Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

I was very pleased with this course and surprised at the personal level of communication and involvement i had with my teacher and classmates. I was shocked to enjoy an online class so much. Great class!

AP Class Reviews

AP U.S. History taught by Susan Richman

by Students and Parents

The class which taught me to treasure life... posted by Rebekah Che on June 09 2019 at 24:42:34

At the beginning of the year, I was apprehensive about going into APUSH. Three of my older siblings had taken it and I gauged (correctly) from their experiences that the workload would be quite a bit heavier than what I was used to. The first two weeks of the class were disorienting (and not just because I was still recovering from a fever) - I was excited to begin, but the excitement was accompanied firstly by prevalent confusion and secondly by a disillusioning apprehension. But if only I had known what an absolutely incredible experience the course would turn out to be!

My favorite assignment from the year has to be the Civil War Essay Contest. Like the course as a whole, the CWE process started out a bit rough. As the only one who chose to enter the documentary division of the contest, I had to learn to mostly navigate the waters on my own. But the hard work paid off in a way I wasn't expecting, too: a month later, I was staring at an email announcing that I had won first place in the documentary division. From this, I got the opportunity to fly to NYC for the Lincoln Prize Dinner and there to meet the incredible Mrs. Richman :) as well as many others who inspired me with their love and passion for history.

The interactive Skype chats which sprang up throughout the course of the year were a little spammy and a lot insane, but lifelong friendships have been made there, and I know I'm part of some myself. My classmates and TAs made me feel a part of an intelligent and truly inclusive community, and that brings me to my favorite thing about this class: the interactivity. Unlike other classes, where I could barely even recall the names of my fellow students, this one featured TA-led study sessions, student-led review groups, a constant stream of friendly and helpful communication, and even a 'study buddy' system which proved to be invaluable.

I found the peer interaction to be especially special in the days leading up to the exam. I attended a lot of "cram sessions" where we ran through MCQs from previous exams together, and the night before the exam, I helped co-host a live dinner party (a nod to our virtual dinner parties, class-wide occasions where we would pick historical characters and essentially roleplay with them). By the time said dinner party rolled around, I was fatigued and stressed out entirely. I felt so unprepared and was especially frustrated that I had so many excellent review resources right at my fingertips with so little time left to use them. But just by subtly letting me know they were in the same boat, my classmates calmed my fears and helped me walk into the exam room the next morning with a smile on my face. That night before the exam, as we shared pieces of encouragement through the dinner party call, I felt a peculiar sense of community which I'll never entirely forget.

I could go on about this year of APUSH forever, but if you're a prospective student thinking of taking it: do so! You won't regret it. I feel so much more informed now not just about American history, but about the world I live in as a whole. Thirty years from now, if I remember a single class from my high school years, it's going to be APUSH. I'll also always remember what Mrs. Richman always told us at the end of her weekly updates. Treasure life: past, present, and future.


APUSH Class Review posted by Dana Cooper on June 06 2019 at 22:55:33

Coming into this class, I liked history but was a bit concerned about the workload that this class might have. However, I found all of the assignments not only manageable but enjoyable. While I was interested in US history before taking this course, I’ve finished the year with a love of the subject and a life-long passion to continue learning more about US history as well as history in general.

I definitely feel that this class prepared me for the AP exam. We did periodic exam prep throughout the year, and Mrs. Richman gave us many practice tests in the month leading up to the exam. All year we had access to learning tools in many formats, including audio lectures, essays, movies, videos, textbooks, articles, and timelines. Having the ability to learn through mediums that worked for me was super helpful in not only studying for the AP exam, but learning the material as well.

On average, I put about 8-10 hours into this class per week. However, when I was working on larger projects such as my Bio Essay or Civil War Essay, I spent up to 25 hours per week on the class.

While I enjoyed so many of the assignments in this class, one of my favorites was the Bio Essay. I really enjoyed being able to thoroughly research an influential American of my choice and then present my research in a creative format.

I would recommend this course to someone who is willing to work hard and wants to learn more about the history of the United States. While I am someone who really enjoys history, this class is not exclusively for history buffs, and you can get a lot out of it no matter what you feel your strengths are. However, I additionally recommend that you come into the class with strong writing skills, as this course does require multiple essays in each unit as well as weekly written assignments.

Overall, this class was amazing and I’m really glad that I took it.


APUSH posted by Sarah Richman on June 05 2019 at 14:28:33

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

I definitely felt prepared for the AP exam am fairly confident I did well.

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

I generally put in about 8 hours per week. I took it somewhat easy, as I took the course my senior year, but still felt prepared. I really think that this course takes as much time as you want it to. If you’re very busy you can scrape by with roughly an hour a day. However, I think you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t take advantage of all the amazing options available in this course! I guarantee you’ll find something (or many somethings) here which suit your tastes and learning style. There are almost limitless options to expand your work each day.

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

I really enjoyed the Great Courses lectures throughout the year. They were engagingly done and I could listen to them while doing laundry, for instance. I used the questions at the end of each lecture in the lecture guide as I was listening and I think it really helped me make connections and remember the material.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes!!! I really wasn’t interested in American history (or any history post-1700) before taking this course. Now I’m excited to read a few history books over the summer.

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

Yes! There seemed to always be a study session going on, led by either one of our wonderful TAs or a fellow student. I wasn’t personally active in the more social Skype groups but I still felt connected to the community.

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 other students!!! It’s great fun, and you’ll learn a lot! Mrs. Richman is incredibly kind and positive, so it’s hard not to enjoy yourself. This course is ideal for students who enjoy taking initiative (or who want to get better at it).

 


APUSH Review posted by Coletta Kalumbula on May 31 2019 at 24:39:21

By the end of the class I did feel that I was prepared for the APUSH exam once I was seated in the testing room. I worried throughout the entire year that I was not fully prepared because there was so much information to learn. It ended up working out with the format that Mrs. Richman uses to give various outlets for learning information. If you prefer to read more to gain a better understanding for a topic, there are essays, books, and excerpts to analyze. If you are more of a visual or aural learner, there are a ton of audio files and videos available to help with this. Some weeks I did 8-10 hours of work or less. Other times I was doing 12-15+ hours of work a week. (I am not entirely sure of how accurate the hour count is, but some assignements do take a looong time). It just depended on the calendar schedule and how you organized your classwork for the week.

I enjoyed the assignments that were textbook APUSH exam. This gave me a clear perspective of what to expect on the exam. I was slightly baffled at how to organize my schedule because there were so many assignments. It was very hard to differentiate which assignements truly were mandatory or not. Sometimes the syllabus would state that this was an optional assignment, but it would be a good one to do. Others were pretty vague. As someone who plays travel volleyball year round, it was hard for me to manage my APUSH schedule alongside my regular schoolwork, sports, and family life. Having a "play-by-play" of what were required daily assignments would have been extremely helpful especially because I am an organization freak! Definitely consider this factor before you decide to take the course, especially if this is your first AP class (as it was mine). That being said, Mrs. Richman is a wonderful, patient woman. Any other teacher would have run out of patience for my constant emails about travel extensions and so on and so forth. She was very gracious and encouraging to me, and I truly, truly appreciate that. 

I definitely grew to appreciate U.S. history more than I had before. This course casued me to think and analyze like a historian. My classmates and TA's were so awesome. They were always there to answer any questions that I had. I even had one of my class teammates check up on me when I was getting bogged down by my schedule. That was so kind! All of the students in this class showed a drive to learn and work hard while challenging each other.

I would definitely recommend this course to future students who are willing to put in the work. This is one of the most difficult AP classes, so I would recommend that you have taken at least one other AP before diving into this one. Know what to expect with the rigor of the syllabus when you are registering, and be prepared to gain a lot of information. Good luck! 


My AP US History class experience with Pennsylvania Homeschoolers online course under Ms. Richman posted by James Tedder on May 30 2019 at 14:46:38

As a freshman taking this course early on in high school, it was, to be honest, a little rough. I probably spent 3 to 5 hours working on history every day, and even longer on the month leading up to the exam. I realized much later in the year however that I could reduce this amount greatly by creating a schedule early in the week, spanning out the assignments given. I personally experienced lots of procrastination, and this increased the time I spent during the week on this subject.

The AP Exam is this giant shadowy figure that hovers over you barring its teeth and seeking out to bend you to your knees. This is what others will tell you to scare you, and worry you. With this class, all of those rumors and lies become false. The exam becomes just one long set of assignments on American history. Each assignment throughout the year is structured to be like certain parts on the exam. Taking the time early on in the year to break down how a question might apply to a certain people group, or what answers in the question can be broken down by the process of elimination is really key. By the end of the year, I was able to do one multiple choice question on the AP US History exam in the span of a minute or less. There were 55 questions on the exam, with only 55 minutes. I finished with 15 minutes to spare. There are PLENTY of resources to learn from, whether it be history instructors on YouTube, audio lectures, other online sources, and plenty of historical books. The only hard part in this entire course were the essays, which there are two every month. You just have to know that you can get an essay done. You will gain confidence in your writing. Early on, I sometimes spent 7 hours working on one essay, but persisting and training my brain to move faster and faster throughout the year allowed me to finish strong, finishing my essays in the time limit on the exam.

In this course, almost everyone strived to learn. If you can manage to become a slight overachiever, (by normal standards) and just stroll along, this course can be accomplished and enjoyed. This course is fast-paced, but deep in learning. Knowing a little European History and some aspects of American History defiantly helped in this course; I definitely wouldn’t recommend this course to anyone who has no familiarity with American history. Even if you don’t remember much about previous learning, it will all eventually pop back into your memory as you go through the course.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it, because there are those in the class who can help you in areas you don’t understand, and over time, become your friends. However, I think the one reason why anyone should take this course is because it offers an understanding of what American history is about. History might seem bland to some, seen as not important, not worth pursuing as a career, but it is much more than that. Science may be the study of how things work in the world, Mathematics might be the way that human minds can logically comprehend and calculate situations about problems in the world, but history is the study of what people did in our past, how it connects to our lives, and why we should use this knowledge to correct and prevent present wrongs. 

The people groups and how they affected the culture around them, how the United States Government handled themselves dealing with other nations, and themselves over different time periods, why racial tensions are important and how they tie into the importance of early American history, the wars where brothers and ancestors fell in battle: This is our past, our future, and the present day that you and I experience every day at every moment. That is what American history is, and this class will help prove that to you.


A good course to get introduced into the PA Homeschoolers community posted by Kamil Arif on May 30 2019 at 04:07:46

This was defenitely a fun course to take, and good one to get a start in the PA Homeschoolers Community. I felt decently prepared for the AP Exam, and overall I think I did alright within the course considering my schedule, which was rather busy this year. This course defenitely requires a lot of time, I know it took a majority of my time during the week along with my other AP course. I especially quite liked the MCQ-TT assignments as they really help prepare you for the exam and getitng in that mindset of solving the actual questions, as opposed to just knowing the given information. 

Communication with other students was extremely valuable in this course, having many, many, skype groups for various purposes. There were study sessions (worth actual points in the course) quite frequently, helping a lot of the students like myself who struggled to keep up with the course.


Amazing APUSH Class! posted by Kanika Chopra on May 29 2019 at 20:00:10

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

I felt extremely prepared for the AP Exam. Mrs. Richman provided many real practice tests, and the exercises we do during the year are all extremely helpful!

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

During the first semester of this course, I spent about 10 hours per week working on class work. In the second semester of the exam, I began to start reviewing/studying, so I worked on most weekends, totaling about 12+ hours per week.

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

All of the assignments that we did were extremely enjoyable, but also extremely valuable in the preparing for the exam. One of my favorite assignments was the Civil War Essay Contest, in which each student made an essay report about a topic relating to the Civil War. This project was extremely rewarding, and unlike anything I had done 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!)?

Any student willing to work hard will excel in this class. While Mrs. Richman does provide a weekly schedule of assignments that one must do, she also offers many other opportunities (often in the form of bonus points) that serve as amazing learning opportunities. These assignments enhance your understanding about the current topics, and give you a greater understanding of topics that just may be on the AP Test in May :) Overall, I would highly recommend this AP Class to anyone and everyone! Mrs. Richman'samazing feedback and dedication have allowed me to gain a passion for US History!


5/5 class posted by Joseph Gray on May 25 2019 at 18:57:57

I definitely felt well prepared for the AP exam. Mrs. Richman covered the material at a steady pace, we kept to the schedule she gave us at the beginning of the year, and she provided lots of practice exams. The class was thorough, and Mrs. Richman is an excellent and encouraging teacher. I was definitely very motivated to put a lot of time into this class, as much as I needed to make sure an assignment wasn’t just good enough, but as good as possible. I especially enjoyed the History in the News assignments, since I could search out interesting articles. I now have a deeper interest in history than I did at the beginning of the course, and I was already an avid reader of history books. I would (and have!) recommended this course to many of my friends, since I have not only learned a lot about history, but also about writing and time management, both of which are key skills in this class and in life more generally.


Terrific Course--absolute recommended!!!! (and also a few minor things) posted by Katie Fang on May 18 2019 at 18:04:12

I agree with all the students here, this class was an amazing experience! One thing I absolutely loved about this class is Mrs. Richman’s positivity. She’s incredibly encouraging--just read her comments on any of the assignments. It’ll make your day! Mrs. Richman is understanding, too, and freely gives extensions for any assignment that you might need (the interview assignment, for example). This class also had a very nice organization in terms of the syllabus. There are 4 different types of “weeks.” Each month will have:

Week A: HITN (History in the News)

Week B: LEQ (Long Essay Question)

Week C: SAQ (Short Answer Question), DBQ-WU (Document-Based Question--Warm-Up), and Cartoon Analysis

Week D: DBQ (Document-Based Question)

You know exactly what to expect for each month, and it’s easy to work ahead, too. This format also allows you to cover each period (one each month) for the AP Exam equally. Besides these “focus” areas for each week, we have regular assignments such as watching/listening to lectures, reading primary source documents, doing multiple choice questions, and reading from Insider’s Guide. Every Sunday, Mrs. Richman sends out an “APUSH Update” that reminds us what is due the following week.

Insider’s Guide organizes APUSH material by topics. However, I really didn’t feel as though I had a good grasp on the chronology of events, which is especially important for the MCQs and SAQs on the exam. To supplement Insider’s Guide, I used Coursebook by Ethel Wood and AMSCO. Although I felt that Insider’s Guide didn’t really resonate with me, I loved the fact that Mrs. Richman takes into account that students learn through different means by providing links, videos, and more.

I do wish I could have received more constructive feedback on my essays. Mrs. Richman may be a little too enthusiastic on essays. She mainly suggests possible topics that would be a great addition to my essays. However, I did learn to write more quickly and clearly. This class will certainly cure you of any perfectionism! There are a ton of assignments, but they’re all very manageable. It’s super easy to get overwhelmed, especially when her APUSH Update messages easily average 4,000 words, and you feel flooded with “busy work.” However, you should be fine if you carefully manage the workload. For example, you can spend just 5 minutes on the MCQ-Think it Through assignment, including skimming the answer key. Or, if you have more time, you can go through her answer key more thoroughly, check out her extra links, and read your classmates’ responses. However, all of her assignments are incredibly helpful in the weeks before the AP Exam. One of Mrs. Richman’s biggest suggestions is to read our own past essays from all the periods. Reading past essays not only reminded me of the material but allowed me to make those connections and dig deeper into analysis.

Mrs. Richman does prepare you for the APUSH Exam, but of course you’ll need to do some more reviewing on your own. The Civil War Essay assignment is an amazing experience (you learn so much from writing a college-type paper, and Mrs. Richman does a fantastic job in pacing and spreading out the tasks so you won’t feel overwhelmed!), but it can eat up a lot of time. Some of my classmates also felt that they had almost forgotten how to write LEQs and DBQs after working so much on the Civil War Essay assignment. Additionally, we typically write up a “quickie” or an outline instead of fully developing our ideas and points during February, and in the weeks leading up to the exam itself when reviewing the material is prioritized. I’ve written extra essays and quickies in late April and May, and I felt both essays were my greatest strength on the exam itself.

Overall, APUSH was a terrific experience, and I’m so grateful to Mrs. Richman for all of her support and encouragement! She truly guides you to appreciate our nation's unique heritage and emphasizes a life-long commitment to learning. I highly recommend you to take her course. :D


Excellent Class posted by Jacob Zampino on May 16 2019 at 15:59:06

I was very prepared for the AP exam, mainly because of the great variety and quantity of assignments and suggested materials. I put an average of 15 hours a week into the course. The Civil War Essay assignment was especially interesting. I had never done such in depth historical research and enjoyed learning all about Robert E. Lee. This course helped me to develop not only greater historical knowledge, but also greater historical understanding. The peer review of essays were helpful and interesting, and I enjoyed getting to know many of the other students in the class despite it being an online forum.I would highly reccomend this class to motivated students willing to put in a lot of work and ready to learn more American history than sometimes feels healthy. I’m so glad I took this class.


APUSH Class Review posted by Aaron Shey on May 16 2019 at 02:06:44

I felt like this course greatly prepared me for the AP exam!  Although the amount of assignmens felt almost overwhelming at times, they helped me improve my historical thinking and analysis skills, along with exposing me to various historical events and concepts that I was able to remember and apply later on in the school year. 

I put in around 20 hours a week into APUSH.

I felt like the monthly Cartoon Analysis was a very fun and rewarding assignment -- not only did I get to read cartoons from all time periods and see how lampooning politicians was a cartooning continuum, but also practice historical analysis and taking a closer look into the details of a cartoon. 

This class definitely enhanced my interest in history!  APUSH goes very in-depth into the nuances of history and Mrs Richman definitely energizes the students and makes them enthusiastic about learning.

Sharing discussions with my classmates was a good way to reduce the 'echo chamber' effect as is wont to occur in today's greatly divided culture.  My classmates almost always had differing views than I did and helped me see the other side of a historical argument.

As an AP class, the students are expected to work pretty hard in this class.  To score well on the essays (which make up half of the AP exam score), one has to realize, connect and analyze patterns and themes througout history 


Best. Class. EVER !!! posted by Kate Jernigan on May 14 2019 at 20:01:30

Wow! Just wow! This APUSH class has opened so many doors for me academically. It has strengthend my work ethic, enhanced my writing skills, and caused me to become a more universal thinker when it comes to analyzing pieces from the past. Most of all, it provided me with the confidence and readiness for exam day. Mrs. Richman's creativity and affability were truly what made this course so great. She was always ready offer advice to any student and provided a slate of clever (and fun) course material that I can guarantee you won't experience anywhere else! 

On a daily basis, I spent about a solid 2 hours (Mon-Fri) completeing assignments during a typical work week. On weeks when we had special projects due, like the Bio Essay, History Interview, December Film Review, or Civil War Essay Contest paper, I would spend about 12-15 hours a week. My all-time favorite assignment had to be the Bio Essay where Mrs. Richman allowed us to create a presentation in any format on one historical figure. (I wrote and filmed a play on Benjamin Franklin.) I was really able to let my imagination take the lead, which I found to be great fun! Alongside the coursework, I epecially enjoyed the social aspects that this class provided. Mrs. Richman's WWWBoard was a feature to our class website where we could ask questions to other TAs/classmates and share other fun information. Also, Skype was another form of communication that was heavily used and VERY valuble. APUSH not only taught me history, but also lot of 'tech-savvy' techniques!

I would recommend this particular course to a student who is ready to put his/her best effort forward and has a strong desire to learn. I will admit, this was a tough first AP course in the beginning, but it only took a little while for me to get a steady handle on things. Since that moment, I have not looked back! I cannot be more thankful for how much this course prepared me for the AP exam and gave me a new perspective on my country's history!


It was a GREAT YEAR, GUYS!!!!! (I'm allowed to do exclamation points here now) posted by Micah Legge on May 13 2019 at 17:08:04

I think the course did an excellent job preparing students for the AP exam! There were lots of supplementary exercises outside the required assignments that were very useful in terms of information that I may not have gotten otherwise, so I think Mrs. Richman knows her stuff when it comes to preparing kids for tests.

Umm, maybe 30-35 hours a week, depending on the era. Honestly, most of it was reading and audible lectures, though bonus point used to take up a bit of time.

I personally enjoyed the midyear review where you got together with study buddies and all answered a quiz together J

Yeah, I’d say it did. Before APUSH, I generally just kind of lurked in the era 2 (Hamilton times, for those people reading this review wondering what the heck that is) but I’d say I have a newfound appreciation for US History as a whole.

Yeah, a lot of my classmates were super encouraging, and a lot of them had really good insights on my essays. There’s a lot of different extremely talented people in this class!

I’d definitely recommend this class to those people who have good work ethics and a steady commitment to academics. This year was pretty crazy for me, so I’d definitely suggest that you have a set schedule, instead of doing what I did and kind of let things get off balance. Additionally, one beautiful piece of advice I received multiple times was that this class was NOT more important than my mental health. Mrs. Richman is one of the most understanding and caring teachers I’ve ever had, so if you do decide to take this class, please don’t be afraid to reach out to her just because she’s a teacher. So, all in all, APUSH was a crazy class, but I definitely gained a lot from it. I would definitely recommend it for people who want to push their limits, but maybe not with any more AP classes on the side. I don’t know how people even manage that…

 


My Very Creatively Named Review posted by Patience Parrott on May 13 2019 at 13:59:30

This class was a great class! I haven't received my score yet, but I'm confident that it will be at least a 4! Mrs. Richman did more than teach a class- she fostered friendly competition, helped forge powerful, lifetime friendships, and gave us a love of and confidence in the subject matter. If you're looking for an APUSH class, I can guarantee that you won't find a better one than Mrs. Richman's. 


A New Love for History posted by Bethany D. on May 13 2019 at 04:25:50

This class has been an incredible blessing and an unforgettable experience. I started the class with a general apathy towards history, but emerged with a new interest and appreciation for the subject. The encouraging environment made up of lively students, helpful TAs, and an excellent teacher made this my favorite class.

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

Definitely! Each unit, which was one month long, was the perfect length and allowed me to learn all the essentials to the periods, plus a little extra! There were great recommendations and tips on how to study in the weeks leading up to the exam, and I benefitted immensely from study sessions and practice tests. The course also allows you to find a method of studying that works best for you--for me, that was notetaking.

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

The most impactful assignment is the Civil War Essay Project, hands-down. Conducting extensive research on my topic (and even going through the process of choosing my topic!) was fascinating and eye-opening. This project is quite the journey, and I really appreciate Mrs. Richman's encouragement and support throughout the process. The Civil War Essay Project, along with the Dinner Parties, Bio Essay, and Film Review assignments really enhanced the class experience and set it apart as truly special. ;)

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I'll say it again and again... This course enhanced my interest in history is so many ways. Talking to my parents about history and what they lived through has been really cool, as I now have a clearer understanding and appreciation for modern US history. Even things I thought I knew from elementary were completely flipped, which makes in-depth learning, especially for history, so amazing.

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

Valuable? For sure! Interesting? Hands-down. ;) I have gotten to know so many new people--a definite highlight for this class. It was awesome interacting with students across the US; as a result, I've become skilled in calculating time-zone differences. XD This class is unique and amazing in its set of students, who are encouraged to engage and learn together by a wonderful teacher.

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!)?

Take it from me, you don't have to love history to love this class... but you might just end up loving history as well. Any student with a willingness/desire to learn who thrives from a stimulating class enviroment would do well--but commitment and consistency are also key factors in excelling. If you are willing to put in hard work, commit to learning, and plow through until the very end, it will be worth it. Because this class offers so much more than just a basic education on US History, I would not hesitate in recommending it to any hard-working student.
Once again, thank you sooo *very* much Mrs. Richman! From your email updates to your positive feedback, it is always a joy to have such a devoted, enthusiastic, and brilliant teacher!


I just can't emphasize enough how amazing Mrs. Richman and this class were!!! posted by Isabelle Kirschbaum on May 12 2019 at 19:59:37

I love history, but before taking this class, I was nervous about the workload and amount of information I would have to learn. APUSH was my first AP exam, making it extra nerve-racking because I didn't know what to expect from an AP exam. However, as soon as I got comfortable with the class and the other students, I felt completely secure and confident that I would be well-prepared—thanks to Mrs. Richman and our awesome TAs!

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

Absolutely. There were so many amazing resources provided through this class, and all of the assignments were so engrained into my brain that the actul exam went more smoothly than I anticipated. Although this course definately prepared me for the exam, this is not the kind of class that just "teaches to the test." I learned so much more valuable information abotu American history, which just fueled my interests!

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

Generally, I worked about 25-30 hours a week on this course. The majority of that time was spent reading, which is a significant (and very important!) part of the class.

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

As far as regular assignments go, I liked History in the News, because it was a unique way to learn about historical tidbits that I otherwise wouldn't discover. My favorite "project" was definately the historical interview that we did in the first semester—I interviewed my grandfather, and it was both super fun and informative. I loved sharing what I learned from him with the class.

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

Definately! I got to know the other students and TAs so well that I feel like they're just my normal friends, except I've never actually met them (at least until the AP party!). Everyone is so supportive, fun, smart, and helpful, and I'm so glad I got to spend a year with 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!)?

I would 100% reccomend this course. Students who should consider it should obviously have an interest in history, but even if they don't, I gaurentee that Mrs. Richman will help you find your hidden passion for history! Students should also be able to handle a lot of reading a writing, as those are two of the most important skills that come into play both during the exam and in other acedemic courses.

If you like history, even if you have qualms about the workload of this class, do yourself a favor and sign up. I promise, you won't regret it!


Don't hesitate - you should definitely take this class!!!!!!! posted by Molly Hardwick on May 12 2019 at 14:49:41

First off, this was my first AP class (I took it as a freshman), and it was so much fun and truly a great introduction to APs! Mrs. Richman is the best teacher *ever* and I highly highly highly recommend this class to anyone, regardless of age or subject preference. 

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

Absolutely!! Every single assigment is geared to prepare you for the exam, and the skills I developed in doing the assignments were put to good use in the exam for sure! There are plenty of textbooks/videos, making it easy to find a resource that works well for you - and they are all great for review at the end of the year! Mrs. Richman is an incredible teacher, and her truly memorable teaching makes this class an invaluable learning experience - and a lot of fun! :)

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

I'd say I averaged between 1 and 2 hours a day, but it all depends on how much you want to put into it. For most assignments, you can either go the "3 hour rabbit hole of super fun research" route or you can keep it short and sweet and complete it in an hour or less. There's also a lot of bonus activities, so if you decide to do those (which I often did), it can take more time, but they are really helpful/fun/engaging learning opportunities.

I'd say an hour a day is the minimum to really get out of this class all that you need in order to be prepared for the exam :)

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

I honestly really enjoyed all of the assigments we did! Like I said above, they are all geared to help you develop historical thinking skills, which really comes in handy on the exam. In particular, the Bio Essay was a lot of fun both researching and writing (it has to be in a creative format, so I enjoyed getting to channel my "creative side" into the project ;) ), and I was able to bring in my person in an essay on the exam! 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Oh for sure! I was already a lover of history, but this class made it even more enjoyable - I think it's because of all of the nuances and exceptions to the typical "generalized history lessons" I was accustomed to. 

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'm definitely a "history/English" person, so this class was up my alley. However, I think that a STEM person could for sure excel in this class - there are many ways knowing STEM type information could come in handy. Plus, Mrs. Richman makes everything so engaging and fun that even the biggest "history disliker" couldn't help but learn so much information and maybe even enjoy it! ;)

But really, (as with most things) you get out of this class what you put into it. If you are active in discussions, on time with assigments, and in general making an effort to learn, you will be prepared for the exam.

 

Last summer, I was unsure if I was going to take this class or not. I was worried about the work load and time management, the content itself, and most of all, a big, scary exam at the end of the year. I took a chance and signed up for the class, and wow am I glad I did! I cannot emphasize enough what an incredible teacher Mrs. Richman is, and I would highly highly highly recommend this class to anyonen who is willing and able to engage with the material and really work hard to learn and enjoy US history! :)


A historically amazing class and an amazing teacher posted by Steven Trettel on May 11 2019 at 24:00:06

So, walking into this class I had no idea what to expect. I was kinda overwhelmed by all the activities I was supposed to do, and I felt that I couldn't do it all, let alone complete the exam. Fast forward to the end of the year and I felt a cautious sense of optimism. I felt like I could do it and felt confident in my knowledge of history. This was all due to this class and its amazing teacher.

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

As far as historical knowledge goes, I felt that I could not have been more prepared. Mrs. Richman provided numerous sources for us to look at and numerous Primary Sourced Documents for us to analyze. Combine this with the monthly assignments to prepare us for the essay writing portion of the exam, and you get an extremely balanced curriculum that not only fosters learning of history but teaches the student how to properly analyze history and enjoy doing it. With the exam being based around historical analysis, I felt that this class prepared me better than any other history class could have.

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

Generally, I put an average of 9-10 hours of work in per week, usually varying between one to two hours per day. With all the bonus links Mrs. Richman provides though and the engaging bonus point system, I found myself working much longer than this and on much more than the main assignments.

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

Oh gosh. I think all of them were amazing in their own way. The History in the News essay was nice because it taught students how history affects us now, the Long essay Question assignment was an amazing preparation for the LEQ on exam day, the Cartoon analysis showed us how to properly analyze a cartoon which came in real handy on the exam, the Short Answer Question prepared me well for the exam version, the Document based question warm up really helped me think like a historian, and the Document Based Question assignment really helped me prepare for the exam version. Add that to the amazing weekly Multiple-choice question think it through, and the Primary Source analysis, which really helped teach me how to think like a historian and it was amazing. I think my favorite assignment, however, was the Civil War essay contest. It really helped me learn to think like a historian by having us deep dive into a specific topic and use Primary sources to learn. It was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done in all of homeschooling!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Oh definitely. I learned so much about history that I never knew before. By having us deep dive into the topic with fun assignments, it made learning an absolute joy!!!

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

Absolutely! We helped each other with essays, made each other think about different angles of topics, and generally had an amazing time. Add that with the insane and hilarious Skype chats, and I definitely made some lasting friendships here.

