Saturday, July 9, 2016

Notgrass American History for High School #review

I could not wait to get my hands on this curriculum. History is my favorite subject and I'm so excited to be teaching American History this fall.  I love the concept of of having three subjects done with one curriculum. That is exactly what Notgrass Exploring America does. It is complete and very much grab and go.


Notgrass Exploring America covers the time periods of Columbus through Present Day by incorporating literature, bible and history into one complete program. By the end of this course your child will have a credit for EACH subject.

What do you get - 

The 3 book set includes 3 hard cover textbooks - 2 Student Readers and American Voices which contains original documents, speeches, poems, stories and hymns. The three books combine to make up the curriculum.


Additional items you need:

  • Your Bible
  • notecards for bible memory or some place to write down the bible verse
  • a three ring binder for keeping work organized
  • 12 Literature books

The 12 Books:

  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Narrative of the Life of David Crockett
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Co. Aytch
  • Humorous Stories and Sketches
  • In His Steps
  • Up From Slavery
  • Mama's Bank Account
  • Miracle in the Hills
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Giver

 Optional Items: 

Exploring America Student Review Pack - which includes 

  • Student Review (which is comprehension questions for the lessons and  literature)
  • Quiz and Exam Book
  • Answer Key
*While this is optional I'm just going to go ahead and state here that I think this is a great asset to have. You can use this with the set out schedule or add it as needed. I think the text and quizzes are excellent for Highschoolers and plan to use them with each chapter.  


 How We Plan To Use This:

Currently we are on summer break and do just a little bit of school daily. We won't officially start history until the fall. My two high school students will both be doing Exploring America this fall together. One child will be in 9th and one in 11th. The course is said to take 2 1/2 - 3 hours a day which makes sense because the child will be doing three classes in one course. I'm in the planning mode now so this was a perfect time for me to look over the books and give a solid opinion on the curriculum.


My thoughts:

I am so excited to start this course. American History is so important for our children to learn. I personally love several of the literature choices and I am pretty sure my kids will too. I feel like Notgrass has thought of everything. We received a mini-booklet guide to go over how to use the course and the description. Included was information about the books chosen and any 'questionable' material they might have (think cursing, drinking). There were alternative books suggested if you do not want to let your student read these choices. For us I believe we will have our children read them because I believe in exposing them to classic books and discussing the harder subject matter.


The student textbooks are beautiful. There are many bright colored pictures throughout the book. It makes for a very appealing text. I like the way the coursework is laid out as well. 30 weeks of learning Units with five lessons each week (150 total). This allows for flexibility with holidays or taking a longer time on a topic of interest. Each unit has a project which can be writing, drawing or crafting. It is recommended that students pick writing assignments at least six times a year as their project. I like that because my boys don't love writing and 6 out of 30 is not bad. We plan on incorporating the Student Review book using the literature questions as a verbal assignment and assigning test and quizzes  as they show up naturally in the course.

There is also one large research paper for the course (LOVE) and a schedule with tips is included making it easy to implement for Mom and student. Like I said previously, Notgrass has thought of everything. This course is well thought out and very easy to accomplish over the school year. I love that I do not have to spend hours of printing or planning because it is ALL DONE for me. I have a feeling my boys are going to really enjoy this class.

 Visit for additional information on Exploring America or one of their other History courses. They have courses for middle school and highschool for American and World History as well as Economic and Government courses. received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising.


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