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2019-2020 Curriculum Review Part 1: History/Geography/Social Studies

Summer may be here, but I’m already in the “get ready for the school year” mode! We will be starting our 3rd year of homeschooling this August 2019–6th grade here we come! (It is hard to believe my boy is a pre-teen. I must admit, I have already shed a few tears. But, this next stage of his life is new and fresh. I’m ready! Maybe. Ok, it may take the summer to let it soak in.)

I was asked to participate in a homeschool curriculum review with three other fabulous homeschool mamas! Mommy & Mia Homeschool ChroniclesThe Homeschooling Grammy, and MamaWit Haven. I am thrilled to be a part of this group! So, let’s get to the 2019-2020 Curriculum Review Part I: History/Geography/Social Studies.

This year in we will be finishing the second book in the Notgrass History Curriculum From Adam to Us unit study. thumbnail-278

We finished book 1 which covered the time periods from creation to the renaissance. This year we will be finishing book 2 covering the time periods from the renaissance to current times.

This curriculum is such a great way to see a complete timeline of history from creation to current times! I have learned right along with my son as we have “traveled through time” learning about people, places, and events throughout biblical and world history. It is so interesting seeing the biblical history time line included with common history. It really makes the Bible come alive! The curriculum includes timelines, maps, chapter assignments, family activities, a student workbook, and tests. It also includes a separate book called Our Creative World that has interesting letters, artwork, documents, etc. that correlate with each unit covered. This has been a great history/geography curriculum for both my son and me!

The only negative to this curriculum that I have found, is that it doesn’t use the King James Version of Bible verses. We use that version in our home. But, we just looked up the verses in our Bible for reference. The content of the curriculum has been very good and thorough. It has covered many places and topics that I personally had not studied in years past. Needless to say, that is why both my son and I have enjoyed this curriculum–that in addition to the fact that history is my son’s favorite subject!

Here are some pages from the books.

In addition to the Notgrass curriculum, I like to add in good books to help solidify what or who we are studying in each chapter. My son absolutely loves the Who Was series books along with Where is and What Was books from the same publishers. Below are a few of the books he will read. thumbnail-279

I also like to add some extra geography activities throughout the year. Although he has already learned his U.S. states and capitals, I like to review them and each state’s history/geography/nature through lap book activities. This type of activity is a fun way to get children to enjoy researching a topic and recording their findings. We will be working on state and country lap books and information sheets. We will be making many trips to the library–which we love–to get books for researching each state or country, but we also will be using the By the Way Series Books. These books are a wonderful way to cover state history, geography, nature, and events all wrapped up with biblical principles that children can apply in life. thumbnail-266

I know the author, Joy Budensiek, of the By the Way Series books. She is such a wonderful godly lady who is a retired teacher. We have enjoyed the books immensely and read them over and over again. The photos are very vibrant and the facts are very thought provoking. I have joined up with Joy to create lap books for each state and country book she writes. The lap books are made to correlate with her books but also need other research books to locate information. Below is an example of the Indiana state lap book.

All the state lap books follow a similar style format. These can be purchased and downloaded from my TpT store here.

My goal is for us to finish the Notgrass history/geography curriculum by January. From February to May, we will be working on GeoMatters Geography Homeschool Curriculum. I found this at last year’s FPEA Homeschool Convention. We weren’t able to cover it this past year, but will do so this year.

This unit study contains four lap book geography areas, large colored continent maps with a reverse side of black and white for children to color and label, World Atlas, Geography Through Art book, Around the World in Eighty Days chapter book, Eat Your Way Around the World kids cookbook, and Travel Guide to World Geography book filled with lessons and activities to go along with the entire unit.

One last thing we have been doing in our geography study that we will be continuing to do this year is the Flat Stanley Adventures project. I encourage you to check out this fun activity at Flat Stanley website. I also have a previous post on my blog about some of our Flat Stanley’s adventures. See the post “Where In the World is Flat Stanley?”. Here are a few pictures of his adventures from that post.where is stanley 6

In that post, I explain exactly how we use the Flat Stanley project in our geography studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read my curriculum review. Keep a look out for the following reviews coming soon:

  • June 14–Math
  • June 21–Language Arts
  • June 28–Science/Bible
  • July 5–Electives/Enrichment

I may be posting the last two topics before the scheduled dates due to our summer schedule. Either way, please check out the other posts from my fellow homeschool mamas listed above.

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  1. I had such a hard time deciding between Notgrass and Sonlight this year. This looks like a great program!

    1. admin says:

      I checked out Sonlight and it looked really good as well, but I basically chose Notgrass because of how “From Adam to Us” parallels biblical timelines with historical ones. I found this to be fascinating.

    2. admin says:

      Thank you for reading my post!

  2. Kim (The Homeschooling Grammy says:

    Wow! You have some awesome curriculum. I have had Notgrass on my radar. It looks wonderful. We love the Who Was books also. Thanks so much for sharing your History and Geography resources. God Bless.

    1. admin says:

      Thank you for reading the post! Notgrass has a great selection of history materials that correlate with literature as well. We just haven’t gone that path yet. I may next year when my son is in 7th. Have a great day!

  3. […] 2019-2020 Curriculum Review Part 1: History/Geography/Social Studies-DyerTyme […]

  4. I used Notgrass history with my oldest for high school, it’s a great curriculum! My youngers LOVE the Who Was series also. I will have to check out the By the Way series, they look wonderful! Thanks for sharing, looks like great choices! ❤️

    1. admin says:

      Thank you for reading my post! Yes, do check out the By the Way Series books! They are so informative and filled with biblical principals and verses for life application.

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