Are You on a Quest

homeschool social studies curriculum

for the Best Homeschool History Curriculum?  Are you trying to start your teen’s high school career on the right path?  If so, you’re not the only one.  Actually, your teen needs a homeschool social studies curriculum.  Yes, that’s a thing!

Social Studies is the huge and growing umbrella under which a growing number of topics have congregated.  As you’d expect, history is there.  So are geography, economics, government, sociology, psychology and current events.  Very few homeschool programs cover every topic in high school.  Typically homeschool students take two to three years of history.  They also take one semester of government.  Many choose at least one elective from the social sciences.

The focus of this post is on the history portion of social studies.  Hence, if you’re looking for government or one of the social studies electives, please follow the links to those posts!

Your Easiest Homeschool Social Studies Curriculum

is often part of a full-grade-level curriculum package.  Conveniently enough, I just finished writing about this type of high school curricula last week.  If you’d like to have all the year’s curriculum  decisions made in one fell swoop, these sets are right for you.  Basically, these integrated sets include all the core subjects for your student’s current grade.  Often you get to swap out the math component to suit your teen’s needs, but generally everything is planned out.  If this sounds good to you, please have a look at these options.  You can always come back here if they’re not what you’re looking for!

Great History Courses,

homeschool social studies curriculum

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because of course we still want the best homeschool history curriculum!  We get to choose from an ever-increasing list of great choices.

One of the most recent additions is David Raymond’s American History.  This unique new program delivers American history lessons by DVD.  Teens with short attention spans will love the ten to fifteen minute DVD lessons and variety of follow-on activities.

Parents love the compact modern convenience, because the entire curriculum is in digital format.  The eight DVDs contain all the lessons, with the student reader and teacher’s guide in PDF, mobi and ePub formats.  Furthermore, even the books are in digital format, located on two of the disks which are accessible via a computer.   This curriculum covers American history from pre-colonialism to Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency. 

You are in Luck this year, because David Raymond has just finished his modern world history curriculum, Modernity.  This full-year history curriculum begins where the first one left off.      Parents love the price, because they pay only ninety five dollars for each full year curriculum.  Obviously, these sets can be used over and over again. David Raymond has produced an unbeatable bargain!

The latest thing isn’t for everyone.  What if you’re inclined to believe the best homeschool social studies curriculum is likely to be more

Tried and True?

Fortunately, I have written extensively on Sonlight and other History through Literature curricula.  These programs are the bomb-diggitty.  Seriously, my family loved Beautiful Feets History through Literature Curricula.  In particular, my teens appreciated that I didn’t waste their time on busy work.  Since each history lesson they completed was also a language arts lesson, school days went by faster.

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Most importantly, I got peace of mind.  Due to my teens getting their history from many, many different perspectives, they were able to develop their own points of view.  Consequently, one of my cherished homeschooling goals was fulfilled.

Some of my best friends were using Sonlight curricula with their high school students.  They were similarly satisfied with their choices, because these programs both emphasize great books and original source documents.  As a result, these parents knew their teens were getting the most unbiased history education possible.

History through literature programs deliver great educations and peace of mind for parents, but there’s a lot to be said for

Keeping it Simple

“How simple?” you ask.  Well, pretty simple!  Homeschooling Parent James Stabough has written three great history curricula.  His American History, British History and World History courses cover three years of high school history.  Since each complete curriculum costs about thirty-five dollars, frugal parents have been eager to try them.  Each curriculum set comes with a teacher’s manual and student text.

As you might expect, a parent/teacher initiates each chapter.  After this weekly interaction, students use their higher order thinking skills to complete the lessons.  Due to the extensive use of critical thinking and analysis, enthusiastic history students really love this program, while parents love the convenience.

Tests and answers to all questions are contained in the teacher’s manual, as well as assessment rubrics.   The student gets a high degree of freedom, and the parent gets everything they need to support their teen’s learning.  Furthermore, all this comes in a compact, economical package.

Everybody on the Same Page?

homeschool social studies curriculumMany homeschool families study history together.  Can a kindergartner, a fifth grader, an eighth grader and a high school senior study history together?  If they do, will the high school senior get the robust program she needs?   I thought these were valid questions, so I did a bit of research.

Many “study together” enthusiasts use Mystery of History.  Recently I asked a few families how this worked for them during the high school years, and I was pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm for the program.

(Since my friends and I are of an age to have children in college, we’re blessed with a uniquely useful perspective.)  We can ask our young adults how well their homeschool social studies curriculum prepared them for college.  Happily, the college students reported that they had very fond memories of studying history with their younger siblings.  In their opinion, Mystery of History was the “best history they ever got.”

