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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Notgrass America the Beautiful Schoolhouse Review #hsreviews

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We are very eclectic in our school. I have purchased curriculum and I have pieced together my own, we have used text books, lapbooks, notebooks, workbooks, you name it we have probably tried it. It is a lot easier to purchase what I want, but sometimes I feel like I want to add more to it. We just started using America the Beautiful from Notgrass Company and it is has everything I would want in a history curriculum.
American the Beautiful covers American history, geography, and literature for children ages 10-14. This complete one-year course written by Charlene Notgrass can be purchased for $99.95.  Six books are included in this curriculum:
There are two additional workbooks that can be purchased:
  • America the Beautiful Student Workbook ~ This book is spiral bound with 150 pages and is $11.95. It was written by Mary Evelyn McCurdy and is recommended for students in the 5 & 6 grade. Each lesson has one page of activities including crossword puzzles, matching,  fill in the blank, scrambled words, codes, drawing assignments, and more.
  • America the Beautiful Lesson Review ~ This Spiral bound book has a 100 pages and is $9.95. It is recommended for 7 & 8 grade students and was written by Mary Evelyn McCurdy. It includes review questions and a quiz for each lesson.
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Literature is assigned in this curriculum and starts in Unit 4. There are 10 books to read throughout the year.
  • The Sign of the Beaver
  • Amos Fortune: Free Man
  • Brady
  • Bound for Oregon
  • Across Five Aprils
  • Little Town on the Prairie
  • All-Of-A-Kind-Family
  • Blue Willow
  • Homer Price
  • Katy
There is a lot included in this curriculum, but it is not overwhelming. The entire program is explained in the introduction. There are 5 types of lessons:
  • Our American Story ~ Covers major events in the time periods.
  • God’s Wonders ~ Describes the amazing creation God placed in America.
  • An American Landmark ~ Covers important sights in American history.
  • An American Biography ~ Focuses on people who lived in each time.
  • Daily Life ~ Tells how people worked & lived during their time.
Each of the 30 Units contain 5 lessons and can be completed in one year. After reading each lesson in America the Beautiful there are activities to be completed. This is where you are told what to read out of We the People, what pages to complete in the Lesson Review, Student Workbook, Timeline, Maps, and vocabulary & writing assignments to include in a 3 ring binder. At the end of each Unit there is a family activity for everyone to enjoy.
Navajo Flatbread ~ A Family Project

I am using this curriculum with all three of my girls ages 8, 11, & 12. We set up a 3-ring binder for all three of them & after using this for a couple of days I decided to order additional workbooks. I have been reading the text out loud to the girls and then they can complete their activities. I wanted Amber & Delaney to use the Lesson Review workbooks and Alaina was going to use the Student Workbook, but Amber & Delaney wanted to use the Student Workbook too because they love puzzles.
America the Beautiful looks like a textbook, but the text is written in a way that is very engaging to us all. The activities are very well rounded, and include reading assignments, writing assignments, vocabulary words, and bible verses. The Family Activity directions are in the back of the book and include menus, recipes, games, and crafts.
I love the timeline, because it helps my girls to see things in order & they love looking back through their entries. I’ll admit we have tried to keep a timeline in the past & will stray away from it from time to time. This workbook makes it easy to keep up with it & it is a great way to review without really trying.

Some of the Maps in the workbook are used with several lessons and some are used with just one. We have a wall map of the world & the United States hanging in our school room, so we can easily point out places when we read about them. The Maps workbook is making it easier for the kids to find places on our wall maps.

Charlene Notgrass is a 20 year homeschool veteran that wants to encourage homeschool moms. She has written several books and one of them is the Draw to Learn series.  Reviews from this series can be read on the Crew Blog.

America the Beautiful gives you the joy of using living books, notebooking, map skills, and activities with the ease of textbook. It is easy to use, very thorough and the kids are learning and enjoying themselves while they do.

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1 comment:

Mev said...

I am so glad that your family is enjoying this curriculum. Sounds like it is a good fit for your daughters. Blessings to you on your journey!

Mary Evelyn McCurdy
Notgrass Company

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