U.S. History

From: $88.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 9th–12th

Live class: Tuesdays 10:15–11:30 a.m. EST

Course dates: August 28th–May 6th

(Please note that class will not meet April 15th–April 22nd. Mrs. Hawkins does not follow the standard Aim Academy spring break week.)

Price: $625

Instructor: Lisa Hawkins

Instructor email:

Note: This course trace the social, economic, political, cultural, and intellectual development of American society from its roots through recent times. 8th graders must seek permission from the instructor before registering.



Course Description

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   Regardless of the option chosen, all students will be mastering historical content and  learning to question, think, and argue like historians.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,, 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


Required Texts

Required Texts: This course offers families two alternatives within the structure of the single class.

Textbook-based track:

  • Paul Boyer, et. al, The Enduring Vision.  Look for the 7th  The combined (volume 1 and 2 together) ISBN is 978-1111341558.  AVOID the ‘concise’ edition.

Literature Based Track: Most, if not all of the following options, can be found for free online and/or through interlibrary loan.  Students who are following a literature-based track will also be provided with additional historical content gathered from an online history textbook to supplement their understanding

  • Unit One: Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography
  • Unit Two: PBS’s Documentary Liberty! The American Revolution
  • Unit Three: Albert Marrin’s Old Hickory: Andrew Jackson and the American People
  • Unit Four: Frederick Douglass’ Narrative
  • Unit Five: Episodes of Ken Burns’ Civil War OR one of Albert Marrin’s Civil War-related books (there are several)
  • Unit Six: Episodes of Ken Burns’ National Parks OR one of Albert Marrin’s Progressive Era-related books
  • Unit Seven: Episodes of Ken Burns’ Dust Bowl OR one of Albert Marrin’s Great Depression-related books OR Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Unit Eight: Episodes of Eyes on the Prize OR Albert Marrin’s The Elephant and the Tiger (about Vietnam)


  1. Gorilla Web

    If you are looking for an educational yet fun class, this is the place to be! Mrs. Hawkins interacts with her students making class both productive and entertaining. It is evident that Mrs. Hawkins has mastered the art of presenting history in an intelligent, exciting manner, making her an extremely effective teacher. There is not a better history teacher on the market 🙂

    —Daniel K. (Aim Academy student)

  2. Gorilla Web

    Mrs. Hawkins is a wonderful teacher with an infectious enthusiasm for the subject. I did not enjoy history prior to taking this class and I look forward to taking American History with her. The supplemental information she provides for the world history class is interesting, funny and not tedious to plow through. She varies the structure of the class so that it is not just lecture only. Although the class presents a lot of material, Mrs. Hawkins covers the content thoroughly. She makes herself readily available if I or my mom have any questions. I am always aware of how I am performing in this class as my grades are available on the assignment portion of the system. I would highly recommend her classes.

    -Angel B. ( Aim Academy student)

  3. Gorilla Web

    I had Mrs. Hawkins for an online AP US History class. I hoped to learn a lot about the history of America, and Mrs. Hawkins did not disappoint. I felt completely confident when I went to take the AP exam, thanks to her instruction. The class was a lot of work, more than I ever thought that I could do. I gained new confidence with each assignment I completed and, by the end, the assignments that were so daunting in the beginning became effortless. While I could tell that others taking the AP test around me were frightened by the essay section, I actually looked forward to it. Mrs. Hawkins assignments, and excellent feedback, allowed me to be unperturbed by a task that most students equated with torture. Mrs. Hawkins didn’t just prepare her students for the AP test; she also refined student’s skills in areas other than history. I could feel that my writing improved over the duration of the course, and I could complete assignments from other classes much more easily and successfully. Mrs. Hawkins is very knowledgeable about history, and can effectively teach the material to students in a way that builds their skills, knowledge, and confidence. In my opinion, that is what makes a great teacher. I highly recommend both Mrs. Hawkins and her AP US History course.

