As the high school years drew closer, I know that I would need to include a literature class. I honestly was all in knots trying to figure out which one would be the best one for Isaiah. Well, God made it much easier for me when he made the opportunity arise for us to review Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide from Writing with Sharon Watson.
For so long I thought I would just require that Isaiah read some classic books and call it good. But then I was reminded that Lit Class was more than just reading, it was actually understanding the meaning behind the books. Thank goodness for Sharon Watson, she makes Lit Class much more enjoyable!
The Teacher’s Guide is a thorough and well laid out guide for any teacher. It is a glossy covered paperback book, with a beautiful eye catching image on the front cover. It has the lesson plans for each book, it is suggested that each book take about 4 weeks to complete. There is a full list of tasks to finish with each week. This is only the layout for the first book…each book may vary in how the weeks are done.
- For instance, the beginning of the class there are four lessons to be completed, this would be Week 1.
- Then you begin reading the first book in the class, Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain, the first set of chapters suggested, this would be Week 2.
- The continuing chapters of the book need to be read for Week 3.
- At last, there is an activity that will need to be done for the follow up of the book, finishing lessons listed, hand in your activity, and this would be Week 4.
The activities listed for each book are listed after the end of lessons, if the book being read has activities. Some books listed for this class do not have activities.
The lessons include discussion of the books, vocabulary words learned in the book, conflict, literary terms, and so much more.
The Student Book is an incredible detailed book for the student in this Literature Class. It is also a glossy covered paperback book with the same image as the Teacher’s Guide. From what we have done so far in the course, I have determined that this could very much be a self led course for a motivated student.
This class is so much more than just reading a book. With this Student Book the student is brought along with a slow tether while in the midst of reading the suggested book. It asks pointed questions about the language being used in the stories, it talks about the genre of the stories, it also points out fun facts about the authors. Including sometimes a link to a fun video for the student to watch.
The Novel Notebook is a wonderfully handy tool for this class! This is a PDF that is offered for print at home. This Novel Notebook is not required but it is useful for the class. It has a fun and youthful slant in the fonts that are used as well as it is bright and colorful.
It is designed to be used while the student is reading the story. It has space for favorite passages, questions about certain characters, and the best part (for Isaiah) is the “What I liked about the book” and the “Not so crazy about this” sections. It makes reading the stories much more “his” and as a teen, it is always nice to be asked your opinion.
The Quiz and Answer Manual has three specific sections
- The “Yes, I read it” Quiz
- The Literary Terms Quiz
- Opinion Survey
The quizzes are not perforated for removal and the answers are listed in the very back of the book. The quizzes ask detailed questions and require knowledge of the book. These quizzes are also able to be taken online with all results emailed to the teacher of the class.
We were also blessed to receive Puddn’head Wilson by Mark Twain as well as War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells as part of our review.
Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide is written for Christian high schools, homeschools and co-ops. This is a literature course that is 70 lessons, so once completed, it can be counted as one full credit for Language Arts/English. There will be a total of 44 literary terms taught over the course of the 2 semesters. The seven novels and one memoir covered in this class (literature books sold separately), includes:
- Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
- The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
- The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West
- Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie
- Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
How This Worked for Us
This is a course that I knew Isaiah would enjoy. And I was correct. He loves to read and having something new to read has been a challenge as well as an adventure. He “loves the way that Sharon teaches the class” and he is “looking forward to reading books that he has only heard about.” He is especially looking forward to reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
As I have read through the Teacher’s Guide, Isaiah has been following along in his Student Book. I give a gentle nudge on Monday to get him going for the week. After we have a sit down to discuss what is on the weekly plan, he is required to do the work listed in his student book and complete the required reading. We have a follow up session at the end of the week for me to make sure he is staying on course. And if the lesson calls for discussion, we have a mini gab fest.
We are just now finishing up Puddn’head Wilson this week, and he is already looking forward to getting into War of the Worlds.
I have found that the way the Sharon brings the class together is a rather pleasing take on literature. Isaiah and I both like that she makes literature less of a chore and more of a relaxed, fun class. It has been an enjoyable class and we look forward to reading the other books listed for this class. Some, I have never read either, so it will be fun to get into them together and that way we both garner the true meaning of the stories.
I remember taking Literature Class in high school and it was never as fun as this course. I am excited that my teenager has the opportunity to see literature as fun instead of a “must-do” class.
See what my fellow Review Crew had to say about Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide:
I hope you enjoyed the latest review that we have done and that you visit again soon!
In His Grace.
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