Ray and Charlene Notgrass are the homeschooling parents of six children. They work together as a family to run The Notgrass Company, publishing original products and carrying wonderful resources. This has been a great company for me to work with! They believe in a learning lifestyle, where your life can be your school. Their products are Bible based. I've reviewed three of their products below. Other products include: Creating a Sense of Wonder, a unit study that explores creation from Genesis to Revelation, and Exploring Tennessee, a Tennessee history curriculum.
Draw to Learn-The Life of Jesus--This is a great way to combine art and Bible! This 154 page, 81/2" by 11", spiral-bound book contains 150 lessons. These pages are not reproducible, so you will need a book for each child. If your children can read, each lesson can be done independently; however, these lessons make wonderful family activities. Suggestions are included to expand each lesson to include further Bible study, handwriting, science, history, geography, and creative writing. The only extra required materials are a Bible and colored pencils. Each lesson is one page with plenty of room to draw. The scripture reference used for that particular lesson is at the top and listed again at the bottom. To complete the lesson, you read the scripture, think about what the scripture means, and follow the directions of what to draw. For example, lesson one is based on John 1:1-14. You read the scripture, think about Jesus being with God from the beginning and the world being made through Jesus, and draw a view of how the earth would look from space. Your child can draw as much or as little as he/she wants, although the book encourages you to take your time with each lesson. The more you add to each picture, the better it will be. This concept or combining Bible and art is fun and easy.
A Record of the Learning Lifestyle--This original record book was created by Charlene Notgrass because she couldn't find one to fill the needs of her family. The answer was this wonderful, easy-to-use record book. Each week opens to a two-page spread where you can record a full weeks activities, Sunday through Saturday, and divide the work into categories including spiritual life, learning to work, relating to others, learning about God's creation, learning about people and places, and many others; twelve categories in all. Many beautiful graphics, some in color, are included in each two-page spread. At the back of the record book are pages for recording books read, books read to the child, grades, test scores, and awards. Your child can take this one record book and record all of his/her school work for a full year!
Exploring America-Basic Package--This Christian-based American history kit includes two large spiral-bound manuals, Volume I and Volume II, and three paperback books that are used with both volumes: A Documentary History of the United States, 101 Great American Poems, and The World's Great Speeches. Both volumes together provide your high school student with 3 high school credits; one in American history, one in English, and one credit in Bible. There are 150 total lessons, which include a list of books needed for that lesson, memory verses, historical Bible background, writing assignments, historical background information, and reading assignments from classic literature. There is also a list of all literature needed for all 150 lessons. Many of these can be found at your local library. One thing that I thought was wonderful about this curriculum was a list of words or ideas included in the required literature reading (6 of the books) that could make some readers uncomfortable; each book title is listed with the page number and general meaning of the passages. You can then chose to discuss it with your high schooler as they read to themselves, read the books aloud while omitting the questionable words or ideas, or even edit the book, if you purchased it. All the novels used with this program, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and To Kill a Mocking Bird, are great classics. The author didn't want to exclude an otherwise wonderful book because of a few parts that might offend some. I appreciate Mr. Notgrass taking the time to include this valuable information. This American history curriculum is thorough, easy to use, and will give your high schooler an extensive study into our nation's history!