Description: This course will trace the social, economic, political, cultural, and intellectual development of American society from its roots through recent times. The set up for American History is unusual in that it offers two very different options for families, depending on their needs. One option will cater to families who prefer a more traditional, text-based course, and the other option will cater to families who prefer a more ‘literature-based’ approach to American History. More information can be found on my website. Regardless of the option chosen, all students will be mastering historical content and learning to question, think, and argue like historians. Students will engage in a variety of learning methods, some of which will be common to students signing up for either option, and others will be custom-made for their particular needs. Dozens of additional, optional practice quizzes will be uploaded for any student who wishes to use them for learning purposes and/or test-preparation purposes. My choices for assignments are well-considered and my classes are very lively. I do everything I can to overcome the limitations of the ‘virtual divide.’ This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. In addition, families can visit my website, www.questcourses.com, for more information.
Want to get a sense of one of our live class sessions? Watch a recording!
Live Sessions: Weekly class meetings will be conducted on Tuesdays, 10:15-11:30 EST almost every week the course is in session for discussion and instruction. When we do not have a live class scheduled, students will be watching a teacher-created presentation or directed to do some other related activity. All live sessions will be recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience. Although attendance in the live sessions is not necessary, it is highly recommended. Not only do the students gain a lot from them, but we also have a lot of fun. We really enjoy our live sessions together. Just about every class involves student interaction with the material and each other in a way that they have always found engaging and beneficial. I like to ask my students a lot of questions, and build on their answers as I keep teaching them new material. If a student cannot make the live session, he or she will need to view the recorded class sometime in the course of the week because material in the classes will be tested in Unit exams.
Course Structure: The course is divided into eight “Units,” with each Unit divided into Weeks A, B, C, and D. Our live meeting begins a week, and certain repeated assignment types are due at the end of the week. There are detailed instructions provided for students in the Canvas course website.
In addition to learning the content of American History, parents can also opt their students into writing a primary document analysis paper as a requirement for this course. (Primary documents are items written during the historical time being studied. For example, Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech is a primary document for the history of the Civil Rights Era.) They will be given instructions about the various components of this kind of paper writing, including choosing an appropriate focus, analyzing the documents properly, taking notes, developing a strong thesis, and writing a well-developed argument.
Course Outline: We will cover material from the origins of American colonization through recent history. While textbook-based students and literature-based students follow different assignments, they all meet together for class meetings and have certain assignments in common. We will meet almost every week.
Below is our schedule (subject to change as necessary):
|Unit One Week A||Aug 28||Native Americans|
|Unit One Week B||Sept 4||English Roots of Colonization|
|Unit One Week C||Sept 11||Colonial Roots of Slavery|
|Unit One Week D||Sept 18||Colonial Life – Focused and Wide Angle|
|Unit Two Week A||Sept 25||British American Relationships and Context for Rev|
|Unit Two Week B||Oct 2||Context for Rev continued and American Revolution|
|Unit Two Week C||Oct 9||Creating a New Country, Takes One and Two|
|Unit Two Week D||Oct 16||Rise of Political Parties|
|Unit Three Week A||Oct 23||America Enters the World Stage|
|Unit Three Week B||Oct 30||Expanding Democracy|
|Unit Three Week C||Nov 6||Andrew Jackson|
|Unit Three Week D||Nov 13||Transformed American Economy|
|Unit Four Week A||Nov 20
(this is Thanksgiving week, but we will meet)
|Expanding Geography/Manifest Destiny|
|Unit Four Week B||Nov 27||Transforming American Society, Part One|
|Unit Four Week C||Dec 4||Transforming American Society, Part Two|
|Unit Four Week D||Dec 11||Slavery in Nineteenth Century America Part One|
|Unit Five Week A||Dec 18||Slavery in Nineteenth Century America Part Two|
|Unit Five Week B||Jan 8||Issues Setting Up the Conflict between North and South/Civil War|
|Unit Five Week C||Jan 15||Reconstruction|
|Unit Five Week D||Jan 22||Rise of Industrial America|
|Unit Six Week A||Jan 29||The Progressive Era Part One|
|Unit Six Week B||Feb 5||The Progressive Era Part Two|
|Unit Six Week C||Feb 12||World War I|
|Unit Six Week D||Feb 19||Review|
|Unit Seven Week A||Feb 26||The Roaring Twenties|
|Unit Seven Week B||March 5||The Great Depression|
|Unit Seven Week C||March 12||World War II|
|Unit Seven Week D||March 19||The Cold War|
|Unit Eight Week A||March 26||The Civil Rights Movement|
|Unit Eight Week B||April 2||JFK and Vietnam|
|Unit Eight Week C||April 9||The 1970s and 1980s (Recent American History)|
|Spring Break||April 16||No Meeting|
|Unit Eight Week D||April 23||Wrap Up and Reflections|