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 student that would do well in this course would be the student that has a desire to learn. The entire year is jam packed with information all equally interesting. Even if you don’t particularly care about history, by the end of this class you will. Mrs. Richman is an engaging teacher that tailors her personal comments to each student’s interests. The course requires a lot of work. All of it is very rewarding, however.


Invaluable experience of a lifetime!!! posted by Serene on June 08 2018 at 15:16:17

Thank you, Mrs. Richman, for teaching us US History with such passion and dedication!! I am so blessed to have been a part of this incredible class!

Oh yes! We did MCQs weekly and DBQs and LEQs on a regular basis, so I was more than familiar with what to expect. I felt very confident walking into the exam room. I was just a bit worried about the DBQ because I've never written one DBQ under the time limit, but I actually ended up finishing both my essays before the time was up on the actual exam. Mrs. Richman was always looking out for ways to help us, and her constructive critique on my essays were honestly so encouraging that it made me WANT to go the extra mile. I remember writing in my journal one night that I felt reenergized after a long week after reading her feedback on a DBQ I wrote. 

I think I put around 14 hours into this class per week. Usually, it takes 1.5 hours each day. (not including the lectures and podcasts I listen to)

I got to interview a veteran for a project, and that was so precious! I loved the weekly PSD-A assignments because they were windows to learning more! Oh, and the Civil War essay project was huge!! It taught me about researching and essay-writing. 

Yes most definitely! I had minimal knowledge in US History prior to this course. I love discussing US history with other people now!

Absolutely! We interacted with each other a lot, and I personally found the peer comments to be extremely helpful!! I also worked with a study buddy in the second semester, and that helped me stay on track with reviewing and going through practice tests. 

I would 100% recommend this course!! You just need to figure out a schedule that works for you. I realized that I had to limit my time on APUSH because I spent soo much time on it. (especially on the bonus assignments) One tip I got from a TA was to get assignments done days ahead of time. I used to start assignments the day of, and although I'd most often get it done, it just wasn't sustainable. In the second semester I committed to getting regular assignments turned in two days before the due date, and that had worked EXTREMELY well for me! (Also, waking up earlier helps a ton--Mrs. Richman recommends it!!)

I often joke that my public school friends who have just finished APUSH should re-take it here because THIS is where meaningful US History is taught. :D


APUSH was awesome!! posted by Phoebe on June 06 2018 at 04:05:08

APUSH with Mrs. Richman is by far the best course I have ever taken so far! Mrs. Richman is an enthusiastic and extremely helpful teacher who more than adequately prepared me for the AP exam. Study groups with fellow students were invaluable as well as my classmates were able to give me certain insights and help. This was my first AP course and I would very highly recommend this class to anyone else considering APUSH who is willing to work hard!!


An absolutely historic class that is certainly rich with content! posted by Thomas P. Pohler on May 31 2018 at 20:24:21

First of all, a great many kudos to Mrs. Richman, who lead us throughout this journey! She's by far the most engaged and enthusiastic teacher that I've yet had, and she has thought of every possible detail to help her students be prepared for the APUSH exam during her many years teaching this class. The class was significantly easier thanks to Mrs. Richman's help and guidance as she cheered us on, such as in her weekly (sometimes more!) email updates. Once again, a great thanks to Mrs. Richman for having this class! Thank you, Mrs. Richman!

Yes! I felt like this course definitely prepared me for the AP exam, much more than the other AP course that I took this year. In my opinion, this is a perfect example of what a good AP course should be! In fact, after taking my two AP exams and comparing them afterwards, I was very appreciative of how well prepared I was for this one.

I generally put in 20-30 hours, although some weeks when I was really busy I put in about 8 and I believe I actually went over 40 hours one time. To be fair, almost all of this time was spent doing extra assignments (generally reading historic fiction books) in order to get my class "points" up, or on assignments that I found particularly interesting.

My favorite assignment was easily the Bio-Essay, because I was given free reign to make it as funny as I wanted to. My second favorite assignment was the veteran's interview with Tom Porter, because of how meaningful it was. My third favorite assignment would be the monthly DBQ-Fs, which also slowly morphed into me trying to cram as many jokes as possible without diluting the assignment. The most helpful assignments were the LEQs and DBQs and SAQs, since those are things that are actually on the exam.

Yes! I started the class not being overly interested in American history, and now by the end of the class I have significant respect and curiosity for history of all types. It really puts current events into perspective.

I found communications with the other students to be interesting and valuable. I gained significant insights into my writings by reading other students' and listening to their critiques of mine. It was also fun to do some extra things, such as a movie night where a bunch of students got together to watch a film, or in the private Google Hangout we set up for our group. I really enjoyed the time spent with my "Study Buddy" and I'm kind of sad that I won't be doing that again.

The sort of student that would do well in this course is the sort that is willing to do more than just the normal assignments, such as doing extra readings or extra learnings or whatnot. It's also necessary to have some method of memorizing all the required assignments--you've got LEQs, DBQs, DBQ-Fs, SAQs, MCQs, MCQ-TTs, PSDs, PSD-As, HBEs, IGs, MAs, WWWboard postings, cartoon analyses, assignment logs, as well as special assignments that pop up every now and again, like the aforementioned Bio-Essay, an interview with a war veteran, an historic movie review, role-playing dinner parties, the civil war essay, and more. If you can manage to keep up with all of these, then the class itself isn't nearly as hard as it first appears, and it was a fun and engaging journey to go on with the other students for the year. Yes, I would absolutely recommend this course to all hardworking students!


Highly recommended class! posted by Gabrielle Ly on May 30 2018 at 21:15:07

As a sophmore in 2017-2018 I decided to take AP US History as my first AP class after hearing such good things about it from friends. It also fit well with my other classes (I took a Great Books IV class in which we read many of the same things: the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, John Locke). 

I think this course prepared me for the AP Exam as well as taking the SAT Subject test. Though rigorous and homework heavy, Mrs. Richman is there to guide you through this wonderful learning experience and is always available to answer your questions. 

In general, I spent about 5.5 hours on easier weeks and 7-8 hours on harder weeks (review weeks before the AP exam and SAT Subject test). I highly recommend working ahead rather than catching up! There's so much work to be done on time and it'll be worth your while to work consistently.

I have to highly recommend the dinner parties! In a friendly enviroment, you can argue under the guise of some historical character and learn more while trying to be historically consistent. The weekly PSD-A was very interesting to do. You never knew what to expect.

If you love to read, learn more history, want to engage in friendly discussion and debate, and have a good work ethic, this is the class for you!

I just loved this class!

 


AP US History Review posted by Kara Sipe on May 29 2018 at 24:16:29

As I write this review it is bitter-sweet. After a year of hard work I am excited to complete this course, but I will certainly miss my amazing teacher and classmates, and our fun assignments. My final verdict of this class: it was amazing and invaluable. It was very time consuming and consisted of a lot of reading and writing, and I usually spent around 10 hours a week on this class. One could easily spend all their time on this class with all the bonus assignments and study buddies, but the required work was an advanced but manageable amount. Though the class was time-consuming and sometimes difficult, the content was fantastic. Reading, listening to lectures, writing, doing multiple choice questions, and a variety of assignments using different senses and parts of the brain helped me remember information and get engrossed in each unit.

This class was not critical for my intended major (medical field), but I absolutely loved it and found myself focusing on it more than my other subjects. This class gives students a solid understanding of key people, events, dates, and places, but it also allows students to learn the “how” and “why” of critical causes and effects. It also focuses on everyday life of Americans of each era. The primary source documents and cartoon analyses were fascinating and got me excited about American history and made me feel connected to it. I think this class helps people become better American citizens, as they can understand and appreciate where the United States has come from, and feel more knowledgeable about the events that got it to where it is today.

This class is more suited for students with fast-paced reading abilities and intermediate to advanced writing skills. The teacher was very encouraging, and I feel I was given a solid understanding of American history. This class is difficult but teaches the valuable skills of time-management and independent study.


I would definitely recommend this class!! posted by Marita Nothacker on May 28 2018 at 14:36:13


Best class I have ever taken in my whole life!!!!!!! posted by Grace W. on May 23 2018 at 24:56:33

Hi!  Grace here :)  If you're reading this, you're probably considering taking Mrs. Richman's class last year.  I'm going to tell you right now YOU SHOULD!!!!!!  This was literally the best class I have ever taken!!! I was not expecting it to be that great, since it's online and there's no actual class time, but it was so so so so much more than I ever expected!  I learned so much this year!  Mrs. Richman's method of teaching is absolutely amazing.  I didn't even realize I had learned anything at all until I went to take the quiz at the end of the first semester.  When I knew ost of the questions, it struck me that just by doing the assignments and a bunch of bonuses, I had learned most of the material already up to that point in history! 

Mrs. Richman provides so many different opportunities for people with all sorts of different strengths and favorite ways of learning.  For me, reading through the textbook was torture, and sitting and listening to lectures for hours on end would put me to sleep.  Thus, I chose to do nearly all of the little bonuses, which were mostly just reading an article or a primary source.  Mrs. Richman sends out an email every week reminding everyone what will be due and what they should be working on, and this is usually where a lot of the bonuses are.  The incentive for points was huge for me, as I am a very competitive person, and it really motivated me to spend more time on this course.  I was epecting a boring history class that I would have to spend hours and hours and hours on every week, but with the flexible schedule, I was able to just spend a few hours a week on the work and still learn a lot.  Admittedly, I wish I would have spent a little bit more time in the middle of the year on this course.  Procrastination is never a good thing, even when there are unforseen circumstances, and I fell behind on a lot of the reading and even on the Civi War Essay.  

A tip about the Civil War Essay-- Don't procrastinate on this!  I honestly hate writing with a caoital H.  Mrs. Richman has several "check-ins" throughout the first semester where you are supposed to post your progress on the essay, but I just did the barest minimum for these and ended up writing the majority of the essay with a 103 degree fever!  Not a good idea!  

This is getting pretty long, and if you're like me, you're not even going to read all of it because there are simply too many words!  So I'll just sum it all up right here:  YOU SHOULD REALLY TAKE THIS CLASS!! :D


A fantastic overall APUSH class with a great teacher and some minor flaws posted by Christian on May 23 2018 at 22:15:34


If you have the time... posted by Joseph Wang on May 23 2018 at 02:18:24

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

Yes! I was well-prepared. Probably over prepared, but oh well. You could probably get a 5 just by reading through Insider’s Guide, our review book. :P

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

Around 10 hours a week. You can definitely get by with less, but I am a bit of a perfectionist. I spent a LOT more time on APUSH when working on my Bio essay and Civil War essay and when preparing for the AP test. Some weeks I spent up to 25 hours on APUSH.

I found APUSH to be very time consuming. Don’t get me wrong though, it was also very enjoyable.

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

What I enjoyed:

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I still plan on studying mechanical engineering. Even so, this class was extremely valuable. I feel like I’m now a better and more informed person.

APUSH isn’t about memorizing random facts. Instead, it’s about historical thinking, seeing connections between time periods and analyzing trends. That skill is important and transferable to every discipline, including math and science.

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

Yes!!! I loved my classmates. I especially enjoyed talking to my Study Buddy David Brodsky every week. (Go read his review.)

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!)?

Two criteria to excel in this class:

  1. Make sure you have time. If you won’t have much time for APUSH, then don’t take it. Life isn’t meant to be crammed-full-always-running-around busy.

Be willing to learn! Anyone can do well in this course. I hardly have any US history background. Just be ready to learn. And hopefully this class will teach you to love learning too. 


An Awesome Year posted by Daniel_Coile on May 22 2018 at 15:15:44

I think the course prepared me pretty well for the AP exam. In my opinion, the most helpful parts were the lectures (especially the Great Courses lectures, which went into a good amount of detail for both the AP exam and the SAT subject test). I generally spent a minimum of 6 hours a week, but usually no more than 10, that is, until the month leading up to the AP exam, then I was spending around 10 hours each week. I think the student interaction was great in this class. The "study buddy" system, or as our team called it "cramming compatriot" idea was great. I think that made me learn more in the class, as well has have some fun too. In short, if you're interested taking the APUSH exam, I would recommend taking this class. However, do expect to be turning in around four written 200-600 word responses each week (although many of those don't have to be written formally; often it's just a first impression sort of thing, for example the History in the News assignment). 


Definitely recommended posted by Yahya Tayyan on May 16 2018 at 17:03:45

I've usually been pretty lukewarm towards history, finding it interesting but not liking to get into it. This class defenitely changed that, and as a usually very strong STEM student, I instead found myself talking about history all the time at home. Now for the questions:


One of my FAVORITE CLASSES EVER (and I'm a senior)!!!! posted by Greta on May 16 2018 at 14:32:42

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

Oh my word, yes.  I walked into the exam room VERY confident (especially when I overheard some of the public school students remarking about how they were going to fail the exam...).  I was so well-prepared for the exam that I was actually having fun writing the essays--the DBQ and LEQ--on exam day (that might just be my nerdy side, though, haha).  Honestly, I can't imagine being more prepared for the APUSH exam than I was, thanks to this class and to Mrs. Richman!

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

Ok, I put a LOT of time into this course because I loved it SO. MUCH.  I did the majority of the bonus assignments and squeezed them in whenever I had a little extra time (partly because I'm competitive and wanted my APUSH team to win but also because I geniunely enjoyed the bonus assignments).  On average, I probably spent anywhere from 10-15 hours per week on APUSH, but once again, this is because I did a TON of bonuses.  If you skipped the bonus assignments and did just the required assignments, I'd say you'd probably spend a minimum of 5 hours on APUSH.  During Bio Essay and Civil War Essay Contest months, however, you'll definitely be spending a lot more time on APUSH.  Yes, APUSH is extremely time-intensive, but it's SO worth the time and effort, I promise!!!!

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

Oooh, this is a hard question.  I honestly loved all the assignments; they all challenged me and helped to prepare me for the exam in different ways.  As far as weekly and monthly assignments, I really enjoyed the weekly Primary Source Document Analysis (PSD-A), which required us to analyze primary sources such as cartoons, paintings, letters, speeches, and others.  This assignment was SO helpful in preparing me for the exam, since the entire Multiple Choice Section, the Short Answer Questions (SAQs), and the Document-Based Question (DBQ) are all based on primary source documents, so the PSD-A assignment really helped me to develop PSD analysis skills that were so crucial to doing well on the exam.

I also really liked the Cartoon Analysis assignment.  I'd never really analyzed cartoons or images much before this class (other than a little bit in AP Language last year), but I enjoyed it so much.  I loved analyzing the artist's viewpoint and familiarizing myself with the time period through cartoons.  I was so interested in cartoon analysis that I even read a whole book of Dr. Seuss's World War II cartoons this year (thanks to Grace for the book recommendation). :)  Analyzing cartoons was also an important skill to develop for the exam, and this assignment prepared me very well for the cartoon portions of the exam.

As far as one-time-only, major assignments, I loved working on my Civil War Essay, my Bio Essay, and Interview (all of the major assignments were awesome and so much fun, but these were my favorites).  The Civil War Essay was a challenging but such a rewarding project.  I think we started working on our Civil War Essays in October (the contest deadline was in February), so we had plenty of time to develop our arguments, write our papers, and edit them.  I still spent a lot of time on my Civil War Essay in January and February, but I learned so much from the process about how to formulate a historical argument and how to think like a historian.  Plus, the topic I picked was fascinating to me--definitely pick a topic you're interested in or the process will probably be somewhat boring!  I also LOVED the Bio Essay because I could focus on one person and go a lot more in depth in a particular time period.  The Interview was wonderful, too.  I interviewed my grandma about her experiences during World War II, and it was so special to be able to record history, in a way.  All in all, every single assignment was useful and fun!!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!  I was interested in history before taking this course, but now, I'm considering either majoring or minoring in history next year when I head off to college!  I'd also never really studied US History in depth before, and this year gave me the opportunity to see all the nuances and complexities in the history of our nation.  I've always been a story-lover, and this year helped me to see that History is really one giant story.  Yup, interest definitely enhanced!!!

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

YES!  All the students in APUSH this year were absolutely incredible people.  They are all so smart and hard-working, which challenged me to do my best in everything because all my classmates were!  I'm sure I'll be keeping touch with many of my fellow students from APUSH this year (*looks at Evolution/Creationism chat that has evolved--pun intended--into a social outlet*).  Thank you all so much for an amazing year!! <3

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!)?

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TAKE THIS CLASS!!!!!!!  I would definitely, absolutely, 100% recommend this course to anyone who is willing to work hard (this is key), learn a TON, grow as a student and a person, and have loads of fun. :)  Even if you don't like history, this class is for you.  I can almost guantee that you will come out of this class at least liking if not loving history (like I do!). :)

There wasn't really a place to put this in the formal review, so I'll say it here: Mrs. Richman is a FANTASTIC teacher!!  I couldn't have asked for a better teacher in APUSH this year.  She is always so encouraging, so enthusiastic, so understanding, so flexible, and so knowledge about US History.  She truly made this class a wonderful experience and made history so much fun.  So thank you, Mrs. Richman, for all that you do!  I'm so thankful to have had you as my teacher this year.

Thank you so, so, so, so, so, SO much to Mrs. Richman, the TA's, and my fellow students for an absolutely incredible year!!!  I learned so much from all of you, and I'll miss this class so much.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!


Highly recommend posted by Jennifer John on May 15 2018 at 22:42:39

Definitely. I took the exam last week, and it was (for the most part) very easy. Many of the assignments in this course are geared toward AP prep, including multiple choice questions in the APUSH format and essays using prompts from previous years' exams, which are super valuable-- you won't find yourself cramming the night before because you have no idea what the exam will be like.

It varied a lot from week to week, with an average of maybe 5-8 hours. I spent far more time than this when I was working on my Civil War and Bio Essay projects, but they were not stress-inducing at all because I was able to work on them at points in the year when the workloads for my other courses were lighter.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to dig deeper into specific people/events in the DBQ follow-up assignment.

I was a STEM person before this class and still am now, but this class has definitely helped me see that history can be very interesting.

Yes! Even though it's online, this class provides abundant opportunities for interactions with other students.

Hard-working students will do well in this course, although I want to emphasize that you definitely don't need to be a history buff to excel. My American history background was pretty minimal, but I didn't find that I was at a disadvantage or had to catch up at all because of that. Because of how Mrs. Richman structures the course, students at all starting levels will be challenged but not overwhelmed. If you have good study and writing skills, you'll do well in this course.


APUSH from a STEM Perspective (YES, TAKE IT!!!) posted by David Brodsky on May 15 2018 at 20:54:47

I’ve always been a STEM person, and a year ago I was hesitant to take this class. Fast forward to the present, I am extremely thankful I signed up. I found the class to be a blast, I made many friends and enjoyed it all. Yes, even the writing assignments that I dreaded going into the class Mrs. Richman is an amazing and very supportive teacher, You cannot take her class and not end up loving history!

Now onto the questions:


Mrs. Richman Prepared Me Well, And She Isn't Biased At All posted by Daniel S. on May 13 2018 at 24:55:28


Class Review-revised :) posted by Abigail Cannon on May 13 2018 at 14:40:54

In my review below, I realized that I forgot to post the questions with the answers that I gave- this is the correct review :)

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

Absolutely. Everything in this course prepared me for the exam and I felt very confident going into the actual test.
How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?

I put in about 10-15 hours per week, depending on the subject matter.
Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?

 I especially loved the bio essay. For the bio essay, we had to write about a specific person in any era of US History and describe their life and accomplishments in a creative format. I wrote mine of Frances Perkins, which was so much fun!
Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

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

Yes, study buddying (meeting up with another student for study sessions) was extremely helpful in preparing for the exam.
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 that you need to be able to manage your time very well if you want to succeed in this course, especially during review weeks. That being said, I would recommend this course very highly to anybody who is willing to work hard :)

 

Thank you so much, and sorry about the mistake review below :) This was by far the best class I took this year.


Class Review posted by Abigail Cannon on May 13 2018 at 14:34:51

1) Yes! Defintely... 

2) I generally spent average of 10-15 hours on the course per week

3) I especially loved the bio essay. It was fun learning that much about a specific person in a creative format.

5) Yes

6) Absolutely.

7) I think that you need to be able to manage your time very well if you want to succeed in this course, especially during review weeks. That being said, I would recommend this course very highly to anybody who is willing to work hard :)

 

Thank you so much Mrs. R! You made this course so enjoyable.


A Wonderful Class! posted by C Peterson on June 20 2017 at 22:01:45

First, a bit of background: at the end of this year I have taken 13 AP exams and 10 PA Homeschoolers courses (as well as auditing an 11th). I audited AP European History my freshman year of high school and absolutely loved it, so I decided to take APUSH my senior year both because it would be a nice bookend to the four years and because I knew it would be a blast.

The short version: it was. I loved it. Mrs. Richman is one of the nicest teachers you're ever going to have. I'll go through the questions, though, for those of you who want a little more details than that.

Oh, and know this: you don't have to like history going in because Mrs. Richman is so awesome that you'll probably wind up loving it because you love her. So go on, take the plunge and sign up for APUSH. You have no idea how many fascinating stories you're going to hear over the course of the next school year!


Hiiiiiiiiighly recommend! posted by Sarah Shin on May 31 2017 at 03:59:01

First of all, I'm not afraid to say that Mrs. Richman is the most knowledgable teacher I've had for any subject-- AP or otherwise. It seemed like she could eternally pull random historical articles and primary source documents out of her back pocket-- a neverending source of winky faces and encouragement. If you're feeling hesitant about applying for this class whether it be about the workload or the scary thought of your first AP, I'd say just go for it. Granted, there's a lot of work in this class, but I think you'll find that your interactions with your classmates and teacher will inspire you to put your all into it, because this class is not only worthwhile to take, it's actually fun. 

That being said, do not slack off. Just with any aspect of school, if you respect the subject that you're studying by studying hard, then the test at the end will be a breeze; or even better, it'll be a nice intellectual challenge. I enjoyed getting constructive criticism on my essays and projects (I think my favorite project was the first one: Summer Book Review) and it really helped me to grow not only as a historian, but as a student in general. On top of that, I almost felt over-prepared for the AP exam going in, which is probably the best possible feeling to have for a test. 

All in all, I can't recommend this class enough! (Especially for those freshmen that might be just a little nervous for their first standardized test. You'll have a blast with this class as your first AP.)


So Grateful for this Course!!! posted by Xinmei Huang on May 22 2017 at 09:09:26

At the start of the year, I didn't know what to expect with this course. I'd never taken anything from PA Homeschoolers before, and I'd joined the class late, so I was really nervous and freaking out!! However, thanks to Mrs. Richman and my classmates, it was quite easy to figure out how the schedule worked and how to divide up the coursework over each day. The class quickly turned out to be a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed going in depth into American history. Of course, since it's an AP course, it offered challenges to me as a student, though I actually enjoyed meeting these challenges and found that they really helped me to learn the material thoroughly.

I especially appreciate the writing assignments, like the DBQs, SAQs, and LEQs, since they definitely prepared me for the exam and really cemented what I'd been learning into my brain. Also, the Great Course lectures, Bio of America videos, and History By Era essays taught history very clearly and thoroughly and made the course content very fascinating as well. By the time of the AP Exam, I felt very preapared and confident. I feel like this class really helped to jumpstart my interest in history, and it definitely made me want to learn more, even after the year ended!!


great class! posted by Rachel Shey on May 15 2017 at 14:49:27

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

Definitely - it prepared me for more than just the AP exam.  The focus of the course is not merely on preparing for the exam, it's on giving you the kind of understanding that you can build upon in the future.  After taking the exam, which I felt I did well on, I realized that the class is about more than passing the test.  Even if you don't earn the score you wanted on the exam, if you study diligently and work hard you will come away with something even more valuable than the test score.

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

I am a freshman and this was my first and only AP course this year; I was able to spend at least an hour a day, normally 2-3 hours a day.  The first week of the course is really important to getting a feel of things, so I probably spent up to 5 hours a day initially.  Once I got into a rhythm I didn't have to spend so much time on the course daily.

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

My favorite and valuable assignments were:

 - MCQ-TT

 - Listening the MP3 lectures

 - December Film Review

The MCQ-TTs were invaluable to me in preparing for the exam; I reviewed them in the days leading up to the exam and used the skills I learned from them during the exam.  

The MP3 lectures were great for material to write about on the essays.  They gave me an understanding of overall trends, etc.  I really enjoyed them and listened to all of them.  

I went far over the top for the December Film Review because I found a movie with a novel; I wrote reviews for both, probably totalling 4000 words.  Although I wouldn't say that it helped me much on the test, it really recaptured my interest and keyed me back into the joy of learning. 

• Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Although I had studied history before, I had never studied it in such depth.  I regarded it as interesting, although not really fascinating.  Coming away from the class, history is much more interesting and I feel like I can appreciate how new historical discoveries add a connection to the web of interconnected events in US History.  Knowing how this country came about, and the underlying tensions and ideologies help me understand events today.  

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

Yes, there was a group discussion board and I could pose questions, post resources, or read other's posts and resources.  All the assignments are posted on the website so that anyone can see; that motivated me to make sure my assignments reflected an understanding of the topic.

• 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 learn the most from this course, you will have to do more than required.  Simply turning in all the assignments on time will not allow you to attain a good understanding.  You need to be motivated and keep up on quizzes, reading, etc.  Especially the last two weeks before the AP exam, it is easy to slack off because there are no assignments.  DON'T stop working!  It is essential to have an efficient work ethic and be motivated to learn more!  Ask the why and the where, and find the answers to your questions :)  Curiosity is essential to learning anything, even something as apparently static as history.


posted by on May 15 2017 at 14:49:13

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

Definitely - it prepared me for more than just the AP exam.  The focus of the course is not merely on preparing for the exam, it's on giving you the kind of understanding that you can build upon in the future.  After taking the exam, which I felt I did well on, I realized that the class is about more than passing the test.  Even if you don't earn the score you wanted on the exam, if you study diligently and work hard you will come away with something even more valuable than the test score.

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

I am a freshman and this was my first and only AP course this year; I was able to spend at least an hour a day, normally 2-3 hours a day.  The first week of the course is really important to getting a feel of things, so I probably spent up to 5 hours a day initially.  Once I got into a rhythm I didn't have to spend so much time on the course daily.

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

My favorite and valuable assignments were:

 - MCQ-TT

 - Listening the MP3 lectures

 - December Film Review

The MCQ-TTs were invaluable to me in preparing for the exam; I reviewed them in the days leading up to the exam and used the skills I learned from them during the exam.  

The MP3 lectures were great for material to write about on the essays.  They gave me an understanding of overall trends, etc.  I really enjoyed them and listened to all of them.  

I went far over the top for the December Film Review because I found a movie with a novel; I wrote reviews for both, probably totalling 4000 words.  Although I wouldn't say that it helped me much on the test, it really recaptured my interest and keyed me back into the joy of learning. 

• Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Although I had studied history before, I had never studied it in such depth.  I regarded it as interesting, although not really fascinating.  Coming away from the class, history is much more interesting and I feel like I can appreciate how new historical discoveries add a connection to the web of interconnected events in US History.  Knowing how this country came about, and the underlying tensions and ideologies help me understand events today.  

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

Yes, there was a group discussion board and I could pose questions, post resources, or read other's posts and resources.  All the assignments are posted on the website so that anyone can see; that motivated me to make sure my assignments reflected an understanding of the topic.

• 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 learn the most from this course, you will have to do more than required.  Simply turning in all the assignments on time will not allow you to attain a good understanding.  You need to be motivated and keep up on quizzes, reading, etc.  Especially the last two weeks before the AP exam, it is easy to slack off because there are no assignments.  DON'T stop working!  It is essential to have an efficient work ethic and be motivated to learn more!  Ask the why and the where, and find the answers to your questions :)  Curiosity is essential to learning anything, even something as apparently static as history.


Great class! posted by Yingya Shey on May 15 2017 at 14:46:58

This class is Rachel’s first AP class, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first class.

We are absolutely blessed to have this opportunity to experience a magical class with so much enthusiasm.  Rachel wants to spend all her time on this class, we had to peel her away, so she can perform well in her other classes.

Mrs. Richman gives challenging assignments with much support.  The TA system and the peer review encourages Rachel to seek for help and get it.  If history can be dry, Mrs. Richman knows the right lubricant to make it captivating.  The weekly update from Mrs. Richman is something Rachel looks forward to every Sunday, she is saddened by its ending.  The monthly Webinar gives her a chance to interact with a group of students and teacher, also something she looks forward to.  She fell in love with the movie she picked for the winter film review, insist on reading the 800 page book version of the movie.  With Mrs. Richman’s guidance, Rachel jumped in with refreshing energy and persisted until she completed.  This is all possible, because of the postivie learning evironment this class provides.  Mrs. Richman is always encouraging, thorough, patient, and engaging.  The perfect combination for an excellent teacher.

Rachel is a very good student, and this class has elevated her devotion to perform well to another level.  Now we are completely spoiled by how magnificent this class is, we only hope that we won’t be let down by other AP classes.

Thank you so very much for being such a wonderful teacher.  In my opinion, students whom have not be taught by you are missing out.  In other words, I recommend your class for every student looking to take AP US history.   


Great Course! posted by Kenneth Harland on May 12 2017 at 20:34:03

I took this course with a strong US history knowledge base, and this class really helped build my analysis skills. We wrote roughly two essays per four week unit, allowing us to build up an arsenol of information and connections for the exam. I also loved the weekly PSD-A's because it was a neat opportunity to read a primary source from an era and then briefly analyze it. I highly suggest this course for anyone willing to put in the effort needed.


AWESOME class!!!!!!! posted by Caroline W on May 10 2017 at 22:59:49


AP US History with Mrs Richman posted by Dawn Redd on May 10 2017 at 18:29:10

Absolutely. I felt ready going in, and I felt confident going out. The course covered everything I needed and went in depth; it was very comprehensive.

I usually put in between 6 and 10, depending on the week; I travel a lot, so I did less some weeks, and more others. A really good student could probably get by on 6 every week and pass the class and the test, but if you want to do really well, you'll probably put in around 10-12 hours a week. This includes all of the assignments, the required readings (read em, they're really helpful! don't skip!) and the extra work I did.

Um to be honest, everything I did was incredibly helpful. There was little or no busy work in the class; every assignment used some skill that I found myself using on the exam (and in life, haha).

