Foundations of America, Part I: U.S. History & Government 1492-1783
Instructors: Erik and Jen Petersen
Approx. Materials Cost: $92 (these will be used again 2nd semester)
Dates/Time: Thursdays 6:00-7:00pm | Aug. 25, 2022 – Dec. 15, 2022
Grade Level: 11th & 12th grade (recommended)
Credits: 1 per semester (120 hrs) Max # of students: 20
Description: This is part one of a two-part class. The first semester covers 1492-1783, the second semester covers 1783-1877. We are taking two semesters to cover what most classes cover in one because we believe that to understand American history and government, students need a thorough understanding of our founding. We aren’t just interested in students learning names and dates – we want students to have a deeper understanding of the philosophies that helped to create our nation and the why’s be hind each key event. The historical figures and philosophies of our founding are in dan ger of being rewritten and/or erased unless we teach them to the rising generation. As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinc tion. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protect ed and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Over the course of both semesters, students will take a deep dive into key events in U.S. History such as exploration, the American colonies, the War for Independence, Founding Era, slavery, and the Civil War. They will study our Founding Fathers and un derstand concepts including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the real story of Thanksgiving, capitalism vs. socialism, detecting bias in media and more. Students will learn how to apply the principles of the Constitution to our country today by studying the original intent of the framers. Semester one begins with explorations of Christopher Columbus (1492) and ends with the War for American Independence (1783).
It is impossible to study US History and government without studying the influence of Christianity and the role of God in our nation’s founding; therefore, our course will be taught from a Christian worldview. As Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
1. United States History: Heritage of Freedom in Christian Perspective – Fourth Edition (Abeka – approx. $50)
2. “The American Story” by David Barton ($25)
3. “A Republic If You Can Keep It” Student Membership** (Patriot Academy – $17)
**Per Patriot Academy, “the topics, material, testing, and review tools included with this digital course will prepare you to immediately take the CLEP exam and if passed, earn 3 hours of College Credit accepted at many colleges and universities across the Nation.”
Typical homework assignments each week are made up of the following for a total of approximately 7 hours per week. Assignments will prepare students to participate in class discussions the following week.
• 1 hour: Read one chapter from textbook (10-15 pages) and supplemental articles (20-30 pages)
• 1 hour: Assigned videos
• 30 min: Online Quiz – automatically graded
• 1 hour: Weekly Discussion questions
• 2 hours: Work on final research project (due May 2023)
• 2 hours: Read from Suggested Reading List
- 50% Quizzes (all quiz scores for semester averaged together)
- 25% Semester Final Exam
- 25% Project Assignments (all project scores for semester averaged together)
We will use a 7-point grading scale (A = 93-100, B = 85-92, C = 77-84, D = 70-76, F = 0-69)
We will keep track of grades for our own knowledge of how effective our teaching has been. Parents can choose to track their students’ progress on their own and/or we can also provide a report to any parent of their student’s progress upon request. All grades will be reported via email at the end of the semester within 5 business days after the last class.
About Your Instructors
Erik & Jen met through their church band in 2006 and were married 13 months later in 2007. Jen graduated from Wingate University in 2004 with a B.S. in Middle School Education, then taught 6th grade Social Studies in Rockingham County from 2007 to 2011. Since then, she has been in customer service and management in the veterinary field. Erik attended UNCG for music, was a first aid and self-defense instructor, and was a community choir director in Cary from 2012 to 2019. He also went to pastry school so don’t be surprised if you find baked goods in class! Erik is currently working on his CDL certification so he is helping to develop our curriculum and he’ll be in class as much as possible!
In their free time, Erik and Jen enjoy spending time with their dog, the most adorable Boxer mix on Earth, Lucy (they’re not biased). And of course, they are history nerds at heart so you’ll also find them reading and traveling – usually to somewhere with colonial history like Williamsburg, VA (where they honeymooned), Alexandria, VA, or their favorite place on earth – Charleston, SC.
They are currently teaching an adult Constitution class through Patriot Academy and are so excited to now be teaching at THRC!