Notgrass American History, Geography, and Literature

The following is a review of the Notgrass Company's American History, Geography, and Literature curriculum completed as a member of the TOS Schoolhouse Review Crew.

     We first heard of the Notgrass Company last fall when their world history series was woven into my daughter's ninth grade curriculum. The books are such an easy and interesting way to read about history, so I was delighted with the opportunity to review their American History, Geography, and Literature curriculum. Though designed for 5th through 8th graders, the America the Beautiful curriculum package that we received included resources that all three of my children enjoyed using. 

Notgrass review

     We received the complete America the Beautiful curriculum package (currently available for $99.95.) These books were included:

  • America the Beautiful Part 1
  • America the Beautiful Part 2
  • We the People
  • Maps of America the Beautiful 
  • Timeline of America the Beautiful 
  • America the Beautiful Answer Key

     In addition to the above set, we also received:

     The main text is included in two large hardback books which each have 75 lessons. The first covers the beginnings of our country from natives long before Columbus's discovery, from 1000 through 1877. The second half of our nation's history is shared in the next book: America From the late 1800s to the present. Charlene Notgrass, the author, and her husband homeschooled their own children for twenty years. The Notgrass family shared "our faith in Christ guides what we write." That is evident throughout the colorful pages of these beautiful books. 

     When we first received these books, I started by reading them. Our country's history was written as an enjoyable, engaging story, and then actual first person stories from each period were woven in with the We the People book. We read of the Native Americans and the types of boats used by different tribes, and then noticed a dugout at a restaurant we visited with my parents. I love discussions about history with several generations. My parents' input includes things they lived through or heard about from their grandparents. I shared these books with them as my dad shared with us about fishing with his Grandpa.

Timeline of America the Beautiful
     The Natchez Indian mounds are told about more than just from the perspective of theories we read when we visited there. That our world was created by God and is under His providence is evident in everything shared. For me, it was a refreshing perspective to read history that lines up with our beliefs. The timeline book pictured above was one of the activities that my kids completed together. I love how clear a timeline helps to sort events out in an orderly fashion. For this book, some time periods (like the one above) just have pictures. Other times have facts already typed into it. And other spaces are left blank for the students to complete as they learn about specific events.

     My 8th grader used the America the Beautiful Lesson Review book to further record the facts that we read about. Though the America the Beautiful Student Workbook is designed for 5th and 6th graders, my 4th grade son enjoyed the activities with occasional assistance.

     Our travel memories from places we have visited helped to bring the stories even more to life. As we read about St. Augustine and Castillo San Marcus, we were able to look back at pictures from travels compare how we saw it to the historic information shared in the texts. Our American National Park system was described from how it started to the presidents that were in office as different ones were designated. We love  joining the junior ranger programs as we visit different parks, and the information shared here built on those experiences.

     For this review, I didn't work through the set in order as recommended. I wanted to cover more of it in depth to be able to share with you. We first read from the beginning. The Indian Boy stories shared in We the People captured our interest and gave us a first person perspective that isn't often shared of that life. We planned to move from there to the depression era, which is covered in several units closer to the end of the second book. Instead, as we flipped through the pages more and more captured our interest. Then we moved on to the time period that my 93 year old Powpow remembers from when he was much younger. We snuggled together on the couch and read Blue Willow, a fiction book recommended as additional related reading. The picture below is one I snapped later one afternoon long after we stopped our history lesson. My nine year old son was reading more from the textbook on his own, unprompted, just because he wanted to. He even found and read a chapter about Laura and Almanzo Wilder. 

     In my opinion, these books would make a lovely addition to any American family's library, even those who don't homeschool. 

     See what other crew members shared in their reviews here. Some reviewers also tried their Draw To Learn program. They also have Bible, Civics, Economics, Civics, and English Curriculum.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.


  1. These look like wonderful books! I will have to check them out.

    1. It is a wonderful set. If you are planning to study American history, I recommend them.


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