World History II

From: $88.00 / month for 8 months

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

Live class: Monday 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

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This course will trace the social, economic, and political development of world civilizations and the growth of important ideas from the middle of the seventeenth century, through recent times. While class time will be focused on European 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Students master a lot of historical content.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 are discussing the French Revolution, I ask: “are there certain things a society needs to already have in place for democracy to thrive there?” When we are talking about political upheaval at the turn of the 20th century, I ask: “When a group of people are feeling resentful about changes around them, how might political leaders try to win those people to their side?” When we’re talking about the aftermath of WWII, I ask: “are there any ways that leaders can try to increase the likelihood of peace in a region after a war is over?” 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 2, eighth edition. ISBN: 978-1111342135 OR ISBN: 978-0495913283 (Many used, cheaper copies available online)

Perry, et. al., The Humanities in the Western Tradition: Readings in Literature and Thought, Volume II. ISBN: 978-0395848159 (Be sure you’re buying the correct title and volume. This has a light blue cover. Don’t stress over the price of new copies. Buy used!!)

Students will be encouraged to read additional versions of literature from this time period available in book form. Some of this will be uploaded into the course, but others will be available through libraries. For families that have difficulties getting books via a local library system, we will come up with alternatives. Since students will often have choices available to them, instead of being required to get the same book on a topic, I will not list all of the possibilities here. However, parents who need more information before the class begins can contact me.


  1. Samuel Jackson

    I have never been a fan of history until this class! Mrs. Hawkins fills her presentations with thoughtful questions and relates historical events to understandable situations. Instead of just looking at what merely happened in history and memorizing boring information, I found myself genuinely interesting. Mrs. Hawkins brings these events to life, taking you below the surface to see everything from a different perspective. I realized that I started wondering why people acted the way they did in history. This class contains meaningful work and will make you crave to understand the complexity of history and see how it applies to the current events in the world you live in.

  2. Becca Michaels

    Mrs. Hawkins is a phenomenal teacher and this was hands down my favorite class this year! Classes involve lots of student participation and a fun but content-filled lesson! It helps nurture a love of history, and the homework is very low-stress but helps you gain a better mastery of the content. Overall a superb class!

  3. Georgia Reichard

    This is my third history class with Mrs. Hawkins and I loved it! The lectures are interesting, engaging, and very interactive. We have all kinds of discussions in the class about history and how it play into current events. The homework is (dare I say) FUN! I personally enjoy the quizzes and essay questions, as they help us to explore the reading more thoroughly. There is no busy work, so you never feel bogged down with homework. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested, as well as any of Mrs. Hawkins other courses. She is a wonderful teacher and will help you fall in love with history!!!

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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