America the Beautiful -Review

This past school year, the kids asked if we could dig deeper in American History. I was all for it as I enjoy being able to follow their interests but I had no clue whether I wanted to piece together our own lessons or use a laid out curriculum source. So I was tickled to have the chance to review America the Beautiful from Notgrass Company. I had actually never heard of them until this review but at first glance, I was intrigued!
What it is:

America the Beautiful is a one year American history program with a Biblical worldview that also includes geography & literature studies. It was created by a Christian homeschooling family and contains 6 books, created for kids in grades 5-8 (ages 10-14). It includes:

-America the Beautiful part 1- This is a hardcover book with 452 pages, 75 lessons that start with with life in America before the Europeans came. There are both black & white and colored pictures throughout.

-America the Beautiful part 2- This is a hardcover book with 572 pages, 75 lessons that picks up where book 1 left off and continues until current time. It also contains many black & white and colored pictures.

-We the People- This is a hardcover book that has 220 pages of 150 varying collections of newspaper articles, poems, letters, speeches, documents, etc.

-Maps of America the Beautiful- This book ties in with lesson assignments given in the America the Beautiful books. There are 30 different maps with instructions on how to complete each map.

-Timeline of America the Beautiful- This is a timeline that ties in with most lessons starting with 1000 AD to present time. Some facts are already filled in but the students fill in most facts, directions given from each lesson.

-America the Beautiful Answer Key- This contains answers for the timeline, student workbooks, lesson review and has vocab assignments as well.

And if this all wasn't enough, you can also purchase the student workbook ($11.95) for grades 5 & 6 or the lesson review ($9.95) for grades 7 & 8 to accompany the main curriculum package. If you don't want to borrow the literature books from the library, you can purchase the literature package with all 10 books needed for $59.95

I know this seems overwhelming but it isn't! In fact, we truly are enjoying this curriculum. The main selling point to me is that I can use it with all 4 older kids together as it fits right with their grades. Not only that, but everything is laid out and there is no prep work for me, a double plus!!

Each unit contains 5 lessons (a total of 150 lessons, so almost 1 per school day if you do 180 school days like most states require). At the end of each lesson, there are directions of what to complete, whether it's some map directions, filling in a timeline piece, writing out a Bible verse, reading some of the recommended accompanying literature, reading something from We the People, page assignments from the workbooks or other suggested activities such as writing assignments. At the end of each unit, there is a family activity to do as a family that ties in with what was studied in the previous unit. This could include a craft, recipe, game, etc. What a great concept that my kids love! While there are many suggested things you can do, the beauty of homeschooling allows us to each pick & choose what suits our schedule & interests! You could do all or just 1 depending on what works for your family.

a glimpse of some of the pages from the different books

How we used this:
I admit I love that the older the kids get, the more work they can do independently. What the kids did with this curriculum is they took turns reading each lesson as a group. The lessons were only a few pages long, interspersed with pictures. They would either gather around the person reading so they could see the pictures or they passed the book around once the lesson was read so they could each see the pictures. My 5th grader used the student workbook and my 7 & 8th graders used the lesson review books. Once they read the lesson, as a group, they would follow the suggested activities listed at the end. I usually required them to do a majority of the listed activities and even if I hadn't, they would ask to do them all as they found them enjoyable. For the literature books, we were able to find them at our library and also used this as a read aloud. When time allowed me, I would sit down and read either the book or the lessons aloud to the kids. I truly enjoy a curriculum that we can do as a group! I find that it really opens up more in-depth discussion.

We felt that the quality of this curriculum was great! The kids really appreciated seeing the many pictures shown in each lesson, helping to bring to life what they were reading. I also felt that "We the People" brought an added depth as well. Each lesson took us about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. This is what we are using this year for our history curriculum and look forward to completing it all!

You can purchase the 6 main books as a package for $99.95. Students workbooks are additional. Considering you can use this as a group study and that it includes not only history but geography & literature studies as well, we felt with all the textbooks provided, it was well worth the price! (and since reviewing this, I've had the chance to share with some of my homeschool friends about this program and have found others who will be using it as well!)



  1. I thought you would like to know that I am running this review in the print issue of TOS coming out in the new year. :) Thanks for being such a great Crew Team member! :)


    1. No WAY!!!! That's awesome! I am so tickled! This curriculum by far was on our top 3 list of reviews from this past year. I am honored to help contribute & be a part of the Crew. :)

  2. That is so nice to hear! The review will include your full name as credit and a link to your blog. :)



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