American history is so much more than just memorizing dates, events, facts, and figures... studying U.S. history helps your child in the long run by:
DEVELOPING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
Reading and analyzing historical documents teaches children to become careful readers. What rights do the First Amendment really give U.S. citizens? How important is propaganda when it comes to war? Learning U.S. history gives students a chance to become skeptical of biases and independent thinkers.
STRENGTHENING QUALITIES LIKE EMPATHY & COMPASSION
Chances are, living in a foreign country has already opened your child's eyes to different cultures. They see how different the world is and how unique each person they meet can be-- history lessons just broaden that awareness. Discovering the hardships and sacrifices other people endured-- even just within the context of U.S. history-- can help children develop compassion, tolerance, and empathy in new ways.
GIVING YOUR CHILD A SENSE OF WHERE THEY CAME FROM
Some kids have only known life abroad and they have little knowledge or connection to life in the U.S.
Learning American history can help kids understand where they come from and provide them with a sense of identity.
It'll help them appreciate sacrifices and struggles of their ancestors and even help them develop a sense of patriotism and pride in their country. An international or local education may give them a greater sense of the history of the world-- which is important as well-- but U.S. history shows your student where they fit into it all.
HELPING THEM UNDERSTAND HOW CULTURES EVOLVE
The U.S., although still a relatively young nation, has seen many eras and ages. History lessons show students how society and culture change and evolve over time and how much one generation can affect the next.
DEVELOPING THEIR APPRECIATION FOR THEIR SURROUNDINGS WHILE ABROAD
The United States is a melting pot of cultures. As children learn more about how the nation came to be-- and the diverse cultures and people who made it so-- they'll cultivate an appreciation for whatever country they currently call home.
Living abroad while studying U.S. history is a unique opportunity for children to connect to the subject on a completely different level.
Perhaps in your most well-intentioned moments, you made a commitment to look into history programs for your child.
You jotted ideas down in a notepad, asked other expat moms what resources they’re using, clicked on a few websites that came recommended, and maybe even purchased a few "American history for kids" books.
If you’re really ambitious, maybe you even invested in a box of American history books, assuring yourself that you’ll read them with your child “one of these days.”
But even with the best intentions, most parents end up putting American history lessons on the back burner and allow another year of their child falling behind to go by.
Here's why most expat kids are behind in American history:
Without an organized outline and chronological and comprehensive lessons, most kids are unable to get through all of the material that is expected of them from year to year.
They fall victim to a lack of clarity on what dates, facts, & characters they should be learning about and not knowing what is expected of them.
Here's why this is distressing.
American history and civics are required subjects taught in kindergarten through 8th grade in American public schools.
You’ll find questions on these topics on every standardized test beginning as early as the third grade.
And your child will certainly be expected to know American history when taking a college entrance exam like the ACT or SAT.
In other words, kids need to know this stuff!
Also, you literally never know when your family might have to return to the States. Maybe your next assignment will be back in Washington D.C., maybe you’ll be faced with a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) or, due to a natural disaster or political unrest, you’ll be forced to depart post unexpectedly.
Therefore, choosing the right resources for your child’s American history and civics education is something you NEED to get right the first time in this expat lifestyle.
And luckily for you (and your child), the U.S. government also sees the importance of providing U.S. history courses for your kid while you’re serving overseas because they actually reimburse you for the cost of tuition.
Even if you’re late to the party, there’s still a golden opportunity for you to jump in and get your child the American history lessons that they need to keep up with their Stateside peers.
That is… if your patriotic family continues to place your child’s education as a high priority.
Between after-school activities and R&Rs, your child’s schedule is jam packed.
You can’t possibly imagine putting anything else on their plate.
Don’t kids need time to be bored? Will history lessons take away from their screen time? (Okay, maybe this isn’t YOUR concern, but it’s what your kid is thinking, right?)
Most parents worry that their child is being stretched too thin and may break under a heavy load. But the thing is, busy kids tend to be the most CAPABLE when it comes to managing their time.
Keeping up with American history requirements is important enough to MAKE time for.
(Besides, we’re really only talking about 30-45 minutes per lesson.)
