Our Star-Spangled Story

Quick Start Guide

"I love that it is open and go and that it has great information that my kids enjoy listening to."

Tara H., Washington

The First Thing

Thank you for choosing Our Star-Spangled Story for your family. We are honored to be part of your educational journey.

Read the "Dear Student," "Dear Parent," and "How to Use Our Star-Spangled Story" sections at the beginning of Part 1 (the book with people in front of a field). Start on page v after the Table of Contents. That 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.

  Contact Us  

Video Walkthrough

Our Star-Spangled Story has 30 units with three lessons each. If you'd like a video walkthrough of how one unit is laid out, here are authors Mary Evelyn McCurdy and Charlene Notgrass to explain it.

The Literature

We chose eight literature titles to go along with this curriculum. You can find a list of the books and when they are assigned on page xi 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 at the end of lessons. The first literature book we assign is Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry. You and your student start it in Unit 1.

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 Student Workbook or a specific literature title, you can shop for any of the individual books on our website.

Music and Bonus Downloads

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

You can stream or download the songs and poems on our website. We also have printable maps, a handful of corrections, and supplemental links available.

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 elementary 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