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Ginger Lynn
04-02-2012, 01:09 PM
I am looking at going a different way for High School History but not sure what way that is. :unsure: I think the way I want to go is just a lot more reading, like living books, maybe. I like the looks of Notgrass and Truthquest but not sure which one. Can you give me your pros and cons on which ever one you use or have used. I know I don't need the Bible and English part of Notgrass, just the History.

If you have any better ideas I am open to those to. ;)

WendyW
04-02-2012, 02:07 PM
We're on our third year of TQ, and I LOVE it! I decided to try to get it all in before DS1 graduates, and we attempted to squeeze all 6 volumes into 3 years. YIKES! He graduates in 2 months and we just started the last volume. We'll be doing TQ all summer, and the kids don't mind! Next year ds2 and I will start over and he'll have time to enjoy it more.

That would be the only "con"- not enough time for us to do as much fun stuff (on the side- TQ is only books) or very much of the historical fiction.

I love the commentary offered by the author, she gives you a lot to think about as far as the motivations and mindset of the various leaders and their worldviews. Very plainly shows the differences between a life led by God and life led by self and how it plays out on the world stage.

The book selections are extensive. The list is intended to be for choosing whatever books you want, or can get, NOT a "required reading" list. THAT would be impossible! They are very well broken down into numerous categories, making it easy to choose which topics you will or won't cover. If the books are ones that she can not personally vouch for the content, or she knows it has some questionable content, she says so, so you won't be blind-sided by unexpected things. There are VERY few of these: generally only when she could not find wholesome books to cover the topic, or the book has value in other ways. There are listed books that are out of print, but there are so many other options it has not been a problem. We also have found several of the OOP "spines" online and just read them straight off the computer.

ETA:
I went and looked at the Notgrass site. I've never seen this curriculum, but based on what the site says, it sounds like it could be done much more independently than TQ. (I can't imagine not doing TQ with my boys. I love the conversations we have, and knowing exactly what they are getting from it. However, it can be time-consuming for me. If I were teaching several children on various levels, it would not be an easy thing to squeeze into day. It very much feels like the conversations we used to have with FIAR.) Notgrass also has optional quizzes and tests, which TQ does not. If you have to have a portfolio of work for your state, this might be a good way to go. Both curricula have writing assignments (which we have generally not done). If you want ONLY the history portion of Notgrass, it sounds like it might be difficult to separate the parts.

Ginger Lynn
04-02-2012, 02:25 PM
Thank you for the info Wendy. This helps. So using it for 4 years would be good?

Robin in Colorado
04-02-2012, 02:28 PM
Thank you for the info Wendy. This helps. So using it for 4 years would be good?

I'd like to know this as well.

WendyW
04-02-2012, 02:45 PM
Thank you for the info Wendy. This helps. So using it for 4 years would be good?

If you scroll down to the bottom of this page (http://www.truthquesthistory.com/howtochoose.php#eight_year) the author gives recommendations for what volumes to schedule in which years based on how many years you plan to use it. Four years would be a lot more do-able than 3, especially if you choose the option that skips the ancient cultures, which most of us have already enjoyed doing during the earlier years. I regret that we DID do that part, as I would rather have had more time to give to the later volumes.

Ginger Lynn
04-02-2012, 02:57 PM
Thanks again Wendy.

Notgrass anyone?

Rebe
04-03-2012, 08:05 AM
I can address some of the Notgrass things that Wendy brought up.

Yes, it's very student-led. I don't do much at all, except grade quizzes and check his work periodically. My dh also makes quarterly tests, because the Notgrass tests aren't all that great. But you could just skip those tests anyway.

The readings are very good. There's a textbook (which my ds really enjoys, but he's a history buff). There's an additional book of original source documents, too. I wouldn't say, though, that it's a living-books-based history course unless you add at least some of the "English" component to it, which is the group of books you're also supposed to read for English. I add about half of them to get that living books aspect in the course. Otherwise, it's just textbook + original source documents, which is fine, but defeats the purpose of the living books aspect.

You can skip all of the Bible-related questions with no trouble. But you can't really remove the Christianity from the course -- it's interwoven in the text in many of the lessons.

But overall you can easily do "just" history with Notgrass. You could eliminate all of the English books if you really wanted to, and skip all of the Bible questions.

Ginger Lynn
04-03-2012, 08:31 AM
I can address some of the Notgrass things that Wendy brought up.

You can skip all of the Bible-related questions with no trouble. But you can't really remove the Christianity from the course -- it's interwoven in the text in many of the lessons.

But overall you can easily do "just" history with Notgrass. You could eliminate all of the English books if you really wanted to, and skip all of the Bible questions.

Thanks Rebe. This helps a lot. I don't mind the Christianity in the course at all, we just don't need the Bible credit.

barbara r
04-16-2012, 01:24 AM
well, i truly hate being a dissenter, but we tried Notgrass World History this year, and i would never use them again. the text is okay, but dds are finding that some of the information given clashes with that in other sources they've used for researching writing topics, and frankly, i trust the other sources more.

Notgrass seems to place unnecessary emphasis on some subjects (a whole chapter on food in various cultures) but then lumps huge historical events into very condensed form. (i.e.: WWI AND WWII both together in a single chapter.)

there's also lots of Biblical history in this course. i can swallow it, because after all, it IS a World History, and Biblical History is key to, and closely interwoven with the history of our world, but to me it seems like an inordinate amount of attention spent on a somewhat shallow Biblical perspective, while other historically important events are completely overlooked.

maybe their other history courses are better; more thought-provoking or well-balanced. but from our limited experience, i'm not nearly as impressed as i thought i'd be from the reviews.

Ginger Lynn
04-16-2012, 06:35 AM
Barbara~Thank you for you response and honesty.