Free Online American History Resources

Graphic depiciting the United States with the words "American history"

This post is sponsored by the ARDA. All opinions are my own.

With the cost of living soaring these days, many families are looking for ways to reduce their homeschool budget without lessening the quality of their children’s education.

These free online American history resources for high school can help to stretch your dollars while still providing a solid education. While many of these are secular resources, you can certainly adapt them to meet your family’s needs.

Free Teaching Resources for American History offers several helpful resources:

  • Free online American history textbook – This is a full-length high school textbook covering American history from Native Americans and British colonization to the end of the 20th century. The text is readable, and illustrations are interspersed throughout the text.
  • Congress of Websites – This section features a select list of people, places, and historic events of early American history. Each link leads to a wealth of related information.

Digital has wide range of in-depth resources available:

  • Teacher’s section – The teacher’s section is full of helpful resources including 24 teaching modules (correlated to major time periods in American history), lesson plans, and printable handouts and fact sheets.
  • History by era – Choose this view to see tabs for each era of American history. Within each era, you can access a digital textbook, source documents, lesson plans, quizzes and answers, and much more. offers several interesting options:

  • Browse topics for American historical periods. Expand any topic for an extensive list of available subtopics. Each subtopic has a written article and related video and audio clips.
  • Watch the complete World Wars video series.
  • Watch the complete The Men Who Built America video series. has a user-friendly U. S. history section with four collections of video presentations and simulations spanning all of America’s history.

American Experience

American Experience from has over 250 American history films, most of which are available in their entirety online.

Free Teaching Resources for America’s Religious History

The ARDA (The Association of Religious Data Archives) offers several very helpful resources for teaching junior and senior high students about the history of religion in America.

  • Historical Timeline – Students can explore various important events and people throughout the centuries of American religious history. The timeline is fully interactive, so students can view by different categories (people, events) or change the view type. Within each entry, there are pictures, explanatory text, and additional source links allowing students to continue their investigation.
  • ARDA Lesson Plans – Each lesson has specific learning objectives, relevant readings from which to choose, learning activities to utilize, and assessment tools to gauge student learning on the topic. Lesson plans contain links to the ARDA learning resources to make it easy for homeschool teachers to use the ARDA.
  • Investigate Your World – These are five learning modules for junior and senior high school students that utilize a variety of data sources and develop multiple skills, including critical reading and thinking skills, as well as internet research skills. The modules include multiple lessons that can be downloaded and used as a lesson or assigned for homework.

Since many of the colonies were founded primarily for the purpose of religious freedom, studying the history of religion in America is a vital part of any American history course.

The ARDA resources are completely free and very thorough. I highly recommend you visit the site and also bookmark it for future use.

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One Comment

  1. Jonathan Schmalzbach says:

    Love that you use textbooks. I was the primary editor on that project. What other materials would help you teach from home.