AP U.S. History is a great opportunity for homeschool students to learn about America’s rich history in an in-depth and engaging way – and earn college credit while still in high school. This course is offered under the authorization of the PA Homeschoolers AP program.
This course takes a unique approach by emphasizing two goals: 1) prepare students to excel on the AP exam, and 2) expose students to a Christian view of American history.
The first goal is accomplished by a rigorous college-level course of study. It covers U.S.history from colonization through the present, including political, social, cultural, and economic themes. The main textbook is supplemented with a video series, powerpoint slideshows, primary source documents, and internet research. There will also be editorial cartoon analyses, interviews, and two research papers. An average month will include about 200 pages of textbook reading, two essays (roughly 500 words each), a number of primary documents, an interview or cartoon analysis, several quizzes, and whatever extra credit or bonus assignments the student chooses to complete. Students should expect to spend about 10 hours per week on coursework.
The second goal is accomplished primarily through the content of the powerpoint presentations. They were created by a conservative Christian history professor and designed to expose students to America’s Christian heritage (and to Calvin and Hobbes cartoons as historical commentary!). Students will see many aspects of America’s development analyzed through the lense of a Christian worldview. Our weekly discussions on the message board are based on the content of these presentations.
Note that while students are exposed to a Christian worldview through the powerpoints and discussions, the course is not about indoctrination from a single perspective. The main textbook, while not Christian, is one of the most balanced college-level texts available. The PBS video series on the other hand does come from a more politically-correct viewpoint. By considering a range of perspectives we strive to arrive at truth. Students will better understand and be able to defend their beliefs when they have considered and debated opposing views.
An important component of the class is the exchange of perspectives and ideas. This is not a class for simply memorizing facts and dates, but for analyzing, synthesizing, and interpreting. What do you think about the transcendentalist literary authors? Did the South have the right to secede? What about Theodore Roosevelt’s Big Stick foreign policy? We will consider questions such as these on the message board forum and in optional live google chats.
We like to have fun in APUSH! The course will have a highly interactive and password-protected website where students get to know each other, respond to each other’s work, ask questions, etc. Most course activities are asynchronious (no specific time of day when students need to be online), but the optional live chat sessions provide an additional opportunity for review, interaction, and history games.
Eligibility and Cost
This course is open to homeschooled students who will be in grades 9 through 12 in the 2015-2016 school year. There are no prerequisites, but a basic understanding of U.S. History will be helpful. This course is ideal for those who have a passion for history and enjoy an academic challenge. I will ask for PSAT/SAT/ACT scores or other measures of academic preparation and a writing sample in the application process. Perhaps most importantly, students should have self-motivation and a love of learning.
Tuition is $575. There is a $25 discount for those who apply before July 1st, 2015. Click here to apply.
About the exam and AP program
The AP U.S. History exam will be offered on Friday, May 8th, 2015 at public and private high schools. Most colleges give credit for students who score a 3 or higher. In addition, having AP courses on a high school transcript and an outside teacher to provide a recommendation can be a big plus for college and scholarship applications.
This course, as with all the PA Homeschoolers AP preparation courses, has been authorized to use the AP designation by the College Board course audit process. The APUSH exam underwent extensive revision in 2014-15 and this course has been updated to reflect those changes, but without compromising an appreciation for America’s Christian heritage. For futher details on the AP program, go to www.collegeboard.com.