Modern World History through Literature for High School


High school is a great time to mentor your teens in what they do best. All of our teens have a specialty and you don’t have to spend much time here to know that one of our teens is a history buff. He’s all in. Isaac volunteers for our local history center and works with an archivist on annotating World War I archives. When it comes to history curriculum, he’s very discerning. In fact, homeschooling high school curriculum for modern World History is not easy to find. Modern World History through Literature for High School is a look at Beautiful Feet’s Modern U.S. & World History, a program built around non-fiction and fiction literature.

tall stack of history books with a plain background and the title on top

Disclaimer: I received the Beautiful Feet Modern American & World History for High School and was compensated for my time in writing this post. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Without a doubt, one of my senior’s favorite past times is reading about history.

Specifically, he loves biographies.

If that’s true for your teens, then you will enjoy this curated list of historical literature.

Modern World History in High School

We often focus on the early parts of American & World History and sometimes it’s difficult to be intentional about getting further along in time with our studies.

Maybe that’s because when we get to a new level of teaching at middle or high school, we start at the beginning again at the new level and we never quite save time for more modern history beyond the two World Wars.

Beautiful Feet’s Modern US and World History program helps you to be intentional.

  • At the heart of the curriculum are living books
  • The approach to history is through literature
  • There’s not a lot of overhead and prep for a busy homeschool mom
  • Gives a guide that is thorough for both fiction and non-fiction selections from history
  • The guide is flexible
  • Combines literature and history to earn a high school credit for both
  • All the answers are provided for discussion and essay questions
  • Covers modern wars through the struggle for freedom in the 20th and 21st centuries

Benefits of Using Beautiful Feet’s Modern U.S. & World History

high school senior holding a Churchill book with a smile

We enjoyed our time with this curriculum.

This year we created a course called World Leaders & Cultural Influencers for our high school senior.

The purpose was to do a survey of significant men and women in history and read biographies and a bit about the culture they lived in.

Beautiful Feet’s Modern U.S. & World History provided the perfect resources for a portion of his studies.

Here are some of the benefits of using this program:

  • Geared toward older high school students
  • Provides critical thinking opportunities through literature
  • Covers Civil War & Reconstruction to the modern wars
  • Includes United States history along with cultures and history from around the world
  • Each selection addresses an area of character development
  • Guides the student through the books giving context and vocabulary
  • Cost effective program for a dense guide and a set of quality books
book page

A Word on Literature Choice for High School

This review would not be complete without addressing the book selections for this curriculum.

As with any book, you need to know your teen.

It is true that as our teens get older, we do not need to micromanage their reading choices and this curriculum is designed for 11th and 12th graders.

However, if you have a sensitive teen or one who is prone to anxious thoughts, depression, or has suffered previous abuse, there are a few books in this program that I would avoid.

While, the specific titles chosen offer a perspective important to history, you need to discern whether your teen can handle the content.

For example, The Kite Runner has an explicit account of sexual abuse. To Kill a Mockingbird involves a rape. Some of the other titles contain graphic information about war.

The curriculum is flexible enough to use without using every title. In fact, you might even find alternative books that approach the same time period in the back of the manual.

Free Guide for Learning about Good Books

Sometimes you just need some help in figuring out which is a good book to use in your homeschool with your kids and teens.

Download this free guide from Beautiful Feet Books.

More Curriculum from Beautiful Feet

a teen boy doing a science experiment
  • How to Teach Science with History with & Beautiful Feet Books– this program is for middle school and teaches the history of science. You get to experience biographies of scientists along with experiments and science concepts. This is a hands down favorite in our homeschool!
  • Choosing Homeschool High School Curriculum– Do you know how to choose the right curriculum with your teen? This post gives guidance on how to decide that for yourselves. Beautiful Feet’s Modern U.S. & World History meets our criteria for flexibility.

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