World History I

From: $88.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 9th–12th (8th graders can join with prior permission)

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

Course dates: August 26th–May 3rd

Price: $625

Instructor: Lisa Hawkins 

Instructor email:

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Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Lisa Hawkins

This course will trace the social, economic, and political development of world civilizations and the growth of important ideas from ancient times through the mid 17th century. While class time will be focused on Western developments, students will have plenty of exposure to non-Western historical developments.

Students master a lot of historical content. But they also have plenty of opportunity to think critically about what they are learning as well. I build of our time together around questions that I pepper our live sessions with. So, when we discuss the ancient Greeks, I ask them: “what options does a society have when they don’t have enough resources to feed their people?” When we’re talking about the Middle Ages, I ask them, “why would people who are living in oppressed conditions continue to go along with the status quo?” When we’re talking about the Scientific Revolution, I ask them, “How would you go about trying to persuade people that something they always thought was true wasn’t true at all?” Student contributions get woven in meaningful ways into the class material. My aim is to make my course as interactive and thought-provoking as possible. But I’m also interested in all of us having a good time together while we learn history. From the feedback I’ve received over the years from parents and students, I am confident that I’ve been able to create a class environment where we have a lot of fun while exploring the past and improving critical thinking skills.

Weekly course work involves learning material from textbooks, presentations, primary documents, and literature. A parent who feels that his/her student needs a different level of difficulty than the typical course expectations require can contact me and we can design something that meets the needs of your particular child. I understand that the needs of homeschooled students and their families vary, and I am happy to make adjustments that help you with your educational goals.

Course Structure

The course is built on a pattern of eight Units, each containing four weeks: Week A, B, C, and D. Certain assignment types fall dependably on particular weeks. So, for example, textbook-based homework always shows up on Weeks A and C. Quizzes show up on Weeks B and D. Primary document assignments show up on predictable weeks, etc. Students can expect to spend between 4-6 hours on this course per week. Parents can contact me to adjust the expectations higher or lower, depending on the needs of the student.

Who should enroll?

This course is primarily for 9th-12th graders, although parents of advanced 8th graders can contact me about the possibility of their son/daughter joining.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

This is not a writing-intensive course. Optional additional writing-focused assignments can be added to a student’s workload if requested. Homework prioritizes content mastery and exposure, although some assignments, notably the ‘primary document assignments’ allow the students to practice higher-level thinking and writing skills.


Parents do not need to contact me before registering for this class, unless they have a younger student. Communication with parents and students happens on a regular basis, either individually or as a group, via our Canvas website. More information can be found at my website,

Required Texts

Required Texts:

Jackson Spielvogel: Western Civilization, volume 1, eighth edition. ISBN: 978-1111342128 (Many used, cheaper copies available online)

To purchase: Perry, et. al., The Humanities in the Western Tradition: Readings in Literature and Thought, Volume I. ISBN: 978-0395848142 (Be sure you’re buying the correct title and volume. This has an orange cover. Don’t stress over the price of new copies. Buy used!!)


  1. Christine Atherley

    I have two high school students that took Mrs. Hawkins Western Civ I class this past year and they loved it. My 9th grader will be taking her Western Civ II class in the Fall and my 10th grader will be moving on to her American History class. She is a wonderful teacher, a pleasure to listen to and has given both of my children a deeper love of history and learning. They worked harder for Mrs. Hawkins than they had previously in their homeschool co-op and I appreciated her level of expectations and assignments. Additionally, Mrs. Hawkins is very thorough in her explanations and responds immediately to emails. Aim Academy has been a wonderful experience and we will continue to pursue classes here because of the quality of teachers like Mrs. Hawkins.

  2. Ginny B.(Mom of former & Future Aim Academy Student)

    This was the first class my daughter took with Mrs. Hawkins, two years ago. (The original review is tied to the US History class.) Since that time she has also taken US History as well. I cannot say enough about her teaching style. Her classes have made it an enjoyable high school experience for her and an enriching one. She intensely disliked history prior to Mrs Hawkins’ classes.I am really grateful for that as I wanted her to enjoy her homeschool journey. Her love of history definitely comes out in her teaching. I have no problem keeping up with how she is doing as the grades are available for parents to view, along with the entire course requirements. She is also quite accessible and responded well to all of my inquiries. I only wish she was teaching economics/government or another type of history class so that I can sign her up for it. I also hope her college teachers are exactly like Mrs. Hawkins.

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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