AP Class Reviews

U.S. History taught by Susan Richman

by Students and Parents

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Sign up before it's too late! posted by Matthew Hawkins on July 12 2012 at 16:27:04

If you invest yourself, this class is by far the best option for taking US history. Here is why:

Mrs. Richman puts her heart and soul into her class, and it shows. US History is clearly her passion, and she loves to spread her widespread knowledge and insights to her students. She has a remarkable ability to get to know and give individual attention to every student, even though we had (in 2011-12) 36 kids in our class. Mrs. Richman has specifically tailored her curriculum over the years to include a wide range of activities. These activities provide both an excellent, never-boring learning environment and great AP exam prep.

I am friends with several public-schoolers who took AP US History at the local high school. Even the best students were nowhere near as pepared as all of us from Mrs. Richman's class. I'm somewhat familiar with their teacher and he's generally considered very good, but it was no comparisson. Our online class went through material both faster and more thoroughly than the public school. We started writing essays (called DBQ's and FRQ's for anyone who is familiar) from the start and were well-prepared. They hardly ever wrote essays. This was one of the biggest advantages of Mrs. Richman's class. For anyone debating whether to take this class or dual enroll at a local high school, community college, etc., TAKE THIS CLASS!

But be warned! If you aren't motivated or want to take this class through the logic of: "Harvard wants me to have three histroy AP's, so I guess I might as well do AP US this year," go away! All of my classmates were motivated, enjoyed the material, and loved to learn more from Mrs. Richman and each other. If you don't really care for history, you don't deserve such a caring, wonderful teacher or the best classmates around. My interest in history was certainly extended by this class, but I came into the class with an interest in US history. If you have an interest going in, A) your interest will grow as the year progresses and B) the time you spend (usually 8-10 hours per week) should be a joy.


APUSH Review posted by Anna Bray on June 26 2012 at 01:24:32

This was my first AP class, and I can honestly say that I loved it!  Before taking this course, I enjoyed history just like everyone "enjoys" history. Now, I really appreciate U.S. history and I feel like I have a major grasp on the big picture (plus many details) of our nation's past.  I feel that Mrs. Richman gives the students everything you would expect from a "typical" classroom situation, plus more.  We did group projects, practice tests, videos, essays, bonuses, and many other exciting assignments.  The class is time consuming, but will not drain you.  There is a lot of work, but not all of the assignments are very hard to complete.  I felt very prepared coming into the test, and I think I did well (though scores are not yet available). Most important, I feel like I definitely learned a lot about U.S. history and had a great year with Mrs. Richman and all of the other students.  I would definitely recommend this class to anyone looking for a great AP class or a great US history class!

You'll LOVE this class. posted by Justin Yen on June 13 2012 at 19:59:04

Many other students will cover a vast array of topics to accurately describe the course to you. One thing I urge you to the moment you can access the syllabus (assuming you apply and get in for the class) is to check which assignment types will help you learn. Do you like audio or video lectures? Online text or hard copies? Mrs. Richman allows so much flexibility and so many options for students to learn according to their personalities. She has videos, audio, text, etc. Of course there are required assignments, but there are many many open-handed assignment options that you can choose to do if it helps you learn. If you can do all of them great, but if you know that a few of them will help you learn better than doing all of them, I'm sure Mrs. Richman will be flexible.

Since U.S. History is an extremely memory based subject, daily practice is essential. The MCQ questions you find online that aren't even Collegeboard questions will help as well. Go through multiple textbooks. Mrs. Richman asks us to get Barron's, but let's say you need to do chapter 3 in Barron's. Go find Princeton review, Cliffnotes etc. questions on the same topic. It only takes a few minutes to review the topic you're learning. If you spend the extra minutes, you'll find yourself greatly rewarded as you near the exam. AP U.S. History isn't a formula nor can the questions be solved using an exact formula (each type of question does have a strategy to be applied, however,) so you need to do daily review. Even if you do 20 minutes a day, you'll be benefited greatly.

A great benefit to this class is the lack of required meetings. I do do classes where they must meet weekly or bi-weekly, but none of them have everything on the website all at once to look at, study, and interact with. This way of class really helps, but if you're a procrastinator and get behind, you may not be able to catch up! Make sure you stay on task. Know that this class requires you to be somewhat motivated to not just score high on the exam but to learn the material. 




Hard, but rewarding course. posted by Frankie Illuzzi on May 30 2012 at 15:00:36

If you want a personal and indepth review of US History, this is the course for you. Mrs. Richman has put a lot of thought and preparation into this course - throughout the year I was consistantly amazed at how she was able to continually respond to each of my assignments with extremely detailed and helpful comments. She really made the course worth it - much more helpful than just reading a bunch of chapters in a textbook. But that's not to say that you won't be doing that. You will. A lot. If you take this course, be prepared for a lot of reading; helpful reading, but reading nonetheless. Mrs. Richman expects a lot of you, but if you think you're up to the challenge, definitely take it. In the end it'll all be worth it - your knowledge of history will increase by ten fold.

Great class!!! posted by Lucien Formichella on May 29 2012 at 15:25:29

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

YES! I felt really prepared for the exam. The reading and writing assignments were well thought out, but it was all of the supplementary things that made me feel prepared. The Talking History podcasts, PSDs, New York Times Archives, Cartoon Analysis, History in the News, and Teaching Company lectures all filled the gaps in my knowledge. I really think I would have been far less prepared without such a great support system of assignments.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I usually spent about 10 hours a week, depending on the time of year.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I am really having trouble with this one. I loved all of the assignments. I think the cartoon analysis was really fun. I liked to try and guess what people were thinking at the time.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, very much so. I feel like my eyes are opened just a little bit wider to all that is around me. I notice and understand so much more than I had previously.  

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

This was very valuable to me. I took part in a study group that met every Wednesday. This was incredible because we were able to talk on Skype about questions that we had and debate different topics in history. I would recommend that you should meet face to face with people if you can. It is nice to talk live.  

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I think a student who completes the bare bones assignments would do well, but a student who really worked on the bonus assignments and spent time doing study buddy work would do the best. I found that when I did the bonus assignments and extra work I knew the period that I was studying better than I would have if I had just done the regular assignments.

This was a great class and I would recommend it to anybody who  loves  history and has a will to work hard. If you are able to do those things then you will do really well.


posted by Caroline McArdle on May 22 2012 at 20:15:03

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? Did you feel it prepared you for the AP exam? 

Well, depends on the time of year. There was that day right before the exam when I I studied for about 5 hours... but other than that it was 10 hours per week, maybe a bit less. This course certainly prepared me for the exam. I got to the point where the whole of American history kind of seemed like my own memories, so I could recall what happened and how it influenced the next event, all the way up to the present. 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I honestly loved interviewing my grandparents for the December break assignment. They were both so excited to tell me about their childhoods during the Great Depression and WWII, and I literally would have never known so many things about their lives. Because they grew up in an Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn, they have a lot of memories of Coney Island and all the wonders of the NYC of that time. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Let me put it this way. When I began this year, I was not at all a history buff. I was attracted to the course, and I always enjoy writing, but history was not my favorite subject. The word brought to mind graying pictures and crumbling buildings, collapsing under the weight of many years...okay, I am being dramatic. Yet, this class introduced me to the colorful aspects of history, and, as cliche as it sounds, the way the past has left an indelible mark on the present. 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

It was very cool to meet students from around the country, and there was always a support group of classmates ready to answer any questions I had. A prime example of this was when I posted a message about preparing for the SAT Subject Test in American History (which I will be taking in about a week.) I asked if anyone had taken the test and had any tips, and several of my classmates wrote back with notes of encouragement and valuable ideas for preparation. Several students in the class also gave very enlightening and helpful responses to essays, pointing out a particularly good phrase or a clever use of a document in a DBQ and  giving hints on what could be improved. The best experiences I had in this class with regards to interaction with other students were the Dinner Parties. Every year in APUSH, Mrs. Richman organizes 3 virtual *parties*, in which students assume the characters of major historical figures and discuss and debate the issues of the day. There were three parties: the *Revolutionary War* Party, the *Civil War* Party, and the *Social Reformers and Industrialists* Party. Spurred on by the spirit of the Revolutionary War Dinner Party, several Connecticut students, including me, and a Massachusetts student decided to organize our own *live* party, to take place at the historic Town Hall in my town. We dressed up in Revolutionary War period dress, brought foods that would have been served by Abigail Adams or Martha Washington, and just had a wonderful time. 

What sort of student would do well in this course?

If you enjoy writing and are willing to do it a lot, that definitely helps. I am not saying you have to go into the class with the essay skills of a graduate student, but it helps to have a good foundation in grammar and language conventions. Trust me, you will grow in your abilities SO MUCH throughout the class! When I look back at the essays I wrote at the beginning of this course, it feels like I wrote them last year! The other thing is that you can focus while studying. I struggle with this sometimes, but there is a certain motivation that comes with preparing for a test. ;) 

Now that I've taken this course, I feel that so much has opened up to me. I've developed greater abilities in organizing my thoughts and expressing myself, a result of researching and writing essays at regular intervals. Through the MCQ-TT challenge, I've grown more comfortable with multiple-choice tests, something that didn't come nearly as naturally as other parts of this course. Urged on in no small part by the quest for a 5 (yes, I admit it), I've found a new, profoundly intense way of studying and consciously seeking to remember material. I don't think I could ever  forget the stances of the Antifederalists and Know-Nothings, the paintings of the Hudson River School, or, my personal favorite, "His Rotundity John Adams", if I tried, and what I have gained through this course will remain with me forever. 

If you like History-- take this class! posted by Luke Olsen on May 22 2012 at 19:01:22

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely. One of the cool parts of this class is Mrs. Richman really allows you to make it your own. She gives a bajillion different options and ways for you to study. It can be a little daunting at first-- I know I was rather confused at the beginning of the year. However, at the end I was really thankful that she allows us to study the way that works best for us. There are some assignments that everyone has to do every week, but outside of those she gives individual students freedom to study the way that is most helpful for them. 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

At different times for different projects this number chagned; however, I probably spent around 8 hours a week on this class. 

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really enjoyed listening to the podcasts from Great Courses. I've never considered myself much of an auditory learner; however, these podcasts really helped me and deepened my understanding of the material. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Although it takes a little more time to listen to them (rather than the videos) it's definitely worth it. I ended up listening to almost the entire series twice since I used them to help me prepare this Spring.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes. Mrs. Richman is great at really teaching the whole history. You aren't forced into any tangents (economic, military, social etc.); however, you're encouraged to study what interests you. I realized how a study of US history is so much more than just reading dates and facts. It's about politics, economics, sociology, culture, literature, philosophy, and so much more. 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes. Although this class isn't the most interactive class I've taken from PA Homeschoolers, the interaction I had with other students/TA was interesting and enjoyable.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Any student who is willing to work hard and wants to learn will do well in this course. It does require a lot of hard work but it's well worth it. If you're willing to put in your effort Mrs. Richman will do everything to help you study the way that works best for you. If you're unsure or hedging I'd recommend taking it.

Great Class posted by Mark Olsen on May 22 2012 at 16:19:10

Mrs. Richman's AP US History course is an amazing class. In order to succeed you must be ready to dedicate a lot of time to the class and be ready to challenge yourself. If you do make this commitment, you should certainly enjoy the results. Mrs. Richman is a great teacher that spends countless hours correcting and grading all the written assignments were turned in to her. In many cases, I think she was just as dedicated (if not more) as most of the students. The class usually took between 6 and 7 hours to complete each week, but those times did vary depending on the content of the work. In addition to text reading and lecture listening, there are many engaging assigments. With the ability to gain limitless bonus points, there is always incentive to do more. In addition to working on your own, it's important that you work and interact with other students. This is a tough class, but if you work together, you can get more out of it.

A student that is willing to dedicate time, work hard, stay committed and even have some fun should do very well in this class.

Definitely take this class!! posted by Marisa C on May 22 2012 at 01:08:32

What can I say that hasn't already been said? This is an amazing class. There are so many chances to learn in this class that you're guaranteed to learn US History, especially in the fun activities! Learning and having fun unite here... :) I had so many favorite activities that it would be difficult to pick out a favorite. 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Yes, I felt very prepared, especially with the essays. U.S. History is a subject that can become very daunting because of its enormous span, but in this class it's broken down into very doable sections. 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? I typically put around 5-9 hours in each week, depending on the "big" assignment for that week (essays, projects, analyzing cartoons, etc.). It depends on how quickly you can absorb information, as there's quite a bit of reading. There are many "bonus" activities that are invaluable in aiding comprehension of various eras, but those are typically optional. Advice: when you can, do the optional tasks. You'll not only earn your team points, but each bonus activity is aimed to help you better understand that particular period of time, event, person, or movement. This adds to the hours of time you spend per week, but it's certainly worth it. However, if you are short of time, you can skip some of the smaller assignments. Mrs. Richman is absolutely wonderful in that she understands that some students may have very legitimate reasons for not being able to complete all X number of assignments. Be in contact with her! She's very easily available, and if you ever feel too stressed out by APUSH, she understands! :)

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? I said there were a lot of assignments I loved... but I particularly loved the two Bio Essays we did this year. I love the creative format! I found myself wishing I had more time to present a far more comprehensive project. I also loved the interview... I felt hesitant about this earlier because I didn't know who to interview, but in the course of this project, I got to know my aunt and her father much better (he is a WWII vet who was on Omaha Beach!). These aren't just projects for APUSH. They're projects that have value for posterity, too! :) :) 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Absolutely. 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Definitely. My team was great! We had fun working on projects together. Also, the APUSH study group was great, even though I didn't attend all the time. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? I'll be honest: there is a lot of work in this class. If you want to do well, you have to be willing to invest time and interest in this class. It's not the type of class you can do well in by just doing minimal work. Like any great class, the more you put into this class, the more you'll receive from it. I recommend this class to students who are hardworking. They don't have to necessarily be interested in US History -- I wasn't very interested in it when I first started, but through the course of this class, I've learned to enjoy it. If you're a student who's willing to become interested in US History, then it's a very good match. :) Now, go sign up for this class! 

Best Class Ever!! posted by Megan on May 21 2012 at 21:23:47

Going into this class I was concerned that I didn't enjoy history enough to want to spend as many hours as were necessary to complete the course successfully. Shortly into the year though that was no longer a concern as a I found that learning more about U.S. history through the home work assignments was actually really fun and enoyable. While it was a pretty heavy work load, the assignments were not extremely difficult and gave each student room to research and learn about the areas in history that interested him or her the most. My favorite assignments were the two Bio Essays that we completed which involved researching two historical figures from two different time periods and writing about them in a unique and fun format.

This course most definitely prepared me for the AP exam. This was the first AP class I had ever taken, and I had no idea what to expect on the exam, but Mrs. Richman (who is the most awesome teacher I have ever had by the way :D) really helped me feel prepared and confident to tackle the test. Not a single assignment she gave during the year seemed like a waste of time as every little assignment helped to build the great store of American history knowledge I accumulated over the year.

I would highly recommend this course to any student who wants to learn more about our amazing country. There are few other courses that will equip you with as much knowledge of the history of the United States as this one. To be succcessful in this course, you also need to be willing to put in the time. This was the only AP class I took during the year, and I am glad it was because I was able to focus the majority of my time on it. While I spent most of the time on the homework assignments, I also enjoyed completing the work for some of the many bonus assignments that Mrs. Richman offers.

As I mentioned above, Mrs. Richman is the most friendly, charming, and involved teacher I have ever had. Her enthusiasm for history is very contagious! Although I have yet to meet her, I feel like I have known her forever. She has really helped me grow in my love for history.

So the bottom line is TAKE THIS COURSE! You won't be disappointed. :D


Great Class! posted by Jessica on May 21 2012 at 15:18:36

Mrs. Richman does an awesome job with this class. One of the most obvious things that hit me was her passion for the subject and the class. Her excitement for history was contagious. That excitement paired with her constant optimism and encouragement is what really helped push all of us through the year even during those times when history was not the subject we felt like focusing on. 

I could tell that Mrs. Richman had been teaching this class for a long time, because she had so many valuable assignments. The cartoon analysis assignments were good (I even ended up seeing one of the cartoons from this assignment in the DBQ on the exam). All of the FRQs and DBQs that we wrote were also very helpful in building my confidence and skills for the exam. 

One of the most unique and helpful things about Mrs. Richman's class is how many options we had. She gave us three different choices for a textbook, and she is constantly giving us different options for assignments. This meant that it was very easy to tailor my homerwork to what I needed to study and how I would best be able to learn.

This class was a lot of work, but it was worth it. I would definitely recommend it to other students as long as they are ready to work hard. 

A Truly Wonderful Experience posted by James Miotto on May 21 2012 at 12:50:57

As I entered the school year, I felt confident that I would enjoy AP US History, and now that the class is (unfortunately) over, I can't believe how much I've enjoyed this class. After I left the AP Exam room, I felt confident about how I did on the exam, and I think that how this class was formed is integral to how I did on the exam. I personally enjoyed the December Film Review and the Week D Cartoon Analyses, because the movie I chose to watch, Born on the Fourth of July, really taught me a lot about the Vietnam War, and the cartoons enabled me to truly understand the viewpoint of someone who actually lived through the events I was studying. This class enhanced my interest in History even more than my interest had already been before taking the class, which, as a history buff, was pretty high. Overall, the communications between students were both interesting and valuable.


I think that a student who loves history and is willing both to delve into the intricacies of American history and to try to find the "big picture" for certain time periods would not only do well in this class, they would thrive. I would recommend with all my heart this course to other students, and I wish that I could even take this class again!


Thanks so much for this wonderful class, which has been my favorite History Class of All Time!


Jimmy Miotto

A Truly Wonderful Experience posted by James Miotto on May 21 2012 at 12:50:15

As I entered the school year, I felt confident that I would enjoy AP US History, and now that the class is (unfortunately) over, I can't believe how much I've enjoyed this class. After I left the AP Exam room, I felt confident about how I did on the exam, and I think that how this class was formed is integral to how I did on the exam. I personally enjoyed the December Film Review and the Week D Cartoon Analyses, because the movie I chose to watch, Born on the Fourth of July, really taught me a lot about the Vietnam War, and the cartoons enabled me to truly understand the viewpoint of someone who actually lived through the events I was studying. One thing that would have made my experience even better would have been some minor changes to the Andrew Jackson Webquest. It was harder for me to work with my team, the Rough Riders, during the WebQuest because everyone else on my team was based in one town, while I lived over a hundred miles away. The end product that we produced was excellent, but I didn't feel like I was an equal part of the team because I didn't interact on a daily or an hourly basis like the other members of the Rough Riders did. This class enhanced my interest in History even more than my interest had already been before taking the class, which, as a history buff, was pretty high. Overall, the communications between students were both interesting and valuable.


I think that a student who loves history and is willing both to delve into the intricacies of American history and to try to find the "big picture" for certain time periods would not only do well in this class, they would thrive. I would recommend with all my heart this course to other students, and I wish that I could even take this class again!


Thanks so much for this wonderful class, which has been my favorite History Class of All Time!


Jimmy Miotto

Awesome class!!!! Please take this course!!!!!! posted by John Nothacker on May 18 2012 at 12:47:56

 Let me just say, this is an awesome class!  As a student whose past homeschool curriculum has focused in on history pretty intensely, this was a great class to step back and see more of the big picture of US history. In my past studies I have taken four years to cover what we did in this class in one year!  Although it is fast, it gives you a bigger sense of the overall picture and the major themes of American history. If you have never taken a history course or are unfamiliar with US history, this is a good course because it isn’t to in depth, yet you get a good knowledge of American history. If you are like me and have studied history in the past, this is also a good course, because as I said earlier, it gives you a broader sense of US history. That being said, there are still opportunities to dive in deeper and learn more about individual subjects.  These are the two bios essays that you do. Each student is required to do two biography papers on individuals from two different time periods. This allows a student to really learn something about these people and the time that they lived.  If feel like this wouldn’t be enough in depth study, Mrs. Richman is more than willing to give you bonus points for watching historic movies/videos and reading historical books. 

Because I had studied a lot of US history before, I wasn’t learning a lot of new material, so I spent about 6 or 7 hours a week on this course.  Part of this time was study chats with my study group.  Especially in the months leading up to the exam, we had weekly study sessions. This was a really helpful time of group collaboration.  This study time, along with all of the study tips that Mrs. Richman gave me really made me prepared for the exam.  Mrs. Richman also gives a lot of bonus points for different things that you can do and one can easily spend hours a day reading material and watching optional videos that she suggests.  If you are really interested in learning about US history and are focused and able to keep track of what have done, this is an awesome course. It is for both the history novices and the history geeks, this class should be a must take high school class. Sign up right away!!!!!! 



With all these great reviews, why haven't you still signed up yet?? ;P posted by Rachael Lee on May 17 2012 at 21:21:20

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

I remember at the beginning of the year, thinking "how will I ever be able to remember and learn everything? Or even write an essay by hand in half an hour???" But when I took the exam last week, I felt more prepared than ever! I was able to answer almost all of the MCQs pretty confidently, and the essays were a breeze (especially with the fact that one of the essay choices was almost word-for-word as one of the essays we did for homework at the beginning of the year!!!) So if you're looking for a class to prepare you for the APUSH exam, look no further! :P This course most definitely prepared me for the AP exam :)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I probably spent about 7-8 hours generally a week. However the two weeks before the exam, I spent like 12 hours a week studying.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Although there was a lot of work, it definitely was all worth it for the exam. Especially the essays we wrote every other week, which was the most helpful to me. I enjoyed the bio essays a lot though! :) The MCQ Think It Throughs were also a lot of fun to logically eliminate choices (and we got extra points for doing it with a 'buddy' too!) Oh yeah, and the dinner parties were really interesting as well! I only got the chance to participate in one (and I came in late in the other one, so I didn't get to experience much of it :( ), so be sure to quickly get into them! Don't worry about the class being boring or anything like that, because there's LOTS of fun and challenging things to do and learn about with Mrs. Richman!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes!!! I actually didn't really like history, and it's still not my favorite, but it was really fun learning all kinds of stuff that I'd never even heard of before, like the 'Double V Campaign' ;)

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Absolutely! At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Richman put us into teams so we could do a few special assignments together. It made it even more fun to get to communicate with our classmates. I learned a lot of things as well from posts on the wwwboard, or from weekly study groups one of the TAs set up, that I never would have learned about by myself! :) Also, each team can try to earn more points by reading books and doing bonus assignments throughout the year, which was a huge motivation for me, especially since I'm pretty competitive. And yes, I'm still going to try to win! :P

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recomment this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

YESYESYES!!! Take the class! I'd definitely recommend it to anyone, both those who are fascinated with history and those, like me, who don't particularly love it. This course does have a lot of work, and I'd definitely say DON'T FALL BEHIND on assignments (I did that a few times, and it wasn't exactly pleasant catching up), mainly so by the time the exam comes by you won't be cramming everything in at once. :P But if you pace yourself and devote a few hours a day to studying history, the exam will go smoothly :). So yes, sign up for this class already!!! Mrs. Richman is a super amazing teacher, and I'm sure you won't  regret all you'll learn from this class.

A review of Mrs. Richman's wonderful APUSH course posted by Anna Mitchell on May 17 2012 at 11:01:34

- Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

YES, very much so! During the first half of the multiple choice questions on the exam (they get progressively more difficult, so the earlier questions are easier), I was so confident - I knew the answer to nearly every question, and I barely even had to read the answers carefully! Often I would know the answer before even reading the choices, thanks to Mrs. Richman’s APUSH class. And when I got to the harder questions, I wasn’t fazed either, because the weekly MCQ-TT assignment (for those not hip to all the APUSH acronyms, Multiple Choice Think it Through) had prepared me so well to think through the questions and carefully eliminate answers. Every week of the course, Mrs. Richman had posted a real multiple choice question from the exam, and she required us to post what we thought the answers were and how we got there: why did we eliminate each answer, what did we think the College Board was trying to get at, what vital information would we need to know to understand the question, etc. Not only did this assignment help me learn about specific topics covered in the questions, using the links she posted, but it also prepared me more generally, helping me become more adept at POE: or process of elimination (another acronym! When you begin the year (because you will be taking APUSH, right?) they may seem confusing, but everything gets easier!).

I also felt very prepared for the essays: while they’re always a little nerve-wracking because you aren’t sure what the topic will be, Mrs. Richman’s weekly textbook reading, lecture, quiz, and primary source document assignments provided me with a lot of US History knowledge that I knew would serve me well the fateful day of the exam. And it did!

- How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

It’s difficult to say, because I completed APUSH assignments and bonus assignments throughout the week at different times, but I would have to say about 10-12 hours, and more in the last week or so before the exam, when I was doing some intense study-buddy time for last-minute preparation. :-) It really depends on how much you want to put into the course. Let me warn you: if you’re competitive like me, Mrs. Richman’s bonus point system may really suck time away from your other pursuits. She posts bonus assignments all the time - reading a speech, skimming a link, listening to a lecture - that you can take points for. Furthermore, students are divided into teams geographically (in fact, three members of my team lived within 45 minutes of me!), and each student’s point tally and their team’s point tally is visible to everyone on the website. So the competition for bonus points can get pretty fierce! I spent a LOT of time doing these bonus assignments, but it was worth it because I learned so much. Mrs. Richman’s class can definitely consume your life, but I didn’t think this was a bad thing! And you could get away with just doing the minimum and still prepare for the exam - in one of her updates, Mrs. R posted the minimum assignments that needed to be completed to earn an A in the class.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?
As I mentioned above, the MCQ-TT was one of my favorite assignments. While I can’t say I loved them, the practice essays we completed twice per month were also invaluable preparation for the exam. We wrote one free response question essay and one document-based question essay per month. All the essay-writing practice made me completely comfortable when I actually took the exam: a 35-minute, handwritten APUSH essay may seem impossible at first, but by the end of the year, trust me, you’ll be a pro!

- Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, definitely. I’ve always been interested in history, but not so much American history. This class showed me how fascinating the history of this country is - so many unique people, from William Jennings Bryan to Anne Hutchinson (one of my Bio Essay people), unusual events like the XYZ affair and the Quasi-War, which I’d never really heard of before this class, and so much more. I won’t be majoring in history, but I don’t think you can go wrong with a deep knowledge of it.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

YES!! This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the class. I loved getting to know like-minded teenagers from across the country. One of our TAs organized a study group, and we met every Wednesday through Skype to do quizzes and discuss history. We got into some pretty heated political and historical arguments as well, covering such diverse topics as the Japanese internment, the causes of the Civil War, and Ron Paul. ;-) I met some great people who I definitely want to keep up friendships with (and a few of them were in my other online AP class, AP Lit, as well), and I look forward to meeting some of them at the AP Party in a few weeks.

- What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Any student who has good time management and organizational skills can succeed at this class. One of the things I found most helpful was keeping a planner where I could write down every assignment that needed to get done. All the assignments can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but this made them much more manageable. Obviously an interest in history would be appropriate, as well, but you don’t have to be a huge history buff - I wasn’t and I loved this class (and it deepened my interest in the subject!).

Some miscellaneous tips:
- If you want a high class rank, get bonus points in the summer and beginning of the year! Then you can just do a few bonus assignments each week to maintain your rank.
- Join a study group! While it may not always be the absolutely most productive way to study, you’ll have fun and it’ll be a nice change from everyday work.
- OR, as it gets closer to the exam, find a study buddy to do quizzes with. My study buddy and I met quite often as it got closer to the exam, and when I actually took it, I recognized topics on a lot of the questions that we had looked up online to read more about while quizzing.
- Take advantage of this course! Mrs. Richman has assembled an amazing assortment of resources: websites, books, practice tests, lectures, etc., and you only become more prepared for the exam as you utilize all these great sources of information.

And, one last thing: Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher! She is so supportive and kind - you can just tell she’s pulling for everyone to do well. She’ll also answer emails with any questions you might have promptly. I looked forward to receiving her weekly updates because she included so many helpful tips, links, documentaries, and other invaluable ways to prep for the exam.

Take this course! You won’t regret it. While it’s time-consuming, you’ll learn so much and have so much fun while doing it that it will all be worth it by the time you finish the AP exam (which Mrs. Richman will prepare you for incredibly well, by the way).

The class so good that words can't really describe it posted by Deborah Longenecker on May 17 2012 at 07:39:40

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Definitely. If you are anything like me, when you first hear about the timed essays on the exam, you will think, “What in the world am I getting myself into?!” But there is no cause to fear, though, because Mrs. Richman gives lots of practice on essays: not timed at first, then later in the year handwritten and working toward the goal of 35 minutes. (And believe me, it is actually humanly possible to write a good, knowledgeable essay in 35 minutes! You will be able to do it by the end of the year.)

I had never studied US History before this course, so I was nervous about the exam at first. But because of the information and enrichment that Mrs. Richman provides, I didn’t feel at a disadvantage at all, either on the essays or on the multiple choice questions. Mrs. Richman gives a weekly MCQ-TT (Multiple choice question think-it-through) in which she provides a real “back test” MCQ and requires the students to answer it by elimination/using what knowledge they have, even if they don’t know the answers straight off. (There are no points taken off if you get it wrong—it’s just a very helpful learning exercise.) That gave me practice in thinking through questions on the exam. I felt very prepared for both the multiple choice section and the essay section because of this class.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Most of the year I spent an average of 7 hours a week, 1.5 hours a day (mainly because I read and write fairly quickly). I think the least I ever spent per week was 4 hours, and the most 10. But about three weeks or so before the exam, I went into extreme review mode, spending about 2.5 to 3 hours per day in flashcards and exam review books. But don’t let that scare you off! If you have a stronger background in US history than I did, you might not need sooooo much review.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

As many other students have mentioned, I really enjoyed the two biography essays. The creative format is so much fun to work with. After writing a bio essay, I almost felt as if I had met the person! Then afterward, whenever I saw that person mentioned in my textbook or other places, I would be able to connect it back with my knowledge gained from the bio essay.

I also tremendously enjoyed the Great Courses MP3 lectures from the Teaching Company. They were informational, interesting (never-ever dry and boring), and rather addicting—it was hard to stop listening to them sometimes!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Oh yes. I had always been interested in history, but I had no clue that it would be THIS interesting! The class showed me the fascinating side of politics, wars, and economics (all of which I had previously dreaded). Now I enjoy all aspects of American history, which is now tied with English for my favorite subject. I also feel that learning American history in-depth like this has broadened my perspectives. Now when people talk about something like the U2 incident, I actually understand what they are talking about.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I definitely did! Each student belongs to a team of about six people in their same time zone. These teams study together, do the Andrew Jackson project together, and compete against other teams for the top score of bonus points. During the year, I did not communicate with other students outside my team as much as other people did, mainly because the year was pretty busy for me, and it is hard to set up a time to meet over skype since I live overseas. But if you are a social person and have time to meet with other students, I’d definitely recommend doing so. (The three Dinner Parties are also great times for interaction; you will have the most fun if you dive right in and post your intro as soon as possible because most of the discussion happens right off. If I could do the course over, I would be more involved with the Dinner Parties—so don’t miss them!)

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

This is a rhetorical question. YES! I recommend this amazing class to anyone and everyone who will work hard and is willing to use their brain (and it would help if you know how to write a good essay). It doesn’t matter if you like history or not, because I guarantee that by the end of the class history will be at least a bit more interesting (if not 10,000 times more interesting) than it was before—and wildly more fun than you could imagine! That being said, the workload is quite a lot, but if you have motivation and drive, it won’t overwhelm you. Even if it occasionally does, Mrs. Richman is so understanding and always willing to help. Shoot her an email if you have any problems whatsoever. (And I just have to say here that Mrs. Richman is the absolute BEST teacher I have ever had!! She is so friendly and warm and knowledgeable and fun…. the list goes on and on.)

So the moral of the story is TAKE THIS CLASS. You will not be sorry. :)


Some recommendations I have if you do take the course:

-As I mentioned above, definitely listen to the Great Courses lectures—they surprisingly helped me a lot in writing essays (no clue how that worked, but it did!)

 -There are a lot of small weekly assignments in this class that can slip your mind if you aren’t careful (especially the MCQ-TT), so I’d recommend writing out a list of weekly assignments on a sticky note and sticking it to your monitor to remind you of what you have to do each week.

-When you first join the class, the website can look huge and daunting. To find your way around, just take a few minutes every day and click on a few links. If you don’t know what something is, chances are it’s a mid-year project or an optional activity. And if you stumble on the cache of past bio essays, definitely take some time to read a few. There are some great ones in there! (And don’t be frazzled by the students who seem to know the ins and outs of everything from day one—their siblings have probably taken the class before and showed them around.)

-And as I already said, take part in the Dinner Parties. The more you put into them, the more fun you will get out of them.

-As I was reviewing for the exam, I found the Barrons Guide AP US History set of 500 flashcards to be extremely helpful—definitely recommended.

