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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Uncle Sam and You- Notgrass

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

For the month of January I am contributing to a Virtual Curriculum Fair..  Each week is based off a certain subject. This week's subject that I'll be discussing is History.

 In 2012 I participated in the fair discussing the use of Heart of Dakota Curriculum. You can see the related post about the history portion of the curriculum HERE if you'd like to learn more..

I would like to post about what we are using for History this year.

Notgrass- "Uncle Sam and You"

We've used Notgrass Curriculum in our homeschool for a couple years with my older children. From the High School curriculum to the other Middle grade curriculum. I decided to use this one below for this year. My son thought learning about the government would be interesting.

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This comes in two hardcover volumes, a Literature book, a list of literature books (you can purchase them all in a bundle via their website) and a choice of a Student Workbook for grades 5-8 or Lesson Reviews for grades 9-12

What does it study?

The government.

They will learn about:

Fifty States
America's Founding Documents
How America Works
Patriotic Symbols and American Ideals
American Leaders
First Ladies
How America Relates to the World
US Military
State Government
Local Government
Native American Tribal Government
Homeland/Hometown Security
American Justice System
Technology & Communications
Getting Frome Here to There
Helping People in Need/Citizens Helping Others
Destinations in the USA

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This is a very easy curriculum to follow. Everything you need for each day is written out for you at the beginning of each Unit. Making a list of all books required to complete that Unit (which is one week long).

They read a lesson a day which consists of an average 3-6 pages depending on the lesson content. After each lesson there is a list like above and below. It states what they will be completing in each days lesson.

You can choose all or some of the days activities. The subjects of activities very from day to day including:

*Thinking Biblically
*Creative Writing
*Find Out!- Short Research Assignments-Look something up or ask a family member
*Picture This!- Assignments to draw a picture or take a photograph
*Literature- Reading Assignments
*Student Workbook or Lesson Review
 At the end of each week, the child will take a Unit Test to show comprehension of the text read in the previous week.

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Each day's lesson gives all the info needed to complete that days work.

There are four days of lessons leaving the fifth day to do an activity called "American Holiday" You will pick a holiday to study. Like below..

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This is the activity that goes along with the reading of the holiday "National Aviation Day". There is a few pages discussing what the holiday is and how it came about and then you have a page or two with materials and directions on how to make or do an activity like above.

You get to choose a holiday each week for 30 weeks.

With the Literature section, they will have the opportunity to read in the included Literature book called "The Citizen's Handbook" which has letters, speeches, articles, poems, documents, journals, memoirs and biographies to read. They will also have opportunities to read literature books throughout the year as well including:

"Lincoln-A Photobiography" by Russell Freedman
"A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt" by C. Coco De Young
"Brighty of the Grand Canyon" by Marguerite Henry
"Basher Five-Two" by Scott O'Grady
"Misty of Chincoteague" by Marguerite Henry
"The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder
"The Wright Brothers" How They Invented the Airplane" by Russell Freedman
"Lost on a Mountain in Maine" by Donn Fendler

Depending on how many daily activities you have your child participate/complete determines the time it will take to complete the lesson for the day. My son takes about an hour a day completing what I have him do. He doesn't do any of the Language Arts activities which includes the Creative Writing and Vocabulary (except Literature) as they are little above his age range so he just works on a separate Language Arts Curriculum. You can learn more about that HERE.

The curriculum is designed for grades 5-8 with the Language Arts portion geared for 7-8 grade in my opinion as my son is 6th grade and it's a little much for him. He's able to complete all other activities with little to no help from me.

Basic pencils, blank paper, notebook, three ring binder and colored pencils, is pretty much all you need to have a successful year using this curriculum..

Learn more about this awesome curriculum at their website HERE.


Check out other homeschool bloggers that are participating in this week's curriculum fair to see what they are sharing in regards to History curriculum:

A Classical Approach to Ancient World History for All Ages by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Supercharged Science's eScience Program by Kristi K. @ The Potter’s Hand Academy

Social Studies & Science Resource Lists by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

History and Science: Learning About the World Around Us by Leah@As We Walk Along the Road

Designing a Unit Study for History, Geography, or Science by Amy @ Eclectic Homeschooling

Virtual Curriculum Fair:  Social Studies by Joelle @ Homeschool for His Glory

My Favorite History Books for Boys by Monique @ Living Life and Learning

Social Studies in Our Homeschool by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

A Peek into our Homeschool: The Sciences by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Our Curriculum Choices 2014 ~ History & Science by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun

We're having a Social Studies-heavy Year by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

Our Journey Around the World by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

My Favourite Social Studies Curriculum by Kim @ Homestead Acres

RaisingMap Nuts: Learning Geography Naturally by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

The Whos, Wheres and Whys by Michele P @Family, Faith and Fridays

Exploring Our World: Social Studies and Science in our Classical Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm

Time Travel Throughout the World {or History and Geography in Our Homeschool} by HillaryM @ Our Homeschool Studio

Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 3: Exploring Our World – Social Studies and More Science by Stacie @ Super Mommy To The Rescue

Why We're Ditching Story of the World by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker


  1. I love the Notgrass Company. I use America The Beautiful with my son.

  2. So glad you wrote about this- we are hoping to use it next year so it was good to see pictures of it! We started using Notgrass this year and have really enjoyed it. If next year goes well we will think about moving to their high school programs.

  3. I am really loving this program as my 8th grader makes his way through it. I haven't looked at the high school programs yet, but will be considering them for him.

  4. I am loving having my 8th grader use this curriculum, too. I continue to be impressed by Notgrass' materials and need to take a peak at the high school programs.

  5. Sounds like a great program for middle schoolers (and it can be so hard to find quality resources for that age group). Adding it to my list of possibles for when my middle kids reach that stage. Thank you for sharing!


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