American History
a new curriculum resource by Thomas S. Kidd

Introducing American History, a new curriculum resource by Thomas S. Kidd

“This clear and even-handed account cuts against the banality we find in most history textbooks today.”

—David Goodwin, president, Association of Classical Christian Schools

In winsome, fluid prose, Thomas Kidd expertly surveys America’s political, religious, and cultural history, creating a resource that is both academically sound and intellectually engaging. 

This curriculum is perfectly suited for high school students or collegiate courses, and it provides everything you need to homeschool your student for an entire school year. American History is available as a single, combined edition or as two individual volumes, so you only have to purchase exactly what you need. 

Chapter-by-chapter discussion questions, quizzes, and PowerPoint slides are all available for free, upon request from the publisher. These materials may be copied and modified to suit the needs of each classroom, but may not be licensed, sold, or reproduced for profit.

About Thomas S. Kidd

Thomas S. Kidd is distinguished professor of history and associate director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He also serves as distinguished visiting professor of church history at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He regularly contributes to outlets such as The Gospel Coalition, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. His books include American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths and Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father.

About B&H Academic

B&H Academic Publishing is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. B&H Academic is dedicated to providing resources for undergraduate and graduate theological education, as well as pastors and ministry leaders. We work alongside authors, professors, and pastors who are at the top of their fields in order to publish biblically faithful resources, which are academically challenging, promote the academy, and champion the church.


American History, Combined Edition, 1492-Present

In this combined edition, the full content of volumes 1 and 2 of Thomas Kidd’s American History are brought together in a single, accessible textbook. This sweeping narrative spans the full scope of American history from the first Native American societies to the political and cultural struggles of contemporary times. In clear, readable prose, and with attention to well-known and more obscure figures from American history, Kidd gives a robust account of the events, people, and ideas that gave shape to our nation.

Students will come away from American History well-informed, and better prepared to wrestle with the political and cultural changes that have dramatically transformed contemporary American life.

American History, Volume 1, 1492-1877

American History, volume 1 surveys the broad sweep of American history from the first Native American societies to the end of the Reconstruction period, following the Civil War. Drawing on a deep range of research and years of classroom teaching experience, Thomas S. Kidd offers students an engaging overview of the first half of American history. The volume features illuminating stories of people from well-known presidents and generals, to lesser-known men and women who struggled under slavery and other forms of oppression to make their place in American life. The role of Christianity in America is central in this book. Americans’ faith sometimes inspired awakenings and the search for an equitable society, but at other times it justified violence and inequality. 

Students will come away from American History, volume 1 better prepared to grapple with the challenges presented by the history of America’s founding, the problem of slavery, and our nation’s political tradition.

American History, Volume 2, 1877-Present

American History, volume 2 gives a wide overview of America’s history from the end of the Civil War era, to the political and cultural struggles of contemporary times. Thomas S. Kidd employs lessons learned from his own scholarly expertise and history classes to weave together a compelling narrative of the defeats and triumphs that have defined the American national experience. Unlike many textbooks of modern American history, religion and faith remain central aspects of the book’s coverage, through present-day America. It gives detailed treatment of episodes such as America’s military conflicts, the Civil Rights movement, and the culture wars of the past half-century. Professor Kidd also considers the development of America’s obsession with entertainment, from the rise of the first movies, to the social media age. American History, volume 2 will help students wrestle with the political and cultural changes that have dramatically transformed contemporary American life

Praise for American History

“Thomas Kidd has succeeded well in providing a high-quality American history text that integrates the usual political and social history with its religious dimensions.”
—George Marsden, professor of history emeritus, University of Notre Dame

“Thomas Kidd explores the entirety of American history in this carefully researched and clearly written text. It is an ideal book for students new to American history as well as for older readers who would like a sprightly, objective, and discerning refresher.”
—Mark Noll, professor of history emeritus, University of Notre Dame, and research professor of history, Regent College

“There has long been a need for a survey textbook that gives balanced attention to the important role of Christianity in American history. Thomas Kidd’s American History admirably meets that need and much more.”

—Samuel Smith, graduate program director, history department chair, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

“This American history textbook sets a new standard for balanced treatment of political and cultural issues.”

—Susan Hanssen, associate professor of history, history department chair, University of Dallas, Dallas, TX

“Kudos to Thomas Kidd for returning Christianity to the narrative of American history. At the same time, he has conveyed in his measured, balanced, and accessible style, the multiethnic and multicultural tapestry that American history is, and always has been.”

