Exploring America

Complete High School U.S. History Curriculum

 Curriculum PackageAre you looking for a U.S. history curriculum for your high school student that is complete and easy to use? Exploring America is a one-year course centered in God's Word that equips your student to better understand our country and his or her place in it.

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High School Credit

Author Ray Notgrass designed the curriculum for students to use successfully anytime in high school--9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, or 12th grade. It combines the flexibility and richness of a literature-based unit study approach with the simplicity of a textbook-based approach.

Daily lessons guide your student chronologically through the history of the United States, highlighting key events, people, and places. With the lessons already planned, your student can use the curriculum independently.

If you use the course as written, your student can earn one year of credit in three high school subjects: American History, English, and Bible. However, the course is flexible, so you can adjust the assignments as needed to fit your student's schedule and needs.

  • The American History credit involves reading the lessons and the original documents and speeches, and answering the questions in the optional Student Review Pack if desired.
  • The English credit involves completing several writing assignments, including one research paper; reading the poems and short stories in American Voices; and reading the assigned literature.
  • The Bible credit involves reading the Bible lessons, completing the Bible assignments at the end of many lessons, and reading the hymns and other religious literature in American Voices.

What's Included

The Exploring America Curriculum Package includes everything you need for a successful study.

  • Two beautiful hardbound books feature narrative lessons with hundreds of colorful photographs and historic illustrations.
  • Primary source documents (letters, speeches, short stories, and poetry) reveal what people were thinking and feeling in the past.
  • Weekly project ideas include a writing assignment and two other creative assignments such as building a model, cooking, taking a field trip, or volunteering.
  • Literature reading and Bible study assignments are part of the English and Bible credits.

We suggest twelve literature titles that coordinate with the lessons and enhance your student's understanding of each time period. We also offer optional review activities and tests.

Watch our intro video and keep reading to learn how the curriculum works, see sample lessons, and read what parents are saying.

Quick Overview

Designed to be easy to use for parent and student, each of the 30 weekly units in Exploring America has an introduction that features a summary of the material covered, a list of lessons, books required for that unit, and ideas for a unit project. Each of the 150 daily lessons (five lessons per week) includes the history text and the additional assignments for that day.

Exploring America presents history from the perspective of faith in God and respect for His Word. Each unit includes a Bible study highlighting spiritual issues related to history. It is comprehensive, giving students a survey of events and issues from European exploration to the war on terror, with extensive coverage of the 20th century.

If you prefer a video overview, watch author Ray Notgrass explain how the components work together as he walks you through a sample unit from the curriculum.

What's In the Curriculum Package

The Exploring America Curriculum Package includes these three books:

    Exploring America Part 1

    Exploring America Part 1

    This book has 75 lessons for the first semester. It covers American history from European exploration and colonization to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

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    Exploring America Part 2

    Exploring America Part 2

    This book has 75 lessons for the second semester. It covers American history from the late 1800s to the 21st century.

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    American Voices

    American Voices

    This collection of historic documents, letters, speeches, essays, hymns, poems, and short stories adds a rich perspective to the lessons.

    Look Inside


Optional Resources

We offer an optional Student Review Pack to help measure your student's understanding of the material. We also offer a literature package and an audio supplement with the lessons read aloud.

    Exploring America Student Review Pack

    Student Review Pack

    The Student Review book includes lesson review questions, literature review questions, and literary analysis. The Quiz and Exam Book has weekly quizzes and six exams. The Answer Key has all of the answers for the parent to use in grading.

    Look Inside

    Exploring America Literature Package

    Literature Package

    This package includes the twelve biographies and historical novels that we recommend for the course.

    From Adam to Us Audio Supplement

    Audio Supplement

    The Exploring America Supplement is great for busy families, siblings learning together, auditory learners, and students with special needs. It does not replace the printed curriculum but is intended to be used alongside it. The audio recordings contain the full text of each lesson, except for the list of lesson assignments at the end.


What the Lessons Are Like

Exploring America is divided into 30 chronological units with five lessons each. Your student can complete the curriculum in one year by doing one lesson per day for 150 days during your school year.

Your student can read the daily lessons and follow the instructions independently. You as the parent can be involved as much or as little as you desire.

Reading one lesson will take about 20 minutes per day. At the end of each lesson is a list of assignments. Depending primarily on how fast your student reads, he or she may need a total of two to three hours per day to complete the additional readings and work on the weekly project.

See Sample Lessons


Watch author Ray Notgrass explain how the components of Exploring America work together as he walks you through a sample unit from the curriculum.

Exploring America Literature PackageWe recommend twelve works of literature that complement the lessons in Exploring America. These books are not essential for understanding the lessons, but each one adds a valuable perspective on a different time period.

Reading the literature is part of earning the English credit. If your student has already read one of the assigned books, or you want to choose a different book for any reason, you can substitute a different book.

Part 1

  • Units 2-3: The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
  • Units 6-7: Narrative of the Life of David Crockett (David Crockett)
  • Unit 8: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Frederick Douglass)
  • Units 9-11: Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
  • Units 12-13: Co. Aytch (Sam Watkins)
  • Unit 15: Humorous Stories and Sketches (Mark Twain)

Part 2

  • Units 16-17: In His Steps (Charles Sheldon)
  • Unit 18: Up From Slavery (Booker T. Washington)
  • Unit 19: Mama's Bank Account (Kathryn Forbes)
  • Units 20-21: Miracle in the Hills (Mary T. Martin Sloop and LeGette Blythe)
  • Units 22-23: To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • Unit 27: The Giver (Lois Lowry)


Read sample lessons and see sample pages from the Student Review Pack with these PDF files.

Table of Contents / Introduction

Part 1

Part 2

American Voices

Student Review Pack

Guide for Parents and Answer Key

Audio Sample - Lesson 96


Excited About History

"I have homeschooled our 14-year-old son for 6 years now, and he has never been as excited about history as he is now! Your curriculum and products are truly a blessing to our family!" (California)

Surpassed My Expectations

"I anticipated it being wonderful, and it has surpassed my expectations. In addition to completing the course, my son has passed the CLEP tests for American History I and II. He interacted with the issues using Scripture in this course, with great focus on what was happening spiritually in America amidst other events. The value of that is much greater than the college credit earned!" (Texas)

Easy to Read

"[My daughter] is using your American History curriculum and absolutely loves it! She says she likes it because it is easy to read (not dry) and doesn't just give you the facts about history, it tells you about the people and politics that lead up to events in history. She loves to read the speeches and documents that go along with it too." (Pennsylvania)

Enabled Me to Feel Confident

"I was very thankful to find a history curriculum that looked at history from God's perspective. I especially like the Bible study that is included in each unit because it really shows the student God's perspective on what man was doing during that time period. This curriculum has enabled me to feel confident that my daughter is getting a good education but not one that is boring and dry." (Oregon)

Ray and Charlene NotgrassRay Notgrass is a follower of Jesus and a veteran homeschooling father. He met his wife, Charlene, at Middle Tennessee State University in the political science department. After graduating they were married in 1974. Ray went on to earn master's degrees in history and New Testament. Ray and Charlene are lifelong history lovers and began writing homeschool curriculum in 1999. They enjoy classic literature, traveling together, and spending time with their children and grandchildren.


Exploring America Purchase Options

Are you ready to experience all that Exploring America has to offer? Order today with confidence. If you are not satisfied for any reason, we offer a full money-back guarantee.

​Use the product links below to order online or call 1-800-211-8793. If you have any questions about choosing the right options for your child, please call, text, or email us.

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