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Learn About America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful Seminar
Watch a recorded online seminar explaining how America the Beautiful can help your child enjoy history.

How It Works

All of the instructions for how to use the course are included in America the Beautiful Part 1 and Part 2 so you do not need a separate Teacher's Manual. The daily instructions are very easy to follow. Most children will be able to follow the instructions on their own. At the beginning of each weekly unit, an introductory page gives an overview of the unit, a list of the lessons, and a list of what additional books the student will be using while studying that particular unit. Following the unit introduction are five daily lessons, one to be read each day.

Your child can read the daily lessons on his own or you can read the lessons aloud. The lessons are richly illustrated with historical photographs and illustrations. Many lessons feature color photos and artwork. At the end of each lesson is a list of four to six activities. Students are not necessarily expected to complete all of these activities. You may choose which activities you wish to assign. Depending on how many activities you assign, most students will need 45-90 minutes to complete one lesson. The types of activities vary from day to day. They include:

  • Thinking Biblically
  • Map work in Maps of America the Beautiful
  • Vocabulary
  • Entries in Timeline of America the Beautiful
  • Reading assignments from We the People and the literature titles (see list below)
  • Creative writing
  • Assignments in the Student Workbook or Lesson Review

One special family activity is assigned each week. These include craft and art projects, recipes, and other multi-age activities. Each activity is assigned with its related lesson, but you may do it any day of the week. You will need to allow extra time to complete your America the Beautiful assignments on the day you do the family activity.

You can read the full Introduction and How to Use the curriculum.

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Types of Lessons

Each unit typically includes one lesson in each of the following categories:

  • Our American Story - A lesson telling major events of the time period of the unit. These lessons include, for example, "Thirteen American Colonies," "The Civil War," and "President Roosevelt and the New Deal."

  • God's Wonders - A lesson about an amazing creation God placed in America that relates to the unit's time period. For example, students learn about Yellowstone after the Civil War, when it became a National Park; and they learn about the Black Hills in the unit on the 1920s, when work on Mount Rushmore began.

  • An American Landmark - A lesson about an important site in American history that relates to the unit's time period. For example, students learn about The Gateway Arch during the unit that covers Lewis and Clark, and they learn about The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island during the time of major immigration around 1900.

  • An American Biography - A lesson about a person who lived during the time period being studied. For example, the Cherokee man Sequoyah is featured in a unit on the early 1800s, and baseball star Jackie Robinson is featured in the unit on life after World War II.

  • Daily Life - A lesson about how certain people lived and worked during the time period of the unit. For example, when studying the colonial period, students learn about colonial craftsmen and merchants, and when studying World War II, they learn about life on the home front. Several lessons also look at daily life for Native Americans in different parts of the country.

View the Table of Contents.

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The Books Used

The America the Beautiful Curriculum Package includes the first six books listed below, enough for one child to complete the curriculum. If you are using the curriculum with more than one child, you can purchase additional consumable books, including Maps of America the Beautiful, Timeline of America the Beautiful, and either the Student Workbook or Lesson Review.

America the Beautiful Part 1

This book has 75 lessons beginning with life in America before Europeans came and continuing through the first years after the Civil War. Hardcover. Color and black and white illustrations. 452 pages. View the Table of Contents and a Sample Unit

America the Beautiful Part 2

This book has 75 lessons beginning with America's expansion into the lands west of the Mississippi River and continuing to modern times. It also includes an index to the curriculum. Hardcover. Color and black and white illustrations. 572 pages. View the Table of Contents, a Sample Unit, and the Index

We the People

A collection of 150 original journal entries, newspaper articles, advertisements, poems, songs, letters, short stories, speeches, and other historic documents from American history. Hardcover. Black and white illustrations. 220 pages. View Sample Pages

Maps of America the Beautiful

A collection of 30 maps drawn especially to accompany this curriculum. Your child will often refer to a map while reading a lesson in America the Beautiful and do activities on the map at the end of the lesson. Saddle-stitched. 61 pages. View Sample Maps

Timeline of America the Beautiful

This is an illustrated timeline of American history from AD 1000 to the present designed specifically to include facts learned in the lessons. Some facts are already printed on the timeline. After most lessons, your child will add an event mentioned in the lesson to the timeline. Saddle-stitched. 57 pages. View Sample Pages

America the Beautiful Answer Key

Includes answers for the Timeline, Student Workbook, Lesson Review, and the vocabulary assignments included in the main text. Saddle-stitched. 55 pages. View the Answer Key

In addition to these core books, we offer two optional books to help measure your child's understanding of the material. Most parents choose one or the other for each child, though you can use both for one student if you wish.

