American History

High School history classes are a multi-level program of extensive interaction between the teacher and students. Students who participate develop a clear understanding of the flow of history, including chronological relationships, geographical relationships and consequences of ideas. Students are exposed to the great writings of the era they are studying. In response to student experiential learning and discussion, Mrs. Efting will give feedback, guidance and encouragement throughout the learning process, helping students understand each applicable mode of thought, and preparing them for productive involvement in current systems, holding students’ work to either High School or Honors standards. Comments explain successes and delineate problems need-ing further work.

This class includes opportunities for interaction online. All students registered for 2018-2019 classes with Gail Efting will have the opportunity to benefit from online videos and other presentations, commentary, and discussions, as well as feedback, ac-countability, and record keeping online. Instructions for accessing online coursework and records will be made available to students upon confirmation of registration and student email.

Integral to this format is a substantial meta-cognitive dialogue with Mrs. Efting and other students about issues and ideas in class, and ongoing peer discussion online. Students have opportunities to think critically and to interact personally with each age through discussion, presentation, activities and respectful debate. Students’ thoughtful involvement in discussions, both in class and online, is central to the learning process. Socratic and Pauline discussion and experiential learning are used to stimulate analytical thinking. Questions for discussion online are assigned frequently.

This course will use critical thinking skills to examine ideas and their consequences throughout the history of the United States within its larger context of European and World History. European and American Literature, original sources, living books and history texts will be absorbed and discussed. Projects and presentations will be a regular part of the work. An extensive list of re-sources will be used throughout the course. Reading lists and additional presentations will be available online.

Description

  • Teacher/Mentor: Gail K Efting
  • Type of Class: Group and Online supported Class
  • Class Fee: $80 per month per person – by check or Zelle
  • tuition and fees payable directly to: Gail Efting
  • Online Program Fee: $20.00 per student
  • Online Classes on another day available, same cost on class fee and program fee
  • Shelter-in-Place Online classes, same cost on class fee and program fee
  • Questions: Email Gail Efting
  • Minimum & Maximum Class size: Minimum – 5 Maximum – 25 students
  • Credit: High School American History and Literature, High School Rhetoric, Honors American History, Honors British and American Literature
  • Other classes available for distance learning on other day as there is interest. Please go to www.balm.pathwright.com for course choices. Arrangements for timing will be made based on demand and availability.

Course Description:

High School history classes are a multi-level program of extensive interaction between the teacher and students. Students who participate develop a clear understanding of the flow of history, including chronological relationships, geographical relationships and consequences of ideas. Students are exposed to the great writings of the era they are studying. In response to student experiential learning and discussion, Mrs. Efting will give feedback, guidance and encouragement throughout the learning process, helping students understand each applicable mode of thought, and preparing them for productive involvement in current systems, holding students’ work to either High School or Honors standards. Comments explain successes and delineate problems need-ing further work.

This class includes opportunities for interaction online. All students registered for 2018-2019 classes with Gail Efting will have the opportunity to benefit from online videos and other presentations, commentary, and discussions, as well as feedback, ac-countability, and record keeping online. Instructions for accessing online coursework and records will be made available to students upon confirmation of registration and student email.

Integral to this format is a substantial meta-cognitive dialogue with Mrs. Efting and other students about issues and ideas in class, and ongoing peer discussion online. Students have opportunities to think critically and to interact personally with each age through discussion, presentation, activities and respectful debate. Students’ thoughtful involvement in discussions, both in class and online, is central to the learning process. Socratic and Pauline discussion and experiential learning are used to stimulate analytical thinking. Questions for discussion online are assigned frequently.

This course will use critical thinking skills to examine ideas and their consequences throughout the history of the United States within its larger context of European and World History. European and American Literature, original sources, living books and history texts will be absorbed and discussed. Projects and presentations will be a regular part of the work. An extensive list of re-sources will be used throughout the course. Reading lists and additional presentations will be available online.

Course Content: American History in the World, 2020-2021, will focus on understanding the history of the United States and the North American Continent in light of formational European History, touching on some issues in World History as they affected the US. Students are encouraged to develop strong patterns of seeking Godly counsel from parents through topic discussion.

