High School History Courses from Master Books
For years, James Stobaugh has written homeschool curriculum, focusing primarily on the study of literature from a Christian perspective and SAT test preparation. Mr. Stobaugh has now turned his attention to history. These courses focus on general themes in a given time period and require the student to use his research, analysis, discussion and essay writing skills rather than his memorization skills. Another feature of the courses is good incorporation and discussion of Christian beliefs and ethics (particularly evident in the World History course) compared to the prevailing philosophy of the people group and time period.
Each course has a student book and a teacher book and is divided into 34 chapters. Each chapter contains 8-15 pages in the student book, and is divided into four lessons. In the revised editions, photos and artwork are full-color. The text reads more like Mr. Stobaugh is telling the reader a story. Because of the good readability and short chapters, the course seems at first glance to be more suited for junior high students. However, Mr. Stobaugh presumes that the student will be doing outside research, not just reading the assigned pages. Daily assignments are purposely left open-ended; the student should have the time to pursue the research wherever it leads.
As an example, Chapter 8 of the American History course covers the years from 1800 to 1820 in 8 pages of text. The first page contains a brief overview of the era, and learning objectives for the chapter. The four lessons are "A Peaceful Revolution", "An Era of Good Feelings", "History Maker: John Quincy Adams", and "Historical Debate: National Period". Assignments for each lesson are one to five research/essay questions.
This philosophy carries over into the chapter tests; while there are some single-answer questions, the majority of the points given on the test are for answers to essay questions.
Where possible, the Teacher Guide contains answers to the lesson assignments and chapter tests. On many essay questions, the Guide gives information which may or should be included in the student's essay. However, some questions are opinion questions; the teacher must gauge whether the student has adequately supported his answer with facts and reasons.
To use this course successfully would require a motivated student who enjoys researching topics on his own. This is not a history book full of times, places and dates, but rather a framework from which to build a knowledge of history. ~ Bob