Exploring History

By Ray Notgrass

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Exploring History with Ray Notgrass offers background on what you hear in the news, shares stories from history that will enlighten and inspire you, and provides encouragement about homeschooling, family life, and your walk with God.

Episode Date
A Christian Trailblazer in Australia

Sir Douglas Nicholls was a leader among the aboriginal people of Australia in the 20th century. He was a star athlete, devoted Christian, leader in the campaign for civil rights, and the first member of the first nations of Australia to be appointed governor of a state. Sir Douglas Nicholls only stood 5 feet 2 inches tall, but in athletics, faith, civil rights, and politics, he was a giant of a man. 

Aug 09, 2022
Take a Little Here, Give a Little There: The Story of Reapportionment and Redistricting

In the latest Exploring History podcast, Ray Notgrass takes on the process of reapportionment of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the mysterious, sometimes comical, often frustrating, deeply political process known as redistricting of electoral districts. If you need a bit more light on these subjects, listen to Exploring History with Ray Notgrass.

Find more resources about redistricting and gerrymandering: https://app.homeschoolhistory.com/resource/1658853360045x762227376594878500

Jul 25, 2022
Going Where No One Had Gone Before

In 1958 the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S. Navy's Nautilus, made a daring journey underwater at the North Pole. That journey, led by Captain William Anderson, demonstrated American technology and boosted American prestige around the world. Hear the story of this history-making event.

Find more resources about the Nautilus: https://app.homeschoolhistory.com/resource/1657581028444x451442773055766500

Jul 12, 2022
July 4 and America

The Declaration of Independence and the American revolutionary movement began a story that is still being written. It’s a work in progress and likely always will be, just as we all are. Even so, the United States is unlike any other country in the history of the world.

This country has enabled greater political, personal, economic, and religious freedom and opportunity than any other country ever has. It has given people hope when they had none. It’s where millions of immigrants have wanted to come and where they have had successful new starts for themselves and their families.

July 4th, 2022, is the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Let's look at the meaning of that document and the meaning of our great nation.

Find additional resources about the 4th of July at Homeschool History: 

Jun 28, 2022
Why Study History?

Do you want to face today and tomorrow with hope? Then study the past. The way to where we are hasn’t come without a price, and there has certainly been loss, but much has happened that is right and good. We see countless examples of this in history, and we have a promise of the ultimate victory of right from the One who put this world into motion in the beginning.

You need to know history, and you need to make sure your children learn it. In this episode, Ray Notgrass shares five reasons why.

Jun 14, 2022
Homeschooling an American President: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt

Do you wonder if homeschooled children can succeed? Two parents who homeschooled their four lively children prove that they can succeed. They can even soar. One of them might even become president of the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and his wife, Martha, made a conscious decision to homeschool their children in the middle of the 19th century. They faced issues that parents face today. They cared deeply about their children’s spiritual lives. They were afraid that public school would be a negative influence on them. Three of their children had special health needs.

Listen to this podcast with Ray and Charlene Notgrass as they discuss how homeschooling helped to give President Theodore Roosevelt to America.

Find more resources about the Roosevelts at Homeschool History: https://app.homeschoolhistory.com/search?q=POTUS26

May 24, 2022
What's Happening with Our Economy?

On this episode of Exploring History, Ray Notgrass discusses some of the factors in our current economic situation: how we got here, where we are, and what might happen in the future. We hope to shed some light on a confusing and highly unusual situation.

Find videos about inflation, unemployment, and money at Homeschool History:

May 10, 2022
Understanding the Supreme Court

On this episode of Exploring History, we talk about the U.S. Supreme Court: what the Constitution says about it, the meaning of judicial review, and the debate between originalism and the idea of a living Constitution that changes meaning over time. We also talk about the importance of every American understanding what the Constitution actually says and what it doesn't say.

Alexis de Tocqueville commented that, in the United States, there is hardly a political question which does not, sooner or later, turn into an issue that winds up in the courts. When we examine issues that have come before the Supreme Court, we see that this has indeed been the case. Join Ray Notgrass as we look at the Supreme Court and how we can best understand its significance in American life.

