All American History
If you are using an American history course that doesn't go much beyond who discovered what when; who fought who when, and where; who reigned here, who reigned there, who was voted into office in 1797; who invented this, who built that, who wrote such and such a poem, or when such and such a book was written; stop here for just a minute and let me tell you about a history course that will fill in all those blanks. This three-book course is a full year of study in 32 weekly lessons aimed at 5th through 8th grade students. It reads very well, not unlike a good story, using plain language, illustrations, and maps to retell the history of America from the earliest explorers of America through to the beginning of the 19th century. Not missing any of the important information found in traditional history texts, students will be drawn into the exploration of history at a much deeper level and in a more diverse way. The author has emphasized the social and cultural aspects of American history to add extra life to the text the clothes people wore, the houses they lived in, the foods they ate, the games they played, the schools they attended all so very important to the study of history, though overlooked at times by many history courses. The chapters are well laid out, and all follow the same basic formula a description of the atmosphere in which the events of the chapter occurred, followed by the body of the chapter in which the events are detailed and the stories told, and concluded with a list of ways the events had an impact on America's future.
The Student Reader reads like a story; the Student Activity Book is full of exercises, reviews, map work, and study questions; and the Teacher's Guide/Answer Key contains teaching notes and directions for utilizing both the reader and activity book, answers to all the questions and reviews, games and activities, creative project ideas, timeline strategies, recommended reading lists, family fun activities, and more. However, if you want to take the study of American history more seriously and to a deeper level, the Teacher's Guide also has plenty of options for further study. In fact, while focused mainly on grades five through eight, the Teacher's Guide also contains suggestions for adapting this history course both for children younger than 5th grade and for high school students, using the course in a family setting, the co-op setting (which was originally how this course came into being), and the Christian school setting. Suffice it to say that this American history course by Christian author and history teacher Celeste Rakes is complete and thorough and adaptable to almost any setting a homeschooler would need. This course covers from the time of the explorers to the Jacksonians in the early part of the 1800's. The Student Reader is hardcover, while the Teacher's Guide is softcover. Please note that the Student Activity Book for Vol. 1 is now a digital download, not a physical book. This will, however, make it easy to print additional copies for your students. Illustrations and pictures are black and white.
Continuing the story of America, Vol. II picks up at the Civil War, with details of the prelude to the war through to the reconstruction afterward. From that point, the rest of American history is divided into three eras - the Gilded Age (also known as the Victorian Age), the period of the two world wars and the depression, and finally, the Cold War and latter half of the 20th Century.