How It Works
Designed to be easy-to-use for parent and student, each of the 30 weekly units in Exploring America has an introduction that features a summary of the material covered, a list of lessons, books required for that unit, and suggested writing assignments. Each of the 150 daily lessons (five lessons per week) includes the history text and the reading assignments for that day (and those in progress). A focused student can direct his own study, and the parent can offer as much interaction as needed. Depending on how fast your child reads and how much time he spends on the weekly project, he may need an average of 2-3 hours for each daily lesson.
Exploring America presents history from the perspective of faith in God and respect for His Word. Each unit includes a Bible study highlighting spiritual issues related to history. It is comprehensive, giving students a survey of events and issues from European exploration to the war on terror, with extensive coverage of the twentieth century. The Exploring America Curriculum Package includes three books:
- Part 1: Columbus through Reconstruction (first semester)
- Part 2: Late 1800s through the Present (second semester)
- American Voices: A Collection of Documents, Speeches, Essays, Hymns, Poems, and Short Stories from American History (assigned readings)
Completing the full course provides your child with one year of high school credit in three subjects: American History, English, and Bible. The History credit involves reading the lessons and the original documents and speeches, and answering the questions in the optional Student Review Pack if desired. The English credit involves completing several writing assignments, including one research paper; and reading the assigned literature, poems, and short stories in American Voices. The Bible credit involves reading the Bible lessons, completing the Bible assignments at the end of many lessons, and reading the hymns and other religious literature assigned.
Author Ray Notgrass Explains the Curriculum
In addition to the assigned readings from American Voices, the curriculum also assigns the following twelve works of literature. Specific page numbers are not assigned, so you do not have to use particular editions. We offer them for sale as a set or individually for your convenience.
- Units 2-3: The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
- Units 6-7: Narrative of the Life of David Crockett (David Crockett)
- Unit 8: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass)
- Units 9-11: Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
- Units 12-13: Co. Aytch (Sam Watkins)
- Unit 15: Humorous Stories and Sketches (Mark Twain)
- Units 16-17: In His Steps (Charles Sheldon)
- Unit 18: Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington)
- Unit 19: Mama's Bank Account (Kathryn Forbes)
- Units 20-21: Miracle in the Hills (Mary T. Martin Sloop and LeGette Blythe)
- Units 22-23: To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
- Unit 27: The Giver (Lois Lowry)
The Exploring America Audio Supplement is great for busy moms, siblings learning together, auditory learners, students with special needs, and families on the go. It does not replace the printed curriculum but is intended to be used alongside it. The audio recordings contain the full text of each lesson, except for the list of lesson assignments at the end.
An assignment checklist and other supplemental downloads are available.
What Parents Are Saying
Excited About History
"I have homeschooled our 14-year-old son for 6 years now, and he has never been as excited about history as he is now! Your curriculum and products are truly a blessing to our family!" (California)
Surpassed My Expectations
"I anticipated it being wonderful, and it has surpassed my expectations. In addition to completing the course, my son has passed the CLEP tests for American History I and II. He interacted with the issues using Scripture in this course, with great focus on what was happening spiritually in America amidst other events. The value of that is much greater than the college credit earned!" (Texas)
Easy to Read
"[My daughter] is using your American History curriculum and absolutely loves it! She says she likes it because it is easy to read (not dry) and doesn't just give you the facts about history, it tells you about the people and politics that lead up to events in history. She loves to read the speeches and documents that go along with it too." (Pennsylvania)
Enabled Me to Feel Confident
"I was very thankful to find a history curriculum that looked at history from God's perspective. I especially like the Bible study that is included in each unit because it really shows the student God's perspective on what man was doing during that time period. This curriculum has enabled me to feel confident that my daughter is getting a good education but not one that is boring and dry." (Oregon)
About the Author
Ray Notgrass is a follower of Jesus and a veteran homeschooling father. He met his wife, Charlene, at Middle Tennessee State University in the political science department. After graduating they were married in 1974. Ray went on to earn master’s degrees in history and New Testament. Ray and Charlene are lifelong history lovers and began writing homeschool curriculum in 1999. They enjoy classic literature, traveling together, and spending time with their children and grandchildren.