Find more resources about the Supreme Court at Homeschool History: https://app.homeschoolhistory.com/search?q=GENERALUSSC

Apr 26, 2022
The Day the World Turned Upside Down

It was the day the world turned upside down. Why did the leaders of God’s people spit on the Son of God? What was the Son of God doing standing bound, being lied about by religious leaders, and facing interrogation by a pagan governor? Why was the Son of God hanging on a cross?

What happened that day had to happen. It had to happen because God in His power and mercy was making right all the things that had gone wrong. He was dealing with sin. He was reconciling man to Himself. He was demonstrating the power of a life submitted to the will of God when the world had rejected God. That is why the Christian world calls the day when the awful crucifixion of Christ took place Good Friday. It was terrible for Him, but it was good for us.

Apr 12, 2022
Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance

Explorers made this heroic journey over a century ago, but only recently has it found closure. Learn about the Antarctic voyage of the Endurance and its captain, Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Ernest Shackleton did not accomplish his original goal, but in dealing with the difficulties that occurred during his attempt, he showed remarkable skill, bravery, and leadership. Those are lessons we can still learn today.

Find more resources about Ernest Shackleton at Homeschool History: https://app.homeschoolhistory.com/resource/1647880427478x896868707794419700

Mar 22, 2022
Tragedy in Ukraine

The world is watching a war take place in the Eastern European country of Ukraine. It is the largest invasion of a country in Europe since World War II. The roots of this conflict go back hundreds of years, and the immediate sources of conflict span the 20th century. Let’s unravel this complex and heart-wrenching scenario.

Find more resources at Homeschool History: https://app.homeschoolhistory.com/resource/1646687330463x465809778803474400

Mar 08, 2022
Peace to This House

In the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus sent the seventy out to the cities to which He would be going, part of his instructions to them were, "Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house'" (Luke 10:5).

What a wonderful prayer this is for the homes in our world today: "Peace be to this house." That prayer strikes a deep chord in the hearts of every family, especially those who live with the burdens of strife and busyness within their walls. It’s what every family wants and needs: peace in their house. Many parents, and a lot of children, whisper some form of this request in their own prayers.

The world needs authentic Christians, not people who are charming churchgoers in public and at each other’s throats in private. The best place to develop authentic Christianity is in the home, where we are challenged to be like Jesus every day with the people we are closest to. It’s important to be absolutely honest about ourselves, and freely forgiving toward others.

After offering words of encouragement to families, host Ray Notgrass uses this opportunity to pay tribute to his big brother, Alan, who is celebrating his 75th birthday.

Feb 22, 2022
The Real-Life Hero Behind Uncle Tom's Cabin

He was the real-life inspiration for the title character in the most influential novel in 19th-century America, but his story is largely unknown. On today's episode we’ll learn more about this amazing, faithful, once-enslaved man.

Exploring America by Ray Notgrass is a one-year history, English, and Bible curriculum for high school students.

Find resources about Josiah Henson at Homeschool History:


Feb 08, 2022
How a Bill Really Becomes Law

How does Congress make laws? On today’s Exploring History we’ll investigate the official process but also some of what goes on behind the scenes in how Congress makes laws that affect you and me and our families.

Notgrass History publishes curriculum about government for middle school students (Uncle Sam and You) and high school students (Exploring Government).

Find resources related to Congress at Homeschool History:


Jan 25, 2022
Martin Luther King Jr.

He made America a better place–and he gave his life for doing so. On today's podcast, we'll look at the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how that legacy can help heal America today.


Ray mentions the Exploring America curriculum. High school students gain a rich understanding of our nation's past by reading the history narrative and primary source documents, reading classic American literature, completing writing assignments and hands-on projects, and studying what the Bible says about issues and ideas in history.

Homeschool History is a searchable database that helps families find high-quality videos, books, websites, games, and field trip destinations. Find resources related to Martin Luther King Jr.:


Jan 11, 2022
Exploring History with Ray Notgrass Trailer

Notgrass History is starting a new podcast in January, and we want you to be a part of it. Join host Ray Notgrass for a journey into the news of the day, inspiring stories from history, and encouragement about homeschooling, family life, and your walk with God. Join us for our first episode on Tuesday, January 11th.

The Exploring History Podcast is brought to you by Notgrass History and Homeschool History.


Dec 22, 2021