Notgrass History Review

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With its engaging style, beautifully illustrated texts, wonderful book selection, thought provoking primary documents, fun multisensory activities and strong, Christian learning, Notgrass History can not only provide families with some of the better history and social studies curricula around, but may even spark a lifelong passion for learning and spiritual growth in its students.

What We Like

Engaging approach to teaching history and social studies
Highly flexible curriculum that can fit many homeschool styles
Strong, integrated Christian learning
Fun multisensory learning activities and projects
Easy to teach, open and go curriculum
Supports independent learning
Extensive use of primary sources gives students a deeper look at different cultures and times
Adds a literature-based learning element with many classic books

But Be Careful

Lessons can be a little long at times, depending on activities and student pace
Flexibility and openness means parents need to choose what to include and how to structure the learning

What Is Notgrass History

Created by educators and former homeschooling parents Ray and Charlene Notgrass, Notgrass History is a provider of Christian homeschool history and social studies curricula. 

Notgrass uses a combination of visually-rich lessons, literature, primary sources and an assortment of activities and projects to teach a variety of history courses in Elementary, Middle and High School with a strong Biblical worldview. 

What Grades Or Ages Is Notgrass Intended For?

Notgrass History is designed to be used as a history curriculum for students in Grades 1-12.

Broadly speaking, the company divides its curricula according to three age ranges – Elementary, Middle and High School.

Intended Grade LevelsCourses Offered
ElementaryGrades 1-4Our 50 States
Our Star Spangled Story
Middle SchoolGrades 5-8America the Beautiful
From Adam to Us
Uncle Sam & You
High SchoolGrades 9-12Exploring America
Exploring World History
Exploring Economics
Exploring Government 
Exploring World Geography
Exploring World History

The company does give its courses rather unique, colorful names, but we feel they do more or less line up with the history and social studies courses that homeschooling parents would be interested in for their students.

Notgrass History CourseTopics Covered
Our 50 StatesAmerican Geography
Our Star Spangled StoryAmerican History
Middle School
America the BeautifulAmerican History  
From Adam to UsWorld History 
Uncle Sam & YouCivics 
High School
Exploring AmericaAmerican History (High School), plus English and Bible Study
Exploring World HistoryWorld History (High School)
Exploring EconomicsEconomics (½ credit)
Exploring Government Civics (½ credit)
Exploring World GeographyWorld Geography, plus English and Bible Study

That said, Notgrass History is a homeschool program and, while the program does recommend its courses be used with certain grade levels, it can certainly be used by students outside of these age ranges. 

There is nothing stopping precocious younger students, for example, who have a stronger interest in history and are reading above grade level from starting more advanced curricula, especially given the more casual, narrative format of the learning materials and the program’s more engaging and approachable literature-based components. 

Notgrass History Approach to Teaching

Narrative Lessons

Unlike most standard history textbooks, Notgrass History uses something of a more casual, narrative approach when exploring history. 

In its textbooks, history is presented less as a series of dry facts and dates to remember and more like a story populated by intriguing historical figures. 

Screenshot of notgrass history narrative approach

As a result, Notgrass History’s textbooks can make the study of history a little more engaging and interesting to read for students.

Studying with Primary Sources

While other K-12 history curricula may dabble with primary sources here and there, Notgrass History makes it a central part of its approach. 

Alongside textbook reading about historical events and figures, students spend a good deal of time reading an assortment of contemporary written works in most lessons, enjoying poetry, songs, letters, epics, stories and more from the period of history that they are learning. 

photo of notgrass history primary source song

As a result, we feel Notgrass History is better able to humanize history to some degree, allowing students to explore the lives and cultures of the people about whom they are studying and ultimately getting a better understanding of their attitudes, values and beliefs.. 


As we will discuss a little later below, Notgrass History is a Christian curriculum provider and its founder, Ray Notgrass, is a former minister.

Rather than just quote scripture from time to time, it explores history from a Christian perspective, integrating Bible study into its activity set and generally weaving faith and Christian values into its textbooks far more than most other curricula we’ve seen.

notgrass history integration of christian learning

Hands-on Learning Activities

Notgrass History tends to offer a wide variety of activities throughout its curricula, giving parents and students a lot of options when it comes to reviewing and reinforcing learning.