—H. Paul Thompson, Jr., dean of humanities, history department chair, North Greenville University

For More Information

Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum

Sonlight is a complete, literature-based, Christian homeschool curriculum offering every subject for students from preschool through high school. 

Their comprehensive curriculum uses real books to deliver an engaging and complete education, far richer than textbooks and rote memorization. This fully-planned curriculum comes with all the materials you need, including thorough lesson plans and notes in the award-winning Instructor’s Guides, so that you can stop planning lessons and start enjoying successful homeschooling. In fact – Sonlight guarantees you’ll love the curriculum!

As the leaders in literature-rich homeschooling for thirty years, Sonlight provides you everything you need to homeschool with excellence.


Books Are at the Center of Sonlight

A Sonlight education is built around great stories— living books. And you won’t find better books than Sonlight recommended titles. Sonlight uses quality literature (like historical fiction, biographies, and award-winning titles) to teach subjects such as history, Bible, and science. Children respond more positively to great literature than to textbooks because stories give context to the information they are hearing/reading. These stories create an emotional connection with students and help them to retain the information.

Sonlight also offers academically excellent products for other subjects, including math, handwriting, language arts, hands-on activities, electives and more. Get your entire curriculum in one easy order!

All of the Sonlight homeschool materials are organized and scheduled for you in the customer-renowned Instructor’s Guides. 

Stop Planning Lessons and Start Enjoying Your Homeschool

At the core of every Sonlight program is the Instructor’s Guide (IG). The IG weaves your books and materials together into a cohesive, full-year curriculum. It is your roadmap for the entire school year… with virtually all of the planning done for you. Sonlight’s award-winning Instructor’s Guides eliminate the stress of everyday homeschool planning. Available for History / Bible / Literature, Language Arts, and Science, each IG includes a customizable schedule, complete lesson plans with notes, discussion questions, teaching tips, activities, and more for the entire year. Just open-and-go, knowing exactly what to teach every day … without any prep work! 

100% Money-back Guarantee

Order your homeschool materials with confidence! No other homeschool company offers the kind of guarantee Sonlight offers. You can take up to one year to actually use the program… then if you don’t love it, you can return the entire package for a full refund.

For 30 years, Sonlight has guaranteed their literature-based method of education will bring your family joy and academic success or you get your money back! 

Teaching Multiple Students with Sonlight Is Easy

Because quality literature is not age-specific, you can teach multiple children with one program. You’ll save time and money, and build lasting family relationships because your children are learning together. Want to know more? Visit their website to learn how to teach multiple children with Sonlight.

Curriculum Customized to Fit Your Family.

Sonlight offers every subject you need to teach.  Curriculum packages are completely customizable to meet your family’s needs. You can purchase any subject alone or for the best price and deepest discount, choose a package (History / Bible / Literature or All-Subjects Package) and customize it at checkout. Request a FREE catalog to get started.

Experience the Sonlight Difference

 Sonlight is built on five big ideas:

  1. Literature-based: Your brain processes a story in the same way it processes a real-life experience. This makes learning with literature almost effortless. Your children will thrive with this proven, highly effective approach. 
  2. Christ-centered: Sonlight helps you raise children who honor Christ in word and deed as you discover God’s love for all people. 
  3. Family-oriented: Sonlight Curriculum helps families connect as they read, talk, and learn … together. 
  4. Global outlook: Sonlighters learn about people from around the world and students are prepared to share the love of Christ with everyone around them. This curriculum equips you to raise ambassadors for Christ, with a heart for the world.
  5. Academic excellence: Sonlight is highly engaging and enjoyable. It is also rigorous, offering a liberal arts education with an emphasis in critical thinking and multiple points of view. Sonlight graduates are now engineers, missionaries, soldiers, doctors, pastors, politicians, entrepreneurs, homeschool parents, and more! 

Have Homeschool Questions?

Sonlight’s homeschool advisors have answers. You can contact them, free–anytime, to get personalized homeschool advice, encouragement, curriculum suggestions, and much more! You are not in this alone!