One of the things I really loved that wasn't an assignment was the competition. I work well when I compete, whether I'm competing against myself or my classmates. In the class, every time you do the homework, you get points. You get points for doing the reading. But you also get points for doing other historical things - for instance, watching a documentary or reading a book (yeah, historical fiction counts - that was a huge bonus for me lol), reading primary source documents, visiting a histoircal site or museum or something, or pretty much anything else related to US history. You don't have to compete, and I think most people didn't focus so much on that as I did, so if you don't like competing you'll still do fabulously in the class, but if you want to, you definitely can! It really motivated me. 

I've always had a fascination with history, haha, but this filled in a million gaps and built every metaphorical historical pile of knowledge higher and made me understand way more - so learning about history became more interesting to me because of that, yes.

Absolutely. The WWW board was my best friend. I had a lot of fun discussing things on there and in the study group; also, Mrs Richman kept up with the board.

And on the subject, it was really easy to contact her. I always got a reply back from her within a day when I emailed, and like I said, Mrs Richman read through it too, so if you had a more general question, it was easy to get back to her. A+ for student/teacher interaction lol.

Like any online course where you don't actually meet the class, you have to be pretty self-motivated to do this. You have to be ready to do assignments you really don't want to; also, you really need to like to read. Seriously, there's so much reading in this class. If you hate reading and you read 50 words a minute then you are going to despise this class. Be ready to do A Lot of reading.

On the flip side, if you love reading and you learn well through that, you'll excel in this class! It makes it really flexible, and the things we read are all interesting and well written and of course excellent sources. You'll read a wide range of materials from a wide range of authors; if you like to read, this class is for you!

 

In a word, I definitely recommend this class (in fact I've already recommended it to several people haha). It's excellent.

 


Great class! posted by Alaina on May 10 2017 at 16:29:19

Very much so! I felt that the MP3 lectures were especially helpful. I did a lot of outside review the last week before the exam. Getting a good overview and general understanding throughout the year and then shoring up all the “specifics” right before the exam tends to work best for me, but the course really allows for most kinds of study patterns.

I put in about 10 hours a week on average, perhaps a little more. Sometimes this was spread out over the week, and sometimes it was all in one day. The Civil War contest essay due in February required me to put in around 15-20 hours for a couple weeks.  

I thought the essays we did every month that involved looking up one person or document from history were helpful. The practice exam essays, of which we did two each month, were also invaluable. It was also nice to have bonus assignments to choose from to enhance learning.

Yes! Especially during election year, it was interesting to see the history of where the country has been. What has stayed the same? What has changed?

I’m a bit of an introvert, so I didn’t work with other students much. On the occasions that I did, I found that it was useful for figuring out why answers on quizzes or practice tests were wrong (and it’s nice to commiserate about difficult topics and such!).

I would definitely recommend the course! To do well, a student needs to be able to stay organized with all the assignments--the workload isn’t overwhelming, but since there are a variety of different learning methods available (e.g. audio lectures, book readings, lectures online…) it’s important to keep track of everything. Being extroverted (for interactions with classmates and on the class discussion board) is also recommended, but not required--though there are some required responses to classmates. I personally also think it’s important to have interest in the subject (exceptional interest is not required--even just interest motivated by the fact that one lives in the country being studied is probably enough, but without any interest it might be hard to get the motivation to learn everything necessary). For a motivated student who is willing to take initiative and stay focused, I recommend this course without reservation.


Wonderful American History Journey posted by Cindy Huang, mom of Xinmei Huang on May 10 2017 at 12:15:56

As a parent, I thoroughly enjoyed learning from my daughter as she went through this course.  We often sat down over a cup of tea or coffee and discussed US history.  I've always enjoyed watching documentaries so I was excited to be invited by Xinmei to watch some of the documentaries with her.  I also read some of the autobiographies and historical books she picked up from the library and we had many fun discussions around these.  On a recent trip to the Royal Ontario Museum in Tornonto, Xinmei made a pretty good tour guide!  It's truly amazing how much the students learn through this course.  Mrs. Richman does an excellent job of making hard work fun and exciting for the students.  


An absolutely amazing class! posted by Nathan P on May 09 2017 at 17:01:32

 

This class was absolutely amazing! I learned a lot that I didn't know and had a great review on previously learned topics. We did lots of practice on every aspect of the exam. Every possible resource as given and if you put in the effort, you will have no problem being ready. Each week I put in about 5-8 hours of work. It depends on that week's assignments, but this is a class that will require a lot of time.

I would recommend this course to really anyone who's been interested in this country's history. Personally, I've never been strong in history. However, this course really made me interested again and taught me a lot about analysis and critical thinking.


An Excellent Year! posted by Katherine Harland on May 09 2017 at 13:55:30

The entire year of APUSH fostered lots of learning! Mrs. Richman's dedication to commenting and suggesting fascinating extra resources made the experience very enjoyable. The vast pool of resources made me feel ready for the AP exam. Personally, I usually put 12 hours into the course each week, but I really liked the flexibleness of listening to lectures, reading documents, and watching videos. One of my favorite assignments was probably the Bio Essay. I got to learn sooooo much about a person that had never really crossed my mind before. The historical connections that I made through this assignment were truly amazing! Overall APUSH deepened an already present love for history. The encouragement and positivity of my fellow students made the learning process more enjoyable. I think one of the most important things to do well would be good self motivation. Sometimes it might be tempting to ignore reading WWW board posts, exploring links, or listening to extra videos or lectures. However, it is the effort that you put in that creates the result you get out. The indpenence of learning comes with great responsibility! :)


This is an amazing class with the best teacher!! posted by Andria Holt on May 08 2017 at 18:29:05

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

Absolutely! This was only my third AP class but I felt more prepared for this exam than any of the others that I have taken. Mrs. Richman does an excellent job making sure that you understand not only the material that will be on the exam but also that layout of the test itself.

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

It really depended on the week for me. Sometimes I could only spend 5 hours on APUSH and some weeks it would be closer to twleve. On average, I'd say about 9 hours though.

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

I loved the Biography of America Videos! These were super relaxing for me. This is a reading heavy class and these videos were a nice break from all the reading, while still teaching me the necessary information. I also really enjoyed the Assignment log. It was a tool that helped me to keep track of doing a little bit of everything throughout the whole year (which is extremely beneficial for procrastinators like myself:).

-Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

YESSSSS!! I'll be totally honest and say that I actually detested history prior to this class. It just wasn't something that I found really interesting. Mrs. Richman does a fabulous job incorporating many different types of learning into this course and she teaches with such enthusiasm that you can't help but start enjoying it yourself.

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

Most definitely. My recommendation would be to find a study buddy that is semi-near to you and start working with them at the beginning of the year. It will be hard to find times to meet sometimes but keep trying, it's so worth it!

-Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

Yep yep yep!!! take it! If you are looking "for an easy A" this isn't the class for you. But, if you want to learn and enjoy learning about history, this is certainly the class to take! Mrs. Richman is the BEST teacher. Like most homeschoolers, I participate in many other things and I have never had a teacher that is so willing to work with your schedule and ensure that you aren't overly-stressing about finishing your APUSH work. If you take this class, I promise you won't be disappointed! 

 


Excellent preparation...confusing style...but it turned out to work! posted by Lindsey F on May 08 2017 at 18:01:59

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

Absolutely! With a variety of resources, there was definitely plenty to study and I felt very comfortable at the exam. Having practiced essays for so long, I was ready to attack the free response portion of the exam.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Believe it or not, it really did! I am not a huge history/humaninties/social sciences person, yet the activities we did in this class really made me enjoy it! I enjoyed analyzing cartoons and documents, pretending to be certain historical figures, and putting all of American history together in one big jigsaw puzzle! This course is fabulous for immersion in American history!

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

I found the course extremely challenging in that most of our assignments were largely left up to our discretion and decision. That is, I found myself self-studying a lot. We were given suggested essays to read for each unit, but only a few were actually required. We were often given suggested videos to watch, suggested articles to read, etc. but with nothing actually required, I foudn it difficult to figure out where I should be going for a general understanding of the material. I kind of had to figure out what worked for me. I found myself swimming in history at the beginning of the course and was very disoriented and out of context since we weren't required to read from a textbook. There was not a really strict grading system either. So I felt little pressure to get certain readings done. I made it work by keeping myself accountable and diligently forcing myself to read chapters out of the big supplemental history text so I could understand what was happening in history.

The weekly assignments however were excellent - the regular primary source document analysis and multiple choice question practice were superb! The regular writing of essays was also excellent practice for the exam. We were also given many practice exams toward the end of the year which really helped! Overall, I would recommend this class to anyone who is very diligent, good at time-managing, can self study to a point, and who is determined to do well on the AP exam!

 


APUSH Review posted by Angelia on May 08 2017 at 16:10:00

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

Absolutely! I felt confident both going into the exam and walking out of it.

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

I actually wouldn't say that there were any assignments that I thought were more valuable than others - almost every single one of our assignments was interesting, fun, thought-provoking, and helped us prepare for the exam and for future classes. 

I would say that for me, the most helpful aspect of the course was our weekly Assignment Logs. This is where we wrote down all of the learning we'd done over the week, and could earn points for pretty much anything US-History-related at all! To be able to have all of the extra time you spend on your school get rewarded like this was amazing for me (I'm pretty competitive :)) and it also helped me stay accountable. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Actually, yes! I loved history before taking APUSH, but I was more comfortable with/interested in European history. Through this year I've learned so much about US History that now I just keep wanting to learn more!

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 absolutely 100% recommend this to other students! It was unlike any other class I've ever taken before - and the work is so, so, so worth it. 

I think that students who are willing to work hard, who have a natural interest in history, are competitive and motivated, and have a good basis in school in general (writing essays,etc.) and in general US history, will do well. APUSH is such a great opportunity that being prepared for it helps you get a better experience :)

I would also recommend that you take this course when you have time to devote to it. All of the content and the ways that Mrs. Richman provides for us to learn it from, are so interesting and there are SO many things to read, watch, and listen to. I wish I could do APUSH for another year (and through summer break) so that I would have more time to spend on it. Trust me, you will want to spend more time on this class than you think - especially as you get rewarded for it with both points and understanding!!

APUSH is an AMAZING course with an AMAZING teacher - I think everyone should get a chance to take it!!!

 

Thank you, Mrs. Richman for EVERYTHING, and to all of my classmates for creating such an amazing class :)


Great class with an AMAZING teacher! posted by Aislinn Niimi on May 08 2017 at 12:48:32

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

Yes, especially content wise.  I'm a freshman and this was my first AP class, so I did a lot of independent preparations for the exam, such as writing LEQs, DBQs, SAQs, and taking Practice Tests.  However, I'm sure I would have gotten a good score on the exam by only doing the required work.  The course is definitely very well structured and planned, and gives you lots of opinions for studying that works best for you.   

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

12 hours. 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

To be honest, no.  I have always been (since my elementary days) fascinated by history, and I took a US history course the previous year, so I knew I loved US history before taking this course.  Throughout the year I was definitely interested and excited to year more about US history, but I wouldn't say it "enhanced" my interest. 

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

Yes!  I was thoroughly impressed by reading other student's work, especially the essays.  I always checked the WWWboard to see what new links or study ideas students were posting, and I found lots of helpful tips and ideas from the TAs. 

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 APUSH is a great course to take (Mrs. Richman is the best!!!), but you have to be prepared to put in the time and the effort.  I've been recommending APSUH (with Mrs. Richman of course) to all my friends, making sure they understand what a large time commitment it is. 


This was such a great class! posted by Mariana Knaupp on May 07 2017 at 23:10:18

-Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam?
Absolutely! Mrs. Richman was a wonderful teacher, and I learned a lot just from how thorough the teaching was. There was a lot of reading involved, which really solidified the information for me. I definitely never felt like I had too little to do, but I enjoyed pretty much all the work!

-How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?
Like I said, there was a lot of reading, which was pretty time consuming. On average, I think I worked for about 7-8 hours per week.

-Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable?
My favorite assignments were actually the longest ones. I had a lot of fun doing my Bio Essay and the Civil War Essay Project, particularly since I was allowed to pick a topic I was really interested in for both of them. I got to research whatever I wanted (relating to history, of course), and I thought both projects were really informative.

-Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?
Definitely yes. I hadn't considered myself a huge history buff before, but after taking the class, I realized that history is absolutely fascinating! It helped me make connections between historical events and current politics, as well as start thinking more about the consequences of economic, political, and social decisions.

-Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?
Yes. I didn't actually work with my classmates as much as was recommended--I had a really busy schedule this year, and it turned out that I wasn't able to meet with other people very often. What studying I did with my peers, though, was really helpful--other people provided really clever insights, and helped me figure out what I hadn't studied enough.

-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!)?
You really have to work hard in this course. There's a ton of reading and writing involved, which is, as I said, very time-consuming, but rewarding (I felt so, anyway). I would definitely recommend it to other students--I had a great time learning from Mrs. Richman, and I really enjoyed the subject--but they should know that it's a lot of work.


My Review of the Class posted by Eleanor McNamee on May 07 2017 at 01:43:49

This class was fantastic. The amount of reading that you have to do is a lot, but well worth it, certainly. All the bonus points, lectures, crash courses, PSDs, and extra stuff that was assigned helped me fully understand the material. I felt very prepared for the exam, especially the essay questions. We did so many, how could you not be prepared for them? I generally put about 10 hours into the class, and it was certainly my most time consuming class. 

As I previously mentioned, the lectures and crash courses are extremely valuable. I learn best if the information is presented in a fun or memorable way. Also, the two essays a month schedule was invaluable and definitely made a positive impact on my score. 

I have always been interested in issues regarding equality, and this expanded my view of that. Instead of seeing it from a modern perspective, I've started seeing it on a timeline, and as a progression. Although it doesn't particularly relate to my studies, I think that it's an important thing to learn and be aware of. 

Taking the quizzes with a study buddy was helpful, because if we disagree on an answer, we could prove it to the other and to ourselves. It really helped me with figuring out how they want you to approach each question, especially the cartoons. 

A dedicated student would do well. This course won't help you if you do the minimal amount of work, turn in what is due, and log off. Active learning is required to really learn the material. All the necessary resources are presented to you, you just have to have the motivation to go out and learn. I think that this class has helped me be a better student and worker in that respect. I had to work hard to get a grasp on it, but once I did, I was very prepared for the exam.

I would certainly recommend this course to anyone willing to put in the work to get a good score and learn more about history. I cannot stress how much this has helped me succeed and stay on track the last semester.

 

This was the best class and most interesting class I took from the last year, and I enjoyed every second of it. Even when it required a lot of writing, or reading, or listening to lectures, it was all helping me work toward this past Friday. I am extremely grateful for this class. 

 

 


APUSH Class Review posted by Emily Kam on June 07 2016 at 01:01:24

This course was wonderful! I recommend this course to everyone, whether or not they have an interest in history. I was never interested in history, and I worried that I would just be memorizing dates and people. This class taught me that there is so much more to history than that. I now have a much better understanding of the history of my country. 

Besides the new wealth of knowledge I have gained, this course also prepared me well for the APUSH exam. My favorite assignments were the cartoon analysis, and I highly recommend the Crash Course videos. The creative projects, like the Bio essays, made history come alive. Mrs. Richman was also so encouraging and enthusiastic about learning, she made it really fun! 


APUSH Class Review posted by Carynlee Berry on June 03 2016 at 23:01:11

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

I feel the course did an excellent job with preparing me for the exam (although additional study is definitely needed too) the essay writing, SAQs and weekly MCQs and PSDAs really helped a lot with understanding how the test would be.

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

I am a bit a perfectionist/procrastinator so I probably spend about 18 hours per week including reading time. 

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

I LOVED the DBQs! I also would've been lost on the exam without our SAQ practice, though I enjoyed those a little less (not my strong suite).

  • Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

ABSOLUTELY! I have always loved US History, but I never really appreciated the colonial period or closer to the modern day until now. This class gave me a much better understanding and love of all of our history

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

I was that particular type of student who huddled in my hidey-hole all year and never talked to anyone. I am very sad about this, as I had some amazing kids in my class whom I wished I had talked to or studied with before meeting them at the end of the year party.

  • 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 course is definitely not easy, but if you have a love of history you will hopefully love it as much as I did! This is probably my favorite course I've ever taken! Mrs. Richman is an amazing and inspiring teacher who wants nothing more but to see you succeed. If you are willing and ready to learn, take this course!


This is one of the best classes I took this year! posted by Aditya S. on June 01 2016 at 12:50:43

Definitely. I felt very prepared going into the exam and was confident of the material. I was extremely nervous at the beginning since the course involved a huge amount of reading material and writing, but Mrs. Richman broke it into interesting chunks that made it manageable. 

I put in about 10-15 hours of work every week depending on the load.

I loved the interview with the verterans and learning about their lives and their perspectives on our country's history and current events. 

The course broadened my knowledge so much and increased my awareness and definitely got me extremely interested in US History. Being a kid who was primarily interested in Math and Science, I never did think that I could get so involved in a subject like history and the credit for this goes to Mrs. Richman alone. 

Communication with other students was extremely valuable since we were able to look at other students' essays, comment and learn from each other. Also most of my questions were answered in the WWW Board as people kept posting their questions and answers.

Hard work makes all the difference in this course. I went from being intimidated at the beginning of the school year to being confident towards the end of the year due to the amount of time and effort that I spent on the course, all the supplementary learning material in different formats that were made available to us, the amazing encouragement and guidance from Mrs. Richman and the wonderful communication with my classmates.

Please do not hesitate to take this course even if you aren't so familiar with US History. While the course content may look intimidating, it becomes easily navigable with the expert guidance from Mrs. Richman.


Awesome teacher! Awesome class! posted by Isaac C. on May 30 2016 at 15:44:13

Definitely one of my favorite classes! The monthly essay assignments, document analyses, and practice mcq questions were all extremely helpful. Mrs. Richman provides some of the most helpful review resources ever, a bunch of study tips, and several full length practice tests. I felt very very very very confident on exam day. I generally put in 10-13 hours of work on "normal" weeks and more time on weeks with special assignments. Yes, it is a heavy class, but it's definitely worth it! All Mrs. Richman's bonus links and assignments are technically optional, but I would definitely recommend that you check out and complete at least a few! I learned so much from those extra texts and videos. The practice LEQs and DBQs were definitely the most valuable assignments in terms of the AP Exam, but the biography essay was probably my favorite. I love how Mrs. Richman emphasizes historical thinking, argumentation, analysis instead of focusing exclusively on the AP exam material. I would recommend this class to anybody who is interested and willing to work hard!

 


APUSH as a Freshman posted by Maya V. H. on May 23 2016 at 18:09:34

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

Certainly! This was my very first AP class as a freshman, and I had no idea of what to expect. I was a ball of nerves on the day of the exam, but once I actually looked at the questions, I realised Mrs. Richman had done more to prepare me than I knew. After doing many multiple choice questions per week and two timed practice essays a month the test itself was nothing new.

 

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

Usually I worked about fifteen hours on a normal week, but when we had a special assignment due, like a bio essay, I worked around twenty hours per week. Taking this class for me was quite a time commitment, but in my opinion it was worth every minute.

 

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

My favorite assignment of the whole year was doing the biography essays. Each semester we had one Bio essay due from late or modern history. Both essays had to be in a creative format, but for one we had to create a web page. Creating the web page was not only great because I learned a lot about Cesar Chavez, my bio person, but it was also really fun. Instead of playing games, I was actively learning graphic design and having a great time.

 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Definitely, when my mom first told me I was taking APUSH I was honestly a little upset. I’ve always been drawn more towards European History than American, but once the course started I realised U.S. history was part of Colonial European history. After I started making worldwide connections, I began to really enjoy APUSH.

 

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

Yes, after class gets started our many fabulous TA’s lead study groups throughout the week. Throughout the year I was in a group that met once a week every Friday. We would go over our essays options for that week and help each other formulate outlines and primary source analyses. I found being able to meet as a group was helpful in hearing my study buddies’ opinions on my ideas.

 

What sort of student would do well in this course?

If you are looking to take this course be ready for a challenge. I took this as a freshman, and I had some trouble learning how to be both an excellent AP student while still getting used to taking high school classes. If you are not willing to put in effort or are looking for an easy class this is not the class for you, but if you are willing to put time and effort towards APUSH you will do very well in this class.

 

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?

If you are willing to work hard I would highly recommend this class. I enjoyed taking this class not only because it was hard and I love challenge, but all the information I learned really stuck with me. I can’t go to see Civil War era art displays without also seeing allusions and symbols. If you want to take an APUSH class next year, I recommend you take it from Mrs. Richman.


Great class--will prepare you for the AP Exam and more! posted by Priscilla Liow on May 22 2016 at 09:32:46

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

Definitely! Mrs. Richman gave us two practice essays each months and a few multiple choice questions to do each week. Reviewing for the exam in April was easy and pressure free beause I was so used to doing exam style questions by that time.

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course?
I worked 10-13 hours a week on average. On weeks when special projects like the Bio Essays were due, I worked longer.

Are there any favorite assignemnts that you found especially valuable?

I particularly liked the History in the News assignments, where each of us would find a recent news story or article related to history and write about it. I liked the breadth of topics we could choose from, as well as the depth with which we could explore our chosen topic. For instance, I wrote one really fun History in the News assignment about the crash of a famous dirigible during the 1920s.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes! While I am not intending to be a history major, this course did increase my interest in history. It may be a cliche, but the analyses we did on primary documents and political cartoons really made history "come alive" for me ad showed me that historians study far more than what is "in the textbook." 

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

Yes, we did a group project focusing on our opinions about Andrew Jackson's presidency. Reading other teams' contributions to this project and working with members of my own team helped me see both sides of this issue.

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 course was the last AP course I took in my high school career. Comparing it to other courses I've taken, I would say that it was not the easiest AP I've done, but also that it was definitely the most enjoyable history class I've taken. Given the workload, it might not be suitable for a freshman (unless he/she has very strong essay writing skills) or someone with other heavy time commitments. I think that many of the assignments I mentioned above were not *strictly* necessary to earn a 5 on the exam, but they were very enriching. Thus, if you are trying to get quick AP credits, this may not be the class for you. If you really want to learn about what historians do and how they view the past, I think this is the course for you.  

 

 

 


Take this class! posted by Clara W. on May 18 2016 at 16:53:15

Yes! A thousand times yes! Mrs. Richman prepared us well. I walked into the exam feeling fully confident that I was going to be comfortable with the material. The essays are one of the strong suits of this class. Mrs. Richman's thorough feedback and advice made me comfortable when faced with the daunting task of writing two very long essays in just an hour and a half. 

It really depended on the week. When we had Bio Essays (something I'll talk about later), I was spending close to four hours a day on APUSH. However, in an average week, with nothing special (like a Bio Essay or the Andrew Jackson project), I probably spent about 2-3 hours on my APUSH work. However, it doesn't feel like drudgery, because Mrs. Richman makes history truly fascinating and fun to explore.

The Bio Essays and the three Dinner Parties were definitely a highlight. In a Dinner Party, you assume the role of a historical figure from a certain time period. Be prepared for pie throwing, heated debates, and making lots of historical connections. A Bio Essay is a big project, occuring twice a year, where you present the biography of a historical figure's life through some creative format. Through these two activities, I got to learn from my brilliant classmates' work, but I also learned a lot through my own research. Seriously, do you want me to give you a three hour lecture on all facets of the ERA and Gloria Steinem's work with it? :)

Definitely! I'm going to be in college in the fall and I'm hoping to take many more U.S. History courses. I feel like I've just barely skimmed the surface of this area of study. However, more important that that, I think, is that I learned the significance of understanding history. In this class, my understanding of history changed from trying to keep a jumble of facts and dates straight in my head to actually have an overarching idea of the flow of history in the United States and the patterns and variations that occur over time. 

Oh, definitely! Mrs. Richman really fostered a sense of community in this class. Reponses to classmate essays and other projects is a required part of this class. When it came time to take the exam, I was so glad that I had had experience reading exemplary essays and other work throughout the year. I was also part of an excellent small study group that really supported and encouraged me, especially through those last few weeks of nerve-wracking exam prep. 

If you are willing to work hard and devote not only quality, but quantity of your time, then this is a class for you! My only regret about taking this class this year is that I was really busy with a bunch of other stuff. I was taking other time-intensive AP classes. I was also completing college applications and participating in a variety of activities. I think this would be a fantastic introduction to the world of APs. That's not to say that this isn't a challenging class - quite the contrary! However, a younger student (a freshman or sophomore), would probably have more time to devote to this class. You can definitely succeed as a person with other obligations (I definitely feel like I did), but this is such a fun class that you're going to want to spend hours and hours learning more about history.

I highly recommend this class if you love fast-paced, very fun, and challenging coursework. I came out of this class with greater time management skills, studying skills, and, most importantly, a strong knowledge of United States history. 

 

 


SUCH a good class posted by Janessa Hughes on May 17 2016 at 18:32:12

This class really was the best part of my year, and Mrs. Richman was an amazing teacher. If you're thinking about taking the class, I'd encourage you to go for it...but here's my advice: If you're a hard worker, don't be intimidated by the workload...you'll adjust to it and come to really enjoy all the different assignments. If you're prone to slacking off, take the workload and number of asssignments into serious consideration. I was able to stay on top of everything this year and you can too, just know that it requires a lot of commitment.

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

Absolutely...Mrs. Richman did a great job of balancing learning and review all year, so that by the time the exam came around I felt very ready. I knew I probably wouldn't know everything on the test, but I was pleasantly surprised that there were very few questions I felt unsure about.

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

I would say I averaged an hour of APUSH work a day, and then I spent some extra time throughout the week watching review videos, listening to lectures, meeting with my Study Buddy, or reading American Literature.

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

The most helpful aspect of this class was the Great Courses Lectures. They are super thorough and cohesive, and as an auditory learner I absorbed so much information through these. So those were my favorite "assignments" in terms of learning, but the assignment I enjoyed most and found most valuable was the interview. I was able to sit down with my neighbor who knew Fidel Castro personally and defected from Cuba, and listening to his stories for a couple hours was an experience I really treasure.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes!! Mrs. Richman's passion for learning is contagious, and all year you keep going deeper in history and making connections. Now that a few weeks have passed since the exam, I've found that I miss learning with this class. I discovered this year that history isn't a checklist of events and figures to cross off, but a multi-faceted subject that you can always continue to explore.

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

Yes! My study buddy time was invaluable, reading classmates' essays and commenting was certainly helpful, and dinner parties were entertaining ;)

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!)?

While anybody who is willing to work hard will do well, I'd say the students best fit for this class are those who can manage time and deadlines well. This class is built on a lot of little assignments, so prioritizing and staying on top of work is key. Some assignments have deadlines during the week, but others just require you to be diligent. In other words, don't think that because the assignments are small they can be put off till Friday :)


History can be pretty cool, after all... ;) posted by Faith on May 13 2016 at 24:47:53

First of all, to make my opinion completely clear, this class is definitely worth taking! Mrs. Richman is the kind of teacher that encourages and accomodates, yet really and truly helps you actually LEARN. My understanding of the United States grew so much during this past year, and I discovered that history can actually be pretty cool. This class requires a good bit of hard work, but the reward at the end is amazing. Once I got past the nitty-gritty of historical details, I could put pretty much all of American history in a big picture and see the themes that flowed over decades.

I was a bit nervous about this class in the beginning of the year because I'm not a huge history buff. I think, however, that I will look back at this class quite fondly. So if you're reading this review and trying to decide whether or not to take this class, I would strongly suggest that you go for it. Take it! You'll have to put in a decent amount of effort in order to really appreciate and benefit from the class (it was a bigger class load than I'm used to), but the work is manageable and very worth it. Writing essays throughout the year helped develop my critical thinking and writing skills, and I felt very well prepared for the APUSH exam at the end of the year. The exam itself ended up being a decently enjoyable and calm end of a very intriguing, academically challenging, and fulfilling year.

While I still don't really think I'll ever become a history major, this class (and teacher) instilled in me a new appreciation for the United States and the history that has led up to today. I recommend this class to anyone who is willing to work hard and be pleasantly surprised by the nuggets of cool facts and ideas they might discover along the way. So I guess history can be pretty cool after all... ;)


AMAZING Class!! posted by Danielle Ji on May 13 2016 at 19:08:33

APUSH is definitely one of my FAVORITE online classes. Mrs. Richman, the teacher, is super fun and helpful. I personally love history, and APUSH really helped me develop my historical thinking skills. I LOVE this class!!

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

Definitely! Mrs. Richman’s studying tips really helped me out. Nearing the exam, she sent out several practice exams and fun videos to help us “de-stress.” All year long, we wrote timed essays and primary source document analyses, and completed multiple choice questions, which helped me gain familiarity to what the exam would cover. Usually before an exam, I’m very stressed out and nervous. However, with the AP US History exam, I was super calm. I usually freak out over timed essays, but the exam essay was actually very enjoyable for me.

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

My studying time varies. I usually spend at least ten hours per week, sometimes less if I’m out of town, or sometimes more if we’re studying a period I’m not confident with. Also, Mrs. Richman always has a ton of great websites she shares with us; I usually take a look at these with my spare time. I’m not a super fast reader, so I have to pick my way through these links to understand them, but they definitely help me understand the information.

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

The Biography essays were my absolute favorite projects!! This assignment is supposed to be about a historical figure, and the project must be made in a creative format (e.g. video, website, story, etc). This assignment was great because it allowed me to see things from the historical person’s point of view and it let me play around with website builders. Another of my favorite assignments is the November Interview. The interview let me hear a first-hand account of a historical event. The Dinner Parties were also extremely fun.

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

Yes! The WWW Board especially helped a lot. There, my fellow students posted helpful links and questions. Also, Mrs. Richman requires students to read and respond to classmate’s essays, so reading another student’s point of view on a subject really helps. Reading responses from my fellow students also helped a great deal.

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 hardworking will do well in this class. There are a lot of weekly reading and writing assignments, but Mrs. Richman makes them enjoyable and fun. Also, you have to participate and engage with the other students to learn the most.

If you can't tell, I definitely recommend this course! It was a awesome first AP class, and I learned a lot. Mrs. Richman is an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. teacher; you won’t regret taking this class at all!!