Unlike many other history curricula, the company seems to be a firm believer in hands-on learning, using it to help connect students to history and social studies in a more enjoyable, personal and active way.

screenshot of notgrass history hands-on activity

Whether it is building models, creating artwork, baking, filling in maps, or piecing together a mosaic, there are a number of fun, get up and go projects and activities for both students and their families that will let them get their hands dirty and allow more tactile learners to better engage with and enjoy their history studies. 

Integrative Learning: History & More

Notgrass History teaches more than just history. 

In addition to its history curricula, there are courses in Geography, Economics and Civics for students to enjoy.

Yet even within its history courses, students can find themselves learning far more than simple facts and dates. 

Notgrass History seems to be a big believer in integrative learning and so students will often work on English Language Arts, through vocabulary study, writing exercises and literary analysis, Bible study, through learning, discussing and even memorizing scripture, and far, far more.  

What’s Included in a Notgrass History Curriculum?

In terms of their teaching materials, Notgrass History courses are a little different from many other homeschool history programs out there, such as The Story of the World or History Quest

Curriculum Text

Each course in Notgrass history makes use of a textbook-like curriculum text, which contains the relevant history learning for that course. 

Interestingly, rather than use a standard teacher’s guide or include a variety of lesson plans, relevant lesson information and structural cues are integrated into these textbooks. 

At the beginning of each unit, parents can see a breakdown of lesson topics and whatever recommended books are relevant to that unit’s learning.

example of unit laying out lessons and required reading

As they read along during a lesson, parents and students may encounter various references to pictures and other materials, references and reminders of previously learned materials, directions and even points to ponder, alongside the learning. 

example of notgrass history offering direction in text

Following the lessons, parents and students are then presented with a list of activities that they can choose to do, as well as directions for how to go about doing them.

example of notgrass history text offering assignments after a lesson

As a result, Notgrass History’s teaching component is pretty lightweight and a lot less complex to use compared to other programs – there’s no need for parents to juggle teacher’s guides, student guides and more alongside their history textbook. 

That said, it also means that parents and students need to be a little more careful when reading through, as skimming through lessons can cause readers to miss key cues, which in turn can lead to missed opportunities for learning.

Notgrass History Curriculum Texts:  Look and Feel

Overall, we feel that Notgrass History has done a great job with its textbooks. 

They are all full color, wonderfully designed and filled with lots of color illustrations and photos, which can serve to break up the text a little bit and can make learning history a lot clearer and more interesting for both students and parents. 

photo of notgrass history civics book showing colorful photos

Similar to curricula such as The Story of the World, Notgrass’ curricula take a narrative-style approach to history.

In other words, rather than recounting history in a dry and academic manner, Notgrass tries to tell history as more of a fact-filled story, weaving the lives, personas and achievements of historical figures into the lessons almost as if they were characters themselves. 

Yet, despite their somewhat more casual tone, the textbooks are filled with historical facts and are highly educational, delving into their topics with the appropriate amount of sophistication and depth.

Overall, we feel this narrative writing style can add much needed richness to history learning, breathing life into both historical events and characters and making history far more approachable and relevant as a subject for kids than a typical textbook. 

Additional Curriculum Materials

Alongside the textbooks, Notgrass History makes use of an assortment of different learning materials that are referred to and used after each lesson to enrich and formalize its learning, turning the textbooks into more of a full curriculum.

While the exact materials used alongside the texts differ depending on the exact course, in general there are a few that are common to the program as a whole, such as student workbooks/lesson review books, collections of primary sources,and answer keys, and, at the Elementary and Middle School, Maps and Timelines. 

Student Workbooks and Lesson Reviews

The student workbooks are softcover books that contain different activities linked to the lessons for each unit and generally serve to review key information introduced in each lesson.

Unlike other curricula that might make do with simple short answer or multiple choice questions, Notgrass makes an effort to introduce things to make things a little more interesting.

As a result, depending on the course and a student’s level, students may do vocabulary work, coloring work, draw, connect concepts together with a line, do crossword puzzles, fill in the blanks.

screenshot of notgrass student workbook crossword activity

Ultimately, the workbooks do contain  a good deal of variety when it comes to reviewing work and the work can be a lot more interesting than simply answering some basic history questions.