Student Workbook

A book of crosswords, find-a-words, matching, codes, drawing assignments, and other handwork activities which review and reinforce information learned in the daily lessons. This book is designed for students in 5th and 6th grades, but it is suitable for older children who enjoy these types of activities. Plastic coil. 150 pages. View Sample Activities

Lesson Review

A book of daily lesson review questions, literature review questions, and weekly quizzes. This book is designed to help parents measure their child's comprehension of the material. This book is designed for students in 7th and 8th grades, but it is suitable for younger children who prefer this type of review. Plastic coil. 110 pages. View Sample Questions

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The Literature

Ten works of literature are assigned in the America the Beautiful curriculum to give your child a richer perspective on the various time periods studied. The student is given 1-2 weeks to read each book, with 1-3 chapters assigned each day. The first five books go with Part 1, and the next five books go with Part 2.

America the Beautiful Literature

  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Units 4-5)
  • Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Units 6-7)
  • Brady by Jean Fritz (Units 9-10)
  • Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen (Units 12-13)
  • Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (Units 14-15)
  • Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Units 16-17)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (Units 19-20)
  • Blue Willow by Doris Gates (Units 21-22)
  • Homer Price by Robert McCloskey (Unit 25)
  • Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass (Units 29-30)

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Look Inside

Full Table of Contents View Online Download
Introduction / How to Use View Online Download
Unit 12 from Part 1: America from 1000 to 1877 View Online Download
Unit 25 from Part 2: America from the Late 1800s to the Present View Online Download
Index for Part 1 and Part 2 View Online Download
Selections from We the People View Online Download
America the Beautiful Answer Key View Online Download
Sample Maps from Maps of America the Beautiful View Online Download
Sample Pages from Timeline of America the Beautiful View Online Download
Sample Activities from America the Beautiful Student Workbook View Online Download
Sample Questions from America the Beautiful Lesson Review View Online Download

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What Parents Are Saying

"I really enjoyed everything about this curriculum. I love the way it's written. It's a textbook with a 'living book' feel. I love that it has a Christian worldview focus. I love that it is flexible enough to use with multiple ages. I love that there are 'real books' that are used in conjunction. And I love the way the book is set up to be very clear and easy to use." (Leah C., As We Walk Along the Road)

"We have been homeschooling for 9 years and hands down this is the best history curriculum we have ever used. It is user friendly, rich in content, and [my children] are learning history! This is a comprehensive history book, obviously designed and written by someone who loves history. It is very clear and balanced." (Mississippi)

"I cannot rave about this program enough. American history is something we have not covered consistently and he is learning so much already and loves the mapwork, lesson review and worksheets part of his studies. I will recommend this program to everyone I know! Kudos on a great, well-rounded program that makes learning about history fun." (North Carolina)

"America the Beautiful is great for independent learning. My son enjoys the variety of assignments, original sources, and projects. [It] keeps my son's attention and interest much better than other curricula due to the variety of assignments." (Georgia)

"Of all the curriculum I've used this has been the easiest to follow and actually get done! I love the way at the end of every lesson it's all laid out for you: workbook, map assignments, timeline, Bible, creative writing. It's so great to see it all on one page and have no guess work at what we should be doing. Also, it's not an overwhelming amount of work. It's manageable chunks of reading and the assignments at the end don't take a lot of time to complete. I also love how you have included the biographies and God's wonders into the units. It all just flows together so well." (Illinois)

"My 4th grade son is CRAZY for your America the Beautiful curriculum. It's the first time he's admitted to loving any of his individual school programs. I'm well pleased with his lesson comprehension and retention. . . . We look forward to studying with your high school curricula." (Florida)

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About the AuthorCharlene Notgrass

Charlene Notgrass is a Christian, a veteran homeschooling mother, and a writer. She loves being a wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother.

Charlene is the author of America the Beautiful, Daily Encouragement for Homeschooling Mothers, A Record of the Learning Lifestyle, Celebrate Thanksgiving, and Celebrate the Savior. Charlene created the Draw to Learn series and has written Draw to Learn Psalms and Draw to Learn the Life of Jesus. With Ray, she co-authored Draw to Learn Proverbs and Draw to Learn the Letters of Paul. Charlene received a bachelor's in urban planning from Middle Tennessee State University.

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Products

View:

America the Beautiful Curriculum Package

America the Beautiful by Charlene Notgrass is a one-year American history, geography, and literature course designed for students in grades 5-8. It combines the flexibility and richness of a unit study with the simplicity of a textbook-based approach to history. Daily lessons guide your child chronologically through American history, highlighting key events, people, and places. Ages 10-14.
Price $99.95
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America the Beautiful Student Workbook

A book of crosswords, find-a-words, matching, codes, drawing assignments, and other handwork activities which review and reinforce information learned in the daily lessons. This book is designed for students in 5th and 6th grades, but it is suitable for older children who enjoy these types of activities. Plastic coil. 150 pages. Consumable. View Sample Activities
Price $11.95
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America the Beautiful Lesson Review

A book of daily lesson review questions, literature review questions, and weekly quizzes. This book is designed to help parents measure their child's comprehension of the material. This book is designed for students in 7th and 8th grades, but it is suitable for younger children who prefer this type of review. Plastic coil. 110 pages. Consumable. View Sample Questions
Price $9.95
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America the Beautiful Literature Package

These ten works of literature are assigned in the America the Beautiful curriculum to give your child a richer perspective on the various time periods studied.
Price $59.95
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