There are so many fantastic books available that create a love for U.S. history.
It’s tempting to purchase a big box of them for your child to use to learn about our country.
But the thing is, kids learn best when a variety (videos, music, fun sheets, games, activities AND BOOKS) of mediums are curated together.
This method will provide your child with a comprehensive American history education. One that will guide them step-by-step through the periods of U.S. history in chronological order.
Time to make sure that your child learns ALL of the events, dates, speeches, key figures, and concepts that are required for each specific grade.
How well does coordinating with a teacher or a rigid study schedule fit into your family’s priorities?
I imagine you want the freedom to explore your host city and neighboring countries?
Listen, as important as American history is for your child to learn, it’s NOT a subject that requires private instruction or frequent practice, like math.
Giving kids some freedom to work through the material at their OWN PACE creates good time management habits that will be an invaluable skill down the road.
A self-paced online course provides options. Some options include weekly (one day a week after school or on a weekend morning), Netflix binge-style during school breaks, or gradually over the summer.
Even though American history studies is required in public school-- it’s not taught in International schools.
Now, sometimes an International school will include bits and pieces of the American historical timeline, but not in a comprehensive chronological way.
And the main reason for this, as you already know, is that American students make up a very small portion of the student body.
However, keeping up with their American peers in U.S. history is SO IMPORTANT and worth making time for.
You can help your child avoid the burden of being saddled with literally, hundreds of years worth of material, by giving them the chance to learn little by little throughout their early educational years.
The key ingredient to all of this is a self-paced, online American history course.
We’ve taken every requirement from the Virginia State Standards of Learning for American history and civics and have made sure to cover each and every topic in our curriculum.
Yes, your child will experience American history through videos, music, art, interactive games, funsheets, quizzes, short writing assignments and more!
The end result: The knowledge to ace American history on any standardized test, including college entrance exams.
IS BUILT WITH BUSY EXPAT KIDS IN MIND
Brushing your teeth, attending church, writing thank you notes, completing household chores, and keeping up with American history are all important enough to MAKE TIME FOR. These courses are busy-kid approved.
MEETS THE ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS IN U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Events, dates, speeches & figures are ALL included so that your child gets a comprehensive American history education as outlined by the Standards of Learning Guidelines.
CREATES GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT HABITS
Allowing kids to work at their own pace fosters an important skill around how to divvy up their time. Our fun weekly email reminder is the perfect gentle nudge that keeps kids moving forward in their lessons.
So if you’re ready to finally ready to help your child keep up in American history and avoid saddling them with a daunting work load in the future, here’s how we’ll get you there.
Let me say this upfront.
U.S. History Abroad is the most comprehensive American history program designed for busy expat kids living abroad who are COMMITTED to keeping up with their American public school peers.
Each course is highly curated and filled with the precise content that your child needs.
Now here’s the kicker.
The cost of tuition is 100% reimbursable.
All that’s required is that you meet each of the following criteria:
1. You currently live overseas.
2. One parent is an employee by the U.S. State Department, U.S. AID, or LEGAT.
3. Your child is between kindergarten and 8th grade.
4. American history is not taught in your child’s grade.
Once you register your child, you’ll receive an auto-generated email with a receipt and a Done-For-You email template where you just fill in the blanks with your personal information and easily send it to your Financial Management Office (FMO) for reimbursement.
If for any reason, your FMO denies your claim, simply forward their rejection letter to me and I will personally process a full refund of your tuition for you within 24 hours. (This has only happened once to date.)
What if my child is already super busy?
This is probably the question that gets asked the most which is why our courses follow a Busy-Kid Approved Plan!
You’ve probably heard the adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”
Well, the truth of the matter is that our most engaged students are the ones who are juggling school, after-school activities, extracurriculars, sports, volunteering, etc.
Why? Because they are figuring out how to look ahead and manage their time.
What a wonderful life skill to cultivate RIGHT NOW!
Hundreds of busy expat kids go through our courses. (And remember, we’re only talking about 30-45 minutes per lesson.)
Will this course be enough?
Your child is going to learn all of the events, dates, speeches, key figures, and concepts that are listed on the American history portion of the Standards of Learning Guidelines for Virginia public schools.