Curriculum Lesson Reviews, on the other hand, provide more of a traditional review and are really geared towards students on the older end of the age range in our opinion, requiring students to write down answers to specific, typically in full sentences. 

They also contain quizzes, unit reviews and tests, which can be helpful for homeschools that are open to including more formal assessment.

Primary Source Collections

As mentioned previously, in keeping with Notgrass’ emphasis on using primary sources, each course in Notgrass History contains its own book filled with songs, poems, letters and more from each period and place in time. 

Interestingly, the company often also provides links to recordings of songs, which can allow students to hear period-specific pieces as they were meant to be sung and played, which can be quite nice to listen to and might be an interesting addition to a Charlotte Mason-style music study.

Maps and Timelines

Being a history course, it is important for students to learn key dates and places.

As part of the textbook learning, students will often refer to maps to get a better understanding of where things are taking place, and as part of the lesson activities, will do things like circle key places, highlight or trace key geographic features or color in certain regions.

At the end of the course, students essentially have their own mini-historical atlas, which is kind of cool. 

Similarly, to help students remember the order of certain events and important dates, students can construct a timeline in a Timeline book. 

As with other history curricula, the timeline is mostly filled in with dates and students enter little notes or short sentences about events. 

Unlike most other curricula out there, however, Notgrass has gone to a good deal of effort with these Timeline books and they are a lot of fun to look at. 

photo of notgrass history timeline

They are full color and beautifully illustrated and, when completed, can serve as a nice reference guide for students that they can keep for later use in their studies.

Our thoughts

Overall, when it comes to ready curriculum activities and exercises, Notgrass History offers quite a bit in each lesson and with a good amount of variety to keep things from getting too boring for students

At any given time, a lesson’s assignments might ask students to do mapwork, timeline work or complete pages in their student workbooks and lesson reviews, which can include anything from short answer questions to crossword puzzles. 

On the downside, when put together there are a lot of optional assignments that students can do after every lesson and it can seem intimidating at first glance for both parents and students. 

It is important for parents to realize that the suggested assignments at the end of each lesson are just that, suggested, and they can pick and choose which assignments best fit their schedule, their students’ needs and their homeschool philosophy. 

This does, however, mean that parents will need to plan ahead a bit, which can be a little trickier for those new to homeschooling, and because there are no separate lesson plans for easy reference, it means parents may end up spending some time flipping through the core texts themselves in order to organize things ahead of time. 

Supplemental History Readings

In addition to the core textbooks, and adding a bit of a Charlotte Mason twist to the curricula, each course in Notgrass History also includes a literature-based element – that is, a variety of fiction and non-fiction books that connect to the overall theme of several units.

For example, at some point when going through units covering Colonial America, students might read The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne, a classic novel that takes place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and describes its setting, 17th century Puritan life and culture, in some detail. 

These topically relevant books can add some depth to the learning, often approaching historical ideas and events from a different perspective and, in the case of fictional titles, can help students read about history in a less formal and less stressful way, particularly if they are enthusiastic readers.

Notgrass also provides topical questions for each book, as well as their answers, and, helpfully, offers a variety of notes for parents to use alongside the titles.

sample of questions that go along with notgrass history literature questions

There isn’t much in the way of a CliffsNotes for parents, those who have not read the titles (and don’t have time to do so) might have to do some quick research on the internet before discussing things with their student or correcting their work.

Overall the books selected by Notgrass are quite good, with many of them considered classics of American and world literature. 

One thing parents should be aware of is that, as classics, many of these books come from periods of time where the prevailing attitudes, values and ways of speaking are very much out of sync with, or even run contrary to, most modern values and mores. 

As a result, they can contain potentially offensive language, contain offensive descriptions or deal with concepts in a way that some parents might feel is inappropriate for young students. 

To their credit, Notgrass’ literature guides recognize this and offer parents help with regards to certains terms and concepts to be on the lookout for. 

In fact, from time to time the company will provide parents with ideas for how to discuss some of the more controversial topics that can pop up in these classics with their students, which is nice. 

screenshot of notgrass history offering tips to help deal with more challenging and controversial topics

One thing we like about Notgrass’ use of literature is that, unlike many other history programs that require parents to source these themselves, the company does offer all the relevant books of a given course as a bundle. 

