Thinking Outside the Book

Do you like history but hate memorizing facts for history tests? This course will delve into what historians actually look for in their research and encourage students to look beyond the typical history books.

Locations: San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside, San Carlos, San Mateo

Cost: $100/hr.

Recommended hours: 4.5-13.5


  • Take a more comprehensive look at historical topics of a student’s choice
  • Mimic the depth of a college history seminar
  • Craft a final paper or oral presentation on an individualized topic of interest

To Enroll Call (650) 331-3251/ (408) 345–5200


Course Description:

An unfortunate side effect of the focus on SAT and AP scores is that history is frequently taught in a way that’s highly regimented: What students need to learn is just “what’s on the test.” This can be very demoralizing for students who have a genuine interest in asking the sorts of questions historians actually ask in their professional explorations. With the new changes to the AP US History class, this emphasis will hopefully change! This course is designed to encourage curious students to learn about perspectives or aspects of history that tend to be left out of history books and also to give them a chance to look at some “big picture” questions and historical trends that don’t fit easily into a “chapter” and so rarely get adequate consideration in a history book.

The focus of the class is, by nature, flexible and will follow the student’s interests. Some of the big questions I find particularly important are the patterns of historical progression that have shaped the development of the world as we know it: the creation of the market economy, of secular national states, and of urbanized societies.

The course would be ideal for students who are interested in history, whether or not they intend to pursue AP classes. Though not designed to be a primer for any particular class, it will add depth and flexibility of understanding to any course a student is taking or plans to take. It would also be a great help for students who would like to study history, political science, or international politics in college, as the style and content of the course will more closely resemble a college seminar.

Make the Most of the Summer!

Students who stay actively engaged in the learning process during the summer perform better during the school year.

Contact AJ Tutoring to Enroll in Summer Tutoring
Peninsula Main Phone Number (650) 331-3251
Free Consultation