Exploring World History (Notgrass)

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
  • Grades Used: high school course
  • Dates used: review only
I gave my thoughts in a local group on this -- which I picked up. This is a review from a content and format perspective. I haven't used it yet and bought it second hand to look through it.

This is definitely a history "text book," i.e., a dead book that gives superficial summaries of the history. However, it is one that I really like. It is not as superficial as other textbooks that I've looked at. More elegantly written. More thought provoking. Christ centered. All of which also inform what is covered -- you're going to get a lot here that isn't covered by other textbooks.

Not every student wants or needs a fathoms deep history course. For the student whose needs would be met by a textbook, I think this is an excellent choice for history needs.

As to Bible and English -- this is what the set up is:

The book is broken into units -- and each unit has 5 lessons. At the beginning of each unit, there are 3 writing assignments to choose one from to be completed during the unit. Then at the end of each lesson there is a "bible study question", a "grammar point" and a "reading" assignment.


Unit 22: Britain -- Industry and Empire
Lessons 106-Lesson 110: in the 19th C.; key issue: The irish question; Key person; geroge muller; history of transportation; bible study: kindness

books used in this unit:
Bible, In Their Words; Pride and Prejudice

Writing Assignment:
Write a 2 or 3 page paper on one of the following:
Discuss the successes and failures of the British imperial policies
Describe a great act or project of faith ....
Tell about your country during the 1800s....

Each lesson is about 10 pages. Very good.
Followed by the same 3 things.
Bible Study Question: Should a Christian agitate for greater political and social rights?
Grammar Point -- Your or You're
Read the selected poems in the book In Their Words (note -- examples are Gray, Browning, Tennyson, Kipling)
Begin Reading Pride and Prejudice, plan to finish it by the end of the next unit.

We have Tapestry of Grace, as well. Although I've chosen not to use it in middle and elementary school so far (finding the literary options too dry and the assignments subpar), I think we'll probably use TOG in high school because I like the use of many living books and because the discussion questions are really deep and provoking. However, we love history here. For families who are less history inclined, students who need to spend more time on other areas for the students' future plans, or families who want something that is a lot more discrete and self contained -- I think the Notgrass is the best option that I've seen so far.


  • Reviewed on Monday, July 19, 2010
  • Grades Used: 9th and 12th
  • Dates used: School Year 2009-2010
I have been homeschooling for over 17 years and have never found a History that I was totally sold on. The best I came was doing my own unit studies for retention, until I found this. I used this with 2 of our sons last year. One in 9th and the other in 12th. I have a business in my home, so I wasn't able to do the unit studies any more and really missed it. This course is like a unit study without me having to do all the work! It requires very little teacher time and no prep work. I just get their schedule for the week and grade their tests at the end of the unit. I will be using only Notgrass for all of our History and Government subjects from here on out. We are looking forward to using the American History with our 10th grader this year and the new middle school American History with our daughter! I give this course an A +++


  • Reviewed on Thursday, December 20, 2007
  • Grades Used: High School
  • Dates used: 2007-2008
The previous reviewer did a stand-out job of describing the content, layout, and quality of this high school level curriculum, so there is no need to repeat any of that here. What does bear repeating however, is how user-friendly, interesting, God-honoring, and wonderful this curriculum is! Our son is thoroughly enjoying studying world history this way. Study questions are truly thought-provoking, the text is engaging, and the literature selections are all worthy. The daily lessons are reasonably paced and self-directed - students will have no problem working independently. The Notgrass family has done an outstanding job presenting world history - HIS-story!

Susie in MS

  • Reviewed on Saturday, September 25, 2004
  • Grades Used: Highschool
  • Dates used: 2004 -
Exploring World History (EWH) comes in two spiral bound volumes and includes a resource book also spiral bound. All three have a heavy clear plastic to protect the covers. An optional teachers guide is available and inculdes daily history review questions, literature questions, weekly test and semester exams. A literature package is available our you can use the library.

EWH has 30 weekly units that are further broke down into 5 daily lessons each.

At the beginning of each unit you will find a quick overview of will be covered that week, a list of what books are needed (usually a Bible, the resource book In Their Words, and an assigned literature book), writing assignments to choose from (no mechanincal instruction) and a brief about the author of the literature book being read that week(s).

Monday through Thursday you will have a history lesson and on Friday you will have a Bible lesson that relates to what was studied that week.

The lessons start with a lively narrative and end with a Bible verse. Then there will be the Bible Study Question that causes the student to think about the lesson just read. Next is a Grammar Point, this is basically a quick lesson review of some point in grammar that will help in writing skills. Then comes the writing assignmenst. These can be from the Bible, In Their Words(ITW), and/or an assigned literature book.

There is no guessing as to what to do. It is all planned out and can be used independently or with Mom.

All three of the books (Vol 1, Vol 2 and ITW) have b/w pictures/photos through out. The way Mr Notgrass causes a student to think about a situation and look to the Bible instead of coming right out and saying *this is right* or *this is wrong* is wonderful!!! The narritives are very lively and grab your attention.

You will find charts of what is happening in the rest of the world at the time, and maps, and interesting snippits that bring the lesson to life.

Literature relates to the history or time period. The selections are great!

I give this an A+++