I’m so thrilled to announce that Guest Hollow’s High School American History Year 1 is now ready for purchase! If you have a middle-schooler, you’ll be happy to know we’ve also included instructions and book substitutions for this age group in our curriculum guide!
I started working on this project in February… and during these last 5 months I’ve read/previewed 170 books (many of which were thrown into the reject pile!), watched well over 400 online videos (and culled out the best), visited hundreds of websites, and created a 194-page workbook/study guide with custom artwork and maps! This has been a nearly all-consuming project with a lot of very late nights. I’m excited to get it into your hands in time for the 2018-2019 school year! Good thing I can read fast, or I wouldn’t have made the deadline! 😉
This is the American history program *I* always wished I had when I was homeschooling! The homeschooling moms who helped me proofread were so enthusiastic after taking a look:
“…this is an AMAZING curriculum! I love how well rounded it is. Not one sided. Very clearly laid out. That is SO hard to find in a history curriculum. Everyone is going to love it. I’ve searched high and low for a great history curriculum for high school.”
“I loved it SO much! I think my favorite part is the workbook…it’s meaty without being overbearing. And I love the project elements. It isn’t too crafty or elementary-ish. You have made it to being my #1 curriculum publisher!”
I’ve endeavored to create a history curriculum that is meaty, that will get students enthusiastic about the topics, and that is designed for them to not only understand the material, but to RETAIN it. I also split American history into 2 years as I believe one year is NOT enough time to study all of the important events and people. Our history curriculum doesn’t crush everything into one year, and it doesn’t skimp on important issues.
One of the things I think students will love are the book choices. Take a look at the resources list and you’ll see tons of graphic novels as well as lots of fresh, new book choices. When creating this curriculum, I wanted to avoid scheduling the titles you seem to see in every homeschooling American history curriculum. I’ve taught a lot of American history over the years. Let’s just say I got tired of the “same ol’ stuff.” I searched high-and-low for the BEST books. These are books that are going to engage your students. Even reluctant readers will likely love many of the choices.
There’s another benefit to many of my book picks. Lots of them are available for FREE, and many are also are available via audio books. This will help your budget and will also give you options for students who have difficulty reading (or just need a change)!
I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect spine book. The one I chose was written by real history professors & historians (not a textbook committee) and specifically avoids the “politically correct” type of viewpoint. I wanted a balanced, academic book and that’s exactly what I believe I found. Here’s a quote from a review that sums it up terrifically:
“This book is certainly meant to be an alternative to the Leftist propaganda by Howard Zinn and others that passes for school textbooks these days but it does not insult our intelligence by substituting Rightist propaganda for Leftist propaganda. If it had been conservative propaganda, for instance, we might expect it to stress the central importance of the Pilgrim fathers and their Christian faith in the American founding. And double that if you are aware that Schweikart is a committed Christian. In fact, however, the book glides over this small group of blown-off-course religious renegades as the relatively minor event in the British settlement of North America that it was. The Mayflower Pilgrims get in fact less than two pages out of 928. Even Africans arrived in North America before the Pilgrims! If any of that jars you, you need to read the book.” Quote from John Ray in his review of A Patriot’s History of the United States
Students will also love the recipes in the schedule! Our Chemistry in the Kitchen Curriculum is a HUGE hit with students. I’ve received so many comments from parents who tell me how their students LOVE the time spent cooking and creating great foods of all kinds. American history students will get to learn about historical methods of making & preserving foods and also hone some old-fashioned cooking skills to boot!
I could go on and on about the curriculum and how amazing it is, so I’ll stop here (or I’d take up about 10 more pages, lol), but I invite you to look at the curriculum FAQ:
…and also to look at the books and resources list to see some of the great things that are scheduled in:
Here’s a 2-day coupon celebrating our American History Curriculum’s release:
If you plan on purchasing the curriculum, this is a great way to save a few $$!
Guest Hollow’s High School American History Year 1 is a labor of love, and we think it’s going to be one of our biggest hits yet. We invite you to join the Guest Hollow family and see why both parents and students LOVE our curricula!
We also invite everyone to post your comments and questions and to join our High School History Curriculum User’s Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1020183814779100/
Today’s Kindle Daily Deal is one of the books that is going to be scheduled in our up-and-coming high school American history curriculum! Get it while it’s on sale (Kindle version) for 2.99!
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. News of the World is a National Book Award Finalist.
Click here to purchase it on Amazon! You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books. The Kindle app is available on iOS, Android, Mac & PC. Click here to access the app and more info! I’ll be watching the Kindle deals to see if any of the other American history books pop up and posting about them here, if they do!
