Are you ready to teach high school social studies this year? Worried about what to cover and how to know when to do it? Whether you’re having your students cover American History, World History, Government/Civics, or Economics, chances are good you’re involved in your students’ social studies curriculum. This year, don’t spend a ton of money on it. Instead, look around at the various ways in which you can teach these topics at no cost!
What’s Included in High School Social Studies?
A high school social studies course covers a variety of topics your students have probably dabbled in over the years. Such topics usually include American History, World History, government (also referred to as “civics”), and economics.
Social studies classes seek to equip students with the knowledge of the world as a whole. Not only will students learn about their own country; they’ll also learn about other countries and come to understand the intricacies of how they’re all connected. Toward the end of their high school years, students usually take a government class which will help prepare them to become active voters. An economics supplement can further enhance this knowledge and can help students understand how the economy plays a role in government and in their lives.
Planning Your High School Social Studies Curriculum
At the outset, we hinted at various topics you might be teaching. These included two different types of history along with government and economics. Each year can be something different and unique. Take a look at just what each topic covers and decide which will fit your specific needs.
- American History – U.S. History is often split into two years. For some reason, the year 1850 always makes a good dividing point! When taught this way, part one of U.S. History ends up covering prehistoric times to 1850 while part two covers 1850 to the present times. Students will talk about the Age of Exploration and the early nineteenth century. They’ll learn about the people, technology, and cultures of each time period they study.
- World History – A high school-level world history course challenges students to think outside of what they are familiar with. Instead of only looking at what goes on in their immediate environment, high school students must now look back at the beginning of time in countries outside of their own. In doing so, students may be able to understand other cultures.
- Government – The government course high school students take counts for half a history credit. Students will learn the principles and institutions of government as well as U.S. politics and local politics.
- Economics – While this course is often taken as an elective, it’s a highly recommended elective. In this course, students learn about money and its role in their lives. They will analyze how economic decisions are made and at what costs those decisions are made. Students also learn the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics. In addition, they’ll learn about international economics and gain a better understanding of economics on a global scale.
Teaching High School Social Studies for Free
Ready to tackle high school social studies? You can pull together teach high school social studies for FREE! See what we’ve collected this time!
- As always, Easy Peasy offers FREE homeschool curriculum for grades K-12. We thought we’d include it here specifically for their free social studies offerings. They offer a four-year plan specifically for homeschooling high school social studies topics.
- Clickschooling offers free homeschool curriculum videos in several subject areas including the social sciences.
- American Heritage offers several programs that you can use to supplement lessons in American History.
- America’s Heritage: An Adventure In Liberty – this is a full K-12 curriculum that’s been teacher-tested. The book has a fee but the PDF pages are free.
- If you have competitive students on your hand, they may enjoy the American History and Western Civilization social studies challenge bowl!
- Miracle of America provides insight on American History from a Biblical point of view.
- Free World U offers FREE online homeschool curriculum for grades K-12. You do have to register to see all of their offerings, but it’s available on a “Basic” plan for free and with other plans at cost.
- Eyewitness to History is definitely a site to bookmark! If you’re looking for eyewitness accounts and primary documents to supplement your high school social studies program, this is the site for you!
Teaching high school social studies in your homeschool is actually quite simple! With the four-year plan that most people follow, you’ll know what to cover each year and how to get it done simply. Bonus: you can even include primary sources – such as original documents – in your studies all at NO cost to you!