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Curriculum Outline & Guide for Teaching United States History: Part 1, From Native Americans Through Reconstruction Review by Katherine Averill

Sybil Wagner
WordMasters, Inc.
314 N. White Street
Athens, TN 37303

Part 1 of Curriculum Outline & Guide for Teaching United States History is a thorough compilation of lesson plans useful in teaching American history. The text is for use by the teacher, containing not only lesson plans but also enrichment materials. The lesson plans guide the teacher by giving complete objectives, goals, methods, and assessment suggestions.

A wide range of topics are covered in the outline, beginning with early Native Americans and moving on to the discovery and exploration of the Americas, colonization, and the Revolution. The guide continues with plans for teaching the Constitution, the War of 1812, westward expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

While this guide gives complete and helpful lesson plans and often very useful enrichment information, it does not give the teacher complete materials or resources to teach the lessons. The homeschool parent is still required to gather books and materials used by the student to learn the information. The enrichment information pages do provide information that would be very helpful to a teacher with no previous knowledge of the topic. However, the information given is not enough for teaching the course.

I received an additional packet, titled Homeschooling Instructions, along with the Curriculum Outline & Guide. This packet included several pages of additional suggestion specific to the homeschooling parent. For example, for a lesson of Early Cultures of the Americas, it is suggested that the teacher give the student a map detailing the regions of Native Americans, but no map is given. Nor is a resource suggested for finding the map.

This guide would be a wonderful resource for the homeschooling teacher who enjoys gathering materials and resources and doing some research of her own. Following the lesson plans would give an extremely thorough course in American history through Reconstruction, and it would work well in a co-op setting. However, this is not a "pick up and go" curriculum.

Product review by Katherine Averill, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2010