Do you know which states were aligned with the Confederates, which were aligned with the Union, and which were considered border states during the Civil War? Your students will after using Guest Hollow’s up-and-coming high school American history curriculum! 😉 I’m hand drawing maps for the workbook / study guide!
I’ve always been a big believer in using maps while studying history. 🙂
This is what it looks like as I’m working on a curriculum! The people at the library know me by name, lol….This pile doesn’t even show the books I’ve already returned or the books I’ve managed to get on my Kindle (my reading preference).
I’m reading through TONS of books for the future high school American history curriculum to decide what I want to use and what I don’t! I’ve already culled quite a few and have added others to the YES list.
I’m glad I’m a fast reader. Usually I can read an average of 400-500 pages a day (give or take). I’m making sure every book choice meets my standards and has that “interest” factor. My husband and I will also be watching quite a few movies in the weeks to come. Let me know in the comments if you have any early American history favorites!
I’ve also started working on the study guide! YES, there will be a study guide with this program as there is with chemistry and physics. I plan on putting some comics in this one to add a little humor and to help students remember concepts. I can’t wait to share more!!
It was recently brought to my attention that some visitors to my site couldn’t access the entire right-hand side of the online Awesome History Timeline Schedule pages. I’ve fixed the html and now you should be able to see ALL of the assignments, even if you have a smaller monitor screen. Just scroll back and forth horizontally using the bottom of your browser bar.
For those of you unfamiliar with this FREE homeschool history curriculum, it’s completely based on WHEN things happened and covers both American and world history at the same time. It’s set up so that you can study American history by itself, world history by itself or both together (my preference). It’s totally flexible and can work as a stand-alone curriculum or can be used to supplement any other history program.
I designed it because I got sick and tired of history curriculums jumping from one event to the next going back and forth in time. How confusing! It was always difficult to keep track of what was happening in the context of time. It was also nearly impossible to see how so many events in history are interrelated! With the History Timeline Schedule, a student can immediately see in a VISUAL context things like how the French Revolution followed the American Revolution, what was happening in the Americas during Henry the VIII’s reign, and that Victoria became Queen of England right after Texans lost the Battle of the Alamo.
As with all my other homeschool programs, I’ve scheduled in lots of goodies like “living books”, colorful non-fiction, hands-on activities, video suggestions, map assignments, art & music studies. It’s probably best used as-is for 6th graders and up, but you can easily adapt it for 1st grade to adult learners.
The History Timeline Schedule is totally flexible! Don’t like a book I scheduled in or can’t access it at your local library for free? Replace it with ANY other suitable book. Just plug your book (or activity or video) into the correct time slot. It’s that easy! Want even more book and video suggestions? Visit my free History Shelf that follows the same timeline format but has hundreds and hundreds more book and video suggestions for an even greater variety of ages.
We have a new part of our website up: The History Shelf. Ever want to read a book or watch a movie set in a specific time period but don’t know where to start searching? With the History Shelf you can choose a time period via the timeline and browse books and videos for all ages in a visual, easy to browse manner. There are books listed for all ages with separate columns for adults and children to make browsing your choices easier.
If you are homeschooling, browse the timeline to find literature and video supplements for your favorite history program. Or, if you just want to find something for yourself to read or watch, it’s as easy as looking up the time period and clicking on the book or movie cover for more information on each book title and movie.
I LOVE history and will continue to add tons more books and videos to the History Shelf.
Feel free to post and share the graphic above if you want to spread the word!
Happy reading and watching!
As promised in an earlier post where I featured the free timeline printables available on my website, here is a walk-through of Otter’s timeline.
I’ve had Otter work on a timeline ever since Kindergarten. He filled up his first timeline and is currently working on the one I feature below. This second one will last him through high school. It’s not the timeline I offer on my site (my own personal timeline actually uses those printables – yes, I’ve made one too over the years with the kids!). Otter’s current timeline is one I purchased from WinterPromise years ago. I actually don’t like the WinterPromise timeline very much because the background isn’t clean and uncluttered. Also, the pages face each other, so in between each timeline spread you have blank pages. I believe WinterPromise designed their timeline this way so you can insert maps and other items in between the timeline pages in the appropriate time period. We don’t use it like that though since I put those types of papers in Otter’s history notebook, so it makes flipping through the timeline a little more difficult. I do like that the pages are sturdy card stock.
