Notgrass Exploring America

Notgrass does not allow their products to be discounted, but we can offer this special: spend a total of $50 or more on any combination of products from Notgrass, IEW (Excellence in Writing) or Classical Conversations and get either: 1) free media mail shipping or 2) a $5 rebate on any other book in the store.

The Notgrass Exploring America curriculum is a one-year course in American history for high school students. It presents an enjoyable, readable survey of the principal themes, people, and events of our nation's history, placing an emphasis on using original source documents, speeches and literature of the period because these allow the participants in historical events to tell their story from their own unique perspective.This is a fairly comprehensive, Bible-based textbook set which attempts to build faith into the student by showing the influence that Christianity has had on the past and present.

How Does This Work?

Exploring America is divided into two volumes—fifteen units each, for a total of thirty units of five daily lessons apiece. Every unit begins with an introduction that outlines the material to be covered during the week and provides a memory verse, as well as suggested activities and writing assignments. The lessons that follow are typically three to five pages long, and contain additional material to read or questions to consider.There are no comprehension questions in the two texts, but they are available in an optional (and separate) quiz and exam book. The primary sources cited are contained in a third volume called American Voices.

Mr. Notgrass suggests that students can earn up to three full credits for this course: one in history, one in English, and one in Bible. To do this, students must read the text and complete the assignments for each of the 150 lessons. This includes a weekly writing project, a weekly Bible study, and readings in literature (which includes speeches, essays, and a list of selected books which are to be read in their entirety). To do the work in full, it is expected that students will need to spend two or three hours a day in reading and writing.

You don't need to do everything suggested; many of our clients opt to do just the history portion of the course, which eliminates the Bible study and literature readings, vastly cutting down the amount of time needed. Very little parent/teacher interaction is necessary for these courses. There is, of course, no reason why a parent cannot be involved anyway.

Our Honest Opinion:

In our review of the 1st edition of Exploring America, we were fairly critical of two aspects of this curriculum. The first was that we believed the literature selected to accompany the texts were too limited and tame. The second was that we believed the admittedly optional comprehension questions weren't that challenging or thought provoking. Both of these concerns have been addressed and much improved in the latest editions.

To sum up, Exploring America combines an interesting lecture-style approach with a largely well-written, student-friendly text. Their strength rests in their concentrated effort to present historical and Biblical concepts in an engaging and accessible manner, though their perspective, especially as it relates to contemporary trends and events, is necessarily somewhat subjective. The books are well-organized, and we think quite easy to use. They offer a clear book list, understandable instructions, and encouragement. In short, they are very doable for home school families with high school students and we can recommend them highly.

Additional Information:

Table of Contents (for both volumes)
Introduction
Sample Unit #4
Sample Unit #19
Teacher's Guide
American Voices Table of Contents
Quiz & Exam book sample

Recommended Booklist:

(In the order they are used)

Did you find this review helpful?
Parent Categories
27 Items found Print
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Dover Thrift Editions
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
$4.00
American Voices
by Ray Notgrass (editor)
3rd edition from Notgrass Company
for 9th-12th grade
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$29.95
Christy
by Catherine Marshall
from Avon Books
Realistic Fiction for 8th-10th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
Dover Thrift Editions
by Henry David Thoreau
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
$2.00 (2 in stock)
Co. Aytch
by Sam Watkins
from Touchstone
Historical Non-fiction for 8th-Adult
in American Civil War (1860-1865) (Location: G4D-HIS)
$16.00
Davy Crockett
by David Crockett
from Applewood Books
Biography for 4th-8th grade
in Biographies (Location: O1A-BIO)
$12.71 $8.00 (1 in stock)
Exploring America - Curriculum Package
by Ray Notgrass
3rd edition from Notgrass Company
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$110.00
Exploring America - Full Set
by Ray Notgrass
3rd edition from Notgrass Company
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$127.00
Exploring America - Literature Package
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
Exploring America - Quiz & Exam Book
by Ray Notgrass
from Notgrass Company
for 9th-12th grade
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$8.00
Exploring America - Student Review Book
by Ray Notgrass
from Notgrass Company
for 9th-12th grade
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$7.95
Exploring America - Student Review Pack
by Ray Notgrass
2nd edition from Notgrass Company
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$17.00
Exploring America Volume 1
by Ray Notgrass
3rd edition from Notgrass Company
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$45.00
Exploring America Volume 2
by Ray Notgrass
3rd edition from Notgrass Company
in Notgrass Exploring America (Location: F7E-HIS)
$45.00
Giver
by Lois Lowry
from HMH Books for Young Readers
for 7th-10th grade
1994 Newbery Medal winner
in Science Fiction (Location: FIC-SCI)
$7.19
Humorous Stories and Sketches
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
$2.40
In His Steps
by Charles M. Sheldon
from Revell Publishing
for 9th grade-Adult
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$4.79
Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Washington Irving
from Dover Publications
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 5th-9th grade
$2.40
Little Women
Puffin Classics
by Louisa May Alcott
from Puffin Books
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$7.19
Looking Backward
Dover Thrift Editions
by Edward Bellamy
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
$4.00
Mama's Bank Account
by Kathryn Forbes
from Harcourt
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$9.56
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dover Thrift Editions
by Frederick Douglass
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
$2.40
Scarlet Letter
Dover Thrift Editions
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
from Dover Publications
Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
$4.00
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
from Warner Books
Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: NLIT7-20)
$7.19
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Signet Classics
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
from Signet Classics
Realistic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: MLIT6-19)
$4.76
Up From Slavery
Dover Thrift Editions
by Booker T. Washington
from Dover Publications
Autobiography for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: NLIT7-20)
$4.00
Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard's Almanack
Dover Thrift Editions
by Benjamin Franklin
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: MLIT5-18)
$2.40