This class is AWESOME! posted by Ellysa Lim on May 15 2012 at 22:15:16

I'll be honest, I never liked history.  But Mrs. Richman's AP US History course has been by far the best history class I've ever taken.  She made this subject so enjoyable and even fun!

As far as AP exam prep goes, I felt extremely prepared to take the exam.  Each week, I spent about 10 hours on this class; the time increased as the exam approached.  Mrs. Richman prepared us greatly by having us write essays and take practice tests.  I also used other resources not required (but recommended) by this course, and that also helped me review for the exam.  I found that by writing a FRQ and DBQ monthly, my writing skills improved and by the time of the exam, I could comfortably write a 300-500 word essay by hand.  When Mrs. Richman grades these essays, she is always encouraging and would gently point out room for improvement.  She also provides resources so we could learn more about what we wrote about and expand our knowledge on the subject.

My favorite assignments were the biographical essays and Andrew Jackson team project.  The bio essays helped me learn about specific people and write about them in a creative way.  It was also fun to read everyone else's bio essays and see all the different essay or website formats.  In December, we did an Andrew Jackson project that questioned his position on the $20 bill.  Working as a team was really fun; we played on each other's strengths and got to know each other better in the process.

I would highly recommend this course to any student.  It doesn't matter if you like history or not - I certainly didn't like history, but this course was enojyable and peaked my interest.  This course did require much time investment and dilligent work, but it's not overwhelming.  The assignments aren't terribly difficult, but the amount of weekly assignments makes it quite challenging.  All in all, this was a fantastic course.  If you're looking for a fun, interactive, challenging, and AWESOME history class, I suggest you take APUSH with Mrs. Richman! :D

Rewarding Class posted by Ben Weeks on May 14 2012 at 17:35:00

I felt very prepared for the AP exam. I spent about seven hours a week doing work for this class. I especially liked the Bio Essays and the History Interviews. I really liked History before this class so it just compounded my interest in History. Students who would do well in this course are people who like History and are willing to keep up diligently with the assignments. Mrs. Richman is a very positive and easy to work with teacher.

Challenging yet Rewarding posted by Brooke Wade on June 06 2011 at 22:56:37

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots" ~ Marcus Garvey

Without history, cultures and peoples, stories and legacies would not exist. Everything around us is a part of history. History shapes us and we shape history. Many of us, I am sure, have grand visions of impacting the world and society, influencing others, and making a name for ourselves. And yet, how can we do so without knowing of the individuals and events that have shaped our very lives?

Mrs. Richman's APUSH class is the best way to learn more about people, places, and events that have shaped the world. Depending on the workload, I typically spent around 10-15 hours per week, although that number drastically increased in the few weeks prior to the exam. Nevertheless, the amount of time and effort required completely paid off on the day of the exam. When I opened up my test booklet and started on the MCQs, I felt 100% prepared to tackle any question Collegeboard decided to throw at me. The assignments were all both informative and exciting. Perhaps my favorite were the cartoon analyses. In literature classes, I always enjoyed analyzing symbolism, tone, mood, figures of speech, etc., but it never occurred to me to try that with cartoons until this class. Even though only one cartoon analysis was required each month, I would often do my own informal analyses on the side whenever I came upon some historical or political cartoon. Particularly on exam day, this skill helped me to understand and figure out the answers to MCQs and the DBQ where cartoons were involved.

Anyone who is willing to expend a little effort and wishes not to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of history will certainly be able to do well in this course. Not only were the assignments themselves valuable, Mrs. Richman offered extremely prompt and detailed help whenever a student had a question. Every week she would send out very detailed updates in order to guide us through the class and thoroughly prepare us for exam day. Mrs. Richman cared about each and every one of her students and would go to great lengths to help everyone learn from their mistakes and truly prepare. She is one of the most compassionate and involved teachers I have ever had! In fact, my sense of preparation on the day of the exam is due to Mrs. Richman's guidance throughout the year.

Several students also put together study groups to help review for the exam, and I know many have found this option quite helpful.

At the end of APUSH, a student will have a thorough knowledge and understanding of history and how it has shaped our lives. With this knowledge, we can continue forward in our own individual pursuits, knowing how we got here, knowing who we are, and knowing how best to contribute to society. Only by studying history can we truly prepare ourselves for the rest of life.

AMAZING COURSE posted by Samuel Pritt on June 06 2011 at 21:11:18

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

YES! The course definitely emphasized all the things that you need to know to do well on the exam. I got so much practice righting essays and working multiple choice questions. Activities like the MCQ-think-it-thru really strengthened my ability to effectively answer multiple choice questions, even when I'm not sure of the answer. This turned out to be a really, really important skill. Overall, the course was extremely thorough in preparing me for the exam.

How many hours of work per day did you generally put into the course?

The time investment was large, but definitely not overwhelming. Earlier in the course, especially in the fall semester I spent different amounts of time on different days, but I rarely did more than two hours. Closer to the exam though, i.e. from late march and on, I spent a lot more time per day every day (including Saturday) but it wasn't unbearable. Probably on the 'toughest' days I did 3-4 hours.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

It did! I was not especially excited about this course when it started out, but by this spring I was really enjoying APUSH. And that says a lot for an AP course! It was tough, but the more I learned, the more exciting it got. I think part of this was just understanding how history works. You start to realize that history isn't just a bunch of scattered facts; they all tie together, each event leading to another, and even little details can have huge impacts. I'm definitely more interested in U.S. history now than I was last summer!

What sort of student would do well in this course?

I don't think you have to be a history buff to do well in this course. I definitely wasn't, and I feel like I did well. You just have to be willing to put the work in, and understand that this is going to be a major time commitment, especially in the spring. I took four AP tests this year and APUSH was by far the most time consuming of them all. It's just a lot--A LOT--of little things to memorize, so if you're going to do well then you have to be willing to spend a lot of time studying facts many, many times over because most of them aren't going to stick the first ten times or so you go over them. In other words, cramming won't work. :)

Would you recommend this class?

YES. The course is extremely thorough and as long as you put in the expected amount of time and effort, you will definitely do well. Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher. And believe me, you will be rewarded. It's a ton of hard and often tedious work, but when its all over you get to kick back and go around asking people if they know what the Hawley-Smoot Tariff was. ;)




Had a TON of fun, but I am So happy to be finished with High School ;) posted by Danielle Mendheim on June 03 2011 at 01:10:15

1) This online course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. If anything, Mrs. Richman gave so much information and bonus activities that at times I NEVER even touched my other studies.

2) Each day I put in anywhere from 3 hours to 5 hours depending on the assignments. On average about 15 hours/week.

3) I absolutely LOVED the creative writing assignments and had the most fun with them! Probably the most helpful assignments were the timed essays. They best prepared me for the exam. I gained information from research and felt quite capable when the time came to write them "for real."

4) This course most DEFINITELY made me enjoy American history. Now I often see references made to different time periods and find myself more capable of arguing political, economic, and social issues.

5) I loved my skype calls with Hana Spangler and found that when my teammates encouraged me to do something - such as catch up on text book reading - I was more likely to accomplish it.

6) The best student for this course is one who is SELF disciplined and a good time manager. Of course, if a student does not have these qualities, but still takes this course, should NOT become discouraged! He or she shall quickly gain them as I myself did. ;)I would most certainly recommend this course for almost anyone willing to learn and work hard! Mrs. RIchman's commentary on everything is invaluable and the content extraordinary!

Thank you for an AMAZING year!

A glorious investment! posted by Hana Spangler on May 26 2011 at 12:47:33

"Were you prepared for the actual AP US History exam?"

I assure you, indubitably. Even though I was very nervous about not being prepared, the exam ended up being one of the most enjoyable tests I have had the pleasure of taking.

Favorite assignments:

The greatest one that you will hear about is the Dinner Parties, of which I attended the first two out of three. It's basically a forum, but for historical people. At first, I was Abigail Adams, trying my best to keep my "husband" out of trouble, lecturing Loyalists on irony and generally defending my honor. Next, I played the notorious John Wilkes Booth, arguing vehemently with U.S. Grant and Harriet Tubman, lamenting with my fellow former Confederates, and eventually setting up a target-shooting game. Practically speaking, the Dinner Parties really help you get a grip on a historical period, as well as "meet" other famous figures in a very memorable way.

Another favorite of mine was the Biography Essays. As with the Dinner Party, you get to learn in-depth about people and their time. For my first bio essay, I created a shadow puppet-style video about Cotton Mather, and I learned about him far beyond his limited involvement in the Salem Witch Trials. For these, as well as your Dinner Party characters, I suggest that you pick a person who you either have never heard of and know nothing about, or one whose name is very familiar, but about whom you still know nothing.

Also, don't forget to explore the APUSH website; my favorite handy starting reference is the "History Links" tab on the sidebar; you'll see that I've made a few contributions.

And there's so much more! Interviews, movies--I could go on all day. But I won't, because I think you get the idea.

"Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?"

I come from a background of people who are admittedly fascinated with history, and I am much the same. However, this class renewed my love for many periods of history which I found "generally uninteresting." I learned that a whole period of history cannot be entirely uninteresting, and honed skills to help me pick out specifically interesting facets of those times which did not initially intrigue me.

The ideal student:

If you are the ideal student, you love writing; you don't have to be "top-notch" or anything, but you really enjoy expressing your ideas through words. You also love reading anything you can get your hands on. You have ready access to a good computer for long periods of time, and don't mind staring at the screen or downloading lots of materials. You want to connect to other students with the same interests. Above all, you find some part of history fascinating, whether it be literature, airplanes, music, or sports, and you are fully willing to make connections between your interests and history, tracking the roots and consequences of your favorite happenstances.

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: "Do you recommend this course?"


If, when you were young, you ever played cowboys and indians, or peasants and kings, or slaves and drivers, or soldiers, pilgrims, pioneers, or immigrants--if, as a child, you ever wore a bedsheet toga, or built a cushion cabin, or ate wartime rations--if you can still remember your great-aunt's story about her Russian neighbors, or if you know which ship your ancestors came over on--if you still have that arrowhead at the back of your sock drawer, then do yourself the favor of a lifetime: take this class. Even if history no longer appeals to you, remember how your childhood endeavors were filled with Conquistadors or Iroquois or Confederates or Communists. This class is supposed to be about passing an exam, but it will ultimately be about renewing your faith in an informed imagination. For this class, you must imagine what it was like at Jamestown and Gettysburg and the Oregon Trail. You must imagine what thoughts went through the heads of John Brown and Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon. Your imagination is what will help you through the final exam essays, and your imagination is what will benefit permanently by this class.

If you're still unsure, I advise you to at least apply. You'll write an essay about your previous history studies; you'll mention the toga and the arrowhead and your great-aunt, and if any part of you is interested, it will show through. Be very thorough, and see if you can't get in. It'll be a lot of work, but it's well worth it.

Good luck!

Hana Spangler

Incompatibility in Harmony posted by Christian Fernandez on May 24 2011 at 14:58:58

There are individuals, such as myself, who have a passion for history. There are individuals who view history with contempt. These two different groups of people naturally would appear to be incompatible together. Then, Mrs. Richman's APUSH class enters the equation, and these two incompatible groups suddenly are in harmony. 

For individuals who love history, wanting to enter this class would seem to be an obvious desire. But, this class has more to it than just learning about American history. No matter how much you love history, this class will open your eyes to just how wonderful history, specifically American, is. The opportunities you have to learn are exceptional. For example, there's the primary source document reading. Before entering this class, I had rarely ever read a primary source document. In this class, I was required to read primary source documents, and it quickly became my favorite assignment. You will learn history not just from a book, but from the actual historical figures who made history what it is. There are countless other opportunities, such as access to lectures by high-class professors who elaborate on even the smallest details of history to help you understand the full picture. Most of all, you won't just receive a knowledge of American history, you'll receive an understanding of it. One of the most amazing things about history is how some concept led to a chain of events, or how one event led to many others. That type of understanding is what you will gain from this course. 

For those who do not have a passion for history...enter the class and all contempt you have had will vanish. Before this class, I loved every aspect of American history up to the end of the Civil War. I knew very little about history from the Reconstruction Era up to the Modern Era, especially the Modern Era. To me, they lacked the richness of the "old times." Even after taking this class, I didn't adore those eras. Yet, I lost any dislike I had for them. I learned how to appreciate those eras, and gained that understanding of history that helped me realize just how significant those eras were. Sometimes, people who dislike history are told to try to picture history as a "big story book." This class will do that to make it enjoyable to the history-hater, but also make sure that you obtain the same understanding of history that the history-lover obtains.

Of course, at the end of the class, is the exam. This is practically the grand finale of the whole class, and naturally any potential student would ask, "Does this class prepare me for the exam?" First of all, this class has the amazing ability to make you forget you're even taking an exam. The preparation for the exam that students receive throughout the year (e.g. FRQ and DBQ assignments) will get them so prepared that by the time the exam arrives, it seems to be just another weekly assignment for the class. The MCQ Think it Thrus in particular were great. It is practically guaranteed that you will not know the answers to all of them, but that's a blessing instead of a curse. The way Mrs. Richman has planned how the MCQ Think it Thrus work develop your understanding of history; because sometimes you can answer a question you know nothing about simply by knowing about a related event or historical figure. To summarize, this course will make you familiar with the exam's content and master the skills and information you need for it. 

The course took 2-3 hours a day for me, but that should not scare a potential student. The reward far outweighs the cost. 

I entered this class as an avid admirer of history, and I left the class with even more admiration for the subject, but most of all, an understanding of it. Mortimer Adler once said that you can't just know a subject, you need to understand it. All that and more is gained from Mrs. Richman's APUSH class.



Not sure what else I can say.... posted by Theresa Marlin on May 24 2011 at 11:55:39

that hasn't been said already.

Absolutely fantastic class, fantastic people, and great friends made in this class. Do not, however, make the bad mistake of thinking this class is easy. This class is, as all AP classes are, very challenging. You have to work very hard to acquire sufficient knowledge to do well on this test.

You can't just take this course and expect to do perfectly on the test. The course prepares you very well, but you aren't going to remember the specifics of the colonial era by the time May comes around. You may only be spending an hour or so a day at first, but by the end of April, I was studying 3 hours a day, and writing tons of practice essays.

Overall, you will do fine in this course if you're willing to study hard. If you're willing to, by all means, take it :) You will certainly not regret it.

Rigorous Enjoyment posted by Keegan Pronovost on May 23 2011 at 23:19:03

I am just going to go through some basic questions regarding this course: 

Look no further... posted by Avery Lapan on May 22 2011 at 12:48:53

You've found the APUSH class you were searching for! Mrs. Richman is an amazing and supportive teacher that clearly loves history, and even if you don't love history yourself, her enthusiasm will spill over to you. This class is a sizable time requirement--I probably spend at least two hours a day during the week (usually a little more, I would say), and then some on the weekends, as well. If you aren't a fast reader, it will probably take a little more time. The class is very interactive, and that was a fantastic element--learning together and helping each other definitely keeps you involved and on task. History isn't a favorite subject of mine, but this course is interesting and engaging--perfect for a hard working student. I would recommend the course to students who understand the time requirements and are ready to put in effort, even if they don't 'like' history. So what are waiting for? Go sign up, and have a blessed year! :)

APUSH Review - Damaris Jimenez posted by Damaris Jimenez on May 21 2011 at 03:04:18

I felt pretty confident going into the exam. A couple suggestions for prospective students would be: A) get a study group together as soon as you can and B) even if you aren’t really interested in Native American, women, or black history…pay attention to it because it’s a huge component of the exam. Personally, I happen to find the big court cases and military history more interesting than the minority groups…but still, if you want to do well – pay attention to the leading feminists and blacks. At bare minimum…know about the Harlem Renaissance, the Progressives, and how the Native Americans helped during WWII.

Also – make sure you do the MCQ Think-it-thru exercise…and then study the correct answer. Mrs. Richman packs a lot of helpful extra information into the answers of the MCQ Think-it-thrus.

Personally, I did roughly 2 hours per day…depending on what I had going on each week. A lot of the kids in the class were in debate [including me] so sometimes I had to catch up with work. I recommend working ahead if you have a debate tournament the next week. I’m a perpetually repenting procrastinator…and even I came to the conclusion that you seriously do not want to get behind in this class. The best thing you can do is stay in contact with Mrs. Richman – she’s amazingly helpful and understanding.

My absolute favorite assignment this year was the Bio essays – I like to write essays about as much as the next person…but when you can turn your Bio essay into a film…the assignment becomes a completely different animal. I loved working on my film about Thomas Nast. It was a tremendous amount of work, but I enjoyed the whole process. The other “assignment” I enjoyed were the dinner parties – I participated in all of them and had a blast – However, if you enter as a very dramatic character like Banastre Tarleton…be prepared to have the serving maid pour wine on you! ;-) I highly recommend attending all three dinner parties. I also recommend not coming as the same type of person. I enjoyed the History in the News assignment…I found that as a debater and a competitor in Extemporaneous speaking, this assignment helped me distill current events and American history at the same time.  Another favorite assignment was the December Film Review – what can I say? I got to watch a fantastic film from the Golden Age of Hollywood, research more on it, and write about it.

I came into the class with a deep seeded love of US History….if anything, this class increased my interest in European History because after understanding the events of American History…I can’t wait to learn more about the events that were happening in the world at the same time.

I enjoyed most of my interactions with my fellow students. I would recommend trying to get on a team with people you know if at all possible. Also, start a study group – this will help you review material and cement friendships as well.

I had the opportunity to interact with some classmates who were on the other side of the political spectrum. While we hardly agreed, it was a great learning opportunity for me and helped me consider topics like gun rights, muckraking, and dropping the A bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima from a different point of view.

I think a student who is creative and hard working would do well in this class. Also necessary are good [not just decent] essay writing skills. It’s important to remember that this class takes a more proactive approach than some of the other PA Homeschoolers classes. What you put into the class is what you will take out. One way to get to know your classmates is to post debate topics or questions on the WWWBoard.

* General comments/ suggestions:

-Assignment Logs: Personally, I had kind of a hard time remembering the assignment logs…not just that, but when I did fill them out, I had a hard time remembering exactly all the bonuses and extras that I had done during the week. I think if the stable weekly work was on a separate check list similar to Dr. Richman’s and then you had a daily assignment log for all the PSDs, videos, essays, etc it might make it easier to stay organized. This would have helped me also stay involved in the class and active on the class website more than I was.

Overall, I enjoyed this class very much and I hope you will too.

-Damaris Jimenez

What are you waiting for? Go sign up for APUSH now! ;) posted by Sara Jo Luecke on May 20 2011 at 18:10:24

Dear potential APUSH student,

If you want a class that will not only (thoroughly) prepare you for the APUSH exam but also give you a deeper appreciation for history in general, then you’ve come to the right place! Although I enjoy learning about history, I’m *not* what you would call a history buff – so the thought of all the little details that I would have to learn and remember for the exam at the end of the year was very intimidating! However, Mrs. Richman prepares her students very thoroughly, and by the time the exam rolled around I had a much stronger grasp of history than I could have ever anticipated – both big picture and little details! And, as someone who has always preferred the cultural side of history to “all those dates and politics and wars and stuff” ;), I was surprised at how much I enjoyed learning about *even* the politics and wars, and how rewarding it was to be able to put events into a timeline in my head (not my strong point!)  The variety of interesting and fun assignments you do throughout the year are almost guaranteed to get you more excited about history…yes, even if it’s “not really your subject.”

The time I spent on APUSH varied quite a bit from day to day and also from week to week. Average was probably somewhere around 8-9 hours a week, but depending on what was going on (such as working on a longer project like a bio essay, for example, or doing extra review) it could definitely take quite a bit more. And in the last weeks before the exam, every spare moment that I had (that wasn’t eaten up by other school!) went towards review, so it was definitely very time-intensive. However, there’s a LOT of flexibility too – although specific assignments are due each week, what you do for review, how many “bonus assignments” you do, etc, is up to you and what you have time for. And, as assignments are due weekly rather than daily, your day-to-day schedule is largely up to you as well. Of course, that means that this class requires self-discipline and self-motivation, but it also means that you can focus on what you need to study the most, and can do so in the way that works best for you!

In fact, one of my favorite aspects of this class was the variety of ways to learn. For instance, one thing that I found especially helpful for review was listening to history lectures. Not only were they very engaging, but I could listen to them while doing other things, so I was able to invest more time in review than I might have been able to otherwise. And, there’s lots of variety in the “specific assignments” you do (not just in the review options) – from creative bio essays, to political cartoon analyses, to “history in the news” assignments where you look at history’s connection to “current events,” to the “Andrew Jackson project” where you work with your teammates to develop an argument, and so much more.  One assignment that I especially enjoyed was the interview that we did around the middle of the year. I interviewed my great-great-uncle on his experiences in WWII, and I learned so much – not only about the war, but also about my uncle. Reading the different interviews posted by my classmates (and past APUSHers!) was so enriching as well, there are some absolutely fascinating and moving stories contained in those interviews.

Although I didn’t get too involved in extra interaction (just because of time-constraints -- I was already spending more time on APUSH than my other classes because of studying, but that's just the way it worked out for me…so again there’s a lot of flexibility even there), the discussions I *were* involved in were both fun and valuable. Comments were always very encouraging, and reading my classmates’ work was especially helpful and inspiring – I learned a lot, and it’s always useful to see the different approaches that people take! And Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher – always very supportive and encouraging, constantly sharing new learning ideas, and just does a great job getting her students interested in and excited about history!

So anyway….conclusion: I highly recommend this class!! The main things you will need are self-motivation (including the ability to manage your own time) and a desire to learn…lots!  A strong background in writing is also helpful, since you will do a lot of writing in this class, but overall I think any student who is willing to work hard and give it their best will thoroughly enjoy this class, be challenged by it (in a good way of course!), learn a ton, and come out of it with a deeper appreciation and even love for history…being prepared for the APUSH exam in the spring is almost a bonus! ;)

~Sara Jo~

APUSH Class Review :-) posted by Samantha Sharman on May 20 2011 at 17:39:38

  Yes it helped me so much. It helped me a lot especially when I had to write the essays. I felt that I knew most of the information that I needed to know to do a good job on the exam.

It varied from day to day but probably an average of 2 hours.

I really enjoyed watching the Biography of America videos because they were so informative and I also really enjoyed doing the Bio Essay and the Interview.

This course definitely made me more interested in History. Before I took this class I had a hard time remembering information, but this class helped me because everything was made into something interesting and fun. The different assignments helped me to enjoy history so much.

Yes it was great to talk to the other students in the class. We had study groups on skype every monday which helped me so much in getting ready for the exam. :-) It was also fun to learn about the other people in the class.

If you enjoy learning a lot of new and interesting information about history then you would do well in this class. You do have to work hard, but it is a lot of fun the whole time. I would definitely recommend this course to other students. This class is amazing! Mrs. Richman is a wonderful teacher, and you will have a great time. :-)


Thank you Mrs. Richman so much for letting me take this class! I had a great time and learned so much. I know that everyone next year will enjoy it hopefully just as much as I did. :-)

So Great I'm Afraid Nothing Will Compare posted by Eva-Marie Quinones on May 19 2011 at 16:29:07

Mrs. Richman's class ruined me. Because now, I'm afraid nothing will EVER be as good as this class was! There was absolutely nothing bad about this class, it was completely perfect. In fact, I don't think I have a classmate who would complain about this class. :)

I was completely prepared for the AP Exam, in fact, I was so prepared I was disappointed there weren't MORE questions on the AP!!! At first, I wasn't in love with US History (it seemed like "infant history" since we've only been around 200 years) but NOW I TOTALLY  LOVE IT!!!!! Suddenly, the fact that George Washington wore glasses after the Revolution and Randolph Bourne was a hunchback mean soooo much more! And wow, I probably sound like the airhead of the year now :)

I generally put in about an hour and a half a day, as well as up to 4 hours on weekends, if it was a week with heavy coursework, such as weeks A and C. I'm not super-fast at note-taking, though. I think that the DBQs, Bio Websites, and FRQs (don't worry, when you take the class the jargon makes sense) were the most valuable assignments. The one I learned the most from, however, was the . . . Jackson Project! As Team Leader, I had to put in a lot of extra hours making a video and gathering research, but I will NEVER forget what I learned on the Jackson era! 

One thing I would suggest would be friending your class mates on Facebook and starting a study group. They prove to be so valuable, and you can really develop good friendships with people in your class by IMing with them or in study group. It's fun AND valuable, as it enhances your thinking on a host of other issues as well! 

The people I got along well with in this class were generally adventurous, smart, funny, interested in politics, and history lovers. If history is just another class to you, maybe this class isn't right for you; if history comes alive, then sign up now. One of the things I loved was being able to discuss a friend's time in another country (many people in this class have traveled a LOT) and debating the politics of Rome, or what HL Mencken really meant (yes, I enjoy bitter sarcasm). 

Oh, and one more thing to future students, since I know I've taken up a lot of your time IF you've even read this far! TALK to Mrs Richman, because if you need an extension or are really behind, or just not loving your Bio Person, she will fix it! :)


Take this course! posted by Katie Wingert on May 19 2011 at 14:42:15

Dear future APUSH'er (or parent of future APUSH'er):

I'm going attempt to be short and to the point.  (Although, be forewarned: I tend to write a lot no matter how hard I try not to!) The main point I'd like to make is that this is an absolutely wonderful course with an absolutely FABULOUS teacher.  Students, you WILL be stretched to your limits, but as you are stretched, you WILL learn history!   

Being immersed in history and preparing for an exam in history are two very different things. Amazingly, Mrs. Richman's course helped me to do both.  I definitely felt that the course prepared me for the AP exam. First of all, the initial course material (textbook reading, Barron's Guide to APUSH reading, primary source documents, videos, and podcasts) was incredibly thorough and made me see the big picture.  I also was introduced to some of the complexities of history, and I became personally connected with history by exploring the lives of Americans of the past. Thanks to Mrs. Richman's weekly updates with review suggestions, I was able to retain the information I learned, which is obviously extremely important in order to suceed on the exam.  Throughout the year, Mrs. Richman encouraged us to be reviewing what we'd learned so far, and she gave excellent suggestions. Utimately, the review is up to YOU, as the student, but that really helps you to retain the information so much better than if a teacher told you every single topic you need to review and gave you a book with the information.

Most weeks, I spent at least ten to twelve hours a week working on this course.  Some weeks, however, I would spend as many as twenty hours on the course.  These were weeks when I was researching for a bio essay, reading a lot of history-related books, or reviewing for the AP exam.   One thing I would say is that a student can really spend as much time as they want on this course.  There is a LOT of "bonus" work.  However, if you just don't have time to do it all, don't worry.  In addition to APUSH, I had a VERY busy year with an advanced composition and literature class that also required two or three hours a day, and I realized at some point that I just couldn't do *every* bonus assignment; I could only really do the ones that I knew would be of great help to me on the exam. 

All of them! :) But seriously... all of the assignments are valuable in some way or another.  I guess I would say that the MOST valuable assignments for me were the MCQ Think it Through questions on the website (where we would have to analyze a particuarly difficult question from a past exam and eliminate answers by using what we knew about the wrong answers).  I also particuarly enjoyed the Cartoon Analyses that we did several times during the year.  I know that the practice of analysis definitely helped me on the exam, where many multiple choice questions require you to analyze a cartoon and base your answer off of your analysis.  Also, the Document Based Question essays usually have cartoons in them that need to be analyzed. Another very helpful assignment were the three quizzes (of our choice) that we were required to do each week. Multiple choice questions are the BEST way to retain information, the BEST way to review, and the BEST way to practice for the exam.  I cannot stress enough how much the practice multiple choice exams and the "quiz questions of the day" on the website helped me.

Absolutely! What I enjoyed so much about this course was that Mrs. Richman didn't just assign homework for us to complete; we were also challenged to learn independently by exploring aspects of history that we particuarly enjoyed (or particuarly struggled with).  For instance, I was given the opportunity to research and write about Harriet Beecher Stowe.  The biographical essay was not only interesting to me in the historical sense, but also in a personal sense; I enjoy writing, and it was very inspiring for me to see that one woman could use her pen to give the oppressed a voice (and, in Lincoln's words, "start a great war").

I certainly did find my communications interesting and valuable.  Although I didn't have too much time for interaction (because of my courseload and full extracurricular schedule), I certainly enjoyed every discussion I was able to participate in.  I especially enjoyed the interactive "dinner parties" where we students played the role of an important person from the time period and argued about issues of the time.

A student who is a strong writer will do well in the course. There is a LOT of writing.  Even if a student isn't a strong writer, though, if they have good analytical skills and a strong work ethic, they will do well! Also, a student needs to be a good time budgeter, because if they're not, they will end up spending all their time on this course because there is so much interesting material!

All in all, this course is phenomenal. I would encourage everyone I know to take it.  I grew so much, not just as a student of history, but as a student in general. Mrs. Richman is an amazing lady; she's always encouraging, helpful, and fun.  TAKE THIS COURSE, and be prepared to learn more than you ever thought you could learn in one year!

Lots of work, but a GREAT class! posted by Caroline Harper on May 19 2011 at 13:51:54

I went into this class knowing that history was not my strong point and knowing that I would have to study a lot to learn all the history I would need to know for the exam. I did have to devote about two hours a day, sometimes more, to studying, but thanks to Mrs. Richman's fantastic teaching, I learned a lot of history without even trying! This course will definitely prepare you for the exam, as long as you take it upon yourself to put in the time to learn the material. 

My favorite assignments were the summer book review and the film review, which helped me learn a ton of history without hardly even trying, and the Andrew Jackson project, where we decided whether or not Andrew Jackson deserved to be on the $20 bill. I also really enjoyed the history podcasts and videos, and the weekly "MCQ Think it Through" where we analyzed a multiple choice question from a past APUSH exam.

Everybody in the class was so encouraging and helpful! We all became close friends throughout the year. Even though I have never personally met any of my classmates, I feel that I know them all, through skype study sessions and chats on the WWW Board. If I ever had a question, I would post it on the board and I would get helpful comments and explanations. Also, Mrs. Richman is excellent about keeping people on track with their assignments, answering questions, giving extensions on particularly busy weeks, and offering great advice for test day.

I highly recommend this course! It is challenging, and will require a lot of time, so don't take it if you know that you will already be on overload with a ton of other classes. It is so much fun, though, and Mrs. Richman is a wonderful teacher!

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it... posted by Allyson Lim on May 18 2011 at 23:27:01

...That's why you should take this class!  Mrs. Richman’s APUSH class was a very enjoyable course to take.  History usually isn't my favorite, but this class gave me a huge appreciation for my country’s history and actually made learning history fun!  I especially liked getting to know my classmates.  From reading their essays to interacting with them on the APUSH website, my classmates contributed greatly to my APUSH experience.

Generally speaking, I spent 10-12 hours on APUSH each week.  I felt that this course prepared me well for the APUSH exam.  However, since history isn’t my strongest subject, I had to do lots of the extra work that was recommended but not required for this course in order to feel confident about the AP exam.

I thought that the essays were an especially valuable part of the course.  Whether it was the Bio essay or monthly FRQ and DBQ, I felt that the essays contributed most to my preparation for the AP exam.  The Bio essays were particularly fun to do.  Getting to do something creative makes learning history all the more enjoyable.  The practice FRQs and DBQs helped me become familiar with the type of essay questions that would appear on the AP exam.  Also, getting to read my classmates’ work helped me gain different perspectives on the different time periods, people, and events that we learned about.  Though not exactly essay-related, I also liked the Andrew Jackson project that we did in December.  That definitely helped me understand more about the Jacksonian period in history and was a lot of fun to do.

I highly recommend this course.  Mrs. Richman is an excellent teacher, and I’m very glad that I took her class.  If you’re thinking about taking this class, be sure to be involved.  Get to know your classmates, read their work, set up study groups, etc.  This will help you GREATLY in preparation for the APUSH exam.

Great class! posted by Michael Thompson on May 18 2011 at 17:42:47

History has never been my favorite subject, and it still isn't, but I still had an amazing experience in this class! This class definitely had the most student interaction out of the three other online classes I have taken, which is a reason why it is so great.

Here are my answers to the standard questions about the course. 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes. This course doesn’t cover studying specifically for the AP exam though. I would recommend starting to take practice tests and reading prep books well before the class is over. Take a lot of practice tests too, I think I took about 9 before the actual exam, and I wish I took more. Overall, this course definitely gave me the necessary information to score well on the AP exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Anywhere from 7-11 hours per week.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The essays were just annoying, but when the exam came, I was extremely happy I did them! 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definitely, I still plan to study engineering in college, but this course did make history fun for me!

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes! I knew and was good friends with everyone on my APUSH team before the class, and I loved taking the class with them. (And yes, I did survive the year being on a team with 5 girls) 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

This class is hard enough that only the students who enjoy school and are very motivated will do well. In my opinion, a class would be pretty boring if it wasn't challenging, and this class was certainly not boring! I would recommend this class to anyone willing to work hard! 