Wonderful Class -- will prepare you for the AP and for life! :-) posted by Catherine Garton on May 12 2016 at 18:12:21

This was a truly fantastic class, and I would definitely recommmend it to anyone who is interested!

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

Yes! Every week we had several assignments that were intended to prepare us for the exam. We wrote essays every week, and twice a month these would take the form of exam-style essays (one Document Based Question and one Long Essay Question). We also practiced short answer questions, multiple choice questions, cartoon analyses, and primary source document analyses every unit. Because of the methodical approach, studying for the AP felt easy -- I had been preparing all year, and it didn't even feel like it! Plus, the course in general was very thorough and very engaging. All the resources you need to do your best are given to you... As long as you make sure you put in the time, you will learn everything you need to know!


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

This fluctuated widely based on how busy I was any given week. There were some weeks were I felt inspired and spent a ton of time on APUSH, just because I wanted to (15+ hours), and there were other weeks where I could only really put in an hour per day (so around 6 hours). I would say the minimum time you could put in each week and get only the mandatory work done is 5 hours (if you were really, really efficient!), but you would be missing out on the many valuable learning opportunities this class provides. A better estimate for how much time you will probably want to spend each week is 10 hours or so.


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

The essays! These were critical learning opportunities, and they also prepared me for test day.


Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! I have always been interested in history (in the sense that I am interested in all school subjects), but this class gave me a passion for it! I spent a lot of time on my APUSH work this year -- not always because I had to, but because it was just so interesting.


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

Yes, and more so than it would be. I have taken other online classes where the student-student interaction is virtually nonexistent, but that is nothing like this class! There was plenty of communication, and I found my fellow students to be very insightful and intelligent. At the beginning of the year, we were split into teams that we would have for the entire class, and I loved getting to know my teammates. 


What sort of student would do well in this course?

Someone who is diligent with their work and is good at motivating themselves. It is so easy to fall behind in online classes, since there is no school bell keeping you on track and no teacher hovering over your shoulder all day. As long as you are organized, consistent, and enthusiastic in your school work, you will do very well!!

Would you recommend this course to other students (if they are willing to work hard!)?


Yes yes yes!!!!! Mrs. Richman is the best possible teacher for this class. She is 100% amazing and makes this class well worth the while. If you are interested and you want a thorough U.S. history class, take this! :-)


A wonderful course; an even more wonderful teacher posted by Piper Wysocki on May 12 2016 at 15:14:46

Dear prospective APUSHer, 

 

Take this class. When I was looking at APUSH (AP United States History—you’ll be using this at the end of the year too, if you take this class) for my sophomore year and first AP, I was a bit unreasonably worried about the workload—after all, it is an AP class. The thing that I did not take into account was how fun the work would be. Mrs. Richman is fantastic and passes on her genuine love of the subject on to the class. She provides a broad variety of options to earn points for the week—each week you submit an assignment log which describes your work for the week and you receive points for it on a leaderboard. You can watch videos, read books, do quizzes, listen to lectures, and go to museums—it all counts. Certain assignments—practice essays and a few other projects—are assigned, but it takes a great deal of self-motivation to succeed as the bonus assignments I feel are where you learn the most.

 

 

It helps if you are a competitive person. Mrs. Richman keeps a running tally on the class website of all points accumulated by everyone and there are rankings. I found this very motivating throughout the year. Just don’t worry about it too much—or do—but don’t be surprised if you find yourself reading PSDs (Primary Source Documents) at 8 PM on a Friday. There are crunch times in this class—either the aforementioned Friday evenings or the weeks when Bio Essays or other projects are due. Some weeks things get very hectic, especially when you have other classes that are taking up time, but Mrs. Richman is great about extensions and thinks that it is most important that you get enough sleep and don’t work with a cold. She understands that sometimes you have other things going on and need to have the ability to shift your workload to suit your schedule.  

 

 

I felt really well prepared for the exam, so I think you will be to. If you put in the work you’ll be fine. I’d quite a few practice tests before the exam, but I didn’t feel too stressed out until the day before and even then I was pretty calm. Her tips about the exam and test room were very valuable. I knew that I’d laid the groundwork over the past school year, so the test wouldn’t be a big deal. I knew the format of the exam very well and knew how to approach the MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) logically. I understood what points I needed to cover in the essays and short answer questions. The week before the exam, Mrs. Richman was so helpful. I could send her emails and she’d respond quickly. She was checking the message board often and always provided detail feedback to my questions on practice exams. She spent a lot of her time trying to keep each and every one of us calm, relaxed, and focused—and I think she did a great job. 

 

 

Throughout the year she was just as helpful. To every practice essay we did she’d use the actual grading criteria to grade it and discuss in depth how we could do better, including providing bonus point links to cites that had more information on the topic. Her feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I always felt that she was rooting for us to do well. She never said we’d done something wrong, just that we could do something better. It made her feedback very easy to take. 

 

 

The peer group of this class was fantastic. It is extraordinary to be in a class of students who could write, think, and research just as well or better than you can. Being able to study with intelligent and engaged students in itself is a blessing and can truly be helpful for preparing for the exam. Study buddy-ing the week before the exam is a welcome break from practice tests and I am lucky to have found a close friend in the class who I am planning to take an additional class with and meet at the end of year AP Party. 

 

 

I would recommend this class very highly—it was my favorite for this year. I’ve always liked history, often naming it my favorite class despite having no interest in it as a career. I still have no desire to run out and be a history major, but I have a greater appreciation of our country’s history and a better understanding of where some modern political issues came from. I think that history is truly valuable where it relates to the present—“those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it,” a phrase that is now in common lexicon and mutilated from its previous form. The new AP exam has a “synthesis point” which invites students to draw connections between eras and understand repeated cycles in history. Mrs. Richman broadened my understanding of this as well as provided me with a wonderful class. 

 


If you are a good writer (there’s a lot of writing in the course and you are expected to write well and quickly), eager to take advantage of the variety of opportunities provided, have enough time to take on this course (plan about 10 hours a week), and are interested at all in US History, take this course. And don’t be surprised at the end of the year if you want to come back for another year, or find yourself taking more classes from Pennsylvania Homeschoolers to keep in touch with new friends. 


APUSH was absolutely AMAZING posted by Zachary Smelser on May 12 2016 at 14:47:55

This class was a BLAST. Not only did Mrs. Richman's APUSH class help me presonally to learn intensively about our country's history, it GREATLY prepared me for the exam. Her weekly assignments like Multiple Choice Questions and Primary Source Document analyses were great helps especially (especially for the MCQ section of the exam.)

Mrs. Richman was always prompt on responding to messages/emails that you sent to her, and that was immensely helpful.  Also, with the WWW board (message board), anybody could ask questions, share helpful review, sites, etc. I always had a fun time with that (also with bonuses that Mrs. Richman would post on there.)

Mrs. Richman also always encouraged further research into a topic that interests you, and she gave COUNTLESS ways to do that by giving links and tips on how to research a topic. Her weekly emails were also extremely helpful, and in both her emails and essay responses, she was ALWAYS sooooo ENCOURAGING!!!!! :) BRAVO! Her exclamation points and smile faces were always nice to see.

Seriously, I REALLY recommend this class. I spent about 10-12 hours a week on APUSH. If you've never done an AP class especially, this class is good for you, because you have the perfect teacher that's ideal for getting started into the "AP realm". This class was SO valuable to me, and it's hepled me to want to more AP classes. Take this class, seriously, you won't regret it. Do it! :D


GREAT GREAT course would DEFINITELY Recommend posted by Samuel Chan on May 11 2016 at 22:22:23

This course is SUPER DUPER fun and there is not an OVERKILL of homework! I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with all the other students and I loved Mrs. Richman's feedback every week for our assignments! She's such an awesome awesome teacher and I would definitely recommend. She prepares us well with short answer questions, SAQ, document-based questions and long essay questions, DBQ/LEQ questions, each month and with weekly analysis of primary source documents (PSDs). The course made me feel more than prepared for the AP exam...I felt completely at ease at the AP test knowing I had prepared well! Coursework per week: expect around 5-6 hours along with reading and such. History has always been one of my favorite subjects and I definitely enjoyed the course!! 


My favorite class of the year!! posted by Grace Driggers on May 11 2016 at 17:18:42

Participating in this class was a wonderful experience. I'll admit that, when I first logged onto the website in the summer, and saw the longggggg sidebar full of different websites and homework and other things, the first thing I thought was "Oh no, what have I done...". Little did I know that this class would turn out to be my favorite part of my senior year. This class certainly isn't for a student who is unmotivated or who struggles with time management (but, I would imagine that that is true of any AP course). However, I do think that it is a manageable class, and could be a good AP class for a younger high schooler looking to enter the world of online AP's. This class is very customizeable; aside from the homework required of everyone each week, you can choose to take on bonus work, extra reading/video watching/research, etc. as you are able. I spend from 2-3 hours a day on average on this class, but you could spend a bit less than that and still do well, I think. This class prepared me very well for the AP exam, and I am optimistic about my score. There really wasn't a moment while I was taking the exam where I thought "Oh, shoot, I don't know about this/I've never heard of this before." If you read/study what Mrs. R tells you to, and if you are willing to be responsible with your homework, this class should set anyone up for a solid 4 or 5 on the exam. (Sidenote: The exam has grown more liberal over the years, and I definitely noticed that on this exam, but that didn't throw me for a loop, because Mrs. R assigned chapters in a book called Insider's Guide, which told you what to expect on the exam-- such a life saver! So don't let that dissuade you from taking the course. Mrs. R covers all areas of U.S. history equally, preparing you for whatever might appear on the exam, and while the exam this year was definitely liberal, I do not think that I struggled taking the exam because of that.) I particularly enjoyed the bio essays and the Gilder Lehrman Essay (which was a bonus assignment, but I am told that it will be required as of next year). I loved doing research and being able to study in-depth the lives of Americans who I found to be inspiring and who were influential in their day. Calvin Coolidge has become my favorite president because of the project I did on his life during second semester. :) I have always loved history, and this course helped me to gain a nuanced understanding of history in a way I had not before. I participated in two study groups each week which I feel really helped me to learn, and which gave me friendships in the class that definitely motivated me to work harder. Overall, this was an excellent course, and I would recommend to anyone who is willing to put in an hour or two a day working hard and learning about our country. Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher, and her undying enthusiasm and encouragement were something I looked forward to every week of this school year. She is cheerful, extremely knowledgeable, and does everything she can to ensure that her students learn to think like a historian, and that they emerge from the class with an enthusiasm for U.S. History. 


No history class has EVER been so fun... posted by Katherine Ichinose on May 11 2016 at 14:36:18

YES! This class is incredibly thorough. While the class leaves room for you to study what you personally need and want to learn, Mrs. Richman knows what everyone absolutly has to know and makes sure eveyrone is well-prepated for the exam. Not only that, but the encouragement and the positivity of this class prepares everyone mentally and emotionally. 

Usually I'd put two or so hours into the class, when I was working on a bio essay or felt I needed more time stuyding a subject, I would invest more time into the coursework. 

I LOVED working on the bio essays -- but probably my favorite part of this class was study buddying with some of the friends I've gotten to know so well. Mrs. Richman encourages creativity in all of your assignments. Oh! I also loved getting to write a book review over the summer (that seems so long ago...)! Mrs. Richman is so encouraging and her comments on my work alwyas made me smile, but they are also very insightful and constructive. 

Yes, actually! I've always liked history (not loved it, but enjoyed it)! As it happened, a historical musical (Hamilton) came out this year. Coupled with this class, I've gotten a lot more interested in history and have a much better understanding of the big picture and also the little details. 

Oh, yes! This class it comprised of such an intelligent group of students. And they are all kind, supportive, and enthusastic to boot! It was invaluable to be able to come to my classmates with questions or confusions and talk out our difficulties together. 

Mrs. Richman is so wonderful, she can get any student through this class as long as the student is willing to invest effort into this class. And Mrs. R makes it so, SO easy to do so, I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is willing to work hard and keep up a positive attitude. 


This class is a TREASURE!!! posted by Elizabeth Marlin on May 10 2016 at 16:24:14

Through this class, Mrs. Richman did a fantastic job of preparing each and every one of her students for the AP US History exam. Walking into the exam, you will always be nervous, but with this class, you can be confident that whatever the test throws at you, you are prepared! 

Assignments, such as MCQ Think-it-Throughs, Primary Source Document Analyses, and Biography Essays (my personal all-time favorite!!), will teach you not only more about history than you ever imagined, but also new ways of looking and thinking about history, as well as indispensable thinking and analysis skills. 

Going into this course, I was not crazy about history. I liked it, but I wouldn't say I was a history nerd. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE!! No matter how you feel about history going into this class, you will come out with a renewed appreciation and a deep love of the intricate web of causes, effects, and events which is history.

Mrs. Richman has such a wonderful and ENCOURAGING teaching style, and her love of history is infectious! She not only carefully reads her students' work, but takes the time to thoughtfully reply to each assignment. She has a unique interest in and a fundamental role in shaping the progress and development of each of her students. 

I would recommend this to anyone, provided they are motivated and ready to have the time of their lives! The assignments are so diverse, yet so enjoyable, and Mrs. Richman's amazing library of additional links and bonuses is so vast that it is impossible to get bored and impossible not to get excited about history! So, please, I beg you: TAKE THIS CLASS! YOU WON'T REGRET IT! 


Mrs. Richman is *AMAZING* ;-) posted by Addie Best on May 09 2016 at 13:55:53

Mrs. Richman's wonderful, edcational, and informative class was undoubtably the highlight of my schoolyear. She has a talent for connecting students who live hundreds or thousands of miles away, making even the most mundane assignments interesting and engaging, and, most importantly, her class definitely prepares ANY student for the exam. 

First of all, let it be said that I am the sort of student who learns best from hands-on activities....and if you think that an ONLINE history class can't be hands-on--THINK AGAIN! Through all of Mrs. Richman's prodigious efforts, her class is both engaging and hands-on. Also, she places a strong emphasis on preparing for the test; starting in the first week of class, students are required to write an essay a week. These essays are either actual APUSH essay prompts, or assignments designed to encourage individual research and learning. After weeks and weeks of practice, students go into the exam room knowing exactly the format of the questions, and how best to compose their essay. Oh! And did I mention the AMAZING grading rubrics she fills out for each essay? THEY ARE WONDERFUL, HELPFUL AND ASTONISHING! It is very clear that Mrs. Richman gives her full attention to each essay she is grading--she fills the grading rubric with ancedotes, links, and personal comments. This grading tatic alone would win Mrs. Richman a 5-star review! 

Other amazing things about Mrs. Richman: a.) she is extremely responsive--often within the day of your question/email, she will respond with the most in-depth answer you could wish for! b.) She makes every student feel like they are learning in the class--she doesn't let anyone feel behind (meaning she helps them succeed and keep up). c.) There are always fun assignments when you need a break from other school! The dinner parties are AMAZING! 

I guess all I really have to say is that Mrs. Richman's class leaves students prepared and comfident for the exam. To quote Mark Twain "Many public-school children seem to know only two dates--1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don't know what happened on either occasion."  Mrs. Richman's students are the complete opposite! DEFINITELY sign up for the class! Not only will you learn dates--you will learn the much more important skills of analysis and historical contextualization. :^P 

Hip hip HUZZAH for Mrs. Richman! 


Well-prepared and thankful! posted by Christian Simpson on May 09 2016 at 04:35:00

Thanks to Mrs. Richman and Paige Cohen (my study group TA), I felt well-prepared for the exam. I had a lot of encouragement from my parents, my study buddies, and God as I went into the exam with a smile on my face. Instead of being scared or anything, I felt remarkably calm. Thank you!

I put a good amount of time each week on this class, between the weekly assignments and the monthly assignments. Although I did not keep track very well, I would say the average was 11 hours a week due to the extra time I put in at the end doing a lot of review. I really liked the Bio Essays as a very different assignment, and the most helpful was probably the Great Course Lectures. I came into class not all that interested in American History, but now that I understand it a bit better I am more open to have a discussion about it, learn some more, etc.

I did not spend that much time on the WWW Board, which could be a mistake, but when I did talk with other students in study group it really helped cement concepts in my mind. I enjoyed the study groups because we went over quizzes and all gave our input, which helped me see why the right answer was in fact right, along with helpful prompt practice.

This was my first AP class, and it was a lot heavier than any others I had taken before. It helped me with time-management. I would recommend this class to someone who has had American History before and who is ready for a challenge that will help them grow.

 


Go sign up for the class before you read my review!! posted by Zoe Lin on May 09 2016 at 03:42:31

You might suspect, after reading all these raving APUSH class reviews that we've all been paid by Mrs. Richman to gush about how much we love the class...seriously though, this is a legitimately good class, and you should sign up for it right now!!! This course, of course, is a class that focuses on the end of the year AP exam, but to be totally honest, I often forgot about the exam...Mrs. Richman prepared really well: in a way that was stress-free, SUPER encouraging, and very practical: towards the end of the year, she included everything from good reviewing strategies to reminding us to exercise and relieve stress to how to strengthen our hands for those many FRQ's. The amount of knowledge and experience she has really is useful to every single student, and it sure was to me! I put in about an hour a day, and then about 90 minutes a weekday towards the end of the year...at the beginning of the year, it was really stressful staying on top of every single assignment, but I learned to 1) enjoy some of them (especially the multiple choice question think-it-throughs and cartoon analysis, which really helped me on the exam and just general cartoon-analyzing!) and 2) form habits so that it didn't really seem like so much work anymore..this APUSH class DEFINITELY interested me more in APUSH! Not only did we learn about the "regular" history stuff from the online text, etc, but Mrs. Richman also included fun little tidbits and bonuses learning about cool things and gadgets and also links to articles about a particular essay topic (which I really appreciated, because helped me learn more and more)

If you're willing to work hard, can manage your time well (but don't worry: there's plenty of wiggle-room given in the first couple weeks), and want to be in an AWESOME class with an equally amazing teacher, then I'd recommend this class for you! Even if you don't have a huge, "I'm-going-to-major-in-history-at-college" love for history, you should still take this course because you'll learn so much in really cool ways - not just about US history, but also about yourself, how to handle stress, what kind of history and events you like analyzing and hearing about, and how a teachers' love for a subject can inspire you to want to learn more!


LOVED this class! posted by Claire Fraise on May 09 2016 at 02:04:40

I absolutely ADORED this class! The format was fantastic. All the assignments were interactive, fast-paced, and catered to all types of learners. There were Mp3 lectures, discussion posts, videos, full test essays—by the time the exam came around, I could write DBQs and LEQs in my sleep! Leading up to the exam, I was so worried that I’d run out of time but, during the test, I found myself working at a rather relaxed pace--something I wouldn’t have been able to dream of doing in September. Because the work was so interactive and multi-media, I was constantly learning and I never got bogged down with the assignments as I could complete it at my own pace (I spent about 20 hours a week on APUSH work). I’d always been a history buff but this class took my interest and understanding to a whole new level. I love writing and learned so quickly through all the written discussions because they immediately forced me to use the things we were learning in our reading and apply it, engraving it in my brain. The creative projects—like the Andrew Jackson project, Bio Essays, and Dinner Parties (my personal favorites!)—were so much fun! 

This class was filled with interesting, nice, super fun people who cared about the subject as much as I did. I made friends and studied regularly with a study buddy; it was so great to have such a strong support network facing something as daunting as an AP exam. Mrs. Richman was so accessible and addressed every worry and question I had throughout the year instantly and with such kindness and generosity. She is a truly amazing teacher and made the subject come to life. 

THANK YOU Mrs. Richman and the amazing APUSH community for such a great year! I learned so much and felt so prepared walking into the AP exam. I had a smile on my face walking in and out of the test room! I would recommend this class a thousand times over. :)


The Best APUSH Class of Them All!!!!!! posted by Amy Mckeown-Green on May 08 2016 at 22:42:52

    Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher and I learned so much during this course! She has an amazing wealth of historical resources: websites, documentaries, and news articles etc... I've often wondered if she has one of the best archives of American history in her website. 

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

     Yes!!! I felt very prepared for the AP exam. The multiple choice questions were a breeze and the short answer questions were pretty easy to write. The essay writing went well and I felt as though I had a lot of facts to choose from. In preparation, I chose to do a few more practice essays, but essay writing is a very personal skill, so others might be just great without the little extra work.

P.S. I took the SAT Subject test for history the next day and I was well prepared for that too.     

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

     I spent from anywhere between 7-15 hours a week, depending on whether I had a large assignment due one week or a lighter workload another. The time I spent definitely increased as the exam approached :)

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

     The cartoon analysis assignments were my favorite. I loved finding the historical cartoons and learning about their context. This skill was invaluable on the exam. I also found that the MCQ-TT (multiple choice question - think it through) assignment was really helpful. The answer key would be filled with a number of great resources on the topic.

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

     I didn't spend as much time in study groups, but all of the group assignments were really fun! I got to meet lots of new people who were incredibly hardworking and driven. I'm not sure I've had a class so full of students that kept me on my toes. Everyone worked hard and created a high standard and great environment

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!)?

     Mrs. Richman provides resources for all learning types, websites, documentaries, audio lectures, video series, and news articles are just a few of these. I think for a student to do well they have to take initiative. The old addage, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink..." definietly applies. Mrs. Richman leads one up to a deep well of information but the student has to drink from it. This "drinking" involves doing bonus assignments and really paying attention and learning from every assignment. I would definitely recommend this course to other students. There is no better APUSH course in the world!!!!!! - I'm serious!

 


Favorite AP class! posted by Caitrin Murphy on May 08 2016 at 17:12:21

Ok, so I know this might seem like an exaggeration, but it really is not. Since I was little, I have always been extremely interested in history and the events and characters that changed our society throughout the years and this interest led me to take both AP European History and AP World History. I had such a positive experience with those two classes that I decided to take AP U.S. History this year and it was truly an amazing experience. I had heard some horror students form friends in public and private school who said APUSH in general was impossible, boring, and ended in a frustrating exam however, I had the exact opposite experience with this class. I highly recommend this class!

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Yes, I did. Instead of freaking out before the exam (like I usually do…), I actually felt calm and was able to focus on studying, especially because of Mrs. Richman’s exam study tips. Throughout the year we experienced a wide variety of assignments from DBQs to cartoon analysis assignments. This wide range gave our class a look into the documents, topics, cartoons etc. that we needed to know for the exam. I was also kind of scared going into this class that I would be bored out of my mind because previously, I had associated U.S. history with boring government documents, and once again, I experienced the exact opposite and was very interested every assignment topic. 

How many hours per day or week did you put in? This number is dependent on a few factors and for me, I put in about 12-14 hours every week and 20-23 hours a week leading up to the exam. Firstly, there is a good portion of assigned reading and a large portion of extra reading links that are either sent out in Mrs. Richman’s weekly updates, or, found in PSD assignments or MCQ-TTs. I would highly recommend reading ALL of these link or at least checking them out because I noticed that certain documents popped up again in the exam and Mrs. Richman’s links really expanded my knowledge about the given time period. 

Are there any particular assignments that you found especially valuable? I loved doing the bio essays this year. Contrary from what you might think by hearing “bio essay”, this is not merely an essay about a historical figure. Mrs. Richman encouraged us to go for a more creative option such as making a youtube video, or creating a website dedicated to the historical character we picked. This was a great opportunity to learn more about someone that interested us because we got to individually pick our character. I had never done a ‘creative format’ before so it was challenging but well worth the effort. It was also great to look at everyone else’s bio essays and see how everyone picked a different format and interpreted their vision for the “essay” differently. I also enjoyed the bonus assignments because they were a more informal way of learning such as the “interview with your mom” bonus which had us interview our moms to learn more about the role of women in society when they were growing up.  

Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? I did and I thought that the WWW board really enhanced this opportunity. Fellow students would post interesting links, comments about a test, or general questions and it was a really great way to receive help or search through fun links that students had posted. 

What student would do well in this course? The student has to be very hard-working and determined to succeed in this course. At first, I was really scared when I saw the class schedule and the amount of reading and I had to do however, once we got the assignments, I started really enjoying my ‘homework’, something I had not really done before. You have to be an active participant in this class to get the most out of the material. This class really made me use my brain and have a clear thought process, as weird and cliche as it sounds. I learned how to raise questions and analyze documents in a way that I hope will benefit me for the rest of my life. Mrs. Richman’s positive attitude was a motivational aspect that students might not often receive from teachers. I felt like she really took the time to get to know each and every one of us and was able to give helpful comments that were personalized and specific. I am going into senior year next year and she has been a teacher throughout my high school years that has really stood out to me because of her focused, positive, and motivational attitude.


Take this class! posted by Grace on July 10 2015 at 01:12:12

The course definitely prepared me for the APUSH exam, on which I received a 5. Every regular assignment served as preparation for a specific part of the exam, and the other assignments (such as the Bio Essays) greatly enhanced my knowledge of some facet of American history. I think I put about 5 hours a week into this course. As far as favorite assignments go, I personally really enjoyed the Dinner Parties (in which you pretend to be a figure from American History) and the December Film Review. This course made my interest in the history of the United States history skyrocket. I hadn't known how truly fascinating it is until I took this course. The course would not be complete without communications with other students. The time I spent with my study group and my study buddy was absolutely essential to learning the material, not to mention fun. Reading other students' comments on my assignments was also incredibly helpful. I recommend this course without hesitation. Please, take this class!


Definitely take this class! posted by Christina N. on June 11 2015 at 15:49:16

I would definitely recommend anyone reading this to take Mrs. Richmans AP US History class. While the class can be a little overwhelming the first couple of weeks, once you get the feel of the schedule it becomes easier. Mrs. R had SO much information and was always sending out links for futher learning, which I really enjoyed. She is very flexible, understanding, and willing to work with students and accomdate your schedule. I felt prepared for the AP test because of this class. The essays were not that daunting because we had been writing them all year, and all of the informative links that we had throughout the year helped with the Short Answer Questions and Multiple Choice Questions. I would recommend this class to really any student. I would say that you have to be motivated and able to stay on top of the work, but other than that you will do great. 


Brilliant Course with an Amazing Teacher posted by Zoe on June 09 2015 at 01:35:28

Mrs. Richman was absolutely an incredible teacher to have this year, and I enjoyed her class. It exceeded my expectations and thoroughly prepared me for the AP exam, more than I could have hoped to do on my own. Although this was a challenging course that required me to put in at least ten hours a week, Mrs. Richamn's support along with the TAs' support guided me through all the troubles. The biography essay assignments allowed me to have fun with building websites and still learn immense amounts about famous characters in American history. The course definitely enhanced my interest on the subject, and led me to better understand the state of current foreign relations. During the study groups, I made friends and learned different perspectives about topics in US history. If you don't like history all that much (I didn't when I first joined the class), have no fear. You will soon change your mind and be analyzing history like nobody's business :) This is a great class for any type of student because there are so many resources that Mrs. Richman provides - for auditory, kinetic, visual learners. I would definitely recommend this course to other students. 


Best, Most Fascinating American History Course Ever! posted by Morgan Magnuson on June 01 2015 at 01:33:35

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

 

YES!  Mrs. Richman prepares you above and beyond what you would need for the AP Exam.  I've taken four AP classes with PA Homeschoolers and this was infinitely my favorite, which is saying a lot as all the courses are amazing.  This enthusiasm, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt as American History is the passion of my life, but I learned many things in this class that I didn't have any idea of before and the students in my class that weren't history people before are so now!  I could go on and on about how interesting the readings were and how Mrs. Richman leaps to help you with anything you need help with or how fun the assignments were.  Mrs. Richman does an excellent job and if I don't get a 5 or an 800, I will be completely surprised.


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

I put about three hours a day into this course, but I did every bonus, every optional assignment.  Without, I would say the work would take 1 and a half to 2 hours a day.  However, I strongly urge you to attempt as many bonuses as you can as they are not only fascinating, but extremely helpful in making the material stick.


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

I honestly loved every assignment and found them all equally valuable.  However, three of my favorites were the bio essays, the lecture given by one of the Great Courses lecturers, Prof. Allitt, at the end of the year, and the dinner parties!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I can't honestly say it did, but that is only because I love it so much already!  There were certain sections of American History I didn't love quite as much, such as the Jacksonian era, but now I am equally passionate of all the eras.


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

Yes!  I met my best friend in this course.  We study buddied the entire year and had a blast while learning so much.  It was so much fun to talk to the other students about what we were learning and debate little tidbits of 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!)?


I would empathically recommend this course to everyone.  It is a college level course with a great deal of required reading and writing, don't get me wrong, but if you push on through, it will be an amazing experience.  I would say that no love of history is required, though recommended, as you will love history by the time you finish.  Strong writing skills and reading stamina are absolutely necessary. Creativity and a good wit are also recommended. ;)  In all seriousness, if you are willing to work hard, have writing skills, and love a challenge, I'm sure you will do just fine.  Additionally, if you are considering this class for the school year 2015-2016, as one of the TAs, I will help you get there.  So please, take the plunge.  You won't regret it.


APUSH Review posted by Caitlin Zucco on May 25 2015 at 20:20:34

I definately felt prepared for the test!

I normally spent 6-10 hours per week on APUSH. Except the two weeks before the test I probably worked/reviewed about 2-3 hours a day.

As far as preparing me for the test, the LEQ and the DBQ were amazing. My favorite writing assignment was the cartoon analysis, since you researched the topic and the cartoon was drawn during its era. 

Since I was already quite interested in US History, I'm not sure the course made me more interested, but it did feed the interest!

Once a week I met with other students and two TAs over skype. The TAs did an amazing job preparing for the test. Some weeks we would practice writing LEQ outlines and other weeks we would use game style review (such as jepordy). We also went through a lot of multiple choice tests. This communication was definately valuable!

Many students would excel in this class. You just have to be able to focus and manage time well. I would definately recommend this class to others!

On a side note, after the test there were a few survey questions. One question was aong the lines of "How often did you write to prepare for the LEQ and DBQ?" I marked the twice a month option (we wrote every week, but the QBD and LEQ pracice twice a month). While in the room I heard the other students (from the highschool) discussing whuch option to chose. Many decided on the 'once a year' option (although I'm pretty sure that over-credited them). I am so grateful Mrs. Richman had us write! I felt relaxed writing the LEQ and DBQ! 


