Notgrass History Curriculum Review: A Homeschooler’s Perspective

Are you looking for a comprehensive history curriculum for your homeschooled student or children? The Notgrass History curriculum offers an engaging and comprehensive look into the past that is sure to spark their curiosity. From ancient civilizations to the present day, this curriculum will explore major events, people, and ideas from all over the world. It is designed to help your child develop critical thinking skills while uncovering the story of human existence.

Rebbecca Devitt

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.

I have mainly chosen to review Notgrass History as I’ve heard from multiple sources that this program is exceptional, and people love using it.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at this program below.

Notgrass Curriculum Review

Please Note: Affiliate links are used in this article. 

What is the Notgrass History Curriculum?

Notgrass History is a Christian-based curriculum that is designed to help students learn about the events of the past through an interactive, narrative approach.

It encourages students to explore different aspects of history from a faith-based perspective, emphasizing an understanding of how God has worked throughout human history.

The program seeks to promote strong historical literacy skills while fostering critical thinking and helping students develop their own Christian worldview.

The Notgrass History curriculum design their curriculum for three different age/grade levels:

  • early elementary (1st-4th),
  • middle school (5th-8th), and
  • high school.

They have a variety of courses for each level. (This is their suggested scope and sequence.)

Each course provides engaging activities and traditional texts such as biographies and primary source documents. Throughout the programs’ lessons, there are opportunities for discussion on blog threads and video lectures by expert historians who share their perspectives on various topics related to history.

Notgrass is a spiral curriculum in that each lesson and each year build on the knowledge obtained in previous periods.

What is Special About the Notgrass Program?

Notgrass isn’t like other history programs. Why not? It combines:

  • interesting story-like narrative passages to heighten interest,
  • primary documents so students can read letters, sing songs, and listen to stories from people in the past,
  • historical biographies so children can read engaging stories of real people,
  • hands-on activities to enhance learning, and
  • a biblical worldview and promotes Jesus in all their material.

The Online Homeschool History

Notgrass has quite an offline curriculum in general. However, they’ve recently started delving into other types of media.

This is seen on their Homeschool History platform, which is a web-based app that can be accessed from any device.

If you have students who are voracious readers or want to learn more about a country or region, the Online Homeschool History app might be for you. With this one, you can:

  • Discover videos available to watch for free
  • Movies available on streaming services
  • Search for field trips near and far and
  • Find history-related
    • games
    • websites,
    • podcasts, and more!

Homeschool History lets you dig deeper into particular topics and time periods.

Check them out here.

Is Notgrass History Accredited?

No. But, any homeschool curriculum you get isn’t going to be accredited. Only an online school can be.

Let me explain further.

Notgrass History is a homeschool history curriculum designed to meet the academic requirements of most states in the United States.

However, it is not an accredited program itself.

Accreditation is when an independent organization evaluates and recognizes that an educational program or institution meets certain quality standards.

Homeschool programs are generally not accredited because they are not required to be by law.

However, if you are using Notgrass History as part of a homeschool program accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, the Notgrass History curriculum can be counted towards the accreditation requirements.

Benefits of Using the Notgrass History Curriculum

Notgrass History is a Christian-based curriculum that provides students with an in-depth exploration of history and life’s lessons.

It is based on the belief that history not only teaches about the past, but also offers valuable moral and ethical insight into how we should live our lives today.

Using a variety of sources from both Christian and (at times) secular perspectives, Notgrass History helps students to recognize truth and develop critical thinking skills while gaining an understanding of historical figures, events, cultures, religions, and art.

The benefits of using Notgrass History are numerous. Through its exploration of the world’s histories and civilizations, students gain an appreciation for the diversity of human experiences across time periods.

By focusing on stories rather than facts alone, students can engage in meaningful discussions about morality and ethics rooted in Christianity.

What Grades Does Notgrass Curriculum Cover?

Notgrass covers grades K-12 in four separate curriculums tailored for each grade level: Exploring America, Ancient Civilizations and the Bible, Modern Times/World Studies, and America’s Heritage.

Check out all their grade levels here.

Is Notgrass a Religious or Secular Program?

The answer to this question is it’s religious, Christian. Notgrass History was founded by veteran homeschool parents Ray and Charlene Notgrass. They are Christians who include biblical themes as a core part of their curriculum.

Students are taught about Christianity’s influence on different cultures throughout history, including the United States and Europe. Each course includes bible stories, hymns, spiritual songs, scripture readings, and discussion questions related to faith-based topics such as prayer or forgiveness.

Through these teachings, Notgrass aims to help students develop faith-based values that will shape their understanding of history and the world around them as they develop a robust Christian worldview.

Is Notgrass History Whitewashed?

Yes and no.

I thought I’d write on this question as, ‘Is Notgrass History Whitewashed?” is a commonly googled question.

I understand the term “whitewashing” to mean either:
1) overlooking issues in history that are difficult or embarrassing
2) ignoring the contributions of people of color and glorifying white Europeans and Americans as the most important part of history

The erroneous idea behind this one is that ‘Notgrass History is whitewashed because it is written by fundamentalist Christians who have ‘rewritten history’ to make Christians look good and everyone else look bad in an attempt to instill a biblical worldview in children‘. [italicized is the idea I’ve observed online, not a direct quote.]