Other than this class being amazing, here are some things I noticed while taking it. This class is difficult mainly because there are so many assignments to do, not necessarily because the assignments are difficult by themselves. Sometimes it would be challenging for me to just find the time to listen to the audio lectures, or watch some of the videos. I think it would be difficult to take this class along with more than one other AP class. I also took this with AP Computer Science, and an advanced chemistry course (almost AP level), and I still spent more time on this class than any of those. It is also easy to fall behind, especially if history is not your favorite subject, but Mrs. Richman is extremely understanding and will help you get caught up again. It was very fun taking a class with people who are extremely smart and willing to be challenged.

In all, this is an amazing class with a remarkable teacher, and if you are willing to work hard, by all means, take this class! 

hard for those not talented in history = me :D posted by Hannah Huynh on May 18 2011 at 03:01:36

As the title implies, I am not a history buff, and this class, or should I say studying for the exam, was definitely more challenging that I had imagined.
The class was wonderful, and Mrs. Richman is perhaps one of the best teachers I have had.  I learned lots about US history in this class, and I feel like this knowledge makes me sound smarter in all my conversations.
My first practice AP exam was a little shocking because I had expected to score higher, but Mrs. Richman was very encouraging.  She gave me great strategies to study and I soon was on track to get a very good grade on the AP exam.
Going into the AP exam, I felt as ready as I could be.  I knew I did all I could to study and I just had to try my best on the exam.  :)
Throughout the year, I probably put around 15 hours a week, but near the AP exam, I put closer to 24 hours.
The class overall was wonderful, and my favorite assignments in the class were the bonus ones.  Mrs. Richman sets up games like Who am I? where you try to identify a person through questions or dinner parties where you pretend to be a certain character and chat with others.  I liked watching history movies (yes, that sometimes is actually an assignment) and listening to podcasts.
This couse definitely enhanced my knowledge of the subject, I mean, I don't think most people know what the Taft-Hartley Act or Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty did.  However, this class also confirmed that I will not major in social sciences.  :)
The communications were great.  It also helped that everyone on my team lived less than 15 minutes away from me, so my team frequently saw each other and had group study times.  There also were many other nice kids in the class who set up skype and google chats to review the history material that we recently covered.  Mrs. Richman also sends detailed weekly updates so I always knew what was coming up.  There were no surprises in the class.
I would say that the majority of people would do well in the course.  History buffs would definitely breeze through this class; and scientific-inclined minds, like me, would also fare well, just with a little more studying.  :)

Amazing Class posted by John Baert on May 17 2011 at 16:40:19

WOW!!! Where should I start?

This AP class is AMAZING. This class was unlike anything I had ever been exposed to before. This has given me tons of US history knowledge to the point where I can discuss it with anyone, I can write about it, talk about it, and I still want to learn more. Yet it all started with this class. I took this class to become more advanced in this subject. I needed the vigorous writing, the large amount of assignments, the history reading, and the overall intensity. It has increased my reading skills, writing skills, analytical skills, and my knowledge of the subject. It has also given me a love for history. The course has surpassed all my expectations. It is a class where you will receive tons of benefits from taking it. I STRONGLY recommend this course.

I didn’t take this class to get college credit, to do well on an exam, or for it to look good on my college resume. I took it to learn more. The class allowed me to know and picture a 1810’s agrarian society full of Jeffersonian Republicans, an 1870’s southern town with used cannonballs from the Civil War all over a destroyed corn field, a 1930’s family of eighteen with no income and starving to death in a tenement house, Americans’ Manifest Destiny in the Mexican-American War, a frustrated Teddy Roosevelt upon the arrival of news that all progress on the Panama Canal was stopped, George Washington galloping on his white horse trying to rally retreating men to stand their ground, John Marshall declaring order in the court, Andrew Jackson refusing to shine a British officers shoe and receiving scars on his cheeks for it; the list goes on and on. The class gives you so much to look in to, so much to learn, and so much to look forward to.

The class website is for a number of things. For one, interacting with your classmates and submitting assignments. Interacting with your classmates’ will always keep the class interesting and fun. I learned so much this year just from reading my classmates essays and commenting on them. There will kids who are more experienced than you, but you can learn very much from them. Group projects, study buddy times, and discussions where all part of the interaction that you will be involved in if you take the course. They can help firm up your knowledge of US history and all sorts of things. If you do take this course, one of the most interesting, fun, valuable, and significant things in the class will be the website.

This past year my most important subject that took the most priority was this class. I put around 15 t 20 hours a week into it (maybe more). The good thing was that I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are lots of assignments and sometimes the submitting of the work itself took time. Each assignment will boost your abilities that much more. The first few times that you try to do the assignments you may think that you will never make it through the year if it is that way every week, but you cannot give up. You will learn how to analyze documents, political cartoons; you will develop reading and writing skills at top speed, even computer skills, and more.

I didn’t have one particular favorite assignment. The first times that I tried any of them, I felt I wouldn’t be able to keep it up for the rest of the year. However, the more assignments that I did the more familiar I was able to get with searching and finding exactly the resource I was looking for. Every assignment had its specific purpose in enhancing your knowledge.

As far as preparation for the exam goes, this course is perfect. The earlier you start review and preparing for that testing day, the stronger you’ll feel. It is like running a race. The earlier you start training, the more experienced and equipped you’ll feel that day of the big race. If you try your best in this course, even if at times it seems like everything is out of control and you are not learning much, just keep plugging away. With Mrs. Richman’s perfect schedule, you will be out there on exam day with an authentic sense of confidence.

If you are a person looking for an unforgettable year of our country’s history, with tons of activities, great learning tools that will benefit you in every area of your schooling, and you are willing to work very hard, this is the class  for you. You will be amazed at how much of America’s history you will know at the end of the year. You will notice how much history dictates our current world, and how important it is to understanding many of the events taking place. You will realize how much everything is connected to history and what Americans have done in the past 3 centuries. My suggestion to you is: TAKE THIS COURSE!!!


If you do take this course here are some more suggestions:

-          Scan a good newspaper regularly for things related to history. You would be surprised to see how much vocabulary (essential on the AP exam) you will learn as well as history.

-          Watch historical documentaries. You’ll get bonus points as well as great US history knowledge.

-          Read books about American people, discoveries, wars, and major events. You will also get bonus points and an even better understanding about how American history is important.

-          Be punctual. Do your assignments, don’t forget to hand them in, and do not take advantage of Mrs. Richman’s great course.

-          Be organized. This course has many small assignments that are easy to lose track of. Make a list and cross the assignments out as you do them.

-          Get to know your classmates. You will be with them all year.

-          Don’t be afraid to ask Mrs. Richman for help. She works things out for you, accommodates to your needs, and does her best to help you.

-          Last of all, enjoy yourself.


John Baert

A Wonderful Class!!!! posted by Brittany Wilharm on May 15 2011 at 22:08:46

This is a wonderful class (AP US History)!!!!! I made so many friends, and it solely led me to decide to major in history! Then this renewed love for history (I've always liked it but never really realized how important it was to me) let me learn about many politicians and really understand America's democracy and leaders. I gained a LOVE for Abraham Lincoln from this class. And so all this resulted in me deciding to Double Major in History *and* Political Science.

Let me say, the first semester of this class is pretty intense, though if you're a fast reader it wouldn't be as much. I, personally, am a reaaaaaly slow reader, but I found the online textbook to be the perfect format for me because the reading assignment would be, say, 20 of the subsections from "Civil War", but then when you go to read it you discover that the first of those subsections is only about  a typical paragraph's length, so then, no matter how many subsections you're assigned you don't get bogged down because it keeps your attention span by breaking the reading up into little bite sized pieces.

Also about the first semester, it's really easy to keep track of what you're supposed to do because all the assignments follow a pattern. You know that the first week of the every month you have to write this kind of essay, then the third week you have to write that kind, the second week you analyze a cartoon (which isn't too hard to find because she tells you the best sites to go to!), and so forth so that you know what to expect and nothing catches you off guard. I don't know if that format is good for everyone, but it's sure great for my personality type!

I really enjoyed the dinner parties which consist of everyone getting on the message board at their leisure and posting messages with their name as their character. Although participating in all three dinner parties is not required everyone really get's in to these by completely getting into character. Mrs. Richman even joins in the fun!

It was really nice how encouraging my classmates were/are. Plus they're all overachievers (at least the ones that post on the board the most are. There's also some students who just sort of sit in the background, get their assignments in, don't actually get too involved, but that's ok too!) so they were my type. No one ever complained about having too much work to do, everyone considered it fun and a lot of my friends were constantly posting about listening to more lectures than was required.

Because the class uses a point system it made it seem more exciting to go above and beyond, such as doing bonus activities. That's another thing! In almost every email update from Mrs. Richman there was some sort of bonus thing that students could choose to do if they wanted more points, but not required. A lot of times these sort of things would lead us to something else which would lead us to something else causing us to go on a rabbit trail of discovery! I learned of lot of neat things that way, because I had first been on my way to looking for something else.

One of the things that really helped us get ready for the AP exam was the MCQ Think it Thru. This is where Mrs. Richman post a question each week that was on a past APUSH exam. We then all post on this page telling our complete thought process as we work towards an answer. But she made us not simply guess and just say "It's B.", even if we were pretty sure. We were told to also tell why each of the other answers was wrong. Once we really got thinking about that we might realize, "Oh it couldn't be C because that didn't even happen until 1853!" so we could learn a whole lot more that way. And many times I would answer and MCQ Think it Thru or another quiz from a site or something and later on a practice test, or the real one, I would get a similar question and therefore learn the right answer even better!

I think that I put about 10 hours of work per week into the first semester, but it's not as much as it sounds: once I entered this class, everything I did seemed to be relevant. History became everything I did. Anyone who in anyway likes history, if in this class, would start to realize how often they do history themed things!

So it's not 10 hours of sitting starring at a textbook, or writing down useless stuff. It's just 10 hours of "history". You'd be surprised at how many period movies there are. ;)


So one last things, I'd like to say... well I'd like to say two things now that I think about it:

A) Mrs. Richman is awesome!!!!!

and B) This class is good for the genius overachievers, yes.  But it's also good for people like me who are smart as a general rule but who struggle with certain things, or do everything slower than everyone else (particularly reading). I personally did not ever feel ridiculously overwhelmed. The class went at just the right speed.

About the test, Mrs. Richman and the other students were constantly sharing advice and methods for studying, and sites to use ect. I however did not take this as seriously as I should have and did not realize that the entire month before the test *needed* to be dedicated to test prep. I waitied until the last minute to do the proper amount of studying and then felt rushed. However, if someone were to take this as seriously as everyone else in the class was, the test would be plenty easy due to this class. I highly recommend the book which I discovered after the test date was steadily approaching, "My Max Score" for AP US History.


Hard work, but so amazing! posted by Kathryn Fodale on May 14 2011 at 24:33:55

I have been thinking for a long time what to write. It is so hard to pack a whole course into one tiny class review! I will try, though.

The main thing I want to say is, take this class!!! This was by far my favorite year of high school and one of my favorite classes! This class pushes you to be a better student while having fun. 

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Without a doubt, I was totally prepared for the exam. Mrs. Richman used an assignment called "Multiple Choice Think Through" to help us think quickly as we decided on the answer of the multiple choice. Mrs. Richman also had us do many timed essay through-out the year. By test day, I felt very confident in taking the test. (I did have test butterflies, but that is totally normal.


How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? 

I typically spent about 8-14 hours per week on my APUSH homework. I would spend more time if I had many study groups that week or a big assignment was due.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Gosh, I could go on forever on this question. There was not an assignment that Mrs. Richman asked us to complete that was pointless. I'm just going to name a few....

Study group-- This isn't actually assignment, but Mrs. Richman offered 100 bonus points for every hour of studying with a person in class or at home. This really helped me learn so much more. I really benefit from hearing for other people and being very engaged. These study groups pushed me to learn and made me want to do even better.

Interview-- This was one of my favorite assignment all year. I was able to interview someone from my church who was involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis. I really gained a lot of insight from doing this assignment. He shared a personal story that just amazed me! Not only did I gain a better appreciation for what he and the other men went through, I also learned a lot about the Cuban Missile Crisis that helped me on the APUSH test. 

Bio Essay-- I really liked this assignment, because I got to learn about a specific person. It was so much fun and educational to learn a lot about a single person and how they dramatically effected history. I also was able to grow in my computer skills a lot! (I'm one of those people that when there's a problem with my computer, I turn it off and then turn it on again.)

I wish I could talk about all the assignments. They all helped me out so much! Those three were probably my favorite assignments.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

It certainly did! I love history. I was actually sad after the test was done, because the class was done! I hope in the future to continue gleaning information on America's history. 

Did you find you communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I already covered this topic, but I really did love how I interacted with my fellow classmates so much. This course is what you make it. You can easily get involved in study groups and learn with your classmates, or you can just do the work and study all by yourself.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students?

I would definitely recommend this course to other students! You do have to be wiling and self-motivated to work hard. If you are that kind of person, you will love this course.


Well, I really hope you decide to take this course. I loved the class, and I hope you will, too!



*squeaky fanboy voice* An absolutely fantastic fun class!!!!! posted by Evan Chow on May 13 2011 at 05:02:24

This is an AMAZING course!!!!!! I don't mean to sound like a fanboy, but it's such a terrific class!!! I feel it's like a Pandora's Box - once you do one class website activity, there are still many more to find and do! (not to mention many hundreds of thousands of website bonuses offered....)

Here are some questions with my answers - hope they'll be helpful!

Q1) Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Oh most definitely!!! I felt very overprepared, in fact! Every assignment that Mrs. Richman gives happens to prepare you very well in a certain area - for example, through a Jackson cartoon analysis, I was left with a lasting knowledge of the Bank War.

You do have to prepare and review, for sure. I worked with Wikipedia and the Princeton Review 450-flashcard set, along with many practice tests. However, the textbooks you use are wonderful, and the review (I thought) was much more supplementary rather than just trying to make up for a poor class (which this was most definitely not!!).

All the essays and quizzes you do over the year are absolutely wonderful in preparing you - you get a very good feel of what a "9" essay is!

There is so much I could talk about, but I must elaborate on one particular helpful activity: MCQ Think It Thru's. Each week, she puts up a real MCQ question for practice and bonus points. You have to write about what you would choose but also why you would choose it. Mrs. Richman gives lots of great tips about finding the right answer - even ones that don't narrowly apply APUSH. It's excellent - I found myself remembering a lot of these "distinguishing the right answer" strategies when taking the real exam last Friday.

Q2) Hours of work per week?

Definitely very irregular for me during the school year - as much as 30-40 hrs to as little as 2-3. Definitely during the last month, when I started reviewing heavily, I started putting at least 7-9 hrs a day. But fortunately, it's fun stuff, and time flies by so fast!! :)

Q3) Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

YES! Besides the regular assignments that were fantastic and prepared us for the AP exam, I LOVED the biographical essays. You have two to do over the year - one from each half of US history. Each is required to be over 2000 words. This was my first time writing that much, and naturally, I was intimidated a bit! But it's amazing not only how easily you can write that - and beyond - but how much FUN you have learning about your biographical person. And if that's not enough, you are *aherm* REQUIRED to write in a creative format - including media! Some people made videos, fictional narratives, blogs, fictional interviews ... it's so much fun to read others' bio essays! And you learn so much!

It's an absolutely terrific asset for your college portfolio, too! For example, I did my ~10,300 (I was shocked it could even get that long!) latter period bio essay on Chester Arthur (president) describing his life and achievements in the form of a three-act theatrical script. It was soooo much fun, and it's going in my college folder! Bio essays were definitely the highlight of the class for me, but not by a large margin!

Q4) Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yep! I came in expecting, frankly, APUSH not to be quite as interesting as Mrs. Harrison's AP EURO 2009-2010 class (which is also terrific!), but came out with a much greater appreciation for our nation's history!

Q6) A student who takes this course MUST be prepared to work hard. It is tremendously easy to fall behind on assignments! Yet, if you keep up with Mrs. Richman's long and AMAZING updates, and the syllabus, and the reading (which is fun!), and everything else, this may turn out to be the most rewarding class you take all year. It is truly an example of: what you put in will be multiplied 6 fold and given back to you with a great dose of encouragement at the end of the year

Yes, I would recommend this course wholeheartedly. Take it, and don't just pass it, enjoy it!

A Class You will be Sad to End posted by Ashlyn Olson on May 12 2011 at 19:12:43

It was 6:00am on a Friday morning. I quietly tip-toed out of my room, so I would not wake my sister. I had laid out my clothes, I.D., 2 pencils, 2 pens, a water bottle, and a Cliff Bar. I quickly checked my watch as I made myself scrambled eggs.  June 6th was the day of my AP United States History exam. Yes, I was nervous. Fortunately, thanks to Mrs. Richman’s APUSH class, I was prepared.

In the beginning of this APUSH class, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had filled out the application, been accepted, and knew a couple of my friends would be taking it too. Since the very first day of class, our wwwboard was buzzing with excitement! Students from all over the country were taking this class, and, by the end of the year, we all became close friends. We interacted with each other through discussions, mock dinner parties, and other group projects. Communicating with the students in the class helped spark my excitement for history, and helped complicated topics stick in my head. Although this course included a lot of work (I typically spent more than10 hours a week on history), I learned so much about history, even beyond the subjects covered on the AP exam. I think my favorite assignment was the Andrew Jackson project, where my team had to decide whether Andrew Jackson deserved to be on the $20 bill. I also enjoyed my two bio essays, where I learned more about John Quincy Adams and Henry Kissinger. I also found the MCQ think-it-through questions and the weekly quizzes especially valuable in preparing for the exam. After taking this class, history my favorite subject! Equally as important as the class discussions and assignments is Mrs. Richman. She is truly a remarkable teacher, and made history come alive for me. She walked her students through every step of this course, and prepared us so well for the AP exam. Mrs. Richman was always there with an encouraging word, and helpful feedback on all of my essays. I consider myself blessed to have been taught by her.

If you are willing to work hard, and want to enjoy history (and to do well on the exam), I highly recommend taking Mrs. Richman’s AP US History course. Not only will you learn more than you ever imagined, but you will make friends, learn more about writing an effective essay in a short amount of time, and become better prepared for college-level courses.

It was the discussion, the practice tests, the essays, the bonus points, the extra projects, the documentaries, the cartoon analysis essays, the History-in-the-News articles, the interviews, the dinner parties, the bio essays, my friends, and my teacher that prepared me to take the AP exam. By 11:00am on that Friday morning, the best class of my life had ended and, honestly, I’m sad about that!

A lot of work but well worth the effort. posted by Carson Jenkins on May 12 2011 at 04:47:32

If you're reading this, there's a pretty good chance that you are considering Mrs. Richman's AP US History class. It's a solid course, with a large variety of different assignments. Even a few months in, we were still getting new and exciting projects. I had a lot of fun with this course, and all of the hard work really pays off in the end. Here are a few questions to help give a better idea of the course...

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Absolutely! A majority of the assignments are specifically designed to help you with the AP US History test (thinking through multiple choice questions, writing essays, etc.), and after spending almost a year learning about history with Mrs. Richman and the rest of the class, I found the test to be the easiest part of the course!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I believe I spent an average of 7-9 hours per week on the course, though that number could drastically increase based on what assignments were due (bio essays, AP test, etc.). It could sometimes drop as low as 4 one week, and then raise all the way up to 20 hours the next week. All the time spent was definately worth it and ejoyable, though.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I would have to go with the MCQ Think it Thru and biography essays, as well as the dinner parties. The MCQ Think it Thru was a weekly task where you had to answer a multiple choice question (MCQ) while explaining your thought process for arriving at that answer. I found this very enjoyable and served as a nice review tool and glimpse at what exactly the MCQs on the test are asking. The bio essays were great for refreshing important events during your subject's lifetime. Also, one of the bio essays required you to make a website to go with it, and whether you use a website making website or make one from scratch, it feels gret if you haven't made one before. The dinner parties were a lot of fun. Though I only managed to participate in two of the three, I enjoyed reading through them and learning a lot from the different "guests".

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I was already fond of history before taking this course, but doing such an in depth study really helped not only develop my fondness for the subject, but also my respect for it. All of the little details and larger ideas that history entails are just incredible.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I'm used to communicating with people over the internet whom I don't know, so the community aspect of the course was very familiar to me. I didn't participate in discussion all too much throughout the course, but I did read through a majority of the postings on the WWWBoard. The time I did spend in discussion with my team and classmates was a lot of fun, though, especially when doing the Andrew Jackson Webquest and going over practice tests together.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

In order to succeed in this course, you have to be hard working and self-disciplined. You can't expect to be walked through the course, and almost all of the assignments rely on you taking action yourself. It is also imperitive that the student is communicative, especially with the teacher. It's very important to be able to inform Mrs. Richman of your progress and if you need any extenstions or clarifications for an assignment. I would recommend this course to anyone who has any interest in history. I find it hard to believe that anyone wouldn't enjoy taking a class with Mrs. Richman as the teacher.

To the prospective student and/or parent posted by Taylor Reynolds on May 10 2011 at 23:22:47


So, you are considering, "should I take Mrs. Richman's AP US History class?"  Let's consider the class(somewhat ;) objectively, shall we?


Reasons not to take the class:

I am a boring person

I don't like fun, excitement, or learning.

I like only easy classes.

I do not enjoy or like being challenged on any level.

History is just a bunch of boring dates and memorization anyway, right?


Reasons to take this class:

I am an exciting, interesting, and curious person.

I enjoy excitement, learning, and being stretched.

I enjoy being challenged by the classes I take.

I like to be challenged and forced to consider why I think the way I do and the cause/effect of events and people.

History is the study of ourselves and how we can make the future better by not making the same mistakes again.


I am a history "person," but I can honestly say this class stretched me.  The discussions with classmates of differing views, various creative assignments, and our amazing teacher made this a phenomenal class.  I can honestly say this has been the best class I have ever taken.  I am very sorry to see the class end. I generally spent an hour to two hours a day on the class.  People without a strong background in US history will probably need to spend a longer amount to time.  The variety of assignments make certain one is never bored.  I greatly enjoyed the Summer Book Review, Creative Biography Projects, and December Film Review; but all of the assignments were interesting and entertaining.  It is especially interesting to see how 30 people can look at the same documents for a Document Based Question and come up with a variety of answers and thoughts.  Your fellow students will be interested and interesting people.  They will greatly enrich your class experience.


Now, you may be thinking "That's all right for you, you enjoy history.  I'm more of a math/science person."  There are plenty of these kind of people in the class, and even they caught the excitement for history.  Mrs. Richman is a great encourager and gentle corrector.  She and this class will help you improve your writing, thinking, and study skills.  Winston Churchill once said "The farther back one is able to look; the farther forward he is likely to see."  This class will definitely help you look forward with anticipation to be able to shape the future of American History.  This class provides everything needed to get a 5 on the APUSH Exam, and if one is willing to work there should be no difficulty in obtaining this score.


So, if you are interested in learning a lot, meeting amazing people, having a great year, and willing to work, I would high suggest joining this class.


I cannot say enough good things about this class, or our teacher.



Taylor Reynolds

P.S. I will admit, I was not very objective.  I love this class too much! :)

An amazing course - highly recommended! posted by Madeleine Brown on May 10 2011 at 20:41:40

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? 

Yes, this course definitely prepared me for the AP exam.  The side assignments like the dinner parties and the bio essays, where we had fun as well as thought deeply about history, were especially helpful.  This isn’t just a “read the textbook and take quizzes” type of class – this class prepares you more deeply for the complexities of history and the way events affect each other with different kinds of essays and assignments.  I strongly recommend doing the little bonus assignments – I know I got some questions on the test right because of bonus assignments I’ve done or websites I’ve checked out.  Again, this class prepared me very well for the AP exam. 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

That depended – sometimes we would have heavier weeks than others (though, to be fair, Mrs. Richman is amazing with letting students “switch” weeks if they have something going on one week and have more time the next week).  Honestly, I spent less time on APUSH first semester than second semester because college apps were taking up so much time.  With all that taken into account, I think I probably spent about two hours a day / or 10-14 hours a week on APUSH.  However, I’m sure if you have different study habits, you can spend more or less time on it.  


Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? 

Oh gosh … can I say all of them? 

If I have to pick just a few, they’d be:

- The MCQ Think It Through – this assignment has each student look at a multiple-choice question from a real APUSH exam administered in the past, think through each answer choice, and say why each choice is correct or incorrect.  This helped me gain familiarity with the types of questions asked and how to think through them effectively. 

- The Andrew Jackson webquest – this assignment was actually a team assignment.  Each team had to put together a video about Andrew Jackson from the point of view of a different ethnic or social group.  To be honest, I think I liked this assignment because it was fun more than anything else.  It definitely helped me understand Jackson’s presidency and the era, but this was the assignment over which I really bonded with my teammates (more on that below).  Though my team had some frustrating technical difficulties with this project, it ended up being a blast.  

- The cartoon analyses – we were assigned to do a monthly political cartoon analysis.  This assignment was especially valuable because it helped me gain insight into what the American people thought about different political events as they were occurring, as opposed to in retrospect, as they are presented in the textbook. 


Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definitely!  I’ve always been interested in history, but reading about American history in depth – about how different events, small and large alike, shaped the development of our country – as well as hearing different opinions from students in the class and doing the fun assignments really enhanced my interest. 


Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

A most emphatic yes!  I admit – I was a little slow in getting to know other students in the class.  After all, I don’t live near anyone in the class and I’m not used to meeting people solely online.  However, there was one assignment in which each team had to put together a video about Andrew Jackson.  That was the first time I interacted with other students in the class, and I suddenly found myself part of a great team and a dynamic, fun study group for the rest of the year.  It might seem a little weird that I’ve never met any of them in person, but I really look forward to meeting many of them at the AP party in a few weeks!  I made some great friends from all over the country, and I hope to keep in touch with them in the future.  That was probably my favorite aspect of the class – studying with and learning from the friends I made.  :)

I strongly recommend getting to know your classmates early in the year.  I really looked forward to the time every week when a few of us would have a study group over skype!  


What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I think any student can do well in this course as long as he or she is willing to work hard.  That said, I think this course would work especially well for someone who likes to write (there is a lot of writing in this class!), who enjoys reading and history, and who is willing to work hard.  A solid handle on how to deal with technology and the internet also helps, but I’m not the most technology-savvy person and I don’t think that affected my performance in the class.  I strongly recommend this course to anyone who wants to have a great time learning about American history!  

Seriously, I can’t think of a single complaint about this course, except that I’m really sad that it’s over.  This was one of my favorite courses that I’ve taken in high school!  

You don't have to be a history geek to enjoy this class!!! posted by Callie Riel on May 09 2011 at 22:43:01

I began this class thinking that history was just ok.  I was very particular about which history I liked: Middle Ages, Ancients, and the late 1900s.  American history, especially early American history, was definitely not my favorite.  I definitely enjoyed the class, but the surprise did not come until after the AP test: I actually missed it!!  Most of the year, I was so caught up in the work that I didn't really stop to wonder whether I liked it or not, and I thought that I would never want to see another history book after spending so much time preparing for the test, but I was shocked to find that I had developed a love for American history!!  

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Mrs. Richman did a GREAT job of preparing us for the AP exam.  The point of the course, however, was not just an end-of-year exam.  This class did so much more.  If you want to just take the AP test and get a decent score, than read a textbook, take a BUNCH of practice tests, and hope for the best.  If, however, you want an in-depth understanding of what American history was all about, if you want to learn more than you ever thought possible through creative means such as Dinner Parties, then Mrs. Richman's AP US History class is the one for you.  

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

The amount of hours I spent on APUSH a week varied greatly from week to week.  If there was no essay or project due, I might spend as little as 5 or 6 hours a week.  If there was a project due, such as a bio essay, I sometimes spent up to 15 hours a week.  The two or three weeks before the exam I spent as many as 5-6 hours a day working on APUSH, but it was worth it!

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Wow, that is a hard question.  I enjoyed the Dinner parties, but some of the most valuable assignments were the Cartoon follow-ups, the Talking History podcasts, and the Interview.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I already answered this question at the top - an emphatic YES!!

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Definitely.  I had the pleasure of taking this class with five friends, and our movie nights and study groups were extremely valuable. (I HIGHLY recommend taking this class with a friend or two!!)  The WWW Board postings were also very helpful, and I enjoyed getting to know so many homeschoolers with similar interests!

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Like I already said, you don't have to be a history geek to take this class, but it does help.  I would definitely recommend this class to everyone and anyone.  Don't let the AP title scare you.  You don't have to be the smartest kid in your neighborhood to take this class.  If you are willing to put in a lot of hard work, you will be fine.  I suggest doing a lot of extra-credit assignments and taking American Literature at the same time as you take this course.  


I am so glad that I took this class, and I think that you should too!  In the words of Rosie the Riveter (Well, almost): You can do it!!  

A Very Inspiring Course posted by Stephanie Young on May 27 2010 at 23:18:02

APUSH prepared me very well for the AP exam. It was quite a bit of work and studying but it was well worth it at the end. Not only did I feel as if I conquered the exam itself, but I also left the class with a much deeper understanding of American History.  Learning history has helped me see even current events in a new and richer light. I was not so very interested in American History beforehand (though I loved World History) but I've left with a better appreciation of the history of my country. it is quite fascinate, the cultural trends and movements, the ideas and philosophies manifested in history that impact our lives to this very day.

This corse definitely prepared me with nice thought out assignments and a lovely community of focused students .However I would only recommend this course to students who are self-motivated. If you want to be coddled all the way through history instead of taking charge and participating for yourself, it isn't the class for you. Mrs. Richman specifically leaves room for copious amounts of outside research on the part of the student which was probably the aspect I enjoyed best about the course.

Why do you offer a title for a review when it is mutually understood that it is a REVIEW? posted by Matthew Josefchuk on May 22 2010 at 13:55:11

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes. The course was designed for you to learn history but also to pass the AP exam. The exam part is EASY! 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I put about 5 hours a week in at the beginning of the year, but then I had to limit it down to about 2 a week in the middle of the year (other classes got in the way). Then I studied about 15 hours per week about a month out of the exam.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

Nope. I thought just reading the textbook was the best way to prepare. I read 2 other textbooks alongside our AAIP book, so I got plenty of different perspectives.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I have always loved history, no shocker that I would enjoy learning more of it.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I didn't really talk with any of the students other than my brother and Eric Marcy, both of which were in a separate study group. So the answer to that question is yes and no.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Any student that loves history and will not complain about having to work hard. I am used to a tough workload so this course was my cup of tea. I would recommend it to those that want to learn a subject rather than just glide through a subject.

posted by Elliot Taylor on May 21 2010 at 18:32:23

As a homeschooler, one of the challenges I face every year is trying to decide what class to take and when is the best time to take them. Having had no history class prior to this one, the obvious question I had was whether I was ready for AP level work. After taking this class I can honestly say that anyone can take this class and do well if they are willing to do the work. Even if you know nothing about US History, you will learn very quickly more than you though you could learn in a year. That said, it is not an easy course at all. Anyone thinking about taking this course must be prepared to set at least a lot of time each week to complete the work. Also, being able to write a decent essay is important in AP History. Not only in the test (writing is 50% of the grade), but the class requires plenty of writing every week. The assignments, completed on a weekly basis, vary greatly in type. It is not strictly a textbook learning. One resource is the book, but Mrs. Richman provides a great number of resources such as videos and websites. Also included in the list of Mrs. Richman's resources are websites containing quizes and multiple choice tests. Finally the teacher herself is an invaluable for the feedback she provides in response to essays and other activities. Her experience in teaching greatly improved my ability to write effective essays for the AP test. This class is a lot of work but it is well worth the time and effort put into it.

My Best History Class posted by Tori Luther on May 20 2010 at 13:24:50

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

I felt that Mrs. Richman’s AP US History class definitely prepared me for the AP exam.  From the start of the course, you are assigned to write essays biweekly in response to Free Response Questions and Document Based Questions that are similar to the essay questions on the exam.  Mrs. Richman also requires other fun assignments on weeks you are not writing an essay that help you to gain a better grasp on events in history.  You are also required to write two biographical essays on historical figures during the year.  These bio essays are fun to write even though they are a lot of work.  The research involved in writing these essays helps you gain a very firm grasp on the events surrounding your historical figure’s life and how he or she impacted history. 

