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I'm getting inspired by its inclusion in the Timberdoodle grade 5 kit. :biggrin:

I found an old thread discussing this https://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/588156-any-reviews-of-notgrass-from-adam-to-us/  and wondered if anyone had updates.  @KrissiK  Honestly I'm *not* a history lover, so the amount of detail, for me, is just a deluge. I also struggle to find it question driven or connected; it seems to be endless facts. Did you who started with it end up finishing? And how was it? Were there weak points, things you would skip in hindsight? The workbook looks like something my ds could do. The review questions seem a little boring but necessary, because my ds would struggle to narrate and pull out the important points. Actually what he would struggle with most is the *terms*. There's just so much going on that he needs a list of terms to focus on to make sure he comes out able to talk about it. (ASD and language issues)

Did your kids use/enjoy the audio track? Did they do it independently or with you reading it to them? I confess it's appealing to think I could assign it and he could just do it. However it's such a jumble of information it seems like it needs some discussion/debriefing. How did your kids roll with this? 

What kind of pacing did you have?

Anything else? 

Edited by PeterPan
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Ahhh, Notgrass. I love Notgrass, but I am not using it right now. I used the primary grade US History book with my younger girls and they loved it. The supplemental book that had songs from early America and a CD was so good. My youngest daughter still has that book in her room and looks at it and listens to the music. I used From Adam to Us, America the Beautiful and Uncle Sam and You with my two older kids and they really liked it. It is interesting. It really is. Uncle Sam and You has information about how our country works that you will not find anywhere. And it is fascinating. The books are beautiful and well done, the literature selections are outstanding. And I like the supplementary materials. I have two gripes with it - personally, I don’t feel like it flows well, it is a little disjointed and I don’t feel like it is rigorous enough. Right now, with my 4th and 6th graders we are doing a hybrid of Story of the World and Pandia Press’s History Odyssey and I think it is really going well, but I am really torn because I would really like to do Notgrass with them next year and put them through that three-book series. And they are my last ones I’m homeschooling, so this is it.

We didn’t use the audio track. I read it to them. We did about a lesson every couple of days. We used all of the supplementary materials.

Edited by KrissiK
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We are using From Adam to Us this year as I wanted an overview of World History before we jump into American next year. 
It is definitely an overview and doesn’t get very detailed nor rigorous. It’s very straight forward with information. The way they set up the units is predictable for a student.  My kids have liked how it has sections more focused on countries around the world, people during the time period and architecture. The pictures are a nice addition although their placement doesn’t always make sense. For example we were reading the section on the Hundreds Year War and they referred to pictures on different pages than the text so there was flipping that needed to be done. They do tell you what page but it wasn’t something my kids would necessarily look back on their own.  I also agree with the PP about the flow- it’s different. But for us this year it worked well as I didn’t feel I needed to teach every lesson and we couldn’t skip some all together. 
 

I grabbed the audios so my dyslexic child could do it independently. They are nice to have.
 

We typically read and discuss the first lesson together (so I read aloud to all the kids), then I’ll assign the rest for them to read/listen to on their own. We still discuss together vs written answers.  They do the map work, Timeline and the student activity book on their own. 
 

we also have enjoyed all the literature read alouds. I was surprised they liked some so much!

 

ETA:  the audios are Mrs Notgrass, so an older woman reading which my kids loved. She reads at a slower pace (or I felt she did) and we felt was calming. 

Edited by My4arrows
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4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

... Honestly I'm *not* a history lover, so the amount of detail, for me, is just a deluge. I also struggle to find it question driven or connected; it seems to be endless facts...

It's more for late middle/high school grades, but when you come around to U.S. History again, you might check out the Critical Thinking in U.S. History 4 book series. Here is a big sample of Book 1 of the series.

It's really more about logical thinking and building an argument and using selected excerpts from texts about events in U.S. History, but it might be a fun way to help connect with history. 

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4 hours ago, Enigma6 said:

I know Servant4Christ is using Notgrass and loving it.

We're using America the Beautiful this year for 4th and are planning on using From Adam to Us over grades 5 & 6. I'm still researching whether or not we'll read all the literature selections or just some of them with more books added. Oldest is a reader, though. He reads the daily lesson and completes the map assignments. We discuss afterward. Many times he's so excited about what he's reading midlesson that he reads sections aloud to me while I tend to the two littles. I don't make him do the timeline or workbook (he hates to write so I limit most writing to math, english, and spelling) but I do have him do the weekly tests from the workbook. Next year, I'll probably do the same but also buy either the workbook or lesson review to use orally with each lesson.

Edited to add: we also read the primary source selections as they are assigned and will continue to do so.

Edited by Servant4Christ
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I've used Adam to Us. It was okay. It wasn't super engaging, but it wasn't dry either. It didn't bog us down in facts, but it didn't draw us into history with interesting detail, ether. My kids mostly enjoyed the literature they choose that you're supposed to read along with it. If you're looking for something like a traditional textbook, it's pretty good for that (in terms of interest level of the reading, not in terms of the sort of exercises/questions one might expect a traditional textbook to include). If you're looking for something to make you and your kids love history, you may want to keep looking. 

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6 hours ago, Servant4Christ said:

Many times he's so excited about what he's reading midlesson that he reads sections aloud to me while I tend to the two littles.

That's a good point about how to rate engagement. Ds is a wild card, because he's very bright, very in his own bubble (autism), and has language issues. I agree with you that that is what happens when he's engaged, good point.

