High School Social Studies Curriculum Overview

Online US History, World History, Geography & US Government/Civics Courses

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High School Social Studies

Time4Learning offers an online, interactive, high school social studies curriculum that is organized into five courses that correlate to state standards: US History, World History, US Government/Civics, US History II, and Geography.

High school social studies courses use authentic tasks, primary sources, and artifact lessons that teach high school students to learn as the scholars do, using modern and historical resources. Parents act as the "teacher of record" and are responsible for reviewing and grading offline lessons and writing projects. Time4Learning can be used for homeschool, afterschool and as a summer skill building program.

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Overview of the High School Social Studies Courses

The study of Social Studies includes learning about many different disciplines, such as history, economics, geography, law, sociology, and anthropology. The concepts, information, and practices in social studies helps students to build an informed and balanced view of our interconnected world and its citizens. Time4Learning high school social studies courses are designed to prepare students for further study at the college level.

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US History I (pre-1850) - Course Overview

US History I uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, writing exercises, tests and quizzes to teach about the colonization and early development of the United States, from the Age of Exploration through the mid-nineteenth century. Students will study contributing factors that led to the expansion of European settlement. They will also learn about the people, technology, and cultures of each period. This class prepares students for further study of American history in the US History II, Post 1850 course.

US History I lessons are organized into 10 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Introduction to Social Science - Students examine how history and social science help them to understand the world around them. Students will consider geography as an important discipline that helps illuminate history.
  2. The New World - Students learn about different regions of the world in the period just prior to the Age of Exploration. They consider the factors that led to European exploration and American colonization.
  3. Exploration and Colonization - Students learn about the influences of European countries on the Americas beginning in the late 15th century and compare the motivations and actions of the European nations that settled the Americas. Students trace the development of the thirteen English colonies.
  4. English North America to 1770 - Students explore the changes in the English colonies from their beginnings in the 17th century until the eve of the American Revolution. Students examine international and colonial events and attitudes that both led to war and have shaped the American character.
  5. Independence and Republic - Students will analyze British policies and events in the colonies as well as economic and political events in England. They will consider events such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the writings of Thomas Paine that led to the Declaration of Independence. Students will follow events of the American war for independence.
  6. Confederation and Constitution – Students consider the Articles of Confederation, the reasons for particular choices and the effects of those choices. Students examine the Constitutional Convention and the processes used to create the US Constitution. They will consider how the US Constitution was ratified and the addition of the Bill of Rights.
  7. The New Republic - Students follow the development of politics in the United States, including political parties and foreign affairs. Students consider Jeffersonian Era and the effect of the Democratic-Republicans on the Federalists. Students will consider the events of the War of 1812 and its effect on foreign relations with European nations.
  8. Expansion and Conflict - Students learn about the age of industry and its influences on the new nation's economy and culture. Students consider nationalism following the war of 1812 and the presidency of Andrew Jackson.
  9. American Life 1815-1860 - Students evaluate effects of the second Great Awakening including abolition, women's suffrage, and Romanticism and Transcendentalism.
  10. Expansion and Manifest Destiny - Students examine westward expansion during the first half of the nineteenth century. Students analyze the settlement of the Louisiana and Northwest Territories. Students examine the details of the war with Mexico and the further westward expansion of the United States after the war.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school US History 1 course overview.

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World History - Course Overview

World History uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, writing exercises, tests, and quizzes to help students examine and analyze world history from the beginnings of human civilization through the present day. Emphasis is placed on learning the history of many different parts of the world and discovering how current cultures have been influenced by history. In addition, students learn to use artifacts, maps, and primary source documents in their study of history. This course prepares students for further study of countries and their cultures in World Geography.

World History lessons are organized into 6 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. What is World History? – Students identify the importance of learning world history. They consider world geography and the concept of civilization. Students also examine the Neolithic Revolution that led to settlement.
  2. Beginnings to 500 CE – Students examine early civilizations in the ancient world. Students analyze the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, and Rome. Students follow the changes in early civilizations from floodplain civilizations, to ancient classical civilizations, to the development of religions after the fall of the Roman Empire.
  3. 500-1450 –Students identify and compare the significance of early world cultures and their effects on one another as the types of societies move from their postclassical forms to regional empires and then to the early modern era and the Renaissance.
  4. 1450-1750 – Students analyze interactions between worlds during the Age of Exploration and assess the impact that these civilizations had upon one another. Students trace development of Europe and western ideas and ideals, Latin America, the effects of economics in the triangle trade, and Asia's role in the world community.
  5. 1750-1914 - Students examine revolutions around the world and their effect on industrialism and imperialism. Students compare industrialization and ideals in Japan, Russia, the US, Germany and Mexico. Finally, students examine the events and causes leading to World War I.
  6. 1914-Present - Students follow major events leading up to today. Students learn about the Revolution in Mexico, World War I, the period between the wars, World War II, and the aftermath of World War II. Finally, students examine the events of the post-modern era and evaluate new-century conditions from the perspective of historical themes.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school World History course overview.