Extremely Thorough History Class posted by Natalie Sampsell on May 25 2015 at 01:29:43

First of all, I'd just like to say that this class was extremely well done - Mrs. Richman is a wonderful teacher, and she really instills a love of history into her students. I've never been too interested in history, preferring the maths and sciences, but the flexibility of this course allowed me to explore historical topics that I found interesting.

Yes. This whole course was designed to prepare students for the AP test. From MCQ-TTs (if you take this course, you'll find out what these are!), LEQs, and DBQs, to text reading in books specifically written for exam review, this course left me feeling prepared for every part of the test. To give an example of just how extensive this course was - I was talking to my cousin (who was taking an APUSH course at her public high school), and I found out that all she had to do for her homework was analyze one DBQ document. I was shocked, because as part of Mrs. Richman's class, I had been analyzing 10-12 DBQ documents and writing full-length essays every month since September! With this kind of preparation, I was not at all nervous going into the DBQ section. 

6-7. It really varied week to week, depending on what kind of assignments we had, but I'd say that was my average. I didn't have time do a lot of bonus assignments or attend study groups, hovever, so I didn't spend as much time on the course as other did. 

I really loved working on my Bio Essay project. We were encouraged (basically required) to use unique formats for our "essays," and so I wrote historic lyrics to make a parody of a pop song. It was fun and educational. 

And of course, having to write LEQs and DBQs every month, although not always fun, was extremely valuable. 

Yes, I would say overall, it did. It's not like I will be pursuing a career in history, but studying the subject really increased my interest in both historic thinking and certain historic periods and people. 

I'll have to say not especially to this one. While I certainly had the opportunity to communicate with other students, I didn't have a whole lot of time to do so. Also, I've always studied best independently, so a lot of it just came down to my learning style. I do know that many people in my class benefited greatly from communication with other students, however, so I was probably an exception to the norm.

I would absolutely recommend this course! Obviously, students need to be hardworking, but I don't think they need to have a strong interest in history to excel in this course.


Mrs. Richman's APUSH class posted by Molly Thomas on May 22 2015 at 20:44:01

This class was awesome! I felt very prepared for the AP exam. There were a few time periods that we didn't cover as strongly that showed up in the multiple choice and one of the shory answers was about Native Americans, but those would have been hard to predict. Doing the essays every month made the test much less stressful than it could have been. I worked on APUSH between 8-12 hours a work. I tried to do about 2 hours every night and it worked out well. My favorite assignments were the bio essays because I learned about people that I coul duse as specific examples in my essays and really getting to know a historical figure helps with the overall picture of the time period. I enjoy learning history so much more now that I've taken this class. It was very enjoyable. The most effective communication with other students (especially since there weren't any in my state) was the study groups lead by the TA's. This was very helpful for going deeper in understanding each era. I will definitely recomend this course to all students who I know will work hard.


Great year! posted by SRW on May 22 2015 at 17:34:10

This has been a very exciting class!  Throughout the year, Mrs. Richman has kept me busy with fun activities that I actually WANT to do because of the friendly approach she takes.  Even when I was busy with extra-curricular activities, I discovered that it was easier to do Mrs. Richman's homework than other classes because of how fun she made the class.  This enthusiasm really helped when it came to Exam-time.  I definitely felt over-prepared for the exam, which has boosted my confidence exponentially.  On average, I generally put at least 12-13 hours of work into APUSH, and when my school-year was busiest, the least amount of time I spent was around 10 hours.  This is saying a lot, considering the fact that I took 6 whole weeks out of the school year for speech and debate tournaments.  What I especially enjoyed about this class was that people were very willing to respond to my comments and my work, and I was able to talk with them and share my thoughts.  What was extremely helpful for me was that I was able to have 1 on 1 time with one of the TA's because we were able to meet up at the speech and debate tournaments.  I definitely recommend this class to anyone who is willing to go above and beyond.  I found that once I got into the class and understood the general flow, I REALLY wanted to go above and beyond.  Mrs. Richman does SO WELL with APUSH, you won't need much convincing.  My only regret is that I couldn't do more!  


Really fun! posted by Noelle Chow on May 21 2015 at 02:38:58

I had a lot of fun in Mrs. Richman's class. She's always emailing out extra content, interesting APUSH-related news, and biographies. I definitely feel that she prepared us well for the exam, particularly for the essays. We had a lot of practice. I put at least a few hours a day into the class. The biography projects were my favorite. The required creative format made the project a challenge, but especially fun. I was intrigued by my classmates' bio projects and their various formats. I definitely learned a lot this year. Sometimes the assignments seemed a little overwhelming, but it's certainly doable. You work hard, but you learn a lot. I really benefitted in taking part of the extra review materials like Crash Course and Hip Hughes videos. This is a great class if you are willing to work hard and take advantage of the extra opportunities that Mrs. Richman always includes. I had so much fun!


APUSH with Mrs. Richman: An Excellent, Excellent Course posted by Andreas Knaupp on May 20 2015 at 18:26:30

First off, I would like to say that this was an incredible course, taught by an incredible teacher.  Mrs. Richman is entirely devoted to each of her students, and I was definitely grateful for her assistance throughout the year.  She is very accommodating of scheduling conflicts, and even allows students to alter assignment due dates to better fit their individual needs.  In her weekly updates, and in various activities, she lets students know about (literally) hundreds of extra resources, which augmented the required activities and helped me gain a much more thorough, tangible understanding of history than I would have gained otherwise.

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

Absolutely.  Mrs. Richman’s course covered each era of American history in depth, and really helped me to understand core concepts in-depth.  Being a former APUSH grader, she is well aware of what characteristics test readers look for on the written portion of the exam, and uses a rubric consisting of these characteristics to grade the monthly practice essays for both the Document-Based and Free-Response/LE Questions.  She assigned practice multiple choice questions each week, and helped students develop a reliable thinking process for working through such questions.  The weekly required reading of primary-source documents helped me learn how to analyze such documents, and how to compare the views of individuals with varied historical trends.  Perhaps most importantly, Mrs. Richman’s weekly updates were essential in helping me put together information to get a picture of different themes in each time period.

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

I personally put in at least 10 hours of work per week, and often more.  However, this will vary for most students, because, while the base requirements of the course are not very demanding, often consisting of maybe 5-6 total hours of video/audio lectures and reading per week (in addition to the assignments), Mrs. Richman provides students with a wealth of optional activities.  These activities are often extremely helpful, and helped me understand certain concepts much better; however, they do take a lot of extra time.  What I found myself doing was picking and choosing which I thought would benefit me the most in accordance with my learning style and areas of weakness.

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

While I didn’t particularly enjoy them, the DBQ and FRQ practice essays, which are both completed once per month/unit, were probably the best form of preparation Mrs. Richman could have given me.  Completing the essays required me to piece together many individual bits of information to form a cohesive picture of the time period as a whole, which is an essential theme in APUSH.  In addition, Mrs. Richman’s grading system is, as I stated previously, directly based off of the College Board grading criteria, and her feedback really helped me see what I needed to change in order to score better on the exam.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, it did.  I’ve definitely gained a much greater appreciation for U.S. History through this course.  I think as I moved through the class, I became more and more interested in the topics I studied, and now find myself engaged by subjects which would have bored me prior to taking the course.

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

Peer relationships are largely determined individually by the students.  Some choose to join study groups run by the TA’s, and many choose to work together on certain projects/assignments.  However, very few assignments require direct interaction with other students, aside from brief, monthly reviews of other students’ essays.  I personally was not very heavily involved with other students throughout the year, electing to work pretty much individually.

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 any and all students considering it.  Seriously; if you want to take an APUSH class, take this one.  Do not be deterred by the large class size, as Mrs. Richman devotes her full attention to each and every student.  She was helpful in all emails I sent her, and I did not feel as though her assistance was hampered or abbreviated due to either requests from other students or to the extensive amount of grading she does.  Rather, take the class size to be an indication of the course’s quality and resulting popularity.  Be prepared to devote yourself to the coursework, and whatever you do, do not fall behind.  I made this mistake a couple times during the year, and had to work 20/25 hours a week on APUSH work to catch up.  Do as many activities as you are comfortable with, and make sure you can handle that amount of work consistently throughout the year.  As long as you do that, and apply yourself to all of your assignments, you’ll have a great experience, and will definitely score well on the APUSH exam.


My APUSH Experience posted by Rebecca Reynolds on May 19 2015 at 01:01:08

This year was full of new experiences, changes and excitement, and it's safe to say that APUSH played a part in this. 

Starting off, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this course. I was nervous; history had never been my best subject. But my fears were baseless; thanks to Mrs. Richman's organized and engaging approach to the subject I was able to keep track of my work, make connections throughout history and actually enjoy learning about the past. 

This is not an easy course, but it is very rewarding. I put in probably about 10 hours every week, give or take, and sometimes it was hard to get everything in on time, but I believe it payed off. I haven't gotten my scores back yet, but there was nothing on the exam that stumped me and I felt very prepared. 

This was not a boring class. So many times, history seems dry and dusty and irrelevant, but not from Mrs. Richman's approach. Her assignments, especially History In The News, focus on making key connections between the past and more modern events. This assignment not only makes history more memorable and personal, but also balances the student's perspective of the world today and allows for one to learn from the past. 

Mrs. Richman herself is an amazing teacher. She pushed me to do my best, but never overwhelmed me. She was very understanding about my schedule and was always ready with advice and answers to any questions any of us had. She always gave us time and resources for review which I found incredibly valuable, especially in the time just before the exam. 

I would definitely recommend this course to any student with an interest in history. I, for one, have come out of it with an increased appreciation for my ancestors, my heritage, and my country. 


Class Review posted by Wilder Cufley on May 13 2015 at 24:56:07

Yeah, I did feel prepared going into the AP exam. I think I put in about 10 hours a week. I thought writing an essay each week and getting such thoughtful feedback was really helpful. I have to say, no it didn't enhance my interest in US history. Honestly, I'm glad to be done with the subject (though the course was really awesome, just history is not my cup of tea :P)! I think anybody with a good worth ethic and desire to learn should do well in this course!


I looooooooooved this class!!!!!! posted by Amaya Fehringer on May 12 2015 at 16:20:44

So there is so much i want to say about how amazing this class is. First of all, Mrs. Richmond is an amazing teacher and (even though it sounds cliched) truly cares about her students. She's always super supportive and positive, and always ready to help anyone who is struggling. My day would be made when I would see her enthusiastic comments on my assignments. In the beginning of this course, I was struggling with an assignment, and she found the positives while at the same time helping me learn and improve. By the end of the year, those assignments were a piece of cake!!!

This class not only made me feel that I was over-prepared for the exam, but also fostered a deep love for history. Every week we would do a different assignment based off of what we would be doing on the test. Having to write the two types of essays that would be found on the exam every single month were especially valuable. While taking the exam itself, I found myself completely comfortable and familar with all the different sections, because I had so much practice doing them in class. Mrs. Richmond also is amazing at providing fascinating articles and short videos that can be used for extra credit. There are so many fun ways to earn extra credit in this class!

The most valuable part of this class for me was the amazing interactions that I had with my fellow students. We all had to read and comment on each others essays, and I gained so many new insights from this. The WWWboard was so beneficial as well. Many people posted helpful links, some posted encouragement, and often there would be lively discussions on many events pertaining to historical or current-day affairs or events. I also joined a Study Group, and this was absolutely amazing. The TA's were so helpful as well, leading study groups and posting so many amazing tips and encouraging words on the WWWboard. 

If one is looking for an easy, no effort American History class, this class is definitely not for you. But if you are willing to apply yourself, and put in the time, I would recommend this whole-heartedly. I spent on the average 8-11 hours on this class (but I did the majority of the extra assignments). There were some weeks where my schedule forced me to do the bare minimum, so then I spent about 5-7 hours (this is definitely not recommended though). I would guess an average student would spend about 7-10 hours per week. 

I cannot stress enough how amazing this class was (and how sad I am that its over)! I would highly, highly recommend it!

-Amaya Fehringer


So completely amazing in all ways possible posted by Catherine Marlin on May 11 2015 at 23:55:16

This class should be a requirement for all students everywhere!!! There is so much to this class that I loved. The biggest thing, though, was while we were always preparing for the exam, we were also learning history - not just for the exam, but for ourselves. The assignments teach you the past, and then you apply what you learned on the test. It's not just strictly spending a year learning exactly what's going to be on the test and that's it. 

The assignments are great - you learn history from every one, and sometimes you don't even realize it! The bio essays, (my favorite part!) allow you to take a creative approach to history, the cartoon analysis, history in the news and the DBQ Follow-ups give you the opportunity to explore on your own and present what you find. The LEQ and DBQs help enormously both in learning how to write well, and how to use information that you know in an essay. The MCQ TT and SAQ assignments really make you think and test how much you know.

But wait! There's more! Special assignments, like dinner parties, bonus links, and games help you learn even more while solidifying what you already know. There's literally something that appeals to every person. If you're not a reading person, there are lectures and videos! If you're not a audio/visual learner, there are textbooks and many recommended websites! Mrs. Richman gives encouraging, helpful feedback to every assignment, and her weekly updates often have extra links that are helpful to the time period being taught. You also interact with fellow students and TAs that offer excellent feedback on your assignments. 

As you might expect, this course is a lot of work, and it might seem overwhelming in the beginning. Soon, though, you settle in a monthly routine and as long as you allocate the time, it's pretty easy to stay caught up. Speaking of which, the time I put into the course every week varied. It was generally 8-10 hours on average, with more for special projects like Bio essays, or less if it was a really light week. It also depends on whether you do extra reading or listening to lectures during the week. 

To any type of student willing to learn and work hard, I'd recommend taking this course. There is so much to it that not much else matters since there's something for everyone! Loved, loved, loved, this course. =D


It's a blast :)! posted by Olivia Novobilski on May 11 2015 at 23:08:01

Dear potential APUSHers,

If you're looking for a course that will be fun, interesting, and very helpful in prepping you for the AP exam in May, you've come to the right place:) This course, taught by the fabulous Mrs. Richman, is perfect for students who love to learn and aren't afraid of a little hard work:

Mrs. Richman way over prepares you for the exam in this course, assigning weekly multiple choice questions and twice a month essays that require you to use your historical writing and analysis skills. In general, it took me about 10-12 hours a week to keep up with the course, and a few hours added to that for the special projects. The special projects were a fantastic way to learn about some of the important historical figures and the time they lived in, and in December I had the opportunity to work on a project about one of the United State's most controversial presidnts, Andrew Jackson, with some of my fellow students.

 I thought the most important assignments of the course were the monthly LEQ (long essay question) and DBQ (document based question). Although not the most fun assignments of the course, knowing how to write these essays well and quickly will be crucial for the exam. Some of my favorite assignments were the cartoon analysis and the dinner parties (a fun way to learn a little something about key historic figures, whether they are from the revolutionary or Civil War or even the Progressive Era. They're all a blast!)

A great thing about this course was that I got to choose how I wanted to learn, whether it was listening to a lecture, reading a book, or watching videos. In addition, I got to share this experience with my fellow students, meeting weekly to study or discuss historic events. In short, I recomend this course!!!!!

 

 

    

 



It's a blast :)! posted by Olivia Novobilski on May 11 2015 at 23:07:37

Dear potential APUSHers,

If you're looking for a course that will be fun, interesting, and very helpful in prepping you for the AP exam in May, you've come to the right place:) This course, taught by the fabulous Mrs. Richman, is perfect for students who love to learn and aren't afraid of a little hard work:

Mrs. Richman way over prepares you for the exam in this course, assigning weekly multiple choice questions and twice a month essays that require you to use your historical writing and analysis skills. In general, it took me about 10-12 hours a week to keep up with the course, and a few hours added to that for the special projects. The special projects were a fantastic way to learn about some of the important historical figures and the time they lived in, and in December I had the opportunity to work on a project about one of the United State's most controversial presidnts, Andrew Jackson, with some of my fellow students.

 I thought the most important assignments of the course were the monthly LEQ (long essay question) and DBQ (document based question). Although not the most fun assignments of the course, knowing how to write these essays well and quickly will be crucial for the exam. Some of my favorite assignments were the cartoon analysis and the dinner parties (a fun way to learn a little something about key historic figures, whether they are from the revolutionary or Civil War or even the Progressive Era. They're all a blast!)

A great thing about this course was that I got to choose how I wanted to learn, whether it was listening to a lecture, reading a book, or watching videos. In addition, I got to share this experience with my fellow students, meeting weekly to study or discuss historic events. In short, I recomend this course!!!!!

 

 

    

 



Best. Class. Ever. (Seriously.) posted by Corinne Ebner on May 11 2015 at 18:17:31

Okay, first thing I'm gonna say before I answer the questions: Mrs. Richman is awesome. I have never had such an engaging, wonderful teacher who is this passionate about her subject! And now I'm pretty passionate about her subject, too. ;) 

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

Walking into that exam room, I was way more than prepared. The class is extremely thorough, the assignments are really insightful, and the reading isn't too hard, but it gives you all the information you need to feel confident about the exam. And even though I sometimes dreaded finding them each week, primary source documents (PSDs) were immensely helpful. Overall, the class workload wasn't exactly easy, but every ounce was fantastic!

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

I would say generally around 9-12 hours a week (but often more like 13-14 on big assignment weeks). Of course, that counted my study group and other stuff that some people didn't do, like reading a lot in the supplementary text Making America (well, at least during the first semester...). Of course, I was certainly not one of the students who did almost as much extra work as required stuff, but I still budgeted at least 10 hours per week for this course.

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

Where to begin? Well, first off, the bio essays are pretty cool. Not gonna say they were my top favorite (mostly because of all the extra time I was spending on them...and procrastinating didn't help either...), but they're definitely up there! And the dinner parties were absolutely amazing! All of them were great, but I'm pretty sure I enjoyed the Revolutionary War period one best. Name-calling, pie-throwing, bee cows...what could be better? Plus, they were really helpful about understanding how different people felt about different events! On a regular basis, the DBQ followups were definitely my favorite. You get to explore a certain aspect of history that you may never have thought about researching, but you gather a whole bunch of cool information that sometimes goes well above the minimum word count.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Absolutely! I was always excited to get to my APUSH assignments, and now I always want to know the historical significance of…well, pretty much anything. I think I can consider myself a history geek now…

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

Yes yes yes! Study group was a fantastic way to look over material, go through essay prompts, and get required quizzes in. My study group quickly became my best friends in the class, and my amazing study buddy really helped me prepare for the exam and study things in general.

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

I would recommend this course to anyone who can handle the aforementioned workload well, whether they like history or not! (Trust me, you will like history after this class!) Anyone coming into the class should also want to participate in discussions on the WWW Board, and be ready and willing to learn! Because you will! :)


APUSH: Amazing Preparation for Understanding Significant History :) posted by Sarah Miller on May 11 2015 at 15:44:22

APUSH has been my favorite class this year, and it has made me fall in love with history. I'm a more educated citizen and voter because of this class.  

Did you feel the course prepared you for the AP exam? Yes! Yes! Yes! In fact, in many ways, I felt a bit *overprepared*! Mrs. Richman does a fantastic job of providing us with excellent resources and great motivation to study for the test! Not only does Mrs. Richman share with us ways to study and the information we need for the test, she also does a fantastic job of helping us prepare for the actual taking of the test (everything from what to wear, to making sure to bring an extra pen!)

How many hours of work per day or per week did you generally put into the course? I fluctuated greatly on this one, actually. On average, I probably spent about 10 hours each week. But, some weeks I would only spend 2-3 hours, and other weeks I would work on APUSH for 20 hours (usually those weeks would be back to back though :)). Mrs. Richman's schedule is set up nicely so that if you need to take a week off because of an illness or something, it's easy to move assignments. 


Are there any particularly favorite assignments that you found especially valuable? We write a ton of essays in this class, which prove extremely helpful when the test comes around. Not only was this helpful in that it helped me synthesize the information I was learning, it also drastically improved my writing skills. By the end of the year, it was very easy for me to write the essays on the test. 


Did the course enhance your interest in the subject? Definitely. I now will go out of my way to take a look at those historical marker signs, just because I'm interested in it. Prior to taking this course, I never really enjoyed visiting history museums, because I always got bored. But now, with the knowledge I have of US History, I couldn't imagine something better than spending a whole day in a museum! 


Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable? Yes! We're required to respond to 6 other students' essays each week after a essay assignment. This is really helpful for two reasons. First, we are able to see what worked and didn't work for other students. Second, students often give extremely helpful advice in the comments on the essays. This has helped me to learn and develop better skills. 


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. Whether you like politics, science, math, or history, this class is for you! When you take this class, you'll start to see connections between history and other things you have studied. It enhances your overall understanding. 


Loved It! posted by Jim Stewart on May 11 2015 at 13:29:20

This was easily the best online class I have ever taken! I felt veyr confident going into the exam and the coursework that we had done all year definitely paid off when it came time to sit and take the exam. I usually put about 7 to 8 hours a week of work into the course, and i would definitely recomend this class to another student if I knew they wpuld be willing to put inot the class the effort it requires. 


Awesome class! posted by Paige C on May 11 2015 at 11:30:52

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

Yes, it definitely did.  This year was the first year of a new exam format, but Mrs. Richman did a lot of work to make sure we were prepared for these changes.  This course will definitely prepare you for the exam as long as you stay on top of the assignments, keep your self-discipline, and, like any respectable APUSHer, watch John Green's Crash Course US History videos.  :)                            

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

I typically spent 7-8 hours on this course.  You could easily spend far more time than that on bonus work and study groups and all the little "extra" stuff on the class website.  I had a somewhat limited schedule and so I tended to focus on only the required assignments, but one of the great things about Mrs. Richman's class is that you con adjust it to fit your learning style and needs.

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

I really enjoyed the Bio Essay projects.  Each semester, you selected a notable figure from American history and wrote a biography of him/her.  But the "essay" had to be in a creative format.  In fact, Mrs. Richman says specifically not to make it like a Wikipedia article.  I did a website the first semester, and then a series of fake "interviews" the second.  

Less fun, but very valuable assignments were the MCQ-TT's (Multiple Choice Question -- Think it Through) assignments.  Each week, Mrs. Richman would post a practice MCQ from a past exam, and we'd try to answer it correctly using deductive reasoning.  It was extremely valuable in learning how to approach a difficult MCQ that you might not know the answer to right off the bat.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I already loved US History, but I learned so many fascinating things from this class that I think, yes, my interest even grew stronger.


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

I personally didn't communicate very much with the other students in the class, except to comment on essays.  Student communication is another part of the class that you can tailor to your own personal learning style.  If you learn better in a group, then there are numerous weekly study groups to join, and ways to communicate with fellow students across the class website.  I chose not to participate in a study group, simply because I didn't have enough time in the day with other classes, but I always knew that the option was available.


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 do well in this course you need self-discipline.  I think it could be very easy to "drift" through this class, only completing the bare minimum of work.  The class itself isn't extremely difficult -- Mrs. Richman is a very kind, understanding grader (you'll love getting her comments on your work!), and there aren't any tests in this class -- but you have to hold yourself to a high standard throughout the year in order to do well on the exam.

Overall, I had an outstanding experience with this class!  I learned loads about US History, and hopefully my AP exam score in July reflects that learning!


Fantastic Class! posted by Laura Hempton on May 08 2015 at 20:42:26

I aboslutely loved being in Mrs. Richman's class! The homework assignments were on a rotation so they never got boring. While they do require hard work, it is the kind of involvement that pays off during the AP exam. For example, there are two bio essay projects during the year. They require you do formulate a creative and in-depth outlook on a single historical figure. I really enjoyed excercising that aspect of my creativity while simultaneously studying. My advice for anyone taking this class would be to be very on top of the course work and to set up a study schedule. It is hard to catch up if you fall behind. Also, there are a LOT of resources to help you with your studying. It helps if you decide early on which ones you will use. Otherwise you might end up feeling swamped or like you haven't studied hard enough. 

The dinner parties are also very engaging and fun. For them, you masquerade as a historical figure and participate in discussions as if you were them in real life. Often this provoked very interesting discussions and a deeper understanding of historical events. 

Overall, this was a fabulous class. I think you will be hard pressed to find a teacher as engaging, thorough, and supportive as Mrs. Richman. I now have a love of history and a knowledge that will serve me for the rest of my life.


Perhaps the most rewarding history class you will take... posted by Alex Gallagher on May 08 2015 at 18:07:36

Hello! If you are reading this reivew you are likely a student or parent interested in this course! I know I definitely looked at the online reviews when I was deciding to take APUSH! I began online schooling in my sophmore year so that my academic schedule had more flexibility to accomodate my intensive ballet training. I wanted to take APUSH but my online school did not provide it because they did not feel qualfiied to teach to the new format of the APUSH exam, which changed in 2015. Determined to take the class, my parents and I found PA Homeschoolers, and upon reading the reviews for Mrs. Richman's class, I quickly decided to apply. Looking back on the year, it was definitely a great decision. 

Almost from the beginning of the year, I could tell that all of the positive reviews I had read were absolutely true! Mrs. Richman is a fabulous teacher who truly cares about all of her students. What makes it even better is how attentive and enthusiastic she is about the material and about learning.

I entered the course with an interest in American history but also with the idea that some eras were just plain boring. As a self-confessed neglector of the Civil War, and of most of the history between the American Revolution and the 20th century, I found that I was able to truly enjoy even the parts of history I did not think I would like.

The resources available to this course were incredible, and they really helped me dig deep to discover all of the rich details residing in history. Understanding the complexities of history and learning to put events and people in context really helped to paint a "Big Picture" of American history. In my application essay for this course I actually wrote that I was hoping to gain this "Big Picture" from my learning, and I absolutely did! The learning done in this course is the kind that will stay with you and contribute to your understanding of the world. This class is about more than learning material for a test.

For those of you wondering more about the specifics of the class, I will share my experience with different aspects of it!

I will start by saying there is an ABUNDANCE of resources to facilitate and customize learning: There is wonderful variety of reading material, plenty of videos to watch, and even an incredible 84 episode lecture series!! I personally found the lectures to be so enriching, but don't worry, if lectures aren't your thing you have other options for learning! (Although I would recommend you at least give them a chance!!!) That is one of the amazing things about this course! Each individual student has a lot of say in his or her learning process! Mrs. Richman has developed an amazingly comprehensive course filled with OPTIONS so each student can learn in a way that best suits them!

That being said there are some requirements for the course in the way of weekly assignments and larger projects due over the course of the year. The assignments done on a weekly basis help in preparing for the AP Exam in May. There is strong practice in essay writing expected on the test, as well as practice in the multiple choice and short answer aspects of the exam. As for the projects, Mrs. Richman provides a fun and creative way to enhance learning on more speicific topics. These projects do require a signifcant amout of effort, but they are all enjoyable and you are given ample time to complete them, and since the weekly assignments are not too labor intensve, I never felt swamped by this class. For me the projects were the most fulfilling aspect of this course because I was able to create websites and videos that I now have to look back on as memories of the class and all of my hard work. 

One final thing I will say about this course is how wonderful the community is. Mrs. Richman, the teaching assistants (who are APUSH students from the previous year) and the other students all create an encouraging environment where learning is truly fun! It was incredible to be able to interact with the TAs and students on a weekly basis through optional study groups (which again, I would recommend) because it made the class more enjoyable! I definitely would not have enjoyed APUSH as much if I did the class on my own. This was the first course I took on PA Homeschoolers, and as a senoir I wish I found the program earlier because I would have loved to take more courses here! APUSH with Mrs. Richman is by far the best course I have taken in my three years of online schooling!

Whether you have never taken a course on PA Homeschoolers before or you are familiar to the program and are interested in APUSH, I highly recommend this course! Not only will you be more than prepared for the AP Exam in May but you will also develop skills and knowledge that will take you way beyond high school! :)

 


Wonderful class! posted by Elizabeth Kim on June 24 2014 at 19:06:50

I'm not much of a writer...or a reader for that matter...and when I foud out that I would be taking this class last year, I was very much not happy. However, not long into the school year and now at the close of it, I can't say anything but that both Mrs. Richman and her APUSH class are amazing.  What should have been a very difficult class (based on the workload ;) turned out to be fun and very nearly easy. Mrs. Richman is a wonderfully understanding, gracious, and encouraging teacher--perfect for anyone taking their first AP course...and anyone taking their 10th :) The class point system was very fun and made it easier to motivate myself in regards to the great amounts of reading required in a history class.  All in all, APUSH with Mrs. Richman definitely prepared me for the test and was a very enjoyable experience. I highly recommend it.


Definitely My Favorite Class of the Year posted by Ryan S. on June 17 2014 at 24:09:54

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

Yes, this class did a great job of preparing me for the exam. Mrs. Richman is an experienced and enthusiastic teacher and every assignment she gave helped prepare me for the exam.   

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

I spent 8 to 10 hours a week on the class on average. I spent more than that when I had a big assignment due, like the Andrew Jackson Web Quest in December. 

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

The FRQ and DBQ essays were invaluable in getting ready for the exam. But my favorite assignments were the MCQ Think It Through questions. And I thought that the Andrew Jackson Web Quest team project was a great college-prep experience.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

I was already very interested in American History and this course deepened my knowledge of the subject.

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

My communications with my classmates were always interesting, and often were useful, and sometimes were very fun (like at the dinner parties).

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 enjoys history and is willing and able to put in around 10 hours a week will do well. 


Take this class. Why? Because it's awesome, that's why. posted by RJ Vega on June 14 2014 at 21:26:33

 

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

Yes. Mrs. R is so great with providing many great ways to learn including Videos, essays written by historians, and Primary Source Documents. By the end of this class, I felt very confident that I had a strong understanding of U.S. History.


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

You definitely have to have the motivation to work hard, but the rewards are awesome! Yeah, I know that sounded corny, but it’s true.
 Personally, this was my first AP class and I  wanted to do very well so I put  a LOT of time into this class…especially when there was a creative project, but overall, I think the amount of time that I spent, varied on the difficulty of the week’s assignment. Just be prepared to work hard.



