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7th Grade American History


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#1 bswihart

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

I am going to begin American History with my daughter after the first of the year. I am looking at Notgrass' America The Beautiful. There appears to be a lot of texts that I will need to purchase. The entire kit is quite expensive. We are a one income family right now and I work a very flexible full-time job.

Are there other American History curricula that you could recommend? My daughter is a good reader, but doesn't like to read, anything that is just black and white on a page will not motivate her. We love texts with lots of pictures and even don't mind a crossword puzzle or two or other added supplements to help keep her motivated.

Thanks for your help!

#2 Donna A.

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

I am going to begin American History with my daughter after the first of the year. I am looking at Notgrass' America The Beautiful. There appears to be a lot of texts that I will need to purchase. The entire kit is quite expensive. We are a one income family right now and I work a very flexible full-time job.

Are there other American History curricula that you could recommend? My daughter is a good reader, but doesn't like to read, anything that is just black and white on a page will not motivate her. We love texts with lots of pictures and even don't mind a crossword puzzle or two or other added supplements to help keep her motivated.

Thanks for your help!


You don't have to buy the whole kit at once. You can purchase materials for one semester at a time, if that helps.

For the first semester, you would need Volume 1, "We The People", the Lesson Review book, the Maps book, the Timeline book, and the Answer Key. Literature titles needed for that semester are Sign of the Beaver, Amos Fortune, Brady, Bound for Oregon, and Across Five Aprils. Check your library to see if any are available there, or look around for them used. CBD and Rainbow Resource are good places to compare prices when buying new. CBD even has free shipping right now, through Dec. 31st.

Then you can get Volume 2 and the rest of the lit titles for second semester. You don't need the other activity book they offer for a 7th grader.

My 8th grader is *loving* ATB, and she's not a big reader, nor a history lover. The literature reading schedule is very doable for her. But she told me the other day that she actually LIKES history now! That's an amazing thing for her. :hurray:

(ATB feels really light compared to what we've done in the past, but it seems to be perfect for this child. I'm beefing up her workload in other areas.)

#3 Pen

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

We found a lot at our local library! The whole Hakim series. Colliers by interlibrary loan. Textbooks. Supplementary readers etc.

#4 Donna A.

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

Oh, question to the OP.... You might want to clarify whether you want biblical worldview included in your curriculum or not. Notgrass is very strong in this area. Others, not so much.

#5 mazakaal

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:26 AM

I used All American History from Bright Ideas Press for American history in 7th grade. All you need is the textbook and student book, which wasn't very expensive. I supplemented with historical fiction, which I'm sure you can find in your local library.

#6 Donna A.

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:33 AM

I used All American History from Bright Ideas Press for American history in 7th grade. All you need is the textbook and student book, which wasn't very expensive. I supplemented with historical fiction, which I'm sure you can find in your local library.


The TM gives book suggestions, as well as field trip ideas and activities. It's very useful... without those, AAH can be pretty dull. It's not colorful like Notgrass ATB, which alone would not be a big deal to ME, but I know it matters to some people. Also, AAH takes a more "neutral" tone toward history where biblical worldview is concerned (not that I think there is such a thing) than Notgrass, which makes somewhat less interesting (to me).

I do like the way AAH covers the presidents, the 50 states, and the various wars, with a great amount of detail, but that can also make it burdensome. It just has a totally different "feel" than Notgrass. Notgrass is just more "pleasant", so to speak.

AAH can be flexible, but it loses some of that flexibility without the TM unless you want to do the footwork to find interesting go-alongs from other sources.

It just depends on what you're looking for.

#7 Momto2Ns

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:31 AM

I used the History of US books when my kids were 5th and 7th. We checked them out from the library. Every area library near us had a set, so we could always find the one we needed when we needed it.

We used SL Core 100 to guide us through the year, with dd doing read alouds from Core 3+4 (whatever that is now D+E?). There are several options though, the syllabus from Hewitt, BF...

#8 Mrs Mungo

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:52 AM

We used the History of US books too. My aunt actually gave them to us; she had used them in homeschooling her dd. She also gave us some activity books. I already had lots of books to go along with it.

#9 Lucidity

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:38 AM

We're currently using ATB and while I like it, it's very superficial in it's coverage of history. I do like ATB and I like how they learn about more than just history, such as National Parks or biographies of people but I think it's more of a first introduction to American History. So if you want more coverage or depth, this isn't for you. I wish now that we had gone with AAH or History of US. Each lesson is setup very nicely and if you like crosswords, puzzles, etc. to go along with it, they have a book to purchase that has those things.

If you have more specific questions, let me know.

#10 Donna A.

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

I agree that ATB is pretty light, but that's exactly why it's working with this particular child. She shines in other areas, and I had to find a way for her to at least enjoy history to some extent.

But that's why I asked the OP some more questions about what she's looking for. I see that she's a newbie, and hasn't been back to this thread yet. Hopefully she has her profile settings to receive email notification of replies?

#11 bswihart

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:29 PM

Thank you everyone for your replies. I apologize. I did not have my settings to receive email notifications. I've fixed that now.

