Exploring America (Gr. 9-12)
While not uncommon for high school students to study both American History and American Literature in the same year (typically 11th grade), it is unusual to find a curriculum that weaves the two together. Exploring America goes one step further, not only combining history and literature, but also Bible/Faith. The result is a comprehensive, intensely Christian look at the events, the people, the culture, and the faith of our nation with an emphasis on a God-centered worldview. A student completing the course as outlined would earn three high school credits history, English (literature and composition), and Bible. Obviously designed with the homeschool student/family in mind, the two volumes (each about 400 pgs.) that make up the curriculum text are very readable and interesting, with carefully chosen illustrations. The text is written directly to the student with lessons clearly laid out and easy to follow. Volume 1 covers Columbus to Reconstruction; Volume 2, the late 1800's to the Present. These two volumes plus a resource book American Voices are included in the Curriculum Package. American Voices is a collection of speeches, poetry, and writings from original sources that are used in the course in addition to the literature selections. The literature selections (a whole book approach) have been carefully chosen. The author, Ray Notgrass, states clearly that the perspective of faith influenced the literature selections and that the goal was well-written redemptive literature. Accordingly, some typical American Lit reads are omitted. In addition to selections from American Voices, the following books are studied: The Scarlet Letter, Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Co. Aytch (Civil War diary of Sam Watkins), Little Women, Humorous Stories and Sketches, Up from Slavery, In His Steps, Mama's Bank Account, Miracle on the Hills, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Giver.
There are 30 weekly units, each with five lessons. Each unit begins by listing the lessons and memory verse(s) along with the books used and suggested writing assignments (typically 2-3 assignments; each 1-2 pgs. long; student chooses one) for each unit. Each fifth lesson is a Bible/worldview lesson. Each lesson includes a related scripture reference and each unit includes a timeline of world events.
The Curriculum Package includes the two text manuals (Parts 1 & 2) plus American Voices.
The Student Review Pack is optional and contains three pieces: The Student Review Book, Quiz and Exam Book and Answer Key.
The Student Review Book features lesson review questions, literature review questions, Bible commentary and literary analysis. The set of review questions from the text as well as the American Voices assignments for each lesson can be answered either orally or on paper. The Bible commentary is to aid the student in profiting from the Bible reading and study. Also included in the student review book are literary analysis segments and questions for each book selection. The Quiz and Exam book is just that - quizzes (for each unit) and six exams. The Answer Key has answers to all review and literary analysis questions, quizzes and exams.
This is an excellent course for the serious student who wants to study both American history and American literature from the perspective of God's Word and Sovereignty. ~ Janice