See what other people are saying about Sonlight #sonlightstories #sonlightboxday:

Sonlight is the best decision I’ve made. It’s what I envisioned homeschool to be, but even better. We plan on homeschooling for a long time and continue using Sonlight to guide the way!” -Ashton B, Granbury TX

We love Sonlight because it’s a literature rich curriculum and the stories get our kids thinking about different people and places all over the world as well as providing discussion points that are great for character building. We’re so grateful to have found Sonlight because we couldn’t imagine homeschooling without it!” – Elisa C, Hampton, UK

I will never cease to praise Sonlight’s easy-to-use Instructor’s Guides. With an entire year of lesson plans conveniently organized and completed for me, the stress of preparation is completely eliminated, allowing more time to nurture my kids’ blossoming passions.” — Tanya S of Austin, TX

NEW Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Check out the new age-appropriate Kindergarten program, done in Sonlight’s signature style!

In this 36-week History / Bible / Literature program (Exploring American History), you’ll give your students their first taste of American history. Discover the stories of key events and important people in American history. 

You’ll cover the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, “The Star-Spangled Banner,”, and much more. Add on Science and get your Kindergartener thinking like a scientist!

Available in either 4- or 5-Day.

Exploring American History
History / Bible / Literature K

Ecosystems, Meteorology, Physics, and Engineering Design


Get started FREE with Sonlight today.

The Good and the Beautiful Homeschool Curriculum

The Good and the Beautiful has brought joy, ease, and goodness back into homeschooling! With homeschool curriculum and resources for every subject, children love the engaging content, and parents love the strong academics, open-and-go simplicity, and affordability. Each course is carefully created with a general Christian worldview, focusing not on the doctrine of any particular Christian church but instead teaching advanced academics while connecting children to the good and the beautiful in life and in learning. They offer many beautiful, academically solid courses, including full-year language arts courses for free along with extensive samples on so be sure to head over and check them out!


The Good and the Beautiful’s highly acclaimed Language Arts homeschool curriculum, levels PreK–12, combines multiple subjects into one, connecting learning and eliminating the need for 6 to 7 different courses. Covering reading, phonics, grammar, spelling, writing, literature, geography, and art in easy open-and-go courses, learning is both easy and effective. Their FREE Language Arts curriculum courses (Levels 1–5) are comprehensive, beautiful, and open-and-go, and have been downloaded over one million times. Families are raving about the unmatched beauty and quality of every one of their products.


The Good and the Beautiful homeschool Math curriculum is carefully designed to target all learning styles, avoid unneeded busy work, and make lessons concise and easy to teach all while being extremely engaging and thorough. Musical Multiplication, a revolutionary new product, is a fun, new, easy way to learn multiplication facts! Children learn quickly and easily through vibrant images and beautiful multiplication songs.


Family-style History homeschool curriculum courses for grades 1–12 make teaching multiple ages at once simple and enjoyable. Each course covers ancient through modern history, stopping in different places and time periods to explore in depth. With interactive activities, audio dramatizations, games, and Student Explorers, which expand learning for older students, the courses emphasize God and character and are engaging for the whole family!


The Good and the Beautiful’s one-of-a-kind, family-style Science Units guide children grades K–8 through an exploration of the beautiful world around them while diving deep into subjects such as space, weather, chemistry, and more. Their Marine Biology science unit is available as a FREE download so you can explore the beauty and ease of this unique homeschool science curriculum for yourself.


Children love the beautiful Handwriting courses (Levels PreK–7) where they learn print and cursive handwriting combined with fun, engaging activities that emphasize a love of beautiful art while building fine motor skills.

The Good and the Beautiful also offers many Electives, including Typing, Nature Notebooks, Creative Writing Notebooks, Drawing, and Creative Arts & Crafts.


One of their newest additions is The Good and the Beautiful Library, with over a hundred books that parents can be sure are of the highest literary and moral value. With original publications and republished literary treasures, engaging, enjoyable books can be found for all ages. The Good and the Beautiful’s FREE Book List provides suggestions and reviews of hundreds of books for parents seeking the best children’s books and literature for their families.

The Good and the Beautiful is on a mission to bring goodness and beauty into the hearts and homes of families through the highest academic standards. The best part is that they make it easy to see if their curriculum is right for your family by offering extensive samples of each course on their website. They also offer FREE homeschool curriculum including levels 1–5 of their Language Arts course sets as well as their Marine Biology Science Unit! CLICK HERE to head over now and see the quality and beauty of their curriculum for yourself!

With a 5-star rating from hundreds of families, what are users of The Good and the Beautiful saying?

“The best curriculum I have found in our seven years of home education! Love it, all subjects.” Stacy P.

“Love this curriculum! It’s exactly what I needed! Easy to follow, open and go for me as the teacher, beautifully put together, and covers everything we need!! I’m so happy I found this curriculum!” Rebekah H.

