Thursday, October 8, 2015

NotGrass Curriculum: Exploring World History

        I recently started a new world history curriculum by Ray NotGrass. It contains 3 credits including world history, literature and bible. The NotGrass website now sells the 2014 version of this curriculum, but I purchased the 2008 edition. I purchased two paperback textbooks: 'Part 1: Creation Through The Middle Ages' and 'Part 2: The Renaissance to the Present.' Then I bought the Quiz and Exam Book with its Answer Key, along with the book In Their Words. In Their Words includes corresponding poetry, stories, hymns and documents from world history. This curriculum also requires you read several novels and plays throughout the year.

How Is The Year Split Up? 

        There are 15 units for each semester; each unit contains 5 lessons. This makes a total of 150 lessons for the whole year. 1 lesson/per day and you will finish within 150 days. This makes for a short year!
        Each unit has 5 lessons. The first 4 require a few pages of reading, a daily Bible Study Question, a daily Grammar point and your weekly assigned reading. The fifth lesson is a Bible Study. It shows application of the Bible to the material you learned. The optional Quiz and Exam Book then offers 10 questions for each lesson. These questions apply the material you have just learned, but you do not have to complete them.
        Each unit also requires a Writing Assignment and a short, 10-question quiz. Then at the end of each quarter, you will take a 50-question exam. There is not a cumulative exam at the end of the school year.

What Reading is Required?

        The required reading is not heavy. You are given anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to read each novel. I had many of these on my bookshelf already, but I did check out a few from the library. As well as several passages from the Bible, you will be required to read:

What Writing is Required?

        At the end of each unit, you are given a writing assignment. 3 prompts are given for a 2-3 page paper. You can choose the first or second prompt for a regular paper, or you choose to write for the optional Nation Project. This is an ongoing project for the year that is not required. This project focuses on a specific country to use as a basis for your writing assignments. It requires continuous research throughout the year on your country. It allows you to dig deeper in the rich history of a country of your choice. If you choose the Nation Project, you do not have to write on the other prompts. 

Any Advice on Using This Curriculum?

  • I suggest taking advantage of the Quiz and Exam Book. 10 questions/lesson is not bad when you are applying meaningful information to writing. This cements the material in your mind.
  • Take your time reading the novels. Enjoy them! These are well-known books that many people like to talk to about. Now you can join the conversation!
  • Use the writing assignments as an opportunity instead of a burden. Write with the purpose to better your understanding and grasp on the concepts you have learned. Give your paper to others to read/post them online. You will find much more interest in the topic if you have others involved. 

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