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I generally put in approximately 10 hours of work a week.  Reading the chapter from the textbook took me an average of about 4 hours a week.  I spent the remaining 6 hours reading Primary Source Documents, listening to Talking History podcasts, completing Multiple Choice quizzes, and watching Biography of America videos.  It took me about an hour to write the essays every week, and there are always plenty of *bonus* activities offered to fill up your day with history! :)

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I particularly enjoyed the weeks we were required to analyze political cartoons.  The cartoon analysis assignments proved to be very helpful on the exam.  I also found timing myself on the essay questions to be extremely valuable.   Although you are not required to time yourself until the last couple months before the exam, I would highly recommend timing yourself on a regular basis so you can track your progress on writing to time. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

This course definitely enhanced my interest in history!!! :)  I had a lot of fun with this course, and I now have a much great appreciation for American History.  Mrs. Richman is a WONDERFUL teacher.  I wish she were teaching more AP classes!  If she were, I would be one of the first students to sign up for her classes!  :)

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Communications with other students is VERY helpful.  I was given the opportunity to set up regular ‘study buddy time’ with some of my fellow classmates.   Working on quizzes and essay questions with other students was a wonderfully *fun* way to study for the AP exam!  My “study buddy time” with fellow classmates was one of my favorite aspects of this course. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would recommend this class to anyone who is willing to work hard.  The work is not overwhelming, but to do well, you have to be disciplined to keep up with the weekly assignments.  My positive experience with Mrs. Richman’s APUSH (my first AP class taken) has encouraged me to take additional AP classes this fall.

Good luck and happy studying! :)      

Connecting America's Past with the Present posted by Daniel Gilmour on May 19 2010 at 22:41:53

This course definitely helped me prepare for the AP exam, though I felt its biggest benefit was just helping me learn more about history and understand America better.  While the exam scores don’t come out until July, I felt quite well prepared on exam day.

I probably put in 3-6 hours in a normal week, but for larger projects like the bio essay or website, I would spend extra time.  My work during the week was usually weighted more toward the Wednesday deadline. (Probably not the most efficient study patternJ). One nice thing about the class homework was that there was some reading, some writing and other types of learning, like practice questions and online lectures and videos.

My favorite assignment was probably the History in the News assignment where we would find a contemporary article on history and try to make connections to the present.  I really liked the chance to explore the connections that historical events have to things happening in the present.

The most valuable assignments, though usually not my favorite, were probably the timed essays.  Forcing myself to think clearly on a narrow topic for 35 minutes really taught me to express what I learned.  Mrs. Richman included a good number or the essays throughout the year to prepare us for the three on the exam.

Definitely.  I started the course thinking that since US history only covers several hundred years, it would not be nearly as interesting as a world history course.  This course taught me otherwise, and I now feel more appreciative of America as a country.  Mrs. Richman was also careful to help us connect wider American history with the history of our own towns and neighborhoods.  At the beginning of the year, for the hometown history report, I was able to learn a lot about early transportation in my town.  For the November interview, I was able to interview a neighbor about his time fighting in the Vietnam War.

I enjoyed the communication I had with the students, but I found myself too busy to connect much others in the class.  The Andrew Jackson team project was a good opportunity to connect with my team of six.  The comments that I received on my essays from other students were often helpful, though Mrs. Richman’s comments were usually the most helpful.  She would always try to give a bonus link to a website or suggestion for a book or movie that would help us learn more on the topic.

I think anyone who is interested in history enough to study consistently through the year would gain a lot from the class.  Also, this course works writing skills a lot, with its many written assignments, so if you like writing a lot, and want lots of practice writing about history, this class is good. Overall, however, I think that Mrs. Richman’s class is great for anyone who wants to gain a well rounded background to our nation’s history and how it affects things today.

Prepare to be Amazed! posted by Heather Meehan on May 18 2010 at 12:38:36

Dear future APUSHer,

First of all, let me say that I was nervous about taking this class in the first place. I hadn't studied U.S. History since middle school, and although I enjoy social studies, I wasn't sure I qualified as a student with a passion for history. I was put off by what seemed like a large course load, and a significant time commitment. I only mention this because I imagine you may be feeling the same way. So here's what I found: yes, this course is hard work. Yes, it was a significant time commitment (I often spent between one and three hours each day, a large chunk of my already overburdened schedule). BUT I enjoyed it so much, and gained so much valuable knowledge and study skills, that it didn't matter. I may not be a history buff, but I can certainly detail the reasons and consequences behind the Missouri Compromise, and consider myself something of an amateur expert on the Progressives. And you will be able to, too!

Mrs. Richman is an enthusastic, involved and very understanding teacher. She expects you to do your best, and she helps you reach your potential by suggesting study methods and helpful resources as well as numerous bonus assignments. Initially, I was thrown off by the amount of "extra" work that we were expected to do--it seemed like overkill. But I soon realized that we were learning like real historians, going beyond the textbook to research causes and connections and learn more about topics that interest us. This is really a course you can mold to your particular interests--you are free to choose what videos, outside reading, and websites you want to use. If you don't feel comfortable seeking out your own resources, however, Mrs. Richman is ready and willing with suggestions and a prod in the right direction. Learning comes from a variety of resources--you get a choice of textbooks (I can highly reccomend Digital History) as well as required podcasts and online video lectures. Biography of America, from learner.org, is required viewing for the course, and it really got me excited about history--Professor Miller is so engaging and invested in his topic. The point is, it is almost impossible to be bored by this class. You may find that certain assignments are more to your taste than others, but there is such a variety that you are sure to be engaged more often than not.

The class is more about self learning than interaction--although you can become connected by responding to other's essays, playing the "Who Am I?" game, or posting on the WWW board. However, there is a lot of collaboration, on a smaller scale, among team members and certain individual students. My team collaborated on a Youtube video for our project on Andrew Jackson--a significant challenge, as most of us lived in different states! However, we managed to pull it off and our cooperation was highly positive and stands out as one of the high points for me.

This course also offers EXCELLENT preparation for the AP exam. Students are required to be self-motivated in studying, but again, Mrs. Richman provides helpful reminders and prods in the right direction. From the very beginning of the year, we worked on writing essays in response to prompts, and answering multiple choice questions on a weekly basis. Mrs. Richman was also very specific about what to expect from the exam and how to cope with certain conditions. Her experience proved very helpful, and as a result, I felt very confident during the exam and reasonably assured of a high grade. In fact, it's very difficult to do poorly in this class--students who can't keep up are either brought up to speed through Mrs. Richman's firm but careful coaching, or else drop from the class. One thing I wouldn't reccomend is taking this class in conjunction with other APs or high level courses such as community college classes, especially if this is your first year. While it's certainly doable (I took a CC course my first semester and another AP at the same time) it's difficult to divide your attentions. Believe me, you'll feel every moment devoted to subjects other than APUSH a moment wasted. I kept wishing that this was the ONLY course I was taking, so I could fully immerse myself in it. Of course, that isn't usually possible or practical, but the closest you can get to that ideal is cutting down to only subjects taken independently. Ultimately, I would reccomend this course to any student, provided you are willing to give your honest best--prepare to be amazed!!! 

A year of US Hisory... posted by Laura Gagliano on May 17 2010 at 14:40:59

1.) Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? - I felt like this class gave you everything you needed to succeed for the AP exam, but if you don't put in the effort or fully read everything or participate and watch the videos, as well as read other historical works of literature (which are tested a lot) such as The Jungle, Grapes of Wrath, etc., you won't be prepared. Mrs. Richman gives you everything you need, but if you don't work to absorb it, you'll be unprepared when that final countdown starts ticking. I was immensely well prepared for the DBQs and FRQs thanks to all the great practice we got.

2.) Hmmm...It really depends. For me I probably spent anywhere from 4-5 hours a week during normal weeks, but then literally those last two or three weeks before the test about 5 or more hours a day. It gets intense. and that's not classwork, but studying.

3.) The DBQs and essay assignments as well as the Biography of America videos stuck in my memory and prepared me well for the exam =)

4.) What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students? - Someone who has a goal in mind and is self-driven will do very well in this course. I would definately recommend it to people as long as they don't just want to coast along and expect to gain all their APUSH knowledge through osmosis.

Have fun in the class! :)


My APUSH Experience posted by Aaron Gauthier on May 14 2010 at 15:17:39

This course was great.  I felt that it very well prepared me for the exam, Mrs. Richman is awesome. I spent a bout 5-6 hours a week on this course, even more towards th end.  The fact that we goy plenty of practice writing FRQ's and DBQ's was extremely valuable to my test preparation. I have always loved US History, but Mrs. Richman pushing us to dive deeper into the history of our nation made it even better. I didn't reaaly communicate with other students, but I didn't feel a need to. A student with a love of history, and one that is self motivated would do great in this course.

Highly Recommendable posted by Matthew Diem on May 13 2010 at 16:48:11

     This is the second AP course I've taken through PA Homeschoolers, so I came in with some idea of how AP exams in general work (that is to say, how to write three essays in two hours), which was what much of what an AP class does, so in a sense I entered the class with a degree of preparation rather than having to begin completely . But however that may be, this class was very helpful in preparing me for the AP U.S. History Exam. We wrote essays from AP prompts practically since the beginning of the class, and used a book which dissected strategies for handling different types of multiple choice questions. Because of the online format, we also got feedback both from the teacher and from other students on our essays. But the assignments were more varied than simple preparation for the format of the AP exam: we had to read out of a regular U.S. History textbook (or alternately an online textbook), watch and listen to lectures and history programs, and find primary source documents about the periods we studied. Overall, the course-work took about six hours per week, although there are plenty of bounus assignments if you want to put even more into it. In all, this allowed for an in-depth study of U.S. History, and I recommend this course for anyone who wants a course which allows for such an in-depth study.

Easily one of the best, if not the best history courses I've taken posted by Eric Marcy on May 13 2010 at 13:30:22

History has always been one of my favorite subjects, so I came into this course a willing student and expecting to at least find the class tolerable. But what I found instead completely and totally exceeded my expectations! Mrs. Richman certainly has to be one of the finest AP US history teachers out there, and her class prepared me so well and helped me form a broad view of American history! The course prepared me immensely for the actual exam, and I went in feeling confident. Generally I spent about an hour a day on history, working upwards up to three hours in the final week before the exam. This steady pace of study was what really paid off, and the extra things Mrs. Richman gave us to do only made the information stick better.

If you asked me if there were any particular assignments that stood out, I'd have to say no, but in a good way! There were so many different activities and ways to study Mrs. Richman provided for us, so that we could learn in the way best for us! And every single one helped us to draw connections and solidified the facts. I already loved history in the first place, and so this course was of immense enjoyment for me.

Personally, I did not contact the other students much, but I must say that when I did the discussions were helpful. I also have to say that I did not try particularly hard to contact other students via the computer, as two of my fellow students lived close by and we studied together every week. Face to face, these meetings and discussions helped alot, and the frequency helped us to go through almost every time period in depth together.

Overall, almost any student willing to commit to a steady pace of studying, especially in the two weeks before the exam, can succeed in this course. Mrs. Richman provides many different ways to learn, whether with books, internet articles, videos, even cartoons! Her love for the subject also spills over onto her students, and she got to know every student's inidividual quirks throughout the year. Her comments on the various essays were extraordinarily helpful, and she truly made this year a memorable experience. I'd highly recommend this course to anyone!

A Year In Review posted by Stephen Gilmour on May 12 2010 at 14:06:57

I really enjoyed taking the AP US History course this past year.  I really feel that I have gained a much better understanding of United States history in general, as well as it’s relation  to current trends in American society and politics. 

            Although the focus of this course was in preparing for the exam, Mrs. Richman made sure to include many different activities that go well beyond this, and really helped to make history come alive.  The November Interview and conversations with my parents allowed me to come into contact with history through the lives of people who had experienced it first hand.  The Biography Essays as well, I felt, really allowed me to step into the worlds of famous historical figures, and to empathize with their personal lives. 

            I also really appreciated the way that Mrs. Richman placed emphasis on the many different ways to learn.  Far from merely relying on the textbook, she required film viewing (both documentary and drama), audio listening and looking at various multimedia websites as a mandatory part of the course.  She also had us make our own websites and audio presentations.  Nearly every week she provided us with different internet learning tools she had come across that presented history in a new way. 

            As the year wore on, I was able to see that the periods we were studying had direct relation to the political and social aspects which shape today’s conflicts.  From the struggle between big or limited government to the imposition of regulations on food processing, every fragment of the past has somehow shaped our government, our culture and our lives. 

            Mrs. Richman encourages individual study via a point system, by which a student earns points based on their reported time spent on extra study.  Although I enjoyed being able to see how the points compared (despite the fact that I had far fewer points than most), I found that I didn’t end up reporting most of my extra review time. 

            Throughout the year I spent approximately 6-7 hours a week (not counting special assignments), which was enough to complete all of the mandatory assignments.  Being the procrastinator that I am, however, I usually put the work off until the last day (and usually got it in late).  Although for the most part I was still able to keep up, I believe that I could have gotten even more out of the course had I devoted more time to studying on my own. 

            For the AP Exam, I feel that I didn’t review enough at the end of the year, and thus found a lot of the questions hard to answer.  Although the entire course gave me a very good grasp of history in general, I found that without a lot of review it was hard to be able to remember everything when exam time came. 

            Overall, I would say that this course really helped me see history in a new light, and that I have a much enhanced understanding of the various time periods (at least to the nearest decade).  Mrs. Richman did a fabulous job teaching this course and sculpting it to beyond “teaching the test”.  I continue to be amazed at all of the time that she put into the course, and how she managed to write emails (which were remarkably long), respond to assignments, www. board postings and any questions that we threw her way.  Yet despite all her efforts, in this course (as with any) you really get out what you put into it.  There were several students who went far beyond the requirements in an effort to learn.  I’m sure that these students were the ones who really got the most out of the course.

            To cap it off, I am very glad that I had the opportunity to take this course (which was, coincidentally, my first AP course).  I am very thankful for the emphasis that was placed not only on learning the material, but on really understanding how it related both to other time periods, and to the present.  This past year, I learned that history is living, and that everything that was done in the past relates to today in some way.  If that is the case, then it is of utmost importance to remember that everything that is done today will also influence the future.  

Take the class--please!!! posted by Jonathan Woodbury on May 12 2010 at 13:37:41

Probably the key strength of this class is the room for personalization, by which I mean the flexibility allowed to explore history in both the areas and the means most appealing to you. Also, while this class allows for exploration, it involves a detailed and comprehensive study of the core history of our nation. While one could perhaps get by with just this element of the class, your experience in the class and your knowledge and understanding (and your grade!) are enhanced by the exploration allowed within the class.

To facilitate such exploration, the class provides a vast wealth of resources, from primary source documents (PSD's) to audio and video history lectures, along with an excellent discussion board, where students can share their discoveries with the rest of the class. Also, various assignments, from small to extensive, were given to encourage exploration. From MCQ (multiple choice question) think it thru's (where additional links about the topic of the question were provided) to the two required biographies for the year of important historical figures (I did Eli Whitney and Andrew Carnegie), these assignments were both immensely enjoyable and entirely invaluable.

Don't let me fool you, though; it isn't easy to do this class, and you'll probably spend anywhere from one to two hours a day (not counting Sunday) on this class; however, I think that you'll find that the more you put into this class, the more you'll get out of it, both in terms of enjoyment and education.

One more thing, before I wrap this up--this class isn't just about memorizing facts (cue deep sighs of relief), and though you will spend a good deal of time on that, finding the relations between different eras of history is a huge part of this class, and one of the most enjoyable.

More than just an AP Prep Course posted by Rebecca Miller on May 11 2010 at 19:28:01

So you're thinking about taking APUSH? Well, from the other reviews up here you'll probably see that people have *loved* this course and with great reason. It's more than just preparation for the AP exam, although it definitely does a great job at that. Here are some of the things that I loved about this class and which set it apart from other classes. (Btw...these are the things that changed me from being "interested" in history to loving it. :) )

Questions on Time: If you've read through the other reviews, you'll see that there are a lot of APUSH enthusiasts who would spend all day on APUSH if they could. :) I happen to be one of those, my mom was continually reminding me to spend less time on APUSH and more on other subjects. My typical week I probably spent about 8 hours a week on APUSH (but I'm a pretty fast reader and writer). I think that if you are a fairly strong reader you should allow 5-7 hours per week for APUSH work.

Is APUSH for you? Absolutely. You don't have to be a history geek to love this class, (Warning: This class may turn you into a history geek.:)) you don't have to be an incredibly strong reader or writer. All those things will help, but what matters most is that you want to learn. I have had so many different friends go through APUSH and they all loved it. Some did the bare minimum, some went far beyond the call of duty. Mrs. Richman is a very encouraging teacher and her enthusiasm is contagious! Maybe you won't leave this class obsessed with history, maybe you won't remember all Wilson's 14 points, or what the Smoot-Hawley tarriff was all about, or who the Loco-Focos were, but if you work hard, you will leave this class with a better understanding of history. Not just dates jammed into your head, but a real understanding, seeing connections, knowing about people, truly appreciating the past.

To take APUSH or not?? posted by Nainisha Chintalapudi on May 11 2010 at 18:53:23

       If you were like me, you are probably looking over these reviews asking yourself if its really worth it to sign up for this class. I’ll be very honest with you. If you are the kind of student that likes to wait last minute to study, doesn’t want to invest much time into anything, and has no interest in applying yourself, do not take this class.
However you don’t have to be an Einstein either. All a student needs to do will in this class, is perseverance and the desire to do his best.

        When I was debating whether or not to take this class, I was extremely skeptical. I had never taken an online class or any other AP class for that matter. I was worried about being prepared for the test and those dreaded essay questions that I knew would come. After being persuaded by my mother, I signed up and I’ve never looked back.

          I’m not going to lie, this class has ALOT of work. On an average I spent 15-20 hours a week on this class and sometimes felt like collapsing from all the work. Do I regret it? Not one bit. This class went beyond a normal history class. This class goes beyond a student sitting at a kitchen table with a textbook and encourages the student to go out and research and complete assignments out of the ordinary. More than just getting a good handle on the historical facts, this class drastically improved my writing ability. Being forced to turn in at least one written assignment a week, forced me to get over my fear of writing essays. Mrs Richman always gives the most helpful feedback and encouraging comments! And despite the number of assignments assigned a week, Mrs. Richman has never been anything but generous when it came to extensions. Several times, especially during speech and debate season, I had to ask for extensions and every single time Mrs. R. was so gracious in granting them.

           Well I hope this helps you decide whether you should take this class. At the end of the year, as I sat reviewing my notes the night before the big test, I was so grateful I had decided to take this course and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Amazing course! posted by Treen Marquis on May 11 2010 at 14:26:01

This year in APUSH with Mrs. Richman has been a great experience. I learned so much from this class, from the dinner parties to writing document based question essays, which made me feel one hundred percent ready for the exam. At the end of the year, we had a couple required full exams to do - these were key to me feeling as confident as I did about the exam!

I put in a lot of time into the regular school work each week, normally about 15 hours. By the end of the year, however, I knew that it was important to put in this amount of time if I was going feel completely confident by the end of the year. Expect to put in a lot of time into this course if you really want to feel confident about the exam.

The essays each week really helped me, because at the beginning of the year, I was not doing so well on writing a well thought out essay. After doing an essay almost every week however, I was completely and totally prepared by the end. Also the dinner parties were a great help - they gave me a chance to explore and really understand a few key figures from history. By the end, I felt like I knew the person, which helped me in many situations on the multiple choice.

Before the AP, I loved history on a more surface level, but this class gave me a deeper understanding of history, from why Washington relinquished office after two terms in office to how Reagan negotiated public opinion around the Iran Contra scandal. 

I loved talking with my teammates and classmates; many of conversations and discussions we had gave me a different perspective into certain issues, multiple choice sections in-particularly. After we did a midterm review, a few of my classmates went over issues we had difficulty with; because of this discussion, many key concepts in history were cleared up for me.

I would definitely recommend this course for other students. It requires a lot of time, effort, and hard work, but if they're committed, then it will give the student a deep insight into U.S. history and will help their knowledge grow hugely! Again, any student that can really commit themselves to the class, is interested in history, and wants to gain a deeper knowledge of history will do well at this class.

Good luck to those that decide to take this course, it's hard work, but so worth the reward in the end! 

APUSH Course Review posted by Alex Stolar on May 10 2010 at 22:39:47

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

After taking this class, I felt thoroughly prepared for a test I was not expecting to pass.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Around eight hours per week.  More during the Spring semester.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

The DBQ's (Document Based Questions) were very helpful and improved my writing tremendously.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I had already had a fond interest in history, but now I feel slightly less interested in the subject.  That's not the fault of the course, rather simply the energy draining nature of the test.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I found the posts on the board to be very helpful.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Anyone who is interested in passing this test.  There is a lot of work to do, but it all has a purpose in preparing you for the exam.

The Best US History Class posted by Lydia Todd on May 10 2010 at 20:37:52

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?  

 I thought Mrs. Richman and this course prepared me very well for the exam.  The text books, primary sources, videos and other resources that we used were very thought provoking and engaged my interest in US history.  What prepared me the most was practicing real DBQs and free-response questions every month; even within the first month of the course we were preparing for the exam.  Mrs. Richman was so encouraging to us, especially during the last few days before the exam.  So when test day rolled around, I walked into the classroom ready to tackle the exam!

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I believe I spent about 12 hours a week or about 1 1/2 to 2 hours per day.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really enjoyed the “Veteran Interview” and the “December Film Review” projects.  I chose to interview my eighty-five year old grandfather who fought in WWII under General Patton. This project made history come to life.   It’s one thing to learn about this war in a textbook, it’s another to hear about it in real personal stories and experiences of the frontlines.  From this project, I learned so much about this era and about my grandfather.  It gave me a chance to make a lot of quality time with him.  

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definitely.  I was always a little interested in US history, but this class made it so fascinating to learn about the course of our country’s history and I now have a much clearer understanding of why and how the United States operates today. 

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

It was so much fun being able to communicate, share opinions, and engage in thoughtful and sometimes fiery (like in the Dinner Parties!) discussions with other fellow students. 

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would recommend this course to a student who would want to learn and understand every aspect- political, economic and social- of this country’s history.  They would of course have to be willing to work hard because Mrs. Richman likes to move fast throughout the year, well, not too fast of course! 

Course Review of AP US History posted by Maddie Adolf on May 10 2010 at 16:45:29

I felt incredibly prepared. The topics we study and the subjects we discuss are very close to the actual exam and and of the methods of review we use (and the little tidbits of interesting information Mrs. Richman shares) really helped me on both the multiple-choice-question section of the exam and the essay section.
I generally put in five to seven hours a week, depending on that week's assignment.
In November we all interviewed someone, with the interview focusing on a certain time period, and I was able to interview my great-grandmother about the Great Depression, which ended up being extremely insightful and helpful.
Incredibly so. I had loved history when I was little (think Jamestown reenactments), but this course and Mrs. Richman's teaching really sparked my interest.
I'm actually quite surprised looking back on how much I actually communicated with students who were fifteen minutes away from me, and fifteen hours away. The virtual 'dinner parties' were extremely fun, and not only helped us review a certain era, but let us talk almost as if we were really in front of each other.
Especially in the beginning, when you are figuring out how much work there is, you do need to be very dedicated and willing to work hard. Mrs. Richman is very encouraging and helpful, and the course wouldn't have been the same without her. You also have to have serious self-discipline, since the last week or so, review is your only assignment, and you have to work it out for yourself. Other than that, you just have to want to lean the material.
P.S. Not only did this course teach me US History and help me do well on the exam, but it also significantly improved my writing.

My Experience with AP US History posted by Dane Keil on May 10 2010 at 15:00:05

Yes. I thought that the subjects covered in class matched up very well with the subjects covered on the test itself.

I would say I spent approximately ten hours per week.

I liked the two biography assignments during the year, but I enjoyed every assignment equally.

Though I was I history person before, I wasn't that interested in US history. But this course greatly increased my interest in the subject.

I thought that our communication via our teams worked well and our comments on each others' essays worked very well.

I think that someone who has a passion for history, can write well, and is willing to work hard will do well in this course.

Awesome Class! posted by Laura Hemingway on May 10 2010 at 09:19:44

Yes, I did feel prepared for the AP exam. I was really surprised when talking to some of the other students in the exam room with how much review Mrs. Richman's class did in comparison with their classes. In comparison, we did a lot more essays than the other classes (those that I talked to anyway). One student told me they had only done one Free Response essay at the beginning of the year. I felt confident with this section of the exam because Mrs. Richman had us write a free response essay once a month along with HITNs (History in the News reviews), free response outlines, cartoon analysis, DBQs, and DBQ followups. We do a lot of writing activities in this class which really helped on exam day. In regard to the Multiple Choice Section of the exam, at the end of the first semester we all took a midyear review quiz with questions from past APUSH exams. We are also required to do one multiple choice question a week (Mrs. Richman posts this on the website and we jot down our thought process during the question). At the end of the year we were sent a full practice exam to complete. There were also four complete exams in one of our text books that we were free to use for review.

Generally, I spent about 10-12 hours a week on the work. Since the work is all due on Wednesday, there is a lot of personal freedom in the class so you can do the work around your personal schedule. However, I would suggest (from personal experience) spending time each day on the assignments and on review.

I think the most helpful assignments were the DBQ essays that we did once a month. There is one DBQ on the exam which counts for 50% of the essay grade or 1/4 of the complete exam (I think it's 1/4 anyway... it might be less). DBQs are document based questions. You are given an essay prompt and about 9 primary source documents to construct your essay. Mrs. Richman always has thoughtful comments in response to our essays and often some research tips or links to info she thinks would help us with the particular subject we addressed in the essay. My favorite assignments we did this year were the dinner parties (we have three during the year. We all choose our character from a specific time period and have discussions on the class website.) and the bio essays (these are really important projects. You'll have one each semester.)

The course did enhance my interest for history. Our class just took the exam this past friday and I'm already thinking of people and historical events I want to research this summer! I think I personally learned more in this class than in any other class I've ever taken. I think it was different because it was active. I felt a part of the different time periods we studied through assignments like the dinner parties and the bio essays. It makes history come alive so that you not only remember facts about different time periods but the emotions of those time periods and what the country was specifically challenged with.

Absolutely! Interacting with other students was one of my favorite parts of the class! I met with several students outside of class to review for the exam and have made some really awesome friends this year! Mrs. Richman also engages us in a lot of team building assignments. For instance in the first semester we had a team project about Andrew Jackson and Native Americans. We were split up into groups and worked as a team to research for our projects. I was the team leader of my group. Our group was so awesome! Everyone was willing to help, we worked together on small assignments within the projects, and we had a ton of fun with it! Other class assignments that help everyone work together are the essay reviews and the dinner parties.

If you're thinking about this class, there are several things you probably need to know first: This class is intense! If you're worried about your schedule for next year or don't have much time, just keep in mind that it's a lot of work and if you get behind, it's not easy to check up! Also, this class is a team! We work together and have a lot of fun together. Lastly, this class is all about history! You have to love it and want to learn!


Dakota's Review posted by Dakota Proctor on May 10 2010 at 08:37:19

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? 

I belive the course did help a lot. The immersion into the subject definitely made me feel more comfortable with answering questions and writing. I was definitely more comfortable with writing and wish we had taken more tests.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would say I put much more time in near the end of the course but on average, an hour a day.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I loved to do the cartoon anaysis! I also liked bio essays.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I have never been a history buff, but I definitely have more perspective on the world now.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Not really, I did not feel like I knew any of the students. I met Abby Paulson in person and we are friends now, but other than that, I did not benefit much from the other students.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

A student who loves history and has enough time for this demanding course would enjoy it. If anyone was loking for a course I would direct them to this website.

Megan Korpics' APUSH Revies '09 posted by Megan Korpics on June 28 2009 at 18:19:09

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Well, I thought it was an amazing course. Unfortunately, I didn't feel I had the time to adequately study and complete the course. While I was prepared, it wasn't nearly so much as I could have been in such a great course.

How many hours of work per week did I put in? I put in about 10-15 hours per week, I would guess.

Are there any particular favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? Hmmm, I would say I enjoy most of the assignments, though I think I might point to the movie review assignment and the Bio essays. Both of them forced me to really did deep into a time, one a broad period of time and the other more of a pinpoint moment or issue. Due to really learning about the timeperiod in the movie or the life of the person, I really learned about the issues of the time - the culture, the politics, the developments, and many other valuable aspects of history that really helped later in putting various events and movements into context as well as really enabling me to bring in knowledge about those times and make educated guesses on questions I didn't know the specific answer to.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? I would say that I was already thoroughly interested, though the course did provide more direction, thought, and background to that interest.

Did you find your communications with the other students to be interesting or valuable? I would say that I was not a major participant "vocally" and that the class on the whole was not overly talkative. However those discussions we had were both interesting and valuable. They brought to life various bits of rare information, different views, and shed light on confusing issues.

What sort of students would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? A student who has the time, an interest in the subject, and who enjoys knowledge, work, communicating with fellow students, and won't shy from large projects would do well. I would recommend this course to students who fit those specifications.

A Great Class posted by Katie Scroggins on June 05 2009 at 17:34:37

This class is great for anyone who wants an in depth and resourceful American history class. Mrs. Richman is a beyond excellent history teacher. This class prepared me with confidence and plenty of much needed information for the AP Exam. Generally I spent between 9 to 10 hours a week writing essays, researching, and reading from the AAIP textbook. Some of my FAVORITE assignments included the two Biography Essays and the Dinner parties. This course developed my love of United States History even further than it already was. It was a blast working with my fellow APUSHers and the communications between us was interesting and valuable because we were more than willing to help each other study or if we had a question concerning a topic. A student who is prepared to research and discover new information and write essays about various topic of US history would do extremely well in this course. I would most certainly recommend this course to anyone who wants to further their knowledge in American History!

An amazing year! posted by Jennifer Campbell on May 26 2009 at 01:11:22

I absolutely had a BLAST this year in Mrs. Richman's APUSH class. What I enjoyed most about this clas was that there were so many activities and cool bonus oppurtunities Mrs. Richman gave us. I'm not good at just reading a textbook and answering questions; this APUSH class was a fantastic opportunity to expand my knowledge through more enjoyable and interesting approaches.

Before this class, I enjoyed American history and found it interesting, but I found the more you learn the more exciting the discovery of history can get. I can't even begin to tell how interested in American history I am now.

I still find myself (even after taking the APUSH course) talking about history to my friends and family. This course prepared me extremely well for my APUSH exam. The wonderful thing about it is that Mrs. Richman really takes so much time and care to ensure that we all feel comfortable with the history material.

I certainly reccomend this course to anybody who is interested in gaining more knowledge in history!

Don't Like History? Great! Take this class, and DO something about it!! posted by Emily Pritt on May 22 2009 at 15:38:12

Maybe you've always liked history, always had a knack for memorizing dates and facts, always accepted history as something other than that endless list of dates and facts. Or maybe you're the more math-science person, who struggles with memorizing random bits of information. Oh sure, you've DONE plenty of history throughout your history as a student, but always rush through it so that you can get on to a *more interesting* subject...

I know people of the first mold who’ve really enjoyed the class (and I’m sure if you read down a few posts, you’ll find them!). But I can give a first hand opinion of this class from the second student’s point of view. In quick summary: jump into the class; provided you work hard, you WON’T have another boring two semesters of history capped off with an impossibly scary monster of a test!

The most important part of history is understanding for yourself what it really is—not just a list of who-what-where-when-how’s to memorize. I stress the ‘for yourself’ because of COURSE all of us know that history is more than that. We’ve been told that by every history teacher we’ve ever had. But do we really believe it? This class will convince you. I’m not saying that you WON’T have to memorize the “WH-list”, because unfortunately, you do. And you have to read the textbook, which for a person like me, is drudgery. But that only gives you the framework, a skeleton of history. Next you go off to fill in the holes, by reading primary source documents, enjoying fiction books written from different time periods, and even watching movies. And then everything clicks! These people... George Washington, Upton Sinclair, Sojourner Truth... they were all real people, with real lives, real ideas, real stories.

But you’ll have to dive into the class and work hard to really enjoy it. You’ll never enjoy history if you content yourself with simply memorizing the facts, not understanding the people. (I know this for a fact! I didn’t work as hard as I should have the whole first semester. And I didn’t enjoy it. Spring semester, I became a lot more involved with outside work and realized with a shock, that I was actually ENJOYING it!) And so, not only will you have to do the assigned work, you’ll have to do hours of work outside the class. But that's the fun part, because that's the fun stuff! Get on the internet and do some *history surfing.* Pick movies—and not necessarily documentaries—something funny, adventurous, enjoyable (but of course, historically correct). Enjoy the break from your hectic schedule, and surprise yourself with how much this helps! For example, I watched "Forrest Gump" (edited) and it helped me out sooo much with the 60s history (presidents, peace movements, etc). It kind of brings everything together. And, believe it or not, I knew an answer to a question on the SAT history test from watching "Back to the Future"!

I do want to say though, that you should be aware if you choose to read America and Its People. Quite frankly, I found it very biased on a surprisingly large number of issues. Just don’t accept anything ANY textbook says without thinking it through for yourself.

So jump into this class, confident not only that you will be successful all year with the help of Mrs Richman and your classmates, but that you will be thoroughly prepared on test day.

ABSOLUTLEY TAKE THIS CLASS!!! posted by Krista Duke on May 22 2009 at 14:36:04

Im going to say right off that this class was HARD WORK!!! Throughout the year there were many frustrated sighs, many loooong nights, many study-filled weekends, and many days when I would have preferred to just collapse on my bed in total exhaustion. Now that its all over, though, I can see that it was definitely worth it.

