Our Star-Spangled Story (Gr. 1-4)

Packed with stories about the people/families who lived their lives here in America and participated in the development of our country from its earliest inhabitants through colonization, independence, exploration/settlement, division, expansion, conflict, and space travel, this course from Notgrass Publishing brings their engaging, user-friendly, Christian worldview approach to history down to the elementary level. American history is covered in one year through 90 lessons (three lesson per weekly unit) that feature simple stories, easy-to-follow instruction, full-color photographs/illustrations and incorporate literature, music, creative writing, geography, and art. Lessons include instruction, map locations, timeline work, review questions, and hands-on history ideas/unit projects. A fun addition for this level that will have your whole family singing and memorizing is the Rhythms and Rhymes book with music recordings that can be streamed online or downloaded. Literature selections include eight family read-aloud books.

The Our Star-Spangled Story Textbooks, in two parts, are the heart of the course. Each weekly unit focuses on a major historical event/theme and tells its story through the eyes of several persons or families in three lessons. The carefully chosen photographs and illustrations are mostly in full color, but sometimes period photos are found in their original black and white. Lessons are 6-7 pages long and take 10-15 minutes to read through, concluding with a Bible verse. Lesson Activities (assignments from the Student Workbook, map locations, and literature selections), Review Questions, and Hands-On Projects (1 per Unit) are included with each Lesson. The beginning pages of Part 1 provides some very basic teacher/course instructions. Several maps are included with each Part including an All Around the USA Map which is used for lesson assignments. Part 1 is 322 full-color pgs, hb; Part 2 is 308 full-color pgs, hb.

My Star-Spangled Student Workbook, the only consumable book, is full color and provides one page per lesson (two handwork and one review page per unit). Activities vary but are always engaging and include matching, maps and pictures to color, and space for either drawing or writing creations. For activities in this book the student will need a pencil and a good set of colored pencils (the publishers recommend Prismacolor). There is a supply list of household items needed for the various unit projects (available as a download from our website). 91 full-color pgs pb.

The Answer Key and Lit Guide is for the teacher (in lieu of a Teacher Manual). It provides the Review Questions from each lesson with answers as well as answers to the Workbook Reviews. There are also notes for the various literature selections. 31 pgs, pb. Possibly my favorite book in the series is the Star-Spangled Rhythm and Rhymes book. This includes the songs (words in the book; link to music recordings) that Americans have sung for centuries (including me in Friday music class many years ago). Some of these are folk songs and some were written by American composers. There are also poems from different time periods which are about historic events and everyday life. But that’s not all. There are instructions for folk dances and party games as well. 80 full-color pgs with access to online streaming or downloadable audio recordings, hb.

The Star-Spangled Timeline Book begins with Creation and includes the arrival of Native Americans prior to settling into dates associated with the European discovery of the American continents. Timeline entries include all the expected (and some unexpected) key events and people (45 presidents) of our nation’s history referenced in the Textbook stories but won my heart with its homeschooling history entries. 61 full-color pgs, hb.

The Curriculum Package includes all six items: Textbook Parts 1 & 2, Workbook, Answer Key/Lit Guide, Rhythm and Rhymes book, and Timeline Book. You will need another Star-Spangled Student Workbook for each additional student.




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