We just completed Unit 2 of Excellence in Literature :: English I: Introduction to Literature (Honors Option). We went with the PDF downloadable version, so I’ve been printing out the text as we go. The first 20ish pages were an in depth description of what we were to do. They were written to the student – very helpful!
I enjoyed reading through the personal letter that Janice Campbell sent with the PDF Files, explaining how she chose the books, what’s special about Excellence in Literature and who she is. I was glad to see that she “homeschooled 4 sons from pre-school to college with an educational philosophy most closely aligned with the Charlotte Mason and Thomas Jefferson schools of thought.” From here on out – with the curriculum that we purchase, I am going to be double checking that folks with the same teaching -kids with the same learning – style have used and recommended the product. It helps, that she is the one who wrote it. And, she must understand boys!
She also must understand my Big Picture brain, as her information wasn’t tailored to this one year’s of text, but to the entire study, all five years worth. She created a very easy to read guide of all of the unit texts from E1 to E5. Introduction to Literature, Literature and Composition, American Literature, British Literature and World Literature. Although she provides several links to free downloads, MP3’s and even some videos – I have been taking the list to any used book stores I go to to ask if they have one. I think it would make for an excellent bookshelf!
So for the past few weeks, we did a little bit out of Unit 1, and then Nate wanted to jump to Unit 2. We both really enjoyed A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett. It was fun to learn to write an approach paper; she gives very simple instructions and examples. I really enjoyed Nate’s narration back to me of the entire story. I could tell that he really enjoyed the details of it, and was surprised as I at the ending. We were both glad for how it turned out!
I want to go back these upcoming weeks and finish the rest of the Short Stories. For this one, I printed it out on paper. I may download a couple to Nate’s iPod, or just print them. I’ll see what he likes best. I have learned to really love the freedom of having an entire library at my fingertips, in my hand, at any event, day or night, but he still seems to be less distracted with just black and white paper.
Unit 2 was Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, or Honors 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We have listened to the book on tape of this work, and have watched the newer slapstick version of it with Jackie Chan. For a couple of weeks, we watched the PBS Version that is 3 videos long.
We kept an ongoing list of the characters and places and worked through the assignments as we went. I couldn’t find Nate’s list this morning for a photo, but his looks similar to mine with a few drawings of skateboards, zombies and dragons. Oh. And slightly less exact handwriting. Ha.
Keeping such a list with pencil to paper, I think helped us pay closer attention. When we listened to it on tape, the boys would drift off a bit. If we used video to take in another work of literature, I think we will do it fairly the same way. I did find Nate’s Author Profile. I was a little disappointed, for after he did his research on the author, realized that he really loved quite a few of Jules Verne’s works, he went on and on verbally of how he liked the science fiction, adventure, boyish stories in detail as to the why. When he wrote his paragraph, he only wrote one sentence, then wrote a tiny bit more. We’ll work on relaying that narration to pencil a bit more. Maybe even use a recording device.
So there ya have it – I really have enjoyed the rich time we’ve had in the Introduction to Literature by Excellence in Literature, Reading and Writing Through the Classics Unit 1 and 2. I received the entire year’s PDF file as a This Old Schoolhouse Crew Member for free in exchange for this review – and I am so glad that I get to share this with you! We will continue on with this program! So far, there isn’t anything further that you have to purchase, she has links to PDF files of all of the works. A list of the objectives and all of the works are on her website, Everyday Education – http://www.everyday-education.com/literature/eng1.shtml . The print book is $29.95 plus 4.95 shipping and handling, the e-book is $27.00. I would suggest you purchase the book, as it is quite a large work, and it would be cost effective to pay the extra $7.00. On their website you may browse through all five of the levels, see a free sample unit (Focus Text-A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain or Honors Text-The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain), read positive reviews by Cathy Duffy, and hear from Andrew Pudewa of the Institute for Excellence in Writing who co-published the American and British levels. They also offer a bundled pkg of all five levels for $135 Ebook or $139.00 + Shipping for paper. Again, I think it would be worth the shipping!