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

As I mentioned in the last question, I really enjoyed the creative projects. Every week you have a regular assignment such as an FRQ, DBQ, or writing an essay about a news article that relates to American History. While these are the most prominent assignments, throughout the year you will also receive other projects that will allow you to infuse whatever talent or interest you have into your work. Mrs. R is very flexible with the creative format. Within the span of the year, my formats ranged from Flash animations to rap songs, so if you enjoy putting a creative twist on your work, you’ll have a blast!


        Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

For me, yes. I really developed an interest for this country’s past. I felt this also came from the extra learning that I did, such as watching U.S.history related films… From the Roots Miniseries, HBO’s John Adams, and even Forrest Gump.
To get back to the question, I spoke to some friends who were also taking the class, who thought US History was generally a dull topic. They found that this class brought it to life. ..which leads me into the next question…
Did you find your communications with other students to be interesting or valuable?

If you make the effort to interact with your classmates, then this class is extremely social. There are many ways to get to know your classmates, from the weekly TA-led study groups to one-on-one study buddy meetings on Skype. Overall, I made a lot of awesome friends in this class.

        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!)?

Yes, if you’re willing to work hard and be dedicated, then I would definitely recommend this class. You will not regret it. Mrs. R is an amazing teacher.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up. Do it. Now. I’m watching you.


The best AP starter course! posted by Arden Earnest on June 10 2014 at 24:20:02

Yes. The amount of in-depth communication between the students and the teacher, extensive amount of reading and essay-writing and interaction between students in study groups as well as study sessions with other peers contributed to the extreme preparation for the exam. Preparation includes students being giving primary source documents, essays and chapters in historic texts to read, optional study sessions with former APUSH students and also consistent writing assignments that gradually improve with constructive criticism from the teacher. 

Sometimes, the amount of time I inserted into APUSH weekly depended on the difficulty of the week's assignments and sometimes a busy schedule. My usual hourly contribution included 10 - 16 hours a week. The course is intensive, but the learning experience and opportunity (and a supportive, caring teacher) makes it all worth it. 

I'd have to say the FRQ (Free Response Question) because I could do as much unlimited research and (somewhat limited) writing as I wanted. I entered the course, absolutely positive that my essays were going to be advanced, but the course has improved my writing by so much. Though the FRQ was my favorite, I enjoyed all the essay-writing assignments. 

Yes. I had always loved history because, as my mom says, "Life is stranger than fiction." During dinner table discussions we would debate Civil War strategies and pick our favorite commanding officers and generals. My father and I began interacting more and more about our love for history when this course inspired me to expand my knowledge beyond the internet. 

Study group was what I looked forward to the most every week because of my wonderful TA, Jonathan Moy and his teaching (as well as learning) ability. I also enjoyed creating more of an intimate bond with my classmates throughout the weekly sessions. Students also connected with peers outside of the class and studied either weekly, occasionally or before the exam. 

Do not be fooled by thinking this course is an easy, run-of-the-mill, college level class. It's much more than that. It involves having one skill stronger than any other: A psychological state that you can overcome the course, no matter how terrified of the workload or intensity. This is not to frighten you, for the class is also very fun and you end up making many friends. The course is a great AP starter. It gives you the foundation for many other AP courses. This was definitely the right choice for me as I was a freshman and I wanted to engage in advanced classes. This APUSH course surely gave me the reassurance I needed that I was able to conquer a college level course and succeed. 

 


Favorite class of the year! posted by Emily Anderson on June 10 2014 at 22:44:31

To all of you considering taking APUSH with Mrs. Richman: GO FOR IT! This class is super fun, engaging, and an awesome AP test prep to boot! Some questions you may be asking right now...

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

Absolutely! This is the third AP exam I've taken, but only the first online class. The other two were mostly self study. And I must say, although I scored well on them, APUSH is the only one I've felt completely ready for!

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

About ten hours per week, give or take. More of there was a special project I was trying to perfect ;)

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

Well, for starters, all the writing assignments throughout the course! I would only be exaggerating a little if I said this class taught me how to write! And of course, the two multi media biography essays. Prior to this, I had never explored website designing, but Mrs. Richman gave me a very good reason to, and it turned out to be an incredibly valuable (and fun!) experience! 

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

YES! As my mom says, any subject can be interesting with the right teacher, and Mrs. Richman fits the bill like no other. She obviously has a great love and enthusiam for U.S. history that is quite infectious!

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

Absolutely! My team actually held weekly meetings through G+. We'd take quizzes together, discuss essay topics, and of course, get to know one another :D I think talking about the material as we went really helped cement certain concepts.

What sort of student would do well in this course?

I don't think you have to have a great love of history before going into this class, nor do you have to be a confident writer (I sure wasn't when the course began!) But, you do need to be motivated. This course took up more time than any other class I had this year, but it was totally worth it! 

I hope this helped, and maybe I'll even see some of you in APUSH 2014-2015! Mrs. Richman gave me the honor of being a TA, which was pretty much a dream come true. I didn't want to leave at the end of the school year! Good luck to you future APUSHers! 

--Em


A Most Enjoyable Experience posted by Joshua Hahn on June 05 2014 at 16:08:38

Mrs. Richman's class thoroughly prepared me for the AP US History exam. But not only did she teach me the material, she went above and beyond the course's requirements. Mrs. Richman presented in-depth study assignments and creative material in a format that was very enjoyable. This helped me to volutarily dive deep into a subject that I had orginially shown very little interest in. I enjoyed Mrs. Richman's class point system--turning learning into almost a competition among the classmates. After taking this class, I thoroughly recommend Mrs. Richman's AP US History class to any student wanting to learn the history of our nation!


I loved APUSH! posted by Angela Guan on June 03 2014 at 15:07:00

When I first heard about this class from a friend, I was already excited to sign up for it! APUSH had been my 1st big AP course, and it was my first time taking any online course. From the beginning to the end, I enjoyed AP US history mainly because Mrs. Richman made it so fun! Throughout the school year, Mrs. Richman's years of experience, loads of encouragement, and hours of dedication helped me to love learning and enhance my interest in history. I especially liked the structured assignments for each month and how from the very first month, we had already begun preparations for the AP Exam 9 months away! 

Yes. This course definitely prepared me for the AP Exam because all year and even every week, we had been preparing for the exam. We did not wait for the last couple of weeks to study, and Mrs. Richman offered great encouragement and experience. 

In this course, I felt like the hours each student puts into the course depends on themselves. Those who put in long hours and great initiatives reaped amazing results. I would say that 8 to 10 hours is an appropriate estimate.

I feel like each assignment was very valuable because we were able to practice FRQ and DBQ essays, primary sources, political cartoons, and multiple choice questions. 

Yes! Not only did this course enhance my interest in the subject, it also helped me realize that learning is fun! 

Yes! I really enjoyed communications with other students as well as my own teammates. Mrs. Richman divided our class into many teams, and each week, our team had a group video chat to discuss multiple choice problems. Study buddy times were great too, and it was valuable for us peers to work with each other. 

Any student with the initiative and passion for learning would do well in this course. I would say to have a positive attitude and try to enjoy this course. And yes! I would definitely recommend this course to other students! 

Thank you, Mrs. Richman for an amazing year! After I took the AP Exam, I felt like I tried my best with my preparations and performance. That was when I realized how much I loved APUSH! 


posted by Shannon Wade on May 31 2014 at 02:33:56

To be honest, APUSH was a difficult class that felt like a breeze. From the start, the pacing of the homework, the assignment LOG to track my work, and Mrs. Richman’s weekly emails helped me stay on top of things. Personally, I love reward systems. :) So, the point system in APUSH (where reading American literature or history books, watching history movies, or doing bonus activities) really motivated me to read more and learn more about American history. The more I read and the more bonus assignments I did, the more points I got to propel my team forward to the top of the team standings. I took roughly two hours a day on average to complete the work, but in reality, the homework load didn’t feel overbearing. I learned the material easily and retained it (as evidenced by my scores on the practice exams we took) and did, indeed, feel like this course prepared me well for the AP exam.

 

I particularly liked the flexibility we had for some of our projects – for instance, being allowed to submit a historical parody of “What Does the Fox Say?” for the Webquest and creating a website and whiteboard animation for my two Bio Essays. In addition, the fact that we were required to peruse political cartoons each month was enjoyable. (Once, the very cartoon I analyzed for the cartoon analysis appeared on my practice APUSH exam o.o). Overall, APUSH was a fun, educational class with a stupendous teacher, and I would recommend it for anyone who is willing to put in the effort, work hard, and study, as well as those who enjoy branching out to discover more on their own and throwing pies at fellow classmates.


This class turned me into a history lover!! posted by Angela Rogers on May 30 2014 at 13:54:57

Okay, before I answer the questions I just have to say I LOVE THIS CLASS.  I used to love history when I was younger because it was like a story, but as I got older and it started being more about memorizing dates, I got bored.  I honestly wasn't looking forward to this class because I had heard so many horror stories of my friends who weren't prepared for the test.  However, I completely rediscovered my love of history because of my classmates and Mrs. Richman's enthusiasm.  I would 100% recommend this class.  Now onto questions!!

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

So generally speaking, I'm a worrier.  I stress out over exams big time.  While I was seriously terrified going into the exam, I did have a measure of confidence that there was really no way I could completely fail.  The test itself (much to my shock and excitement) was actually kind of easy.  This class will completely kick your butt, but by the end of it you WILL be ready for the exam if you do your part (although you may annoy some people.  I'm pretty sure my parents are fed up with my "fun facts from US history" that I throw into conversations)

--How many hours did you put in?

I'm just going to come out and say it: a lot.  I was taking some pretty tough classes along with this one (another AP class and some college courses) and I spent a very large portion of my time on this.  On the low end I spent maybe 10 hours a week and I spent A LOT more time as the test got closer.  I will say that you probably could spend less time if you weren't as picky about getting extra reading done and videos watched.  Also, there is a lot of reading so if you are a slow reader, it may take you a little longer.

--Are there any favorite assignments?

This is going to sound really dorky, but I loved doing the FRQs and DBQs which were practice essys done to prepare for the exam.  You will be doing a lot of these, so I hope you like them too.

--Did the course enhance you interest in the subject?

Absolutely, just as I said above.  While I don't think I will be majoring in history in college, I will no longer be afraid to take another history course.  I have even continued my research on some of my favorite topics even though the course has ended. 

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

I have to admit, I tend to do better in classes if I have other smart students to compete against.  I was initially afraid that since this is online I wouldn't have that competition.  Boy, was I wrong!! Every week you read and comment on other students' papers and you have a group assignment on Andrew Jackson in December.  I found the other students to be totally engaging and helpful to talk to.  There was a small group of other students taking the class with Mrs. Richman in my area that got together to study or watch documentaries throughout the year and I really enjoyed this time as well.  There are always great ways to stay connected in this class!!

--What sort of student would do well in this course?  Would you recommend it?

This class is not for everyone.  If you are not willing to work hard, learn from your mistakes, and engage with Mrs. Richman and other students than it will be a very tough year.  I think the hardest part was the long term aspect of the class.  You had to remember what you studied in August and in April!!  If you do everything that is assigned (and maybe some bonus assignments) you will do fine.  I had tons of fun, met lots of cool people, and learned some information that I will take with me for the rest of my life.  I totally recomend it.


An Absolutely Amazing AP Class! posted by Mikayla B. on May 29 2014 at 21:54:57

Hello potential APUSHers!

      First of all, this AP course was fantastic! Going into the school year with this course on my plate did not seem too thrilling at first. I was a little doubtful because I already had a busy schedule and no motivation to add to it. However, this class actually proved to be quite interesting and even fun! Mrs. Richman proved to be an excellent teacher as well. The guidence that she provided us with throughout the year is absolutely unmatchable! Additionally, she gave us tons of encouragment throughout the year and made history really fun. She has a great personality that made me smile a lot throughout the year. If you take this class, prepare to see lots of encouraging smily faces in her updates:)

      Here are my answers to potential questions you may have...

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

      Yes! I felt very prepared for the exam! Mrs. Richman gave us amazing guidence throughout the year in many ways. She helped each of understand the causes and effects of certain events in addition to information about a certain event or time period. We were given wonderful, interesting resources throughout the year to gain further knowledge as well. Additionally, Mrs. Richman gave us encouraging corrections on somehing that we may have misunderstood or missed. Overall, the assignments that we did the entire school year forced us to learn more U.S. history (not in a bad way). Also, we practiced Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Free Response Questions (FRQs), and Document Based Question (DBQs) from the very beginning of the class. It was very beneficial to practice these because each of those appear on the AP exam.

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

      The amount of time that I spent on APUSH each week varied on what was assigned. Generally it was anywhere from six to ten hours a week. I know that sounds like a lot. However, the assignments are generally not long and boring so time does not really pass by that slowly.

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

      I found the FRQs and DBQs to be the most beneficial for me. First of all, these assignments were beneficial because we would go back and do ones that were on AP tests several years ago. From the beginning we were practicing for the AP exam by writing these essays. These essays were really valable for me personally because I got to write about what I had learned. Also, reading fellow classmates' essays helped me to pick on information that I might have missed.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

      I would say that APUSH did enhance my interest in U.S. history. I was interested in history before this class. However, as I learned more and more about specifics, causes and effects I became even more interested in it. Each week I was eager in expanding my knowledge in U.S. history and I do not plan to stop.

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

      Absolutely! First of all, I made a lot of new friends this year from all around the world. It was definetely not hard to do since everyone in my class was pretty amazing:) Also, I had a bunch of friends from my homeschool group that were also taking APUSH. We had a study group nearly every week for about an hour. At first we quizzed each other and played games to enhance ur knowledge. As the exam came closer, we would meet more often for about four hours to study together. It was really helpful to get together with other friends to study and review. I also had an amazing study buddy. We partnered up to do our weekly MCQs and other quizzes. It was very nice to have a friend/study buddy by my side throughout the year because we would teach each other so much and have many laughs while doing it. Communication among the entire class whether casual or history related were so valuable to me. In fact, I would say that the fact that we got to communicate with ease with one another would probably be one of my favorite aspects of the class.

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 say that as long as you are willing to work hard and have the motivation to do well, you would be the perfect student for this course. Yes, it is a lot of work but I would not think twice before recommending this course to other students. It has helped me tremendously, therefore, I have no doubt that you would also benefit.

 

 

 


Thinking of taking APUSH? posted by KM on May 27 2014 at 13:05:08

Hi, future APUSHER's! :) 

Here are a few things I have to say about Mrs. Richman's APUSH class:

1.  She is a great teacher!  I think that one thing that really makes a teacher good is their love for the subject they are teaching.  Mrs. Richman LOVES history.  She has a passion for it and helps her students get excited about it in every way possible!

 

2. There is a ton of work.  This really has prepared me for college classes, though. :) Just know before coming in that you better be dedicated to this class.  She is really understanding about letting you make up missed work due to vacation, sickness, etc.  Just be sure to keep up with everything because it is very fast paced and if you fall behind, it's hard to get totally caught up.  I generally put roughly 15 hours into the course per week.  There is also a lot of writing.  I feel like my essay skills have also improved throughout the course of this class.  Mrs. Richman also gives good advice on how to improve your essays.  She is really encouraging and always includes what she likes about your writing.  That was really nice to have :) 

 

3.  I felt like the course did prepare me for the AP exam!  I was honestly pretty worried about not having anything to write about for my essays, because they can ask you about ANY event that occured in the course of American History.. that's a long time!  I had something to say about every essay topic that was given :) I really felt prepared!  

 

4.  You will do well in this course if you go into it with the mindset that there will be a lot of work, but you CAN do it!  You need to have confidence!  Confidence and a good work ethic are two key things you need for this class :) You will learn a ton, and will also create new friendships.  People learn differently and this class offers a ton of ways to learn.  There are all kinds of activities that you will be able to take part in.  Whether you prefer writing, group activities, plays, movies, reading, music, etc, this class will utilize all of your interests to help you retain history.  Know how you learn and make this class fun in your own way! :) 

 

Good luck! :) 


A little bit of encouragement for potential future students :) posted by Emma S. on May 24 2014 at 24:58:48

First of all, let me just tell you--I was fully expecting AP U.S. History to be my least favorite class of my sophomore year.  I had never taken an AP course before, but I knew that they require a lot of work and preparation for the exams.  I wouldn't say that I went into the class with a full-on pessimistic outlook, but I wasn't prepared to be optimistic, either.  The first time I talked to Mrs. Richman (our WONDERFUL teacher), I got a feeling that APUSH wasn't going to be quite as bad as I had originally assumed.  And I was right!  Just getting to "meet" and interact with my fellow APUSH'ers online was enough to convince me that I had been wrong to judge the class in advance.

Aside from getting to know my classmates from all over the country (which you'll also have the opportunity to do if you take the class!), I feel like I learned so much more about American history than I ever had before.  Call me a nerd, but I've always had a special aptitude for history (of any kind, really).  Getting to go so in depth with our great country's heritage was a phenomenal experience, and even if you don't particularly enjoy history, I can promise that you'll be fascinated!  As an avid writer (who writes short stories for fun), I especially enjoyed the two Biography Essays that we got write in a creative format.  I had tons of fun learning about John C. Calhoun and Henry Ford, as well as getting to make websites and create different ways to tell their life stories. (I also know some people who made videos to talk about their Biography subjects!)

As a general guess, I'd say that I spent about 6-7 hours a week on APUSH. That may seem like a lot, but really, that's just about an hour a day!  During the second semester as we prepared for the exam, I spent a whole lot more time than that on my APUSH studying (for good reason).  I can say with absolute confidence that this class truly prepared me for the AP exam!  All of the essays that we wrote and the videos & lectures that we watched really paid off in full, so don't think for a minute that all of that work will be in vain! ;)

I would absolutely recommend this class to anyone who is interested in learning more about our country's history, as well as anyone who is just "curious" (curiosity is good!!).  However, do be prepared to do A LOT of writing (for me, as a writer, it wasn't a big deal)!  If nothing else, it will help you enhance your essay-writing skills as well as learn a ton about whatever time period you're studying.  You may not think that writing the essays will help you remember anything, but it really does!! I can recall looking at Multiple Choice Questions on the exam and thinking, "AHA! I remember that topic because I included it in one of my DBQ essays!"  Also, above all else, be prepared to learn so much more about American history than you ever thought possible!!  It will be time-consuming (as any AP class is), but it will be 100% worth it if you're willing to put good effort into it. :)

An extra little perk for me was being able to involve my family in my studying. My parents both enjoyed watching history documentaries and movies with me, which we did A LOT.  It was fun to see which of my parents would actually have better recall on historical events (mostly my dad ;)).  I have to credit him for sharing his love of history and museums on trips to Washington, Virginia, Philadelphia and across the South as I have grown up.  APUSH also made it fun on any road trips we took, as we looked for opportunities to pull in history via field trips and quick side stops.  Living in North Carolina and having relatives in South Carolina made that fairly easy!


So, this has been a reaaaaally long evaluation (as I kind of expected....writer problems. *sigh*).  I hope that through reading my rambling, you've been encouraged to sign up for APUSH as soon as you leave this page!!  I don't care if you're as doubtful as I was (which was pretty doubtful)--just give it a shot for me, okay?  I wouldn't tell you any of this stuff if it wasn't true or if I hadn't experienced it for myself. :)

Wishing you all the best in your APUSH experience,

Emma


What's so great about APUSH...? posted by Anya Hong on May 22 2014 at 23:06:56

I know there are a lot of reviews to read, so I’ll keep it short(ish).

 

First of all, what kind of student should take this class? A motivated, dedicated student. If you’re looking for an easy history credit, just keep walking. I spent about two hours a day on the assignments throughout the year, and as the exam date approached, I often put in three or four hours. This course requires a good amount of time, but it is well worth it! It requires some independence and a relatively strong work ethic as well; you are responsible for turning in assignments on time! Mrs. Richman will not email you if you have missed an assignment; it is up to you to stay on top of your workload. With that said, Mrs. Richman is always more than happy to grant an extension when one is needed, provided you have a valid explanation!

            This course definitely prepared me for the AP exam! Mrs. Richman’s entire grading system is based on the system used on the AP exam itself, so it’s a great tool for measuring yourself. We wrote many, many timed essays, which prepared me well for the exam. I felt very prepared for the multiple choice section, as well. Motivated students will find in this course everything they need to do well on the exam, provided they have the discipline to do the assignments.

            Of course, Mrs. Richman didn’t simply “teach for the test,” either. She always included extra bonus links that we could read if we were interested in a topic, and she always encouraged us to learn more than just what we needed to know for the test. Coming into the course I knew next to nothing about US history (I was pretty sure the Revolutionary War was different from the Civil War – I’m not kidding, stop laughing), and now I feel like I have a firm grasp on our country’s history.

            In short, here’s what I want you to remember from this review: with dedication and hard work, you can easily walk away with a 5 on the exam, and if you take full advantage of everything this course has to offer, you can easily walk away with a deep appreciation for history, too. 


Mrs. Richman - APUSH posted by Shelby on May 22 2014 at 15:34:49

This class is absolutely amazing! Besides learning a lot of history, I felt very well prepared for the APUSH exam. One of my favorite things about this class is the particular emphasis placed on FRQs (exam essays). Mrs. Richman assigns an essay almost every week, so by the time the exam came around in May, I had written a lot of them and felt very comfortable discussing a topic in 35-45 minutes in writing. I think anyone willing to put in time and effort (I usually spent 6-7 hours a week) and take initiative on individual research would do well in this class.


posted by Bryce Cuthriell on May 21 2014 at 24:33:33

This was my first AP class, and although it is by far not easy, it is one of the best classes I have ever taken. I felt very well prepared for the exam. Mrs. Richman really helped me step by step with the matters I needed help on, and is always more than prepared to give very helpful and useful answers to virtually any reasonable questions. The class does require much initiative and hard work (when the AP exam drew close I probably spent between 3 and 5 hours on it per day, but those times are just me and I tend to have to study more than some people), but I highly recommend it to really anyone with any interest in the topic of US History.


Absolutely amazing APUSH course... posted by Madison D. on May 21 2014 at 21:17:26

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

Yes, tremendously.  Throughout the year, we completed one College Board FRQ essay and one DBQ essay per month, which are the type of essays that appear on the exam.  We also answered one multiple choice question every week.  Mrs. Richman encouraged us to think through these questions, carefully eliminating wrong answer chioces, and getting accustomed to the type of questions that are on the APUSH exam.  We also spent lots of time reading about U.S. history through online texts, study books, primary sources, etc., as well as watching videos, and studying with study buddies.  These assignments greatly prepared me for the exam, by allowing me to grow more and more confidant with the type of questions, and gain more experience developing a top scoring essay.  Walking into the exam room I felt very prepared and confidant.  There were very few multiple choice questions that I had never heard anything about, and I had an abundance of information to add into my essay responses.  If you put in the effort, you will be very prepared for the exam.  In addition, you will have a huge knowledge of U.S. history, which will allow you to understand our country even more.

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

I spent about 8-12 hours per week on this course, which is 1-2 hours per day.  This was a lot of time, but it was all worth it.  I was able to fit my APUSH into my busy life, and soon began to find that my time spent on APUSH was the most enjoyable school time of my week.  Towards the end of the course I focused more on studying and reviewing for the exam, so I spend more time each week, sometimes as much as 20 hours.  Don't let the huge time commitment scare you away.  APUSH will become part of your life and you will get used to spending lots of time on it.  And you might even really enjoy that time, as I did.

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

The assignments in this course are all extremely interesting and enjoyable.  My favorite assignment was the Novemner History Interview.  We interviewed anyone who had any sort of connection to history.  This could be a veteran, or just someone who has lived through the last century and experienced the changes that have taken place in America.  This assignment was very valuable to me.  It gave me a more first hand viewpoint on history, and allowed me to experince history in a new and fascinating way.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes, definitely.  Before taking APUSH, I was midly interested in history.  It wasn't my favorite, but I also didn't strongly dislike it.  This course made me LOVE U.S. history!  I understand and know so much more about hsitory than I did before.  Everything about this class (the asignments, peers, Mrs. Richman's constant encouragement and enthusiasm, etc.) makes history really come alive and become very fascinating in a way unlike any other history class I have ever taken.  I would go as far to say that it is almost impossible to take this APUSH course without discovering a greater love for history.

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

Yes!  This course really encourages communication and interaction between all the students.  I participated in a weekly study group with several students, and set up study times over Skype frequently.  It was really enjoyable and encouraging to be able to interact with my peers.  They would help me understand concepts that were confusing to me, and just made learning even more fun.  I found that many of the students in my class came from similar backgrounds as me, and enjoy similar activities.  This made it easy to get to know them more and grow friendships.  

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

I would definitely recommend this course to other students.  I really enjoyed APUSH.  It was one of the best classes I have ever taken.  Any student who is willing to work hard and put in the effort will be successful in this course.  It is very helpful to be organized, motivated, and have strong study skills.

 

A sidenote on the teacher: Mrs. Richman is an AMAZING teacher.  She will push you to work hard and do your best, and is always available for any sort of assistance.  She is the most encouraging and enthusiastic teacher I have ever had.  She is very involved in the course and wants to connect with each and every one of her students, as they grow as a student and as a person.


APUSH is a wonderful class! posted by Olivia C. on May 21 2014 at 18:19:55

Dear future (hopefully!) APUSHer,

I’m going to try and give you a picture of the AP U.S. History class (otherwise known as APUSH)  and answer some questions you might have. 

 

Yes, definitely!  Every other week we were required to write an FRQ and a DBQ.  Or, in other words, exam-style essays.  (Don’t worry, if you take the class you’ll soon get used to all the acronyms!)  We also did a weekly multiple-choice question that was taken from a past exam to practice thinking through the different answer choices.  Aside from those, we read and read – essays, newspaper articles, primary source documents, blog posts – pretty much anything related to history! 

 

I tried to put at least 6-8 hours a week into the course, although sometimes it was more, sometimes less.  I’ll warn you right now that it’s very hard to stay on track with time when you come across some fascinating history-related website!  Just be sure you don’t spend your history-studying time on Facebook.  That is not the way to earn a 5 on the exam!

 

My favorite assignment was the November History Interview.  I had the privilege of interviewing a WWII veteran who fought in Germany.  With my mom in tow, I arrived at his house one evening wishing sincerely that my crazy history teacher didn’t make us interview random strangers who were probably deaf and crotchety.  I don’t know how long I was at his house, but I do know this: I lived his experiences right along with him.  Sitting here at my computer, I can still visualize the images his words put into my head that night. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done and I’m so thankful to my “crazy” history teacher for making it a requirement in class!  While not particularly valuable for exam preparation, the History Interview was valuable because it taught me to take chances.  If I had taken the easy way out and interviewed my grandparents instead of this “random stranger”, his story would not be written down and I would still be kicking myself for not calling him and requesting an interview. 

 

Not really, but that’s only because I’ve always loved history. 

 

Very!  At the beginning of the year I vowed to be more involved with my fellow APUSHers than I had been with my AP Lit classmates the year before.  I still wasn’t as involved as I would have liked but having a study group was helpful (and fun!).  Spending 2 hours on the midyear review because of lasagna cake and Panoramio and political party quizzes and debating why Brits hate Americans and hating Brits back until realizing that Tolkien and Lewis were Brits and discussing WWII and doing quizzes and review and helping each other in general is going to be a big part of my APUSH memories! 

 

I wanted to say something clever here about lowly hobbits being chosen for great journeys but my cleverness isn’t feeling clever today.  To do well in APUSH, you must work hard.  APUSH is amazing.  I loved this class. But some days I honestly felt like throwing in the towel and giving up.  I would definitely recommend this class to history-lovers and even some history-dislikers.  For the history-dislikers, I know you don’t like history but this class may change your mind.  If you’re willing to work hard and don’t hate history with a passion, go ahead and give it a stab.  You may be surprised! 

 

One last note: Mrs. Richman is the BESTEST teacher and she is very enthusiastic about history.  You will want color ink in your printer for the weekly updates (and do print them out – and underline the important stuff) because her writing looks something like this:  “And WONDERFUL APUSHer  [your name here] has found some *amazing* review videos!!!!  Woooooo!!!  10 *bonus points* for looking over them!!  Kids, don’t forget to review *daily* for the AP exam…even 10 minutes a day helps!  Thanks to *lovely* TA soandso for posting those WONDERFUL inspiration messages!!  Keep up the good work!”  Also in her updates are links to everything from a list of grisly punishments for lawbreakers in Jamestown to information about Hanukah.  I would highly recommend following the links and taking the corresponding bonus points.   You must also understand something about Mrs. Richman’s grading system.  You can get a 5/5 on an assignment one week that looks like this:  Wooooo!  FANTASTIC 5!!!!/5.   The next week, your 5/5 might look like this: Fine 5/5.  Be forewarned that those two grades are not equal!  

 

Sorry for the long class review!  Hopefully you gained a bit of a feel for the class through all my ramblings.  APUSH is great and I hope you’ll be writing up your APUSH class review next spring.  


Amazing class and teacher posted by Jackson Min on May 21 2014 at 13:36:09

This is a fantastic class, taught by a wonderful, encouraging, but demanding teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I would certainly recommend it to other students. I worked around 12 hours a week, which is a significant amount of time, but it was worth it. The class definitely helped prepare me for the AP exam, although I did do some extra prep work on the side. APUSH helped me gain a much broader knowledge and appreciation for history. I particularly liked the “History In The News” and DBQ Follow-up essays. These helped me get a much better understanding of confusing events. In addition to these fun activities, we wrote real College Board essays twice a month and did a multiple choice question every week. These, along with my readings, really helped me when testing came around. I was actually sad when the class ended.

Mrs. Richman is awesome. She is really caring and helpful. She is willing to help students that are struggling and makes learning history fun.

I have come out of this class feeling more knowledgable than ever before.

If you love history, are willing to work hard, and want a good score on the AP exam, I strongly recommend that you take this course.


