All American History Volume 1 Set

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  • Reviewed on Friday, July 13, 2012
  • Grades Used: 3rd and 5th
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
We originally picked this program because it looked like an open-and-go, easy-to-use curriculum, and it is that. After using all four levels of Story of the World, we were used to having activities and map work laid out for us to go along with each chapter. All American History doesn't disappoint in this regard. However, it became apparent only weeks into this book that ease-of-use is not the most important quality in a curriculum. My kids loved Story of the World because it was well-written and made history exciting - a story. All American History makes U.S. History, which I've always found pretty interesting and exciting, boring - there's no other word for it. The writing is just plain dry, and little better than a listing of facts and events. History went form my kids' favorite subject to their least favorite faster than I would have thought possible. This is a textbook-y textbook, make no mistake.

Another issue I have with this book is topical. There is nothing on native peoples and EIGHT WEEKS on the explorers. I knew that going in, and we supplemented with more interesting/fun/living books, but the kids were super bored. The boredom factor got marginally better when we moved on to colonial and revolutionary times, but not enough. We are now using the supplemental material and using their topic schedule, but reading entirely different books (History of US, historical fiction, library books) to go with them. I want my kids to love history again, so we'll be using the text as little as possible.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, November 3, 2009
  • Grades Used: 7th
  • Dates used: 2009

This is such a great cirriculum. I'm NOT a History buff, but this cirr. has caused me to really enjoy History. I love to follow along while he does his lessons. Day one-he reads about the explorer, then pastes pics. and flags having to do with what the explorer looks like and countries he explored/where he was born. Day two- read and answer either T/F or matching questions. Day three- further reading then he does mapping. I then make up my own test and he usually tests on Friday. He enjoys this cirr. I like it because my son needs to do unit type studies, it sticks in his mind better that way. When we've done cirr's where concepts are introduced daily, he ends up frustrated. I don't think you could go wrong with this.

Hidden Jewel

  • Reviewed on Friday, May 30, 2008
  • Grades Used: 6th
  • Dates used: 2006-2007
All American History (Bright Ideas Press)

My dd11 used All American History I independently in 6th grade and she loved it. She kept asking if she could keep reading and not stop at the end of the lesson. We supplemented with books from the library that pertained to the time period we were studying. There are long lists of suggested books for each of the units separated by age group in the TE.

The TE and Activity book are very important to making it different from a textbook approach. The activity book has a notebooking-type page where the student relays information from the chapter. There is a little mapping that goes with the lesson. Then there is a multiple-choice review for each lesson.

The TE has information for all the For Further Study ideas. It also has a large list of living book suggestions as well as ideas on how to adjust the material for younger or older students. There are also family activity ideas to cement the teaching.

I would feel comfortable using it with 5th grade and into high school as it easily expandable for the older student. My 4th grader was not getting much out of it so we dropped it for her. My plan was to do at least one of the For Further Study activities each lesson but found that there was plenty of material for a 6th grader without it. For a high schooler I would just add all the For Further Study activities and then have them do additional research and report writing writing using the extra forms in the back of the activity book. There are forms for researching individual battles (vs just learning about the wars), individual Presidents, individual colonies, European explorers, and Native American tribes.

So you can make as much out of this curriculum as you want. I feel it is a great combination of a textbook, notebooking, and literature-based curriculum.

You can see samples of this curriculum at the Bright Ideas Press website.