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Summit History 4 (Independent Study)

Summit History 4 (Independent Study)

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Quick Overview

Concluding their investigation (spanning grades 1–4) into history from the Stone Age to the Space Age, fourth grade students turn to the study of the modern world. 

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Course Overview

Concluding their investigation (spanning grades 1–4) into history from the Stone Age to the Space Age, fourth grade students turn to the study of the modern world. They will:

  • Learn about the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, and meet Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin
  • Become familiar with James Madison and American constitutional government, as well as Napoleon in France
  • Learn about various revolutions in Latin America
  • See how great changes nationalism, industrialism, and imperialism shaped, and sometimes shattered, the modern world, leading to the two world wars
  • Study many inventors and innovators who achieved great advances in communication, transportation, medicine, and government

Course Outline

Finding Your Way Around the World

  • Maps, Scales, and Finding Our Place
  • The Shape of the Land
  • Grids Show the Way

Introducing the Modern World: The Scientific Revolution

  • What's So Modern About the Modern World?
  • William Harvey Gets to the Heart of Things
  • What's Under That Microscope?
  • A Fly on the Ceiling: The Story of Cartesian Coodinates
  • Young Isaac Newton
  • A New Kind of Knight
  • Curious Ben Franklin
  • Diderot's Revolutionary Encyclopedia

Two Democratic Revolutions

  • John Locke Spells Out the Laws of Good Government
  • Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence
  • James Madison and the US Constitution
  • George Washington and the American Presidency
  • The US Constitution: Three Branches of Government
  • The US Constitution: Checks and Balances
  • Rumblings of Revolution in France
  • Storming the Bastille!
  • Farewell, Louis XVI: From Monarchy to Republic
  • The Terror
  • The Rise of Napoleon
  • Washington's Farewell: Stay Out of Europe's Wars
  • Napoleon: Lawgiver and Emperor
  • Waterloo!

Latin American Revolutions

  • Haiti Went First: Toussaint L'Ouverture
  • Spanish America and Seeds of Independence
  • Miguel Hidalgo: Father of Mexican Independence
  • Simón Bolivar: The Liberator
  • Liberating the South: San Martin and O'Higgins

The Industrial Revolution

  • James Hargreaves and the Spinning Jenny
  • James Watt and the Steam Engine
  • Fulton and McAdam: A Revolution in Transportation
  • Americans Climb Aboard
  • The First Factories
  • Capitalism and New Wealth
  • Charles Dickens: From Boy to Author
  • Karl Marx in London
  • The Great Exhibition

The Growth of Nations

  • A New Kind of Czar: Peter the Great
  • Catherine the Great
  • Nicholas Nixes Change
  • Greece Against the Ottoman Empire
  • The New American Nationalism
  • One Nation or Two?
  • The Civil War Makes One Nation
  • Lincoln's Leadership
  • The Brothers Grimm in Germany
  • Bismark Unites Germany
  • Garibaldi Fights for a United Italy
  • The Olympics Revived

The Age of Imperialism

  • Livingstone and Stanley in Africa
  • The French and the Suez Canal
  • Rudyard Kipling: Author and Advocate for Empire
  • Germany's "Place in the Sun"

Additional Information

Course Length 12 Months
Prerequisites N/A
Course Materials

Many K12 courses utilize physical materials in addition to the online content.  These materials may include the following.

Standard Kits

STANDARD kits contain K12 course materials that are required for completion of the course.  These kits include K12 authored materials and/or difficult to procure materials that a student needs to complete a course. Printed reference guides are not included in Standard kits.


CONSUMABLE kits contain only those materials from the standard kit that are intended for one time use. Families who purchase a Standard kit for Child A could later purchase a Consumable kit for Child B to complete the same course.


Offered for added convenience, ADDITIONAL kits contain easily obtained materials needed for the course which a family may already have in their home. 

Coach and/or Student Reference Guides are available for purchase with some courses.  Electronic versions of these reference guides are also available within digital courses.

Course Start Date

Independent Study Courses

Courses can be started any day for independent study courses without a teacher. Full-year courses last 12 months and semester courses last 6 months.


Courses Taught by a K12 Teacher

Courses with a teacher have designated start dates throughout Fall and Spring. Full-year courses last 10 months and semester courses last 5 months. Courses are taught by teachers in K12 International Academy. For details on start dates, click here.

Teacher Assisted This course is available in two forms: taught by a teacher or designed for independent use. This teacher-supported course is taught through K12 International Academy. It is also available as independent study, where a parent will guide the course.
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To use this course, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection.  Some courses require additional free software programs, which you can download from the Internet.

Hardware and Browsers (Minimum Recommendations)

Windows OS

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher

  • At this time our users are encouraged not to upgrade to Windows 10 or Edge (the new browser)


Mac OS

  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1 GHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher (Safari is not supported!)

Using  Mobile Devices with the Online School

Unfortunately, many portable devices do not support the software products required to run the Online School. These devices may include (but not limited to): Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Kindles, eReaders, and Andriod phones.

Internet Connections

It is highly recommended that a broadband connection be used instead of dial up.


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