Saturday, March 20, 2010

In Search of American History

In my search for the Perfect High School American History Course, I have stumbled across some interesting info.

On my parents bookshelf I discovered The Federal Union by John D. Hicks (Third Edition), which covers history from 1492 until 1877. It's wonderful! I also found Government and Politics in the United States by Harold Zink (Third Edition). My Father used both books when he was in college. I plan to have Lord Epa read both books before we start using the official classroom textbook. Which thanks to Tracy I now have. We will be using Glencoe's History of a Free Nation. While it's not perfect it does a good job of presenting different viewpoints and it has a TON of resource material. Many thanks, Tracy

Scott Powell also suggested several books that I plan to have Lord Epa read, they are:
1. Woodburn, Moran, and Hill, "Our United States"
2. Montgomery, "The Leading Facts of American History"
3. Harlow, R.V, "Growth of the United States"
4. Bassett, J.S., "A Short History of the United States"
5. The American Heritage Pictorial Atlas of United States History
Scott, thank you so much for the book list.

Speaking of Scott Powell, he has developed A Remote History Program for Children offered by VanDamme Academy which will be available to homeschoolers. This new program is the same curriculum Scott uses to teach his students in the elementary grades, and will be offered as a teleconference, like A First History For Adults.

And now for a brief interview with Scott Powell

(Alasandra)What lead you to develop the Remote History Program?
(Scott)The basic reason is I love to teach history! I am a historian working at fantastic private school, but to this point I have not been able to specialize in the one area where I truly feel a passion for teaching. I was driven to create the "Remote History Program" because I want to teach history, and only history! By reaching out to the homeschooling market, I hope to make that possible and to provide a product that students and their parents will really love.

(Alasandra)Can Homeschoolers receive credit for it?
(Scott)That is an interesting question. If I understand the question, let me try to answer it this way: At VanDamme Academy we have students up to 9th grade, so we usually face questions of accreditation when it comes to the acceptance of our students into high school. Typically, our students are so well prepared that it's not a problem. (The more academic the school, the easier it is for our students. Public high schools are far more rigid, and, quite frankly, irrational.)

(Alasandra)Are there textbook and test to go along with it? If not how would I asses my child's progress in the course?
(Scott)That's an easy one. I provide tests, quizzes, small homework units, and writing assignments as part of the course. I also provide grading keys to everything. So every aspect of the course is taken care of in that area. Also, I offer bi-weekly "teacher-teacher" conferences so that parents can get tips on implementing the program from me, and get answers to other questions.

(Alasandra)What makes your program different from the others?
(Scott)There are many important differences between this program and others typically available to homeschoolers. For one, you get direct access to me, a specialist in the subject. The most important dimension of the program, however, is that it takes seriously the idea that history--and I mean history, not "social studies"--is accessible and indeed essential to the education of a child. What sets this program apart is that it covers all of Western civilization in three years. It is not a series of disparate units, but rather an integrated story, that shows children, on a level accessible to them, the most important people and events of the past, culminating in the present.

(Alasandra) Thanks Scott, and good luck with your Remote History Program For Children.

This is an old post but I thought it would prove useful to those of you looking for an American History book.

Other additions:
The Making of America by The National Geographic
Chronicles of America
Chronicles of America Series
A People's History of the United States

Any textbook you can not buy directly from the publisher can be purchased from The HomeSchool SuperCenter or

NC teacher suspended for writing 'loser' on students' paper

Read all about it in the FayObserver.

HT: H.E.R.P. & E. S.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Alasandra, The Cats & A Dog: Contest ~ Easter Theme

Alasandra, The Cats & A Dog: Contest ~ Easter Theme:
"We are doing another contest, this one has an Easter Theme. You can win a great prize, there is stuff for home bars at All as well as lots of other stuff at the other CSN Stores. You may pick a prize from any of their stores for $100 or less if you win. We like their Pet Store. To enter click here and post your entry ..........What Easter means to you, A funny Easter picture, How you Celebrate Easter, whatever you want just have fun with your entry. We will accept entries all the way until midnight Easter Sunday (April 4th) Monday (April 5th) we will set up a poll and you can vote for your favorite entry. Oh we forgot to mention you has to live in the United States or Canada.

