High Quality, Interactive History Courses for Homeschoolers

Did you know that the AP US History Exam is changing drastically for 2015? AP courses will need to adjust their goals and methods substantially to prepare students for these changes.  I’m doing it!  If you choose to go with another APUSH course provider, make sure that the course is redesigned for the new exam.

Families are already inquiring about 2014-2015 courses. I will be offering AP US History (through PA Homeschoolers) and two courses  for Aim Academy - World History I/Western Civ From Ancient to Early Modern and American History (both AIM courses can help students take the CLEP exam or SAT subject exams, if they want)

Are you a parent of a  high school student interested in having your child prepare for the Advanced Placement US History Exam, a CLEP exam, or an SAT subject exam in history?  Would you like your child to be part of a quality, highly-interactive history courses that emphasize mastery of content and growth in critical thinking skills and college-preparatory writing skills?

My name is Lisa Hawkins, and I am a history professor, former high school teacher, an official AP “reader” (grader of AP exams), lover of history, lover of literature, and homeschooling parent.   I have created several online history courses with the needs of homeschooling families in mind.

Some of my courses will run asynchronously, while others will run synchronously (that is, we will meet as a class at some pre-designated time during the week.  These meetings are optional for students, but encouraged).     Students will approach material using a variety of methods.  Discussions with students and teacher and peer review are very important components of the class, whether this is done asynchronously or synchronously.

My AP-level course is a College Board approved course, meaning that you will be able to show on your high school records that you have taken an official Advanced Placement class.  This is becoming more and more important for college applications, and please note that the number of students taking AP courses (especially US History) has been increasing dramatically over the past few years – a pattern that is expected to continue.

This AP course will be run under the auspices of PA Homeschoolers.  You can find out more about them and about other AP courses at this website.    All of the AP courses are open to all homeschoolers, not just Pennsylvanians!      If you have any questions, or would like to apply for the course, click on the Contact tab above.  If you want to learn more about my AP US History Course, please click on the Courses tab.  In the next few days, I will be updating that material to talk about the new exam and the new course.

Note: May, 2014 is the last time the old AP US History Exam will be administered.  The 2015 exam will be fundamentally different.  I will be overhauling my current class to meet the needs of students taking the new exam in 2015 and beyond.  I will be adding more information about this new exam (and how my course will be adapted to it) in a separate post.  

My other courses are  comprehensive survey courses designed to fit the needs of different kinds of homeschooling families.   These courses will be run under the auspices of Aim Academy, headed by noted homeschooling expert, Debra Bell.  You can find out more about my   World History/Western Civilization I course and my American History course (non AP) by clicking on the Courses tab above.  (Additional courses, such as World History/Western Civilization II will be added in future years.)

 

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Interested in Viewing One of My Live Class Sessions?

Today my Western Civ/World History course learned about the sweeping changes in Western Europe that laid the groundwork for that region’s era of discovery and conquest beginning in the 1500s.  I recorded the class and am making a link to that recording available here, for families who want to get a better sense of how I conduct live sessions.  You’ll notice a mix of careful planning and spontaneity, teacher direction and student involvement, solid content and frivolity.  To watch the presentation, you need to jump through a few hoops:

  • First, you will need to first download a free ‘player’ that works with the recorded WebEx file.   Be sure to choose the download for the .arf files!
  • Next, click on this link which will bring you to a page where you can download the recording.  Right click anywhere in the box of the file name and choose ‘Download.’
  • You are given the option to Open File with the WebEx player.  (It’s called NBR player.)  I tried that, but it didn’t work so well.  So if that happens to you, choose Save File.  Then, go to the file, right click on it, and choose Open With.  At that point, choose the NBR player.  That worked for me.  Why that worked for me, and the first option didn’t, I have no idea!
  • The first couple of minutes have no audio.
  • Enjoy!  (I hope!)
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List of Presentations

One of the unique characteristics of my AP-level course is that I create and upload dozens of audio-visual presentations.  Most of these presentations cover eras or issues in American history, but several also instruct students about important skills and processes students need in order to become better historians in particular and scholars in general.

Here is a list of many of the presentations available for the  APUSH course.    In addition to uploading my own created content, I also supplement with lectures from other sources.

  1. Observation, Interpretation, Evaluation: Working With Primary Documents
  2. How to Write History Papers
  3. Methods, Methods, and Agendas in Primary Documents
  4. Doing Research for History
  5. Native Americans Before Contact
  6. Europe Before Contact
  7. English Roots of Colonization Part 1
  8. English Roots of Colonization Part 2
  9. English Roots of Colonization Part 3
  10. Colonial Life – Family Life and Social Groups
  11. Colonial Life – Great Awakening and Enlightenment
  12. Origins of Colonial Slavery
  13. British-American Relationships
  14. Context for the Revolution
  15. The American Revolution
  16. Creating a New Country, Takes One and Two
  17. Rise of Political Parties
  18. America Enters the World Stage
  19. Expanding Democracy
  20. Andrew Jackson
  21. Transformed American Economy
  22. Transforming American Society, Part 1
  23. Transforming American Society, Part 2
  24. Expanding Geography and Manifest Destiny
  25. Slavery, Part 1
  26. Slavery, Part 2
  27. Issues Setting Up The Conflict
  28. Civil War
  29. Reconstruction
  30. Rise of Industrial America
  31. The Progressive Era
  32. The Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression
  33. The Cold War
  34. Conflict or Consensus in Recent American History
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Invitation to Explore My Courses

When you are considering an online course, it can be very difficult to know in advance whether that course will meet your hopes and expectations.  I know what it’s like to sign my kids up for an online course and then be disappointed by the format, the content, and/or the expectations.  I think parents and students should have a solid sense of what their course will look like before committing to it.  Therefore, I have prepared a Review version of my APUSH course, very similar to the actual course your student would enroll in (minus the actual students and on-going discussions!). Even those of you who are interested in one of my non-AP courses will be able to get a better sense of course structure and my style by exploring the Review AP course.

If you are interested in having a three-day observation window into my course, where you can poke around to your heart’s content and even ‘sit in’ on any of my presentations, contact me via the Request Info link above.

NOTE: The Review Course reflects the content matching the old version of the APUSH exam.  The course will be changed significantly to match the requirements of the new exam.   Over the next few weeks, I will be explaining how the course will change.

 

 

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