Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Review: America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful is a one-year history curriculum that includes geography {in the form of a map book, which your child will add to almost daily}, timeline, and literature. There are two textbooks, Part One and Part Two. Part One begins with life before European colonization and ends with the Civil War. Part Two begins with expansion to the West and concludes with modern times.

There are 75 lessons in each book, and your child is to complete one lesson per day. Each lesson includes a major event, person, or landmark from that time period. The lessons take 10-20 minutes to read each day. The book is full of beautiful, full color illustrations.

 After reading the lesson, there are several activities for your child to complete. You don't have to do all of them {as there are several listed!}, but my daughter usually does them all {except vocabulary}. There are map study, timeline, vocabulary, literature, biblical thinking, and family activities {once a week}.

This is a picture of the activities listed for lesson 20.

Map Study: Complete the assignments for Lesson 20 on Map 2 "God's Wonders" and Map 9 "Cap Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket" in Maps of America the Beautiful.

Timeline: In Timelines of America the Beautiful next to 1835, write Methodists begin holding camp meetings on Martha's Vineyard.

Vocabulary: In your notebook, write a paragraph using all of these words: attraction, engineer, isolated, migrate, whaling. Consult a dictionary if you need help with the definitions.

Literature: Read chapters 11-13 in The Sign of the Beaver.

Student Workbook or Lesson Review: If you are using one of these optional books, complete the assignment for Lesson 20. If you are using the Lesson Review, take the quiz for Unit 4.

The student workbook is full of crossword puzzles, word searches, codes, and more. My daughter loves doing this each day.

The lesson review workbook has about 5 questions to answer daily and a quiz for the last day of each unit.

The map study is excellent! It's turning into a colorful, beautiful book already. She enjoys coloring in the maps, and it is such a gentle, yet effective geography curriculum.


The timeline book has spaces to write the timeline entries and many illustrations to color.

There is an optional literature package you purchase, that includes all of the books your child will need to read for the year. Mikaela is really enjoying The Sign of the Beaver.

We the People is a textbook containing documents, speeches, stories, poems, and songs written by many famous people in American history. My daughter has enjoyed reading this immensely.

There is a weekly family project for your child to do. We have made Navajo bread, a Pocahontas Museum, and we are going to do this project next:

We were supposed to do it last Friday, but we never got a chance. We are going to try and do it today!

This is the absolute best history curriculum we have ever used. The books are beautiful and colorful. The activities are meaningful and hands on. The map study and timeline books are going to be gorgeous keepsakes. Mikaela is learning so much and excitedly tells me all she has read about each day. She is doing most of this independently, and I don't worry about it all. The instructions are simple to interpret, and she has done all of her work perfectly. I am so glad we are using America the Beautiful. We love it so much, we are already planning to use ALL of their curriculum!

The price is just right, too. For the two HUGE textbooks, We the People, map study and timeline workbook, and answer key, the price is just $99.95. The lesson review is just $9.95, and the student workbook is only $11.95. The optional literature package includes 10 books and is $59.95. You could always purchase your books a few at a time.

Thank you, Notgrass Company, for a beautiful, well written curriculum!


  1. Beautiful review, Megan, with all of the photos! I'm glad that Mikaela is enjoying it so much.

    1. Thank you, John! She is having a great time learning about American History!!

  2. Annette loved her Notgrass yer. Caleb will use some of their books this year too. Great review!

    1. Thank you. It was my first! I would love to do more, especially by this company.

  3. What age/grade are you using this for? And is it a part of your HOD studies?

    1. I am sorry, I should have clarified what age\grade this is for. It is for ages 10-14. My 7th grade daughter (almost 13 years old) is using this. She is not using HOD. If you click on the picture of the books at the top, it will take you to the Notgrass website. I highly recommend this!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on Notgrass. It's fun seeing what the daily work is like. I'm so happy for you that your daughter is loving it :)

    1. You're welcome! I didn't mention this, but it takes her 45-60 minutes a day to complete, including her literature. I am glad we found something she loves!

  5. Love seeing her sweet face and to see her excitement in learning!