Subsequently, as the company also provides a book list for each course on its website, parents can either conveniently purchase all the necessary reading material as a bundle or source them online/find them used themselves.

How It Works

Every course in Notgrass history is more or less a self-contained curriculum, with its own textbook (sometimes two if it spans a longer time period), course instructions and associated learning materials and activities. 

As a result, parents and students can pretty much dive in at any point. 

Each Notgrass History text is divided into units, typically 30 although in half credit courses it is generally about 15. 

Each unit is itself made up of a few lessons, typically 3-5 depending on the course and level.

During a lesson, students (and/or parents, depending on the age of the student) read and learn from each course’s main text and, along the way, they may be encouraged to refer to certain maps in the Map Book, read certain primary resources and more. 

Following each lesson, Notgrass History will suggest between 3-6 activities that parents and students can select from. 

ElementaryMiddle SchoolHigh School
Map workPrimary source readingBible study
Primary source readingMap studyBible memory work
Timeline workWorkbook/Lesson reviewPrimary source reading
Workbook/lesson reviewVocabulary workProject work
Hands-on history projectThinking BiblicallyReview questions/writing assignment
Literature workFamily activityLiterature work
Literature work
Creative writing

As might be expected, the particular activities present in each course and level depend largely on the age/grade of the student and their developing abilities, and we’ll explain a few of the ones that stood out to us below.

Primary source work – As mentioned previously, students do a lot of work with primary sources in Notgrass History. Depending on the course and its primary source guide, students may examine original letters, poems, songs, epics and stories from different periods and places in time to give them a better understanding of the periods and culture they are studying. 

Map work – Periodically during their studies, students may refer to their map books to get a better geographic understanding of what they’re learning about, but Notgrass courses can also include assignments where students use a map to find certain places, highlight certain features and so on.

Timeline work – In the Elementary and Middle School levels, most courses involve filling out a timeline. Students are generally asked to add a fact or two to an illustrated timeline, creating a visual guide to important dates and facts that they can reference later. 

Bible study (also Bible Memory Work and Thinking Biblically) – Notgrass History is a Christian curriculum and faith and the Bible are central to its worldview.

At several points during a unit they can be assigned a bible study, copy work centered around a particular passage or passages, or be assigned scripture to memorize, 

Writing – Notgrass History also offers assignments to help students work on their writing skills.

screenshot of notgrass history writing assignment for middle school

For younger students, these are often creative writing assignments, such as writing journal entries, short stories or letters, while with students in High School these are more formal and a stronger component of the courses, with students doing research papers, analyzing literature and so on.

Review questions and assessments – For those who want a more rigorous and traditional approach to history, parents can choose to assign formal questions from the review guide that students can answer to solidify their learning after each lesson. 

There are also unit reviews and tests that can be assigned as well.

Vocabulary work – From time to time in their study of history, students will come across new words in their texts. Interestingly, and perhaps unusually for a history program, Notgrass History has included exercises that can allow students to directly work on their vocabulary. 

screenshot of vocabulary work in notgrass history

Parents who are interested in integrating a bit of classical-style learning and language arts to their history work might want to consider adding these assignments.

Hands on projects and family activities – Something that we really enjoyed with Notgrass and think can be a very valuable addition to any homeschool are the various hands-on activities that each course includes. 

Depending on the course and the material at hand, Notgrass History offers students a lot of ways to physically engage with and better understand history through fun hands-on projects that they can do alone or with their families as sort of a group project. 

These projects and activities might involve arts and crafts, construction, going outside or even baking delicious historical treats.

For example, depending on the course students might build a mosaic of the Liberty Bell, create posters, build a model of Stonehenge out of Rice Crispy treats, and much more.

screenshot of notgrass history hands on activity

These hands-on projects and activities serve not only to help students engage with the material, but turn Notgrass into more of a multisensory curriculum, which can make it a lot more effective for more tactile learners, which we like.

As can be seen, there are quite a few activities to choose from in each lesson and, beyond reading the history textbook itself, students and parents have a good deal of flexibility when it comes to tailoring the workload to their homeschool style and needs, which can be great.

