Olivia will be a freshman in high school next year, and it is not too soon for me to be planning her course of study. I know which curriculum I will be using for science (Apologia biology), math (Teaching Textbooks algebra), English (IEW and Easy Grammar), Spanish (Rosetta Stone), P.E. (running) and electives (home economics, piano). However, I do not have a plan for history. I want to explain what type of curriculum that I am looking for, and then I would love for you experienced homeschoolers of high school-aged children to leave me comments with your suggestions. Please leave the name of the curriculum and website if possible. Over the next four years, these are the subjects that I want to cover:
American history (1 year)
World history (1 year)
Geography (1 semester)
Mississippi History (1 semester)
American government (1 semester)
Economics (1 semester)
This is my "wish list" when choosing the curriculum:
1. Literature based rather than textbook based. I would love to find some sort of guide that told which "real books" (biographies, factual/informational type books, even historical fiction--as long as it is pretty accurate and realistic) to read for each period of history.
2. Something that will adequately prepare her for any type of college admission requirement or standardized test. Unless something really drastic happens, Olivia plans to attend college right here in our great state of Mississippi, most likely at a local community college at first. Therefore, she will only be taking the ACT. I can't even remember if there is a history section on that test.
3. I am not looking for a curriculum that has the student reading sections of material and then regurgitating the material by answering questions, then taking a weekly test of memorized facts. If she reads the material, understands it, and talks about it with our family, that is all the "testing' I need.
4. I am also not looking for a curriculum that has all kinds of "hands-on" projects and activities---just for the sake of having them. If it teaches a real-life lesson, great, but Olivia is not interested in building a pyramid out of toothpicks...just to build it! So far, my children are very creative. They tend to make, build, act out, cook, etc., things that interest them when they are reading. I really don't like to force those types of activities on the older children.
5. I want the program to be completed independently by the student. I certainly don't mind spending any amount of time preparing the supplies, notebooks, handouts, etc. needed for the course. I will spend time teaching Olivia how to do the course. But once school begins, I would like for her to be able to take the course notebook, guide book, whatever, and just "do" the history. She likes daily plans and checklists, which I will gladly make, but I don't want to have to give a daily history lecture.
Ok! Please give me all of your great advice!