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High School History Track Options

If you are living in the United States, American history forms an essential core of any high school history program. Fortunately, Homeschool Connections has a variety of options available for high school U.S. history. In this article, we will take a look at different track options for doing American history through Homeschool Connections.

Preliminary Considerations

Before looking at a U.S. history track, there are a few things that need to be considered:

  • How much U.S. history do you need? A semester? A full year? Two years? This may depend upon state requirements.
  • What kind of workload do you want? Reading intensive? Writing intensive? Not intensive at all?
  • How important is it for the class to be anchored to a textbook?
  • Are you looking for a comprehensive presentation of the entirety of U.S. history, or are in depth studies of particular eras also acceptable
  • Is there a particular instructor your child is partial to or works better under?

A clear understanding of what you are looking for will help you better navigate the host of options Homeschool Connections makes available for Catholic U.S. history courses online.

Option 1: Catholic Textbook Project Courses

If you want a solid textbook-centric U.S. history track you can complete in one year, we have two recorded courses taught by Christopher Zehnder called “Lands of Hope and Promise,” Part 1 and Part 2. “Lands of Hope and Promise” are tied to the well-known Catholic Textbook Project history series of the same name. There are two courses, each twelve sessions, covering the European discovery in 1492 to the 1970s. The courses also spend considerable time covering the history of Mexico, as well. To learn more about Christopher Zehnder’s courses, check out the registration pages on the Homeschool Connections website:

Lands of Hope and Promise Part 1
Lands of Hope and Promise Part 2

Option 2: Dr. Chalberg’s American History

Dr. Chuck Chalberg is a retired professor of American history with a wealth of knowledge on the subject. He also has a penchant for appearing on television and speaking engagements as G.K. Chesterton and Theodore Roosevelt! Dr. Chalberg has two semesters of American history, the first covering discovery to the end of the Civil War, the second covering Reconstruction to the present day.

American History Part 1
American History Part 2

Option 3: Mr. Campbell’s U.S. History Series (shorter)

Of course, how can we talk about high school history without mentioning the eccentric Mr. Phillip Campbell? Mr. Campbell has a total of four full semester courses of U.S. History that are very popular. This gives you a variety of ways to work his classes into your schedule, the two most common being a shorter track (one year) or a longer track (two years). For the shorter track, we recommend Revolution, Republic and Union (1763-1865) and Modern U.S. History (1865-2000). These classes together cover the revolutionary war to the turn of the millennium and go over all the major beats of U.S. history using a combination of a text book and primary source readings. Modern U.S. also has an optional honor’s track.

Revolution, Republic and Union
Modern U.S. History

Option 4: Mr. Campbell’s U.S. History Series (longer)

If your student wants a more immersive U.S. history experience, they can take all four of Mr. Campbell’s U.S. history courses for two full of years of American history studies. The longer track would include Early American History (1492-1763) as well as Contemporary U.S. History (1988-2016). Early American covers the colonial period and includes lessons on Spain and France; Contemporary is a unique course that devotes considerable time to discussing events such as the end of the Cold War, the War on Terror, Great Recession, etc.

Early American History (Year 1)
Revolution, Republic and Union (Year 1)
Modern U.S. History (Year 2)
Contemporary U.S. History (Year 2)

Option 5: Christ and the Americas

If you like Anne Carroll’s popular book Christ and the Americas, Dr. Christopher Martin teaches two semesters of U.S. history using Anne Carroll’s text as a spine. Part 1 goes from Columbus to around 1850; Part 2 goes from the 1850s up to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Dr. Martin is a popular and engaging teacher, and combined with Carroll’s book, these courses are a homerun.

Christ and the Americas Part 1
Christ and the Americas Part 2

Option 6: À La Carte U.S. History

Your final option is to do U.S. history à la carte. The classes listed above are all comprehensive courses meant to cover entire periods of U.S. history. By contrast, an à la carte approach would consist in cobbling together a variety of classes on more specific aspects of American history. In an à la carte approach, you would mix and match from any number of the classes below (these all vary in their course length, level of work, etc. so do your research!)

A Nation Made by Wars: America’s Conflicts
American History and the Hit Musical Hamilton
American Lives at Gettysburg: A Virtual Tour
Civil Rights in America 1863-1968
History Boot Camp: The Great Depression
The American South: “To Live and Die in Dixie”
The Conflict That Made the Nation: The American Civil War

With all of these options, there’s definitely something that will work for your child! If you need more help choosing an American history track, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].

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