Early American History

Spring Semester (13 weeks, begins Monday, January 8)

“The class is amazing, jam-packed with great facts and information on American history. The class offers a great selection of literature titles that offer an opportunity to examine American history from a different perspective. My daughter and I have learned so much!

– Rania E., homeschool mom

Ages: Grades 5-6

Class meets: Mondays at 1pm (60-75 minutes*)

Semester tuition: $360 ($50 discount for private pay*)

*Private Pay: Payable in 3 installments of $103.33


Instructor: John Herwig

Openings: 2

My hope at the end of this class is students will have a clear and joyful understanding of America’s great journey from its profound discovery to its declaration of freedom and liberty for all.

More information

  • Fall and spring semesters run 13 weeks each; both semesters are the same tuition.
  • Students who sign up for this class are committing to two semesters, fall and spring.
  • To hold an enrollment spot, charter families will need to place a $25 deposit; the deposit is refundable once the PO is received, subject to our refund policy.

Questions? Contact John Herwig for course questions, or Christine Echeverri for registration-related questions.

Course Description

This class will cover early American history from Columbus to the Civil War. The approach will be from a literature perspective and discussion-based, with the classes covering the historical setting, main events, and background for those books. Students will read a handful of books and excerpts covering Native Americans, colonization, the Revolutionary War, important American government documents, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War. Students will also at the end of each segment either write a paper, poem/song, or perform a dramatic interpretation or do a project involving a diorama or model to solidify their understanding of the topics they learned. At the end of each semester, there will also be a cursory summary of the key points made throughout the semester and discussing with the students what they have learned. The main goal of this course is to have the students learn of the discovery, founding, and turmoil of the United States and the key figures, battles, places, and dates in order to understand the great story of America, both its achievements and failings.

Class FAQs

What are the semester themes?

Fall Semester: Discovery, Turmoil, and Liberty

  • Land Ho’ – Discovery of America
  • Witches, Puritans, Native Americans, and Religious Freedom – Colonies
  • The Shot Heard ‘Round the World – The Revolutionary War

Spring Semester – Government, Expansion, and Freedom

  • “We the People” – American Government 
  • Blood, Sweat, and Trails of Tears – Westward Expansion
  • A House Divided – The Civil War

Over the course of the year, what topics will be covered?

  • Discovery of the New World
  • The Aftermath of the New World’s Discovery
  • Native American Life
  • The Puritans and the Mayflower
  • Life in the Colonies
  • Salem Witch Trials
  • Seven Years War 
  • The Revolutionary War
  • Life during the Revolutionary War
  • The Constitution
  • The Declaration of Independence 
  • War of 1812
  • Westward Expansion
  • Trail of Tears
  • Railroads, Cowboys and Gold Rush
  • Slavery
  • The Civil War
  • Life during the Civil War

Do you take California charter funds?

  • Yes, we do! See our Service Vendorship list for an up-to-date list of charters.
  • Purchase Order (PO) instructions can be found at the bottom of this page.
  • For families wishing to use funds, a $25 deposit is required to a hold space in a class. The deposit will be refunded when PO arrives, subject to our refund policy.
  • Don’t see your charter on our list? Fill out this form so we can reach out to your organization!

What are the required books and materials?

Books (with additional notes about available digital and audio formats)

What is the semester schedule?

  • Fall: September 11 – December 11 [13 weeks of class with 1 week off for Thanksgiving Break]
  • Spring: January 8 – April 25 [13 weeks of class with 3 weeks off: Spring Break, MLK, President’s Day]

*Why does this class have a time range?

This course may extend to 75 minutes, if the group is large. For a smaller group, 60 minutes may be adequate.

What are the required platforms?

Zoom and Google Classroom are the two essential platforms that the students will use to attend class and receive and submit assignments.

What type of parent support is needed?

Students will need their parent’s help viewing their assignments, making sure they understand the requirements, and help as necessary with the projects throughout the school year. There will be a project at the end of each historical time period, with a variety of options.

Estimated weekly work

Each week students will read the assigned literature selection, which will take an estimated 1 hour to 2 hours per week, as well as participating and discussing the reading in class.

What are your registration and cancellation policies?

See this page for policies.

For more answers to your questions, see our Class FAQ page.


Spring 2024

For billing purposes, please request purchase orders using monthly interval price below (instead of the whole semester length).

  • Vendor: Christine Echeverri DBA Carrier Shell Curriculum
  • Instructor name: John Herwig
  • Class: Group tutoring – Early American History Online Class
  • Start date: January 8, 2024
    • Semester end date: April 25, 2024
  • Duration of each lesson: 60-75 minutes* [see time note above]
  • Frequency: once per week for 4 months (see schedule above)
  • Cost per month – Spring semester: $90 x 4 mos. (Jan.-Apr.)
    • Semester tuition: $360
  • Class link: https://carriershellcurriculum.com/classes/history-classes/early-american-history/