T4W November
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  1. #11


    There is Reading Like a Historian, but if you want to add a slight bit of edge, there is Drinking Like a Historian, also known as Drunk History. Its off-the-wallness, and B list celebrities lip syncing to inebriated historians, definitely made some fun topics in US history more memorable for me.

    Heres a segment.... FBI and MLK..
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.


    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

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  3. #12


    The best Drunk History was when Lin Manuel-Miranda did Hamilton.

    Lol. Not a serious supplement... but still amusing.
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  4. #13


    Hahaha! I recently suggested Drunk History to a fellow HSing mom whose daughter was playing Sebastian in the Tempest for our HS Shakespeare play. I must say, the girl ended up playing a very convincing drunk!

    Anyhow, I looked deeper at the Story of Us--I had been collecting them at the thrift store over the last couple months. I knew they had a good reputation, and I liked the scope of them, the ease of which to include primary documents, yadda, yadda, yadda. But this thread has still been nagging me, so I grabbed one book and started reading from the beginning...and it wasn't good. The tone didn't seem too juvenile when reading snippets throughout the middle, but I could definitely hear it in the start of the book, and then was able to notice it throughout it.

    So I am back at the beginning, and realizing that there isn't much out there, really. I think history is only second to science in the Christianity-bastardization of curriculum, so many titles makes me worried. I'm leaning toward Pandia Press. I did try them for ancient history several years ago, and didn't much like it--it was too pokey and slow. However, I think this might be my best bet, and the high school curriculum does seem to fit a lot in at a fast pace. Obviously, I make judgments way too fast, so I am going to try to find some time this week to REALLY read the online preview.

    I will use my thrifting to good use, though, and use The Story of Us with my 5th grader. And don't worry everyone, I wasn't adding in documentaries to make it more high school level--it's just that I add in documentaries to almost every subject: it fills empty times (lunch, the cusps of the day, the car, etc.), and my oldest is such a visual learner. I'm looking forward to all the possibilities of decent documentaries for American history. Ken Burns, here we come!

  5. #14


    You know, if it helps to know... I think the first chapter or two of the first book is by far the worst part of the entire series. I haven't read it all, but I would say pick up the Civil War volume and start there and decide based on that. Or on one of the others in general. It is a talkative style for sure and some people really hate it.

    FYI, these are the exemplars for the AP US History exam. If you're looking for something that's more clearly "grown up" feeling, it's probably a good place to start:
    AP United States History: Example Textbook List
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  6. #15


    Chiming in here-We did APUSH this past year with my older son. The verdict is still out, as AP scores aren't released until July, but my hopes aren't high there...but, to your post-we used Kennedy's American Pageant as our main text. It was "ok", my older son said. We complemented that with a variety of sources (AP). Some people complain that Pageant, and Kennedy, are too "liberal", but we didn't have a problem with it. But we tend to lean in that direction anyway. I found it relatively engaging-certainly more so than my own APUSH texts many years ago.
    But, had we not been doing AP, I'd have gone with Pandia Press. And probably will for my younger son, as I don't ever want to do an AP class again! lol.

  7. #16


    Yeah, I don't think we are going to do any AP courses. Are they really worth it? My "make 'em shine" plan (besides trying to provide the best curriculum and experiences) is to focus on the SAT and CC classes. My son has a huge "reach" school, but then has some pretty achievable, but excellent schools that he would be happy to go to. His "reach" school is more concerned with seeing some CC classes than AP classes, as well.

    I haven't looked at all the books on the AP list, but they seem so boring and compact. What I liked about The Story of Us was that it seemed a little easier to work in other readings and experiences. A lot of the made-for-PS books are so dry that you spend enough energy just getting through text reading that there isn't a lot left over for the truly exciting (or at least in-depth informative) works. I don't know if that makes sense to everyone, but it does for me.

    I have a whole week by myself next week (can you believe it?! Thank you sport camp!), so I'm going to make some final decisions then.

  8. #17


    Around here, they like to see an AP class or 7 ��, and most PS kids make themselves insane with it. Unfortunately, SC does weighted GPAs, so kids are consumed with getting the bump on their GPA, and will take as many as possible. It's very hard to do CC classes here until you're 16-they're strict about it.

    We hated the AP format-it's insane and so, so formulaic. There are definitely a few AP that aren't worth it at all-Human Geography and AP English come to mind. I haven't found a school yet that takes Human Geography for other than an elective credit. And AP English-unless you get a 4 or a 5 (and sometimes not even then), you often only get credit for an Elective credit, and not Eng 101.

    I really feel like AP is a racket. ����Clearly. But, if you live in an area where CC isn't available, it's sometimes one of the only options. SAT2s aren't even looked at around here, although I may have DS take the math2 just to cover the bases. He really only wants to apply to one school, although I'm encouraging him to expand his horizons.

    We are headed down to the local CC on Wednesday to hopefully get DS enrolled for dual enrollment. They have become stricter with homeschoolers lately, so I am hoping to avoid issue by taking every conceivable piece of documentation that I think will be necessary. There they have reasonable classes-like US history from 1400-1877. And then another US history that's 1877-present day.

    �� I was at dinner with someone who graduated high school in the early 1950s, and she said when she finished US history she felt sorry for all the people who would come after her-because they'd have to study so much more!

  9. #18


    Thanks to Farrar's link about AP US History texts on the College Board site, I fell down the research rabbit hole for dd's 9th/10th grade class lists. SIGH. Maybe it is a racket.

    I attended a how-to-homeschool-high-school conference locally, and one of the topics was how bs AP classes were/are becoming. Granted this from people who work at the local colleges and universities reaching out to homeschooled teens, but...I kind of see their point.

    In principle I don't mind making kids reach a little harder in high school, maybe that *might* help the attrition rate of students getting overwhelmed their first semester in college (workload, life balancing issues etc). And I know at the local high schools, taking actual CC classes is just hard to do (esp. if they offer a class in AP similar to it).

    Groovymom (and crazyme), this post *did* have me chase down and review the HO American history. Any thoughts? ETA: re: crazyme's research into high school history texts, to me at least it did not seem "boring" nor did it overlook some not-so-wonderful points of the American experiment. Because i do remember my own high school text as being really rah-rah best country ever-ish
    Last edited by fastweedpuller; 06-20-2017 at 11:46 AM.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  10. #19


    The public schools here are also very AP heavy. However, they also partner with local universities for dual credit as well. The kicker with those, though, is that they take the entire school year to cover what would be covered in a semester-long dual credit class.

    For example, my son did the universiy's first calculus course in a semester on campus. His same-age cousin at the public school earned credit in the same course, but it took spring and fall semesters to cover. In the meantime, ds moved on to the second level in the next semester.

    For homeschoolers, if the student can handle it, it's my opinion that dual credit courses show more rigor than AP. The kid has attended class and performed at a college level. "Proof" of further success at a college level.
    Last edited by inmom; 06-20-2017 at 03:46 PM.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (21), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (20), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  11. #20


    I listened to Lee Binz at the WHO conference this month (and badgered her with questions), and I just started her High School Transcripts and Grades book. She said that colleges just "unweight" the PS weighted grades once they get the transcript and Binz said that she has colleges asking her to tell HSers NOT to weight grades because it just causes them more work. In the book, she said that you must use the College Board's book selection (and pass their test) for you to call a class "AP," but you can also use whatever curriculum you want, have them take the AP test, and call the class "Honors" if they pass.

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American History for 9th Grade