10 hours ago, Lori D. said:

It's more for late middle/high school grades,

Yeah, I have those and this other thinky about hstory series I got at the suggestion of someone to use with dd. I think I more meant that I was trying not to let my dislike and lack of engagement with history bias me against the curriculum if people who LIKE history weren't seeing the flaws I thought I was seeing. Clear as mud? LOL

10 hours ago, My4arrows said:

 the audios are Mrs Notgrass, so an older woman reading which my kids loved. She reads at a slower pace

Ironically, she reads so fast I'm not sure my ds could understand it. I only have heard the online sample, but that's really interesting that for your peeps it was slow, hmm. He has language issues, so there's that balance of what is interesting and what is overwhelming. He'll listening to audiobooks for hours, but they're professionally recorded and skillfully written. And his comprehension is improving. We just ran language testing on him and his scores were in the 8/9 yo range. 

I guess if I got brilliant, I'd correlate that to a grade level and realize what that was telling might. Hello, ding ding, lightbulb moment. 

6 hours ago, Servant4Christ said:

We're using America the Beautiful this year for 4th and are planning on using From Adam to Us over grades 5 & 6.

Yeah, I'm wondering if he'd do better backing up to America the Beautiful. It looked a little choppy, but I can look at it. And that's something I wondered, whether A2US would be better either trimmed or spread out. That seems really solid to spread it out a bit. Frankly, it's so dense that for my ds it could probably be an entire high school world history course. It's one of the things I was thinking about, whether it would be better for him later. Maybe what I need is A2US but lighter/shorter. Actually I already know the answer to that, lol. I need the 20 minute a day version of A2US. 

Why A2US vs. MOH? I mean, I had MOH with dd, read some to her. It's charming, it's shorter, but it's totally ADHD. I really don't remember much about it and sold it off. She was so intuitive and could just do anything. 

4 hours ago, silver said:

It was okay. It wasn't super engaging, but it wasn't dry either. It didn't bog us down in facts, but it didn't draw us into history with interesting detail, ether.

That makes sense and is probably what I'm seeing. Did you find something that scratched that itch better?

11 hours ago, My4arrows said:

We typically read and discuss the first lesson together (so I read aloud to all the kids), then I’ll assign the rest for them to read/listen to on their own.

So for my pea brain, you mean you read together the first lesson in each unit? And then the rest of the lessons in the unit are independent? Interesting.

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The only critique my DS has with AtB is that some lessons are long and some are short and he'd like them to be a more consistent length so he has a better idea day to day how long history will take to complete. The new 2020 version is supposed to address this. We originally planned to spread it out over fourth and fifth doing one textbook per year but DS kept reading ahead. Lol. He loves the info on wildlife, landmarks, ect that break up the straight up history. I hope we enjoy FA2Us as much as AtB. I am definitely spreading it over 2 years though to allow time to look further into areas that interest him as we read.

Edited by Servant4Christ
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10 hours ago, PeterPan said:

it. I only have heard the online sample, but that's really interesting that for your peeps it was slow,

I am using this for a soggily above average 9 yo and an average 11 yo for reference. My 7.5 yo with APD can’t follow so I can see what you are thinking. When I read the lesson with the boys we do stop along the way to discuss and break it into chucks as some can be longer. 

10 hours ago, PeterPan said:

you mean you read together the first lesson in each unit? And then the rest of the lessons in the unit are independent? Interesting

The weekly units are broken into types of lessons- World biography, our World Story, Gods Wonder, World Landmark and Daily Life. 
I misspoke saying the first lesson but rather we do the World Story together. For us that is our focus.  IMO it’s that section and the Daily Life that are more focused on the History whereas the others give a focus of specifics in the era. They more easily do those on their own. We also grab books from the library for sections they are more interested in for extra details. 
 

and America the Beautiful is geared towards the lower age group from my understanding vs Adam to Us

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Servant4Christ said:

The only critique my DS has with AtB is that some lessons are long and some are short and he'd like them to be a more consistent length so he has a better idea day to day how long history will take to complete. The new 2020 version is supposed to address this. We originally planned to spread it out over fourth and fifth doing one textbook per year but DS kept reading ahead. Lol. He loves the info on wildlife, landmarks, ect that break up the straight up history. I hope we enjoy FA2Us as much as AtB. I am definitely spreading it over 2 years though to allow time to look further into areas that interest him as we read.

Ooo, that's good info. I'm going to look at AtBas well. I didn't realize there was an update for it, so I'll look for that.

1 hour ago, My4arrows said:

we do the World Story together. For us that is our focus.  IMO it’s that section and the Daily Life that are more focused on the History whereas the others give a focus of specifics in the era. They more easily do those on their own.

That makes sense! Thanks! I like that one major topic a week plan. That's how it was with VP that I did with my dd and it's very easy for me to make happen.

 

1 hour ago, My4arrows said:

America the Beautiful is geared towards the lower age group from my understanding vs Adam to Us

Yeah, the syntax simpler, sentence length shorter. May or may not be good. The samples are significant enough, I can try them on him and see what happens. 

Edited by PeterPan
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12 hours ago, PeterPan said:

That makes sense and is probably what I'm seeing. Did you find something that scratched that itch better?

It's the only middle grades world history we've tried, so I don't have any other recommendations.  😄  For US history this year, we've used the Big Fat Notebook for a spine and have read in depth non-fiction on various topics of history. That's easier to do for US history, since it's such a (relatively) short time period compared to "all of recorded human history" that a typical world history curriculum tries to cover.

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My DD used From Adam to Us last year for 8th grade.  It did drag on a bit towards the end.  I enjoy Notgrass and I think they did a beautiful job with their textbooks, but man can they get wordy and drag on!  I bought the audio supplement for her about halfway through the year and that really helped to lighten her reading load.  I had her do the map book, timeline book, and lesson review book including tests.  I agree with a previous poster that it is straightforward and not necessarily "rigorous", but I do think it is thorough and a completely appropriate workload for middle school. I did not have her do the literature pack since we were doing our own thing for lit. 

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