I love the way our classical study program approaches U.S. History and Geography….
Being a literature based program, it includes a lot of living literature. The history for 9th grade covers the following areas spread out over 2 semesters and resulting in 5 papers, all different writing styles:
The textbook Christ & the Americas is used as spine to the course. The literature choices are categorized by period studied and there are a couple hundred of them to choose from. You only need 2-4 book choices per category and the Mother of Divine Grace syllabus for US History Geography contains the day by day break down and lists needed for the course. A good Rand McNally or Hammond Atlas is also needed.
While the student is learning history through the eyes of fictional characters, or biographical sketches, they are also becoming informed, gathering insightful information that will serve to write their papers; they will be writing a variety of essays for this course.
Colonial period essay is written as a first person account
Revolutionary war essay is written as a conversation between two revolutionary war figures representing opposing sides
Westward Expansion is a narrative essay
Civil War is written using a controversial topic, where both sides of an argument are made and a judgment made about which side is right
Recovery period is a book report type of paper
World Wars paper is written expounding in factual detail on one of the World Wars
These papers range from 700 – 1100 words.
This unique way of doing this history course really keeps it alive and engages the students at many levels. It’s not about a dry textbook! One reason I really like this course.