I think the accusation that it is whitewashed isn’t accurate as the very nature of the Bible (and what the Notgrasses teach) is that we are sinful, fallen humans who are not good.

That’s why we need Jesus. And that’s why we need the Bible and a biblical worldview because the Bible and a biblical worldview are like a manual to our lives that shows us how we as humans operate.

It gives us direction so we know what behaviors and actions will benefit us most.

It’s kind of like a dishwashing manual. A manual isn’t there to constrain us and make our life miserable. It’s there to help and stop us from stuffing up when we think differently.

As Christians, the Notgrasses publish quite a patriotic, and some might say conservative history curriculum.

A statement from Notgrass runs as follows:

We try to be honest about the good and the bad to help families understand what really happened, so we have not attempted to rewrite history.

Can I Try Notgrass History for Free?

Yes! You can do that. You first need to answer some questions then you can download the first three Units of the Notgrass History curriculum for free. You can do that here.

What Courses Does Notgrass History Offer?

Notgrass splits it’s curriculum up into different grade ranges:

Elementary (1st – 4th Grade)

Middle School (5th – 8th Grade)

High School (9th – 12th Grade)

You can check them out further here.

Does This Program Cater to Any Country in Particular?

Yes. Notgrass History is especially focused on American history. This will be a great thing for Americans, but it may not suit those in other countries.

But I’m Not American!

Don’t worry, their worldwide courses are great for those (like me) who aren’t American.

Is the Notgrass History Curriculum Hands-On?

Yes! Notgrass aims to teach children in many different ways, and as it does so, it increases learning, creating different mental connections between the history material.

Through interactive activities, simulations, and projects, Notgrass History encourages students to engage with the material in a more meaningful way.

Lab activities, field trips, art projects, book reports—these are just some of the different kinds of hands-on experiences that come with using the Notgrass History curriculum. Not only does this make learning more interesting for students, but it also helps them better retain and understand information.

Plus, hands-on activities can provide unique opportunities for creative thinking and problem-solving skills..

Discover the beauty of history through the Notgrass HIstory Curriculum. This program advocates a biblical worldveiw and encourages critical thinking. Check it out now!Does This Program Require Much Planning?

No. The program has all the instructions in the material, so you don’t have to open up a teacher’s manual to access instructions on what to say as your child’s teacher. This saves time and hassle and makes things so much easier!

I’m not a Christian. Can I Take Out the Religious Component?

A biblical worldview is firmly entwined in the Notgrass History curriculum. As such, it can’t be removed from the program as a big aim of the program is to develop a solid Christian worldview in students.

Elementary, Middle, and High School

Notgrass History offers a range of curriculum options for students of all ages, from elementary school to high school. Each curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of American and world history, as well as the skills they need to think critically and engage with complex historical concepts.

Notgrass History for Elementary School: A Fun and Engaging Introduction to History

Notgrass History for elementary school students provides a fun and engaging introduction to history.

Through stories, activities, and hands-on projects, students will learn about important people, events, and ideas from American and world history.

The curriculum is designed to promote critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, as well as a love of learning and a passion for history.

Notgrass History for Middle School: A Deeper Dive into Historical Concepts

Notgrass History for middle school students offers a deeper dive into historical concepts and themes.

The curriculum builds on the foundation laid in elementary school and provides students with a comprehensive understanding of American and world history.

Students will engage with primary source documents, maps, and other historical resources to develop critical thinking, research, and writing skills.

Notgrass History for High School: A Rigorous and Thought-Provoking Exploration of History

Notgrass History for high school students offers a rigorous and thought-provoking exploration of history.

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for college-level work and beyond, focusing on critical analysis, research, and writing skills.

Students will engage with primary and secondary sources to deepen their understanding of American and world history and will be challenged to think deeply about complex historical concepts and ideas.

How Do I Purchase Notgrass History?

Visit the Notgrass website and choose the history resource you want. You may wish to browse their selection of products, including America, World History, Ancient Civilizations, Bible History, and more.

Once you have found what you need, add it to your cart and check out securely through their website store. Payment methods include Mastercard, Visa and American Express credit cards, and PayPal.

After payment, your order will be shipped directly from the warehouse, with the estimated delivery time varying depending on your location.

You can purchase the curriculum after finding the right grade for your student here.

How Much Does the Notgrass Curriculum Cost?

Notgrass is exceptionally affordable, as you can get history lessons that span multiple grades. These will only set you back $100 to $200, depending on the bundle you buy. This curriculum gives you a lot of leverage in terms of what you can choose to buy or not buy. So check them out.

Notgrass History Programs

Many people ask about the specific programs, Uncle Sam and You, From Adam to Us, and America the Beautiful.

So I thought I’d write a paragraph on each to give you an overview.

Uncle Sam and You

Uncle Sam and You is a Notgrass History program focusing on civics and government in the United States.