Each course is comprehensive and will give them a variety of mediums (videos, music, funsheets, games, activities, book suggestions) to learn the material.
So, YES! This course is all your child needs to keep up!
Can't my child wait to take an American history or civics course in high school?
I like to use the analogy of dirty dishes here.
Could you stack your dirty dishes in the sink instead of rinsing and placing them in the dishwasher after each use?
You could. But at the end of the day, it makes for a pretty lofty chore to scrub the dried up spaghetti sauce off the plates and utensils and then load them into the dishwasher.
If you took a little bit of time to work on the task in smaller, more manageable bits, it probably wouldn’t even feel like you were working!
The same goes for learning American history.
Kids will need to know this stuff as they prepare for college entrance exams (like the SAT or ACT) and you’re not going to want to saddle them with “a sink full of dirty dishes to clean up” just before test time.
Invest in the time to get familiar with the material now so that it’s not the least bit daunting later on.
Is there any student-teacher interaction?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Especially in the upper-level courses (Courses C - F), kids are asked to turn in 3-5 sentence writing assignments at the end of each lesson.
And selfishly, this is MY favorite part about the courses because I get to read short narratives on what historical topics the student found to be most interesting during each lesson.
I have one student who ends every lesson narrative with “Thank you so much for teaching me this information. I can’t wait for the next lesson.” (She’s my favorite. shhhhh.)
I don't want to argue with my child about adding extra work to their plate.
I have 3 kiddos of my own so I totally get this concern!
Sometimes our kids suck the life out of us and we don’t have the energy to argue with them (even if it’s for their own good.)
Well, here’s an awesome tactic that was suggested from one of the brilliant parents in our Foreign Service community-- Use the $150 Amazon gift card as a “carrot” throughout the course and let the child spend $50 each time they complete ten lessons.
For kids that are intrinsically motivated, these lessons are perfect because students feel so proud and patriotic & just plain SMART after watching a lesson. (Parents, watch out! Your child may surpass your level of American history knowledge…)
How long do we have access to the course?
Each course is made up of 30 lessons that students have access to until August 31st.
Some kids work on one lesson a week throughout the school year.
Others like to binge Netflix-style on lessons during fall, winter, and spring breaks.
A few kiddos like to put off working on their course until the summer.
You and your child can come up with a plan that works best for them.
There are no set times that students must log onto the course.
Unlike other programs where you have to juggle your schedule with a teacher or tutor, our program is self-paced and can be completed on YOUR schedule.
What if I can't get reimbursed?
We created these courses based on the history and social studies guidelines from the Virginia State Standards of Learning. (The State mandated requirements that teachers need to teach for each subject and grade level).
This means that the material covered in our lessons is REQUIRED learning for students who attend Virginia public schools.
Because of this, it’s very unlikely that your Financial Management Office will not reimburse you for your child’s tuition if:
1. You currently live overseas.
2. One parent is employed by the U.S. State Department, U.S. AID, or LEGAT.
3. Your child is between kindergarten through 8th grade.
4. American history is not taught in your child’s grade.
However, to give you peace of mind before purchasing, we offer a Simple Reimbursement Guarantee.
Can you remind me of what I'm getting when I sign up my child today?
Absolutely! You’ll get access to a grade-appropriate American history course that is comprehensive and follows what is being taught in public school.
You’ll also receive a $150 Amazon gift card to use to purchase American history books and games.
You want your child to keep up with their American peers in history and civics lessons that are required in each grade in public school.
You want your child to feel patriotic and understand why your family chose a life in the Foreign Service.
You don’t believe that your child should have to sacrifice this part of their education because of their overseas lifestyle.
There’s a chance that your family will return to the States and you need to make sure that your child will be academically prepared.
You’re looking for a comprehensive course that teaches in chronological order.
You want a guided program that will engage your child.
You want to give them a leg up on college entrance exams (and even elementary and middle school standardized tests).
You want the peace of mind of a Simple Reimbursement Guarantee.
Did you catch yourself nodding your head?
I can't wait to meet your child inside U.S. History Abroad's online courses for expat kids!
Copyright 2018, U.S. History Abroad, LLC