Wednesday, August 14, 2013

America the Beautiful!! Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsmommas #hshistory #americanhistory

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     I am so pleased to share this curriculum review with you! I was given the pleasure to try out the America the Beautiful Curriculum Package from Notgrass Company. I have been searching for a curriculum for us for History that is written from a Christian perspective this year and I am confident I have finally found it.

   We have been using this curriculum for several weeks and have not been able to put it down. The boys look forward to History even while we are on Summer Break, this speaks volumes to me and does not go unnoticed. I came across Notgrass at the Great Homeschool Convention and was immediately intrigued. So imagine my excitement when I found out we were going to get the opportunity to review curriculum from them as part of being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

       Notgrass Company sent us the full curriculum that is geared for 5th - 8th grade. Now Taylor is just entering 9th grade and Alyx 10th but we are enjoying this curriculum thoroughly the age recommendation is 10-14 so my boys fit that perfectly before Alyx just turned 15. In our package we were sent the American the Beautiful Curriculum Package. This included 2 text books, America the Beautiful Part 1 and America the Beautiful Part 2, both hardcover and filled with 75 lessons exploding with rich colorful photos and detailed accounts of history. The first book tells of American before the Europeans and continues through the Early beginnings of the Civil War, it is 452 pages and you can read the table of contents and view a sample lesson here.

    The second book begins with America's expansion into the lands west of the Mississippi River and continues into the Modern times. This book is 572 pages of learning rich in learning and history of our people. You can view a table of contents and samples of lessons as well as the index here.

   These books are amazing and beyond words but we are not finished yet, we got so much more... Also included in our curriculum package was We the People, this is a 220 page hard covered, black and white book. Chronically real journal entries, newspaper articles, advertisements and short stories and so much more. You can view samples of this as well.

Next we have saddle stitched book of maps, these are detailed maps that you and your child we refer to often throughout the lessons and then use them to complete tasks when they have completed their lessons. This book is called Maps of America the Beautiful, and you can view it also. The book is complete with 61 pages. I think this was one of the favorites of my boys as they absolutely love to study and use maps. They find it fascinating and look for maps everywhere we go. I think they found this love for maps on our road trip this past fall.

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  Of course History lessons would not be complete without the use of timelines so included is Timeline of America the Beautiful, in the samples you will see where after the lesson or if your children are like mine they did it while they studied their lesson since their memory retention is a bit lacking, they fill in the blanks of the timeline of the period in history they were covering at that particular moment.  As you can see there is not a whole boatload of writing when it comes to the timeline portion of this curriculum which was wonderful for my boys since writing is a huge issue.

  The last book included in this curriculum package is the 55 page saddle stitched answer key book. This whole entire set sells for $99.95. This is beyond worth the price, I could not touch this price if I pieced out my curriculum book by book. I would not call this a bargain because to me that may imply cheaply made. I think of bargain books and they are small and lacking content sometimes. This is not the case what so ever. These books are of astounding quality and you can tell that hardwork and care went into the making of each of these books.

   There are also workbooks that are purchased separately for this curriculum, there are 2 options, first is the America the Beautiful Student Workbook geared for grades 5-6 and America the Beautiful Lesson Review for 7-8 grades. The workbook is $11.95 and the Review book $9.95.

   Now to explain a little about the workbook choices, even though the books are geared for specific age we used them both. Taylor used the workbook and Alyx the review. This worked for us as then we did not need to buy additional consumables. The maps and timelines they just worked together. This was perfect for our situation but may not be with others. The workbooks and review books are economical enough that they will not break the bank to buy the ones appropriate for each of your children.

   There were some needed items that were not included in our package from Notgrass Company, these were the literature books required to complete the lessons. The good news is most were available from the library or for free or cheap on our Kindle. The only one we will have to purchase was the last one which is Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass. Now it may be easier for you to purchase the entire Literature Package as a a lot and you can do just that by going to view the list and making that decision based on the selections needed. The whole America the Beautiful Literature Package is $59.95.  These are essential in completing the curriculum course and should not be taken lightly when deciding whether or not you are going to purchase the package. I was excited myself to find a way to incorporate literature into our studies without making it a stand alone course. My boys seem to enjoy the study of literature more this way and were not so apprehensive when it came time to read the books. It seems in the past when I brought up a literature book depending on the title they would groan and give me a hard time. When combined with this curriculum I do not  get the same results as they are truly enjoying this course of American History.

   This is definitely a curriculum that is going to be a mainstay for the entire school year and most likely beyond. Taylor even wants to explore their Draw to Learn books, because he says if they are as fun as the History he just has to have them!

   You can read more about America the Beautiful Curriculum Package as well as learn about Drawto Learn books by clicking the banner below to get to all of the crew reviews.

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1 thoughts shared:

judi said...

I've been using Notgrass high school level history curriculum for about 6 years and I love it! This looks really neat too! I may try it when my next child reaches middle school age.