So, from a practical standpoint, “How exactly does that work?”  (If I were you I would definitely want to know!)  Well, every year Mystery of History users select a “volume” from the Mystery of History collection.  Each volume covers several centuries of world history in thirty-six lessons. The supplemental companion on CD-rom provides worksheets, evaluations and projects.  Family members gather together to read the text and complete many activities.  Naturally, the students separate by grade level to perform individual assignments.

Frugally speaking, there’s never been a better time to invest in Mystery of History.  Here’s why:  the publisher recently made the text available on Amazon in Kindle format!

Sadly,  committed buyers must purchase the Companion CD-Rom separately, but I’m still stoked about this!  Technology makes it easier and easier to homeschool every year!

There’s More Out There,

and more coming every year.   Due to advances in technology, publishing and distributing a great homeschool social studies curriculum is getting easier all the time.  I’ve showcased a few new curricula today, along with quite a few “oldies but goodies.”

Obviously, there’s more to a great homeschool social studies curriculum than history.  Your student needs to have a good grounding in geography and should take a high school governmment course.  Further, your student may have interest in at least one social studies elective.  I will be covering these subjects in tomorrow’s post.

Please reach out to me in the comments.  Let me know what you love, what you hate and what you want to read about next.  Ask questions – please!  I love, love, love hearing from you.

All the Best,








Manasir Akshan

Hello Elizabeth – This is pretty interesting meaning many people at my place are wondering to go with studies in computers. But definitely showing this article to them will make them change their minds for better studies in history. The article is crystal clear and up to the point explained properly. But I have a question, will history and social studies can make a great fortune for them? This is just a personal question from my side so I can justify the same with others. Thanks Manasir

Jun 07.2017 | 09:53 am


    I think what I’m hearing here is, “Why study history?” After all, who makes a living studying history? Not many people do. Some educators, obviously. Some authors as well.

    Guess who else? Military officers and civil servants engaged in all aspects of diplomacy and foreign service.

    Yes, you can make a good living off of an extensive and accurate understanding of History and the other social sciences.

    The real reason is that old saw that goes like this, “Those who do not learn from History are destined to repeat it.” It is the civic duty of every citizen in a Republic to understand the past, present and the possibilities of the future. Without this education such a nation is doomed.

    I’m stepping off my soap box now!

    I’m sure that’s not what you expected to hear. It is nonetheless my impassioned position. I educated both of my children to study within STEM fields. I told them I’d fund any college degree – as long as it was a Bachelor of Science degree! I also poured copious amounts of history into their young minds throughout their primary and secondary educations.

    What must they study? Science!
    Why must they study it? History!

    Jun 07.2017 | 10:29 am

      Manasir Akshan

      Thanks Elizabeth – Well said and right now I can say this to justify with other with my head held high 🙂

      Jun 07.2017 | 03:39 pm


Is the syllabus in this homeschool history curriculum the same as those taught in an actual school? Is homeschooling suitable for everyone?

Jun 07.2017 | 09:59 am


    Homeschooling is Nothing Like Institutional Education

    This is not a single syllabus. It is a long list of various social studies curricula. Some are very similar to what students encounter in institutional education, but most are quite different.

    Homeschooling is nothing like institutional education. On average, homeschool students do better on standardized tests such as the SATs, and go to college at greater rates. They also tend to be more likely to start their own businesses later in life.

    Homeschooling is highly adapted to the family and the student. Actual courses of study vary widely. Many choose to follow the national and state standards, but most strive for more and tend to ignore “standards” they consider silly.

    Homeschooling is not suitable for everyone. People who struggle with addiction or have difficulty refraining from abusing their children should avoid homeschooling. People who struggle with severe depression or other serious disabilities should weigh their options carefully.

    Jun 07.2017 | 10:17 am


Hello Elizabeth.
Wow, your article shows the passion you have for this field. I was thinking of homeschooling my child at one stage as she has a disability. I was made out I couldn’t because of her condition. What are your thoughts on kids with a disability getting homeschooled?

Jun 08.2017 | 08:50 am


    Deception is a Problem

    Many, many families homeschool disabled children. The practice of misleading parents of disabled children into believing they need permission to homeschool or “can’t” homeschool a disabled child.

    It couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    On the other hand, while homeschooling usually improves the quality of life for disabled students, homeschooling has inherent challenges for every family.

    I never encourage people to homeschool, nor do I discourage them. When people ask I simply try to connect them with the facts so that they can make a sound decision. If you PM me with more information about your child’s condition I will be glad to give you more specific assistance.

    Jun 08.2017 | 11:31 am

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