I know we aren’t supposed to do too much literary analysis in a CM education. But is there something out there that is somewhat CM friendly? and affordable, if possible?MonicaParticipant
I’ve really liked the look of Illuminating Literature and am considering it for when my oldest is in high school. It features quality literature, is flexible and relaxed, is from a Christian worldview, and is good alone or in a co-op setting.
That’s all I can say about it, though. I haven’t used it. I just made a note to look at it in a year or two when my oldest is ready.2Corin57Participant
Not to derail, but does CM not recommend literature analysis in ANY grade, or just the younger grades? May I ask why not?
I confess, I’ve always felt like a black sheep because I despise literature analysis. I hate tearing apart pieces of literature, seeking for hidden meaning, this and that. I far prefer literature to be for enjoyment. But then I always felt that was wrong, because analysis is supposed to create “thinking”.jenni33Participant
If my understanding is correct, there is no formal analysis at all. But I’m new to this as well, and feel like we have to analyze everything to death. But we are using literature for enjoyment and it’s going well. I’m having a hard time tearing away from that traditional idea that literature has to be dissected.
If I had to choose a literature program, I would say that Brave Writer would be best. It is very CM friendly in the elementary and middle school years. I’m not sure about the high school years, but you could check into that.
Another program would be Blackird & Co. It’s not completely CM, but it’s analysis is very light. I think they have high school guides.
I don’t believe Charlotte recommended any literary analysis. I think literary analysis is a useless and contrived study. Sure, one can practice critical thinking skills but that can be done in other, much more productive ways. The only reason to do literary analysis IMO is to prep for college. I plan on covering literary analysis at some point but it will not be a big focus in our home school.HollySParticipant
We are using this guide for LOTR next year. We haven’t used a lit guide at this point, but I really wanted something to give us ideas to discuss the book. There are about 5 reproducible pages for each Hobbit & LOTR book and a few activities to go with each. I’ll pick and choose a few of the activities, but I don’t want to overdo it.
Glencoe has lots of free guides as well, but I really wanted one from a Christian perspective for LOTR. I may use one or two of these just for some discussion questions. Like Melanie, I do want them to be prepared for literature analysis in college. While I don’t think we need to pick apart every book, I don’t see anything wrong with a bit of discussion or learning how to write a literary analysis paper.
I think I was a bit too forceful. 😉 I was responding to the question about Charlotte’s recommendation for literature analysis.
To the original question, my thoughts would be to use a couple of individual book studies and maybe do one a year? That’s what I’m leaning towards for my daughter. Another option would be to buy a year long study and just do one book a year from that. I know Bookworm ( a well respected former poster here) really liked Lightning Literature lit studies. This way lit analysis will be covered but not overdone.
Another option would be to use short stories for lit analysis. That would keep the subject short and sweet. 🙂
Thank you all for your responses. I guess more specifically what I was asking is that if I were to do a few book studies during high school, are there any that are somewhat CM friendly? I’ve heard of Illuminating Literature, Blackbird & Co., Lightning Literature, Excellence in Literature, 7sisters, and a few others, but haven’t looked at them very closely. So I was wondering if any of them are somewhat CM friendly in not being over-kill and without a lot of busywork.
I downloaded the free Anne of Green Gables study guide from the 7sisters store and I wasn’t impressed at all. It was just…meh. I like the looks of Progeny Press better but I hate the price. If I did one study a year it would add up to nearly $100 for 4 book studies-a little overpriced IMO.
I think I will probably go with Lightning Literature or Illuminating Literature. That way I’ll only need one guide for all of highschool and I can pick and choose from the books studied each year. I’ll just skip anything I consider busy work and focus on the parts that I find relevant.
Thank you Melanie. I like your ideas about using 1 guide spread out over a few years, or maybe just once.
So I downloaded the free Anne of Green Gables guide, and it just made me sad. I completely understand now the CM view on literature analysis. That was a book that was magical to me when I was young, and still kind of is. Dissecting it like that would ruin it for my girls. Comprehension questions just kind of seem insulting.
I do want them to be prepared for college, and to think somewhat critically about literature, especially world views, etc. There has to be a better way though. I know Sonya suggested asking for deeper thinking in narrations at that point, but I feel like I would need something more specific.
I just remembered that Glencoe provids free literature guides online. I went to their website and their lit guides look just as good as lightning lit to me. I like them much better than 7sisters or Illuminating Literature (too wordy). I also like the fact that they have LOTS of books to choose from so your student can pick his/her own books to analyze. Here’s a link:
I still don’t think that a ton of lit analysis is necessary. You could just wait until a student’s junior or senior year and cover one book this way, briefly. Many, many students have little to no experience with lit analysis and still go on to do very well in college.RobinPParticipant
Well, I’m going to throw this out there. Please take it with a grain of salt and understand that I am in no way trying to discourage anyone from using a guide for literary analysis. I have only one example from which to make my case. ?
My oldest son graduated from our homeschool in 2009 after being CM homeschooled his whole life. He’s an engineer. When he went to college he had done absolutely no formal literary analysis at all and almost no formal grammar. Right before he graduated, I whipped out one of his narrations, told him to find three points he could tell me more about, narrate more about them in three paragraphs, tack on an introduction and conclusion and, bam, a five paragraph essay. End of formal writing instruction.
He had never taken a standardized test so was very anxious about the ACT. I told him to go in, get his feet wet, and take it again after he had experience. He did VERY well (don’t remember his exact score) but blew the language arts section out of the water, even better than math/science.
He was pretty nervous entering his English classes in college, though he did very well. But toward the end of the second semester, he came home for the weekend laughing hilariously. He said each time they wrote a paper, the prof chose what he considered to be the best in the class. He said, “This is the third time he’s chosen mine.” The prof asked him to stay after class. This was the conversation.
Prof- “Where did you go to school?”
John- “I was homeschooled.”
Prof- “Was your mom a college English professor or something? I’ve never had a student who could get into a piece of literature and express himself the way you do.”
John- “No, we just read a lot.”
We were both laughing hilariously because we KNEW we did NONE of the things usually thought of as essential to success in those areas. Except reading and narrating and having great discussions.
He actually had similar conversations with several of his professors in many of his classes, not only in English.
I’m not trying to brag…at all. We’re just extra normal. It just demonstrated TO ME FOR MY FAMILY that Charlotte really knew what she was talking about. Others may feel more comfortable with a formal guide to help them along. But I just wanted to give our experience in case it is helpful.
And that’s the end of my way-longer-than-a-five-paragraph-essay… ☺️
Love, love, love this Robin! I was hoping a more experienced mom would chime in! Thank you so much for sharing your son’s experience. How encouraging!
Robin-now I am very curious to hear more about how you homeschooled highschool. What curriculum did you use-besides Truthquest for history?
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