“Our favorite curriculum! I have 5 kids and [The Good and the Beautiful] makes teaching them so easy. Everything is written out and open and go. My kids enjoy the bright colors and engaging activities. I love that things are mastered and reviewed!” Lacey B.

Your Story Hour – Bible Based Radio Dramas

Your Story Hour produces family-friendly radio dramas based on the Bible, historical heroes and events, and true-to-life adventures. Our stories–brought to life by talented voice actors, descriptive sound effects and compelling music–teach Biblical values, American and World history and positive character traits and principles for good decision-making.

We really, REALLY enjoy YSH in our house and in our van! – Daisy G


Your Story Hour Bible stories will bring the stories “to life” for any listener.  Your Story Hour’s Bible series covers all the major Bible stories from the creation in Genesis through the early church in the Acts.   “Experience” the  flood, Joseph’s reunion with  his brothers, David fighting Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s den, Jonah in the whale, Esther’s courageous stand for her people, Jesus’ birth and crucifixion, Paul’s dramatic conversion and much more.

Listening to these stories make me feel like I am right there in the story. There are the best stories played on radio. When I go on long trips with the kids I would play these and be entertained for hours. I love to hear them myself. There’s several on history in America, Bible stories, how things were made who invented them. Kids and everyone will love this because you can use your imagination and it takes you right there. – Billy Jo


Your Story Hour has a large collection of historical stories.  Here is an abbreviated list from Your Story Hour’s wide library of historical stories:

  • Columbus
  • Early Pilgrims
  • George Washington
  • Paul Revere
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Hudson Taylor
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Booker T. Washington
  • Sacagawea
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Dolly Madison
  • Alexander G. Bell
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • The Wright Brothers
  • Ernest Shackleton
  • Irena Sendler
  • Dwight L Moody

My brother and I really enjoyed your story, and jokes. We are home schooled and the story we hear from you guys help us a lot. It gives us imaginary picture on how it really happened. Thank you and God bless. -Seth


Your story Hour true-to-life collections of stories highlight the importance of good character traits such as obedience, honesty, friendships, unselfishness, faith, perseverance, kindness and many more.  Much of today’s entertainment is based in world values where as Your Story Hour stories teach values of faith and family

My siblings and I grew up listening to the Character Building Drama tapes. I’m 30 now and deeply value the lessons I was able to learn in story form. I also have amazing memories of coloring and going to sleep listening to them! Thank you for your amazing work! – Irene



In addition to its audio dramas Your Story Hour also offers FREE non-denominational Bible studies and an online magazine.

American Heritage Education Foundation


Americans today are largely uninformed about the founding principles and ideas that have shaped our nation.  The ongoing failure of America’s educational institutions to teach those ideas over the last 50 years is well documented.  Combined with today’s social and cultural challenges, America’s heritage and philosophical origins—the fabric that has held us together as a nation—are at risk of demise.  Indeed, America has become divided about what our country stands for and where it is headed—or where it should be heading.  Without citizens’ learning of America’s positive founding principles and values, the American idea has materially weakened.

For a summary of studies over the last 20 years documenting the growing lack of knowledge among the American people, see “Problem” at

To counter this trend, the American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) is dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America’s philosophical heritage among students and citizens. AHEF is a non-profit organization that produces K-College teacher/homeschooler resources and lesson plans in Social Studies and American History, Government/Political Science, and Philosophy/Principles that are engaging, patriotic, and timeless.

AHEF uniquely focuses much of its work on the Judeo-Christian, philosophical foundations of America.  AHEF’s recently-released reference book—The Miracle of America:  The Influence of the Bible on the Founding History and Principles of the United States of America for a People of Every Belief—has been acclaimed by educators and historians as the first book of its kind to connect Judeo-Christian, Bible-based ideas with America’s founding principles.  This book includes key events and thinkers in America’s founding, excerpts from historical documents, Bible references, review questions, and learning activities.

AHEF is now also offering The Miracle of America High School Teacher Course Guide to be used in conjunction with The Miracle of America reference book.  The guide serves as a framework for a semester-long, secondary-level course on the founding, philosophical, governing principles of the United States, or as supplemental units in existing Social Studies courses.  It provides teaching strategies and activities on in-depth, focused topics.

