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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Notgrass Company TOS Review

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I was sent these 3 items 
from Notgrass Company to review:

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Recommended for ages 10-14 / grades 5-8.

The package includes:

*  America the Beautiful Part 1-
Hardcover, 452 colorful pages

*  America the Beautiful Part 2-
Hardcover, 572 colorful pages

*  We the People - 
Hardcover, 220 pages

*  Maps of America the Beautiful -
softcover, 30 maps with direction sheets, 61 pages

* Timeline of America the Beautiful -
softcover, timeline from 1000 - 2019, 57 pages

*  America the Beautiful Answer Key -
softcover, 55 pages

Recommended for 5'th & 6'th grade. 
spiral softcover, 150 pages 

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Recommended for 7'th & 8'th grade or younger children who like a bit more of this type of review process.  
Spiral softcover, 110 pages 

1.)  Curriculum Package $99.95
2.)  Student Workbooks $11.95
3.)  Lesson Review $9.95

What Is This? -

This is a American history, Geography, Bible & Literature curriculum all in one!  This course is for one full year or you can spread it over two years if you'd like; it's very user friendly.  

There are 75 lessons in each text; Part 1 & Part 2.  The two texts total 150 lessons.  These lessons cover the Native Americans exploring all the way to modern times.  

Here are a few titles of some of the lessons covered: 

Natives of the Southwest 
America in the Jacksonian Era 
Stagecoaches and the Pony Express 
Polish, Jewish, and Italian Immigrants in America 
 Motor City, USA 
Eleanor Roosevelt
First Lady and Social Activist 

These are just to name a few.  These two textbooks are packed full of great information and colorful pictures!

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The We the People text is filled with articles from the newspaper, poems, songs, some historical documents and even journal entries!  Here is a sample of letters from Abraham Lincoln.

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The Maps of America the Beautiful book has 30 maps with assignments for the student(s) to do.  The maps are quite detailed yet very easy to read.

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The Timeline of America the Beautiful is a timeline of American history.  The student writes facts that are learned from the lessons in the textbooks.

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The America the Beautiful Answer Key consist of all the answers for the workbook, lesson review, vocabulary assignments (from text) and timelines.  (Seen in picture at the top of this review.)

The America the Beautiful Student Workbook contains lots of assignments like crosswords, codes, matching, etc.  This helps them remember what was just discussed in the main text of the lesson.  This book is optional.

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The America the Beautiful Lesson Review contains daily literature & lesson review.  It also has weekly quizzes for the student(s) to do.  This book is optional as well.  If you would like your older child (7'th & 8'th grade) to do the quizzes and even more review sheets, that is what this book would be for.  Parents usually choose this or the workbook.  You of course can use both if you wish.

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What I Thought -

My 10 year old son (starting 5'th grade this fall) used this curriculum set several times per week.  We didn't use the Lesson Review book because of my sons age / grade but we did use the Student Workbook.  (Remember, it was recommended to use one or the other.)  He really likes the workbook.  He liked the activities in the map book as well.  The finding and coloring the different parts of the map helps him learn the areas.

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I liked that the lessons weren't too long for the attention span of my son. ;)  I chose to read it to him.  I asked questions throughout the lessons to make sure he understood what was being taught.  We also discussed every lesson.  The pictures were great!  The pictures and photos were very detailed, colorful and true.  Besides the text, we used our Bible, the mapbook, workbook and timeline book.  

The lessons were packed full of information in a way that the student(s) can really get a 'feel' for what was happing in that particular time period.  I really liked that.  

I like being able to stop, discuss, answer questions, etc. during the lessons and not have to rush.  That brings me to something I need to mention.  We are going to continue using this curriculum this fall but  we will be stretching it out over 2 years.  (Which was an option that the writer has given up in the introduction of the texts.)  There is just so much information in these books!  And of course, we are getting 2 years of the three subjects for 1 years price!  (Which mom really likes!)  I also think the 2 year time span will work best for our family.  That is one of the joys of homeschooling, we can tweak the curricula to fit our needs.  

This course is very homeschool friendly. I highly recommend it to any homeschool family.  I do feel it would work well in a classroom setting as well.  It is clean, Christian based, beautiful detailed pictures, great end of lesson assignments and very well written. 

About the Authors:

I also wanted to mention that I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Charlene Notgrass & her husband Ray at the MidWest Ohio Convention this spring.  Charlene took a lot of time with me to explain just how the curriculum works, flowed, and why it was written the way it was.  She took me step by step through the process in depth!  She and her husband really are a loving couple who truly care about teaching American History the best way possible!
I give this one an A+


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