Before I started this class, history had never been my thing. I was (and still am) the more sciency type of girl who loved to read and draw and daydream. When I studied general history at home, I would often groan and sigh over the dates, names, and events I had to memorize, wondering why I needed to know all that stuff anyway. Dont misunderstand me though I did not hate history, I just misunderstood it. I loved immersing myself in a good historical fiction novel and I loved listening to my grandmothers stories of WWII; I loved reading about the American Revolution and the Civil War. It was just the other boring stuff that I didnt like. This class definitely opened my eyes.

I learned that history is more than dates and events it is about real people with real hopes and fears, laughter and sorrows, good sides and bad sides. It is about people willing to step in and make a difference. Every decision and action that was made, however big or small, determined the future of those people and the others around them. The same goes for us. We are the makers of the history of tomorrow. Pretty inspiring isnt it?

As a result of this class, history became so much more to me. Of course, Ill never like memorizing dates and events and whatnots who does? But with the help of Mrs. Richman and all my classmates, I learned how to overcome this and enjoy history for what it truly is. So let me tell you a little bit about what we did =)

We worked, and worked, and worked some more. Lol just kidding (well actually, this is true, but its not as bad as it sounds).

When I got the syllabus last summer (wow, that seems like a lifetime ago), I felt almost overwhelmed at the busy schedule of assignments Mrs. Richman had planned for us. After the class started, however, I fell into the rhythm. An essay one week, a history-in-the-news the next, then a DBQ, then an essay and so on It became routine. At the beginning of every week, Mrs. Richman would send out an update on what we needed to do for the next assignments, so I never worried much about getting behind or confused.

In addition to these weekly special assignments, we had to read primary source documents every week and do some quizzes and other stuff. Let me tell you, on top of all my other classes, it was a JOB to get all my work done in a week. If you are planning to take this class BE PREPARED to spend a LOT of time studying! (At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Richman will probably give you some studying tips to help you out)

Unsurprisingly, there were some weeks when I just couldnt get in my assignment on time. If this happens to you, never fear Mrs. Richman is here! As a homeschool mom herself, she totally knows what us poor homeschoolers have to go through, and she is very flexible about the turn-in dates (just as long as we specify our requests). She was always there to encourage us and she was always optimistic and cheerful. Yes, she made us work hard =P but she made it fun and we certainly learned a lot in the process. I have been so blessed to have had her as my teacher.

Probably one of the best parts about this class for me was the feedback I got from other students: We all posted our essays on the APUSH website and we all looked at each others work and gave comments. I have to give a big thank-you to all my classmates: you guys were always encouraging and helpful and if you, prospective student, decide to take this class, Im sure you will find your classmates to be the same. So anyway, back to the feedback: This helped me a lot with preparing for the AP. I learned how to better hone my analytical skills and how to improve my writing. This is something that I will carry with me far beyond this class and Im sure you will carry something away just as valuable.

And so, dear prospective student, I highly recommend this class to you. As I have already stressed, you will have to be willing to WORK HARD to start studying early, always keeping the final big test in mind, and taking lots of practice exams and essays. Trust me. Youll thank me later =P. Whether you like history or not, this class will teach you valuable lessons about life past, present, and future and not just in the historical sense. Mrs. Richman will always be there to guide you and your classmates there to support you. I really hope you will consider it. Youll never ever regret it.

Take This Class!!!!! posted by Nathan Huynh on May 19 2009 at 16:55:56

Dear future AP US History Student,

If you are reading this, then I will assume that you want to know about the AP US History class. First of all, there is not much more I can add to help you make you decision whether or not you take this class. This class is clearly suited for a student who is willing to work hard, challenge himself, and understand the intricacies of American history. That student should also be willing to read extra books about US history and do the bonus assignments that Mrs. Richman sends out. All in all, I spent about 7 hours a week for this class. But what I want to do in this review is to tell you other things that really make this class special.

1) The Interviews. This part of the class was really special for me. These interviews allow you to understand and feel how Americas history affected American citizens. I personally got a really good view on Vietnamese immigrants and their journey to America. But that wasnt the only topic. I know that many others have a deeper understanding of the events of 9-11 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor through the lips of friends, family, or even strangers. It is an amazing feeling.

2) The Debates. Every person that takes this class is different, and everyone has different opinions. What makes this class so cool is that Mrs. Richman allows us to bring up and debate various history topics. These debates really challenge you to make your point and defend it. Whether it is capitalism versus socialism or states rights versus government, these debates expand your knowledge like no other.

3) The Teacher. Mrs. Richman is possibly one of the coolest teachers around. Take this from a kid from who lives on the other side of the US from Mrs. Richman. I have never heard her voice or seen her in person (and may never will), but her emails are enough to show you her attitude and personality. Her weekly updates are always brimming with positive thoughts and hope. She is always there to help you on a difficult part of US history. An absolutely amazing teacher!

I hope this helps your decision.

Nathan H.

Awesome!!! posted by Daniel Perumal on May 17 2009 at 01:11:09

I would highly recommend this course to anyone. It is a tough a course and it requires a lot of discipline but it is very good. Mrs. Richman is a truly amazing teacher. She prepares you very well for the exam in a fun way. If you work hard, you can't go wrong with this course!

Love History and the Way It Was Taught to You posted by Connor Perkins on May 15 2009 at 19:18:12

Dear Prospective Student,

Are you ready to be challenged like you never have been before? Are you ready to love history in a way you never imagined possible? Are you ready to write and debate in a manner that will thoroughly prepare you for later academic pursuits? If you can answer with a resounding Yes! to all three of those questions, then you are ready to take Mrs. Richmans APUSH course.

It is mandatory for this course that you commit to taking the AP test at the end of the year. Scary, huh? Yet this class will dissipate all your fears about the test. This class and the method of weekly assignments will truly prepare you for the test and set you up for a great score. I went into the class unsure about taking the test I knew would be the hardest I had ever taken. However, by test day I was as confident and as prepared for the AP test as possible.

The weekly time commitment for this class varies. Almost every week has mandatory quizzes, primary source documents readings, online history videos, and textbook readings. However, the main assignment of each week is different from the week before, and these assignments include normal essays, cartoon analyses, document-based essays, articles on history in current news, and more. Furthermore, Mrs. Richman provides an abundance of bonus point activities. Thus the time commitment each week does vary but rarely is less than 10 hours a week.

I found the syllabus that Mrs. Richman has developed most complete. The variety of formats for assignments each week greatly enhanced my learning experience. However, my favorite assignments were the larger projects Mrs. Richman assigned. In this class you will be required to write a summer book review, two biographies, and a film review. Class members are also required to participate in at least one of three dinner parties, in which members of the class post discussions to one another acting as historical figures. These dinner parties are set in the Revolutionary War period; the Civil War period; and for labor leaders, societal reformers, and industrialists. I would highly recommend all three! My favorite assignment last year was my biography on Lt. Col. James Longstreet of the C.S.A., which I did as a video-oriented website with several friends. These major projects throughout the year really add a deeper perspective on a great variety of historical time periods and subjects.

This course has truly instilled in me a passion for United States history. It seems to me quite difficult to avoid being swept up by Mrs. Richmans enthusiasm for the subject! Not only did this course enhance my interest in the subject, but it also enhanced my desire to develop my knowledge of United States history in my free time and my future academic pursuits.

A key feature of this course is interaction with other classmates. As students are from different regions and different cultural settings across the nation, the perspectives on various historical and political topics are varied. However, Mrs. Richman is careful to maintain full respect in all conversations on the student discussion site. Debating and discussing controversial issues at length with fellow students was a highlight of my APUSH year, and I heartily encourage full involvement for all future students.

Certainly this class is rigorous and time-consuming. Thus I would not recommend this course to students who do not have great self-initiative or a desire to excel. However, for students who do have these qualities, I can only give the highest laud for this course. Mrs. Richman is perhaps the best teacher an aspiring student could wish for. The coursework is beneficial in understanding our past and in preparing for the AP exam. Historian Stephen Ambrose once said, You don't hate history, you hate the way it was taught to you in high school. This is a class that is taught in an engaging manner by an inspiring teacher. After this course I doubt you will hate history, but I know you certainly will not hate the way it was taught to you.

Connor Perkins

APUSH is great! posted by Elizabeth Deatrick on May 15 2009 at 12:31:13

Greetings, potential future APUSHers!

When I was pondering how I should structure this review, I tried to come up with a list of adjectives and adjectival phrases that describe APUSH with Mrs. Richman. Whirlwind was one, comprehensive was another. Fun made an appearance, as did incredibly useful.

Who would get the most out of this course? Somebody who is smart, creative, eager to learn, likes having intelligent talks with friends (during the year the chat board gets pretty busy with discussions about history-related topics), has a lot of time to pour into the course (a minimum of 7-8 hours a week and even more would be better), and already has at least something of a grasp on American history.

A word to the wise: If youre going to make the most of this course, you really need to do those extra assignments Mrs. Richman posts in her weekly update e-mails. Yes, theyre a bit of extra work, but I found that those I did do really added to my understanding of history as a whole. Just make sure not to start in on the bonuses before finishing your regular work its all too easy to get caught up in the fun assignments and ignore that essay due day after tomorrow.

One particularly interesting assignment that Mrs. Richman gave us was the Bio Essay assignment. This required us to pick one person famous or infamous and research them in depth. We then either wrote an essay or created a website (or used some other uniquely online format, such as uploading a Youtube video or creating a blog) that explained our persons life, opinions, personality, and accomplishments. Now, to those who balk at the idea of doing so much work, I say, Fear not! These were actually really fun to create. My essay on Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Toms Cabin, was in the format of a time-travelers interview with Ms. Stowe. The website I created for Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, included a page that explained her theories using photos of marshmallow Peeps.

If you feel youre up to the task, go for it! I guarantee youll come out of this course feeling a LOT better about your knowledge of American history. Youll be listening to the radio, and somebody will mention the Corrupt Bargain, or the Know-Nothing Party, and you will understand what they mean. Its great.

Elizabeth Deatrick

The wonderfulest class ever! posted by Maria Marlin on May 15 2009 at 12:24:36

Dear Future APUSHer,

If you love history, then I strongly suggest that you take this class. If you hate history more than anything in the world, TAKE THIS CLASS. You will learn so much, and by the end of the year, history will be one of your favorite subjects...all because of this class. Now, this wouldn't happen in any normal class, but this class is above normal...in a terrific way.

I came to this class with a deep love for history, however with very little knowledge. Mrs Richman's class just taught me so much!! By the time the AP exam came, I was so prepared for it. No other class in existence, I'm sure of it, prepared you so well for the exam in such a fun and interesting manner.

In this class, you don't just write essay after essay. On average, you write 2 essays per month. The other two weeks are spent with other fascinating assignments such as Interviews, Cartoon Analysis, or Film Reviews. In addition, three times a year, Mrs. Richman hosts an online dinner party! You choose your character from the assigned time period and head on in. You can learn so much about other people and the time period through these dinner parties.

Also, there is a general board for discussing history-related topics with your peers. I found this very valuable- being able to discuss certain topics that were especially interesting or confusing.

And the teacher, Mrs. Richman, is just exceptional! She is just so devoted to this class and to her students! She will always help you if you have questions and is very flexible about changing assignments around. She is simply the best!

On average, I spent about 8-9 hours a week with this class. I recommend this class to a hard-working student who is excited to learn more about American history! Now I suppose that I shall stop here, as I'm sure I am taking up time that you need to REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS!!!!!! I conclude with a promise: YOU WILL NEVER REGRET SIGNING UP FOR THIS CLASS.

Caution!!! posted by Elise Porter on May 14 2009 at 12:37:08

Dear potential APUSH student,

So you are considering taking APUSH next year. Well, it may be a noble thought, but I urge you to reconsider. I know you've probably read a lot of great stuff about this class written by these great students, but you need to hear the other side of the story. Let me tell you about a few of the AWFUL things about this class...

1. You actually learn something, probably more than you have learned in all your non-AP history classes combined. This class will teach you about stuff you never dreamed of knowing. John Peter Zenger? Mugwumps? I mean, really. That dreadful thing known as learningit's not a possibility in this class. It's reality.

2. You will have a flexible schedule. Yeah, if you have to have rigidity and structure and dislike varying from the schedule at all, I wouldn't recommend this class. The teacher is always allowing students to swap assignment weeks so that they can work around their busy lives and all that sort of freakish, confusing stuff.

3. You will meet geniuses. Like, no kidding! (Well, they are actually pretty cool.) BUT, if smart people get on your nerves, you'll never survive this class. They are always commenting on your essays and trying to help you improve, and their smartness starts to wear off on you. *shudder*

4. You will be prepared for your exam. The thing I hated about this class was that going into the test I felt confident about my knowledge of the subject, and so all the thrill and adrenaline rush from not knowing for sure if I knew the material never happened! No butterflies, no stressing out cramming the night before. If you are afraid it will be too great a loss to go without all that stress, avoid this class!

5. You start to like history. If you didn't like history before, and you hope you will never ever like history, don't take this class. Liking history is like a disease in this class. Some students come to class with it, and the teacher is so generous about sharing her liking- history germ that even long holdouts succumb eventually.

So yeah, this is your last warning. And if you decide to take this class anyway, please don't come crying to me afterwards when the truth about it really sinks in.

In all honesty, =)

Elise Porter

Great posted by Matthew Kilgore on May 14 2009 at 11:01:52

Greetings future APUSHer,

If you are reading this, then you are seriously considering taking Mrs. Richmans AP U.S. History class. You, however, likely have many questions for me (no, not me specifically, but me the APUSH alumni). First and foremost, you are probably wondering, Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? My answer is a resounding YES. I was very well-prepared. You are also probably wondering, How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? Dont let the course description fool you! I usually put in 20+ hours per week! (Disclaimer: I am a hard worker who puts in more time than is needed.) Moving on, your next question is, Were there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? Yes. The weekly MCQs were very helpful for preparing for the exam. In addition, the essays were fun and helpful. The only assignment I didnt like was the actually, I liked all of the assignments! The nextprompt given by the review form:- ) question you have is, Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Yes, I am MUCH more interested in U.S. history than I was. Next question: Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Of course! My fellow students had very interesting conversations on the exam and U.S. History. Less formal way of saying that: the other students and I had great conversationswe played games, we debated some issues, we helped each other with exam prepgasp! *runs out of breath* You get the picturethe class had a great community of students. Lastly, youre probably wondering, What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? Part 1: any student who a) is willing to take on a heavy weekly workload, b) likes to write, c) likes to discuss thing with fellow students, and d) enjoys U.S. History, will do well in this class. Part 2: YES: I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS COURSE!!!


Matthew Kilgore name withheld

Great posted by Matthew Kilgore on May 14 2009 at 10:57:25

Greetings future APUSHer,

If you are reading this, then you are seriously considering taking Mrs. Richmans AP U.S. History class. You, however, likely have many questions for me (no, not me specifically, but me the APUSH alumni). First and foremost, you are probably wondering, Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? My answer is a resounding YES. I was very well-prepared. You are also probably wondering, How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? Dont let the course description fool you! I usually put in 20+ hours per week! (Disclaimer: I am a hard worker who puts in more time than is needed.) Moving on, your next question is, Were there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? Yes. The weekly MCQs were very helpful for preparing for the exam. In addition, the essays were fun and helpful. The only assignment I didnt like was the actually, I liked all of the assignments! The next prompt given by the review form  question you have is, Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Yes, I am MUCH more interested in U.S. history than I was. Next question: Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Of course! My fellow students had very interesting conversations on the exam and U.S. History. Less formal way of saying that: the other students and I had great conversationswe played games, we debated some issues, we helped each other with exam prepgasp! *runs out of breath* You get the picturethe class had a great community of students. Lastly, youre probably wondering, What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? Part 1: any student who a) is willing to take on a heavy weekly workload, b) likes to write, c) likes to discuss thing with fellow students, and d) enjoys U.S. History, will do well in this class. Part 2: YES: I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS COURSE!!!


Matthew Kilgore

From ignominious ignorance to unimpeded understanding! posted by Michael Taylor on May 13 2009 at 18:45:43

This summary approximates my knowledge of American history before Mrs. Richmans APUSH class:

Columbus came over in 1492, then he conquered the Aztecs. Some time later the Mayflower came over and started the Salem witch trials. The Great Awakening happened sometime, and then Americans started crying "no taxation without representation!", dumped some perfectly good tea into some random harbor, declared independence, and won by eating snow at Valley Forge. Washington came along and made everything better, and then Washington got sacked in the War of 1812. After a 50-year period in which nothing happened, the Civil War started, which ended when Lincoln was shot, thereby freeing the slaves. Then came cowboys, Indians, and John Wayne, and when they mysteriously fizzled out, nothing happened until World War I. America won because a cruise ship blew up, and then it got in a Great Depression, was saved by the hero FDR, and won WWII on D-Day. Afterwards, the 1960s happened, Martin Luther King Jr. got shot, and finally Nixon got impeached because he started an illegal program called Watergate.

Horrible, isnt it? I must say I mixed up a few things. British history was really my forte back then. But at the end of this year, I have to admit that American history has now become my FORTISSIMO. I was extremely well prepared for the APUSH exam, and no amount of cramming would have helped as much as the steady, detailed, fun, fabulously educational work we did all year. The Biography of America videos were a delight historian Donald Millers face and voice still echoes in my brain and the DBQs, History in the News responses, and INTERVIEWS were all extremely rewarding.

Mrs. Richman also happens to be the most wonderful teacher you could imagine. If one of your essays on a given week isnt so great, she often practically writes an entire essay back to you showing you how to get back on track. Amazing dedication if you come into this class wanting to learn American History, she will make sure you come out with a thorough understanding and a LOVE for it!

Most highly recommended by this Brit who lives in Texas.

Hoping that you will decide to make your application for this class just another history topic!!! posted by Jonathan Krape on May 12 2009 at 19:18:01

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Yes, I was talking to some public schoolers and they told me that they only had been able to study history in the fall semester. And then these students had to cram at the last minute. I however felt very confidant about the test because I knew that Mrs. Richman had prepared me for everything I would face in the test. How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? A lot I usually put down about twenty per week. It was usually a lot more. I am a slow worker, but you will still need to spend a substantial amount of time studying for this history class. Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? I will break this category into two parts: “valuable for me” and “valuable in preparation for the AP US History test” Valuable for the test: the test contains multiple choice questions, document based questions and free response questions (fondly referred to as MCQ’s DBQ’s and FRQ’s respectively). As such, Mrs. Richman prepares the entire class by requiring many of these throughout the year. She also asks us to respond to our peer’s work so that we conscientiously think the way that an essay grader thinks. This helps to show us where we need to improve our essays as the year progresses. Assignments that are valuable to me were the history interviews, where we interviewed an older person about a subject that they were familiar with. (for example, I interviewed my parents about the assassinations of JFK, MLK Jr., and RFK.) these assignments made us realize that history is not just something that is passed, it is something that happened yesterday…and as of tomorrow we will be part of it. I never thought of my self as being a part of history but this assignment changed my mind. Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Oh my yes!!! For the one assignment I called a classmate from California (I live in Pennsylvania) to go over a test. We had both taken the same test and then we did it again together. Between the two of us we had three questions wrong and we had to skip two…Amazing considering I had about twenty wrong when I did it by myself. On the test day this assignment helped me because the subjects we argued/agreed about were in my mind strongly. Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)? Oh yea!!! This class has got to be the best one in the world, for preparing students for the test. The only circumstance in which I would not recommend the class is if the student is not planning on taking the test. In this case a single textbook do-it-yourself course would be just fine.

AMAZING class! posted by Emma Manning on May 12 2009 at 16:17:06

I'll be perfectly honest. I don't particularly like history. A year ago, I would have thought that no teacher could ever make me LOVE a history class. Mrs. Richman, however, accomplished just that.

The best thing about Mrs. Richman is that she's always very positive and enthusiastic--I never once saw her respond to any student's work in a way that wasn't, overall, positive. Now, this is not to say that she just says everything is wonderful when it isn't. She tends to write long, detailed responses to every assignment, including suggestions for improvement as well as praise.

Although this course definitely prepares students well for the AP exam, it's definitely not JUST "teaching to the test." Some of the regular assignments (like the multiple-choice quizzes required per week, and the AP-like essays every other week) were directly related to prepping for the exam (as well as learning U.S. history in general, of course). Other assignments, like interviewing relatives or family friends about their memories of history, were less likely to help directly on the AP exam, but really expanded our understanding and appreciation of history. My absolute FAVORITE assignment was the DBQ follow-up: After doing a DBQ (Document-based question, one of the types of essay found on the AP exam), each student would choose one document from the DBQ to research. I found some very interesting things, and thoroughly enjoyed the search :)

This class is truly wonderful, thanks to the best teacher ever, Mrs. Richman. I highly recommend it to, well, anybody. Whether you come in loving history or hating it (as long as you have an open enough mind that you'll be willing to change it), I guarantee that you'll learn a lot from this class and have a good time.

Fantastic APUSH course! posted by Samantha Bilko on May 12 2009 at 14:52:38

Dear Prospective Student,

Let me begin by saying that of all my high school courses, Mrs. Richman's APUSH class has been one of my favorites. Mrs. Richman is such a fun and energetic teacher, you will find yourself growing to love history, even if you thought you never would! There's a lot of work involved, but it all plays a role in preparing you for the AP exam in May, and let me tell you, you will DEFINITELY feel prepared. Come May, you will have practiced multiple choice questions and essays so many times that you will be able to answer with confidence almost everything that appears on the exam.

Of course, this great feeling of "preparedness" (as President Wilson would call it) does not come without any work. You should expect to put in at least 12 hours of work a week, sometimes even more. The reading schedule is fast paced and intense, and the weekly essays and other assignments make for a busy week. However, if you find that you can't finish an assignment by its due date, Mrs. Richman is very understanding and may give you an extension.

Of all the assignments I did this year, I think my favorite was the cartoon analyses. Over the year you have to find three cartoons relating to American history to post in the class forum. I never found this assignment to be a chore. Hunting for these cartoons is more of a break from school work than just another assignment, it's fun while still informative.

Taking APUSH has definitely enhanced my love of history. I took AP Euro the year before and after that was really excited to learn in depth about the history of our own country. This course definitely lived up to my standards!

Another engaging aspect of this course was the WWWBoard. Here students can discuss current assignments, questions they have about what they're learning, or even just to make new friends. It was really great to meet all my fellow classmates and get feedback from them about my various essays. Trust me, by the end of the course you will feel like a big family (especially when you all meet up at the Richmans' annual end-of-the-year party!).

In conclusion (it sounds like I'm writing yet another FRQ, doesn't it?), I can wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone who loves history, loves learning, and is willing to work hard. It will most certainly pay off!

Best of luck, Samantha Bilko

Review of my favorite class in high school thus far! posted by Hillary Cooper on May 11 2009 at 13:21:16

First, let me say, before I get into details about the class, that I love this class, and you should take it. period. Seriously, whether you love history or whether you think it's just a boring chronicle of dates and dead people, you should take this class. Because no matter how you feel about history going into the class, you will like it more after finishing this class.

I just took the exam on Friday, and I felt very well prepared for it. Of course, APUSH is one of the hardest AP classes and exams, so it's hard to feel perfectly prepared for the exam, but I think as much as is possible, I was prepared. I feel pretty confident about a good score (hopefully at least a 4), but if it wasn't the best score, it wasn't because of this class. I spent probably an average of 8-9 hours on this class per week. Some weeks it was more than that, and some weeks, because of debate tournaments (that took up a whole bunch of my time!), it was definitely less. I could have spent even more time per week than that, just because of the sheer number of bonuses and opportunities Mrs. Richman offers.

I loved this class, so picking out favorite assignments is nearly impossible, but I especially loved the early "creative" assignments: the summer book review, the hometown history, my Anne Hutchinson bio essay. I would never have thought I was creative enough to make up a story about a "lost" diary, combine my own memories of my town with actual facts about it, and write a diary about Anne Hutchinson, but apparently I am. It was also extremely helpful to be able to write the number of FRQs and DBQs that we did. I feel that 1. My love writing grew this year because of this class and 2. My writing ability certainly improved.

I liked history pretty well before this class (I naturally tend towards English and History anyway), but I can honestly say that I love it now. I understand the connections between events in History so much better, I guess what you would call the "causes and effects." This course gave me a deeper appreciation for the reason that we study history, and how it shapes us. A history major in college is something that I'm considering now.

Unfortunately, I did not spend nearly as much time on the WWW Board as I would have liked to, because of the crazy "junior year" schedule that I had, but the communication that I did have was great. First semester, especially (when I was a little less busy) I emailed pretty regularly with one student and gained a lot from our interactions. I also really appreciated the fact that we got to critique each other's essays, because there were many great writers in this year's class, and I feel that we helped each other grow.

If you don't want to work hard, then don't take the class. Because, you definitely will have to work hard. The reading load is intense, you do have to write every week, and there are a number of "extra" weekly assignments that take thought and time. But don't let that scare you off, because it's certainly doable, even with a lot of extra activities, like I had this year. If you are willing to work hard, then I recommend this class unreservedly, because no matter what else you are doing, it is definitely worth it. If you are motivated to learn and do well on the exam, then I don't see any reason why you shouldn't do well in this class.

So, to sum up, this class = amazing. Take it. Learn from it. Love it.

(Oh, one extra thought, Mrs. Richman is awesome. Seriously, it's hard for an online instructor to have personality, but Mrs. Richman manages to have more personality than most in-person teachers have. She obviously cares not only that her students excell in the class, but that they understand the material. Her love and enthusiasm for history is evident from every "weekly update" that she writes, and she will clear up any question or issue that you are confused about. She's also very understanding when it comes to switching assignment weeks, needing extensions, etc. Basically, I could write about 5 more paragraphs about this class, but I really need to finish this, because I have other classes to get to...haha. I hope you take this course and love it as much as I did!)

Mrs. Richmans's AP U. S. History posted by Isaac Wagner on May 11 2009 at 12:44:30

Mrs. Richman's AP U. S. History course is excellent. It'll teach you history like nothing can, the source materials are high quality and in depth, and likely, the originals. Mrs. Richman emphasizes reading primary source documents, which while familiarizing you with historical grammar and diction (something valuable on the exam), also immerse you in the subject. I didn't just learn history this year--I lived it. Sometimes it got little weird that way, I've got memories of Senate debates, Civil War battles, and angry demonstrations...stuff I never had any part of. It's a great course for anyone who really wants to know what this country's done, and what it really is. Mrs. Richman shows America at its brightest and finest and at its most leeringly awful, every little detail. This course will take your historical study to a new level. It'll take you back, it's a complete experience.

Does it prepare you for the exam? As much as any AP class can. Mrs. Richman puts excellent materials in front of you, and asks you to practice the skills you will need. She does a particularly good job with essays, with one free-response essay and one document based essay due per month. You basically do one every other week. She also requires a great deal of multiple choice question work. Mrs. Richman also has a many bonus activities built in. You have everything you need to succeed, but it won't happen without work. You still have to study hard, the class can't do that for you--in other words, it's not automatic. Mrs. Richman will teach you the material and techniques, but you have to teach yourself to deal with the exam, and she directs you to great resources to do that.

Speaking of the work, it's pretty hard. I averaged about 18 to 20 hours a week, but I was probably overzealous: I don't think that's mandatory. 12 to 15 would likely be enough, but expect to get some difficult and time consuming assignments. Sometimes my hours exceeded 40. It's worth it though. This is an absolute, end all course on U. S. History. Take this course, and you'll never need to take another. Even if you don't plan to take the exam, Mrs. Richman's APUSH is the way to go.

As far as being a social class, I would say that it is. Students are encouraged to study together and evaluate each other's work. This feedback can be valuable, however the real gain is to the examiner, by looking at peers' work you can gage where you should be, see some good techniques to try, and some things you should never do. The student who does well here is the one who has time, determination, diligence, and pays attention. Basically, that's anybody who cares about doing a good job.

The last and best ingredient in this course is Mrs. Richman: you couldn't find a person more proficient in her subject, facile in its teaching, more dedicated to a good job, or more responsive to her students. My essays were always promptly and carefully graded, and my questions quickly responded to. I never sent an email which Mrs. Richman did not respond to within 12 hours and completely resolve my problem. She is also flexible, she's not one of those teachers who thinks her class is the only one you're taking. I was saved many times by a well-placed extension. Mrs. Richman is very understanding, and frankly, fun to talk to and work with. That's the other thing: she doesn't pontificate. Mrs. Richman also makes sure everyone knows what's going on, she sends out an email each week detailing what's due. If you get stuck you can refer to the syllabus (which is very clear) or just ask her yourself.

This is the second PHAA AP class I've taken, other being Mrs. Inspektor's incomparable APLANG. I can honestly tell you I've never taken better classes. This is real stuff, they give real work, and they expect to act like a real student. They treat you like an adult and expect you to show that maturity. It's college level. You'll find no busy work here. I can't tell you how refreshing that is.

Review of Mrs. Richman's APUSH course posted by Jeff Seitz on May 11 2009 at 12:07:41

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? This course was an excellent experience, being my first AP class, and apparently a difficult one at that. Going into the AP test I was nervous, but upon opening the Multiple Choice Question packet and reading the first answer, all my fears vanished. The same happened again later in the test when I opened the essay question package. Mrs. Richman's course prepared me in the best way possible, and I felt after the test that it was probably the most prepared I've ever been for one.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? I would generally spend close to 7 or 8 hours a week on course-work, although my mom who stood kindly out of the way of all of my studying claims that it was closer to 9 or 10. One could get away, and "pass" the course with less work than that, but upon reaching testing time, a student who would spend less time would probably find themselves lacking critical skills and information.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? I personally felt that the "Biography of America" videos, and the Week C DBQ's were the two assignments that best helped to prepare me for the test. In fact, for study work, I would do 50-100 flashcards, and watch an episode or two of the "Biography of America" lectures. Also, the most enjoyable assignments were probably the "dinner party" chats. The end of the year dinner party was probably the best, because I spent the most time on it, and afterward, I wished that I had spent more time on the other dinner parties. Those chats were definitely my "favorite" assignment.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Absolutely. When I started this course, indeed, in all of my years up until I took this course, I was completely bored by US History, spending as much time avoiding as I could, and as little time actually studying it as possible. However, after taking this course, American History is possibly my favorite subject ever.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (If they are willing to work hard!)?

The type of student that would do well in this course is one who analyzes, and thinks deeply upon different facets of subject matter. Advanced reading skills, a good work ethic, and creativity are must have's for this course. Even if a student doesn't enjoy US History, this class is an excellent one to take, for it REALLY opens your eyes to a lot of stuff happening in our current day world. Political or otherwise. I would recommend this course to anyone willing to do a lot of reading, spend a lot of hours, and do some serious thinking.

To conclude, this was an AWESOME first AP class, and probably my favorite class that I've ever taken in my 10 years of homeschooling. It's an excellent course, and I'd like that thank PA Homeschoolers and Mrs. Richman for making it possible.

If you like history, sign up now! posted by Luke Riel on May 10 2009 at 15:20:03

Dear history lovers,

This course definitely prepared me well for the exam. I generally spent about 10 hours a week on this class. That doesn't include about 5 hours a week that I put into reading American Literature. I would highly recommend taking American Literature and APUSH together. One of the best assignments is the Dinner Party, in which students participate in a virtual dinner party as a historical character. Some of the students can get quite eloquent. Having loved history since I was very little, this course was very enjoyable, and a real learning experience. Another valuable part of this course is the discussions that take place online. Talking over history questions with other students is very helpful. Anyone who likes history and is willing to work hard would enjoy this course. Mrs. Richman has a real love of history and is very supportive of all her students.

Luke R.

A Most Eximious Course. (Hey, I'm trying to be original! All the other words of praise are already taken.) posted by Laura Russell on May 10 2009 at 13:24:45

Dear Prospective Students and Parents (and anyone else who is reading this!),

The first thing I note in these survey questions I'm answering is that there are none about the teacher--so up front and off the cuff, I would like to say Mrs. Richman is FABULOUS. In the occasional hodge-podge that is online learning, I can thoroughly recommend her; she is among the best teachers I've been privileged to learn from. Her dedication to and enthusiasm for history (and her students!!) is apparent in every facet of the course. She stays on top of a tremendous influx of assignments every week, and somehow manages to leave in-depth comments for each student on their work. Her involvement in the course is unbelievable. Be ready for a teacher who will challenge you and stimulate you every week. In short, she rocks. Thanks, Mrs. Richman. :-)

This course is excellent preparation for the AP exam. I generally put in about 6 hours per week for this class, sometimes more when I had larger assignments due. In fact, if you do the work, it's pretty much impossible not to be prepared. I'm a test panicker, and I actually got a night's sleep before the exam last week. And on the test day, the exam itself went much more easily than I had expected. The required veteran interview in December was probably my favorite assignment. I know it probably sounds scary to some of you--it sure did to me! In this respect this course certainly challenged me out of my comfort zone. But thanks to a friend, I got in touch with a wonderful WWII veteran, and my interview with him was fantastic. Other worthy assignments include the Bio essay projects and the Dinner Party (my favorite character that I played was William Lloyd Garrison, although he did verbally abuse some of the Southern attendees, I'm afraid).