AHEF’s other widely-used K-12 supplemental lesson plans serve to support and strengthen Social Studies and Civic Education on America’s founding documents, symbols, and principles.  These resources are titled America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty and its new sequel, America’s Heritage: An Experiment in Self-Government.  They assist and support homeschoolers in any curriculum program.  Lessons include short history readings, excerpts from founding documents, review/test questions, essay writing, and other activities.

With AHEF’s resources, students will better understand America’s founding ideas and values, what it means to be an American, and their own responsibilities as citizens.  As a result, they will more likely become productive, contributing members of society, participate in civic activities, and be well-informed voters.  These outcomes benefit our nation and future.

AHEF’s resources are available as free PDF downloads or for purchase in print on AHEF’s website,



State History from a Christian Perspective

Get your state history and state geography to teach from a Christian perspective with workbooks, tests, keys, and teacher guides. Teach all grade levels at once!  Teach different states simultaneously!

All students make a state history project notebook using text and color state symbol pictures that we provide, helping you teach your child state history and getting a Christian perspective of our great nation.


GRADES 3 – 12 : Our Student Booklet provides you with state history text, maps, and color state symbol pictures for your state.  The text covers state history, geography, map skills, weather, industry, agriculture, major cities, citizenship, state and local government, and state symbols. Students use this material to create their own personalized state history textbooks, adding pictures and information from free tourist literature.  Quizzes, Tests, and Answer Key are included. Our Master Lesson Plan Book gives simple instructions and flexible options. Choose between two project notebook optionsMy State Notebook by A Beka Book (grades 3-8) or a 3-ring binder (grades 7-12) or teach both options simultaneously. Plans for 6 weeks, 1 semester, 1 year, and continuing study.

See the printable detailed description of state history with examples at

AGE 4 – GRADE 2 : My State History Funbook is a color-cut-and-paste project notebook that provides fun activities for young students as they learn about their state.  This course is correlated to our upper level courses, so young ones can join right in with older students! Includes Activity  Pages with cutouts for your state!  More information at

Fifty States under God

GRADES 3 – 12 : FIFTY STATES UNDER GOD is a workbook study of all 50 states in the order of statehood. This “I love history” book emphasizes the role of God’s providence in shaping our nation. It includes a time line and a progressive map study along with the most interesting information from all 50 state studies. Color state symbol pictures for all 50 states included! Includes tests, keys, teacher guide.  VISIT OUR WEBSITE to download a FREE SAMPLE section!

AGE 4 – GRADE 2 : FIFTY STATES UNDER GOD for YOUNG LEARNERS is a color-cut and-paste workbook with a Christian perspective while introducing all 50 states in the order of statehood.  Color state symbol pictures and informational cutouts for all 50 states are included!  More info on our website.


GEOGRAPHY of the FIFTY STATES (grades 3-12) provides 4 pages per state in order of statehood. The growth of the US, state by state, is correlated with US geographical regions, showing how geography helped shaped history. Students learn US geographical regions and geographical features. Includes tests, keys, teacher instructions. More information on our website!


The front section of our Master Lesson Plan is a teacher-directed, 30-lesson plan that can be easily adjusted to your desired course length and difficulty level by using the Expansion Suggestions in each lesson.  In the Appendix are Independent Study Guides for a 6-week program and a one-semester program.  These are written to the student and are the only part of our entire program that may be photocopied within one class or family only. The Student Booklet may not be copied, so you will need one book per student.  For a high school level, you will want to have the students make the project notebook in a 3-ring binder (binder is provided by the student).  This option teaches organizational skills and allows flexibility for adding additional research projects. In any setting with more than one student, students can divide a list of topics for each research project, then share their research through oral and written reports that can be added to each student’s notebook. Our Student Booklet includes a study guide on your state constitution (assigned in the one-semester course or can be added to the six-week course).  It is an interesting and enlightening study on the Biblical concept of delegated authority and responsibility as well as inter-personal relationships.  You may obtain a copy of your state constitution online or from your library.  Students read through the constitution, answer the study guide questions, then take a test.  Another project that is included is a career study  to be done during the economy section. 

Testimonials about our State History Course

Homeschool Mom:  “Thank you so much for the wonderful material . . . . I saved an immense amount of time on library trips and research. Christian School Teacher:  “I just wanted let you know how much I appreciate the Indiana history material that you have written.  It is wonderful how it coincides with the A BEKA My State Notebook!  As a teacher, I loved how easy it was to teach from your material.

Published by a Helping Hand, Steve and Joy Dean, PO Box 39298, Indianapolis, IN 46239, 317-862-0948,