interests (and the amount of time you have).  For output, if you feel you need it and you're looking for something easy, just discuss the end of chapter questions and have him write a solid response to one or two of his choosing.

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K12's Our Human Story is a good text if you want to go the textbook route. We have also used Great Courses - History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective and Foundations of Western Civ 1 and 2.

No teacher helps though, we just discuss and they write a couple essays.

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Just another plug for K12's Our Human Story.  Very well written, and nice layout (pages aren't too frenetic).  I'm using it this year with one of mine; he reads 2-4 pages daily and does a simple outline of his reading. At the end of each chapter/section, he goes back and answers the Key Questions (there are usually 2 or 3) in paragraph form.  Sometimes it even looks kind of like an essay. 😉 He also does a map for each chapter (using Outline Maps of World History, Map Trek is the updated version), and occasionally I throw in something from Stanford's Reading Like a Historian.  If I wanted to make it an meatier course, it would be easy to throw in some outside reading or a small research paper of his choosing. 

It's been a good year so far.  He's getting a nice flow of world history, without getting burnt out in the process.

Sadly, there is no teacher support.  K12 uses this text in online only classes.  But it isn't a huge effort for me to read a few pages and glance over an outline to see if he's going in the right direction. The essays require a little more work from both of us, but that is mostly because he is a fourteen year old boy. 🙂

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And some other options for world history....

  • Oak Meadow world history (current course is not textbook specific, older edition uses the Glencoe text authored by Spielvogel)
  • Student's Friend -- yes, it looks light, but I would have no problems using this with a student who had already had a decent grounding in history.  It would be a good base to add movies, documentaries, outside reading, discussions, etc. to. There are extras on the site. 
Edited by Zoo Keeper
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Just a note about Our Human Story--large portions of it are straight out of the second and third volumes of The Human Odyssey (K12's middle school series), so if a student has used HO, using Our Human Story may be a bit redundant.  That said, I *love* K12's approach to history, and Our Human Story would be a great choice for a student who is doing their first pass through history or who has only had elementary level history.

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Randomly as I was researching for next year I found that Spielgovel has a high school world history text. It is old, but there is a teacher book. I own it and don't plan to use it if you are interested.  I did not pay as much as it's currently listed for on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/053843032X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is a true world history book--not western civilization.  It reminds me of other high school textbooks in terms of its set up and the review exercises at the end of the chapter.  

Student text link: https://www.amazon.com/World-History-Jackson-J-Spielvogel/dp/0538423293/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=World+History%2C+The+Human+Odyssey&qid=1582481785&s=books&sr=1-5

 

Apparently there was once a test bank for this but it is hard to find now. I didn't look for it.

ETA: See next post in this thread where EKS indicates to AVOID this text.  

Edited by cintinative
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16 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Randomly as I was researching for next year I found that Spielgovel has a high school world history text. It is old, but there is a teacher book. 

I used this text with my older son when he was in 8th grade.  I found it to be incoherent in the sense that it seemed slapped together and that the author wasn't attempting to weave a coherent narrative (even within the same chapter).  When we jumped ship eight or so chapters in is when I discovered K12's Human Odyssey series.  We ended up using all three volumes that year and it was like a breath of fresh air.  Given that experience, I would definitely use Our Human Story over the Spielvogel text even though there are no teacher helps (unless you enroll in the K12 course).

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2 minutes ago, EKS said:

I used this text with my older son when he was in 8th grade.  I found it to be incoherent in the sense that it seemed slapped together and that the author wasn't attempting to weave a coherent narrative (even within the same chapter).  When we jumped ship eight or so chapters in is when I discovered K12's Human Odyssey series.  We ended up using all three volumes that year and it was like a breath of fresh air.  Given that experience, I would definitely use Our Human Story over the Spielvogel text even though there are no teacher helps (unless you enroll in the K12 course).