The curriculum is designed to help students understand the principles of the American government, including the structure and functions of the three branches of government, the role of citizens in a democratic society, and the rights and responsibilities of individuals under the U.S. Constitution.

The program includes various engaging activities and projects that encourage students to think critically about key issues facing the nation. It is designed to prepare students for active and informed participation in civic life.

From Adam to Us

From Adam to Us is a comprehensive program that covers the history of the world from ancient times to the present day.

The curriculum is designed to help students understand the major events, trends, and ideas that have shaped human civilization, including the rise and fall of empires, the development of different cultures and religions, and the impact of scientific and technological innovations.

The program includes a wide range of resources, including primary source documents, maps, timelines, and other visual aids, as well as engaging activities and projects that help students deepen their understanding of key concepts and themes.

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful program provides an in-depth exploration of American history and culture.

The curriculum is designed to help students understand the factors that have shaped the development of the United States, including the contributions of different ethnic and cultural groups, the impact of social and economic forces, and the influence of political and religious ideas.

The program includes various engaging resources, including primary source documents, biographies, maps, and timelines, as well as various hands-on projects and activities encouraging students to think critically about key issues and themes.

The program is designed to help students develop a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the American story while also gaining a strong foundation in the skills and knowledge needed to be informed and engaged citizens.

Blended/Live/Online Classes with Notgrass History

Notgrass doesn’t offer online classes or video lessons like Apologia or BJU Press, but you can get these from the Sparks Academy, which has permission to teach live classes.

Videos are available in some courses, but you certainly couldn’t say it’s a video course.

Notgrass vs Other Curriculum

Notgrass is often compared with a few other homeschool curriculum programs. Below we’ll consider the curriculum this history program is most often compared with.

Before we start, I think it’s important to note that Notgrass is the Rolls Royce of Christian History curriculum programs around today. That’s reflected in its price. You tend to get a lot of value with Notgrass.

That doesn’t mean the others are not also good, but I think it’s worth saying Notgrass is very good quality.

Notgrass History vs Masterbooks

Notgrass History and Masterbooks are both comprehensive history curricula designed for homeschooling families, but they differ in their methodology and teaching style.

Notgrass History places a strong emphasis on critical thinking, writing, and analysis. The curriculum uses a variety of primary source materials and literature to engage students with complex historical concepts and encourage them to think deeply about historical events and ideas. Notgrass History also provides a wealth of teacher resources, including lesson plans, answer keys, and assessments, to support homeschooling parents and ensure students are mastering the material.

On the other hand, Masterbooks focuses more on teaching through narrative texts (stories). The curriculum is designed to present history in a way that is easy to understand and remember, with a focus on clear, concise writing and straightforward exercises. Masterbooks also offers a wide range of supplemental materials, including videos, audio recordings, and additional workbooks, to support student learning.

In terms of cost, Notgrass History tends to be more expensive than Masterbooks, but it also includes a greater variety of materials and resources.

Notgrass History is also more customizable than Masterbooks, allowing homeschooling parents to adjust the curriculum to fit their students’ needs and interests.

Notgrass History vs Story of the World

Notgrass History and Story of the World are popular history curriculum options for homeschooling families. Here are some key differences between the two:

  1. Approach: Notgrass History takes a traditional textbook-based approach to learning history, while Story of the World uses a storytelling approach designed to be more engaging for children.
  2. Content: Notgrass History offers courses in American, world, and ancient history, focusing on integrating literature and Bible study into each unit. Story of the World covers world history in four volumes, each in four periods. The curriculum includes maps, coloring pages, and activity books to supplement the reading.
  3. Grade Level: Notgrass History offers courses for grades K-12, while Story of the World is designed for elementary-aged children.
  4. Cost: Notgrass History courses are a bit more expensive than Story of the World.

Notgrass History vs Mystery of History

Here are some differences between the two of these history curriculum programs:

  1. Approach: Notgrass History takes a more traditional textbook-based approach to learning history, while Mystery of History uses a chronological, narrative-based approach designed to engage students.
  2. Content: Notgrass History offers courses in American, world, and ancient history, focusing on integrating literature and Bible study into each unit. Mystery of History covers world history from a Christian perspective in four volumes, each divided into 36 lessons that can be completed in a week.
  3. Grade Level: Notgrass History offers courses for grades K-12, while Mystery of History is designed for grades K-12, with each volume covering material appropriate for different age levels.
  4. Cost: Notgrass History courses tend to be a bit more expensive than Mystery of History.

Songs & Audio: Notgrass History

While Notgrass doesn’t offer video lessons, they delve into songs and music in their elementary courses.

Notgrass History’s songs and audio resources are designed to make history come alive for students and help them to engage with the material in a meaningful way.

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So…

In conclusion, Notgrass History curriculum is an excellent choice for any homeschool family looking for a comprehensive, Bible-based history program. It offers a comprehensive view of history from a Christian perspective and encourages students to think deeply about the implications of their faith. The program also provides helpful supplementary materials such as timelines, maps, and activity ideas that make learning fun and engaging. Furthermore, Notgrass History provides valuable support resources through its online forum and customer service team. You can buy Notgrass History here.

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Rebecca Devitt

Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.

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