US History Series 4: The Cold War to Present

US History Series 4: The Cold War to Present


About this course

This is the fourth and final installment in our full year US History course.  You don’t have to take them in order, but it is highly recommended. The other installments are:

US History Series 1: Colonies to the Civil War
US History Series 2: Reconstruction to the Progressive Era
US History Series 3: US Involvement in the World Wars

Recommended Ages: This class is ideal for students ages 12-17. Younger academically gifted students will be accepted.

Levels: This class is offered in 2 levels. The material is the same for both levels, the assignments are different. Level 1 is recommended for younger students and Level 2 is recommended for older students or academically advanced younger students.

Start Date: Closed for enrollment. Class consists of 6 lesson plans.  Students have two weeks after the last lesson is posted to complete the course. No live classes- do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.

Price: $90

Space Available: This class is not currently open for enrollment. Please Join our mailing list to be informed when it is open again.

The end of the Second World War brought lasting change to the United States and to the world. The dropping of the first nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki radically changed the ways that wars were fought between major world powers. The Soviet Union and the United States became entangled in a Cold War fought through intelligence and proxy wars. The world changed, and the effects of globalization began to be felt by so-called “First World” and “Third World” countries alike. All the while, Americans at home continued to push for social reform for women and minorities. The last seventy years in the history of the United States shaped the country that we see today, so join us on this six-week, final installment of our US history series: The Cold War to Present.

DISCLAIMER: This is history, not math. There is not a right and wrong, black and white answer to everything! So much in history can be subjective and argued over endlessly. I’m presenting the facts the best I can from various sources I’ve researched. I don’t consider any history book to be 100% accurate. It’s impossible. And same with this course. I compiled my research and put together the most authentic story I could, considering I wasn’t personally privy to the goings on during the vast majority of this time period. 😉

This is an academically advanced class, and not recommended for most children under 12 (but we trust that you know your child’s abilities better than we do!). Younger students 12-13 should usually be placed in Level 1. Students age 14 and up, or younger students who are academically gifted, should be placed in Level 2. Level 2 students will have more rigorous homework.

LESSON PLANS: This is a 6 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.

DISCUSSION:There are weekly discussions about the lesson plan with the instructor. We also offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: Material is the same for both levels, it’s the depth of the assignments that is the main difference. Most weeks, students get to choose from a list of exciting and fun hands on projects to let them really dig deep into topics in the lesson plan that interest them the most! The goal is to allow students to explore the topic while allowing their creativity to flow. We encourage out of the box thinking! Generally projects can be submitted in any format of the student’s choosing…written, presentation, poster, stop motion animation, minecraft, song, skit…we’ve seen it all!! Check out our facebook page for examples of student projects. All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.

GRADES: All quizzes, labs, and online assessments automatically receive a grade in the system. You have the option of having your student’s individual projects graded or not (all assignments receive instructor feedback). Report cards are issued at the end of the course- one for ungraded students and one for graded students. These mean nothing other than for your own records or reporting purposes. We do not maintain copies.

TIME: In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

Week 1: The Cold War and Korea

The first week of the class picks up where US History Series 3: US Involvement in the World Wars left off. World War II has ended, but tensions between former allies sparked into another war. This war differed from others in that direct conflict between the warring nations was limited. We will be studying the process that led to the Cold War and how it affected American citizens at home. The lesson will conclude with America’s “forgotten war” in Korea.


Week 2: The 1950s

Week 2 will be a look into the changing American culture of the 1950s. Several new technologies, such as the television, led to a rise in consumption that fueled changes to the ways of living of many Americans. Suburbs cropped up around cities to provide new types of housing to those who could afford it. At the same time that the suburbs were blossoming, dissatisfied Americans continued to struggle for their rights as citizens of the United States. Their movements began growing through the decade, right alongside the growing suburbs and consumerism.


Week 3: Social Revolution

The 1960s are famous for the immense number of social movements in the United States and the rest of the world. This week will focus on the many social movements that happened during the decade. Women, African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and more formed social movements to establish their voice and their place in this country. Social changes in the country are the highlight of this lesson.


Week 4: The Vietnam War

While the country is going through internal changes, the struggle between communism and democracy continues in the rest of the world. The fourth week of the course examines the Vietnam War and the leaders who took the country through it. As the war persisted, the American people became increasingly dissatisfied, leading to the war being lost. Afterwards, Vietnam became the textbook example of how a group of guerillas could win against a superpower.


Week 5: The End of the Cold War and the Collapse of the Soviet War

After the end of the Vietnam War and into the 1980s, the Soviet Union started showing signs of cracking. Its fall had a drastic effect on global politics. This week will be a look into the perspective of the United States leading to the Soviet Union’s collapse. We will be reviewing the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan; and we will finish up with the collapse of the USSR.


Week 6: The Globalized World

The United States continued to change through the 1990s and 2000s with the fall of the Soviet Union and the advent of new technologies, particularly widespread access to personal computers and the internet. The modern presidencies of both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama, the events of September 11, the burgeoning War on Terror, and the continued globalization of the world take precedence in this week’s lesson.


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

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