High School Modern History Course

There is so much goodness to learn about during a modern history study. We loved our living literature-based approach.

Modern American History Course Plans | Our Journey Westward

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Modern History

For us, modern history goes from 1860 to the present.  That’s a lot of territory with a lot of happenings to cover in one school year!  Here’s our plan that counts for one credit of high school history.

Civil War and Reconstruction

Free Civil War Curriculum

I found a fabulous FREE resource for studying the Civil War on a high school level.  The Civil War Trust has put together a top-notch curriculum which includes full lesson plans, Power Point driven instruction, really good activity ideas and assignments, and even tests.  We will use this guide for approximately eight weeks.

The Rest of History

A History of US: An Age of Extremes: 1880-1917 A History of US Book EightA History of US: War, Peace, and All That Jazz: 1918-1945 A History of US Book NineAll the People: Since 1945 A History of US Book 10


From about 1877 through the present, Mahayla will use volumes 8-11 of the Joy Hakim series, A History of US, as well as the Assesment Guide as the spine of her studies.  (Warning: These books can be a bit liberal, especially later in the series.  We do a lot of family discussion around the supper table to solidify our family’s conservative views.)

Historical Fiction

I’ve also added in a bit of living historical literature because this kid loves to read.  Some of these are a tad “lighter” reading because American Lit is on her schedule, too.

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher StoweRifles for WatieThe Whipping BoyNumber the StarsThe Hiding PlaceRoll of Thunder, Hear My CryI Am DavidBrave New World


Movie Time

We just got Netflix this summer.  I was surprised at how many historical films are available to us.  Here is a list of just a few we will view. I WILL PREVIEW FIRST because I’ve never seen them, but at least several of them will be educational additions to our weekly family movie night.

These are in no particular order.

Following Passions

Well, just about ALL of history is a passion for Mahayla.  My 13yo son called her a history nerd when she checked out history book after history book just for the fun of it this summer!

I love how homeschooling offers us the chance to take time to dive deeper into certain passionate subjects.  While I have certain expectations for the year, the schedule will be very flexible for lingering and learning more when the interest strikes.

Do you have a history buff in your house?

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  1. Deanna Furrey says:

    Hi, I am wondering which grade in high school you used these? Thanks

  2. Deanna, this was our modern history course for 11th grade. You could use it easily for 10th or 12th, too, though. 🙂

  3. Deanna Furrey says:

    Well my older daughter is going to be in 11th this year.so that will work. A friend kindly let us borrow Sonlight for our younger daughter for 8th grade and these US books are included so we can use it for both girls if I can figure out how to make it more challenging for the older girl.

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