Did the course enhance my interest in the subject? Well, I cannot tell a lie. (Twinkie points if you can guess which historical character I'm alluding to!) There were Tuesday nights when the procrastinator that is yours truly, facing hours of work to turn in, most certainly was not interested in history. A healthy piece of advice is DON'T PROCRASTINATE, by the way. :-) But that said, this course absolutely enhanced my interest in history. I'm not a history buff, but there were times when I was learning stuff that was just really really cool. There is a wealth of information in this course that is incredibly valuable for any American citizen.

And a word to my classmates--y'all are awesome!!! Probably the most valuable part of this area of the course is the essay peer critiques--not only do you hone your skills by commenting on your fellow students' essays, but you get plenty of helpful comments on your own work.

So, in summary--if you're willing to work hard, this is an excellent course with a phenomenal teacher. Highly highly HIGHLY recommended.

That Little Number 5 posted by Kyle Thompson on July 06 2008 at 16:24:47

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. Obviously Churchill wasnt speaking about Mrs. Richmans class, but there is some truth in this quote with regard to it. APUSH with Mrs. Richman is probably one of the greatest classes youll ever take. Whether youre creating a website on a biography of George Washington, or examining FDRs New Deal solutions to the Great Depression, everything you do will stretch the limits of your mind to learn more than you ever have before about US history.

The first thing I must confer upon you rising stars is that you can expect nothing less than a large amount of writing. Each week in a month is given a particular letter (A, B, C, and D) to classify it. Starting each week brings a new, recurring assignment: week A means writing a practice free-response essay, week B includes responding to news with historical content, week C is comprised of writing a Document Based Response (DBQ) essay, and week D involves a DBQ follow-up and either a response to a political cartoon or posting an interview youve conducted with someone who has something to share about history. While all of this seemed totally daunting to me (I mean who wants to write something every week?), by the end of the first month it was quite easy to slip into an effortless routine for managing it. Of course there always were those weeks when I forgot that I would be out of town, or when I ran into the unexpected troubles of life. The few times I fretted about not being able to turn everything in, Mrs. Richman was more than gracious to grant me an extension to finish my work. These writing assignments make up the backbone of the APUSH course, but they are by no means everything that is required.

The second thing that will take up residence in your routine is reading. Probably the most wonderful thing about this course is that there is no single, confining textbook to read day after day. The basic text, America and Its People (AAIP) is supplemented by primary source documents (documents written about an era first-hand, known as PSDs), research into the topics of your essays, political cartoons, present-day history-related news articles, and articles from the NY Times -- not to mention all the additional browsing of information you will find yourself doing after you find so much information available to you. On a weekly basis, a minimum of 9 PSDs and 1 NY Times article must be read, in addition to the AAIP text, which averages about 30 pages a week. Finally, by the end of the school year, the majority of your reading shifts to review of the AAIP and finding information on eras still slightly sketchy in your mind, so that you can nail a 5 on the APUSH exam. With all this reading and writing, youre probably asking yourself can anything more be fit into this class? Oh, yes theres more.

The third and last part of your life in Mrs. Richmans APUSH class is the most fun, and most addictive: parties, movies, quizzes, Bio Essays, and the WWW Board. Now dont think that the whole class flies across the country to have parties and watch movies, only some of us can make it to Mrs. Richmans farm for the end-of-the-year party. In addition to this party, there are three parties on the website in which you choose a person coeval to the time period to impersonate and start rather fiery discussions with the other party-goers. As for movies, an episode of one of two series, A Biography of America and Primary Sources: Workshops in American History, will keep you glued to the screen each week. Once the week draws to a close, theres always a quiz waiting to confirm youve learned everything, but the quizzes do plenty more than evaluate you, they help confirm your strengths and weaknesses so that when the APUSH exam approaches, you know exactly what you should be reviewing. By the end of the year, two famous Americans will have become your specialty, as you are required to complete two biographies. These Bio Essays take two forms, an extended essay and a website -- and are totally fun, creative, and efficient at turning you into an obsessive person who spends most of his or her free time in front of a computer screen. Finally, any nagging question can be resolved on the WWW Board, a message board where everyone can post messages, get to know each other, and play a friendly game of Who Am I? All these things put the real fun into Mrs. Richmans class (just dont party too long).

Its easy to see why Mrs. Richmans class can be considered the greatest class ever. While the writing, reading, and research do consume a large percent of your brain power, there are plenty of parties, movies, and games to balance it out, along with the competition that comes from getting points for doing all assignments. Everything about this class is outstanding, sometimes outstandingly hard due to the endless reading, essays, PSDs, political cartoons, and interviews, but nevertheless outstanding because of that little number 5 youll very likely earn on the APUSH exam!

Henry Clay speaks: posted by Andrew Evans on June 14 2008 at 16:50:47

Howdy! Henry Clay here. It has been my duty and privilege to be the guardian angel for Andrew Evans this past year. Under my careful tutelage, the brilliant support of his APUSH class, and the matchless Mrs. Richmans guidance, Andrews once small supply of American history has been changed to a bustin barnful of brilliance faster n corn turns to moonshine. Not that, uh, Id know anything about that I swore off my rougher youth quite some time ago, and of course drinkin is prohibited up here *wink*

But back to the business of the brilliant brain of Andrew. Lemme tell yall a few things about him afore we get to the matter of APUSH (er, thats pronounced AY-PUSH). First off, Andrew likes history. Specifically (and God bless im), military history. As such, the matters of that bloodthirsty European continent had tickled im a might moren ours. The trivial scuffle termed World War Two entranced Andrew moren the noble struggle of 1812! Imagine. But ah well, past ignorance has long since been forgiven. The second thing about Andrew youd do well to know bout would be his love for laughin. Now, I know what yur thinkin But honorable and worshipful Mr. Clay! What does that have to do with history? And I know ya didnt mean no disrespect to my perfect personage with that thought, and its sorta an obtuse description (ya learn the most amazin words up here!). Anyway, back in my day I was something of a virtuoso dancer, partyer, and whoopin-it-upper, so I can respect a feller who can find the gumption to rear his head back and holler at durn near anythinincluding himself. The point Id like to make is this: my charge Andrews love for laughin reflects his love for interaction (I think thats what yall call it). And interaction aplenty he was to get.

AP US History is a right honorable subject, for in it, the student gets to take time off of milkin cows or such and gets to spend time readin about his glorious country. Seems these days most folk dont rightly appreciate the blessing of America that they soak up near each and every day. My pal Andrew werent really of this sort, but hes told me on many occasion how much of a deeper lovin fer his country hes gained by studyin, learnin, and laughin with all them folks in APUSH. Not just a love for his country, though, but a deeper appreciation for studyin the past in general. Funny how since Ive been floatin above the earth I once so dearly loved, I get to see how much people ignore the past and make the same ol dumb mistakes agin and agin.

Well, it wouldnt be fair of me to focus on the fluff and to forget the fight it took to follow-up and finish this class. My dear friend Andrew proberbly spent bout 12-14 hours a day in rapturous devotion to his beloved American history course. Ok ok, maybe not rapturous (Andrew dont appreciate my stretchin of the truth), but the point is, APUSH took some time for im. For any whod be thinkin of joinin the hallowed halls of history lovin APUSHers, be prepared to spend some serious spells astudyin. Yallll have to write a paper a week, read a huge textbook in a year, do four relatively large projects, find countless primary source documents, spend time discoursing with classmates, andfinallyyallll have to attend the annual Richman hoedown in May.

These assignments are more than just rigorous, though. Andrew enjoyed many of them. Harkin back to his love fer laughin, APUSHers are encouraged to spend serious time talkin with Study Buddies about historywhether over the newfangled telly-phone or over somethin I still dont understand called Aim (I cin never remember if I need to capitalize more letters), or in person. Andrew enjoyed ever minite of his study buddy times, and he was able to digest his information better by discussin it with someone a might more intelligent than me.

By far and away Andrews favorite project durin the year would be his website that he made all about me. I was so flattered when he told me he was gonna do a project all about mecourse, it was a cinch for him. I sat back and watched all Andrews classmates read about me and gain an appreciation for this humble Kayn-tuckian. *sniff*

Well, I spose Ive done told you most there is to know about Andrew and APUSH. My time as Andrews guardian angel is over as soon as I finish this little message. Id just like to encourage yall whore thinkin of takin the lovely and talented Mrs. Richmans class to do moren think and actually sign up. I speak for Andrew when I say that he started excited, worked hard throughout, and left pleased. He felt extremely confidant takin the APUSH test in May, and told me to tell you that so long as youre ready and rarin to roll up yur sleeves and git to work, AP US History will burn a fire of enthusiasm in you that reinforces a love for history and catapults you straight to a beautiful and majestic five on the exam. God bless yall.

Signed, Henry Clay

Class Review posted by Paul Miller on May 31 2008 at 11:29:36

I certainly believe that APUSH prepared me for the AP History exam. APUSH gives a good understanding of U.S. History, and of course that's what the test is about. I think this course gave me more information than what was needed to pass the test, which, I think, is the right way to study for a subject. I was nervous before the test because I didn't feel like I knew enough of the history and dates. But, when I took the test, I was pleasantly surprised at how "easy" it was! So, in retrospect, I can say without a doubt that this course prepared me for the APUSH exam.

I generally spent 10 hours a week on history. It may seem like a lot, but if you space that over 5 days, it's only 2 hours a day. Some weeks required more time. I think the most hours I put in one week were 30. But average was about 10. I do think I should have put in about 5 more hours a week to do extra credit work, read more widely on the subject, and review.

I particularly enjoyed the history interviews. I went to the veterans' tent at our county fair and got the names and numbers of a few men and women there. I was able to interview one of these men for my history interview. It was great fun, I learned a lot, and I made a new friend! My other history interview was from a gentleman that I met at the Alamo. Just bumped into him, but he really knew his history well. In fact, I didn't have the history interview in mind at the time. I asked Mrs. Richman, and she said I could use my conversation as the interview. I *LOVED* this assignment. I really like talking to people, and being able to ask questions is great. It really helps to make history come alive.

I think the essays were very valuable. It forces you to write knowledgeable and place the information you know into coherent arguments. It's one thing to know the information, it's another to be able to explain it. The essays make sure that you truly understand the information. Often after writing an essay, I realized that I didn't know enough about the topic, and had to go back and study it again.

This course greatly enhanced my interest in American History. Going into it, I hardly knew anything about American history. I didn't even know who won the civil war! I was very glad to take this course, and it really peaked my interest in U.S. History. Now I stop at every historical marker and love to go to museums!

Communications with other students were interesting and valuable. Unfortunately, I didn't spend enough time interacting with the other students. I suggest that other students schedule in about 30 min to an hour to just go over people's WWW Board posts, and follow up on responses to BIO essays and such. This increased communication, I think, would be very helpful. I spent a lot of time talking to my grandpa about history, but not so much to the other classmates. The talking I did do was very helpful, though.

I think any student who wants to take this course will do well in this course. It really depends on your attitude. I know the course format is a little confusing at first, but after a month you'll get the hang of it. Just be sure to give yourself enough time for it. You'll be glad you did. ;)

TERRIFIC 9/9 posted by Tim Martin on May 30 2008 at 14:32:17

Future APUSHer,

Well I am fresh off taking the AP US History (or APUSH) exam and I must say this has to be one of the best classes I have ever taken. This class was challenging, time consuming, and definitely worth it. I put in, on average, about 10 hours a week and towards the end I was easily doing 20 hours a week. Thats essentially the first thing to remember before taking this class, its a lot of work. Like I said before though its definitely worth it. Ill give you a basic rundown of the class.

Teacher: Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher. She can relate almost anything to US History. She is extremely knowledgeable on this topic. When she grades your essays she always manages to tell you what you did wrong and what you did right. Although it may take time to get used to her grading scale (she claims to grade on a scale from 1-9) of using specific words to grade your essays (For example a bold capitalized [b]TERRIFIC[/b] essay means it really was exceptional while a fine essay simply means average.) youll get used to it. Once again Mrs. Richman is a [b]TERRIFIC[/b] 9/9 teacher.

Effort: It takes a lot of it. You do have to be somewhat motivated in order to get the assignments done on time. I worked on average 8-10 hours a week. Towards the end I was approaching 15-18 hours a week. This is not something you can halfway commit to; you have to be willing to go all the way.

Writing: Once again there is a lot of it. You are expected to write one essay a week. Also there are two super essays that you have to write over the year. While they technically only have to be 750 words I think everyone goes over. One of mine essays was 40 pages long but in reality that can only mean one thing, everybody loved doing it.

Students: These kids are the cream of the crop. These are definitely some of the brightest people I have ever met and they actually care about what they are doing. If you have an idea you want to run off of somebody, you definitely know that there will be competent enough people to discuss your idea with here.

Thinking: If you are not capable of independent thought do not join this class. The test itself is heavily dependent on thinking. You cannot hope to just spit out information straight from the textbook and get a good score on the essay section. The class itself is even more dependent. Whether youre writing an essay about the true reasons and effects of dropping the Nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki or discussing on the board whether or not the Revolutionary War was justified from the colonists standpoint, youll be required to think independently and defend your arguments.

In conclusion if you are willing to put a lot of effort into this class, think independently, and have some interest in US history than I would definitely recommend this class for you. It may be hard but it is fun and fascinating. And you will actually be learning something useful.

A *wonderful* class posted by Kelsey Ireland on May 28 2008 at 22:14:00

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in history. You learn so much more then just what is offered to you in the textbook. The unique assignments keep it varied and interesting, and the social interaction on the wwwboard is a lot of fun. One of my favorite assignments was the History in the News essay. It made me look through my local newspaper for stories that had historical tie-ins. Many of the articles my classmates and I found were very interesting and sometimes told a story from a perspective that you don't always hear about. And it makes you realize how much history surrounds you every day in your hometown!

This course is a lot of work, and you have to be careful it doesn't take over your other school subjects. I spent at minimum, an average of 5 hours a week on the course, but I could have easily spent more. As a Sophomore, this was my first AP course, and I found the workload difficult at times. However, it was also rewarding, and it did prepare me for the exam.

This course would be good for anyone who is self-motivated and enjoys history. You have to learn how to schedule your time, so you dont find yourself on Wednesday night (assignment turn-in night) and you have to read 20 pages of text. However, if you manage your time well, you should have no problem getting your assignments turned in on time.

Mrs. Richman is an absolutely fantastic teacher. She could make the history of the paperclip interesting. She always keeps things fun with optional bonus assignments and interesting facts. And she is always very understanding if you ever need to flip assignment weeks because something came up, and you just cant get in that Bio essay, but you can write the short 250 word History in the News essay instead. And thanks to her, Ill never forget what the Missouri Compromise was about. ;-)

Even though the work for this class is demanding, it is worth it, and definitely a course to consider for anyone interested in United States History.

Good luck!

Kelsey Ireland

AP US History posted by Jessina Leonard on May 27 2008 at 18:02:47

Dear Future APUSHer's,

I just recently came back from the end-of-the-year APUSH party at the Richman's house. And while there, as I looked back over the year and this course, I think I realized for the first time how MUCH I really appreciated the class. I learned a ton and enjoyed it immensely. If you are considering to take this class, do take it because it's well worth it! And if you're already accepted and buying your books for the fall, here's some things you can look forward to.

AP tests are certainly challenging and for me, at least, cause a lot of stress beforehand. But this class prepares you really well for entering the school on exam day. Yes, I still had lots of butterflies in my stomach and was praying the whole way through, but when I actually sat down and opened the text booklet, I was surprised at how easy many of the questions were. I can attest that Mrs. Richman consistently teaches and prepares you for the exam.

But doing this does take a good deal of work throughout the year. It's hard to give a specific amount of hours per week as it varied so much, but I would say I spent about an hour per day on history and probably two hours on it the days I wrote essays (which is about once a week). And of course in the weeks before the exam in May I spent a LOT more time then usual, ranging between three and six hours each day. It is a lot of work, but as one of my other classmates mentioned, you usually don't do ALL the work at the same time in one day, so it doesn't seem quite so long either. For example, I might do 40 minutes of work in the morning and 20 in the afternoon. Breaking up the work some makes it feel less overwhelming.

Now what exactly is the work you are doing for this class? Every week you are required to read 9 primary source documents, do three short online quizzes, and do the required reading in the textbook and (sometimes) test guide. Along with this, Mrs. Richman breaks up each month into four periods (weeks) and each week there are different assignments.

(1) Assignment A Week: These weeks we would have to write one essay, make an outline for one essay, watch a 1/2 video online, and do a multiple choice quiz in the test guide.

(2) Assignment B Week: These weeks we would have to peer review other students' essays from the previous week and write up a summary to an article in the news related to history.

(3) Assignment C Week: These weeks we would generally have to write a document based essay and watch an hour video online.

(4) Assignment D Week: These weeks we would have to peer review other students' essays from the previous week and either write a cartoon analysis or do a history interview. We sometimes would also have to watch an online video these weeks.

Of course you can add lots of extra credit work into this and every week is not always exactly according to this (i.e., we had to do biography essays twice and we did a history movie review during Christmas break, online "dinner parties" throughout the year, etc.), but that's the general guideline.

Another fun aspect of this class is the WWW board where you get to chat with other classmates and Mrs. Richman. I really enjoyed getting to know many of my classmates (and getting to meet them this past weekend at the APUSH party).

This is a professional, organized, challenging, and fun class. And Mrs. Richman pretty much defines an amazing teacher. She encourages her students constantly and is always available to answer any questions or give you an extra interesting tid-bit to add to your knowledge. So if you are interested in this subject and are looking for a way to be challenged and learn more, then I whole-heartedly recommend this course to you!


Jessina L.

Great history class posted by Erin Mundahl on May 23 2008 at 17:02:57

I started homeschooling six years ago and always did history at home. I loved being able to go in depth on things that interested me. Thus I was a bit aprehensive about starting this class. After the first few weeks' assignments though, I had no regrets. Mrs Richman does a wonderful job of filling her class with interesting assignments and fun "bonuses". The syllabus is slightly hard to read through the first time, but that is only because there is a lot in it! One thing that I found useful was that some weeks are a bit lighter in work load than others, giving time for a breather if things become too crazy.

Personally, I did not find that this class took very much time. When I planned out my schedule, I was generally able to finish all of my APUSH work in three days, working about 2-3 hours a day. It is necessary to really keep track of some of the long term projects though or they will sneak up on you. (One of my Biography Projects did this.) Overall though, Mrs Richman is very flexible and very willing to help work around trips or illness.

APUSH was a wonderful class which forced me to explore new portions of history in the form of primary source documents and interviews. I'm rather shy when it comes to talking on the phone, so it really took a lot to try interviewing someone. I learned so much though that I am glad I did. This APUSH class fostered some intense discussions and covered an amazing span of history both in depth and in an interesting fashion. By the time the test rolled around, I felt that I was very well prepared. My last words of recomendation would be to strongly advocate for purchasing the Patriot's History text, I really liked having a different perspective on events. (The section on the Great Depression is great.)

Wishing the best to this new class. I'm sure that you will have as informing a year as I did.

There's nothing like plunging in head-first posted by Andrew Kuiper on May 22 2008 at 16:02:12

This class gave me my first experience with an AP course. Obviously, the sheer amount of work was not something I was used to, but Mrs. Richman's syllabus and weekly updates(not to mention my Mother's watchful eye) kept me on track.

Mrs. Richman was an integral part of my motivation for this class. Besides being a naturally vivacious person, she truly loves history at a deep level. She was always helping us understand things or pointing us towards more resources. I was always very pleased when she would notice some aspect of my assignment. She finds time to comment on every student's assignment in a way that actually helps them to improve and encourages him. Because she was such a likable person and knows so much, it feels really good to hear her recognize your work specially.

I think the two most terrifying assignments by far were the Biography Essays. These are lengthy reports on a historical figure that must be done in a creative way. Two are required in the course. Mine were on Herman Melville and Oliver North. I learned so much doing research on these figures (mostly on Oliver North since I didn't research very much on Melville). It was an enjoyable assignment (in a frenzied deadline sort of way :P).

Not surprisingly, I learned a lot of US History while taking this course. I have a much better mental picture of the life of our nation. Part of our weekly homework was reading original source documents from different time periods, that and several online videos we watched helped me understand how we find history. It makes sense that we glean it from first-hand evidence, but I had never really thought about it much.

I absolutely adore history, but I will admit that American history did not draw my attention like Ancient or European history. This course has been the most jam-packed rigorous history study I have done and it really made me interested in America. I've always known that we were special among nations and a great experiment, but I now realize that this makes our history, though shorter than other nations, one of the uniquest. Some, like the Frenchman, Toqueville, came to study us even when we were young. Why? Because America is fascinating! I don't want to be living in a country that has an incredible history and wait for foreigners to tell me. :P

This class will give you knowledge of history and that in its turn will give you perspective. These are things worth having.

APUSH at its best! posted by Jillian Strayhorn on May 20 2008 at 13:09:29

Dear future APUSHers ~

First, I just have to say that Mrs. Richman is absolutely wonderful! She is friendly and cheerful throughout the entire year and she gives very valuable attention to each individual student, from her in-depth suggestions on essays to book recommendations. Furthermore, she really, really knows her stuff! She can answer any question and shares fascinating tid-bits throughout the year. I guarantee that youll be amazed! She adds so much to the experience and devotes an incredible amount of time to her students.

Next, the course provides a fun way to socialize and study with the other students. Something is always happening on the message board, from discussions to... well... youll see :). I really enjoyed studying and socializing regularly with classmates (I highly recommend that you find a study buddy).

The amount of time that you spend in this class depends on how dedicated you want to be to the course or the subject. Mrs. Richman offers tons of bonus activities of all sizes and I would argue that the most rewarding experience in this class comes to those who take advantage of what she offers. I spent a lot of time in this class, but that is partly because I often studied with classmates for many hours (Jackson, anyone?) and also because I tend to go a little overboard on review ;). This course consists of a lot of work for any student, but exactly how many hours you spend is up to you!

One of my favorite assignments was the monthly DBQ follow-up; for this you research documents of that months DBQ. I really enjoyed finding bits of behind-the-scenes information that werent revealed in the snippets that the DBQ provides.

I think that I would join that sad group of those who werent too terribly thrilled with history before this course. Now however, I really value all of the information that I learned in APUSH! I have noticed references to many aspects of US history everywhere, and, even when I dont, its fun to be an expert ;). Basically, you learn a LOT of history in this course. I felt very prepared for the AP exam and was a little miffed at the test-makers at all that they failed to ask about.

So please, take this course! (And do join the Mrs. Richman fan club!)

Good luck!

Jillian Strayhorn

Excellent Class posted by Todd Culbreth on May 20 2008 at 13:01:34

Mrs. Richman's APUSH class was great! When I signed up, I didn't know how well this class would increase my knowledge of US History. I am so glad I was able to experience Mrs. Richman's guidance throughout the class. Hard work is required for the class, but the outcome is well worth it. I usually spent about 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours a day doing the coursework. One essay a week is required along with reading the text. The special assignments were some of my favorite aspects of the course. I especially enjoyed the Veteran Interview.

Days before the APUSH exam I began second guessing myself and questioned if I really had a grasp on US history. I worried about it until the exam day came. While taking the exam I realized the class work throughout the year greatly helped me in analyzing the questions and gave me an overall understanding of history. Mrs. Richman's methods of teaching inspire confidence in learning history and give a great overall understanding of the history of America.

Great Class! posted by Alec Miller on May 19 2008 at 18:58:51

Mrs. Richmans U.S. History class was an amazing experience, and I would highly recommend it to any student. Throughout the year, I learned a ton about the history of the United States, and I felt well prepared for the AP exam this month.

Any student interested in taking the class must be willing to put in a lot of work, and I mean a LOT. An average week will include reading a chapter from the textbook, bonus activities, and writing some kind of essay. Also, because of the vast amount of material being learned throughout the year, frequent review is also a good idea. That way, it wont be necessary to relearn everything before the AP exam. On average, I probably spent at LEAST an hour a day doing APUSH work. However, there were many days when I spent a lot more time doing work. While a faster student will probably be able to finish the weekly assignments relatively quickly, its always a good idea to put in extra time doing review. Youll be VERY thankful for that extra review when preparing for the AP exam.

Although the assignments can sometimes be frustrating, they are ultimately very rewarding. Theyre not just geared towards preparing you for the AP exam, but actually helping you learn a lot about the subject. For example, one of the monthly assignments was writing a History in the News essay. For this assignment, you had to find a recent news article that was related to US History. You then had to write an essay about the article, and what you learned from reading it. This was a great assignment because it helped me to connect current events to other events in history.

Definitely one of the best parts of the class is being able to communicate with Mrs. Richman and the other students. There were MANY lively discussions on the class website that encourage you to think critically of historical events, and formulate your own opinions. Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher, and she alone is one of the best reasons for taking this class! For the essays, she always provides good feedback and suggestions on how to make improvements. Her comments were especially helpful during the second semester, when most of the essays I did were timed and handwritten. Her comments helped me to learn how to write a good timed essay, and I felt well prepared for that portion of the exam. She also posts MANY bonuses on the class website. These bonuses were often links to articles on US History, which you could then read and discuss. Students interested in taking the class should definitely be willing to participate in these bonus activities. They make the class a lot of fun, because they help you to learn more about a particular aspect of US History, and you get points for doing them! The students also helped make the class enjoyable. I had a lot of fun reading the other students essays, reading their thoughts on particular topics, and talking to them outside the class setting.

Before taking this class, I was not particularly interested in history. However, this class has helped me enjoy it a lot more, and Ive learned many things I didnt know before. Overall, I would highly recommend this class to any motivated student! While the workload is heavy and occasionally overwhelming, it is extremely rewarding. It helps you learn a lot about US History, and it prepares you well for the AP exam.

APUSH 2008 posted by Lydia Murdy on May 19 2008 at 18:21:24

Mrs. Susan Richmans APUSH is an extensive course that is made for a dedicated student who wants a deeper view of American history. This course covers all the material in the American History textbook a month before the APUSH exam in May, giving you plenty of time to review. There is also a great variety of assignments throughout the year to help reinforce the material. This not only includes practice DBQ and essay questions, but also Cartoon Analysis, responses to news articles, and interviews. I found the interviews particularly enjoyable. This year I talked with a veteran of World War II and a Vietnam veteran, and they were experiences well worth having. I was very nervous beforehand, but both interviews were wonderful and greatly affected my view of history. All of these assignments seem overwhelming when looked at all together, but they are spread out over the year into a manageable load.

I felt very prepared for the test, and my nervousness only came from the fact that this was my first AP exam. I worked 2 3 hours five days a week on average. Some weeks the homework was lighter and some weeks it was heavier, just like any course. If you take this course, you must be a hard worker and must be willing to push ahead even when you feel like giving up. Mrs. Richman is a great teacher and her comments on all of my work were always very helpful. She is extremely kind, but also has high standards which encourage you to reach for a high goal. This course was challenging, but I greatly value the new perspective and the store of knowledge I have gained in American History. I am sure it will be immensely useful in the future.

Be warned! posted by Caiti Perdue on May 16 2008 at 13:26:21

Dear future student -

As a senior soon to be graduated, I feel it is my duty to warn you about this class. If you are intensely interested in science or math, then this class will sorely disappoint you. There is only one time where you can earn bonus points for doing math, and I don't remember ever needing to use science to figure out the answer to a question. That being said, if you enjoying digging deep into questions, writing different styles of essays, research, reading, and taking the initiative to learn on your own, then this is the class for you. Even if you don't plan on taking the AP exam, this class will prepare you to do anything related to history. If you do plan on taking the exam, this class will give you a great foundation for a solid test score. To prepare you for what is to come, here is a list of skills either required or gained from this class:

- Reading. There is a lot of reading required for this class. You will be reading in "America and its Peoples" (affectionately know as AAIP,), the Barrons Guide (BG), and Tackling the Document Based Question (DBQ). While skimming this material is optional, the deeper you can go into what you're learning about, the better. All this reading will help you learn to use your time efficiently and to maximize your study time. You have a lot to cover!

- Writing. You will be writing at least one essay every week. Some of these essays will be longer (around 500 words) and some will be shorter (around 300 words). In addition to writing your own essays, you will also be writing short responses to your classmate's essays. You'll dig through archived newspaper cartoons for a cartoon analysis, more recent newspapers for "History in the News" short essays, and will learn how to find historical documents and people for your DBQ follow-up. And of course I shouldn't neglect the bio essays and interviews you'll also be writing. Don't start panicking yet!

- Thinking. Yes, it is required for this class. If you are not in the habit of searching through your memory to answer questions, or to eliminate possible answers, then this class will teach you how to think critically. For the optional "Very Hard Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)" you will need to not only come up with the answer you think is correct, but also why you think so. This is great practice for the exam, and I would highly recommend these excerises for your mental state.

So now that your heart rate is a little up after reading about all you will be doing, I'd like to share the assignments I found most helpful. While the BG essays and the DBQs definately prepare you for the exam, I enjoyed the cartoon analyses and the DBQ follow-ups. These really helped me learn to navigate research on the internet. My other favorite assignment was the bio essay. While I didn't enjoy the problems I encountered when making my website (one of the required ways to do your essay) I appreciated the fact that this would force me to learn more about how I can use my computer. As a slightly technologically challenged person, this was a little stretch, better I greatly benefitted from it. These much longer essays allowed you to really investigate a time, place, and event (or series of events). After readng through classmates' essays you will begin to have a firmer grasp of different aspects of history you might not find in your textbook. Who knows? Maybe the work put into your essay will help you answer more questions on the exam!

This is not the class for someone who deosn't want to work hard. To do well you need to be willing to put a lot of effort into learning on your own and keeping yourself on track. For those that love history, enjoy a challenge, and are hard workers, this is your class. You have been warned. Take the plunge!

APUSH review posted by Chris Perdue on May 15 2008 at 16:15:54

This course was great! I felt quite well prepared for the exam. Up till the last week, I spent 5-6 hours a week on this class. For me, the most valuable assignments for me would be the Bio of America videos and the quikie outlines. The videos gave me a short, broad view of American history while the outlines helped me to create outlines before I wrote an essay which increased my essay grades. Throughout the class I gained an enhanced interest history. Prior to this class, the only period of history I liked was the medeival period but know I like almost all of American history just as much. Another great part of the class was the other students. I had some very knowledgable and intersting classmates and I learned quite a bit from them. The best students in this class were the ones who were very dedicated to their work and spent a fair bit of time on it. It takes a determined person to do it, but I would highly reccomend it.

I cannot tell a lie... posted by Andrew Min on May 15 2008 at 11:54:23

Yeah, that wasn't really a quote from George Washington, but it's true for me. So when it comes to AP US History from Mrs. Richman... I have to say that if you even have the slightest love for history, take this class. APUSH was my first AP class (and therefore the first one I took from PA Homeschoolers), but as the country song goes, "it couldn't get better than this". If there's a class out there with a more dedicated history teacher, a history teacher who knows as much about this subject as Mrs. Richman does, a course that prepares you more for an AP exam, or an all-around more fun course, tell me about it. With God, all things are possible, but unless that teacher had divine intervention, I doubt it's better than APUSH.

I will admit: it's time consuming. On average, you'll spend about 10 hours a week, with a lot more in April and May (right before the exam, when you're cramming studying extra hard). And don't expect that to be all easy either. But you can expect one thing: that you'll enjoy it. You won't enjoy every second of it (remember, I cannot tell a lie), especially when you have to write an essay about some Market Revolution you've never heard of or when you're struggling to fill in all 250 words in the HITN, but you'll enjoy 99% of it. You'll love the social board (I can't imagine taking an online class without one), the Dinner Parties (more fun that you can imagine and will actually help on on the exam!), the bio essays (time consuming, sure, but if you're creative... tons of fun), and the historical interviews (when I interviewed my grandfather, I learned things no one in our family knew about). The social board is especially great, for anything from bonus assignments from Mrs. R. (quick! What contributed to the growth of the free African American population in the United States in the early 19th century?) to class-created assignments (like the wonderful Who Am I game started by Peter Cahill) to the plain old horsing around (Andrew Evans' Magical Hat comes to mind).

Mrs. Richman is also one of the greatest teachers in history (get it! History! Ha ha! OK, you can stop muttering to your parent looking over your shoulder, "Boy am I glad that that kid is graduating before I get into APUSH"). She's never ever ever been the slightest bit negative, and has always been extremely encouraging throughout the course. Of course, being encouraging only makes up half of the teacher. You need to know about the material as well. But Mrs. Richman has the other half as well. She knows more than you or I could even hope to know about American History, is always posting fun bonus assignments, and loves her class. Like I said, I find it hard to believe that there could be a better history teacher out there than Mrs. Richman.

