Free American History Curriculum

TeachingAmericanHistory.org and the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University offer a variety of resources and programs to homeschool parents and students, just as they do for traditional school teachers and classes. All of their web-based resources are free to use by anyone, and access to the graduate, undergraduate, and high school programs are open to anyone who wish to apply. The resources below are particularly helpful for homeschoolers to use as core curriculum, supplements, electives, or reference material.

  • 50 Core American Documents – This site introduces readers to the primary documents that tell America’s story as it has unfolded from the American Founding into the Twentieth Century. These documents should be required reading for all students, teachers, and citizens. When you sign up for a free account, you’ll have the ability to save Historical Documents to your Dashboard, and create your own collections.
  • Free Homeschool American History Curriculum – The Ashbrook Center is pleased to provide homeschool families with a free high-school-level curriculum in American History and Government, developed by a group of scholars and veteran homeschool parents. This one-year course in American History is rooted entirely in primary documents. The curriculum focuses on ten primary documents, each formed into a unit, beginning with America’s founding and the Declaration of Independence, continuing through the Civil War era, and culminating in the Civil Rights movement and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Each unit provides many additional readings to support the primary document. The curriculum provides multiple assessment options for students to demonstrate their knowledge. Choose whichever assessment method that suits your child best. A sample curriculum unit can be found here. If you like what you see, fill out this form (and check the box indicating your interest in the free curriculum) and they will email you a PDF of the entire curriculum.
  • Student Webinars – On the second Sunday of each month from 8:00-9:00pm ET September through June, the Ashbrook Center hosts a webinar on one of the 50 Core American Documents for high school students. Students utilizing the curriculum are welcome to join in on these webinars monthly to assist in their studies. Even those who aren’t using the curriculum are welcome to attend and participate in the conversation. Interested? Register here.
  • Webinars – These monthly programs are for teachers who want to learn more about the content they teach. They are free to anyone and homeschool educators are welcome to join in on these programs. Also for your convenience, all the video, audio, and documents for past programs are archived.
  • Documents Library – Over 2300 primary documents online, all free to access and use as you wish.
  • Religion in America – A study of the role of religion in American culture, society, and government – rooted, of course, in primary documents. Use as the basis of a “Religion in America” elective!
  • Online Exhibits – Four separate immersive online experiences about the American Founding.
  • 50 Core American Documents Book – Download the free 485-page ebook (PDF), read it on Kindle, or buy the book on Amazon if you prefer a hard copy.

We believe the best way for students to learn about history is to be exposed to the words of those who made history, not through textbooks and secondary sources which too often present a skewed version of the past.

If you’re looking to integrate social studies into your literacy block, reading the primary documents would make for a great literature elective. Learn about the history of our nation by reading the words of those who formed it and guided it to where we are today.

Students who complete the homeschool curriculum will have earned the equivalent of one credit of American history. Or feel free to use the primary documents and other resources to supplement your existing history or civics curriculum.

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