Slippery Slope posted by Delphia Borden on May 19 2014 at 18:54:18

This year has been a very hard one for me, my first official year of highschool. Two APs (This and American Gov) really bogged me down on top of three nights of dance, two guitar lessons per week, voice lessons, bridge club, volunteering, and performing. I've learned to lighten the load to avoid this slippery slope... I feel confident about my performance on the AP exam, but very ill about my behavior in class. Always late on work and rarely turning in logs didn't exactly hinder my learning, but it added to my stress. This course was extremely valuable to learning and appreciating American history, before this I was a brainwashed teen who though America was only fast food and bad government... I've been able to learn how wrong I was during this course. I'm now able to appreciate the privilages I have and understand what it truly means to be American. I now have a number of events I can allude to in writing and remember to prevent me from repeating mistakes. I think everyone should take APUSH as an intensive way to study and understand the world behind and ahead of them. Ignorance may be bliss but nothing can compare to the feeling of truly knowing the country you were born in and loving it.


Absolutely fabulous class! posted by Kasia Ashwill on May 19 2014 at 14:57:55

Hi possible future APUSHers!

As I signed up for this class, I was rather nervous to see how it would work out. How much work would I have to do? Would I be able to find a study buddy? How much would my classmates and I interact? Would I even be able to do the AP exam!!?? Well...here are answers to those questions (and a few more;-)). 

The week before the exam, I pretty much just watched history videos. I felt very calm and it was reassuring to review through everything and have my memory be triggered by even little phrases. When testing day came, I was actually super excited to take the test. (You can blame my amazing study buddy for that! Well.. and maybe the fact that I got to take peanut m&ms with;-)) As soon as the test started, I felt like I was in my element. There were only a few questions that I felt 'iffy' on, and I felt like a knew the material super well. So, yes, absolutely! This course prepared me for the AP exam amazingly! 

But I did have to put in many, many hours of work. This isn't just a class you can take and hope to do the bare minimum. If you really want to get your worth out of it, you will have to work HARD. So, in general, I did about a minimum of 12 hours a week. (That's 2+ hours every day). 

My favorite assignments (and the ones that I felt really helped me prepare for the exam), were the DBQs (Document Based Questions), FRQs (Free Response Questions), and MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions). The reasont that I say that these were my favorite, is because they are the exact assignments that are on the exam. So basically Mrs. Richman was splitting up exams throughout the year and having us do them unknowingly. When it came time to do the actual exam, I was a practiced veteran. ;-) 

This course has caused me to look at everything differently. Ever since I was little, my mom has always been the one to think of things historically (whenever we'd visit a new town, she'd look for museums, and somehow manage to find something of historical significance). But after I took this course, I began to see things that correlate to history everywhere. After all, we are living in a new past.

One of the absolute best parts of this class is how alive this class is. Whenever I had questions, I could always post them on the "wwwboard" or email the TAs or chat my study partner. There were 'dinner parties', group projects, study groups and soo much more. I know that part of the reason I felt prepared was because of my fellow classmates - they pushed me to work harder, and fully understand all the concepts I came across. I absolutely love how interactive this class is! 

If you are at all thinking of taking this class, I HIGHLY recommend it. Mrs. Richman is THE best history teacher you will ever meet, and the entire course is just fantastic! However, you have to be willing to work hard, put in hours, and push yourself even when you think it's not possible. That said, you will experience something out of the ordinary if you take this class - it is just ... amazing. Whoever said that history classes don't teach life lessons, debating skills, and knowing how to retort back to someone about to smash a pie in your face, don't know what they're missing out on! This class is just amazing. 


A Challenging But Fun and Valuable APUSH Class posted by Nathan Emery on May 18 2014 at 19:33:40

Since it would be easiest, most direct, and probably most helpful to answer the questions directly, I'll do that in my review.

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

Yes. The weekly readings and lectures, combined with reading, lectures, and videos for extra credit, taught me the facts and information necessary to do well. In addition, the weekly essays (especially the FRQs and DBQs–1 each per month) made it almost routine to come up with complex theses for the essays on the actual exam. Writing the essays in class also gave me a broad range of topics from which to choose, making it easier to come up with examples and support in my essays. The weekly Multiple Choice assignments had us think through questions in-depth, posting our thoughts on each answer choice. This exercise was also immensely helpful in exam prep. When I came across questions on the exam that I didn't know much about, I didn't have to guess out of five choices and move on. I was able to think through each of the answers and find something unreasonable with many–whether the answer choice happened earlier, later, or just was incorrect in the time period. Thus I was able to answer questions even when I didn't know the facts necessary.

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

I spent between 8 and 12 hours on a normal week, usually somewhere in the middle. Due to the nature of the course, however, there were always options for bonuses and extra credit. One week, I spent 12 hours because I completed the core assignments and watched a three-hour-long Jimmy Carter documentary. Sometimes I spent some time reading books outside of class, like biographies, for fun. However, these also count for credit and towards my 8-12 hours. Generally when I had a big assignment coming up, like one of the Bio Essay projects or the APUSH exam itself, I spent a higher number of hours, whereas on more normal weeks I spent lower.

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

This questions depends on the definition (or context) of the word "valuable," if it means valuable in terms of exam preparation or if it means valuable in terms of learning and thinking. I will answer both.

One of the most valuable exam preparation resources, as I said above, where the essays. Towards the end of the year, I reviewed my old essays and saw that my ability to make connections and think about history really grew over the year. Thus essays were valuable in helping with exam prep and in growing as a writer and thinker.

However, some of my favorite projects that didn't benefit me for the exam quite as directly were the Bio Essays and Dinner Parties. The Bio Essays are creative-format projects that each student writes (or films or records or sings) twice a year. They center around the lives of people who aren't the most famous historical figures. For my first, I acted as both and interviewer and an interviewee in a video. For my second, I created a news website, written from the perspectives of three different authors with different viewpoints–some articles were praising and some were inflamed. Though they were a lot of work, they required research, writing, and drawing connections, all of which benefited me. In addition, they were quite enjoyable.

The Dinner Parties are online "parties" where APUSHers take on the roles of historical characters and debate issues of their time. As history often has opposing forces, many characters were on opposite sides. This often devolved into less-than-civil "accidental" spills or drops of food, convienently onto each other's laps. Each party was quite enjoyable but also valuable in helping me to see history from the side of someone who I don't necessarily agree with and why that person made the choices they did.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes. I had never specifically enjoyed American History. If I had to choose a history, it would be World History, but even that was not one of my favorite subjects. The class made history learning fun, however, through the variety of assignments and extra-credit opportunities. In addition, it helped me to see connections and think critically about history, which made it more than just fact memorization. This combined to make it an enjoyable and engaging class, enhancing my appreciation for the subject.

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

Yes. Students commented each week on each other's essays, offering suggestions and pointing out historical "goofs," facts that were wrong. These were helpful in improving my essays as the year went along. The Dinner Parties, mentioned above, were also enjoyable. Finally, there were many opportunities for study groups online. Working with other students to answer multiple choice questions helped me to learn answers and facts that I didn't know as well as to learn of different perspectives. They were quite valuable.

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 the class is one who is just what it says in the question: willing to work hard. APUSH does involve a good bit of work, primarily because there is just so much to learn about our history. In addition, the student must have good time management and organization. There are deadlines for most assignments and there are quite a few assignments to keep track of each week. However, the class was never overwhelmingly difficult, and Mrs. Richman helped the students along tremendously. Here weekly Update messages laid out much of what the students had to do each week. At first they listed every assignment and bonus option, and later on, as students grew familiar with the normal assignments, they listed just extra credit, review, and upcoming essays. In addition, the APUSH calendar and syllabus lay out many of the assignments, so keeping an eye on those (especially the calendar) can help in staying organized. 

I would highly recommend this course to students who are willing to work hard. As long as they can discipline themselves to complete the assignments and get them in on time, the student will find this class enjoyable and, much more importantly, valuable in learning about American History and in growing as a writer and thinker.


AP U. S. History with Mrs. Richman posted by Megan Pollon on May 16 2014 at 14:02:18

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

Yes!  I had at least heard of or learned about almost everything I came across on the exam.  Mrs. Richman will prepare you very well.  If you put the time into the class that it needs and you study well during the review month, then you will be ready.

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

About 7-12 hours per week.  Every week is different, some will take more work and others will take less.

-Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Yes!  History was definetely my favorite subject this year.  Mrs. Richman makes history interesting and she gives you so many ways to learn it.  I definetely enjoy history more now.  Even if you don't like history coming into the class, you will most likely come out enjoying it to some extent.

-What sort of student would do well in this course?

One who is willing to work hard.  If you take time to figure out how the class works and all the assignments, then you will do well.  This class is very fun and interesting, but you must work hard to do well in it.  I would definetely recommend this course to any student willing to put the time and effort into it.


Amazing class!! posted by Ollyvia Lim on May 16 2014 at 05:02:59

 This course definately helped to prepare me for the AP exam.  Mrs. Richman does an excellent job at keeping us engaged and motivated to work hard.  I spent about 6-10 hours a week into APUSH work and quite a bit more when it got closer to the exam :)

 I am SO grateful that you taught us how to write FRQs and DBQs!  I know some kids in my exam room were very nervous about the essays because they were not taught or did not practice them often.  Thank you!!  The bio essays were definately one of my favorite assignments - one of my bio essay subjects actually came up on the exam so that assignment was very helpful!  This course ignited a new love and outlook on history - I learned so much!  Engaging with the students was very beneficial, especially through critiquing eachother's essays.  This class is great to get a feel for AP classes.  I would (and already have!) recomend this class to other students!  

Thank you so much for an amazing year, Mrs. Richman!!  


A Journey Toward Success posted by Cole Riel on May 16 2014 at 01:44:24

        To say that I have learned a lot this year in Mrs. Richman's class would be an understatement of the greatest magnitude.  To be perfectly honest, I was really nervous about taking this course at the beginning of the year.  Being unprepared, the idea of writing an essay every week, among other work, seemed to me to be an impossible task.  I have always been a terribly slow writer, so I probably spent more time on the same amount of work than the average person, such as spending up to 20 hours a week on some of the first assignments.  However, Mrs. Richman has been one of the most understanding teachers that I have ever known.  Throughout the year, Mrs. Richman worked diligently with me and the rest of the class, responding to each one of my emails quicky with help and care.  When the time to take the actual AP exam came, I was prepared.  I knew what to say.  I knew how to say it well.  I could say everything I wanted to say in a timely manner.  All because of the wonderful Mrs. Richman.  I can say with complete confidence that this has been one of my favorite classes that I have ever taken.  And before the class I wasn't even a fan of US history...


My FANTASTIC Experience With APUSH :-) posted by Faith Brooks on May 15 2014 at 21:37:42


Mrs. Richman's wonderful class posted by Jamie Wheeler on May 15 2014 at 16:26:51

On a test recently, I needed an example for an argumentative essay about how to teach creativity. I was arguing that students learn to be creative by the example of teachers who teach creatively. I found that I had a perfect example of creative and effective teaching in Mrs. Richman's APUSH class. This is why.

Although Mrs. Richman teaches online, this actually enables her to give much more personal attention to each student than she would in a classroom setting. Each essay and written assignment, of which there is at least one every week, receives an evaluation from Mrs. Richman, often a lengthy and interesting one. On any topic that is brought up, Mrs. R. has some interesting and relevant historical information, and she encourages her students also to find such connections. The wide variety of assignments in the class, ranging from listening to audio lectures to writing a creative-format Biography Essay, provides something for every type of learner. Like to read? Check. Like to watch videos? Check. Like to discuss things with classmates? Check. Like to write analytical essays? Check. Like to play games? Check. Like to sing? Check -- I'm not kidding. With all the extra credit and the creative projects, there really is an opportunity for anyone to take this class and make it their own, yet the history never gets watered down.

I put about seven to eight hours a week into this class, not including the extra history books I read outside of class simply because they were interesting. I often spent more time than I actually had to, simply because the class was so enjoyable. I really enjoyed discussions with my fellow students, both on the WWWBoard and, in historical character, at the Dinner Party, where everyone role-plays the point of view of some historical personage.

If I had one favorite assignment, it would probably have to be the Bio Essays. The combination of a creative project, a multimedia presentation, and an fascinating story to tell makes it something that contains all the best features of APUSH, as it were, boiled down into one assignment.

I feel this course prepared me very thoroughly for the AP exam, and it certainly did enhance my interest in the subject. I liked American history before; now I love it.

Any student who's willing to work hard would do well in this course and enjoy it. Having strong study skills helps, but Mrs. Richman helps people learn them, with her weekly updates and her organization. Reading her very long weekly updates can sometimes feel at first like drinking out of a fire hose, but every word of them is helpful and important. A tip that will help you is to make a list every week of all your assignments for that week, from the Assignment Log, the calendar, and the weekly update. If you do that, it becomes comparatively easy to keep up with all the assignments -- then you get to focus on the fun part, which is doing them.

Mrs. Richman brings each era to life with a wide variety of fascinating assignments (no busywork or drudgery here!) and a personal attention to each student that helps them learn how to explore history further for themselves. I couldn't have wished for a better history teacher, and I'm only sorry I can't take the class every year!


AP US History: Challenge with a lot of fun along the way posted by Benjamin Moy on May 15 2014 at 11:37:17

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

I definitely felt ready, and I say that without a doubt. During the test, the Multiple-Choice Question section (MCQs) were very easy to follow and answer; this was aided by the weekly questions Mrs. Richman posted, the 3 sets of MCQs we were required to complete each week, and the study group that I was involved in. Concerning the essay portion of the test, I was not as proficient in the essays, but I felt that I had a controllable grasp on the DBQ and two FRQs. Again, this was aided by the weekly essays that were required by Mrs. Richman. Thus, though the preparation may be challenging during the school year, the end result is definitely worth the effort and time. 

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

Usually, I started my day off with AP US History, and I spent approximately 1-1.5 hours each day at the beginning of the school year. That equates to about 7-7.5 hours per week. As April and May approached, I started to add more review time, boosting that number to about 2-3 hours per week, about 10-15 hours a week.

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

I found reading the APUSH prep book by Larry Krieger to be very helpful in addition to the weekly MCQs. These two resources really helped to cement certain ideas and events in my mind, enabling me to adequately prepare for the APUSH exam.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

This course really helped to expand and enhance my interest in American History. I entered with a fair but not extremely deep knowledge of U.S. History (i.e. wars, Presidents, MAYBE some major events), but I exited knowing dramatically more than when I entered; my brain is filled full of things like the Halfway Covenant, the New Deal, Railroad Strikes of 1877, Black codes, the founding of NASA, the Nullification Crisis, Horace Mann, Jane Addams, Alice Paul, Frederick Douglass, Thaddeus Stevens, Whigs, Manifest Destiny, the Beat Generation...simply put: I learned a lot and I enjoyed it immensely.

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

I was involved in a weekly study group, and that really helped me get to know some of my classmates as we studied together. In addition, the WWW Board was a great place for me to acquainted with the conversations between Mrs. Richman, the TAs, and 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!)?

Haha, this is a relatively hard question to answer, but I would DEFINITELY recommend this course. Its rigor and intensity is not overwhelming at all; it just presents a challenge that can be easily conquered when aided by cooperation, hard work, determination, and effort. As a result, if a student is willing to cooperate with others, learn material, MEMORIZE FACTS, work hard, stay determined, and have fun, I think APUSH's for them. 


Useful Tidbits On Mrs. Richman's APUSH Class posted by Addison Merryman on June 15 2013 at 07:27:57

Dear APUSH wanna-be’s,

Hi!

If you’ve spent any time reading the hundreds of reviews on this page, you might have absentmindedly guessed that Mrs. Richman was the most reviewed PA Homeschoolers teacher EVER. You would probably be right. So I’ll try to provide some insight on what (most likely) hasn’t been said yet.

Mrs. Richman’s class is loaded with students—40 this past year. You might presume her to be extremely busy. She is. And if you’re only one lone person in a huge class, will you get the attention you need?

Definitely. Whenever I had questions about history or assignments, she would ALWAYS take the time to talk to me until I understood. All it took was firing off a quick email or, in my case, starting a GTalk chat. Many times in less than a minute, the reassuring, light-gray text would pop up. “Mrs. Richman is typing.” Within class, you can always expect to see thoughtful, 1-2 (or more) paragraph-long responses to all your written work. Mrs. Richman is always active on the WWWBoard (the online student hub), and overall she does a terrific job of communicating with her students.

Proactive and effective time management is a prerequisite for this course. The average 8-10 hour workload each week is easy to manage in itself, but for those of you attempting to balance three or more AP courses this year, be wary of the blurred line between required and extra-credit assignments. Know the syllabus; know what HAS to be done. Definitely put aside time and make a strong effort to explore and do extra-credit work—there’s a wide range of activities that will teach you a lot. I totally recommend them. But if you are juggling several APs and are in super-stress mode, it doesn’t hurt to remember that most of the assignments in the weekly 5000-word emails are optional, not required. Work hard and strive to learn more, but don’t burn yourself out or get so bogged down in extra-credit work that you miss the more important stuff. The first five or so weeks of the class will be a bit confusing as you try to figure out your assignments and schedule, but remember that you can always email Mrs. Richman and easily straighten things out. Even if you get confused later on in the year about assignments and other things, remember that she’s always ready to help. I can’t emphasize that enough.

As a senior, I was trying to balance 4 APs and also eleven college applications to top schools; now looking back, I wish that I had had capacity to do more extra credit work. Mrs. Richman’s extra-credit assignments are very creative and dynamic; they are unique, fun, and engaging ways to experience history transformed from a text-constrained study to a study of fascinating people, events, and places. As much as you can, take full advantage of them.

This class will suit you best if you already know how to write AP History essays. I really like the way that Mrs. Richman takes time to personally grade all the essays. She does a terrific job of processing the historical arguments and responding to them, offering lots of insight. She stresses good analysis and full understanding of the historical concepts, as well as mastery of the smaller details. That being said, strong theses, concise paragraphs, comprehensive organization, active/clear sentence structure, etc. are not a high priority in this course. This is somewhat fitting, as the AP US History exam grading seems to emphasize good historical content and analysis over writing quality and essay guidelines. Even so, already having those writing skills will give you a valuable boost.

If you decide on this course (which I highly recommend), a few weeks into September you might start to wonder about the generally high grades. Are they inflated? And how can you tell if your essay is REALLY GREAT or just good?

Two years ago when I took Mrs. Paher’s AP European History class, the essay scores seemed to average about 6-6.5/9. In Mrs. Harrison’s AP World History class last year, the essay scores seemed to average about 5.5-6/9. There was a wide range of scores in both of these classes, with some as low as 2 or 3 and others as high as 9. Anyway, in Mrs. Richman’s class this past year, the essay grades seemed to average at about 8.5-9/9, with a surprisingly big sector of grades being 9s. It wasn’t often that I’d see a 7, and I think I might have seen only one 6 in the entire year of the course. That’s for essays; when it came to other writing assignments, I never saw anything less than a 5/5. So is there inflation? Before you read any further, take a look at these AP score statistics. So is it really inflation then? Or is Mrs. Richman’s class just simply that good? There might be a bit of the former, but I’m leaning towards the latter on this.  The students in my class were incredibly bright and Mrs. Richman’s teaching brings out the best in her students.

But if you find that you’re getting straight 9s and are curious as to whether they’re “mediocre” 9s or “top end, truly phenomenal” 9s, it’s actually a lot less tricky than you might think. So here are some insider tips. J

To differentiate between an "ack" 9/9 and a top notch 9/9, Mrs. Richman uses three unofficial tags in her comments: Fine, Strong, and Top. There will also be interspersed "very's" to differentiate "strong" from "very strong." Also, a capitalized "VERY" is much better than a lowercase "very.”

 

You can also tell how *fine,* *strong,* or *top* an assignment is by counting the number of exclamation points after different congratulatory words. For example, five exclamation points are better than three, and "!!!!!!!" is better than "!!!!"

 

Also be sure to check whether she writes an overwhelming "THANK YOU!" somewhere in her response –aim for an essay that generates an effusive "THANK YOU!!!" in the comments.  You will know your essays are hitting the mark, that you are thinking and communicating well, and you will be well prepared for the exam and other college-level courses.

So what’s the end verdict? This class might operate a little different than you’re used to, but what you’ll learn is worth it all. United States history is a fascinating thing, especially in that it covers many additional fields like economics and politics. It rarely gets boring (though the Progressive Eras still put me to sleep despite Mrs. Richman’s creative teaching effort) and in itself is very dynamic and diverse course. On top of that, Mrs. Richman is a very engaging, lively, intellectual, yet warm, encouraging, personal teacher. She literally makes the class. I know that I enjoyed it immensely and had a terrific year—I hope you do as well! Register away!


A highly recommended online course. posted by Jacob Abel on June 04 2013 at 17:05:45

Put quite simply, this course is excellent. Not only will it help prepare you for the exam, but it also will encourage love for history that will last you a lifetime.

While it might seem like reviewing an online course could be either bland or straight forward, this is not the case with Mrs. Richman's AP US History class. There are so many things that a participant of the class looks forward to and wholeheartedly enjoy that they are hard to pick out and name. And since to list them would be tedious... I will present to you my personal favorite and things that I found outstanding.

The personal feel of the class.

Often times one anticipates that there will be some sort of disconnect from themselves and the teacher when taking an online course. This is NOT the case with this class. Mrs. Richman does not only structure the class to feel personal but she is also *very* enthusiastic about what she does! ;) She doesn't just grade essays, she looks for ways that you can improve in weak areas. She doesn't just request assignments, she participates with you by giving areas to branch off from. This helps you keep focused and determent for the "long haul".

Would I recommend taking this class? Yes. I definitely would, If you are willing to completely commit yourself to it and keep yourself focused on what is at hand, this is an excellent opportunity to take. However I do have a caveat. If you have a weak writing style, work on that over the summer. While it won't pose too large of a hindrance this class has you writing essay If you.


Amazing US History Class! posted by Hank Meldrum on June 04 2013 at 14:59:11

This course made me incredibly prepared for the exam, giving me the skills and confidence I needed to work through it and be proud of the result. If you want to absorb as much useful information as possible in fun and diverse ways, this is the course for you.

No matter how you learn best, there is an assignment for you. Besides reading the text, we watch and listen to several different kinds of video and audio resources, read from primary source documents, review movies and news articles, analyze political cartoons, and more. If you enjoy making videos, you have the chance to do so with two different creative format historical biography essays. If you like hearing about history firsthand, there's a history interview assignment that you're sure to enjoy.

Definitely! I learned about so many new facets of US history that I never even knew existed, and now I'm even more fascinated by it! You'll witness the legacy of a nation unfold before your eyes in this class...don't miss it!

If you enjoy discussions with your peers, you will have the chance to do so on the main board, as well as in no less than three historical dinner parties. Also, student study groups (whether in real life, or via the internet) are highly encouraged (with extra bonus points, of course!). Mrs. Richman and the class TA's also participate in discussions, and offer their very valuable insight.

 Anyone who is willing to put the time and effort required into this course will grow and thrive! I would recommend this course to any hardworking student. Liking history will you start out in this class, but if you don't, expect that this course will change your mind!


Thank you, Mrs. Richman!! Why Take This Course? posted by Noah Koehler on June 04 2013 at 12:32:29

This course served very well to prepare me for the exam. The PSD reading assignment helped tremendously with the document based question. Mrs. Richman's constant use of past MCQs helped a lot to prime us to understand how the mcq's are written and gave us many keys to solve them. This was one of my favorite assignments through-out the year. They were like puzzles to solve. Weekly writing assignments were challenging but prepare the student well for exam writing.  

This class definitely requires many hours a week. I often spent part of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 7 - 12  hours at least! Hours were well spent. I will never lose the learning that went on during this US History year! 

I loved doing the cartoon analysis and MCQTTs as well as watching the documentaries and History in the News. The bio essays were cool, and I learned a lot making a website and a FB page for mine.

Yes! I was always very interested in history. I would have classified it as one subject before, but now realize that it is really a combination of many subjects. 

I found interacting with classmates to be one of the more valuable aspects of class. Reading their many posts and essays gave me a glimpse into each of the students' lives, but it was study buddy time and class projects that helped me get to know other students. I could not make the time the TA chose to offer study group, so I missed out on that, and I wish that had been different, but otherwise, I liked every bit of student interaction I had, especially the practice APUSH exams with classmates.

Any person who likes to read, anyone who likes to learn about the stories of peoples' lives from the past, anyone who is up for a challenge, anyone who is a history buff, and even anyone who thinks they don't like US History, is in for a treat! This class was incredible! I would never have believed how thorough and how alive a study of US History could be. Mrs. Richman is one of the very best teachers I have ever had. She supports every student's efforts and encourages students to always dig deeper while acknowledging the thought and work the student has already done. I've never had so much personal feedback from a teacher and so much helpful constructive criticism that specifically directed my learning in a positive way. Mrs. Richman, you are a gifted teacher who has impacted me by your fine teaching example for the rest of my life. Thank you!

Regards,

Noah


I. LOVED. THIS. CLASS!!! posted by Madi Luther on June 03 2013 at 21:22:33

I loved this class Mrs. Richman!!!  Thank you SO much for teaching it! :)  I felt *pretty prepared* for the exam (as much as you can for an AP exam xD) and this class has deepened my love for history.  I would *ABSOLUTELY* recommend this class to other students!!!  My little sister is already trying to plan which of her friends are going to take the class with her in 3 years ;-)  

I think I put a lot of time into this class.  Pretty much all of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so like 15 or more hours every week.  My favorite assignment was probably the interview  because I had never interviewed someone before and it made me a little bit more comfortable talking to someone i don't know very well.

Thank you so much for putting so much effort into this class!  I learned so much during it.  It was *wonderful* and I LOVED it!!!!  


EXEMPLARY!!!! Class posted by Thomas Garton on June 03 2013 at 19:01:34

The very first thing I'd like to mention is that although this class is wonderful in its own right, without Mrs. Richman as our teacher I wouldn't find this class to be too much of a standout.  She is very upbeat, happy to work with students, and even happier to learn from the discoveries of those students.  She is what truly makes this class exemplary (as that is one of her favorite adjectives to describe our work).

I felt this course very adequately prepared me for the AP exam.  I feel confident about my 5 :)  However, it wasn't without hard work.  I put in around 8-10 hours of work on this class every week (more towards the actual AP exam).  You definitely need to be motivated to do well in this class because otherwise I can imagine it would be easy to do the bare minimum and still scrape through.

My favorite assignments were the regular weekly ones.  I thought they did the most to give me a broader base from which I could work off of during the test.  I did enjoy working with my classmates on the Andrew Jackson Webquest, and thought it was a fun experience to create my own website during my Bio Essay on Governor George Wallace, but the FRQs and the DBQs were the most useful in my opinion.

Overall a wonderful class with a wonderful teacher!  I would highly recommend this to any motivated kid with an interest in history.  9/9 EXEMPLARY!!!


APUSH 2012-13!!! posted by Tabitha Smelser on June 03 2013 at 15:04:01

First of all, I do believe that this was my favorite academic class that I have EVER taken! This is not because it was just so easy, or because I am just so sharp, but because it was so filled with learning from beginning to end in various fun and challenging forms!

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

Well, that's a little tricky because I haven't yet received my scores, but my answer would still be a definite YES. The course enables the learning of just about everything you need to know for the exam, but on top of that, real exam success depends on to what extent you are willing to apply yourself. Mrs. Richman (our EXTRAORDINARY teacher!!!) encourages each student to take INITIATIVE. She helped me to take responsibility to fill my own brain with history! This was especially key in this class since it is online! Mrs. Richman is not able to literally stand beside you and WATCH you work, but she trusts that the messages I posted about personal and group study, were truthful, as I was truthful to her. HOWEVER, since there is a distance between student and teacher, it was important that Mrs. Richman encouraged us to take so much initiative on our own so that we will finish the exam having know that we worked to the best of our own ability. For another thing, I really felt nervous in the beginning of the APUSH year, because I felt like the information wasn't STICKING! I felt as if I was moving on to the next era before I could reinforce the last. At that point, I felt that I would not be very well prepared for the exam I KNEW was coming!!! Here is what I think saved me: Mrs. Richman allows about a month of INTENSE review before the exam, so that ANYTHING you feel shaky on can be reinforced. This was just SO helpful, and a key part in preparation for the exam. Additionally, it helps to have people near you (location-wise) who are taking this class with you! I was quite fortunate to have 4 "study buddies" just a few miles away! I realize that this is impossible for many students, and if it is, I suggest skype of google plus video hangouts so that you can study together! Lastly, the DBQ and FRQ writting really helped me prepare for the exam as well.

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

I tended to work on APUSH on Wednesdays through Fridays generally every week (before the end of my other classes, and the APUSH exam). The reason for this was because I had other deadlines that needed to be accomplished on the other days. However, I let APUSH take the most time of all of my other classes (in fact, more than 5 other non-AP classes combined!). Before I began APUSH, my mom and I said that we would give APUSH dominance over my other classes since it is a more influential class in the long run. Still, I'd say that I spent about 10 hours a week on APUSH assignments and review.

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

Yes. I'd say the most valuable assignment was the bi-monthly FRQ's and DBQ's. This was important because we knew both types of essays would be on the exam. Further, once we got a little practice with these essays, we began timing ourselves. Later, we began writing timed essays by hand, and scanning it onto the website! This may have been the most valuable assignment becaus eit greatly prepared me for the exam. As far as fun goes, I loved the December Film Review and playing Who Am I?, both of which were historically enhanced and fun activities! Also, I take pleasure in writing, and thus thoroughly enjoyed the writing assignments due each week! I don't know which was my favorite aside from the exam essays, because I loved the cycle of HITN (History In The News), DBQ Follow-Up's, and cartoon analysis's each month. Lastly, I really learned from and liked the Biography of America videos. They were helpful in memorizing information.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

ABSOLUTELY!! History is now one of my very favorite subjects in school! Before this class I was fairly indifferent about it. For one thing, I now have a much better understanding of it, and secondly, Mrs. Richman is GREAT at making learning fun!!! :)

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

Yes. As I said, it really is nice to communicate with classmates even if they aren't just a few miles away (like Asia or Africa where 2 students were living!!). Skype and such makes that easy, and it is worth the time and bonus points!

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 this is a VERY VERY valuable class, and I strongly recomend it.......... IF......... you are up for a pretty heavy load of homework, you enjoy learning in general, you are not prone to give up, and you are willing to REALLY apply yourself! I have found that if I had not enjoyed this class, it would have been 10000000000 times tougher!!! There is A LOT of work to do, but here's what makes it worth it: this is a lively class that makes learning interesting, and makes you actually want to learn more!

