Over here we homeschool in a pretty eclectic fashion. Lots of reading, loosely following the Charlotte Mason style.
One thing I struggled with; knowing that I have needed to improve, was our study of literature. We read and talk about the books, but I am not so good at creating writing assignments, nor have the older kids been the best at completing them. We are a very well read family, but it just felt like there was something missing…… I just kept thinking back to my own public high school classes and feeling like I was missing the mark somehow.
I am now pleased to tell you……. I have found the answer. Excellence in Literature by Janice Campbell is that “thing” I have been looking for to tie it all together. It is one of many great tools available from Everyday Education.
I received this book as a download and it has been a blessing to have it in that format. It can be read on a laptop in the living room, on a Kindle in the bedroom, and on the computer in the kitchen for reference. I also printed it out double sided and placed it in a three ring binder so my oldest could take it with him to his Radio Broadcast class and work on it in his down time.
Created to be used with Jr.High through High School students and as a College Preparatory class, EIL begins at the beginning. The first twenty-eight pages cover a variety of topics; from the introduction to the chapter on How to Read a Book, Excellence in Literature presents a concise list of objectives that will help put any anxious high school parent at ease. The goal is to facilitate independent learning in the last years of school so that the student is well prepared for most anything they will come across in College.
It includes great guidelines to help parents with evaluating the written product of their students; along with many additional resources to enrich the reading of the book. There is also an Honors course built right in, and they say that you should be able to CLEP any one of the following tests to earn college credit: Freshman Composition, English Composition with Essay, or the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature.
We worked our way through Unit 2 which covered the book, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. We have enjoyed the links provided to enrich the book reading experience and are waiting for our reserved copy of the movie to arrive at the library so we can wrap up the lesson. At the end of this week we will have finished a very nice 500+ word essay regarding Passepartout and his antics. (I am trying to talk my son into letting me post his essay when he has finished it….. )
Overall, we enjoyed the schedule, layout and assignment suggestions that were provided. There was no hemming and hawing from Evan (my Senior in High School and chief tester for this review) just here is the assignment and here is when it is done. He felt independent, and I didn’t have to plan or prepare much.
This curriculum is very reasonably priced at $27.00 for the downloadable version and $33.95 (including shipping) for the print version. Nearly every book on the reading list can be found at a library, or via a Kindle public domain copy, making the curriculum even more appealing to those who homeschool on a budget.
I was very pleased with the product and I intend to use it with my younger children as they go through the Jr. and Sr. High grades.
Please stop by Everyday Education and view their many other resources. There are five volumes of Excellence in Literature available. I am confident you will find something that you can implement in the Junior and Senior High School years with your family.
Several other families reviewed this curriculum. Please take the time to visit their blogs and see how it worked for them. You can find a link over at the TOS Homeschool Crew page.
Everyday Education provided the selected members of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew with a complimentary copy of their curriculum, Excellence in Literature. It was provided for the purpose of this review. No other compensation has been received. All of the above opinions are our own and we are not obligated to furnish only a positive review. If the product was not a fit for our family, we will be sure to let you know.