Saturday, October 29, 2011

Excellence in Literature

Excellence in Literature by Everyday Education

I just love to read!  I love books!  I love reading CLASSIC books! I want to give my children that same LOVE of books and reading!   Can you sense my excitement for this product?

A description from their website:
"Have you always wanted to read the Great Books? Now is your chance! With Excellence in Literature, you and your student can enjoy reading, understanding, and analyzing the greatest literature of all time. Excellence in Literature presents a feast of great literature along with the context information you need in order to fully understand it. "

Ok, I'm hooked! 

I was thrilled when I received by Ebook copy of Excellence in Literature: Reading and Writing through the Classics - just $27 (Print copies are available for $29 plus shipping).

Not long after graduating from college, I read an interesting newpaper article with a "list" of the books to have read if you were "educated".  I eagerly scanned the list, excited to see how many I had read (my love of books has been lifelong...) I was DEVASTATED to realize - even after a college degree, that I hadn't read even a fraction of that list!  That article inspired me to make sure that my children (and me as well) didn't get all the way through college and realize that we hadn't read enough classic literature to be considered "educated" - plus - I was motivated to learn all the treasures I had missed along the way.

Now that you have a peek into my literature philosophy, let me tell you how that relates to Excellence in Literature: Reading and Writing through the Classics.   I now have the means and a powerful teaching tool to introduce my children to classic literature (remember, I haven't read all of these yet!).  Janice Campbell has done the work of evaluating which books, and putting together all the "extras" that round out the learning process.  See how she picked the literature choices here.

Here's a description of the course, directly from them:
"The literature-based unit format of Excellence in Literature offers students the opportunity to grow thoroughly familiar with some of the greatest writers and literary works of all time. There are nine four-week units in each level.

Study and writing for each unit is centered around a full-length focus text— a novel, play, or poem— chosen for its significance to the period of literature being studied. A reasonable number of context works, including poetry, short biographies, art, music, videos, and online resources, are selected to enhance the student’s understanding of the focus text, its author, and the literary period in which it was created.

There is an emphasis on the analytical essay, which offers the opportunity to perfect the standard writing process of planning, drafting, and revising. Shorter assignments in various forms will round out each unit. "

My tester at Bentz Laboratory is an 8th grade student, who is a lover of literature (even classics, especially classics).  His comment - "When can I get started?"

Here's what I love the most - this is a SELF-DIRECTED course - it encourages your student to independent learning.  The lesson plans help you know what to do, and when (but all the time consuming research work is done for you - including context reading for the historical periods!).  There are also "Honors" selections for your student to earn advanced placement credit.  Best of all for you the teacher - Evaluation Rubrics to help you grade their work!

Here's the books you will be reading - I love how many of these are really "boy friendly"!

Unit 1: Short Stories by-
• Sarah Orne Jewett: A White Heron
• Edgar Allen Poe: The Purloined Letter (This one is not scary, if you're concerned about that.)
• Guy de Maupassant: The Diamond Necklace
• O. Henry: The Ransom of Red Chief
• Eudora Welty: A Worn Path
• James Thurber: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Unit 2: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Honors: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Unit 3: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
Honors: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
Unit 4: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Honors: Shirley or Villette by Charlotte Brontë
Unit 5: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Honors: Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot
Unit 6: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Honors: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unit 7: Animal Farm by George Orwell
Honors: 1984 by George Orwell
Unit 8: The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Honors: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Unit 9: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Honors: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Get a Free Sample Unit here.

Other levels are available: You may order Introduction to Literature, Literature & Composition, American Literature, British Literature and World Literature

I'm thrilled to have found the "perfect" literature program for us to take us from 8th grade to graduation.  And, I know my student won't see one of those "lists" and feel like they missed out!

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.


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