Since its release in 2010, America the Beautiful has provided homeschooling families with engaging lessons, beautiful illustrations, and a variety of activities for different learning styles. The core philosophy and methodology remain the same.
In the first edition of America the Beautiful, some units had two lessons of the same type (Our American Story, God’s Wonders, Daily Life, American Landmark, and American Biography). In the second edition, we changed the focus of some lessons and swapped out others so that each unit has one of each of these types of lessons. We also tried to standardize the length of each lesson.
With access to a broader selection of high-quality historical images and photographs, and with more experience in graphic design, we made significant changes to the layout to further enhance the learning experience.
After updating Exploring America in 2014 and releasing Our Star-Spangled Story in 2018, we also wanted to make sure we covered certain people and topics in at least one of our American history courses. Part 1 of America the Beautiful covers basically the same material at the same pace as the first edition, with some changes. In Part 2, we took out five lessons from the first few units to make room for additional lessons at the end.
Finally, we changed two literature titles. We chose Growing Up Dakota, a compilation of material written by a 19th-century Dakota man that we republished, to replace Sign of the Beaver. And since we featured Katy as one of the literature titles in Our Star-Spangled Story, the sequel Katy’s Box is featured in the new edition of America the Beautiful.
Because of the changes, you are not able to use any of the new books with the old books. The consumable books for the 1st edition are available for purchase as digital downloads.