Should we combine U.S. History I and II to have a lighter 12th grade year?

Dear Carrie

Should I combine U.S. History I and U.S. History II, so my son’s 12th grade year is lighter and he can pursue other interests?

Dear Carrie,

My son is currently doing Heart of Dakota‘s World History for 10th grade and enjoying it! Contemplating his next year, however, I’m wondering if it’s possible to combine the U.S. History I and II history portion? Our state only requires (1) credit of American History. While I’m sure the material is worth spending multiple years on, my son is anticipating a lighter course load his senior year. He wants some time to pursue other interests. If this is inadvisable, do you have any other suggestion? Thank you in advance!

Sincerely,

“Ms. Combine U.S. History I and II for a Lighter Year and to Pursue Other Interests Or Not”

Dear “Ms. Combine U.S. History I and II for a Lighter Year and to Pursue Other Interests Or Not,”

Many states require only 1 year of American History. Often that year of history does not even have to cover all of American History, making it fine from the state’s perspective to cover only a portion of American History as both the USI and USII guides do. This means that it would be fine to use either USI or USII to fulfill your state requirements. College requirements are often more rigorous than state requirements, so you may wish to check the requirements for any colleges your son may be considering before making any decisions.

I would suggest your son does U.S. History I next.

If your son is doing World History, I would be inclined to suggest he go into USI next. This will give him needed credits in Government and in American Literature, along with the required credit he needs in American History. It would also give him the needed Chemistry credit and allow him to continue along the foreign language path. In addition, he would be able to complete the New Testament Survey for Bible (after doing the Old Testament Survey in World History).

I like the options this leaves for your son’s 12th grade year.

I like that this choice leaves your options open for his senior year when he gets there. Much can change between a student’s junior and senior year. The USII guide has 1/2 less of a credit (with 6 1/2 possible credits) than the USI guide (with 7 possible credits). This makes the USII guide less time consuming than USI. The science is also lighter in USII with its astronomy/geology/paleontology focus instead of the more math-based Chemisty in USI.

I would not advise combining U.S. History I and II.

I wouldn’t advise trying to combine USI and USII for history, as it would be way too heavy both in volume and required output. You would also lose the connections by pushing through too much material too quickly. I will share that my two oldest sons truly enjoyed completing USII for their senior years. Since by the time they reach their senior year students (who have come up through HOD) have honed their reading, writing, critical thinking, and independent work skills, the senior year feels easier overall than previous years. It is a time of reaping what has been sown.

We purposefully front-load  a student’s credits the first 3 years.

At HOD, we choose to front-load a student’s credits the first three years of high school to be sure students are earning needed credits right from the beginning. This helps make the senior year less stressful and more enjoyable. From a personal standpoint, I would hesitate to miss the USII guide if at all possible, simply because there is such wonderful training for life in the Economics and Finance options, along with the apologetics course for Bible and the Speech course. The books in the literature study are not to be missed in my opinion, and the history part of the course is so helpful in understanding the times we live in today.

The science course may be a student’s last opportunity to know how to refute science that does not align with God’s Word. Simply being able to logically explain the creation-based perspective as adults when they visit museums, national parks, and planetariums makes doing the Astronomy/Geology/Paleontology course worthwhile! I pray this will help as you ponder your options! It is exciting to see students grow and mature. Congratulations on the hard work that has led to this point with your son!!

Blessings,
Carrie

 

Rekindle Hope and Patriotism with U.S. History I for High School

From Our House to Yours

Rekindle hope and patriotism with U.S. History I for high school!

Heart of Dakota’s U.S. History I is sure to rekindle hope and patriotism!  Within its pages, students discover how America’s struggling beginnings gave way first to sufferings. But then, these sufferings produced perseverance.  Then, that perseverance produced character.  And finally, that character produced hope!  Which it can still produce today!

So, what credits are covered in U.S. History I?

Well, students actually can earn up to 6 1/2 full credits in U.S. History I.  Credits include 1 full credit in U.S. History I, 1 full credit in Bible, 1/2 to 1 full Government, 1/2 credit in Constitutional Literacy, 1/2 credit in Spanish, 1 full credit in English, 1 full credit in Math, and 1 full credit in Science with lab.  This guide is written for students ages 15-17. However, it can be extended for students in 12th grade by adjustments to the 3 R’s and science. There are 4 days of plans each week, and they are all noted on a 2-page spread. Finally, students can expect to spend about 7 hours, 4 days a week, to complete their work.

What does the “Learning Through History” part of the program look like?

