James Stobaugh’s History Series
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Have you had the opportunity to view James Stobaugh’s History Series yet? This product review will give you an overview of the series and show you how the texts can benefit your homeschool.
James Stobaugh possesses numerous academic credentials along with being an ordained minister, SAT coach, and a homeschool dad. This has given him a firm foundation for writing his homeschool curriculum.
James Stobaugh’s History Series includes American History, British History, and World History. The high school student may take the courses in the recommended order shown or in any order, whichever suits your homeschool the best. The courses are primarily for 10th grade and up.
The author has designed the curriculum for independent learning. This is a necessity for the high school student to learn in preparation for college. The student will read the material, complete the assignments, and turn in those assignments for your assessment.
The cover of each text is appealing and invites the reader to open the books to discover more. There are black and white photos on nearly every page. This naturally engages the students’ interests in the material. The individuals whom struggle with history will find the photos particularly helpful.
Each text contains 34 chapters providing a full school year’s worth of study. The student will complete a chapter by working through a lesson each day for four days and then taking an exam on the 5th day. Each lesson takes approximately 20-30 minutes per day to complete. That may sound good, but it does raise a concern. Some states require homeschool parents to provide their students with 100-120 hours of instruction per course in order to receive high school credit. These history courses as is will not meet those required hours. I will explain more on that in my final thoughts.
Each chapter begins with a number of learning objectives. The text readings are brief and serve as an overview of the historical events. There are omissions of historical events in the texts. Granted, an author cannot include every event in a history text for it would be too thick.
In the preface in the American History text, Mr. Stobaugh encourages students to become historians. They are to accomplish this by reading, analyzing, and evaluating the historical events as they work through the curriculum. The students will use critical thinking rather than regurgitating facts.
The assignments require the student to express and defend his/her views on an issue, compare and contrast and analyze and summarize topics. The student will need to do research in order to complete some of the assignments.
The assignments also encourage the student to think biblically. In example, on page 215 in the American History text, it talks about Albert Einstein being the smartest man ever lived. Yet, he did not know Christ. The student is to pretend he/she has met Einstein near the end of his life. The student is to write about how he/she would explain to Einstein that there is a God.
A portrayal of a History Maker is in each text. These individuals are those who had a significant impact on history.
The student will take a weekly exam for each chapter. The exams are primarily essay and discussion questions, but also includes some timeline, true and false, and matching types of questions. You may want to look ahead at the exams to ensure the student completes the corresponding assignments. In example, there are short paragraphs in the texts with assignments that require research. If the student skimped or skipped the research, he/she will find it challenging to complete the essay on the exam.
In my opinion, a teacher’s guide for each history text is definitely a necessity. The guide provides the answers to the assignments and exams. The student exams are available in the back of the teacher’s guide. There is the option of using a link to download the exams. I personally will print the downloadable exams for a better quality only because my printer leaves a darkened area on one edge of the paper when copied from a book. The downloadable exams also have nice graphics.
The American History text covers from the Natives of the New World to the Contemporary Issues. Homeschooling is one of the topics covered. The British History text covers from Early England to The End of an Empire. The World History text covers from Mesopotamia to South Africa. Each book contains a glossary and timeline. One thing I hope the publisher will include in future printings is an index.
Cost and Publisher
Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group is the publisher of James Stobaugh’s History Series. The cost of the books is relatively inexpensive, which is a plus for the homeschool community. The entire three-year curriculum with teacher guides is $79.99 and that is a bargain.
Despite my concerns, I do feel James Stobaugh’s History Series will benefit homeschoolers, providing there is supplementation. In fact, Mr. Stobaugh recommends historians to look at a variety of sources in order to create a true sense of what happened during historical events. Numerous homeschool moms include reading as a part of their school. This curriculum allows time to fill in the gaps or expand upon the topics by reading additional books. I also recommend assigning additional essays and or research projects to make the courses even more college preparation.
New Leaf Publishing Group provided me with a free copy of James Stobaugh’s History Series in exchange for an honest review. Please read the disclaimer shown below.
As a Homeschool Consultant, I am always looking for ways to help other homeschool moms. Do you have a question or topic you would like for me to write about in my upcoming blog posts? If so, please let me know. I will be happy to add it to my list.