Lesson Videos

Student Reader

  • Available as digital files with your purchase, or as a separate download or printed book (over 300 pages)
  • Includes daily readings, assignments, and weekly exams. 


  • Essentially a scrapbook or a visual textbook for the semester’s lessons which shows the lessons that have been verbally discussed.
  • Provided by the student: a scrapbook, photo album, 3-ring binder, or a fine sketchbook of durable quality such as card stock or a heavy drawing paper.

Teacher’s Guide

  • Scope & Sequence for two semesters of Middle/High School (Ages 13+)
  • Portfolio & Project Guide
  • Grading Guides for Exams, Readings, the Portfolio, and Projects
  • Suggested Titles for Further Reading to go along with all 26 Lessons
  • Exam Answer Key

Need help organizing the digital curriculum? We’ve got a helpful entry on our blog that covers just that!


There are a number of different elements to this curriculum that make it quite unique.

Once you see how everything works together, however, it should be fairly easy to teach.

The class is designed to fill two semesters. It covers 26 Lessons with the goal of completing one Lesson per week. Each Lesson is broken down into five different lectures (approximately 10 minutes each) with associated readings or assignments.

Each day, plan on scheduling approx. 10 minutes for the video and 10 minutes for the daily reading and questions.

Each week, budget approximately 20 minutes for the exam, and another 20 for the Lesson’s Portfolio entry. These elements can be modified to suit the age and frame of your student. For example, parents of middle school students might remove the daily readings to concentrate on the Portfolio, and integrate the Exam questions as a summary of the applicable lesson video.

You can assign one lecture a day or you can go through two or more lectures in one day. Your student will be the best gauge as to how much he or she can effectively cover at one time.

One Lesson is normally completed per week. Use the included chart (sample) to mark off what has been finished. Only exams, essays and projects are scored.

If an Assignment asks one or more questions, these are meant to be considered by the student as he or she does the reading. You can also use these questions as a way to discuss the lesson with your student after the lesson and readings are complete.

Grading is one of the most challenging tasks of the humanities teacher. Grading a simple question such as, “In what year did Columbus discover the Americas?” is easy and straightforward. But grading the question, “What motivated Columbus to set sail?” is rather complex because it requires a careful consideration on the part of the teacher over a multitude of answers. The reason for this is that history is an art within the humanities which, as Harry L. Lewis once said, “teach[es] us what it means to be human.” A multitude of answers can therefore be given since different students have different perspectives.

That said, specific information is always provided in these history lessons. Furthermore, a principle, or main idea, is always referred to. The real art of the humanities teacher is to evaluate a student’s knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of a given subject. Such an evaluation looks like this:

  1. Knowledge—Does the student know key people, places, dates, and events?
  2. Understanding—Does the student understand how the idea or action of

one person or people resulted in a specific event or culture later in History?

  1. Wisdom—Can the student apply this knowledge and understanding to other periods 

of history, other subjects, and even his or her personal life?

When I grade my students according to this rubric, I ask several key questions of the student’s answers. First, I want to know, “Do the answers of the student show a work ethic matching their current maturity in the discipline of history?” No one starts in the same place as another. Every individual brings a unique experience and perspective to the table. Thus, not all students have the same abilities as each other when answering questions or performing tasks. However, all students can be graded against themselves, week-by-week. The goal is to see consistent improvement in students’ answers exam-by-exam and to evaluate their level of work ethic when they apply themselves to an assigned task or question.

Secondly, “How thorough is the answer of the student?” Consider whether or not the student has answered all parts of the question. Determine whether or not all required information has been included. Ask the student to augment answers that are vague or lacking in detail. After all, history is about specifics and is typically told through a narrative. Students should be able to retell the stories of the past as this is the key to enjoying history.

Thirdly, “Does the student show an ability to interact with and explain the principle through their answers?” This is the most difficult part to grade but is also the most rewarding. In the work of my students, I am constantly searching for an understanding of how Biblical principles work, whatever the subject, because this is the key to wisdom. In the answers of your students, you want to ask whether or not they understand the main idea and have connected it to the specific info contained in the lesson. If they have, encourage them to apply this in other areas of their life. If they have not, review the material or discuss it from a fresh perspective.

History is an art and cannot be mastered in any single lifetime. It is an art akin to a spiritual discipline since no matter the number of times we have heard a certain tale or learned a specific verse, we must return to it again and again lest we become forgetful and slip into the void of unfaithfulness. History teaches us to remember God’s mighty deeds and to hope because an infinite and merciful Yahweh has already ordained our days—past, present, and future.

The readings have been carefully selected to create a fully-orbed program. These readings consist of speeches, first-hand accounts, sermons, letters, poems, and historical narratives. Each reading is also accompanied by a question or two about the selection in order to prompt a student’s critical thinking in each reading. Some readings are easily accessible to students of 6th-10th grades and some are not. Therefore, it is up to the discretion of the teacher whether or not to assign a reading, all of the reading, or to coach a student through part of the reading.

