America the Beautiful

Quick Start Guide

“Our daughter woke up this morning and said she was so happy because she realized she could read her America the Beautiful book.”

Jeanne M., New York

The First Thing

Thank you for choosing America the Beautiful for your family. We are honored to be part of your educational journey.

Read the "Dear Student," "How to Use America the Beautiful," and "From the Heart of a Homeschooling Mama" sections at the beginning of America the Beautiful Part 1. Start on page vii after the Table of Contents. This will help you see how all the books fit together and what you will need to do each day and each week.

If any questions come to mind after you review the rest of this page, or later as you are using the material, please contact us any time.

America the Beautiful Part 1
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Video Walkthrough

America the Beautiful has 30 units with five lessons each. If you'd like a video walkthrough of how one unit is laid out, here is author Charlene Notgrass to explain it.

The Literature

We chose ten literature titles to go along with this curriculum. You can find a list of the books and when they are assigned on page xiii in Part 1. Reading this literature is beneficial, but it is optional.

We included instructions on when to read each book in the Lesson Activities lists at the end of lessons. The first literature book we assign is Growing Up Dakota by Charles Alexander Eastman. You start reading it in Unit 2 (see the Activities for Lesson 6 on page 51).

If you have not purchased the literature but wish to do so, you can order it on our website.

Notes on the Literature

We deliberately chose quality literature that will enrich your student's study of history. The books we recommend have some content that we want you to be aware of in advance. We provide specific notes about each book in the Answer Key and Literature Guide, which is part of the curriculum package. You may also download a copy.

Suggested Supplements

Notgrass History curriculum is self-contained. You don't need to add anything else unless you want to. However, if you are looking for videos, virtual field trips, interactive websites, and other resources to supplement your studies, check out the resources we have listed at Homeschool History.

Need an extra book or two?

If you ever need an extra Maps, Timeline, Student Workbook, Lesson Review, or a specific literature title, you can shop for any of the individual books on our website.

Looking for our bonus downloads?

All of the instructions and assignments for each lesson are included in the America the Beautiful Part 1 and Part 2 lesson books. Some of our customers have requested that we provide a lesson activity checklist to help keep track of what their students are doing. You can download this checklist from our website.

If you have already read some of the assigned literature, reading them again while your child is learning about the history of the same time period in the lessons can be a great idea. If you want something different, or if your child is a voracious reader who wants more, we also have a list of additional literature titles you might consider using.

We also have recordings of the songs included in We the People available for you to stream or download.

Don't feel like you have to use all of these extra downloads to do a good job! They are tools that some parents find helpful. We don't want you or your child to feel overwhelmed by our curriculum. We trust you to teach each child the way you know works best for him or her.

Have other questions?

We've posted answers to frequently asked questions about using our middle school curriculum. If you don't find the answer you need there, please email, call, or text us. You can also join one of our online communities to connect with other parents.

Keep up the good work!

We admire your dedication to giving your child a great education at home. May God give you strength, courage, and wisdom. Sincerely, Ray and Charlene Notgrass

Ray and Charlene Notgrass