We designed our courses for use by individual families. However, we have had many co-ops use our courses for group study. Here is some of the feedback we have received:
This is the best history course I have ever used. I teach a co-op history class, and this curriculum seems to reach every kind of learner. It is more than just dates and facts. The history becomes personal for the kids, and their enthusiasm just blossoms.
We did it as a small home co-op together with 4 other high school girls every two weeks throughout the school year and the rest they did at home on their own. The mothers took turns going over units (either ones we had just done or introducing new units). The girls shared with each other their writing assignments (reading them aloud), did book reviews, took the unit quizzes and tests together, we watched movies together (Gettysburg), we ate Colonial food, they learned to make quilt squares by hand and had a marvelous time. Our daughters learned so much from your simple and easy format for each unit. Your writing style is so easy to follow and understand. We mothers learned a lot too!
I must tell you I am very pleased with the curriculum. I taught a group of high school students last year. I used Exploring Government. This year I have a group of 12 middle schoolers and I am using the Uncle Sam and You. Fantastic! You have done a great job tailoring to the needs of these two age groups. I am enjoying it immensely and have heard nothing but good comments from both my students and their parents.
What Each Student/Family Will Need
All Notgrass History resources are copyrighted. You cannot photocopy any of the material for your class. Each family will need to purchase a copy of the curriculum and any consumable books the co-op teacher assigns for the class.
We do not offer a discount on our curriculum for group orders. We keep our prices low for all families, whether or not they are part of a co-op class.
If some families have one edition of a specific curriculum and other families have a different edition, that will cause problems for the teacher. Be clear about which version of the curriculum families need to purchase.
Suggestions for a Co-op Setting
Since all of the instructions for using the curriculum are included, students can easily complete their work at home during the week. When you have a group meeting, here are some suggested activities to supplement their individual study.
- Survey. You might present a quick survey of the key points from each unit. This could help students who haven't known quite how to fit it all together. You could ask a thought question or two from each lesson in the unit to prompt group discussion. Look at the quizzes to get ideas about the major points.
- Student Discussion. You can give the students time each week to ask questions or share new insights they have gained from the previous week's lessons and reading. It would be a shame to have a student struggling with a question that you could answer or bursting with excitement over a new idea, only to miss the opportunity for a teachable moment because of your pre-planned agenda. This will help to keep students from getting frustrated or falling behind, and it will allow them to see the relevance to their lives of what they are studying. Let them know how excited you are about the subject. Your excitement may be contagious!
- Public Speaking. You might have a student read an excerpt aloud from the document book and then discuss it, or you might schedule a debate on some topic. Your students could also read their essays to the group.
- Research. You might assign students to do additional research on a topic mentioned in a unit as a way to make the lessons more personal.
- Field Trips. By all means, if you are in a position to do so, schedule a field trip (ideally, with the parents coming also). This will help the material come alive more than just about anything else you could do. Our Homeschool History database can help you find destinations around the United States related to many different topics.