 

That is SO good to know. We have used the K12 HO books 1 through 3 so the K12 Our Human Story book wasn't one I felt like we could use (because of the issue you mentioned upthread). We really liked the K12 books.  I own The American Odyssey as well and that one appears to be well done.

The Spielgovel text isn't really what I was looking for as I was looking for more of a western civilization approach. We are going to use A History of Western Society Vol 1 and 2 over three years instead.  

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2 minutes ago, cintinative said:

That is SO good to know. We have used the K12 HO books 1 through 3 so the K12 Our Human Story book wasn't one I felt like we could use (because of the issue you mentioned upthread). We really liked the K12 books.  I own The American Odyssey as well and that one appears to be well done.

The Spielgovel text isn't really what I was looking for as I was looking for more of a western civilization approach. We are going to use A History of Western Society Vol 1 and 2 over three years instead.  

If the text you've settled on doesn't end up working for you, the book I mentioned upthread (Ways of the World) is a fabulous sequel to HO.  

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So, it turns out I have the entire K12 Human Odyssey series buried on my shelf!  So it makes sense to use that, but before I decide, what are the differences between Spielvogel and K12 Human Odyssey?

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7 hours ago, Reefgazer said:

So, it turns out I have the entire K12 Human Odyssey series buried on my shelf!  So it makes sense to use that, but before I decide, what are the differences between Spielvogel and K12 Human Odyssey?

This is just me, but I find the K12 series to flow better (writing style wise).  And the page layout was much, much nicer.  Not so many sidebars and color changes and 47 things to look at on one page.  K12 looks cleaner and easier to follow.

 

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If you are comparing the Spielgovel one year high school World History text with the K12 Human Odyssey Volumes 1-3, I totally agree with zookeeper's assessment. It is much cleaner looking. Since we have not used Spielgovel, I can't speak to that text in terms of ease of use or flow, but EKS commented upthread she didn't like it.  The K12 volumes are well-written and flow well. We really enjoyed them.

I also own a really old copy of Spielgovel's Western Civilization text that I inherited from a friend. I would agree that that one is also decidedly more "busy" than the K12 texts. Note this is western civilization so not a full "world" history.  😃

I think that @EKS  has experience with both??

I thought that Human Odyssey Volume 3 was high school level, but the other two volumes are not (technically)? But I suppose you could supplement too. Someone said that the World History: Our Human Story (the K12 one year world history volume) was very similar to the three smaller Human Odyssey volumes.  I don't own it, so I can't compare, unfortunately. 

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On 2/22/2020 at 12:56 PM, Zoo Keeper said:

And some other options for world history....

Ds is using this history with this same textbook. I have the teacher’s edition for both the course and the textbook. I think it’s a great combination for a world history course. 
 

Be aware that there are no tests. Everything is subjective grading of writing comprehensive answers, research papers, and all kinds of projects. So the OM teacher’s guide has some idea of what to look for in the student’s work but not always detailed answers. 
 

I have ds doing this over two years. A close friend does it, too, and we meet him and his mom (my best friend) to do some fun things like visit museums, do art projects, present their work to each other, etc. 

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13 hours ago, cintinative said:

I thought that Human Odyssey Volume 3 was high school level, but the other two volumes are not (technically)? But I suppose you could supplement too. Someone said that the World History: Our Human Story (the K12 one year world history volume) was very similar to the three smaller Human Odyssey volumes.

Our Human Story says this on the page opposite the title page: "Parts of World History: Our Human Story have been adapted from these K12 publications..." and then they list HO2 and HO3.

13 hours ago, cintinative said:

If you are comparing the Spielgovel one year high school World History text with the K12 Human Odyssey Volumes 1-3, I totally agree with zookeeper's assessment. It is much cleaner looking. Since we have not used Spielgovel, I can't speak to that text in terms of ease of use or flow, but EKS commented upthread she didn't like it.  The K12 volumes are well-written and flow well. We really enjoyed them.

The writing in Spielvogal was my biggest objection.  I don't remember it being overly cluttered, but we had just come off of the original Hakim, so that may have skewed my judgment.

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