By the time a student is in high school they most likely are working at an independent level. This is true for my son. It’s been true for several years now. In fact, he’s become his own teacher so to speak, while I’ve become more of a facilitator ensuring he is completing assigned work, reviewing any needed content and tracking his work. This new system is made all the easier with the use of a self-guided history curriculum.
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Notgrass History has been such a blessing to our homeschooling lives. It started a couple of years ago when I was busy taking care of my father who was ill. My young man was hopping from home to grandmas, to friends houses, to even sitting in his dad’s office doing his school work. I was away from home for nearly 5 months straight.
When it began I had a couple of weeks of lesson plans prepared. Whomever my son was staying with simply followed the guided plan and told him what to do. After those initial two weeks were gone I simply told him… “Just do the next America the Beautiful lesson, your Bible study and your math.” And he did, and kept doing that through the end of the school year. During the summer months I had him work through his science.
So when summer came and I had a moment to sit and needed to figure out school for the coming year as well as the finalize the year that ended I began to look at what he was able to accomplish without my presence. It really was astounding. Because Notgrass History has laid out their material in a Charlotte Mason, Unit Study fashion not only was he able to complete History and Math in my absence, but Literature, Writing, and Vocabulary as well.
That’s when I really grew to love Notgrass History and committed to continuing to use it through the rest of his homeschooling. Last year we used Uncle Sam and You which fit really well with the hotly contested election year. Again, through the school year he showed himself to be far more independent because of the self-guided history from previous year. Notgrass for the Middle School years incorporates daily guides for the students through each lesson with a comprehensive listing of what to do for each daily lesson.
This year, I chose Exploring World History. After two years of American studies in middle school, I felt that it would be a good idea to focus on world history for a while. Again, I’m not disappointed by the layout of the material. Because the curriculum in Christian based, it lays out history from a Biblical Worldview.
Because my son is well versed in Bible the first few lessons were a bit under his skill level but I had him push through them. However, the high school level incorporates more research projects into the materials which is an area where my son’s skills haven’t been honed. So I had him focus more energy there. I’ve been quite pleased with how he’s begun to reason through the material rather than simply quoting facts read. And after those first few lessons he was able to really start to get an overview of the world at large from the Creation beginning perspective.
Again, Literature and English are incorporated into the material making for a complete unit study. Rather than a specific guide for how many chapters in a given book to read each day, the student is told when to begin a book and that they’ll need to complete the ready by a certain lesson. This way they become self-guided in their learning and time management. They determine how much they will read on any given day while learning to balance their time to be able to complete the reading on schedule.
For me, it’s been a bit hard to let go of the teaching aspect of homeschooling. But, to see him take complete ownership of his learning has been such a joy to watch. It’s one of those moments when I know that as MOM I must decrease so he can grow. But that doesn’t make it any easier does it mamas? I love it and yet… it’s a little bit bittersweet.
Self-Guided History High School
So here’s what I’ve decided to do for Homeschooling High School History.
- 9th grade — Exploring World History
- 10th Grade — Exploring America
- 11th Grade — 1st Semester: Exploring Government & 2nd Semester Exploring Economics
That’s the plan at least and it may change as we move forward. His needs may change regarding how we do government and economics depending on how he we approach college leveled courses such as CLEP and Dual Enrollment. But for now I plan to complete these self-guided history options from Notgrass History through his 11th grade year. Then he’ll have the History and English credits needed for his high school transcript.
Notgrass History’s Options
Middle School History Curriculum
High School History Curriculum
What you’ll need for each set.
- The text books,
- The lesson review booklet or Lesson Workbook (you do not need both).
- Literature packet (or you can source the literature books yourself, however buying the packet makes it easy, and ensures you have just the right ones on-hand when they need them).
- For High School Curriculum: you’ll need to get the Quiz Book and Answer Book as well.
For America the Beautiful you’ll also want to get:
- Timeline Workbook
- Map Workbook
These are additional, and while you aren’t required to purchase them, they really help the students to put their lessons into perspective.
And be sure to look for the bonus material available for each curriculum set on the Notgrass History website.
Doesn’t Self-Guided History sound like an intriguing prospect, especially given that English and Literature are incorporated throughout? As homeschool moms our goal should be independent learners, Notgrass History will help your children to get there.
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