Please remember that these materials are designed to give a student a full course in American history and may be seen as either core materials or supplemental.

The name of the game in portfolios is craftsmanship. When I grade portfolios, I am primarily interested in whether or not the student has created a visual scrapbook of high quality work and whether or not they have done this work consistently. Also, I only grade the weekly (or per lesson) portfolios on a quarterly basis. I find this to be a good measure and encouragement of a student’s personal responsibility and time management. To be precise, here is my rubric for grading portfolios.

Like portfolios, projects require diligence and craftsmanship. While each project is different, they can all be graded upon these two virtues. Additionally, I also require classroom presentations of my students for each project which contribute to their overall grade. This may or may not be feasible in your situation but is highly encouraged.

Here are my grading rubrics for each project in the American History year.


HSLDA recommends spending approximately 150 hours on a subject to qualify for high school credit.

This is how Dave Raymond’s classes generally break down to achieve that credit. Some students will spend more time in some areas and some will spend less, but there is clearly enough different types of work to qualify for full high school credit.

The reader includes 372 pages of original historical materials. It increases in length as the year progresses. For example, Lessons in the first semester comprise 150 pages while those in the second comprise 222 pages. If additional reading is desired for older students, we include recommendations for that.

If a parent desires to do two or more thesis papers for older students, that is perfectly acceptable and will only increase the amount of time spent in the class.

Suggested Titles for Further Reading

In Order of Lessons

Lessons 1 & 2
  • Theodore Roosevelt’s History of the United States, selected and arranged by Daniel Ruddy
Lesson 3
  • A New World in View by Fred Young, Gary DeMar, and Jane Scott
  • The Log of Christopher Columbus by Robert Fuson
Lesson 4
  • A New World in View by Fred Young, Gary DeMar, and Jane Scott
  • A History of the American People by Paul Johnson (Selections from this hefty tome are great for multiple lessons.)
Lesson 5
  • Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford
  • Punic Wars and Culture Wars: Christian Essays on History and Teaching by Ben House
Lesson 6
  • Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were by Leland Ryken
Lesson 7
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Lesson 8
  • The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader, selected by Wilson Kimnach, Kenneth Minkema, and Douglas Sweeney
Lesson 9
  • Samuel Adams by James Kendell Hosmer
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic by Jeffry Morrison
  • Patrick Henry by Moses Coit Tyler
Lesson 10
  • 1776 by David McCullough
  • Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer
Lessons 11 & 12
  • Hero Tales from American History by Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt
  • History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution by Mercy Otis Warren
  • The Boys of ’76: A History of the Battles of the American Revolution by Charles Carleton Coffin
Lesson 13
  • Christianity and the Constitution by John Eidsmoe
Lesson 14
  • George Washington: The Founding Father by Paul Johnson
Lesson 15
  • The Adams-Jefferson Letters edited by Lester J. Cappon (An abridged version edited by Paul Wilstach is available used.)
Lesson 16
  • The Winning of the West by Theodore Roosevelt
  • Democracy in America by Alexis DeTocqueville, abridged and edited by Richard D. Heffner
Lesson 17
  • The Tennessee, Volume One, The Old River: Frontier to Secession by Donald Davidson
Lesson 18
  • A History of the American People by Paul Johnson
Lesson 19
  • A Theological Interpretation of American History by Gregg Singer
  • Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand: The Story of Frontier Religion by Ross Phares
Lesson 20
  • The Causes of the Civil War, edited by Kenneth Stampp
  • Mighty Rough Times, I Tell You, edited by Andrea Sutcliffe
Lesson 21
  • Lincoln’s Battle With God by Stephen Mansfield
Lessons 22 & 23
  • The Civil War: A Narrative by Shelby Foote
  • Christ in the Camp by J. William Jones
  • Best Littler Stories From the Civil War by C. Brian Kelly with Ingrid Smyer
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Lesson 24
  • The Legacy of the Civil War by Robert Penn Warren
Lesson 25
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and The American West by Dee Brown
  • A History of the American People by Paul Johnson
Lesson 26
  • Carry a Big Stick: The Uncommon Heroism of Theodore Roosevelt by George Grant
  • Then Darkness Fled: The Liberating Wisdom of Booker T. Washington by Stephen Mansfield
  • Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

  • FAQs

The “Year Long Portfolio” (taken from this blog article)

“If we receive one question about our history courses it’s usually about the year long portfolio. Since it’s a student’s creation most parents are uncertain how it “should” look. In short, the portfolio is a unique scrapbook. The portfolio offers students a chance to retell history lessons using their own gifts and talents. If a student is an artist, writer, poet, composer, crafter, graphic designer, etc. they can create their own portfolio in such a way to represent their skill while keeping them engaged in the course.

Thankfully our friends at Half An Acre Wood have shared an excellent post, The Making of a History Portfolio and explained how they created their history portfolio.”