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American History I Review by Lisa McClanahan

Colonization through the Civil War
Beth Hempton and Dana S. Wilson
Train up a Child Publishing, LLC

I hated history when I was in school, but once we started homeschooling and I realized history wasn't just about memorizing names and dates I started to see the big picture. Now it is not only my kids' favorite subject but mine as well. This year we are studying high school level American History by using American History I: Colonization through the Civil War from Train up a Child Publishing, LLC.

American History I: Colonization through the Civil War is a 130-page spiral bound high school course. It was designed to explore our nation's history from a Christian perspective without distorting the true character of the people. History is presented by using primary and secondary sources to reveal our founding fathers' original plan for our country, “One Nation under God.” This course uses whole books as the text and these will need to be purchased separately.

This is a one year course studying Colonial America, Revolution, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War. The whole books used for the course were chosen for several reasons including the authenticity of the source, readability, accessibility, and overall content. Timelines, geography, and mini research topics are ongoing assignments that last through the whole course. There are also unit assignments and instructions on evaluating each assignment. Additional assignments can be completed to make this an honors course. Writing assignments are given and it is recommended that the student already has completed Essays Styles for High School Course from Train Up a Child or complete the two courses together.

The assignments have abbreviations that indicate if it is an ongoing assignment, or if it needs to be completed Prior to Reading, As you Read, or Following Reading the assigned chapters. Each unit starts with a list of the required books to read including the author and ISBN number to ensure the exact copy is acquired. There is a list of objectives, other subjects that are connected, and the honor objectives along with an overview of the time period being studied with the assignments listed last. The assignments indicate which book should be read, and what needs to be completed as well as any tool from the appendix that needs to be used. The appendix includes timeline templates, mini-research topics, grading rubrics and keys, note taking tool, discussion questions, a section on creating different maps, and how to grade papers using Microsoft Word's Editing Tools.

I have been using this with my two high school students and they love that it uses real books for the course as opposed to reading from a textbook. We all like that there are more than enough assignments and I let my girls choose the ones they wanted to complete. I think by using real books as the text it teaches kids to learn from every book they read. They may not write an essay for books they read for fun, but it teaches them to engage their mind while they are reading.

American History I: Colonization through the Civil War is very easy to implement for any high school student. With the honors section included it is very adaptable to any high school students level.

-Product review by Lisa McClanahan, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2017