Families who have home-educated through the high school years have been greatly blessed by the efforts of the Notgrass family in providing quality, Bible Based history curriculum options. With the core belief that God is actively involved in our nation’s history and future, students in middle school have the same opportunity to learn of our nation’s great Christian heritage. With a vision to equip students with knowledge and inspiration, this curriculum provides children with a solid understanding of the core values and beliefs that made our nation great. President Ronald Reagan eloquently stated, “If we ever forget we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under”, and the authors are passionate about helping children never forget this point.
The hardcover student text, Uncle Sam and You, is divided into two parts (each part is sold separately). Each part contains 15 units and 75 lessons. Part One introduces the American system of government, elections, the Presidency and Congress. Part Two covers the military and emergency workers, state and local government, the judicial system and the government oversight of transportation, tourism, technology, communication and more. Each lesson contains approximately six pages to be read daily. Each part also contains lessons on fifteen American patriotic holidays. These holiday studies are designed to provide historical background and context along with activities to complete as a family.
Each lesson incorporates a variety of activities, including: thinking biblically assignments, creative writing, vocabulary assignments, short research activities, art activities (draw a picture or take a photograph), reading assignments (Citizen’s Handbookor from the selection of recommended literature titles), and assignments from the optional student workbook or lesson review book. Families should anticipate a time commitment of 45-90 minutes daily to complete the lessons.
The student texts can be purchased individually, or in a curriculum package containing both hardcover student texts, the answer key and the Citizen’s Handbook. As described above, the two part student texts provide the core of instruction and activities along with information on how to use the program. Each text contains over 500 pages with extensive, vibrant illustrations. Essential to the program is the soft cover Citizen’s Handbook which provides a collection of primary resources related to American government, politics and civics. It includes letters, memoirs, speeches, articles, songs and poems. The answer key provides answers for the end of the lesson assignments, the optional student workbook, and the lesson review book.
As previously mentioned, the student workbook and lesson review book are optional, yet valuable resources to accompany the series. The spiral bound student workbook is designed for students in grades 5-6. It contains a variety of activities including crosswords, seek-a-words, matching questions, maps, and various worksheets to reinforce lessons. It also includes 30 unit tests with ten questions each. Questions vary and incorporate true/false, multiple choice, and short answer. The spiral bound lesson review book is designed for students in grades 7-8 and incorporates five (short answer or matching) questions for each lesson focused on either the daily reading or the recommended literature selections (end of the book summary only). Also included are 30 unit tests with ten questions each. The student workbook and lesson review book are non-reproducible.
The optional literature recommendations have been created to give students more depth and understanding of the topics studied. Students are typically given two weeks to read each book, with 1-3 chapters assigned daily. Recommended books are: Lincoln: A Photobiography (Units 5-6); A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt (Units10-11); Brighty of Grand Canyon (Units 12-14); Basher Five-Two(Units 16-17); Misty of Chincoteague (Units 18-19); Long Winter(Units 22-24); Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane (Units 25-26); and Lost on a Mountain in Maine (Units 29-30). Also recommended for the program are blank paper, notebook paper, a 3-ring binder, colored pencils and pencils.
As a homeschooling family, you will find Uncle Sam and You to be a thorough study of our nation’s government from the Founding Fathers to today. To quote the author: “Our country would do well to remember our dependence on God, the many benefits of freedom and limited government, and our responsibility to be good stewards of the blessings that come from living in our great country.”