    – Spencer J.(former AP student)

  4. Gorilla Web

    Hi Professor Hawkins,

    I wanted to take a moment and let you know that the experience I have had in this class is surprisingly refreshing. I absolutely love your style of how learning should be. I get so frustrated listening to all the cookie-cutter monotonous audio lecture files that could have easily been recreated with a computer generated voice. There’s no passion or conviction in those lectures, and in the end I forget them as soon as I hear them. When I listen to your custom lecture audio files, I can hear how much you love it. It makes me want to know what you are talking about. For a moment, I almost thought I was actually in a classroom with you in front of me. You are only the second Professor that I have been fortunate enough to come across in the past 2 years that honestly love what your class is about, and has taken the time to create a learning experience that will most likely enrich your students, not just for the class, but for a lifetime. So, for what I have experienced so far, I thank you. I really do. And I hope I am fortunate enough to have you as a Professor in my future online classes. Best regards, Cliffton C (former college-level student)

  5. Arvinder Oswal (verified owner)

    Wow! I cannot thank Mrs Hawkins enough. Her US History class has been inspirational and very thought provoking. The Socratic discussions led by Mrs Hawkins invited thoughtful participation. The assignments were carefully designed and helped deepen understanding of important topics and concepts. My son (a history buff) enjoyed every minute of this class. I only wish Mrs Hawkins would offer summer workshops on topics like Current Events, History of Europe, Intro Econ etc so that kids can keep learning all through the year. I cannot recommend this class enough. Mrs Hawkins is a treasure.

  6. Greg (verified owner)

    My daughter has absolutely loved Mrs. Hawkins’ US History class. She has learned so much and loves telling me everything the class talked about in the lively weekly lectures. She has been challenged by the assignments and feels Mrs. Hawkins gave her great feedback. My daughter already loved history, but Mrs. Hawkins has helped her develop a much deeper appreciation for the subject.

  7. John Britto

    Nicely done, Mrs. Hawkins! Thank you again for working with our family to have our daughter in the US History course right for her. It was always good to hear your voice, the upbeat tone, how you engaged the students, the lighthearted moments, and how you responded to each student. (After our daughter returned to homeschooling in Feb’17 I could hear you when the earbuds were off!) The study of history comes alive through a great storyteller like you. With much gratitude.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five × 1 =

You may also like…

  • AP U.S. History

    Grades: 10th–12th

    Live class: Asynchronous (no live meetings)

    Course dates: August 27th–April 28th

    Price: $750

    Instructor: Lisa Hawkins 

    Instructor email:

    From: $104.00 / month for 8 months View Details
  • World History/Western Civ I

    Grades: 9th–12th

    Live class: Tuesdays 12:15–1:30 p.m. EST

    Course dates: August 28th–May 6th

    (Please note that class will not meet April 15th–April 22nd. Mrs. Hawkins does not follow the standard Aim Academy spring break week.)

    Price: $625

    Instructor: Lisa Hawkins 

    Instructor email:

    Note: Parents of interested 8th graders should contact instructor before registering.

    From: $88.00 / month for 8 months View Details

Instructor Bio

Lisa Hawkins

I love history, I love teaching, and I love students. I put a great deal of thought and time into constructing courses that are engaging, challenging, and well-organized. I also care a great deal about humanizing the on-line experience, and you will see that priority woven into many aspects of my course. I majored in history at Swarthmore College, where I also earned my high-school teaching certification. I also did graduate work at Widener University with a focus on English and education. I worked for four years at an inner-city classical high school, where I taught American History and American Literature and served as Dean of Students. In 1997, I earned my Masters in History at Temple University, and soon began teaching college courses for Drexel University and Peirce College for adults returning to school. In 2005, I began teaching online, and to date have independently created nine different online college courses, ranging from survey American History courses, to the History of American Business, Colonial History, Revolutionary History, and Western Humanities surveys. I have been awarded “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty” by one of the universities I currently teach for. I am also an official grader of AP US History exams, receiving extensive training in the process and participating in College Board and ETS seminars. Despite all my experiences at the high school and college level, and despite my appreciation for the more profound academic and cultural expressions, I am nevertheless a shameless fan of English Premier League soccer, The Simpsons, Napoleon Dynamite, and MST3K.

US History
Western Civilization I
Western Civilization II
AP US History


All classes taught by Lisa Hawkins