View Full Version : Good Middle School American History curriculum?

Crabby Lioness
08-14-2012, 01:27 PM
Any reccommendations?

08-14-2012, 03:05 PM
We're using World History for Us All (http://worldhistoryforusall.sdsu.edu/) because I really like the idea of starting with a panoramic view, moving to a landscape view and then drilling down to specific events/times in history with the close up view. It's more work for me because some of the lessons can be a little too advanced for my daughter, but I take their direction and come up with something a little more fitting for my daughter if need be. Overall though, I'm happier with this approach than that of typical history textbooks.

Even though I love history, as an adult I still sometimes struggle to "order" events in my mind because in school we seemed to jump around a lot. We started working on the panoramic view last year (my DD is 11) and I think this approach fits her better. She's a very concrete, linear thinker.

08-14-2012, 04:44 PM
tell us what you've used/covered so far first?

08-14-2012, 05:26 PM
Story of US is the obvious choice. It's definitely good. Some people don't love the voice though.

The Drama of American History is another good series that could be a middle school spine... but it's OOP and some of the volumes are pricey, but many libraries have it.

08-14-2012, 05:58 PM
My son is starting book 6 of The History of US by Joy Hakim and is enjoying it. He reads a chapter and tells me about what he read. There are study guides that you can get to go with it but we haven't used those.
The series (10 books) could be read in 1 year. He started in January I think and we took a break in June to move but he made it through 5 books in that time.

08-14-2012, 07:24 PM
huh, I wonder if I could manage to do World History for us all next time? I couldnt find a way to connect to it - but i didnt know history at all.

Crabby Lioness
08-16-2012, 11:20 AM
I've been using the Usbourne World History for years, but with the election and middle school it's the right time for a more concentrated approach to American History. The girls give us strange looks when we toss around terms like "the Know-Nothing Party".

08-16-2012, 04:02 PM
If you want something like Usborne to just use as a spine for jumping off of, we have The Smithsonian Children's Encyclopedia of American History and it's similar in format. The text is smaller and they use more photos - a bit more like DK books - but very much like Usborne in terms of approach.

08-16-2012, 05:08 PM
We've been using Joy Hakim's History of US series, which is an easy read but very long, and my teen has been reading Zinn's people's history. Zinn also has a young person's version, which is i think a similar reading level to the Hakim books, and a graphic novel version. My library had all the books i mentioned, so it was easy to preview them before buying them. I dont think Zinn's books give as clear a time-line type overview, though, of the big picture. he focuses more on specific topics I think.