Exploring World History (Notgrass)

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  • Reviewed on Friday, May 5, 2017
  • Grades Used: 9th
  • Dates used: 2016-2017
I love this history course. I have looked at what feels like every history curriculum in creation and this is my favourite.

I love the Christian perspective, the interesting readings, the integrated Bible (and how many complete books of the Bible the student will read during the course), the Bible memory work, the original sources and the colour photos and paintings. The literature is also very good, though I will be substituting a title or two.

We are doing it at a slow pace and spreading it out over a few years (doing the spine thing and adding to it). I can imagine that the regular pace would be a lot of reading and a lot of work. I would not hesitate to give a credit each in history, Bible and English in that case.

The only con I can think of is that I'm not crazy about the writing assignments. A lot of them are kind of vague and I think my son would stare at me blankly if I used some of the topics given. That said, it's pretty easy to come up with substitutes.


  • 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!