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US Government / Civics - Course Overview

US Government uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, writing exercises, tests, and quizzes to teach about the United States government, and its balance of power on federal, state, and local levels. Students will compare our system of government to other world governments, seeing the ways in which other governments and ideals influenced our own. Students will learn about their important role as citizens of the United States of America. This course prepares students for college-level study of history and government.

US Government / Civics lessons are organized into 6 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Principles of US Government - Students will learn about historical events, individuals, and writings that influenced the shape of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the federalist system of government.
  2. Institutions of US Government - Students will learn the role of the three branches of federal government and about the system of checks and balances built to control the amount of power that each branch wields. Students will trace the influence of the each of the branches of government on US citizens both today and during the country's history.
  3. Politics in the United States - Students analyze the roles of political parties in the US today and historically. Students evaluate the role of citizens, special interest groups, the media, and the government in the election process. Students examine the fundamental rights set forth in the Bill of Rights and consider the preservation of civil liberties.
  4. State and Local Governments - Students examine the structures and responsibilities of state and local government. They consider their sources of revenue and necessary expenditures and evaluate how federal and state governments affect government and policies at a local level. Students consider the role and influence of youth in local government.
  5. Comparative Systems - Students consider the US government in terms of the governments it was modeled upon. Students compare political and economic systems, while considering the role of government in terms of its citizenry and the world.
  6. International Relations - Students evaluate the role of the US in the United Nations and in world-wide international relations. Students explore ideas and events in US foreign policy in terms of national and international security and issues of environmental and economic interdependence among world nations.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school US Government and Civics course overview.

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US History II - Course Overview

US History II uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, writing exercises, tests and quizzes to introduce students to the latter half of American history from the mid-nineteenth century through the present day. Economic, political, and social topics are considered, including the causes of war, the recovery from war, and social and economic change over time. This course prepares students for further study of social studies in World Geography.

US History II lessons are organized into 10 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Introduction to US History II - Students consider the importance of learning history, the social sciences, and geography to help us understand the world around us. Students review highlights of events, periods, and people covered in US History I.
  2. The Civil War Era, 1857-1865 - Students consider the US Civil War from the years of growing conflict to secession. They will analyze the causes, events, and consequences of the US Civil War. Lessons will include economic, political, and social effects of the war.
  3. Reconstruction, 1865-1877 - Students consider the period following the Civil War. They will learn about Lincoln's plans for reconstruction and those of a radical congress. Students will learn about the problems of the freed slaves and evaluate the successes and failures of Reconstruction.
  4. The Gilded Age, 1865-1900 – Students consider this period of wealth and elegance and trace the growth of industrialization during this period. Students will examine the roles of the railroads, westward expansion, as well as industrialization in the lives of Americans. They will consider how these factors affected the land, people, and economic development of the United States.
  5. Modern US, 1890-1920 - Students examine the transitions that the United States made both domestically and internationally to become a world power. Students will consider reform and the progressive movements. They will learn about the country's part in the Great War.
  6. Post-War US, 1918-1940 – Students examine life in the US after the Great War. Lessons explore the Roaring Twenties and the economic boom, The Great Depression and its causes, and the New Deal and social welfare programs. Students will also consider how these domestic trends, troubles, and policies affected the relationship of the US with the world.
  7. World War II, 1940-1945 - Students explore the actions and inaction of the United States in the face of World War II. From isolationism and cash and carry to the attack on Pearl Harbor, students will consider US reluctance to enter the war and reasons for doing so. Students consider the shifts of power between the Axis and Allied nations over the course of the war. Students reflect on the impact of the war in the nation and the world.
  8. Post-War US, 1945-1960 - Students consider social changes in the United States after World War II, including an affluent society, strong youth culture, and the importance of the nuclear family. Students consider the Cold War up to the Cuban Missile crisis and its effects on the United States both at home and abroad.
  9. American Evolution, 1945-1980 - Students consider changes in the US after World War II, including the civil rights movement, social change in the 1960s, and both social and political change in the 1970s. These changes are compared to the changes abroad during the same periods.
  10. US: World Power, 1980-2007 - Students consider the post-Cold War world: the role of conservatism; the change in lifestyles including family life, economy and popular culture; and the role of entrepreneurs in the late 20th century. Students consider patterns and trends to predict the role of the United States in a 21st-century world.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school US History 2 course overview.

