It happens every 4 years here in the US – the Presidential Elections. So what better time to study the history of the U.S. than in a year when there is so much focus on our Constitutional rights and what our nation was founded upon.
As a military family, we put a lot of focus on our nations history, discussing our call to serve and the foundations of our country. Understanding our history is important t our family and, therefore, something we think is extremely important in our homeschool.
We recently started working together to learn our history with a great curriculum called America the Beautiful from Notgrass. Designed for approximately 5th through 8th grade, America the Beautiful is a complete, one-year, history/government curriculum. However, like many of the curricula available from Notgrass, America the Beautiful is easily adaptable for older and younger children and could be a 2 year curricula if you want to take it slow.
We are using it 2 days a week and it will probably take a little over a year to complete but we may speed up or slow down as we move further through – I just love flexible curriculum!
So what do you study in America the Beautiful!
As I mentioned, it’s a full history/government curriculum when you purchase America the Beautiful, you get 2 textbooks that can look a little daunting because they are big. But that’s because they are thorough, quality, and full of color images, graphs, and tables.
It truly is a beautiful textbook, and I’m not a fan of textbooks. The images are modern as well as historical. It’s easy to read and one of the best features, in my opinion, is that there is no teacher’s manual. Each America the Beautiful book has all the notes in the text so you teach right from the books.
And, if you have an older child or independent learner, the setup of the lessons makes it very simple for the student to complete themselves.
There are many assignment and activity choices in each lesson so you and your student may pick and choose activities that suit your studies, your students preferences and learning style, or even just what you have the time to do.
Some of the types of activities include:
- Map Study
- Thinking Biblically
- Creative Writing
- Family Activity
Along with 2 textbooks, America the Beautiful comes with an answer key that provides answers to the lesson review sections, the timeline, and even the vocabulary assignments. Supplementary material to add more enrichment to your curriculum include Maps, Timeline, and We the People, which is a collection of 150 original documents from American history.
The topics covered in America the Beautiful Part 1 starts with America Before the Arrival of the Europeans moves through the New Ways of the Early 1800s and New Ways to Travel and Communicate ending with America Begins to Heal After the Civil War.
America the Beautiful Part 2 begins with Go West! through The Great Depression and the 1970s ending with America Enters a New Millennium, studying topics like The Digital Age, Making Music, An American Landmark and Celebrating the Fourth of July. Each book includes a section on Family Activites and Sources.
What We Thought of America the Beautiful
We really love the layout of America the Beautiful. This curriculum is very fun and makes the kids have fun learning history. My older daughter enjoyed reading the lessons to my son but sometimes I would read outloud to both. It very much has a feeling of a living book with the way the chapters are written and you could absolutely use it in that manner and not use the workbooks and corresponding activities and still get so much out of the curriculum.
This curriculum is so amazing, you won’t find a better way to study American history. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Notgrass and America the Beautiful.