Timelines are a great way to SEE history unfolding and to be able to better understand the march of events and people through time. Our timelines are a scrapbook of memories of all the things we’ve studied and also a great way to visually review our history lessons. Otter really enjoys flipping through the pages. We usually play a little “game” when we pull it out where we verbally pick our favorite image or item studied on each page.
First I’ll show you some of Otter’s timeline pages and then I’ll dissect an individual page and point out some of the different items on it. His timeline is in a THICK notebook with really sturdy binder rings. I chose this type of timeline because it’s easier to handle, store and doesn’t take up space on the wall, etc. I’ve used wall timelines with the big kids, in the past, but found that eventually they have to come down off the wall (even if you leave it up for years) and then they aren’t really practical to store. I wanted more of a scrapbook style BOOK that could be kept and shown to Otter’s kids someday. A wall timeline, while neat for awhile, is just junk when you are finished with it.
Click on each picture to see it larger (my apologies to those of you reading this post in an RSS feed where the pictures may be featured full size). I’m not showing ALL the pages, just several examples from different time periods.
As you can see on this page spread, there are a variety of items pasted in: books we’ve read, people and events we’ve studied and even pictures of “things” from that time period like Solomon’s temple and a picture of Canaan merchants. Other timeline pages from this era (not pictured) show an Egyptian home and other similar things that show not just an event or person, but how people lived.
Besides people and events, we also sometimes put in inventions (such as the Chinese kite) or discoveries and advancements in science, math (Pythagorean theorem as seen below) and even art and/or artists.
Even though we are Christians, I’ve always felt it important to cover major people and events from other religions. In the page spread below, you can see Otter’s timeline entry for Muhammad as well as the cover of a book about him that we checked out from the library.
On the left-hand page on the entry for King Egbert I’ve placed a small genealogy symbol to show that we directly descended from him. Otter has enjoyed learning about famous people in our family tree and we make sure to mark them in his timeline for an extra bit of fun.
There are a lot of WinterPromise timeline figures (created by Homeschool in the Woods) on this page spread. They are the black and white ones with a bunch of text underneath. Later on I decided I liked my homemade timeline figures better as they were more customized and colorful so we switched to them after we left off using the WinterPromise curriculum.
As you can see from the pages below, some parts of Otter’s timeline are not as full as others.
Here I’ve dissected a timeline page in a bit more detail so you can see specific things we’ve entered in. You can see how we incorporate the covers of various books we read as we move through our history studies (we use the custom made GuestHollow history curriculum I created which is available for free on my website). I get the pictures we use in our timeline from the Internet and then I paste them into a timeline template page via either Photoshop or Microsoft Word (I have templates created for both programs). You can download a free timeline figure template from the timeline section of my website.
So there you have it! We really love our timelines! I think they are really helpful for seeing the big picture and for remembering things we studied in our history lessons. If you haven’t started a timeline with your kids, I highly recommend it. They are a fun and colorful addition to any history curriculum that your kids can look back on and remember their lessons in the years to come.
I recently received a request for “extra” timeline pages for the free printable timeline I feature on my website. Instead of creating a bunch of new pages, which I don’t have time for right now, I went ahead and made an editable PDF. Now you can add in your own dates and customize the timeline dates without having to write them in by hand. Just open the PDF, type in the custom dates and print!
Using a timeline is a terrific way to help kids visualize when things happened. With a timeline, different people and events can be put into context. We’ve used our timeline for years and often paste in the covers of books we’ve read. The end result is a beautiful scrapbook of not only the things we’ve learned but many of the books we’ve read as well!
In an upcoming post I’ll show you pictures of Otter’s timeline so you can see one in action. For now, here are the free timeline downloads:
B.C. Timeline Pages
(4100 B.C. – 0 B.C.)
The Ancient World
The Classical World
A.D. Timeline Pages
(0 A.D. – 2010 A.D.)
The Classical World
Early Middle Ages
Trade & Empire
Revolution and Independence
Unification and Colonization
The World at War
The Modern World
Blank Timeline Page (Use this page to print out extras or to make smaller timeline portions. This is the new editable PDF so you can add in your own custom dates!!)
Finally, here is a timeline figures template (scroll to below the image for the links). Add in images from online & type in your own dates, names, etc. to customize.
If you aren’t using a timeline in your homeschool, give it a try! You might be surprised at how it helps your children better retain their history lessons.
I like to use notebooking pages with Otter. We often use them for history or science to summarize the things he’s learning. At the end of the year we have a beautiful portfolio that’s fun to look back on!
Here is a free package of notebooking pages for Ancient Egypt and Africa that are available this week from Currclick. Click on the image to go to the download. This download is available for a limited time only so grab yours while you can!