Parents who want a more formal and traditional experience can choose to do, for example, primary source reading, writing assignments, lesson reviews and periodic tests, while those who want to take a more Charlotte Mason-style approach might focus more on the literature work, primary source readings and hands-on/family activities.

That said, as we mentioned previously, with so many optional assignments to choose from, it can be a little intimidating to new homeschooling parents and does require parents to think carefully about how they would like to best integrate Notgrass into their homeschool approach. 

One thing that parents should be aware of is that Notgrass History lessons can be a little long compared to some other history curricula out there.

Although the chapters aren’t all that long, usually taking something like 10-30 minutes to read depending on the student, adding 2-4 activities can significantly extend the length of each lesson.

Depending on the students abilities and pace of work, it’s not uncommon for Notgrass History lessons to take 45-90 minutes at the Elementary and Middle School Level and up to 2-3 hours at the high school level (depending on the student, of course), owing to the increased complexity of learning and more comprehensive and in-depth activities. 

How Challenging is the History Learning in Notgrass?

Although presented in an easy to read and engaging manner, one that allows capable students to do a lot of the reading themselves, we feel that Notgrass History does a good job at diving into history pretty thoroughly.

Each course explores a wide variety of history topics, exploring key places and events, as well as critical figures in history. 

Further, we feel the extensive use of primary sources is a rather unique feature of the program and can give students a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the cultures, values and peoples of history than they might find in competing programs. 

One concern that some parents have expressed is that the course tends to go a little wider than it does deep compared to other curricula when it comes to history, that is introducing and touching on many different topics of history rather than diving into one topic or event for a long period. 

While this is perhaps somewhat true of the textbooks (they do introduce quite a few topics as they go), we feel that the program’s associated activities and optional books do balance this out to a large degree, allowing students to take their time and think/read about certain events in history in a lot more depth.

For example, a study of the 1st Congress that includes a chapter of textbook reading, a biography of a founding father, an examination of the Constitutional Preamble and several other primary sources, several review questions, and a critical examination/discussion of Romans 13 and the constitution can be said to be as in-depth and comprehensive as any American History curriculum that we’ve seen so far.

Consequently, we would say that the flexibility inherent in Notgrass really leaves it up to the parents to go as deep or as wide as they would prefer or as their time allows. 

Is Notgrass History A Secular Or Faith-Based Curriculum?

Notgrass History is very much a faith-based, Christian curriculum provider.

Unlike some other curriculum providers that make do by just sprinkling biblical quotes or scripture into their textbooks here and there, Christianity and a Biblical worldview are tightly woven into Notgrass’ teaching materials. 

Its textbooks are written from a Christian point of view, frequently making references to God and scripture, it incorporating bible study as a key part of its curriculum (Thinking Biblically and Bible Memory Work assignments, for example) and some of its courses can and do integrate and discuss Biblical figures events as historical figures and events.

Screenshot showing notgrass history's integration of christian learning

That said, although a strongly Christian curriculum, we don’t feel that Notgrass History shies away from teaching students about different cultures or religious practices and ultimately treats them with the reverence and due respect that they deserve. 

How Easy Is Notgrass History To Teach

Overall, Notgrass History is fairly straightforward when it comes to teaching.

The textbooks do a good job at laying everything out nicely and keeping the learning well-organized, even without a lesson plan, flowing from teaching to activities to assessment and back again pretty seamlessly.

Additionally, each course begins with a thorough introduction that lays out the overall course structure, describes its activities in a fair amount of detail and even provides parents with a variety of teaching suggestions. 

As a result, parents and students (and later, just students) shouldn’t have much of a problem simply opening the textbooks up and following the directions to complete a lesson.

That said, although everything is pretty straightforward and open and go, Notgrass History isn’t exactly a scripted curriculum. 

Where there is room for discussion or dialogue about a certain issue or topic, rather than provide a word-for-word script to follow, it is most often left up to the parent to conduct it.

Similarly, although it is a very flexible program with a lot of choice given to parents as to what to include and how much, ultimately the decision of which activities and projects to include is or work on left to the parent (and sometimes student), something that can be a little trickier for those new to homeschooling and those who are a bit shaky on history themselves, requiring them to do a little more pre-planning.

One thing we do like about Notgrass History is the fact that the books are set up in a way that supports independent learning with older students. 

