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Lori D. --combining Notgrass American History & Government

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Hi Lori! I am quoting you from another thread about a month ago. :D


I know you used Notgrass American History. What did you use to include the Government credit? I had originally intended to do the separate Notgrass Government course, but I would really like to combine Amer Hist & Gov for dd next year.


Thank you so much for your wisdom. You are such a great help to so many here. :001_smile:



I am glad we did American History and Government together -- they overlap so much, especially in the early days of our country.


gr. 10/11

1 credit = American History

0.5 credit = Government

0.25 credit = Great Books: American Lit.

Lit portion of English for both DSs= American Lit.



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We didn't so much combine the American History and Government as we chose to do them in the same year. That worked particularly well, as the Colonial portion of American History helps you understand the British form of government, upon which U.S. ultimately based many concepts in the Constitution. And the post-Revolutionary war years of American History focus on the formation of our system of government -- which we then went more in-depth with the Government course material. And finally, a lot of highlights of American history events have key Supreme Court rulings attached to them, so, again, your American History and Government are linked together.


It was pretty neat the way we got an "echo" effect -- we'd be simultaneously (or sometimes separated by a few months) studying a History event and get a lot more detail in the technical working out from the Government materials; or we would have already studied a History event, and then get to the Government event such as a specific Supreme Court ruling, and we would already understand the "background story" of the ruling from having already covered the History event.


Really, use whatever material for Government YOU would like -- you will still get that overlap described above. :)



We happened to use the Great Source American Government textbook by Wood & Sansone, but that's because I found a cheap used older edition. Pro: covered all the topics you could want; was all in one place. Con: pretty dry and "textbook-y". I only got the textbook -- none of the other support materials; I made up a quiz for each chapter we covered; we did not read ALL of the textbook, as we were counting participating in Youth & Gov't that year as part of the Government credit.


You could easily use the Notgrass Government (and you'll have those great primary source documents to go along with it) -- or something to simply "cover your bases" like The Complete Idiot's Guide to American Government (Schaffrey) or The Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Government and Politics (Scardino) from http://www.amazon.com -- or a "real books" approach with Sonlight's Government course -- or even something free, like the Hippocampus American Government. See if you can use what matches up with YOUR family's learning style and interests the most. :)


I definitely recommend "livening up" a Government credit by actually "doing government" through participation in a mock legislative program such as:

- Youth & Government

- Model U.N. (UNA-USA, AMUN

- or event at your local university, run by college poli-sci students


Or a mock judicial program such as a

- Teen Court

- Mock Trial

- or other local option


Or through visiting the capital / meeting legislators / writing a bill with TEEN Pact.


Or attend a Junior State of America (JSA) conference and have fun discussing/debating complex political topics and hear politicians speak.


Not only can you count any of those towards the Government credit, all of these programs look GREAT as leadership activities and extracurricular activities for college applications and job resumes! ;) BEST of luck in your Government adventures, whatever you decide! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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FYI, My Father's World schedules the first half of American together with Government in 11th grade, and then second half of American with Economics in 12th grade. I had never thought of doing it this way until I saw how they do it, but it makes total sense!

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