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JadeOrchidSong

Help with US history choice, maybe Lori D?

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I am struggling with ds15's 10th grade US history choice. I have an older edition Notgrass American history, but I feel it is dry and may not be a good fit. I have been looking at Great Courses 84 lectures. Considering he will have 6 90-minute live online classes, I would prefer that he doesn't watch so many video lectures, especially these without maps or pictures, just professors talking. I am considering audiobooks if I use Great Courses. 

Lori D, and other veteran honeschoolers, can you please help me? Ds will take Potter's School's live online honors advanced composition, honors Precalculus (2x/week), honors chemistry, and Spanish 3 (2x/week). He will take government at our homeschool co-op twice a month. I feel these are challenging and can take up a lot of time. So I do not want US history to be super hard or time consuming. If I use Great Course, how should I evaluate him? What other American history courses are solid, engaging, but not overtly time consuming? And by the way he studied Notgrass America the Beautiful for 6th and 7th grade. I didn't check his workbook closely though, so he kind of studied loosely. 

Thanks! 

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Hoping others will jump in with good advice for you. Just a few quick ideas to kick things off:
 

On 5/19/2020 at 8:57 PM, JadeOrchidSong said:

...If I use Great Course, how should I evaluate him?


CHOICE of ONE of the following ideas:

- Discussion??
Not every class has to have a load of output, so perhaps to keep this class lighter, just watch together, discuss right after, move on.

- Timeline of key events??
At the end of the week, have him add 5 key people/events (1/2 to 1 sentence each) from the time period studied that week.

- Short (1-3 short paragraphs) response to a discussion prompt?? 
Maybe do 1 every 4 weeks = total of 9 written responses.

- Create an oral presentation with slideshow??
Just a few times, no more than 3-4 times (one every 9-12 weeks) during the year, he picks a time period or key person/event does a bit of research, creates a visual presentation and presents to the rest of the family.

- 5-min. quiz on each video??
As you watch with him, jot down a few key things from the lecture; have him practice note-taking from the lecture, and before starting the next video, give him 5 minutes to study his notes, then give him the 5-minute quiz (maybe 1 short answer (1 sentence), 2 true/false, and 2 multiple choice -- that would give you a short quiz as output for each lecture, plus practice in note-taking/studying from one's notes.
 

On 5/19/2020 at 8:57 PM, JadeOrchidSong said:

... So I do not want US history to be super hard or time consuming... 
...Considering he will have 6 90-minute live online classes, I would prefer that he doesn't watch so many video lectures...
... What other American history courses are solid, engaging, but not overtly time consuming?

- Complete Idiot's Guide to American History ?? -- standard sort of textbook; works out to about 10 pages of reading per week

- Walsh Power Basics text Crash Course American History videos ??
   Walsh American History textbook = super fast/easy read; 4 units, each about 36 pages, so a total of about 4 pages to read per week
   Crash Course = videos, BUT, very short, visual, and lively; each is 12-15 min. long, total of 47 videos, so about 1/3 of your weeks, watch 2 videos

Edited by Lori D.
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If you do the Great Courses option, in addition to Lori's good suggestions, most of the accompanying PDF books have short answer questions for each lecture and he could just do those.

I love history, but just affirming that keeping one course really light is good. Honestly, I think it's okay if you don't even do that much. It's okay if you do a course that's nearly all input with very little output, as long as you feel confident that the input went somewhere - either because you have a kid who will really take it in or you discussed it.

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We have used Great Courses and also K12's American Odyssey as a spine, both with success, depending on the preference of the kid. Both are much, much, much more engaging than Notgrass! 😉

For output, I assigned a few selected lessons from Critical Thinking in US History. Engaging but not overwhelming. 

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Thanks a lot, Lori D. I will definitely look at the crash course videos and other books you mentioned. I am now listening to Great Course audio. 30 minute lecture is really LONG! I got interrupted and then went back to listening and it seemed to take forever. I'm really not sure about Great Course now. It's easy to zone out and not retain much. 

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9 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

We have used Great Courses and also K12's American Odyssey as a spine, both with success, depending on the preference of the kid. Both are much, much, much more engaging than Notgrass! 😉

For output, I assigned a few selected lessons from Critical Thinking in US History. Engaging but not overwhelming. 

Did you use these two together or separately, each as a complete history course? 

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Just now, JadeOrchidSong said:

Did you use these two together or separately, each as a complete history course? 

My 2 DS's used the text as a spine and my DD used the Great Courses videos. Using both in the same course with the same kid would have been overkill for us.

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Lori, the crash course videos are GREAT! I will use these to supplement whatever I use. 

I am kind of interested in Great Course Turning Points in American History because it's only 48 lectures, much shorter than the full American history course. 

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47 minutes ago, JadeOrchidSong said:

... I am now listening to Great Course audio. 30 minute lecture is really LONG! I got interrupted and then went back to listening and it seemed to take forever. I'm really not sure about Great Course now. It's easy to zone out and not retain much. 

Yes, we only managed to do the Great Courses: Economics series. I tried, but DSs were NOT ready for college lecture style of learning at that age...

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https://openstax.org/details/books/us-history I found this free online text book with multiple choice questions and critical thinking questions after each of the 32 chapters. What do you think, Lori? This seems to be a college textbook by Rice University in Texas. I do like the multiple choice and critical thinking questions for evaluation, very convenient. 

https://www.ushistory.org/us/ I like this one, too, but it doesn't have questions for evaluation. 

I have decided against Great Courses. Too easy to tune out for the long lectures unless you really love the subject.  

Edited by JadeOrchidSong

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2 hours ago, JadeOrchidSong said:

https://openstax.org/details/books/us-history I found this free online text book with multiple choice questions and critical thinking questions after each of the 32 chapters. What do you think, Lori? This seems to be a college textbook by Rice University in Texas. I do like the multiple choice and critical thinking questions for evaluation, very convenient. 

https://www.ushistory.org/us/ I like this one, too, but it doesn't have questions for evaluation. 

I have decided against Great Courses. Too easy to tune out for the long lectures unless you really love the subject.  


It totally depends on what will best help your particular student learn. 😉

For example, you mentioned wanting to reduce computer time -- an online text is more screen time, whereas a physical text would provide a break from online classes/videos.

Also, it depends on how you use the multiple choice and critical thinking questions -- if having the student do the text solo and just using the questions as output, I could easily see a student, esp. using an online text, just skipping reading the text, and only looking for the answers to the questions. Or, is the plan to read aloud together (or both read the text on your own), and then use the questions for oral discussion together afterwards?

I agree about how easy it would be to tune out lectures -- but also it could be pretty easy to tune out an online text... Again, depends on the student. That may be the preferred way of reading/learning for your student, so it may be a great choice.

BEST of luck in finding what is the best fit for this student at this time. Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I need to come up with an American History course myself for my rising senior (plus I have a rising freshman).  Has anyone ever based a course on Ken Burns history documentaries?  I have always found them very interesting, but I have never attacked them in chronological order of topics.  I feel like we would need some sort of book to fill in the big overview.  They have quite a bit of exposure to early American history already, but nothing that I have documented.

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