In middle school, my daughter used Dave Raymond’s American History curriculum. I was happy that it included some American history activities since we’ve always studied history that way.
As I’ve mentioned before, my oldest daughter loves history, but my youngest does not. I have always struggled to find the right balance between the two of them with this subject.
Now that Abigail is in 8th grade, I’ve been feeling that it’s time to give her more challenging history lessons. However, it’s been a challenge to find something that fits because I need curriculum that she can work on independently and will also keep her engaged. She doesn’t want to just learn facts, she wants to understand history.
I received a copy of this curriculum as well as financial compensation for an honest review. All opinions stated are mine. This post contains affiliate links.
This multi-sensory, faith-based American history curriculum takes teens from Meso-America through to Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.
Dave Raymond’s American History
Dave Raymond’s American history curriculum contains 26 lessons. They break each one down into 5 sections, with a different 10-15 minute video for each one.
Because he is so knowledgeable and passionate, I actually watch the videos with my daughter. This gives us the opportunity to discuss what we’ve learned, and I can answer any questions she has.
Plus, I’m discovering facets of history I didn’t know before.
After the videos, she reads the corresponding sections from the Student Reader. Some are longer than others, so the time she spends reading varies from week to week. This is not fluff reading. Instead, students are exposed to rich literature and primary source material.
For example, in the second part of lesson 14, the required reading is the Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which George Washington transcribed into his copybook as a student. It’s now now housed at the Library of Congress.
During this lesson, I made sure Abigail looked at the original copy and we discussed whether these 16th Century rules held a place in today’s society.
After watching the videos and finishing the reading assignments, it’s portfolio time. They expect teens to keep a portfolio throughout the year to record what they learn in each lesson. It can include narration, original artwork, quotes, photographs, and anything else the student desires as long as it relates to the lessons. Almost like a history scrapbook. What a great idea!
I really love that the kids are encouraged by Mr. Raymond to do their best work. By taking their time and showing attention to detail, the portfolio becomes a treasured resource.
In the Student Reader, at the end of each lesson, there’s a ten question exam for the students to complete. I was excited to see that the questions were essays, not multiple-choice. This gives Abigail a chance to share what she’s learned in a thoughtful manner, and I can easily see whether she truly grasped the material.
Additional Activities Included in This History Curriculum
Aside from all of this, there are two more items in this history curriculum students spend many hours working on. I have to tell you that Abigail is excited about both of them!
First is a research and thesis paper. Part way through the lessons, she will choose a topic that she would like to research. She will need to express an opinion and defend it with various sources. It will require her to provide a bibliography, multiple citations, and when finished, present her paper in front of others.
Right now she is considering writing about the Trail of Tears or the Underground Railroad.
The other item is a large project, completed over the course of 30-40 hours. This is a huge undertaking. The Teacher’s Guide offers quite a few suggestions, but the project can focus on anything related to American History.
Abigail is thinking of doing some stop motion animation, possibly including claymation or her American Girl dolls. She hasn’t really decided yet.
What I love about Dave Raymond’s American History Curriculum
There are a number of things my teen and I love about Dave Raymond’s American history curriculum and reasons you should check it out for your homeschool.
- It encourages students to take their time and do their best work, especially on their portfolio, project, and research paper.
- The videos are interesting, easy to understand, and full of stunning artwork.
- Instead of just facts and figures, the curriculum tells stories to help you understand and appreciate history and its important figures.
- The Teacher’s Manual saves me a ton of time because everything I need is right there.
- With this curriculum, there’s enough material to count as 1 high school history credit. Can I tell you how much I love that?!
If you need an American history curriculum, definitely look at having your teen learn American History from Dave Raymond.
Included in This History Curriculum
- 26 lessons taught via video
- A downloadable and printable Student Reader
- Weekly exam questions and answers
- A downloadable and printable Teacher’s Guide
- Information needed for thesis papers, student projects, and a year-long portfolio
Want to see it for yourself? You can watch some FREE American History Lessons!