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American History in a World Context


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I would like next year's history, 11th grade, to be American History in a World Context. I plan to use Ways of the World for the World history part, but I would like to supplement with something to bump up the American History. Maybe a text or a lecture series from Great Courses? My dc have been through the arc of American History twice now, so we aren't starting from scratch. In Middle School we used the surprisingly thorough but easy Critical Thinking U.S. History Detective books. I can't make this a time intensive subject, in our house history is fun but it isn't on anybody's career path right now. I would be willing to look at extending into the summer or the first part of the following school year, though.

We will be finishing up the last History of the _______ World in early fall and we have always enjoyed the read-discuss-short writing approach to history.

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We really liked Great Courses History of the US! I had my DD do a few selected Critical Thinking in US History lessons (not the Detective books, it's a 4 part series that are kinda old, I'm not sure if they make them anymore or not) alongside as output.

If I could construct my "dream" history sequence in high school, I would take 3 years and use Great Courses History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective, Foundations of Western Civ I & II, and History of the US. Alas, my kids are not as gung ho about history as I am and just want to get 'er done so I haven't yet had a chance to put that plan into action 😉

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On 3/11/2021 at 2:13 PM, Momto6inIN said:

We really liked Great Courses History of the US! I had my DD do a few selected Critical Thinking in US History lessons (not the Detective books, it's a 4 part series that are kinda old, I'm not sure if they make them anymore or not) alongside as output.

I like this idea, but I'm intimidated by the 84 lectures. Just 42 hours, though. Although with discussion that goes back up... Perhaps I should decide how much time to devote to this endeavor before I make any purchases.  I think that I, too, am more gung ho than my dc about studying history. I do like Great Courses because the guide books can help me direct discussion, so they don't just become hours of passive watching. Plus, the suggested reading can also be helpful for fleshing things out.

Typically I don't like doing Crash Course videos except as review, but I was thinking that I might see how many of the curriculum worksheets I can track down. Too bad that curriculum doesn't still exist as a whole somewhere, it seems light enough to be a good add-on to a World History class. Anybody know how to work the Wayback machine?

Perhaps I should tag @regentrude since I think her mention of doing this for her dc was the first time I heard the idea.

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Just thought I would mention that if you have access to Kanopy streaming service (we have free access through our library), they have a lot of Great Courses including the History of the US. (No course book access for this particular course as far as I can determine though). I am planning on us using it next year.

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13 hours ago, SusanC said:

I like this idea, but I'm intimidated by the 84 lectures. Just 42 hours, though. Although with discussion that goes back up... Perhaps I should decide how much time to devote to this endeavor before I make any purchases.  I think that I, too, am more gung ho than my dc about studying history. I do like Great Courses because the guide books can help me direct discussion, so they don't just become hours of passive watching. Plus, the suggested reading can also be helpful for fleshing things out.

Typically I don't like doing Crash Course videos except as review, but I was thinking that I might see how many of the curriculum worksheets I can track down. Too bad that curriculum doesn't still exist as a whole somewhere, it seems light enough to be a good add-on to a World History class. Anybody know how to work the Wayback machine?

Perhaps I should tag @regentrude since I think her mention of doing this for her dc was the first time I heard the idea.

This is how we structured it: 84 lectures turned out to be 2-3 per week, so we'd simply watch/discuss on those days, then she'd do some CT in USH output on the remaining days. She spent approx 1 hr/day 4 days a week. We didn't do any additional input though, if you add in more reading then your time investment will obviously go up significantly. I thought it was plenty for a standard US History course, but YMMV.

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We have enjoyed the Ken Burns Civil War documentary and War (WW II) documentary.  I am sure there are other documentaries that would great to watch as well.

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There are also some documentaries about particular issues or people, especially on PBS, e.g. Many Rivers to Cross, Asian Americans, and the many episodes of American Experience, including We Shall Remain. Ken Burns, who has made many documentaries, said that the story of baseball in America reflects the story of America; maybe it would be interesting to watch his show on baseball, if that’s a topic of interest. Last year he made an agreement with PBS to stream all his shows on their website. It looks like you may need to participate in their passport program to see them, but there’s an enormous amount available from PBS.

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