Assessment: I will be available to parents as needed to answer questions or simply to be a sounding board for discussion. Please talk with me as often as you like. You are welcome to sit in on the class on a regular basis, even all year if you like. I want to do every-thing I can to assist you in this important process of training students to think Biblically and use effective skills in all aspects of their lives.

Parent involvement in students’ work for this class is a priority. They need to be able to observe, ask questions, do inter-views, and bounce ideas off of you, as their Godly counsel. They need to be able to ‘think out loud’ with you and express their observations and opinions about a LOT of things. They need to be allowed to fail, and learn from their failure. I’m just asking that you let their learning flow where it goes, without external control or restriction. I strongly request that you permit your students to experience the joys, confusions, frustrations, successes, and even failures, through which they will be stretched and grow in this class. Your encouragement for them to persevere will make all the difference for them. Please keep in mind that the purpose of this class is NOT primarily to ‘pad a transcript’, but to mold a life.

If your student is not yet in High School, the class may still be appropriate for him/her and HS credit may still be awarded. Contact Gail Efting for more information on this.

Honors credit: Honors credit is available for this class. Honors courses are generally valued more highly in transcript GPA calculations because they are more demanding. If your student completes work at honors levels I can help you with your assessment and grade calculations. Students who request honors work will be held to a higher standard, both in terms of the level of effort in class and the depth of thoughtful analysis in commentaries and other submissions. As the teacher of record, the parent can expect to discuss the ideas and materials we cover in class, with your student at home. Please let Gail Efting know, immediately, if you will be doing honors work.

Course Requirements: My commitment is to provide opportunities, instruction and encouragement in observation, discernment and critical thinking, communication, both written and verbal, life management skills, and discovery and application of God’s truths in every-day situations around us. I will provide material and training which will be beneficial long term and practically useful.

The commitment requested of each student is to be in class ready to start on time for every session, to submit required postings on time, to complete assignments appropriately, prepared to observe, listen, learn, think, participate, and contribute at his/her best “as unto the Lord”. This class requires extensive thought and work. Students will get out of the class what they put in, no less, no more.

Every week students will be required to post a commentary within 24 hours of the end of class-time. This commentary is designed to provide your student with an opportunity for review and reflection, which are important aspects of conversion from transactional learning to transformational learning. This required commentary includes;

1. What happened in the class,

2. what the student learned in class (these first two are almost never the same),

3. how the student felt or what the student thought about what s/he learned or experienced in class, and

4. an overview of the assignments for the coming week.

This commentary will also function as a communication device for you, to clarify your weekly work process and help you focus on some of the issues we are discussing in class. This commentary, if completed correctly, will also provide the parent, as teacher of record, with the information necessary to complete any accomplishment descriptions required by others, throughout the year.

The commitment requested of each “coach” (or Godly counsel) is to help your student be accountable for the requirements of the class, starting on time, submitting work as instructed, participation, doing their best “as unto the Lord”. Also, many of the projects may require your input or availability for interviews or processes. Please do not do the work for your student, or give them the answers to thought questions, but encourage them to persevere (sometimes in the face of frustration) to their goals.

Attendance: This class uses intensive discussion and experiential learning as principle tenants of the learning process. Students’ attendance in class and online will give them the information, discussion, and guidance they will need to really take full advantage of their work at home. Every class or assignment missed will make the learning process more cumbersome. If you have scheduled to miss a class for any reason, please let me know as soon as YOU know, so that I have time to prepare support material for you, if applicable, for the class you will be missing. Courtesy mandates communication.

Classroom Expectations: Real learning is exciting, stimulating and tremendously interesting. It has intrinsic rewards of discovery, growth and realization. Every student should feel free to embrace the joy of learning without distraction. In this class, students are encouraged to put in the effort to take every thought captive to obedience in Jesus Christ, ready to give an answer with gentleness and respect, considering one another ahead of themselves. Nothing will be permitted in the classroom which distracts students from the thrilling process of learning. All students should come to class ready to be attentive, courteous, interactive and teachable.

Assignment Criteria: Overviews of assignments are given in blocks, in order to give you the flexibility which is so important to the homeschool experience. It is the student’s responsibility to make specific time commitments for completion of reading assignments and submission of posts and papers, and to manage time and activities properly in order to keep those commitments, completing as-signments thoughtfully and with excellence. This process takes practice and may be difficult at first. However, with perseverance it becomes an automatic and valuable skill. I will be there to guide you with this process, if you would like assistance. Some work will be due weekly, and reading (or listening to audio books) will be necessary almost every day to absorb the original sources assigned.

