History: The Tudors and the 16th Century

Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view

Aims of the Course

The aim of this course (designed for ages 12-16) is to explore the world of the the Tudors, one of the most famous royal dynasties in History, from 1485 - 1603. On our way, we’ll be meeting some of the great characters of the time, such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell, Walter Raleigh, Lady Jane Grey and William Shakespeare.

Calling this course just "The Tudors" seems a very boring way of describing such a fascinating and influential period: something more accurate is a new nickname we've come up with, that is, Blood, Mayhem, and Big Dresses: History of the 16th Century!

We’ll be investigating some burning questions: What had Elizabeth I done to annoy her former brother-in-law so much that he sent the Spanish Armada to attack England? Why did Henry VIII have six wives? What was the Reformation, and how did the Renaissance change the face of Europe in the sixteenth century? We’ll be discovering explorers, scientists and artists of the time, finding out about some of the amazing architecture of 16th century Europe and also we’ll be finding out how the ordinary people of the time lived their everyday lives.

We’ll be working with some of the original documentary sources from the time, including royal records, diary writers and other manuscripts to hear the authentic voices of the sixteenth century, as well as learning from some of the leading modern Historians who write about the Tudor Period. Weekly documentary watching helps bring the period to life, and students are strongly encouraged to visit sites near them, which are related to our topics, whenever possible.

Other texts will include A History of the Tudors in 100 Objects (Matusiak) and novels like Twain's The Prince and the Pauper.

Homework Expectations

The homework each week is to read about 50-60 pages of text, watch at least one documentary, write a short summary and answer three short discussion questions which are often based on completion of a short research task on a variety of topics.

Students attend a weekly one hour webinar where we have lots of class discussions and debates (with me talking and the students typing in the chatbox) about the key features of each week’s topic. There is also the (optional) opportunity to take over the role of teacher and do three presentations in class during the year as well as a range of other optional, fun, add-on activities.

How It Supports Your Child's Education

For US students in 8th grade or higher, this would count as a one-year high school credit in world history at a "level 4" or "Advanced" course (for more info about levels, see this podcast at Seven Sisters Homeschool Helps).

For UK students and other students wishing to take UK style exams, while the course does not lead directly to a specific IGCSE/GCSE qualification, the Tudors and the Sixteenth Century course introduces and reinforces many of the skills needed for successful progression to exam courses, as well as overlapping with various exam syllabus units across the exam boards.

Who Teaches The Tudors and the Sixteenth Century?

Yvonne Mason took her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature, then an MA in Medieval Studies from Royal Holloway in London while working as a costumed historical interpreter at the Tower of London. She has bee working as an online tutor since 2001 in both English and history. She home educates her daughter, and is an avid embroiderer in her spare time. She has plans to study for a PhD in Medieval Studies very soon.
See all courses taught by Yvonne