Today's Wisdom

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

TOS Review: Excellence in Literature: Introduction to Literature


Introduction to Literature is a college-preparatory literature and composition course recommended for high school.  You may learn more about the literature was chosen for Excellence in Literature in this blog post.  

My 8th grader reviewed this product and we did not make it very far in before realizing it was just way over his head.  There was honestly no way we could continue without much frustration and he has had enough of that this year already!  So, if you have an advanced child in middle school this may work for you but it was not the right time for us.


By the end of the course, students will:

  • Understand the process of writing, including the use of tools such as a writer’s handbook, dictionary, and thesaurus.
  • Have specific understanding of selected representative texts by major authors of the periods studied.
  • Have a general understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the works.
  • Be able to analyze literary texts and present thoughtfully developed ideas in writing.
  • Demonstrate competence in essay organization, style, and mechanics.
    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
Note: Books listed in the table of contents above are focus texts only. Context readings are assigned within each unit.

What's Special About Excellence in Literature?

  • Carefully-chosen great books increase cultural literacy.
  • Self-directed courses encourage independent learning.
  • College-style syllabus helps to prepare students for university academic experiences.
  • Week-by-week lesson plans make it easy to know what to do when.
  • Honors Option provides motivated students the opportunity to earn advanced placement or college credit.
  • Evaluation rubric makes grading simple.
  • Carefully designed end-of-semester evaluation reports provide a detailed snapshot of progress.
  • Context readings provide in-depth understanding of literature in its historical and artistic context.
  • Students will be introduced to books they'll never forget.
Overall, although we didn't make it very far this time, this is a curriculum we will shelve for the future.  I love the fact that links are giving to the the context readings required and that it is student directed.  

You can purchase Excellence in Literature in both e-book and print forms.  I personally think print form would have been easier in this curriculum for me.  The e-book is $27 and the print book is $29 + 4.95 priority mail shipping.  Both can be purchased here.  The complete curriculum set for grades 8-12 is available for $139 + shipping in print form and $134 in e-book form.


Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of Excellence In Literature and how they incorporated it into their homeschool.

**Disclaimer: I received a free e-book in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a very comprehensive program, I'll keep it in mind for when my girls are older.


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