Review by Bridgette Taylor
Exploring America by Ray Notgrass is a comprehensive 30 week high school American History curriculum, but it’s actually much more. Exploring America not only discusses American history in a traditional sense, but also looks at history through American Literature and the Bible. This curriculum so thoroughly covers history, literature and composition, and the Bible that your student will receive three full high school credits when completed. That’s one full high school credit for American History, one full high school credit for English (literature and composition), and one full high school credit for Bible! Scriptures are provided with each lesson for a biblical historical foundation. Students are left with not only important historical facts, but are able to see these events from God’s perspective.
Exploring America includes two soft cover volumes entitled Exploring America: History, Literature, and Faith. Each of these 150 daily lessons includes a history text, and a reading assignment that is easily student-led. The history text is brought to life by the American Voices companion book (included) that contains documents, speeches, essays, poems, hymns, and short stories. Students are transported back in time while they read the words as they were originally written or spoken by our most famous historical figures. These first-hand accounts provide insight into history like no other curriculum before it.
Charlene and Ray Notgrass, having home schooled six children themselves, are understanding about certain materials containing questionable topics or phrases and have included a list of each word or phrase and their page numbers. This allows the teacher to censor anything he/she feels is inappropriate without sacrificing such beloved literary classics as “The Scarlet Letter”, “Narrative of the Life of David Crockett”, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “Co. Aytch”, “Little Women”, “Humorous Stories and Sketches”, “In His Steps”, “Up From Slavery”, “Mama’s Bank Account”, “Christy”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and “The Giver”. Also understanding financial constraints, this curriculum was designed to be mostly self-contained. The required reading for the history lessons is included in the American Voices book. Most of the classic American novels are easily found at your local library.
Comprehensive curriculum is an absolute necessity for today’s busy home schooling families. With the ability to complete three full credits with one outstanding curriculum, Exploring America by Ray Notgrass, is a curriculum that you and your high school student cannot do without.