As long as students have the ability to read and understand them, the textbooks can carry students through lessons pretty effectively, instructing them in history and directing them to the appropriate assignments.

As a result, parents of older students can take a step back into more of an oversight role, selecting assignments, correcting the work, and making sure everything gets done, which can be very helpful for busier homeschools. 

Pros And Cons


Engaging approach to history

Studying with Notgrass History is anything but an exercise in learning dry facts. Their curricula teach using a story-like narrative, and include a variety of engaging primary sources, enjoyable literature and fun activities to deepen learning.

Introduces students to a lot of primary sources and historical documents

Lots of activities to increase the depth of learning.

Very flexible and configurable

Beyond reading the textbooks, there is very little that is required in Notgrass History. Parents can, for example, select which activities best fit their style and student needs, design their own schedule, add formal assessments and generally go as deep into the study of history and social studies as they feel comfortable with. 

Lots of fun, hands on activities to choose from in each course

In addition to reading about history and other subjects, students using Notgrass History may build, cook, bake, paint, design and draw their way through various projects and activities, providing a multisensory learning experience that can suit a wider range of student learning styles and preferences. 

Open and go

Notgrass History textbooks do an excellent job at carrying parents and students through lessons without the need for lesson plans or teacher’s guides. Parents and students can, essentially, simply pick up a textbook and start learning.

Supports Independent Learning with Older Students

While younger students will probably have to work alongside their parents, Notgrass History textbooks are written clearly enough and are organized in a way that older students and those at the appropriate reading level should be able to go through lessons more or less independently.  

This can allow parents to step into more of a learning oversight role and allow them to focus on other homeschool or life tasks. 

Extensive use of primary sources

Rather than just reading about historical cultures and peoples as dry facts, Notgrass History provides students with books filled with contemporary songs, written works, poems and more that allow them to be able to better understand and contextualize history.

Literature-based learning element 

In addition to teaching with textbooks and primary sources, parents can also incorporate a strong literature-based learning element to the program thanks to Notgrass’ integration of historically relevant and culturally significant books into its courses.


Lessons may be a little long, depending on student pace and activities

Notgrass History is an activity rich curriculum, with 3-6 relatively in-depth activities in each lesson. 

Although parents are free to choose which activities they would like their student to do, generally speaking (and depending on a student’s pace of learning) Notgrass History lessons can be a little longer than some other history curricula out there, at between 45-90 minutes through Middle School and a couple hours at the High School level. 

Parents do need to make choices on what to include

Notgrass History is extremely flexible, allowing parents to make adjustments to its teaching and letting the parent decide how best to ideas and events. 

While more experienced homeschoolers may appreciate this, new homeschoolers may find the abundance of choice a little intimidating.

Who Is Notgrass History Ideal For?

Those looking for a strong Christian history and social studies curriculum

Notgrass History is a Christian curriculum provider that takes its faith based learning seriously. Throughout its courses, students will view their learning from a Christian lens, explore Christian values and frequently read, copy and study relevant scripture. 

Parents seeking a curriculum that students can work on more independently

Because its textbooks are written in a very organized and guiding manner, students who are capable of reading and learning independently can certainly do so with Notgrass History, making it an ideal choice for busy homeschooling parents and those looking to impart stronger self-study skills.

Parents looking for a flexible history curriculum they can tailor to their needs

Notgrass History is not an extremely scripted curriculum and provides parents with a lot of choice concerning which activities to include, scheduling, curriculum components, how and when to discuss matters with their student and more. 

As a result, the program can be fairly easily tailored to just about any homeschooling style. 

Students and parents looking for a history curriculum with engaging, hands-on activities

Some students can learn perfectly well from a simple textbook, while others benefit strongly from hands-on and engaging activities that bring concepts to life. 

With multiple hands-on projects, crafts and family activities woven into every unit, Notgrass History can be an ideal choice for these more tactile students. 

Parents and students who enjoy incorporating historical books, writing and sources into their learning

In addition to its core textbook and hands-on activities, Notgrass History provides a great deal of support for parents and students who favor a literary-based approach to learning. 

Each course integrates the use of a variety of classic books and primary sources to help explore its key concepts in more detail and to bring the material to life.

Who Is It Not Ideal For?

