Every Notgrass study I have done, I have enjoyed. This series was very informative and one that I would highly recommend to other teachers and their students. I, myself, am a student and felt like the information presented was very clear, not only for those who knew little about government, but also for those who may know a little more about government already. The Biblical worldview is second to none that I have found. There are many good programs out there, but the Notgrass program is by far one of the best and most enjoyable that I have ever taken in my student years.
I have known Ray and Charlene Notgrass and their son John, for several years. Ray is a homeschooling father and former minister who now develops and publishes homeschooling curricula. I was not satisfied with what we used for our older son Mark’s senior “social studies” (how I hate that term), so for Jeremy’s senior year, we purchased some things from Notgrass. Exploring Government is intended as a one-semester high school course that provides a half-year credit in government. The 75 lessons are grouped into fifteen units, which fall into four main parts.
Part 1 covers some background material, showing the roots of our government in Biblical, Western, and American History. Part 2 deals with the U. S. Constitution and what it sets forth regarding Congress, the Executive, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary, along with the amendments. Part 3 discusses state and local governments, as well as taxing and spending. And Part 4 contains some issues facing American government today. Each of the fifteen units is intended to be studied for one week. What the student is to do each day and each week clearly outlined. Everything is presented from both a Biblical and a constitutionalist perspective.
The purpose is to educate, to inspire, and sometimes to warn the student concerning the governments of the United States, the individual states, and their local communities in order that he or she might be better equipped to remain prayerful, thoughtful, and involved with regard to our government. There is an accompanying book, We Hold These Truths, a collection of historic documents, essays, and speeches in American government, plus a quiz and test booklet and an answer key. We found it very useful. On the one hand, it is a rather intensive course that will require students to study hard, but on the other hand it is quite simple in that it does not demand a lot of teacher preparation.
I thoroughly recommend Notgrass curriculum for any homeschool family. Unlike many government courses, Notgrass is not dry and boring. Instead, it encourages children to think and to understand how government is supposed to work and how it fits in the Christian ideal. I have used this government curriculum with both my son and daughter, and will use it again for my last son.
Grade levels used
Christian focus on US government, thorough, understandable, and easy to use. This was a favorite of both of my children who have used it. I plan to use this curriculum again!
Do you recommend?
I thoroughly recommend Notgrass curriculum for any homeschool family.
My daughter used We Hold These Truths as a source of documents, speeches and articles for American history and government. This collection has documents spanning the founding our our nation to the present and is a excellent source for deepening a student's study of history.