First, the “Learning Through History” part of the program sets students off on an adventure with America: The Last Best Hope. Starting with the 13 colonies, students ‘meet’ those who labored to create our democratic republic. Then, in Faith of Our Fathers, students ‘meet’ the men and women who answered the Lord’s call to evangelize America. Next, in The Book of Heroes, students ‘meet’ George Washington, Daniel Boone, Louisa May Alcott, Robert E. Lee, and George Washington Carver.

Then, students see the power of the penned word in Great Letters in American History and in Great Documents Within U.S. History. They also ‘meet’ America in a more visual way in The American Testimony DVD Set. Additionally, students delve into U.S. History Map Activities and the U.S. History Atlas. These resources helps students visualize sweep and influence of key events. Finally, students delve more deeply into history with our Charlotte Mason inspired Living Library! This incredible book/audio set has been selected for its narrative quality and its connections to U.S. History I.

What kind of work do students do in U.S. History I?

First, students keep a full-color Book of Centuries using Amy Pak’s timeline figures. Next, in their full-color U.S. History I Journal, students make many different kinds of entries. For example, entries include analysis of primary source documents, notes from DVD viewing sessions, multi-paragraph narrations, in-depth interpretation of maps, critical thinking questions regarding U.S. documents, written opinions using excerpts to support conclusions, history-related shared talking points, and quotations in context. Finally, assessments such as key word, summary, detailed, topic, typed, opinion, and recorded oral and multi-paragraph written narrations keep the beloved Charlotte Mason flavor of the plans intact.

What can students expect in Government and Spanish?

First, students delve into Government by exploring its political heritage and studying the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Next, students discuss contemporary issues affecting our nation with DVD and workbook sessions within A Noble Experiment. Then, they discover what’s gone wrong with America’s legal system and economy and how to fix it within “Whatever Happened to Justice?” Finally, students round out the “Learning Through History” part of the plans with the Spanish Homeschool Curriculum Kit. This full color course teaches Spanish through audio CDs of dialogue. Furthermore, students learn to write Spanish well in daily written assignments.

What does the “Learning the Basics” part of the program look like?

The “Learning the Basics” part of U.S. History I teaches essential skills that meet academic and spiritual needs. First, students draw closer to the Lord with The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study: A Survey of the New Testament. Additionally, students’ Bible time includes Scripture memorization, a prayer journal, and a hymn study. Next, daughters partner with parents by delving into home, life, and spiritual life management in Beyond Beautiful Girlhood. Likewise, sons partner with parents by diving into how to find God in the heart of daily conflicts and decisions in Everyday Battles. Finally, both sons and daughters enjoy Stay in the Castle and the Seven Royal Laws of Courtship to find and marry the person whom God has created just for them!

What is included in language arts in U.S. History I?

Students enjoy a balanced language arts approach in U.S. History I. They  read 8 novels, 8 short stories, 4 primary sources, 1 full-length autobiography, and 1 play with our Charlotte Mason inspired American literature plans. Timeless favorites like The Prince and the Pauper, The Scarlet Letter, Rip Van Winkle, Man Without a Country, Up From Slavery, The Purloined Letter, The Robe, The Virginian, The Lilies of the Field, and more provide a fresh approach to high school American literature.

Furthermore, introductions, readings, annotations, oral narrations, written narrations, Common Place Book entries, and guided Literature Journal reflections including literary devices, Scriptural connections, in-depth discussions, and literary synthesis assignments all provide higher level assessments without taking away the joy of reading. Moreover, for composition, students use In Their Sandals, which helps them experience the Bible personally by writing 8 Scripturally-based stories. Finally, students finish out this balanced English credit by using grammar, writing, and English skills with Rod and Staff English. Dictation skills with included dictation passages round out this balanced language arts approach.

What do students learn in Constitutional Literacy?

Students can get the most out of their Government course by choosing to also do Constitutional Literacy. With over 500 minutes of engaging video instruction, constitutional expert Michael Farris walks students through the history, theory, and application of the Constitution and what it means for future American self-government. Moreover, professional video footage with beautiful photographs, timelines, and special effects will have students on their way to beginning their voting career as an informed citizen, well versed in the content and meaning of the U.S. Constitution!

What can students expect in Chemistry and Math?

Next, students move on to earn their science credit with lab in Chemistry with Dr. Jay Wile!  Discovering Design with Chemistry is a college-prep, high school chemistry course. This includes visually appealing narrative text, comprehension checks with detailed answer keys, 46 experiments with fully described expected outcomes, and calculations with completely worked out solutions. Lastly, students round out their “Learning the Basics” part of the plans by choosing from one of our many math options.

In Christ,

Julie