Those looking for a secular or neutral homeschool curriculum

As mentioned previously, Notgrass is a Christian curriculum that not only makes mention of God and the Bible, but tightly weaves faith, Christian values and Biblical study into its lessons. 

As a result, those looking for a secular or even faith-neutral curriculum may not find it ideal.

Parents looking for a highly scripted curriculum

Notgrass History is not a highly scripted curriculum, which can be an issue for those using the program as a parent-led curriculum. 

While its textbook lessons are easy to follow and guide students and parents pretty easily through the learning, it does not provide parents with a precise script or dialogue to follow and parents will generally have to make choices as to which activities to include and how to discuss certain topics with their students. 

Those who want one simple textbook to work from

Some parents and students prefer learning history from a single source, finding it the easiest solution for staying organized. 

To make full use of Notgrass History, parents and students will need a textbook, a book filled with various primary sources, various books, answer keys and, depending on the grade, map books and timeline books, as well. 


Note: Prices correct as of writing, all prices in USD. 

Each course in Notgrass History contains a variety of components, including the course text(s), literature bundle, primary source book, map book, lesson reviews and more. 

While every course’s components can be purchased separately, allowing parents to essentially build their own history or social studies curriculum with Notgrass, the company also sells each course as a more convenient complete bundle, which includes the curriculum text, all of the books included on the course book list, primary sources, review guide and more. 

The prices for each course can vary, but to give parents a general idea of Notgrass’ cost we’ve provided the table below, which includes the cost for each course’s curriculum (typically including the course textbook and primary sources) as well as a comprehensive course bundle that includes everything the course requires. 

CourseCurriculum OnlyCourse Bundle
Our 50 States $70$110
Our Star-Spangled Story$85$135
America the Beautiful$110$194
From Adam to Us$110$209
Uncle Sam and You$100$184
Exploring America$110$217
Exploring Economics$60$107
Exploring Government $60$127
Exploring World Geography$110$222
Exploring World History$110$222

On the whole, Notgrass isn’t the cheapest history curriculum around, but its also far from the most expensive. 

It is more costly than curricula such as History Quest, Masterbooks and The Story of the World, but tends to be more affordable than others such as Sonlight History. 

It’s also important to recognize that Notgrass is very flexible and parents can customize the curriculum to suit their needs and budget. 

Those who aren’t interested in a literature-based approach can, for example, simply purchase the curriculum and review books, and save some money that way.

That said, it is always important and worthwhile to check the latest prices for any curriculum.


Check out Notgrass History on

Is It Worth The Price?

While it may not be the cheapest provider of history and social studies curricula around, we believe that Notgrass History can provide a lot of value for homeschoolers.

The company offers well-designed and gorgeously illustrated full color textbooks and study guides that cover a wide range of history and social studies topics with an interesting, narrative style. 

The textbooks are well-organized and laid out, and clear enough to guide students and parents through lessons without the need for separate lesson plans or teacher’s guides to the point that students should be able to follow lessons more or less independently should they desire, reducing the burden on busy parents.

The company’s curricula also offer parents and students a wide range of activities and resources that make learning more meaningful and allows them to take the learning as deep as they’d like. 

In addition, Notgrass History’s courses also include a fairly extensive literature package that uses classic, historically relevant/important books to explore their subjects in a more meaningful manner.

Finally , unlike some other Christian curricula, Notgrass History doesn’t simply tack on bible verses or scripture to its lessons, but rather weaves Bible study, Chrsitian values and faith tightly into each lesson, ultimately creating a more integrated, richer and more thorough faith-based learning experience for students.

Bottom Line

History doesn’t have to be a dry recitation of facts, dates and places.

With its engaging style, beautifully illustrated texts, wonderful book selection, thought provoking primary documents, fun multisensory activities and strong, Christian learning, Notgrass History can not only provide families with some of the better history and social studies curricula around, but may even spark a lifelong passion for learning and spiritual growth in its students.

Photo of Jennifer Keenes, a writer for the smarter learning guide

Jennifer Keenes is a writer and a new mom living in Florida. She studied education and, prior to becoming a freelance writer, worked as a substitute teacher at the elementary and middle school level. She is a big fan of the beach, working out and homeschooling her two daughters.