Homeschooler’s Guide to Teaching High School History

Homeschool history

The study of high school history is one of those subjects in which many view the facts as treasures waiting to be picked up and memorized. While passionate history loving teachers assert that history is best learned by being “caught” instead of “taught”, a passion for history and the knowledge that one can gain from historical events, historical reasoning, and even historical mistakes can be applied to analytical thinking, reasoning, debate, and even evaluation of current events.(See- this article for help on critical thinking)

The study of history should ignite a spark within its students to learn from the past. It is sad then to realize as a nation, history is the American student’s worst subject. On average, the American high schooler knows very little history, just 12% of seniors are proficient in US History.(NAEP) Some blame exit testing and the overt focus on teaching math and language. However, for homeschoolers it’s another story. Homeschoolers can take advantage of the freedom and extra time to incorporate history into writing and reading. Which gives the student a much better opportunity to apply critical thinking to the subject.

history curriculum


What High School History Courses Do I Need to Study?

So, what’s the bottom line? Most states require 3 credits of history to graduate. However, students interested in a political or history based college degree will want to choose an additional history course such as sociology, civics, political science, or international relations as an elective.

Freshman Year 
US History Biography of America-timelines, maps, and videos
PASS U.S. History text (request CD free by email [email protected])
Digital History
Hippocampus U.S. History
America in Depression (Free MIT course)
AP U.S. History course
US History – tons of free resources
World History Sophomore Year 
The Western Tradition – 52 videos
PASS World History text (request CD free by email [email protected])
Saylors History Course
Interactive maps to help put it together
CLEP – Western Civilization study guide


Jamie Gaddy, B.S., M.Ed., Ed.D. has been an education professor for over 17 years. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who now homeschools four of her six children (ages 9-15) in a sweet tea sippin’, wrap around porch sittin’, sweet southern Georgia town. Jamie is also a contributing author at Online Education for Kids and MomSCHOOL

April 11, 2014


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