The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Everyday Education–Excellence in Literature

Excellence in Literature

Excellence in Literature

Reading and Writing Through the Classics

Introduction to Literature

by Janice Campbell

Age Range: 8th grade and up

Published by: Everyday Education

Available for $27.00 for e-book or  $29.00 + $4.95 shipping for print book


     Reading and Writing Through the Classics,  Introduction to Literature, is  the first in the series of Excellence in Literature. It is a college preparatory literature and composition course.  Students will practice close literary analysis using various focus works and context readings. They will begin to understand the process of writing and be able to analyze written works. They will  also learn the process of writing an essay.

     There are  9 units contained within Introduction to Literature. Each unit is 4 weeks long, for a total of 36 weeks. It is a year long high school level course. An Honors Track is also included. Each chapter is written directly to the student. A “Formats and Models” chapter is included so the student can see concrete examples of what the assignments should look like. Students are provided a grading rubric so they can self-correct their writing before turning it in to the parent. A parent then uses the grading rubric to consistently and fairly grade their student. MLA format is taught for all papers.

  According to the Everyday Education website, the course covers:

  • 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.


ClarkClan Thoughts

     Sarah (14) has been working through this course. I have been very impressed with the caliber of work that she has produced so far. She enjoys the short stories and book she has read in the first two units. I like that the work is tailored to her, I just need to grade it after she is done. The grading rubric for parents is a tremendous help. I can objectively go through her papers, looking for certain elements and structure. This is very helpful, especially in giving her feedback to improve her writing.

     This is a very thorough course that has intrigued me. I love the idea of literary analysis, but had not known how to teach it. This solves that problem. I like the idea of Sarah learning how analyze what she is reading, putting it into the proper context and exploring in depth plot, characterization, setting and all other things that make a piece of literature great.

    Sarah enjoys Introduction to Literature. I think her enjoyment is pivotal to the success of the course. She likes the way the assignments are broken down into different weeks. Most importantly, she is enjoying what she is reading. You can tell by her writing papers that she enjoys what she had read.  The book she is working on now, Around the World in 80 Days, she has read before, but I know she is getting more out of the book because of the analysis she is required to do. When I asked Sarah what her favorite part of the course was she said, “The Formats and Models section is great. I can quickly look up what I am supposed to include  and how I am to style each paper.”

     Reading and Writing Through the Classics,  Introduction to Literature is the first course in the Excellence in Literature series. There are five books available in the series. This will take you from 8th grade through high school. Visit the Everyday Education website to read more about the different products that are offered.


     There were many other TOS Homeschool Crew members who reviewed this product. Visit the Crew Blog and read what they thought of the writing course.

As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received Excellence in Literature, Introduction to Literature for free from Everyday Education, in exchange for my honest review of their product.

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