Thank you SO MUCH, Mrs. Richman for teaching the best class EVER!! :D


Favorite class this year! posted by Michaela Dunlap on June 03 2013 at 13:16:58


Amazing class, exemplary teacher!! posted by Lauren Kam on May 23 2013 at 17:44:52

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

Yes! In addition to just doing practice exam essays (FRQs and DBQs), Mrs. Richman has us do a lot of supplementary assignments like History in the News reports, DBQ follow-ups (do further research on a document in a DBQ), cartoon analyses, and more! At first, I wasn’t quite sure how all these extra assignments were going to help me, but once we started doing practice multiple-choice tests, it all came together. “Ohh, I know this guy! I did my Biography essay on him!” Every single one of Mrs. Richman’s assignments helped me in some way, she doesn’t assign any ‘busy work’ so we can kill time. I don’t think I would have done half as well on the exam without all Mrs. Richman’s assignments!

The weeks before the test, Mrs. Richman also sent us a TON of practical advice, from acupressure tricks to keep us alert during the exam to bringing peanut M&M’s to give us a protein/sugar boost while finishing the last half of the test. During the winter, Mrs. Richman challenged us all to exercise more to prevent us from catching the flu and such. And it helped, I didn’t get sick anymore after that!

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

I typically spent between 8-10 hours a week on the class.

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

I enjoyed all the assignments, but my favorites were the December Film Review and the two Biography Essays! Initially, I didn’t want to watch a documentary (oh my gosh, it’s an HOUR LONG?), but when I actually started watching, the time went by so fast! I chose a PBS American Experience film on Dolley Madison, and I learned so much! I thought I knew everything about Dolley Madison, but after watching the documentary, I felt like I almost knew her. Almost… not quite. My other favorite assignment was the biography essays! For the first essay, I chose to write a story about Prudence Crandall from the perspective of one of her students. My second bio essay was a website about Levi Strauss (we’re required to create one bio essay in a web format). I had an incredibly fun time reading books and condensing it into my projects.

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

Without a doubt! I already loved US history from 7th and 8th grade, but APUSH just gave me a deeper sense of appreciation for what the founding fathers went through, what the civil rights leaders fought for, I could just go on and on about how much more I value what America’s great leaders did for our country.

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

Yes! Whenever any students had questions, we could post them on the wwwboard, and they’d be answered within a day. I don’t think this class would have been half as rewarding without the interaction with my amazing class, TA’s, and Mrs. Richman! Of course, I also had the world’s best study buddy too! We went over quizzes together every week and later, practice multiple-choice exams. Whenever I didn’t know a question, she’d know the answer and explain to me why it was correct. I’d highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend you find a study buddy to work one-on-one with too. The advice my study buddy gave me was invaluable!

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!)?

As long as you work hard and keep up with the weekly assignments, APUSH isn’t hard. In the beginning, it is a bit overwhelming with all the different kinds of assignments due every week, but once you get into the groove, it’s totally manageable. Don’t let the amount of information in APUSH scare you away, just dive in! Even if you miss an assignment, it’s okay! Mrs. Richman gives a lot of grace, she’ll understand if you forgot an assignment, and she’ll let you make it up!

In case you can’t tell from the above, I 500% recommend you take APUSH with Mrs. Richman next fall. In all ways, Mrs. Richman is a terrific, fantastic, exemplary, 9/9 teacher! History teachers do not and cannot get any better than Mrs. Richman!!!


Should I take AP US History? posted by Mikowai Ashwill on May 21 2013 at 24:30:24

Many students do not take AP classes because they are very difficult. Fear keeps them from taking the challenge. While it is true that these college level classes require lots of commitment, all fear will soon disappear after the first few weeks of this course. While that last sentence may sound cheesy, it is entirely true. Here are some things you need to know about the class:

1. Mrs. Richman is the best teacher you could ever have to take US History with. Not only does her course prepare you extraordinarily well for the AP exam, she also brings her students to know and love history. 

2. This course requires commitment! Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is totally manageable. If you do part of the weekly assignment every day, it is easy to get all the homework in without freaking out towards the end of the week (when all assignments are due)

3. Most students are extremely motivated and inspiring. Being in a class with such bright students really encouraged me to work harder. I really enjoyed my weekly study buddy group (optional) because we all studied hard so that we could do our best on the actual exam.

4. The bonus activities are super helpful. While these activities are more in depth, they will help secure your knowledge about a certain time period or event. 

5. If you think that you do not know enough about U.S. History, do not worry. Don't think that you have to be a history nerd to take this course. Everything is covered in great detail, so you do not have to have huge background knowledge of American history. You WILL know everything you need to know at the end of the year. 

So in conclusion, are you wondering if you should take this class? Your answer is: YES! Hesitate no longer. After all, you will soon be enjoying a wonderful year full of history.


posted by Mikowai Ashwill on May 21 2013 at 24:10:07

Anyone who is waffling about the idea of taking an entire year of US Histor


Huge recommendation, not just for history-lovers, but for critical thinkers in general :) posted by Rebekah Glick on May 21 2013 at 02:25:01

This was definitely a highlight course of the year! It was very hands-on and definitely helped further develop my interest in history. This is my last year in high school, and I have always had a love for history, so this year I topped it off with the very worth APUSH course taught by Mrs. Richman :) granted, I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into! THe course does require a lot of work... I'm usually a "sit down and get it all done in one sitting" type of person, but I found myself splitting the text reading into two days, doing the writing assignments another day, and the other "tidbits" (like reading primary source documents, doing history quizzes, posting on the WWW board, etc.) another day. This definitely requires dedication and a willingness to go the extra mile, but you won't regret it! I think through the course Mrs. Richman really helps develop a love for US history within her students, as well as a broader understanding of history in general, and how to handle AP course load, how to think critically, how to apply the things we learn in APUSH to other aspects of history, etc.

I also was part of a study group, with three other students and two TAs, that met once a week for an hour or two. It was really awesome to get to know them and have more of a sense of being classmates, rather than feeling separated by living far away from each other. The study group helped me be able to discuss and debate history and understand that history is a living subject-- people are still changing their thoughts and opinions about events, and whether or not this is a good or a bad thing is up to us.

I also found Mrs. Richman to be very helpful and encouraging as a teacher. I wish I had taken this class during my first year with PA homeschoolers three years ago, because Mrs Richman freely gives out little tips and seems to be more geared towards helping kids that are less experienced be able to master the techniques of writing timed essays, etc. As someone coming in with experience in writing FRQs and DBQs, I found essay writing this year much, much easier and more natural. However, if it was my first year doing so, Mrs. Richman's approach would definitely have helped me a lot in becoming comfortable with APUSH techniques!

In short, the course was a huge highlight of my year. I loved discussing and hearing what my super smart classmates thought about things. I was extremely impressed with how involved everyone was, even though sometimes I got caught up in senior year business that I didn't keep up as well. There is a lot of homework each week, but if you have a good work ethic, it will not be a problem! I would highly recommend this course to anyone, if they have a love for history, or if they want to take multiple AP tests, or if they want to challenge themselves to try something new :) It was a great year!


You will love this fun and challenging class! (Plus, Mrs. Richman is the best teacher you'll ever have!!) posted by TessaJoy Olson on May 20 2013 at 19:09:42

First of all, let me start off by saying that Mrs. Richman is THE kindest, most encouraging teacher that I have ever had. I cannot even begin to describe what an amazing, generous, sweet lady she is. I would take this class again just so I could have her as my teacher!! Yes, Mrs. Richman is THAT awesome!!!

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

Absolutely. Mrs. Richman knows every single detail about US history, and she prepares you very, very well for the exam. There are several different projects and assignments throughout the year, such as bio essays, historical cartoon analyses, movie reviews, and so much more, that fully equip you with information you will need for the exam. You also write an essay pretty much every week, which greatly helps in preparation for the exam. (Side note: Don’t let the sound of “essays” scare you. Mrs. Richman is such a great teacher, and she’ll help you all the way through! Plus, you will probably have some pretty great teammates and TAs that can also guide you through the essays, or any assignment. Even though the first essay might be tough, by the end of this course, they’ll be a breeze!)

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

This is a tough question. I am an over-achiever :), and I spent quite a bit of time on this class. I would say I put an average of 13-15 hours a week into APUSH. If I was working on my bio essay or something like that, and as the exam day got closer, it often jumped up to 18 hours. There are ways to do the bare minimum and spend less time on this class, but Mrs. Richman offers a wide variety of bonus activities that I highly recommend doing. You get what you put into it! Let me just say, on exam day, I did not regret one minute I studied…and I certainly was grateful I did do all of the required work and the bonus assignments and reviewed on my own!

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

Wait, how am I supposed to answer this question?!? I loved every assignment! :) When I first signed up for this class, I was not a history fan, to say the least. (Take note: you don’t have to love history to take this class!! But I will warn you…you might love history after the class. ;)) Now, I am legitimately very, very sad APUSH is over. :( All of Mrs. Richman’s assignments were very worthwhile (not just for the exam…for truly learning history, too!). I found the cartoon analyses fun and helpful (don’t take advantage of this one…it really does help with the exam!), and I really enjoyed the 2 bio essays. The December film review, interview, MCQ-TTs (don’t worry, you’ll figure out what that means if you take the class ;)), dinner parties, and lectures were also some of the great assignments that helped me learn the facts in a fun and memorable way. Also, do not take lightly the weekly essays. Trust me; you’ll be so glad you did them when exam day comes!!

Did the course enhance your interest in the subject?

As I said before, I wasn’t too thrilled about history before this class. As odd as it is for me to say, I actually really like history now! Again, Mrs. Richman is a fantastic teacher. You can’t help but enjoy US history after taking her class. Prepare to be amazed!

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

Yes! I had never taken an on-line course before, so I wasn’t totally aware of what to expect. Mrs. Richman designs this class to be very interactive…you will participate in things such as the Andrew Jackson Webquest (a team project), the dinner parties, and the Who Am I game. Everyone is required to respond to each other essays each week, which is so great! Everyone in my class was so encouraging, and we all worked together to help each other out. You can also post history questions on the wwwboard, and usually another student (or Mrs. Richman or a TA) responds pretty quickly. We also had study groups over Skype each week (not mandatory…the students/TAs usually organize them), which was very helpful. Ultimately, the communications with other students through the website/email/Skype was very valuable in my history learning and exam preparation. I can almost guarantee that your fellow teammates (and, of course, Mrs. Richman) will make you love this class! It’s a weird feeling to say that I made so many great friends through this class, and yet I’ve never even met them in person! :)

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!)?

First of all, don’t be intimidated by the title “AP.” If you are willing to put time into this class, ready to accept a challenge, and ready to cry at the end of this course because you don’t want it to end, than go sign up right now!!! If you are lazy, don’t want to feel proud of yourself for accomplishing (and conquering!) APUSH, and want to miss out on an amazing opportunity, than change your attitude and go sign up right now!!! If you are tired of reading these class reviews, need to make a decision about taking APUSH, and are still unsure if this class is right for you, realize you can do it and you will succeed if you go sign up right now!!! Be prepared for hard work and a lot of fun. And, of course, maybe even a few (ok, maybe a lot of) tears after this class is over. Did I mention that you’ll love Mrs. Richman??? Go sign up for APUSH!!! :D


APUSH Class 2012-2013 posted by Edward Thome on May 20 2013 at 16:51:24

Let me start of by saying, "Wow!  This course was amazing."  I do not think I could have made so much progress in my knowledge of U.S. history in any other course.  The class was a lot of fun, but, being my first AP course, it was also very stressful.  The class requires huge quantities of work (I do not say that lightly) and a tremendous amount of time, but it is very well worth it.  The class teacher, Mrs. Richman, is a wonderful teacher who makes the class and it's assignments fun and very interesting.  

Here are some questions that Mrs. Richman wants us to answer if we are willing...

Yes I did, very much so,

I put about an average of 25 hours a week into the course

I really liked the assignment where we interviewed a veteran or senator or somebody that we knew that had an interesting role in American life. In my case I interviewed my grandfather who was on Omaha Beach on D-Day and discoverd some fascinating facts about him and being a soldier in WWII.

Oh yes.

Yes, it was very beneficial to get together with other students and talk about the course.    

I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is commited to working hard, loves to learn, and has an interest in the history of our great nation.  

 

 



BEST. CLASS. EVER. posted by Sarah Becker on May 19 2013 at 24:34:31

Wow. Let me say that, out of the ~13 online classes that I've taken (and I'm only a freshman) this class is clearly my favorite, favorite class! APUSH IS AMAZING. I know my review is another one in a long list of raving reviews—I think we’re raving about this class because it really is worth taking!

 On top of this, Mrs. Richman is the BEST teacher that I've ever had--so organized, very knowledgeable, helpful, experienced, and probably the most encouraging person I've ever known!

Don't be intimidated! (and why to take this class vs. a regular US History)

Yes, this class is hard work. Yes, you have to be organized, motivated, you have to stay on top of your assignments, and you need to keep persevering throughout the year. This class took me about 6-8ish hours a week on average (including one or two study group/study buddy times per week). Yes, you need diligence to keep moving, and you need initiative to go and search for various topics or concepts you may be don’t get. But, looking back at this year of APUSH, I’m SO GLAD I took the class.

Last year, I took a standard 9th/10th grade online HS US History class. We used a boring textbook, I heard a boring lecture each week, there was little real analytical skills taught or used, or discussion—it really was “facts and dates.” I’ve learned US History a few times throughout my homeschool years, but never did I ever ACTUALLY KNOW what happened. In other words, I learned a few surface details but never did I actually dive into the material in a way that required me to THINK. APUSH taught me so much—I learned about US history in deeper way than I did before, but I also learned WHY things happened; I learned the cause and effects of history. Whereas before we’d focus on the small details of WWI, this time, I learned the reasons why the US went to the war in the first place—something so much more important. I retained information so much better, and was able to write essays with a thesis and with supporting examples—essays in which I had to take a stand. Furthermore, these essays weren’t ones that I “researched as I went along”—I sat down and wrote from memory. Don’t let that, or how much work this class might be, or how much time it takes, or anything else intimidate you—you’re here to learn, and that’s something I had to do this year. I remember sitting down writing an essay about Andrew Jackson’s policies, trying to figure out what to say. This past Monday, I wrote an essay on a historical topic, but this time, I knew what I was doing, I had things to say, and it was in a timed testing environment! Mrs. Richman is committed to your growth in APUSH—she really helps students succeed. You’ll learn so much through the class—yes, it’s hard, but if you’re willing to learn and if you have Mrs. Richman as a teacher, this will be a great class for you!!

This class gave me an amazing understanding and true grasp of US History.

After I got out of the test, a classmate’s mom (who picked us up) asked us if it was worth the money she paid. Both of us immediately said yes—APUSH is worth the money, and it’s also worth the time it will take.

Was I prepared for the exam?

YES, I was prepared for the exam!!! Assuming you stay on top of your assignments, take the time to review the material, communicate with Mrs. Richman, are active in the class and willing to learn, ask questions, fix your mistakes, learn from your mistakes, and have a good attitude about the class, you should be prepared for the exam!

Other Thoughts

At this time last year, I wasn’t going to take this class, simply because I didn’t really consider AP and had other courses lined up. I signed up pretty late in the game, but let me tell you—I’m so grateful that I took this class. It’s been an amazing experience—I’ve made friends, I’m able to write about and speak about history, I thought through history more than I ever did before, I felt so encouraged and supported by Mrs. Richman, the TA’s, and other students throughout the year…

In one sentence, this was the best course I took this year, and the best course I’ve ever taken.


This APUSH Course is Not to be Missed! posted by Mary Claire Birdsong on May 19 2013 at 20:08:44

Overview
Best class I have EVER taken! I am NOT a fan of online classes, but Mrs. Richman's APUSH is like no other. You'll be more than just a name in a virtual classroom, you won't find yourself 'out to dry' if you don't understand the material, and you won't be listening to dull lectures week in and week out.  If you take this class you will have a wonderful and engaging teacher, great classmates, and the best resources you can imagine for the AP Exam.

Preparation
You simply could not ask for a better teacher than Mrs. Richman. I felt so prepared for the AP exam! Variation is the key word here. APUSH students learn by reading, writing, listening, watching.....it sounds like a lot, but we eat the elephant 'one bite at a time' as they say!

How to Succeed
I took this course as a senior in highschool. I wish I had taken it earlier, but that being said, I'm glad I still decided to take it despite juggling college visits and applications along with normal classes and activities. It challenged me, and I fell behind at times, but it was altogether worth it!

You'll do best in the course if you have already developed decent writing skills and study habits. APUSH is the time to put those skills and habits into practice - and then build upon them and refine them - but definitely not a good time to start totally from scratch. If you happen to be a very talented freshman/sophomore, go for it, but I would say Junior year is the best year to start.


Absolutely wonderful course! posted by Lillian Ji on May 18 2013 at 21:19:21

Before I address other matters, I'd just like to say that this course is the best online class I've ever taken--actually, make that the best class, online or not, I've ever taken. The structure of this course has evidently been very painstakingly thought out with great ideas and thoughtful considerations by Mrs. Richman. Aside from the course, Mrs. Richman is an amazing teacher! She has been so very kind and encouraging throughout the year, down to the very way she speaks to us in such a warm, enthusiastic way that it's actually infectious (;. In addition, Mrs. Richman really understands how sometimes schedules get really complicated (especially in the lives of us debaters), and at the same same she encourages and pushes us to be our best. 

Though I was close to having a heart attack the day before the exam, I was calm and cool on the actual day of the APUSH exam. This was definitely due to the extensive and engaging preparation we went through. There are quite a few assignments which needed to be completed each week, but they were all useful to me during the test. For example, I did a summer book review on the life of Frederick Douglass, and sure enough, in the DBQ (document-based question), one of the documents was from the book I had read and reviewed! So overall, though I tend to freak out easily, I felt capable of solving the MCQs (multiple choice questions) and writing the essays :D! The ultimate result was that I was fairly comfortable with approaching the MCQs on the exam and definitely comfortable with the majority of the essays.

I spent around 5-15 hours on the course each week; most of the time it was around 6.5 hrs. Of course, this varies for different people on the basis of how fast they read and write, as well as the amount of time spent on bonus work, which is not completely necessary, but helpful and recommended.

On favorite assignments...I think I've enjoyed just about every single assignment given. My absolute favorites would be the bio essays and then the dinner party in a close second. The former was handy on the document based question at the exam, while the latter helped me answer several multiple choice questions--it's like students posing as historical figures of a certain era, and you post messages and talk like you're really your designated person in that historical period...it's just that it might get a little out of hand sometimes, with pastry crumbs, ruined uniforms, and lots of pies xD. Meanwhile, I loved the bio essays because you get to write about an important person in American history in a *creative* format, like a play, diary, or even a film. As a whole, my favorite aspect of the assignments is how there's so many means of learning available to ensure a quality learning experience: aside from the textbook, there's also audio lectures to listen to, documents to read, recent history news articles to read, and more! 

Before I took part in this class, history seemed to be just a ton of random facts about certain eccentric people and dates you can never remember. However, this class gave me a new perspective and helped me discover the intricacies of history, with all its intriguing connections between events, and really made them more fascinating and just more *alive* in the long run (:.

Other than the wonderful teacher and engaging assignments, my fellow students were each amazing (aka our interaction was interesting AND valuable). There was always someone to answer my questions or give me excellent feedback on my work. In addition, we had loads of fun in the dinner party, as well as in collaboratively working together on an Andrew Jackson project. Also, it's always been a pleasure to read and learn from their stupendous essays...they were great for review in the weeks before the exam! Lastly, the study groups we had over skype, google hangouts, or google chat were so very helpful and precious and memorable (including barfing emoticons). I also had a great study buddy who studied with me one-on-one and we would freak out together, encourage each other, and learn lots too, while relishing the entire process xD.

I think the student who would do well in this course is one who is willing to work hard and smart, but the student who would do BEST in this course is the student who goes "above and beyond" or a person who has the initiative to kinda go the extra mile by not continually skimping along the word limits, by finding the information which is missing from his/her knowledge on his/her own, by doing bonus work when time permits, and the like.

And if you haven't noticed already ;]...yes, I DEFINITELY recommend this course to other students ^.^. A great part about it is that you don't have to be a history buff or genius to complete and succeed in it, because any normal person with initiative and perseverance (and some chocolate) can rock this! It really has been a remarkable year, and I'm saddened that it's ending so quickly. 

Lillian


One Word: INDESCRIBABLE posted by Caroline Andrews on May 16 2013 at 17:03:28

So probably, these reviews from our class are going to be glowing descriptions of an awesome, awesome class. And rightly they should be! I realize that so many lovely reviews of this class might be boring to read or even seem overly cliche, but I don't think we can help it. This class deserves every word of praise that we can give it!

*Note: if you want the quick version, skip to paragraph 2. If you want the long version, read on. :)

APUSH 2013: INDESCRIBABLE. Hands down, best class I have ever taken. I've taken my fair share of online classes, but Mrs. Richman's class passes them all with flying colors. Just the way it's structured and the people that are involved make this class absolutely amazing. Before I delve into class and year details, if you have no other reason for taking this course, take it for Mrs. Richman. She is a wonderful lady and an epic teacher, and I guarantee you will love her by the end of the year. She knows exactly what she's talking about, she loves US History and it's obvious, and she throws her heart and soul into teaching exactly what you need to know for the exam. She's accomodating, which was especially meaningful for me, since I attend a number of speech and debate tournaments in the spring semester. Mrs. Richman was willing to let me make up assignments and work ahead. Her ultimate focus is on prepping you and she's willing to do what works! Her enthusiasm and fervor spread like the religious fire of the 1st Great Awakening (look, you can even learn to make weird history jokes :)).

Some of you are looking for the quick and condensed version of my review instead of wading through pages of exuberant comments, so here it is! This course prepares you for the AP exam even more than you could possibly imagine. Walking into that test room, I felt truly ready to conquer whatever crazy MCQs or funky essay topics might come up. I probably spent somewhere between 7-11 hours a week on the course, depending on the week and how much time I had. I can't say I had any particular favorite assignments... I loved them all! My love for history took a huge jump because of this course, and the interactions we had all year long from the WWW Board to Skype calls to shared Google Docs made the entire course super fun! Meeting some really awesome people definitely comes along with taking this class. You'll feel like you've made great friends who are homeschoolers just like you; even though some people find it slightly strange that you have a number of online friends that you've never actually seen in person. :) The course is challenging and it's tough; but don't let that scare you. APUSH is worth every minute you'll spend on it!

Okay, now that I've got that condensed version (which, oops, wasn't very condensed..) over with, on to more random comments. When you sign up for APUSH (which you're going to do, right??), it might seem like you're heading into a strange world of insane and overly smart people who actually like taking really hard tests. What?! But I can assure you right now, this class is for normal people. I remember when my mom signed me up for this class last July; when she said I was taking APUSH, I kind of shrugged it off. My sister had previously taken AP Lit with Mrs. Inspektor and loved it, so now it was my turn for an AP class or two. But when I realized that there was summer homework (seriously?), I took a closer look at the class I was taking. I had to read a full book about some guy I'd never heard of and write a review before the year even started? And after one glance at the syllabus... honest confession: I burst into tears. Yes, I cried over APUSH last August. I knew there was absolutely no way I could figure out what the syllabus assignments all were (was it written in some secret code? Who came up all with all these three letter acronyms?!), and I was definitely going to fail.

Now, almost ten months later, I am tearing up thinking about this class ending. Those acronyms aren't Navajo code talker language; they feel like friends. MCQs, FRQs, and so much more are second nature to me, and the syllabus assignments actually do make sense- in fact, I probably have it all memorized. :) Writing practice essays, analyzing the multiple choice question Mrs. Richman posts every week, random Google searches for good links about the Whig Party, flying pies in the Dinner Parties, debating over the atomic bomb, Skype chats with my teammates; all of that and so much more make up this stellar class. At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Richman splits us up into teams, and together as a team (after coming up with awesome historical names- long live the War Hawks!) we compete to earn the most points. I've gotten to know my teammates super well over this year; not only did we try to rack up big numbers in the points category, but we organized Skype study groups together, chatted with each other, had a blast doing our Andrew Jackson Webquest project, and just studied hard together.

Mrs. Richman's syllabus clearly lays out the assignments you need to complete to be ready for the exam. We write lots of practice essays using old prompts from past exams, to get the feel of exactly what we'll face. We took practice multiple choice sections using real questions released by the College Board, and analyzed those answers with our classmates to understand the material we needed to review and study. Balanced with this focused exam prep, we completed fun tasks like analyzing cartoons which might come up on the multiple choice, role-playing historical characters and their viewpoints during the three dinner parties, watching movies and writing reviews of them, and interviewing people we knew about the history they know. You might get sick of Professor Allitt's accent by the end of the year :), but those mp3 lectures we listen to every week teach you so much! The history of our country is immense and detailed, but through this course, I feel like I now understand who America is, and what she's been through. My experience in APUSH has even affected my future plans; history has jumped to my potential list of college major choices. This is a tough course, so be warned; but don't be scared of it, you can tackle it! Sometimes, you might feel like studying another Supreme Court decision is the last thing in the world you want to do, but believe me, you will be so ready for that exam, you won't regret a minute you spent frantically reviewing.

Not only have I learned immense amounts about history, but I've made friends. I went into this class with one of my best friends; she was with me from the beginning when we set out to conquer APUSH together, she studied with me, stressed with me, prayed with me, and walking into that test room together was an awesome feeling! My teammates are super cool, and I've gotten to know them- I know we'll keep in touch and hopefully see each other in other classes soon! Everyone in this class has the desire to learn, is competitive ;), works hard, is motivated to ace that exam, and is downright awesome! I'm going to miss you guys! Well, I could rave on and on about APUSH. I can't even say how awesome it truly is. But I'll cut it short now, so you can stop reading and go sign up!!!!


APUSH: One of the best classes I've taken! posted by Jonathan Moy on May 16 2013 at 14:32:48

Definitely.  I actually started this class a bit skeptical because I came with a greater knowledge and appreciation for world history since that was what I had primarily been studying through my late elementary to early high school years.  In fact, I felt that my historical knowledge was restricted mainly to a vague knowledge of some of the American wars (Revolutionary, Civil, the 2 World Wars) and all the Presidents in order with some of their achievements.  I knew a few random loose facts, but it was quite primitive.  This course changed it, however.  Although I may have started with a disadvantage, I learned a LOT in this course.  Mrs. Richman skillfully picked great textbooks to cover American history, and the assignments each week is varied so it doesn’t really seem like a routine.  Rather, with the variations, I got practice with different USEFUL assignments without being bored out.  On the exam day, I remembered a lot of things I learned, especially on the essays section.  I felt that there was so much to write in only so many pages and words.  As a result, I feel that this course prepared me to write timed essays and recognize a whole lot more historical knowledge that I had previously not known or appreciated.  This course also taught me quite a bit outside the AP exam.  It gave me a much better appreciation for history, and now I enjoy conversations about history. 

I’d say on average, I logged in about 8-12, but the thoughts and things outside of it does add up.  When you’re in this course, it’s not just about doing the work.  It’s also about doing bonuses and interacting with fellow classmates to learn about history. I’ll cover that shortly!

I liked them all, but I think one of the more favorite assignments was actually writing the essays.  I didn’t start the year with perfect 9 essays, but I feel that was the time Mrs. Richman was giving me tips on my downfalls, which eventually helped me later on (i.e. historical dates, writing on the topic, etc.). 

Um…YEAH!!!  As mentioned earlier, I was someone who enjoyed history but didn’t have a big interest and knowledge of U.S. history.  However, this really broadened my scope and understanding for this vital portion of history in general.  This knowledge has proven and will continue to prove useful, as debates about modern society can find plenty of roots in history; for example, one that strikes me is social security.  That’s my debate league topic this year, and I’ve used some history knowledge in my rounds.

Definitely.  I was part of a Skype group each week, and I felt that this really prepared me.  The texts give you the knowledge, and the lectures add more.  The Skype group allows you to vent out any questions you have and go over quizzes to reinforce knowledge.  The TA’s that led my Skype group were very effective in answering questions, recommending resources, and reinforcing history.  Finally, it’s not an INTENSIVE INTENSIVE INTENSIVE study.  We had fun with each other, which allowed us to enjoy history more.  True, we studied hard, but we had fun with studying.  Outside of study group, though, I had a study buddy during the year, and towards the end of the year, I had a second.  I found that interacting with study buddies also helped tremendously to reinforce historical knowledge.  Mrs. Richman has plenty of opportunities for classmates to interact, and I highly recommend that since it really gets you involved in the course.  It helps you to enjoy what you’re learning.  And it helps you to get to know other classmates; I’ve had numerous conversations with other classmates outside of history.

I think those who have an appreciation of history with a willingness to work hard will succeed.  Mrs. Richman really emphasizes on taking initiative, and she doesn’t discourage people to do so at all.  I like how Mrs. Richman is striving for us students to learn more and grasp more with different opportunities to research up and learn, so those who work hard will enjoy this course.  I would just add that reading the bonus web links she posts, doing bonus activities, or taking part in bonus projects are VERY helpful, since they help to (1) reinforce what you know (after all, you’re learning chronologically through history, so this helps to keep everything together for the exam) and (2) have fun in the course (I repeated this several times, but it’s important to realize that a course shouldn’t be dreary and uninteresting; rather, Mrs. Richman makes her class fun to be part of).

 

Yes, I’m very wordy, but I hope you realize that this class indeed has been one of my favorite classes in my homeschooling career.  I am very thankful to God that I took this course this year, as I felt that being involved in this class helped me enjoy learning history.  That’s what I would recommend to future students: get involved!  That’s the way to learn more (since you’re enjoying what you’re doing) and do it effectively.  So… to end, I will be Uncle Sam for a moment:

I want YOU to join APUSH next year!!!

 


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.

-Matt


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

Megan


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?"

Yes.

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

Hello,

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.

 

Sincerely,

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!!!

Sincerely,

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!!!

Sincerely,

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!

Blessings,

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!

Sincerely,

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,

Sarabeth


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.

Joseph

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.

-Laura


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.

Yours,

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!

~Molly~


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.

Clint


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!


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