Finally, APUSH definitely prepares you for the exam. It's not a silver bullet (in other words, you actually have to *gasp* work hard) but if you work hard, you'll do well. You'll know obscure facts like what "returning to normalcy" is, why the Depression happened, what a DBQ essay is, and how much you'll hate enjoy James Kirby Martin (author of the AAIP textbook we use).

In conclusion, would I recommend this class? If you are willing to work hard and are even the least bit interested about learning about American history, I would definitely take this. The teacher, the environment, and the course itself all combine to make the best class that I could ever imagine. Heck, I've already been recommending this class to different friends I know, and it isn't even over!

One of the Best Classes I have Ever Taken! posted by Amanda Bilko on May 14 2008 at 17:56:38

My Fellow Students,

Either you’ve just made – or about to make – a momentous decision: to take PA Homsechoolers AP US History (henceforth to be known as APUSH) or not. So, I assume now you want to know what you’re up against (otherwise, you wouldn’t be here, would you? )

Now for the first (and most pressing) question: Is it a ton of work?! Now, while the workload won’t turn you into one of the living-dead, it’s definitely enough to keep you on your toes. In general, I probably put in around 10 hours a week – it was before the big projects that this number spiked higher (mid-teens, maybe) but that was only because I have the nasty habit of spending a mandatory 3 hours agonizing over any important project I have. For those who have really tight schedules, I will say that it is perfectly possible to complete all the APUSH homework in less than 7 days (I did it over an average of 4) and not be brain-dead after the end of an intense APUSH-study session. The only place where this is not the case is with the reading – Mrs. Richman provides you with a possible reading-plan at the beginning of the year, and I HIGHLY recommend you use it. It makes the reading manageable, and has in built in catch-up sessions, when, (if you *do* follow the plan) you won’t have to do any reading at all! So, the most important thing to say about the workload is that it is reasonable. You know that by definition any AP course is going to be more work, but it isn’t absurdly so.

I really don’t think that any course could prepare you better for the APUSH exam. Everything is designed with that one goal in mind; so by May you can churn out a decent essay in 30 minutes, you know enough facts to conquer even the toughest multiple choice questions, and you learn how to think logically on the MCQs section, so that even when you don’t know the answer, you can still make an educated guess. One of the best projects that you’ll have to do is a bio of a historical figure. I, for example, did a bio on William Jennings Bryan, and was really, really thankful when the exam came around, because many of the little facts I learned while researching him actually came up on the exam (Side Note: if there’s one thing you should study for the exam it’s the Populists people, the Populists!) I also really loved doing these assignments, anyway, because we were allowed to do them as creative writing – and when is creative writing ever not fun?

Of course, one of the reasons this course is so great is because the other people are great too. They’re pretty much just like you – serious students who enjoy learning and having fun – and Mrs. Richman is always brimming with positive energy, so you can’t help but enjoy yourself and get energized too! So, I would recommend this course to almost anyone: even if you hate history with a passion, I think that by the end you’ll have at least developed an appreciation for the subject. In fact, I don’t think that anyone could ever regret taking this class. It is, without a doubt, one of the best classes I’ve ever taken.

Three Thumbs Up posted by Adrien Downey on May 14 2008 at 13:08:25

Dear prospective APUSHers,

If you are a homeschooler searching for an AP US History class, look no further. I guarantee that you will be more than prepared for the exam in May if you put in the hard work. People from other testimonials are not lying when they say it's a lot of work (this seems to be par for the course, as most other students tend to report times in this range): I usually put in 8-10 hours a week on this course, with a couple assignments and pre-exam freakouts sometimes pushing that number into the high teens. That said, it is not particularly oppressive, and I believe you would soon fall in love with the class and (gasp) look forward to the next essay (I know, I didn't believe it either at first). The atmosphere is great, and you get to participate with a few dozen other smart, talented students--like yourselves, of course--who are all very passionate about history. And if YOU aren't at the beginning of this class, and just exaggerated your interest to get in (as I did, gulp!) , trust me, you WILL be by the end of it. I can say that this was easily the best course I have ever taken; Mrs. Richman has a wonderfully structured outline of the course--just look at the syllabus!--and you will learn so much more than what you need to succeed on the exam. It definitely looks imposing in the beginning, but once you get rolling you'll hardly think about the class as "difficult," even though it certainly is. Soon, even those of you who lack the zealous drive to do their best, like me, will find yourselves eagerly awaiting the next assignment by the end of the course--the bio essays are particularly fun to pour your hard work into (I literally worked night and day for a while to finish my second bio essay, on Douglas MacArthur, which ended up being over twice as long as my first one on Daniel Webster). To make a long story short; is it difficult? Yes. Will you care? No. The one thing I would caution students about is the reading load. It begins deceptively lightly, and remains very manageable throughout the first semester. Then, it skyrockets early in the second semester, so be ready, or you'll find yourselves in the deep hole I found myself in if you continue to read at the pace you did earlier. This can be particularly difficult to get out of if you are taking one or more APs, like me as well as most of my classmates, and so I'm guessing you as well. Without giving you a walk through, let me just say that if you grit your teeth through the tough times and keep your heads above the water, you will be richly rewarded. This class is SO much more than any other you have ever taken, I guarantee you.

AMAZING class!! posted by Becca Woodbury on May 13 2008 at 01:34:16

Hi all :D

Mrs. Richman's APUSH class was by far the most challenging and the most rewarding history class I have ever had the pleasure of learning in. She is a wonderful teacher, to begin with, embodying discipline and flexibility along with a wonderfully clear passion for American History and an evident concern for her students. Years of past experience have given her a perspective on the class, the students, and the test that is invaluable, and allows everything on the website and offline to run smoothly and appropriately.

The course itself is demanding, and requires self-discipline. Set up in such a way as to give the student vast control over what he learns, this course leaves the apathetic student trailing in the dust but rewards the diligent student with many, many wonderful opportunities to truly learn the material in new and various ways, for both the test and in a way that will assist him throughout the remainder of his life.

When I stepped into my local public high school's auditorium to take the AP Exam, I was nervous, but I kept reminding myself that what I had learned over the course of the year far outweighed any AP Exam result. My mind and perspective were broadened, as well as my understanding of life, government, and culture, both in the past and in the present. But when I opened the cover of the exam booklet, I breathed a sigh of relief. This was exactly what I had studied for! Of course that makes sense, I realize, that an "AP History" class would prepare you precisely for the "AP History" exam, but the MCQs were just like the many sets I had practiced with all year, and the essay topics were incredibly similar to the essays I had written at home, with the comfort of my favorite chair and comfy pencil. This of course is not to say that the test wasn't difficult - it most certainly was! - but that I knew what I was facing and I knew how to attack every question and every essay in a way that I knew had been successful for me before.

So yes - if you are considering enrolling in this class, I most certainly recommend it. Be prepared to work hard, but be prepared to reap many benefits. History truly springs forth in fresh, frothy wonders with Mrs. Richman's course, through lectures and primary sources and interaction and even playing pretend. I feel like every hour I spent studying for this test (and there were many hours) through this course was a piece of time well spent. I will never forget the lessons about life and about people that I learned, and I will always remember this course as a high point in my highschool career.

An incredible class! posted by Megan Dutill on May 12 2008 at 13:17:42

Dear Baby APUSH'ers,

If you are where I was at this time last year, you are thumbing through the AP classes pages and wondering which class to take. And if you read this history page, you might realize that although everyone says this is an amazing class, it's also a lot of work and you are a little worried about that. Or, at least I was. Somehow I got the impression that all anyone had time for was history. So, I want to clarify a few things.

First, yes, you do work hard on this class and may spend more time than you usually do on a subject, but it's no different than any other AP course. You spend this amount of time, or more, on nearly every one. Secondly, it doesn't feel like you've spent hours on one class because in that time frame you may be doing four or five different activities, which really makes the time much better. For me personally, the time I spent varied greatly depending on what assignments were due. Sometimes I only spent ten or fifteen minutes reading the textbook. Other times I spent four hours because I had a bio essay due, plus all the required quizzes and primary source documents that had accumulated throughout the week and now I actually had to do. So in short, it varies. Also, you can really put in as much time as you want in this class, because there are always tons and tons of bonus assignments. So sometimes when people say they religiously spent three hours a day, it's because they were always doing a million bonus assignments. ;)

In terms of preparing you for the AP exam, this course does an excellent job. I have always been much, much better at essays than multiple choice questions, but I walked out feeling very confident about the mcq's, and the test in general.

A unique feature of this course is the level of interaction among all the students. I had amazing classmates this year, and I really love all of them. It's been so fun to have random discussions on the www board, and study buddy IM chats - which, incidentally, were also one of the most helpful things in preparing me for the test, because my two friends kept pushing me to explain, define, and think. Mrs. Richman herself is an amazing teacher; her love for history makes her share her knowledge very enthusiastically, and that enthusiasm is contagious. We all loved the course, and loved Mrs. Richman! In practical terms, she always grades assignments very fast, helps point out factual errors, and then always provides a link to somewhere on the web to increase your knowledge about something.

So, I hope I've made this class sound a little less formidable to you, and I hope you realize what a fun class this really is (and that is coming from someone who usually reserves the word "fun" for theatre, not academics). If you take this class, you'll never regret it!

Here's to another great year of APUSH, Megan Dutill

History is no longer history... posted by Luke Wall on May 11 2008 at 21:13:22

Once you have taken this course...Mrs. Richman transforms the way you think of history. Sure, I enjoyed history before I took this class, but now it is my favorite subject! I had so much fun, while learning and working hard. I typically worked 1 1/2-2 hours a day on the necessary work, and then spent some extra time to get alot of "bonus points". I felt really prepared for everything. Truth be told, if you are willing to work hard and do what you are supposed to (and more), you will be beyond prepared.

Although I enjoyed many things, including doing cartoon reviews and especially the Bio Essays, Interviews, and film review, beyond anything, I really enjoyed each Historiography discussion (Maybe a few more even would have been great!). I really liked how the teams and points made everyone work hard and have a sort of friendly competetion. I loved each and every student in the class and you really get to know everyones personalities. Any hard working and diligent student will do exceptionally well in the class and I would recomend it to any student. (I look forward to meeting all of you future APUSHer's, as I hopefully will be able to guide you through the class as the TA :-))

Your US History lover~

Luke Wall

When Tommy Paine wrote Common Sense... posted by Peter Cahill on May 09 2008 at 16:22:51

Dear future APUSHer,

I simply must say that you will have an excellent time studying APUSH with Mrs. Richman! She is a very dedicated teacher and really prepares one exceedingly well for the AP exam. When I took the exam earlier today, I definitely felt prepared and am extremely confident of my scores on both the MCQ and FRQ sections of the exam.

Mrs. Richman's course does take up a substantial ammount of time and I would not reccomend taking too heavy a load in addition to this course. The time spent per week was always rather variable, but it was always a lot! I believe the week that I forgot about my Bio Essay until right before it was due, that I spent 21 hours. However, Mrs. Richman is also flexible, aptly demostrated by the fact that I completed the first half of this course running wild in Argentina. Mrs. Richman's assigments also give one both variety and structure, with a rather neat rotating schedule. My favorite assignments were the History in the News projects where we would try to actually learn from history and apply it. I was able to find many particularly interesting articles about U.S. involvement in Cuba, which I would reccommend.

I very much appreciated the new familiarity with U.S. history, though, as a wannabe world historian, I was always trying to put things in the bigger picture, which Mrs. Richman allowed me to do in a research paper into the international forces at work in the Falkland Islands Conflict of 1982.

There were some really amazing classmates this year, and I hope you will have the same luck. Whether "blinkding (you'll find out what that means... eventually)" during a study buddy session, staring in another student's bio essay, or arguing the value of the Scopes Monkey Trial, I had an amazing set of classmates, many of whom I will be blessed to work with again next year.

The ideal student for APUSH is a dedicated worker with good time management skills and a desire to know who we are and how we got to where we are. While not everyone (actually, perhaps only one) is planning on being a history major, APUSH gives a very good perspective to the present, and in this course one leans to see the "tree behind the leaf (Goethe???)." You should definitely take this course!


Peter Cahill

Take this class!! posted by Hannah Lugg on May 09 2008 at 15:08:03

For those of you considering this class I would definetly recommend this it!! I had a lot of fun getting to know classmates and had a great time learning. I did about 2 hours of a day but on some days I did up to 3 or 4. The bio essay website that I had to do was helpful in that I learned how to set up a website something i have never tried nor ever would have tried without this class. I felt this class fully prepared me for the exam and I definetly recommend it.

In all honesty... posted by Sarabeth Taber-Miller on June 24 2007 at 08:52:29

Im going to be entirely honest. This course is a lot of work. There were nights that I read until I fell asleep on the text, and days when that DBQ response just didnt want to go down nicely on paper. But before I started this course, I wasnt really into history. Sure, I found it kind of interesting but never worth more than a passing glance. Now, whenever I happen to stumble across some history page on the internet, or a long forgotten book in the library, I simply loe to look at, peruse it, analyze it and fit it in with my new-found knowledge. It is due to this course, and the excellent tutelage of Mrs. Richman, that I have come to enjoy a previously tedious subject. To me it was worth the 9 or more hours a week in exchange for an interest that will last the rest of my life. In addition, the work was well worth it. When it came time for the exam, I felt quite confident walking into the test center, secure in the fact that I was well prepared.

In essence, this course holds a unique opportunity to gain insight and engage in the history of our country. If you are willing to put in some hard work, the reward is more than worth it.

Good luck in your coming year,


Terrible... posted by Joseph Marlin on June 03 2007 at 23:52:01

JUST AWFUL!!!! THE WORST EVER!!!! I mean come on! The guy had no character flaws whatsoever! Superman was definitely one of the worse movies that have come out in the history of the eh? Oh. My mistake wrong assignment

APUSH, now, thats another story altogether! "Absolutely stunning" would be a more accurate way to describe the AP US History class taught by Mrs. Richman.

The course was rigorous but it did its job. I think it did a very good job of preparing me for the AP exam, which is, believe it or not, a rather big motivation for many people to take this AP class.

And by rigorous, I mean an hour a day at least. Most days I did more than this. Now I hear you saying to yourself, "more than an hour a day?!?!? I cant do that!" But it is important to note that those hours are not completely monopolized by painstakingly researching the sociological effect of the Thirteenth Amendment in preparation for that fifteen-page research report due tomorrow or memorizing just what the 148th Amendment to Rather Important Law #532546 of Volume 32 of the Complete History of the United States did. Some of it is actually quite interesting. Throughout the course of the year you will be interviewing veterans, analyzing cartoons, and best of all WRITING ESSAYS! But not TOO many essays. Dont worry.

You will find that even if you dont particularly care just who Malcom X is at first, gradually, you will slowly find yourself beginning to well not mind learning about him so much. In fact, eventually you wont mind learning about history at all! Its the magic of APUSH.

Over the course of the year you will be engaging in spirited debates over a virtual dinner, and participating in intriguing discussions on the class message board. You will be meeting all sorts of people who live all over the United States. You will be having all sorts of fun!

If you love history, then this class is for you. If you dont, then this class is for you. Take it.


PS- Superman really was a lousy movie though, wasnt it?

APUSH posted by Adam Smelser on June 02 2007 at 21:13:52

If you want to learn a lot about US history, and you're ready to work hard, then you should take this course.
Our assignments were varied- sometimes we did essay questions from the Barron's Guide, sometimes we did document based questions, and sometimes we interviewed people or analyzed historical cartoons. We also watched video lectures and had role playing activities.
The course involves lots of reading- not only is there a textbook, but also the Barron's Guide and primary source documents.
This course prepared me for the AP exam, and increased my knowledge of history. If you like history and can study hard, I would recommend this course to you.

Completely Worth It posted by Laura McMillion on May 31 2007 at 22:40:43

Dear future APUSHer,

When I closed my test booklet after the AP US History exam in early May, I felt a gigantic wave of relief. All the pre-test worries about preparation and hand cramps were gone, replaced with the great feeling of knowing that I had been prepared for the test. So many assignments I completed during my year in Mrs. Richmans APUSH class came back to my mind to help me answer the questions. It definitely was a challenging class, and it took at least five hours of my time each week, but the result, or at least the result Im expecting, was completely worth my time and effort. Mrs. Richman has come up with a great variety of assignments so that you dont lapse into boredom from monotonous repetition, and the assignments go so much beyond simple textbook reading that you come away feeling like you could actually remember what you just learned. My particular favorite assignments were the cartoon analyses, where we picked a historical cartoon and analyzed its symbols and messages. Yes, even looking at cartoons turned out to benefit my US history knowledge on exam day. I can also say that I came away with a greater desire to continue analytically studying history of all kinds, and this did not come from just reading the textbook. The lively discussions and debates on the wwwboard and the Dinner Party discussions forced me (or allowed me) to look at American history from a many different perspectives, including those I dont necessarily hold. Taking this class certainly requires a great deal of motivation, but it is also very rewarding, and I think that anyone willing to put enough effort into this class will find it completely worth the efforts. If you cannot write well, this class will change that. If you already know how to write well, you will be able to put that skill to use. When you take this class, you wont come away disappointed. Next year in early May, when you close your exam booklet and breath that sigh of relief, you will see how truly worth it the class was.


You Must Take This Class!!!!! posted by Rachel Crone on May 24 2007 at 18:10:21

Dear Future APUSHer, You must take this class!!!!! I had a blast learning from Mrs. Richman and getting to know my other classmates. I have learned so much more about history and have come to love it more through this course. But history isnt the only thing you learn in this class. Your writing skills are sharpened; you are expected to defend your ideas and opinions; time management skills are tested; and much, much more.

I was really nervous about taking this course in the beginning because I wasnt sure if I could keep up with the pace of the class. Then my nervousness was intensified when I read the introduction essays of my classmates and realized that they were all geniuses! But as the class began, Mrs. Richman really helped us get accustomed to the requirements. Before I knew it, the schedule just became a part of my life. It wasnt at all easy though. There is a lot of reading and writing in this class, and if you find history beyond boring this class is not for you unless you enjoy a challenge. I struggled at times to keep up, and I know that if I didnt love the class and subject so much it would be very easy to quit. I spent a lot of time working on my assignments, and I remember many a time that I spent all day and late into the night working to get assignments in on time. It would be safe to say that I spent at least 1 hour on history each day, but Im very sure that it was more than that.

All the interaction with my classmates and Mrs. Richman was invaluable. I learned so much from them whether it was in a discussion or their critiques on my essays. I really liked the assignments and bonuses, though both were at times hard to keep up with. My favorite assignment had to be the two biographical essays that we had to do. I got so wrapped up in my subjects that I didnt want to stop researching them(and so far I havent stopped), and I loved the fact that they had to be in a creative format (something I absolutely love to do). As the end of the year came around the corner I started stressing that I didnt know enough to take the test. I was sure that I hadnt read enough books or participated in enough bonuses. Most of all I was afraid that I hadnt reviewed consistently enough throughout the year (thats one thing I would totally stressREVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW!!! Even if its just 5 minutes a day!). But when I opened my test booklet on the day of the test, I realized that I really was well prepared, and I ended up recognizing a lot of the questions from assignments or discussions we had had during the year.

Right now I am finding myself very jealous of you, future APUSH student. I would take this class again in a heartbeat and would HIGHLY (above highly if there is such a thing) recommend it to anyone who at least likes history and is not afraid to work hard.

Good luck to you all!

---Rachel Crone

Regarding the teaching of history posted by Jesse Gunsch on May 24 2007 at 14:29:11

was really a great history class... I don't recommend it if you're not willing to put a lot of time and effort into succeeding, but if you are you really can go far and learn a lot through it. Mrs. Richman really puts together a solid combination of different types of work that, if you do it all, you'll really begin to feel comfortable with the history of the US.

I was really nervous going into the exam, but as soon as they gave the exam out, it was very relieving to see I'd done all of it before. The essays were nothing new, the MCQs were simple enough, and by the end of it I was feeling great. This class really prepared me.

Like I said before, it takes a lot of time and effort to get through this class... I usually spent from 7 to 10 hours a week studying for this class just to meet the basic requirements, but any extra work was always worthwhile. Having the online interaction with other students was also helpful, as being able to see essays from others and Mrs. Richman's thoughts was enlightening.

Mrs. Richman is a very knowledgeable, very encouraging teacher, and extremely easy to work with. I'm very glad to have taken her class this year, and am now just hoping for a decent grade from the exam.

Mrs. Richman's Class is the best ! posted by Sarah S. on May 22 2007 at 20:43:08

Mrs. Richman's class definitely prepared me for the AP test. However, it was no easy class. There is a lot of work involved, I was spending about two hours a day, seven days a week on this class. Mrs. Richman's Bio essays and DBQs which she made us write were very helpful, as well as the Dinner Party. The communication with other students was also very helpful. A hard working student, or a student who loves to write would thrive in this class. I would definitely recommend this class to other students.

apush posted by Benjamin Cahill on May 21 2007 at 13:11:23

This is a really great class for anyone looking for an unbiased study of American History. While the goal of the class is to prepare you for the AP exam, which it does well, Mrs. Richmans inclusion of assignments such as veterans interviews give added flavor to the class. I had already enjoyed the study of history before entering this class so enjoying it wasnt hard for me, but I think anyone who puts in the time and effort will enjoy the class. The assignments for the class are challenging, but wont overload your schedule. I found that about an hour a day, sometimes more sometimes less, was about what was necessary to participate fully in the class. Any self-motivated students with a strong writing background will excel in this course and have a great time while doing it.

Fun, interesting assignments, and hard work posted by Lilla Grisham on May 21 2007 at 10:50:56

Mrs. Richman is a very fun and dedicated teacher, who made learning U.S. History a very interesting, challenging, and fun experience. She was always prepared to offer help, read and graded assignments quickly, and offered thoughtful comments on them. There were many different assignments, cartoon analysis, essay writing, dinner party chats, reading primary source documents, bio essays, history in the news articles, and history interviews, as well as the text book readings, which all helped me feel prepared for the AP test. It was a lot of work; I spent about 10-15 hours a week on class work. By the end of the class I felt that I had learned more then just historical facts, but also how those facts are connected through history. For example, basic civil rights has been a large issue in America starting with the first colonist who came to America, continuing through the civil war, the civil rights movements in the 1960s-70s, and today with immigration issues. I would recommend that you review throughout the year, there is a lot to remember, and steady review will help you stay on top of all of the information. I would definitely recommend this class, just as I said be ready for a lot of work.

APUSH posted by Elizabeth Wingfield on May 21 2007 at 10:29:13

This course is excellent preparation for the AP US History exam. This course involves roughly ten hours a week of assignments, readings, quizzes, and review. I would recommend that prospective students schedule a lighter course load the year they plan on taking this course as the more time you put into it, the more you can get out of it. I took this course my junior year and had multiple standardized tests to study for as well as five other demanding courses to worry about. I wish I had more time to take advantage of the numerous bonus assignments and discussions that this class offers. If I had had the time to take advantage of these I would have had even more confidence going into the exam. That being said, even doing the minimum amount of work this course requires will well prepare anyone for this exam.

Prior to taking this course, I had very little interest in American history. Through fun assignments such as the History in the News assignment (HITN,) where students relate modern news stories to past events in American history, my interest for the subject was sparked

My knowledge of US history gained from this class has served me well in other courses, too. On standardized tests that involve essays and in my other courses I frequently use examples from US history that I learned from this course to back up my argument.

Discussions with other students in the class also help in remembering facts about US history. On the test I know I answered multiple questions correctly because I remembered debating the subject with a classmate.

I would highly recommend this course to hard-working, enthusiastic students who are willing to put a lot of time and energy into this course. Trust me, if you put the time into this course you will reap the awards.

Variety in assignments and dedicated teacher - great class posted by Robert Peele on May 16 2007 at 14:01:44

Throughout the school year we were challenged with a variety of assignments such as cartoon analyses and practice essays, in addition to reading Primary Source Documents, doing practice quizzes, and making our way through the text. Interviews and bio essays added to the course, and regular email updates from Mrs. Richmann made it easy to plan ahead.

Definitely reccomended.

A Great Class!! by Jacob Pritt posted by Jacob Pritt on May 16 2007 at 13:42:02

This class is definitely a great preparation for the AP test. Mrs. Richman is a great and enthusiastic teacher, and the dinner parties, history interviews, bio essays and other creative assignments are all invaluable in preparing for the AP.

I'm not saying this class is easy - it's very challenging and requires lots of work, but is definitely worth it. The course helped me to improve not only my knowledge of history, but my critical reading, writing and analyzing skills as well. Any students that are willing to put time and effort into this course will find themselves well prepared for the AP test.

This is a must-take class! posted by Stefan Jentoft on May 15 2007 at 17:55:15

Mrs. Richman is a great teacher, and the discussions on the WWW Board and Dinner Parties make a big difference. Although many of the classmates don't get to meet in person, I felt that I knew most of my classmates to some extent by the end of the year. The variety of assignments Mrs. Richman includes in this course

Although I felt very prepared for the exam, this is a strenuous course. It is not easy. I spent roughly fifteen to eighteen hours a week on this class. Mind you, I tried to keep active in the WWW Board, Dinner Party, and other events during the course and did considerable study beyond what Mrs. Richman required.

You have to do a lot of essays for the course, but they really do help you on the exam. They give you a feel for the real essays on the test, and give you practice writing. Furthermore, the practice DBQ's helped me get a feel for how to write that form of an essay, and gave me hope on the exam. Mrs. Richman gives encouraging and thoughtful responses to your essays that show you what you can do to improve your own writing.

posted by Anna R. on May 15 2007 at 17:28:21

Dear Future APUSHer,

I am delighted that you are considering Mrs. Richmans AP U.S. History course! If you enjoy history and are willing to work hard, you will learn a great deal from the class and be well prepared for the AP test.

When I first read Mrs. Richmans extensive syllabus for the course, I wondered what I had gotten into. How was I supposed to read twenty to thirty pages of a textbook, ten primary source documents, a minimum number of student essays, watch bi-weekly history videos, do three quizzes, write a history assignment and take care of the rest of my school? Thankfully, I learned that I could do all that work if I managed my time well. On average, I spent about 8-12 hours a week on the course.

The course revolves around a pattern of four writing assignments, each of which teaches skills that are useful on the test. Even though I enjoyed all of the assignments, my favorite was the History Interviews. Mrs. Richman requires you to interview at least two people who have witnessed historical events or changes. I interviewed a World War II nurse and a gentlemen who had lived in my hometown all of his life. The interviews really brought my textbook to life. It is so easy to reduce history to the level of Algebra: dry facts that must be memorized to gain college credit. However, the interviews really brought home the fact that the events and changes that I studied happened to real people.

One of my favorite parts of the course was getting to know my classmates. Via the course website, I made friends with history-loving teenagers from across the country. My favorite memory of the course was when my dad, who is a Licensed Battlefield Guide, gave a tour of the Gettysburg battlefield to about ten classmates and their families. Afterwards, the APUSHers came over to our farm for a picnic and impromptu square dance led by Mr. and Mrs. Richman.

About a week before the test, I went into high gear worry-wort mode. Was I prepared for whatever might appear on the test booklet? Would I be able to write three coherent history essays in a row? It was a temptation to try to cram a years worth of work into a week of study. Thankfully, I did not. By the three-quarter mark of the school year, Mrs. Richman required us do a certain amount of weekly review so that we would not forget what we had learned over the year. It was yet more work, but I think that it really paid off on test day. On the morning of D-Day, May 11, I felt confident and well prepared for whatever challenges might be waiting in the innocent-looking test packet. Do you feel a little intimidated by the course? Do not worry, so did I. If you choose to join the 2007-2008 AP U.S. History class, you will work harder than you knew you could. However, you will walk away with a sense of accomplishment and a deeper understanding of our countrys past.


Anna R.

Lots of history! posted by Mitchell Thorson on May 15 2007 at 16:40:10

This class has been a wonderful and challenging experience. But at the end, I felt that it was worthwhile. The course managed to prepare me for the AP US HIstory exam very well. In a normal week, I would spend between 5 and 7 hours on course work, but much of this was very interesting, including fun assignments such as creating a "Bio Website" and conducting very interesting interviews. In the end, I think I began to enjoy history more than ever. Learning from other students in the class was also very valuable as much communication occured on the class site and via other means.

I think any student with an interest in history, a strong work ethic, and a desire to push themselves would do very well in this course. I would whole-heartedly reccomend it to anyone looking for a challenge.

APUSH class review posted by Daniel Wingert on May 14 2007 at 17:02:13

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Going into the exam, I felt that I absolutely couldnt have been better prepared. Although time consuming and difficult for me, particularly at the beginning of the year, the weekly writing assignments, especially the exam-situation essays at the end, were some of the most helpful assignments throughout the course. Prior to taking this course, I was a bit weak on writing essays to time, but by the end of the year, I was ready to take on the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

Probably a minimum of 8-10 hours per week. In addition, for weeks with a big project due, I spent much more time. Yes, this course is rather time-consuming. However, I felt that it prepared me for the exam extremely well, so in the end, I think it was worth it. Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I will have to say that some of my favorite assignments were the bio essays and the history interviews. Both gave me the opportunity to examine a historical figure or time period in depth. Another valuable group of assignments, even if I didnt enjoy them terribly much, were the Dinner Parties. Im usually not the dramatic, role-playing type, and I wondered how portraying a historical character would help me on the exam. Well, I know that I got at least two or three multiple choice questions correct on the exam that I wouldnt have gotten had I not participated in the dinner parties. I also routinely did Questions of the Day and many multiple choice practice tests as the exam neared, and they focused my review and boosted my confidence for test day. I even found some of the assignments not specifically geared for the exam, like History in the News summaries, to be invaluable. For one HITN assignment, I wrote a summary of a Time magazine article on Teddy Roosevelt, and he ended up being the subject of an essay question on the exam. Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definitely. Although I am ready for the course and the workload to be over, I definitely am more interested in American history. Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes, I did. As I said before, the Dinner Parties were EXTREMELY helpful in hindsight. In addition, if I was ever confused about something, I could post my question on the website and someone would help me out. I must say that the level of scholarship and commitment many students brought to the course was a bit intimidating to me at first, especially since I was a freshman and this was my first AP course. But their commitment challenged me to rise to their level, and everyone was very encouraging. What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

To succeed in this course, you definitely have to be willing to work hard. In addition, the ability to pace yourself for some of the bigger assignments is important (you cant write a good bio essay the night before its due). I would suggest that prospective students, especially those that have not taken an AP course before or who have time-consuming extra-curricular activities, make this their priority class. I play several sports, and I would not have been able to get the most out of this class if I had had other equally challenging and demanding outside classes.

I would definitely recommend this course to other students. First, as advertised, you will be extremely well-qualified to take the AP exam. Second, you will have the opportunity to be mentored by an outstanding teacher. Mrs. Richman certainly has developed an ambitious and challenging syllabus, but she brings such passion and enthusiasm to APUSH that the work does not seem like drudgery. She is very supportive and encouraging. She purposely sets the bar high, but you feel great satisfaction when you reach it. Finally, you will definitely know and enjoy more about American history, and you will see connections between that history and current events in a way you have not before.

Thoughts on APUSH posted by Julie Inglis on May 14 2007 at 15:09:00

I really enjoyed this class!! It is a great opportunity for a student who wants a challange. There are many fun and interesting bonus assignments that can really help you learn a lot and you can get a lot of writing practice that I particularly found really helpful.

The student who would do best in this class is the student that is willing to work hard. It's not an easy course, but all the work you have to do is completely worthy it. On average, I worked at least 6 hours per week and at most 10-12 hours.

My favorite part of this course was probably the essays. I absolutely love to write and I was thrilled to get to write two essays in a creative style about two historical figures of my choice. In simply the research for these essays I learned so much, and some of that information really served me when exam time rolled around.

At the beginning of the year, I felt like my grasp on U.S. history was really shaky. But through this class, I have delved more deeply into our nation's history than I ever had before and I loved every minute of it.

Review of Mrs. Richmans (amazing, excellent!) AP US History 2007 class posted by Hannah Moses on May 14 2007 at 13:33:07

Hey future APUSHers!

Yes, I believe the course prepared me very well for the AP exam. Of course a lot of the work is self study, so you have to dedicated to working on your own and keep yourself motivated (unless maybe you live near other students, but I didnt). I dont know my score on the AP exam yet, but I know if it is lower than I expected, than it was my own fault for not studying aspects of history that I deemed less important or not as fun. Study all aspects! Like I love the imperialist foreign policy (1890s) and early presidencies/Constitution era, not one essay question asked about either of those topics! Instead one of them was about economics/agriculture which I thought was not as important. So, study all aspects, even the boring parts!

