Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homeschooling High School: American Literature/Writing

I have confessed in the past that I do not make my children diagram sentences. While I do think that knowing the different parts of speech and how to use them well, I don't feel that spending years diagramming sentences is time well spent. What I do want them to learn to do and be able to do it well, is write. Writing is something you have to do well to succeed in college. Every class that I took had papers that were required (except for Math.) Every day in the "real world" you have to write something whether it is an email to a friend or colleague, a Thank You card, or a Blog Post ;). This year, Chelsea will be in 10th grade and one of the biggest things I want her to focus on is Writing.

I was looking for a Literature Program that had a good amount of writing to go with the reading. I also wanted something that was written for the student so she would be able to work through it herself. I read some recommendations and reviews for Excellence in Literature and decided that was just what we were looking for. We chose to do their American Literature course this year. I am very impressed with how thorough the program is. The goals of the program are to:



  • Introduce students to great literature from Western literary tradition.

  • Teach students to read with discernment.

  • Train independent, self motivated learners.

  • Provide tools that students can use to strengthen writing skills.

  • Introduce students to online and off line research.

  • Prepare students for college classes by expecting carefully researched, well though out material to be presented in standard format.


For each kind of paper the student is expected to write, there is an example of that type of paper. There also is an evaluation rubric in the back of the book to aid in parents evaluating the students writing. There are additional reading/writing assignments included for those interested in earning Honors Credit.


I found this program to be very affordable at only $29 for a one year course. I was able to find all but two of the necessary books for free in ebook format from www.gutenberg.org and loaded them all on our family Pandigital Novel (e reader.) I look forward to Chelsea starting this program in August and will give you more information on how it's going once we start our new school year.

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