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The Growing Church: American World

The Growing Church: American World is a gentle survey course that offers a journey through American History for Catholic families in the Aquinas House of Studies. The course will cover American History from the 16th Century through the 20th Century.

The first goal of this course is to help students build a scaffold of American History plus walk away with a deeper love, understanding, and appreciation of the Catholic Church. Students will learn through many different humanities including: History, Literature, Geography, Sacred Art, and Theology. Students will read through The Story of Civilization Volume 4. This series does an excellent job at explaining the basics of each time period plus highlighting stories of Saints, leaders, and events of the Catholic Church in a very readable narrative; it reads more like a storybook than a textbook. In addition, students will be reading about Catholic leaders and Saints of American history in the The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas.

The second goal of this course is to prepare students for future history courses that require primary source reading and essay writing. To become familiar with primary sources, we will be using _A History of US: Sourcebook and Index Book 11 _by Joy Hakim which introduces students to the important documents of American history in bite size pieces. During the live class, students will learn how to read and analyze these documents. To become familiar with essay writing, at the end of each quarter, students will be guided through steps on how to write a thesis paper one step at a time, culminating in a revised five paragraph thesis paper with citations at the end of the year. For more specifics, read the Assignments Section in the syllabus.

During class time, students will be viewing American art, reviewing and discussing the readings for the week, participating in small and large group discussion, memorizing an American timeline, and reading primary sources.

A previous Growing Church History course would be helpful to take before this one, but not required.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

  • _The Story of Civilization Volume 4: The History of the United States _by Phillip Campbell  (Published by TAN Books)
  • _The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas (History 3 for Young Catholics) _Published by Seton
    • *Note to parents: Do not be concerned that this book has Grade 3 on it. I have yet to find another simple, well-written chronological account that provides biographical sketches of Catholic Saints and Leaders in America. It is valuable for any age.
  • _ A History of Us Book 11: Sourcebook and Index_ By Joy Hakim (2nd or 3rd edition)

Tisha Frost has been teaching in a variety of settings over the last 20 years after following one of the best pieces of advice she was ever given, “Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire” (attributed to St. Catherine of Siena). This inspired her to study both history and theology during her undergraduate years.
She obtained a B.A. in American Studies, with a minor in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. She also holds a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame, specializing in Middle School and High School Social Studies. Through her experiences of teaching many students, including her own children, she has seen the need for restful education that is focused on the true, good, and beautiful.
Tisha resides in Northern Minnesota with her husband and six children. When she has a moment to herself, she enjoys children’s literature, British mysteries, good movies, and baking.

Quarter 1

  1. Q1W1 Introduction
  2. Q1W2 Spanish Heritage, Missionaries, and Saints
  3. Q1W3 French Heritage, Missionaries, and Saints
  4. Q1W4 Founding of the colonies
  5. Q1W5 Life in the colonies and Catholic leaders
  6. Q1W6 Trouble in the colonies
  7. Q1W7 Primary Documents of the American Revolution
  8. Q1W8 REVIEW WEEK / Work on essay

Quarter 2

  1. Q2W1 American Revolution
  2. Q2W2 American Revolution
  3. Q2W3 Founding the Republic
  4. Q2W4 Federalist Era
  5. Q2W5 Age of Jefferson
  6. Q2W6 Early 1800s American Life
  7. Q2W7 Changes in Am. Society
  8. Q2W8 REVIEW WEEK / Work on essay

Quarter 3

  1. Q3W1 Andrew Jackson/Indian Removal Act
  2. Q3W2 The American West
  3. Q3W3 The Problem of Slavery
  4. Q3W4 The Civil War & Reconstruction
  5. Q3W5 The Gilded Age: Riches and Rags
  6. Q3W6 Indian Wars
  7. Q3W7 American Imperialism & The Progressive Era
  8. Q3W8 REVIEW WEEK / Work on essay

Quarter 4

  1. Q4W1 U.S. in WWI
  2. Q4W2 The Roaring Twenties & The Great Depression
  3. Q4W3 World War II
  4. Q4W4 The Cold War
  5. Q4W5 The Civil Rights Era
  6. Q4W6 Upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s
  7. Q4W7 The 1980s-Present Day (if time allows)
  8. REVIEW WEEK / Final Essay due

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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