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World Geography - Course Overview

World Geography uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, writing exercises, tests and quizzes to introduce students to the fundamentals of world geography as they study many aspects of the world. Students learn to use tools to make and read maps and learn the principles of geographic thinking. They study the world in terms of physical and human geography.

World Geography lessons are organized into 10 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Introduction to Geography - Students learn the fundamentals of geography through cartography and the principles of geographic thinking. Students will consider various maps and representations of the world and make a map of their own
  2. Physical Geography - Students consider Earth's place in the universe. They will analyze Earth's atmosphere, climates, and water system. Students will learn about geographic landforms and how they affect humans on Earth. Students consider the concept of regions to help us interpret Earth's complex systems and trends.
  3. Human Geography - Students examine human geography in terms of human systems especially culture and economic systems. Students consider how culture is influenced by the physical environment and how cultural regions are established. Students explore economic factors such as resource availability and the effects of population.
  4. Regions: North America - Students map North America and consider important political and physical boundaries. Students examine cultural and historical aspects of North America, identifying both historical events and cultural commonalities and differences that make regions within North America distinct. Students use special-purpose maps to study different aspects of the region's geography.
  5. Regions: Middle and South America - Students map Middle and South America, noting both physical and political boundaries. Students examine the historical, cultural, and contemporary development of Middle and South America. Students use special-purpose maps to study different aspects of the region's geography.
  6. Regions: Europe - Students map political boundaries of Europe, considering important regions as they do. Students examine cultural and historical aspects of Europe, identifying how physical geography influenced the nation-states that have historically governed this region. Students use special-purpose maps to study different aspects of the region's geography.
  7. Regions: Southwest Asia and Northern Africa - Students map Southwest Asia and Northern Africa, noting both physical and political boundaries. Students examine the historical, cultural, and contemporary development of Southwest Asia and Northern Africa. Students use special-purpose maps to study different aspects of the region's geography.
  8. Regions: Saharan and Southern Africa - Students map political boundaries of Saharan and Southern Africa, considering important regions as they do. Students examine cultural and historical aspects of Saharan and Southern Africa, identifying how physical geography and resource availability influence the region. Students use special-purpose maps to study different aspects of the region's geography.
  9. Regions East and Southeast Asia - Students study maps of East and Southeast Asia, noting both physical and political boundaries. Students examine the historical, cultural, and contemporary development of East and Southeast Asia. Students use special-purpose maps to study different aspects of the region's geography.
  10. Regions: South Asia - Students map political boundaries of South Asia, considering important regions as they do. Students examine cultural and historical aspects of South Asia, identifying how physical geography and resource availability influence the region. Students use special-purpose maps to study different aspects of the region's geography.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school Geography course overview.

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Time4Learning High School Courses - Program Structure

Time4Learning high school offers an online, interactive curriculum for ninth through twelfth grade that correlates to state standards. The majority of Time4Learning members use it for homeschool, although some use it as an afterschool alternative to tutoring, or for summer study.

High school is distinguished from the PreK-8th grades by an increased emphasis on higher order thinking skills, the effective combination of video with animation, and an increased number of writing projects designed to help students achieve overall college and career readiness. It is organized into courses that cover math, language arts, science, and social studies, with the optional elective courses of health and economics/finance also available.

Students use their own individual login to access Time4Learning's secure, ad-free learning environment. An automated system combines multimedia lessons, instructional videos, printable worksheets, quizzes, tests and both online and offline projects to teach the materials. The system also reinforces concepts, tracks progress, and keeps printable reports that parents can turn into student transcripts or include with homeschool portfolios.

In addition to our standards-based curriculum, Time4Learning members have access to a suite of online tools, lesson plans, teaching resources, and homeschool support to help them along their journey. Parents are considered the "teacher of record", and the home from which they teach is the "school." It is up to the parents to review and grade their student's offline lessons & writing projects, compare Time4Learning to their state standards, and make sure all graduation requirements are met.

It is also important to mention that Time4Learning is a curriculum provider-- not a school. Therefore, Time4Learning cannot be accredited, nor can homeschooled students "graduate" from Time4Learning. Visit our homeschool high school resources page for additional tools, tips and high school resources on this topic.

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