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Mandy in TN

High School American History Spines

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My middle ds will be studying American history next year and I would like good coverage; however, this child does not like history and is not a strong reader. I would love to use 2 spines (a liberal and a conservative), but a Zinn/ Johnson combo is just not a reality with this child. It would be nice if at least one of the two included pictures. I am also fine with one of the two being at middle school level or with one of the two being more of a supplemental text. I am not considering the 10vol Hakim set. This is something that needs to be doable in an hour a day by a slow reader that dislikes history.

 

Any ideas-

Mandy

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While the idea of Zinn's books as acceptable history sends some people spluttering, I think he's a genius at compiling facts,data, and stories about history from "the other side". He has a book called History of American Empire that's in comic form. It generally follows the People's History format. Very east to read, follow, and gives way to many conversations to explore different viewpoints of our US history.

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My middle ds will be studying American history next year and I would like good coverage; however, this child does not like history and is not a strong reader. I would love to use 2 spines (a liberal and a conservative), but a Zinn/ Johnson combo is just not a reality with this child. It would be nice if at least one of the two included pictures. I am also fine with one of the two being at middle school level or with one of the two being more of a supplemental text. I am not considering the 10vol Hakim set. This is something that needs to be doable in an hour a day by a slow reader that dislikes history.

 

Any ideas-

Mandy

 

A Patriot's History Of The United Sates by Larry Schweikart would be an excellent choice for a conservative/pro-American perspective. He has a study guide available on his website.

 

William Bennett's America, The Last Best Hope includes an online component called The Roadmap To The Last Best Hope for $30/year.

 

I believe both have audio available.

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If he is a slow reader and really dislikes history, maybe you could try one of these courses from UCCP. They are free, include video content, suggest textbook readings, include questions, etc. Did I mention that they are free? :001_smile:

 

Rather than try to get through two texts, he could focus on one. The videos would bring the info that he has read to life - even better than a text with pictures, AND there wouldn't be so much reading. Or he could watch the video before he reads; the reading would reinforce the video - which might make it easier for him to stay focused.

 

Did I mention that they are free? And at the high-school level? :001_smile:

 

http://www.uccp.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=97&Itemid=78

 

It's just a thought.

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

P.S. If you hit the home page, you will find other courses available; this site is bookmarked at our house. Can you tell? :001_smile: Have fun!

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I ended up with several books that are not textbooks, none of which has been particularly useful. My son IS a good reader, but very indifferent toward history, and I have only a few ideas.

 

I have used a borrowed high school (college?) text, Thr Enduring Vision, that is actually quite good. I also had the idea to use both a lefty and righty source-the trouble is, none of the "slanted" sources (Zinn and Johnson-I have both!) is very comprehensive, especially Zinn. I am very happy with Z's extensive use of primary sources, but it is NOT a text-huge parts of the timeline are completely missing. Johnson would NOT be for a kid who is not a reader-it's a tome, and the author's approach is more clearly politically slanted than a textbook would be.

 

I have found the Teaching Company's American History course very very useful. It is 85 lectures, so pretty comprehensive, and chronologic, and so far, covers all of the major topics that you would want. Politically, it seems balanced and sticks as much as possible to facts.

 

I have also used Hippocampus, a website that has been extremely useful for its AP US history course, but it also has a not AP course-complete with suggested texts, readings, chapters with map work, lectures, tests, essays and discussion questions. Hope this helps. The suggested texts on Hippocampus may contain a book that would suit your son's needs.

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...this child does not like history and is not a strong reader.

 

At Barnes & Noble check out this 2-vol course: "Sparknotes 101 U.S. History: College History in Language You Can Understand".

 

Vol. 1- Colonial Period through 1865

ISBN: 1-4114-0335-5

 

Vol. 2- 1865 through the 20th Century

ISBN: 1-4114-0336-3

 

If you don't see these books at the store, ask for them to be ordered so you can view the books before making a decision to purchase.

 

In the Sparknotes 101 series, we have Political Science, American Government and U.S. History. These are excellent resources esp for a student who dislikes the subject matter and who struggles with reading about it.

 

My 18yo learning disabled dd recently used the one on Amer. Gov't to help in her CC class. When her class began, she got off on the wrong foot and made an F on her first Gov't exam. After using Sparknotes 101 Amer. Gov't, her grades went up to A's and B's.

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While the idea of Zinn's books as acceptable history sends some people spluttering, I think he's a genius at compiling facts,data, and stories about history from "the other side". He has a book called History of American Empire that's in comic form. It generally follows the People's History format. Very east to read, follow, and gives way to many conversations to explore different viewpoints of our US history.

 

US History with more balance. We had a foreign exchange student in public highschool and this was his only US History text. DH and I were constantly having to give the other side which was a good thing. In this particular school this book gave kids more of a reason to believe that they are "victims" which is a disservice to them. Certainly the US has done terrible things, but there have been some positive things done as well. Presenting both gives a better understanding. This also includes pointing out their religious views which gives greater understanding on why they did what they did..good or bad.

I wasn't too terribly impressed with the comic book version and neither was my teenager.

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Thank you for all of the suggestions.

I will definitely check out History of American Empire as well as Young People’s Zinn. I will also look at Patriot’s History on audio. I like Patriot’s history, but had ruled it out. However, audio may make it doable. I have not seen Remini’s Short History, but Walch publishes a Short Lesson in US that I have looked at. I have also looked at Hakim’s Freedom, but was unsure how to utilize it.

I’ll also look at the Sparknotes. I had considered using AP US History for Dummies, A Complete Idiot’s Guide to American History, or American History the Easy Way. Maybe between the Borders and B&N, ds and I can check out all of these and Sparknotes in person.

 

Thanks-

Mandy

 

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Some others that I have been considering are:

Conservative and/or Christian

History of the United States and Its People -Eggleston

All American History -Celeste Rakes

Exploring America -Notgrass

America: the first 350 years -Steve Wilkins

Secular and/or Liberal

Lies My Teacher Told Me -Loewen

America's History -Berstein

The Making of America -Johnston

TC's High School American History

 

Does anyone know anything about any of these?

Thanks-

Mandy

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Yes, I agree with you that it's not a stand alone text. However, I don't agree that the book only talks about the negative things that occurred. Zinn is very much a patriotic American, I believe. He also tells of the fascinating, hard working everyday people who worked hard under horrible conditions to make the US better. And yes, many of them were "victims" of others . I've never heard him say or read how he believes we are, as a whole, victims. Liberal texts don't equate to anti American. The eye opening happens when you read his stuff after you learn the more traditional stuff.

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