The login is osso (at)cableone(dot)net
and the password is Latimer 2009
Remember the L is Latimer is capitalized.


Homeschoolers Go to College

Read about Grown-Up Homeschoolers and College Admissions - MIT Student Kristina Bjoran Applying for College Without Transcript.

Public School Student Defends Homeschoolers

Public School Student Maria Tomlinson wrote Viewpoint: Before criticizing homeschooling, get to know the people involved..

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Highly Recommended

Laura Brodie, Ph.D. shares her experience as a short term homeschooler in Short-term Homeschooling: Why Bother?

Group decries public school textbooks on Islam as inflammatory

A series of children's textbooks on Islam contains misleading and inflammatory rhetoric about the religion, inaccurately portraying its followers as hostile and deserving of suspicion, according to a Muslim civil liberties group.

The Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is set to begin what it calls a public awareness campaign Wednesday against the "World of Islam" books by Mason Crest Publishing.

Group decries public school textbooks on Islam as inflammatory - Nation Wire -

DeSoto County public school crossing guard arrested

A DeSoto County public school crossing guard is free on bond after being charged with two counts of sexual battery only days after being arrested and posting bond on drug charges.
DeSoto County public school crossing guard arrested - Regional Wire -

Drunk PUBLIC SCHOOL teacher allegedly bites man's ear in attack

A middle school teacher was accused of biting off part of a man's ear during a confrontation at a St. Paul diner.
Drunk PUBLIC SCHOOL teacher allegedly bites man's ear in attack - Weird News -

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Talk Radio & Homeschooling

Tuesday Thom Hartman will interview Professor Jerry Coyne

Hour Two: Why is the religious right dumbing down homeschooled kids? Thom talks with Professor Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago about the missing link in textbooks…evolution 

A better question would be why is the religious right dumbing down kids. Public School Students aren't immune from the rights agenda, just look at Texas.

The Huffington Post Texas Textbook MASSACRE: 'Ultraconservatives' Approve Radical Changes To State Education Curriculum

The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum's world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

History's first draft: Newt Gingrich but no liberals Textbooks being written for Texas students appear to lean to the right

The Rehabilitation Of Joseph McCarthy? Texas Textbooks Process Grinds On
What's at stake here is not just what Texas students learn in high school. Because the state represents one of two largest markets in the country, publishers tailor their books to the Texas standards. Those same textbooks are then sold in smaller states around the country.

While amendments to the history standards may be easier to understand, McLeroy and the rest of the conservative bloc are at least as passionate about leaving their mark this time around.

He told the Washington Monthly (in a lengthy feature very much worth reading):
 "The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation. But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan--he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes."

Texas Textbooks

Glen Beck, Texas Textbooks, And The Erosion of Separation Between Church and State.

In tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine, Russell Shorto has a story that looks at the battle over the soul’s of the Founding Fathers and how the Texas School Board and affiliated organizations (the Legal Right) work to establish that not only was the country founded on Christian principles but that the US’ laws are Biblical in origin. Barton makes an appearance, below. In the article, Shorto writes that like last year’s battle over “intelligent design,” this year’s battle over the religious birth of the nation has a long history:

If you think science textbooks in Texas fared better think again Texas Board of Ed Neuters Science Textbooks' Global Warming Language

A setback for science education in Texas

At its March 25-27, 2009, meeting, the Texas state board of education voted to adopt a flawed set of state science standards, which will dictate what is taught in science classes in elementary and secondary schools, as well as provide the material for state tests and textbooks, for the next decade. Although creationists on the board were unsuccessful in inserting the controversial "strengths and weaknesses" language from the old set of standards, they proposed a flurry of synonyms — such as "sufficiency or insufficiency" and "supportive and not supportive" — and eventually prevailed with a requirement that students examine "all sides of scientific evidence." Additionally, the board voted to add or amend various standards in a way that encourages the presentation of creationist claims about the complexity of the cell, the completeness of the fossil record, and the age of the universe.
According to a 2008 study ["Evolution and Creationism in America's Classrooms: A National Portrait" from PLoS Biology 2008; 6 (5)], 16% of US science teachers believe humans were created by God in the last 10,000 years."

Maybe the focus should be on the textbooks Texas is adopting instead of the textbooks a minority of homeschoolers choose to use to teach their students.