Growth in life is based, to a large degree, on perseverance. Because of the nature of student centered teaching, students will get just as much benefit (guidance, feedback, help and growth) as they contribute of their own effort to the learning process. It’s that simple. For example, if you want to be an excellent reader, and are willing to review your reading material say, eight or ten different ways, you will glean more from the reading and subsequent discussions. Your questions and comments are encouraged, and I will respond respectfully and thoughtfully to any question you ask. I will give constructive feedback and guidance on your discoveries and analysis as much as you have interest. Basically, you get the benefit of a skilled mentor to help you move toward your objectives in proportion to your own perseverance and use of available resources, throughout the time you are in the US History class. Please make sure you send any email to BALMInstitute@gmail.com and put “HEART US History” and the student’s name in the subject line.

The online tools will provide information from which an evaluation can be created as a record of accomplishment for students planning to attend college. I will also be available to all families, at any time, to answer questions about assignments completed, challenges and accomplishments, participation, or recommendations for future work.

Workload: All classes taught by Gail Efting are student and family centered. You, as teacher of record, will be evaluating whether your student will be working at middle, high school, or honors levels (Gail Efting can help you with that). There are several ways to determine workload, based on how you plan to evaluate course credit. Determination before the class begins, of the method to be used, makes the workload planning and record keeping process much easier. Two common methods of valuation are by time (based on the number of hours of coursework completed in the year) and by competency (based on the actual performance of the student in the area of study).

Time based methods (called Carnegie hours) are used by most school systems, as the time spent is easy to track. But I recommend the competency method, because this method is actually more student centered. Competency measurements allow the student to interact with the content and process as long (or as little) as is necessary for acceptable performance in each area of study. This gives the student the opportunity to learn how to become a self-directed, life-long learner. Competency based measures are more effective in allowing students to work to mastery in areas of interest, by stimulating learning autonomy (a very important capacity, if they intend to go to college or get a job). Honors work requires more time and effort, of course, but in an area of passion, it is well worth while to allow time and energy for work to this level. The online system will keep track of assignments and commentaries completed, records of posts, and any other project materials the student chooses to store there. Please contact Gail Efting if you would like to discuss any of this further.

Materials:

AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE WORLD NOTE BOOK or electronic equivalent (please make sure the student brings this notebook every week) must include;

  • Notebook dividers including sections labeled;
  • Weekly Commentaries
  • Analytical Notes & Supporting Documents
  • New Words and Definitions
  • Notes
  • Research Materials
  • Written Analysis / Feedback

If your student is using an electronic device instead of a ‘hard’ notebook, these sections will be set up for you in the BALM Pathwright System, with all required information and file spaces ready to go for each category.

Curriculum:

  • A History of the American People, Johnson
  • The Consequences of Ideas, Sproul
  • Original works or living history materials, as assigned – If you send your BALMPathwright registration email before 6/10/20, an optional American History summer reading list will be emailed to you.
  • Recommended Reference: The Little, Brown Compact Handbook
  • Other Available Resources: Omnibus III, VI, or America’s Providential History

Honors:

  • Vindicating the Founders, West
  • Promised Land, Crusader State, Mcdougall
  • Modern Times, Johnson
  • Additional materials as recommended
  • About Your Instructor located at the end of this document.

Contacting the Teacher: If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to send Gail Efting an e-mail. Please make sure you put, “HEART American History”, your name, and your topic in the subject line of your e-mail.

Teacher Assistant Position Available: One TA position is currently available for this class. If you would like to enjoy some lively discussions with curious and insightful students, about a selection of powerful original works (or support the class in a more ‘behind the scenes’ way) please send Gail Efting an e-mail immediately.

Assignments before classes begin:

As soon as you read through this Info Sheet, send Gail Efting an e-mail. In the subject line enter “HEART US HISTORY” and your name. As soon as confirmation of your registration for this class has been received, you will be sent a student ID and password by email, from BALMpathwright. (Make sure you check you spam folder, in case your system rejects it.) Please go online, to the URL given, and begin the intro process for this course. You will be asked to complete sign up and answer several questions before classes begins. Please make sure you have set up your student account online no later than Aug. 25th.