If you are interested in learning more about an online history course for your homeschooled high-schooler, I invite you to join one of the upcoming virtual sessions.   During these sessions, I will take parents and students on a tour of the course website and orient them to the course structure.   You will have an opportunity to ask any questions on your mind.  All you need to do is to send me a request for an invitation via the Contact form.  If you would like to have an invitation sent to an additional email (such as a parent also asking for an invite for a student), just be sure to send along that email as well.

Both of these orientation sessions will be recorded and made available for people who couldn’t attend.  But I encourage you, if you are still looking for an engaging, quality online history course, to try to attend the live session.  You can attend either, since there will be some overlap, but each session is specifically geared toward different course levels:

Wednesday, August 13, 7PM (Eastern Time): Advanced Placement US History

Thursday, August 14, 7PM (Eastern Time) World History/Western Civilization I and American History (not AP-level)


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colonial tavern      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?

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.

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Overview of my AP US History Course

On June 22, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Mrs. Hawkins

Boston-Tea-Party.jpgFamilies should know as much as possible, up front, about schooling decisions they make.    My Advanced Placement course represents a financial investment.  I believe it is worth it, and based on the feedback I’ve received, so have my former students.  However, since I want people to have as much information about the philosophy, goals, structure, and expectations of the class before they commit, I have created this overview presentation for you to view.  It is about a half an hour long.


American Progress 2I have created a half-hour presentation that introduces families to the upcoming APUSH exam.  In it, you will learn about the breakdown of the exam, see examples of different question types, and get a better understanding of the sorts of information and techniques students need to be covering.   Say good-bye to cramming lots and lots of detail.  Say hello to learning how to approach history the way historians do.  A good exchange, methinks.

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map-old-western-hemisphere.jpgmap-old-western-hemisphere.jpgafrican american soldierMy APUSH course is authorized to provide College Board-sanctioned AP credit only to homeschoolers.  However, I have worked with many public and private school students to help prepare them for the upcoming APUSH exam.  In some cases, the student’s school did not offer an AP course, but the parents and student wanted to access the material and help I was able to provide.  In other cases, the student’s school did offer the course, but the family still believed that I was in a position to assist with important, additional help anyway.  If you are not a homemap-old-western-hemisphere.jpgschooled student (or a homeschooling parent) but you are nevertheless interested in having someone with a lot of experience and a lot of positive feedback from former families working alongside you, please contact me about your needs.   We can design something tailored to your particular situation, whether your student is preparing for the upcoming APUSH exam, or a CLEP or SAT subject exam in World History, Western Civilization, or American History.


Sample Live Class Session

On March 25, 2014, in Uncategorized, by Mrs. Hawkins

Battle of AgincourtFamilies checking out new online options take significant risks when they sign their child up for a year-long course.  To help you decide if my style suits your child’s needs, I am making one of my live sessions available here.  Note that I have been ‘traveling’ with this group of kids for many months by this point, and that’s why you’ll sense the mix of humor and work that you do here.

My live sessions complement the material that students encounter in their readings; they never simply repeat it.  (Many online classes often involve teachers simply going over material that students have read.  I never do that.)  In this year’s Western Civ/World History course, I have never tested students on material I cover in the live classes.  Nevertheless, all of my students have been showing up for all of my classes, unless they have a specific conflict.   And when they do have a conflict, they harangue me to upload the course recording into our course website as soon as possible.

This lesson involved the sweeping changes in Western Europe that laid the groundwork for that region’s era of discovery and conquest beginning in the 1500s.   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!)

List of Presentations

On February 7, 2013, in Uncategorized, by Mrs. Hawkins

battle new orleansOne 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

Invitation to Explore My Courses

On March 3, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Mrs. Hawkins

map-old-western-hemisphere.jpgEarly AdWhen 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.