Im not sure exactly how many hours I worked per day or per week. I know its quite a lot but its definitely worth it if you can get out of college hours for work in highschool. It is time consuming, but if you limit yourself to a certain amount of time to work and study hard during that allotted time, you will not become a slave to APUSH! There are so many bonus assignments and fun things to do with APUSH that you can literally spend all your time with it and racking up team points. I needed to learn to limit myself to what assignments I knew would really benefit me over just being fun. It takes a lot of time, more than many other classes, but definitely worth it in the end.

Hmm, favorite assignments. Bio essays! Yes they are foreboding, especially the website ones. I am illiterate in the areas of computer, and I actually cried when I first tried to figure out how to put webpages together. But I had a wonderful sister who is a computer whiz and she helped me out a lot. I learned so much about an obscure person in history (John Jacob Astor) who did so much, and learning about him helped me remember other parts of history much better because I knew how they affected him personally. Bio essays are definitely worth all the work, and the Dinner Parties are fun too. I was able to answer several questions on the AP exam based on people I had met at the Dinner Parties.

Yes, the course definitely enhanced my interest in history. Im looking into maybe majoring in U.S. history in college and possibly a career that involves history in some way. Ive always enjoyed history but using different media and different projects to learn about history made it much more exciting.

Yes, it was great having student interaction and getting to know fellow classmates even though Ive yet to meet any of them personally. Getting varied responses from essays was helpful, as different people would notice or critique different aspects of my writing.

I definitely recommend this course. You learn a ton and Mrs. Richman always gives helpful criticism, honest responses, fun assignments, and is pretty quick at replying to any questions or assignments. My biggest warning to future students is to keep track of assignments due every week. When I first began flipping through the syllabus I got so confused, trying to figure out exactly what was due each week, what was due once in a while, and what was optional. And how many points to get for it was a little confusing but quick email to Mrs. Richman cleared it up. I only kept from being overwhelmed by making a list of everything that was mandatory per week and everything that was optional. Then I printed it out and filled it in each week (on paper) and that made filling out the assignment log online a quick thing to do. You have to work hard and be willing to learn a lot but I think its definitely worth it in the end.

I experienced some difficult times (my mother passed away) and Mrs. Richman gave me all the time I needed, sent me encouraging emails, and did not pressure me in any way to keep on schedule with assignments. I received cards and emails from students and knew that my classmates cared. Overall the class was a great experience with wonderful people and an amazing teacher. I hope you take it!

Mrs. Richman's AP US History Class, 2007 posted by Haley Combs on May 13 2007 at 19:36:53

1. Yes, I think the course does prepare you very well for the exam, with year-long practice with the essay questions and multiple choice questions.

2. It's hard to say since I didn't keep close track, but ALOT. Basically, I didn't do much besides this course, since it was incredibly time consuming. I did this class, music, and a few other things, and I had my hands very full.

3. I didn't really have any favorite assignments, although I personally felt that all the writing was the most helpful thing for the exam, since I would review my topic and can easily remember anything I have written about.

4. I didn't really communicate with other students, since I lived far away from them and am used to working on my own.

Mrs. Richman was an excellent teacher, very helpful and positive - someone who understands how to correct you and help you improve without being very critical or disaproving. If you're going to take an AP History course, take this one.

Excellent, excellent! posted by Jenny Russell on May 11 2007 at 21:41:49

1. This course was an EXCELLENT preparation for the AP exam. It's tailor-made to address all the topics and types of questions that one could ever find on an AP exam, but still does not skimp on a good, solid history education.

2. I usually put in 8-10 hours, and actually a little less the week of the exam. I basically just flipped through a box of flashcards to make sure I was fresh on all the topics of the past year -- the course is that thorough and had me, Ms. Exam Freak-Outer, relaxed and confident going in. I think my family thought I was on a sedative.

3. This seems like a minor thing, but those dozen-a-day quiz questions were great and quite valuable. They didn't take long, they were randomly scattered throughout US History, and they gave me pointers on where my memory was lax. I also liked the summer book review project, both writing my own and reading others' reviews. Some of those titles showed up on the AP exam!

4. This course truly enhanced my interest in this subject. I find that the more I know about something, the more I want to know!

5. Student communication was invaluable. I had a semi-weekly study group with Adam Littlestone-Luria. We typically covered the questions at the end of the AAIP chapter -- thought-provoking and thorough and good oral practice for essays.

6. Any student with basic writing skills who is willing to work hard will do well! I highly recommend it. Mrs. Richman is thorough and prompt in her critiques, and has great suggestions on how to improve (she also makes sure to note what you did RIGHT!) It helps if you can take critiques and learn from them. And you have to be tough with yourself -- if you fall behind, it's tough to catch back up! Being a fast reader helps, but it's even better if you're slow but thorough. I also had a "normal" history course before this one, so I had an easy time grasping the big picture as we worked through the year. This certainly helps, but neither is it necessary.

7. A bit of an addendum -- but if you happen to be taking a concurrent American Literature course, so much the better. It makes for great primary source document reading in many cases and provides a valuable commentary on styles and social values of the time periods.

This is an awesome class! posted by Debbie Beihl on June 29 2006 at 11:55:01

This class is excellent! I felt like it prepared me for the AP exam. I think I put in about 1-3 hours each day. I found study buddy review over the telephone to be especially helpful. Mrs. Richman's class really increased my interest in US History. I learned so much in this class. I would highly recommend this class to any student who is eager to learn about the interesting history of our nation. Students looking at this class should have ready access to the internet and email and should be willing to work hard.

APUSH: a great class! posted by Samuel Branchaw on June 24 2006 at 14:45:46

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP Exam?

Undoubtedly. With the combination of biweekly essays on multitudes of subjects and monthly multiple-choice question sets that go over the different formats of questions (not to mention the encouraging, helpful comments/criticism from Mrs. Richman), I walked out of the test feeling that I had been prepared very well (of course, a little bit of practice on writing politically correct essays would have been nice, since that was what I encountered on the test itself).

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I found the dinner parties to be very helpful in giving me a feel for the times and the issues, as well as introducing me to several characters that I probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise. The World War I debate between our class and Mr. Burns' class was actually probably my favorite thing I did all year, and I learned so much about the causes of WWI that I didn't know before.

The regular essay assignments, although nothing special, were probably the biggest factor in preparing me for the test, because they forced me to improve my writing and critical thinking skills. I know I improved in my writing skills dramatically over the course of the year (with Mrs. Richman's help), and I feel very prepared for college essays now.

Another fun assignment was when we had to compile the 25 most important dates in American history. Seeing the very different lists that different groups compiled was a lot of fun (as was the process of putting it together).

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I was already very interested in American history coming into this class, but Mrs. Richman made it so much fun. She has a passion for the subject that is evident in everything she does; anytime someone wrote an essay, she had an interesting article or tidbit of information to share with us. She made American history even more exciting than it already was for me.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

I made some very good friends over the last year, and the dialogue on the webboard was engaging and exciting, especially when there was some debate going on (i.e. the atomic bomb debate at the beginning of the year or the FDR debate around Christmas). The interactions were always fun, and I learned a lot about many different issues that I didn't know before.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)

The kind of student who would do well in this course is the following: diligent, hard-working, studious, willing to participate on the website, and fun-loving. I would recommend this course without a second thought to all my friends (and already have, actually). I benefitted from it greatly and I think it would benefit anyone willing to do the work and try to learn as much as they can.

Terrific Class! posted by Javier Jaramillo on June 18 2006 at 15:49:33

This is an excellent, and challenging, history course, so, if you are dedicated throughout the year, you will likely perform well on the exam. Mrs. Richmans exemplary teaching and well-constructed course really prepared me for the topics covered on the exam and, at the same time, greatly expanded my knowledge of our countrys history. In fact, after studying American history throughout the school year, many of the students in my class also decided to take the U. S. History SAT II, which was easy in comparison because the course was so rigorous and thorough. Currently, I am still waiting until mid-July for the release of my exam results, but I am sure a high percentage of my classmates will receive top scores. ; )

Since AP courses generally require more effort than regular high school classes and this particular one is no exception, you should expect to devote extra time to this class -- it is definitely worth the effort! It is hard to estimate exactly how much time I spent each week, but an hour every weekday was probably the absolute minimum and I certainly used the weekend as an opportunity for catch up or review. In addition to the major weekly assignments, which include writing regular essays, reviewing recent news articles related to American history, writing essays built around primary source documents, analyzing historical cartoons, and interviewing several people, Mrs. Richman periodically offers special bonuses that allow her students to gain points for learning more about a particular event or person. At first the workload may seem overwhelming (especially for the first several weeks), but it should become a normal routine once you are more familiar with the assignments and requirements.

Together, the regular assignments and the bonuses really combined to prepare me for the exam. The exam itself is divided into two sections, an eighty-question multiple choice section and a three-essay free response portion. For me at least, the essay section seemed very daunting at the beginning of the year -- mostly because, while I could write moderately well, the prospect of timed essays was far more intimidating. Fortunately, however, this course has its participants writing extensively from the very beginning, and Mrs. Richman very obligingly allows her students to gradually reduce the amount of time spent on their essays. So if you are worried about the time factor, as I was, there is reason for hope. ; ) Overall, my favorite project was probably creating my own website about a historical figure (mine was General William T. Sherman); and, by the way, learning computer programming is completely unnecessary for that assignment some websites actually offer preexisting templates that can easily be modified. That being said, I myself would still rate the old-fashioned essay as the most useful and practical device for preparation.

Since Mrs. Richman personally grades the weekly writing assignments and provides detailed responses (no small feat considering the class size), you are always receiving constructive feedback for your work. I highly recommend this course for any disciplined or interested student. Not only did this class greatly enhance my understanding of important events and people in United States history, but it also improved my writing skills.

APUSH: An excellent course!!! posted by Molly Stewart on June 10 2006 at 01:00:41

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Yes, I feel that this AP course definitely prepared me for the exam. Everything, from the HITN to the creative biography essays to the DBQs helped me gain information and got me ready for the exam.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I usually would work 10-12 hours a week, but more in April.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I found everything very valuable, but really enjoyed writing my biographical essays on Martha Washington and Eleanor Roosevelt. I love writing and these essays really helped me to learn more about these two wonderful women in a fun way. The interviews were also an important assignment. I feel that learning how to interview will help a great deal throughout the future.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I have always loved learning about history and my interest in U.S. history was expanded in this course. I now know so much more about our great country.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Definitely!! Communication is so important in anything that we do in life and talking through things helps me to learn better. All of the discussions and dinner parties were interesting, yet fun. I have enjoyed meeting other people who also share my passion for history.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

A student who will do well in this course needs to be one that studies hard and will work diligently. This course is very involved and requires dedication. However, it is very rewarding! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone. Mrs. Richman is an excellent and dedicated teacher. She takes a real interest in the progress of each student and how they are learning. This is the course for anyone who wants to learn about American history!


APUSH: An Amazing History Course posted by Sam Griffith on June 07 2006 at 17:18:30

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam. We worked in the textbook, used primary source documents, had helpful study-chats, awesome bonus assignments from Mrs. Richman, and completed a wealth of writing assignments and essays. By May, I remember feeling confident and excited about the exam. Mrs. Richman's course really prepared me to do well on the exam, and I can't wait to receive my score.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I would say that I spend spent over 10 or 11 hours per week, and throughout April, even more.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I enjoyed all of my assignments, including the BG and DBQ essays. Especially, however, I enjoyed writing the biography essay on John Marshall, the head Supreme Court Justice of the early 19th century. The assignment had to be creative, which was what made it so enjoyable. I also loved the history interviews--I learned so much about historical experiences in the lives of other people. The interviews will really help me in later life, I think, because not only must you form questions, but you must present them neatly for the entire class.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I've always loved United States history, but my interest in the subject was very much enhanced by this class. I enjoyed reading the primary source documents, because they presented such a clear view of what happened. I discovered how important economics were to history, and learned about and was extremely interested in the Gilded Age, something that I always thought was not as exciting, which I was wrong about. Every aspect of American history has interesting twists and turns.

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Yes! My classmates were wonderful! We had great debates, 'dinner parties,' and discussions about historical, and non-historical, subjects. I've made wonderful friends, whom I hope to keep in touch with out of this class. Also, whenever we didn't understand something, we would always help each other out. The comments that we made on each other's work were helpful and encouraging, and the class was really talkative and upbeat.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

A student that is willing to work hard in order to learn history would do very well in this course. The course is challenging, but is completely worth it. I would absolutely recommend this course to others. Mrs. Richman is a wonderful, dedicated teacher. I learned so much, and had such an amazing time learning. This course is a must for anyone who really wants to learn about American history.

~Sam Sharon

APUSH: Not for the faint of heart! May 09 2004 at 24:16:56

After taking this course, I feel that I was entirely prepared for the APUSH exam. I don't feel like I could have done much better on the exam itself; but I do kinda feel that I could have put more effort into the overall course. It was one of the best courses I've taken; I really, thoroughly enjoyed it.

The APUSH class can expand to fill your the available time; while it requires a significant (3-4 hrs/week) minimum time to complete core assignments, there are unlimited possibilities for bonus assignments. Want to spend an extra hour this week? You can read more primary source documents, read some old archived New York Times articles, read old interviews, write reviews of history books and videos, and complete frequently-offered bonus assignments, which mostly consist of reading additional material or doing research. You can do as well as you like on this course; with the points system and the availability of bonus assigments, the sky's the limit!

Basically, I would strongly recommend this course to anyone who loves to read (a MUST), has some experience with writing structured essays (very useful), and loves history (also a MUST). The communication offered by the class WWWBoard is invaluable; at almost any time, you can find interesting discussions going on. Experience with computers is also good; but even someone with no prior experience will learn a lot about computers, internet research, and webpage design through this course. "Webpage design?", I hear you ask. "How did webpage design get into it?" Well, the hardest (and most rewarding) assignment of the year, second to the exam itself of course, is to write two Biographical Essays. One of them must be a website. I really enjoyed making mine.

If I had one piece of advice to give to people coming *into* the APUSH class, it would be to make *absolutely* sure to keep up with your weekly assignments, monthly assignments, and so on. The weekly assignments are pretty easy, but it's even easier to put them off -- don't do it! They pile up very quickly, and you may find that suddenly, you have a few *DOZEN* documents you need to read. A very useful tool (which I wish I had used more myself) is to make separate lists of all the weekly assignments, monthly assignments, and incidental assignments (like Bio Essays and Interviews), and then MAKE A SCHEDULE for completing each long-range assignment by the due date. Then, EVERY WEEK, make a list of all the things you need to do: weekly assignments, monthly, and steps towards completing your long-range assignments. I really messed up on this; I had a nice plan all written up for getting my interviews done on time, but I put it off and put it off until suddenly, the interview was due in a week and I hadn't even scheduled a meeting with the interviewee. I also put off researching and writing one Bio Essay until the *very last day*. Imagine spending one day skimming several 400-page books on your bio-essay person and writing a whole 2000 word essay. Not good. In fact, bad. Very, very, bad. Therefore, I stand here at that crossroads, with a big can of florescent-orange spraypaint, warning you new students which road not to take :-D.

Overall, I would say that APUSH is an absolutely fabulous first AP course to take; it will stretch your abilities and memory, teach you many skills you will need for college, and give you a very firm grasp upon the history of our country. Mrs. Richman is a fabulous teacher for the course; she is patient, kind, helpful, informative, and very, very, fun to work with. If you work hard, you will come away from this course with a great sense of accomplishment.

Ian Sanders May 10 2004 at 10:07:23

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

This course was more than adequate in preparing me for the AP Exam. The combination of textbook study and Barron's Guide Review was extremely helpful.

What sort of student would do well in this course? Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I would definitely recommend this course to any (hard-working!) students. For me, AP US History sparked a renewed interest in our nation's history. I think that APUSH would be an ideal match for any student who enjoys a diverse challenge.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I though the Barron's Guide essays were excellent. Since there are so many other smart students also writing, rereading these essays is excellent exam preparation.

Josiah Glick May 10 2004 at 22:11:07

1. I felt the course prepared me well for the exam, especially for the essays. When I started this course, I spent all day preparing for and writing the essays assigned, by the end of the course, my fastest time was in 35min totally from memory, and for the actual test I think my fastest was in 20min. However, tons and tons of review is required if you want to get a good score, going through everything once just doesn't cut it.

2. Most of the year I averaged about 2-3 hours a day I think. The last week, like 6-8.

3. The most valuable assignment was the essay practice. Bonus assignments helped to connect everything that you were learning, the same for extra readings, visiting historical sites, and watching history video's.

4. I think it enhanced my intrest a little, but not much because I was already so interested in it.

5. Communication with other students for the most part just helped make the course more fun, but the study buddy days were extremally valuable.

6. I think as long as you're and willing to study, anyone could do well on this course. I would definitely recommend this course to EVERYONE, especially for people who have never taken an AP course before.

Learning to Teach Yourself May 11 2004 at 21:12:23

One of the greatest things these AP online classes have given me is the ability to teach myself. During this AP history class, I never had a teacher at the head of a classroom expounding on US history and explaining the assignments. Instead, I had to get online and find out what was due each week and then be disciplined enough to get it all done. Not only that, I had to teach myself how to learn from a textbook and other documents without depending on a teacher to tell me everything. I could always e-mail Mrs. Richman if I had any questions but, I read the textbook and other materials each week, interpreted them myself, then wrote about them in my essays. This class helped me develop better studying techniques as well as better writing skills. It was one of the hardest courses I have ever taken, but also one of the best. I would definitely recommend this class, but only to people who could be disciplined enough to do all the work.

One of the greatest assignments that Mrs. Richman had us do this year were the interviews. We were required to do three interviews over the period of the course, including one with a veteran. There is no better way to learn about history than from the people who actually lived it. The stories I heard were fascinating and I gained a greater appreciation for history by hearing people tell about their personal experiences with the events I had studied.

Mrs. Richman did a wonderful job of teaching this course and the things she included in the assignments (extra credit, historical cartoon analysis, history article analysis, interviews, ect) combined to give me a great understanding of US history. Her enthusiasm and love for history help her students love history as well. Many times, I found myself doing further research on a topic simply because I was interested and wanted to learn more.

Brooke Hoffman

Swannanoa, NC

A Five-Star History Course May 12 2004 at 11:12:52

When I first started this course, I was intimidated by all of the different types of assignments, the high expectations, and the computer work involved. However, as I got further into the work, I really began to enjoy pushing myself towards higher standards and delving deeper into history rather than trying to get away with doing as little work as possible.

The assignments for the class may seem challenging to a beginning writer (like I was), but in the end I personally was very glad to have gotten all of the experience. I can't imagine what it would have been like to go into the AP US History test without all of the practice essays and DBQs. By the end of the course, I felt like I was well prepared to take the AP exam. Of course I had to put quite a bit of effort into reviewing, as Mrs. Richman emphasized in the weeks leading up to the exam, but this confidence was also due in large part to the careful planning set out in the course syllabus. By using this tool every week, I could determine exactly what I needed to get done, which helped me stay on track and finish the necessary course work before the exam. While Mrs. Richman did not actually give lectures during the week, she did give us good feedback on our essays with specific pointers for how to improve our writing skills and how to present history to our readers in a meaningful way. She also helped guide our study with a detailed reading schedule that would allow us to finish the textbook before the exam.

My favorite assignment was probably writing the biographical essays. They were certainly tough, but since we were allowed (no, urged) to present them in a creative way, they were a good chance to learn more about a certain character in US history without feeling like you were writing another text book. Mrs. Richman required us to set up a website for one of the essays, which gave me valuable computer experience.

One feature of the course that I found helpful was being able to post my essays on the website and receive feedback from classmates. I found that having my work up where everyone could see it motivated me to do my best. Sharing ideas for discussion on the WWWboard also provided structured interaction for us as students. Mrs. Richman also gave us opportunities to complete extra credit work, which was a nice diversion from the regular work. During the year, we had the chance to do activities such as compiling a list of the 25 most important dates from US history, reading neat articles about the Cold War, and grading student essays from actual APUSH exams. It was fun to see how bad an essay with a score of 2 really is. :^)

This course was definitely one of the most challenging courses I have taken in high school: in fact, I often spent over 10 hours a week on history. However, it was also one of the most rewarding. Putting that extra time into the class brought about very satisfactory results. I would definitely recommend Mrs. Richman's AP US history course to a student who is willing to take initiative, work diligently, and go that extra mile--it's worth it! I also want to thank Mrs. Richman: I couldn't have made it without her encouragement. She definitely helped me gain a better knowledge and a greater appreciation of the history of the United States.

~Annie Hof

Warrenton, Virginia

Preparation is Not for Wimps! May 14 2004 at 13:16:51

Months of seemingly endless work dozens of extra-credit assignments, hundreds of pages of reading, reading hundreds of primary source documents, dozens of essays, discussions online and through all this work, I lived, and loved history. What can I say? I really can't say anything except that I would highly recommend this course. That doesn't say it all, though. Take this course if you can at all it's worth every second of time you spend in it.

I used to always hate history I just couldn't "get it" nor did I understand why my friends all loved it as they did. I came into this course deciding that I was going to enjoy history and through this class and Mrs. Richman, I've been able to understand why history is so important and why I can love it as I do now. One of the neatest assignments that helped me grasp the importance of history was the monthly "History in the News" essay we had to do where we find an article that analyzes a current event in relationship to past events. This really helped me learn that to understand the present, you have to understand the past this particular assignment was always fun to do, and it really helped me "get" and love history.

This class didn't just make me love history, but it forced me to become a better writer. Each week, an essay has to be submitted. I had never been a bad writer, but since I didn't write very often, I was rather rusty when I did write. Weekly essays forced me to write, forcing me to become better, and Mrs. Richman's critiques and my other student's suggestions were invaluable in becoming a better writer.

The other students in the class also really helped me throughout the year. The online forum provides a channel to debate philosophy (Were the Transcendentalists correct?), politics (If you were alive in 1783, would you be a Federalist or an Anti-Federalist? Should "under God" be left in the pledge of allegiance?), and many other questions (Was the American Revolution morally justified? Is slavery inherently evil? Who was right in the Civil War?). It also is a neat way to be able to learn and interact with my classmates, keep everyone updated, and share interesting information (even if it *is* about guacamole :-)).

There were many avenues of learning in this class. Our textbook addressed most of the issues that came up on the AP Exam in May. While the textbook was, in my humble opinion, fairly liberal, it did address the main issues of history (though, in addressing them, sometimes a "slant" was put on the issues). If there were any one thing I didn't like about this class, it was the textbook I used but at the same time, the "slant" forced me to turn to other sources (primary sources, other textbooks, and internet sources) to learn of "other" interpretations. This was a great benefit, getting varied interpretations and multiple points of view but I likely would not have researched things more in depth had there not been that "slant" to begin with.

The class as a whole, though, is excellent. Mrs. Richman has a wealth of knowledge about history and frequently provides "bonuses" related to forum conversations, or points we make in our essays. These optional bonuses proved to be one of the most beneficial things to me, and there were several questions on the exam that I knew *simply* because of a bonus I had taken part in. All parts of the class fit together very well to give me a great knowledge of US History and prepared me very well for the exam. There were very few questions I was unable to answer, and I had been prepared very well to write the essays, timed, with pen, and under pressure.

If you are not willing to work or it is difficult to be self-motivated, then this course may not be for you, as it is very demanding. (Though, naturally, this course may teach you to be diligent and self-motivated). If, however, you are willing to work hard (I spent 2-3 hours a day on APUSH, though much of that was extra work 1 would have been enough to get the "core" assignments done), and willing to be diligent in your work (not getting behind!), then I can highly recommend this course to you.

Mark Miller Ohio

Anne Koller May 18 2004 at 13:24:34

I feel like this course did a great job preparing me for the AP exam. Reading the textbook six days a week, practicing numerous essays, and doing extra credit work really helped cement things for me. Not only did I learn and grow in my knowledge of US history, but Mrs. Richman gave us plenty of opportunities to do practice exams, questions, and essays. She also gave us some great review tips that I think really helped. I really enjoyed the opportunities for extra-credit work, because it allowed me to go into certain areas, or dive into a certain era more in-depth. For example, the civil rights movement really caught my attention, so I was able to watch videos and do some assignments on that topic. As far as a favorite assignment, I really enjoyed the History in the News write-ups we had to do. They were really interesting and fun because I could see connections between Americas past and its effect on the present. I also loved doing the history interviews (!); I learned so much and really got a feel for how it was like to fight in World War II, or simply to live in the Cold War era. What I got from the interviews and the people I interviewed was very valuable- I will always remember them. This course definitely got me more interested in US History. I have always loved history, so this course created an excitement about American history as well. And even though I took the exam and Im done with this course, I will always look for opportunities to learn more about our history through books, videos, articles, classes, touring historic sites, etc. As far as who would do well in this course, I believe someone who is willing to spend the time and work hard would do great. I would definitely recommend it to other students because as a high school student, I think its important to have a good background in American history. This course also taught me to manage my time (a great tool for college, Ive heard J) because I had my other school work to do, sports, and speech club in addition. To sum it all up, it was a lot of hard work, and I cant say I exactly enjoyed every minute of it, but I am so glad I did it. Mrs. Richman (shes a wonderful teacher!) really did instill a deeper love of history in me and this course, overall, has been "fabulous" :)

Review of APUSH May 24 2004 at 12:25:36

I had a lot of fun taking part in the course this year. It was pretty time consuming and at times it was a lot of work, but I made it through and learned a ton about history. It was about 15 hours worth of work per week, so not too bad.

One thing this course did very well was enhance my interest in all of history. I've always been interested in World War history, but never in U.S. This course really opened me up to all the different aspects of everything and I learned a lot. I'd definitely suggest this class to anyone who is interested in history.

This course also brought my level of writing way up. I've always been just an ok writer, but this class boosted me to new levels. I feel very confident in my writing abilities now and I'm not at all worried about any essay assignments in college.

All around, this is a great class, Mrs. Richman is a fantastic teacher, and I'd recommend it to anybody and everybody.

Hope Parsons May 30 2004 at 20:39:45

Thank you, Mrs. Richman, for a wonderful class! I felt very well prepared for the exam, although the essays were a little bit more difficult. More importantly, I feel that I have a better knowledge of US History.

My favorite assignments were the History interviews and the HITN articles. I felt that the essay assignments (BG's, and DBQ's) helped me improve my writing skills over the school year. It was very helpful to recieve feedback, both from Mrs. R., and from the other students. I think one of greatest things about the class was how each student viewed and approached issues in a different way. While we all answered the same essay questions, each one was different, and in each I saw a different way to look at the topic.

I would recommend this course to any student who is really willing to push themselves. I spent about 2-4 hours per day on the class, and I think a student would have to be willing to do that in order to make it through the class. I think the class also requires an ability to read and retain large amounts of material. Prospective studenst also should be willing to offer constructive criticism to their fellow students, and be willing to recieve feedback from others as well.

Thanks to all my classmates for making this a wonderful class! I enjoyed getting to know you all better throughout the year. Good luck with all your plans for the future!

Wonderful course!!! by Clint Gilliam, May 14 2005 at 08:28:14

I highly recommend this course for anyone looking at taking an AP test. While it was a lot of work, it was also a ton of fun! I had some of the best classmates I have ever had and the WWW board was always very busy. We often played such games as "Who am I?" and "What event am I?" which not only were a ton of fun but were useful in studying for the exam.

While I think anyone would enjoy this course I think that to do well it is helpful to have a background in history. I wouldn't recommend taking this class unless you have had some pervious interest in history. I usually spent about 4-5 hours on this class though this varied week to week.

Again, I highly recommend this course, it was close to if not the best AP class I have ever taken! Good luck and enjoy.


A great class! by Ian Gilbert, May 16 2005 at 06:35:04

was rather reluctant to sign up for this class. But I'm glad I did, because this was one of my favorite classes I've ever taken! It really enhanced my knowledge of U.S. history and also sharpened my writing skills.

This class is a lot of work, but it is worth it! I spent, on average, almost two hours a day on it, though I think someone could fulfill the basic requirements in less time. Two essays are required each month, in addition to other assignments (like History in the News) and reading in the textbook. Mrs. Richman grades and comments on essays, and classmates are also required to read and comment on other students writing. Mrs. Richman also offers countless opportunities to earn bonus points. I enjoyed participating in several review games that we played.

The more you participate in this course, the more you will get out of it. You could just send in the required assignments, but it is much more rewarding to participate in all the interesting discussions on the WWWBoard, the historical debates in the "Dinner Party Chats," and review games (though many of these review games were student-initiated!) In the last few weeks before the exam, the test seemed rather daunting, but when I took it, I felt extremely well prepared. I remember thinking, "This isn't such a big deal after all!"

I think that any student with an interest in United States history and a good background in writing would do well in this class. Mrs. Richman does a wonderful job teaching this course!

TWO THUMBS UP!!! by Anna Pritt, May 18 2005 at 14:18:07

This was my first PA Homeschoolers course, and I absolutely loved it!!! I had much more fun than I would have had if I'd just studied on my own at home. After the numerous quizzes, primary documents, essays and in-depth review required by the course I felt very well prepared for the AP exam. Class discussions on the message board, debates, games, simulation "dinner parties", and "study-buddy chats" with clasmates all helped enhance my knowledge of history. Class interaction was definitely a big plus, and Mrs. Richman is a wonderful teacher. I still can't believe how much I got out of this class--I not only learned a lot of history but also greatly improved my writing, critical reading, thinking/analyzing, and computer skills. I came into this class knowing that history was my favorite subject, and by now I am sure I want to study history in college. I strongly recommend this course to anyone who is hardworking, committed, and interested in history.

review of APUSH by Daniel Lanctot, May 23 2005 at 07:55:46

I really enjoyed APUSH and learned an enormous amount. In general, I spent about 10-12 hours a week working on the course. This included reading the text and doing assignments as well as ongoing review. It never felt like that much time, as I really enjoyed the content. My favortite assignment was probably the cartoon analyses. I really liked looking beyond the face value of the pictures into the meaning behind and seeing how it all connected to history. I have always liked US history, so while the course didn't really enhance my interest in the subject it really allowed me to look at the material in new and different meaningful ways. I liked the web board and much of the communication between classmates. Sometimes though I was frustrated by a lack of openness. I often wished there could have been more acceptance of differing perspectives and view points. I would definitely recommend this course to other students, as long as they enjoy working hard and consistently. Overall this was a great course with a wonderful and inspirational teacher!

A Treasured Experience by Pearl Young, June 06 2005 at 11:39:40

I never dreamed that signing up for Mrs. Richman's AP US History class would spark a year long interest, a passion, for our nation and its past. Questioning the mere fact in our textbook and seeking a greater perspective, I began digging into history through primary sources and other texts. The more I learned, the more I began to appreciate history and how it has influenced our country and characterized her. Men and women such as George Washington, Noah Webster, Abraham Lincoln, Ida Tarbell, and Dwight Eisenhower became my heroes as I searched through history, uncovering men and women with different goals, different perspectives, and different accomplishments.

I found each of the essay assignments extremely helpful in my preparation for the exam. I realize that while certain assignments, such as the Interviews or History in the News, are not directly tested on the exam, each one forced us to think in a new way and thereby discover new avenues of our nation's past. I entered the class in dire fear of the Interviews. I made sure that my first one was via e-mail because I did not want to ask the questions over the telephone. After my first interview and after reading many of my classmates' interviews, such a fear began to melt away. I found the interviews to be more inspiring and more eye-opening than the textbook because here were real people and their real experience.

As long as you are eager to learn, you will find this class an enjoyment. Mrs. Richman is very prompt and gives much excellent advice throughout the course. In addition, your classmates will encourage you and answer your questions as you answer them. Through the class message board, you will discover the sense of a community as you plunge into America's past.

Calling all serious students in for an amazing year by Olivia Grugan, June 09 2005 at 09:29:03

Do you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?

Of course, it is you, the student, who prepares yourself for the course. But this course is a marvelous facilitator of that. You will practice test essay questions monthly as well as practice multiple choice questions. What I especially liked about this course, though, was that it not only prepares its students for the test...but that it has lots of other options which are not so test oriented and just help develop a love for history in the hearts of the students. For example there are bio essays, dinner party chats, bonus activities, and Chronology Games.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

This is kind of hard for me to say...but I think probably about 10.

Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

I really loved the bio essays. We had to write two. One has to be a creative essay and the other a website. I also like the Chronology Game. If you participate in this class, you'll have to ask Mrs. Richman about this game. I started it while enrolled in this class and I hope it will live on with future classes.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Most definetly! Whenever I see anything on history...a book, a movie, an article...I can't help but pick it up. I'm drawn to it like a magnet...and believe me...I didn't feel that way before!

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

Without my lovely classmates I could have never done as well. Their comments, participation, and enthusiasm was priceless! What sort of student would do well in this course? Anyone willing to work hard. As wonderful and rewarding as the course is...you definetly have to be ready and willing to work hard. I might also recommend this to an older highschool student or someone who has taken an AP course before...it's vigorous!

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

I wouldn't hesitate a moment to recommend this to anyone. Mrs. Richman is an incredible teacher. She spend considerable time reading every essay and giving critical, supportive comments. Do sign up!