Although a Christian worldview is important, it doesn't have to be too heavy. I am new to homeschooling, and am just trying to find my way.

I started out the year with Story of the World, but my daughter has gotten bored with it. I feel we need something more, and since most 7th grade public school kids (as well as Christian school kids) are taking American History, I thought I would squeeze that in.

But, since ATB is a full year course, I may want some other ideas as to what to do for history for the rest of the year.

What type of history has your child done in 7th grade, and what have then done in 8th grade.

Sorry. I am such a newbie and don't want to be overbearing.

#12 Lucidity

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:36 PM

So you are looking for something to finish out 7th this year and then 8th next year? I'd do whatever American History sounds good to you and add in some more books. There are tons of great American History books you could read. ATB could easily take over a year and then not feel so rushed. Then, if you wanted to do the 4 year history cycle for high school, you'd be all set.

Don't feel sorry, we all started at the beginning. :) Enjoy the journey!!!

#13 Donna A.

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:10 PM

I started out the year with Story of the World, but my daughter has gotten bored with it. I feel we need something more, and since most 7th grade public school kids (as well as Christian school kids) are taking American History, I thought I would squeeze that in.


If it's any consolation, BJU and Abeka (Christian school textbook publishers) both do world history in 7th grade, and then American in 8th. :) Even for those who might be doing American in 7th, there are many who like to divide American over two years in order to go more in-depth, and perhaps include world history simultaneously since the rest of the world didn't just stop when America was founded.


What type of history has your child done in 7th grade, and what have then done in 8th grade.


My oldest as a 7th grader was finishing up Rome to Reformation with My Father's World ("MFW"). http://www.mfwbooks.com/ We were doing that all together as a family for several years. I then did a condensed year of American history (also using MFW) with her in 8th. Then she started the chronological history cycle over again in 9th grade/high school.

My 2nd daughter did Mystery of History Volumes 2 and 3 in 7th grade, and is doing Notgrass ATB this year.

Sorry. I am such a newbie and don't want to be overbearing.


You're not being overbearing at all! :grouphug: Feel free to ask away. The more specifics you share, the more we can help. And welcome!

#14 bswihart

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:41 PM

Thank you all so much! One other question. A mom I know who has homeschooled her kids for many years tells me it is required that a student take one full year of American History and a full year of World History in High School. Is this true? If so, I may want to wait an introduce American History in high school. She says if my student takes it now, it won't count? This mom also tells me that my student will also need to take Government and Economics in High school as well.

I am so confused. Are there standards for home schooled kids who will not be going back into traditional schools. I am in California and am not sure what is required.

#15 Lucidity

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:11 AM

You'd really need to check California's requirements as I'm not sure, but that sounds like the typical highschool track. You'll find many on this board who do just that, 1 year of American, 1 of World and 1 of Gov't/Econ. So with Notgrass, yes, you'd do the middle school American History, but they have a highschool American History also that would cover the details in more depth. They also have World History and Gov't/Econ.

However, many others follow the 4 year history track. This is basically covering all of history in 4 years. So you start at the beginning with Ancients, Medieval, Early Modern (includes Am. Hist.) and Modern (includes Am. Hist.) - 1 each year. Many different curriculums you can look at already do this for you, for example, Well Trained Mind, My Father's World, Tapestry of Grace, and many others.

Let us know what other questions you might have.

#16 Donna A.

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:28 AM

You'd really need to check California's requirements as I'm not sure, but that sounds like the typical highschool track. You'll find many on this board who do just that, 1 year of American, 1 of World and 1 of Gov't/Econ. So with Notgrass, yes, you'd do the middle school American History, but they have a highschool American History also that would cover the details in more depth. They also have World History and Gov't/Econ.

However, many others follow the 4 year history track. This is basically covering all of history in 4 years. So you start at the beginning with Ancients, Medieval, Early Modern (includes Am. Hist.) and Modern (includes Am. Hist.) - 1 each year. Many different curriculums you can look at already do this for you, for example, Well Trained Mind, My Father's World, Tapestry of Grace, and many others.

Let us know what other questions you might have.


Right, and either way you do it -- the "traditional" method mentioned in the first paragraph, or the chronological history method in the second paragraph -- will provide the requirements your friend mentioned.

Most middle school history courses are lighter/less in-depth than high school history courses, so there's no reason you can't do Notgrass ATB (or whatever) now, in 7th or 8th grade, and then do it again at high school level later on. No, ATB would not count as a high school course. But it's different content and has lighter assignments than their high school Exploring American History course. The same would be true with most any publisher.

Check your state's homeschool laws for specific requirements. Now keep in mind that your homeschool laws are usually different than your public education's requirements, so don't contact the local school district or Department of Education for this information. I'll link you to several good resources... you can browse around and gather information as you have time.

And please feel free to post specific questions here as much as you need. Did you notice the other forums here, one specifically for the Logic Stage (which would include your 7th grader), and one for high school? You might want to read threads in those areas, too

http://www.hslda.org/

http://www.hslda.org...t.aspx?State=CA

http://debrabell.com...gh-school-home/

http://www.welltrain...etting-started/

http://www.mfwbooks....category/M50/50


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