Excellence in Literature is quite an impressive program. It is a college preparatory course of study for students in grades 8-12. It's focus is reading and writing through the classics. Here are some of the books (the first unit is short stories) that are studied:
- Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
Excellence in Literature immerses students in the classics. It teaches them how to think analytically about what is being read. In other words, it teaches the "how" and the "why" of literature. Not only do they read the book, they are also encouraged to listen to music the author may have listened to, read poems from the time period, look at art history books that show art from that time, and even watch movies made about the book. Janice Campbell has designed a thorough and enjoyable curriculum!
Excellence in Literature is written for independent use. It has specific instruction, an assignment schedule, references needed, and necessary resources and links. It also includes an outline of the course, models of the papers and evaluation information. Each level of EIL has nine units that are to be completed in four brief, but intense weeks, but it can be adapted to your needs. There is also an optional honors track.
The Writing Objectives for Excellence in Literature are as follows:
- Introduce students to great literature from the western literary tradition.
- Teach students to read with discernment.
- Train independent, self-motivated learners.
- Provide tools that students can use to strengthen their writing skills.
- Introduce students to sources from high-quality online and offline research.
- Prepare students for college classes by expecting carefully researched, well thought-out material to be presented in standard format, with preliminary proofreading completed.
Upon completion of a book, the student is assigned an Approach Paper. I had never heard of these but they are a wonderful idea to get thoughts down while they are fresh in your mind! An Approach Paper includes:
- Brief summary of the book
- Character Analysis
- Discussion Questions
- A key passage
- An explanation of the key passage
Then, they go on to write their assigned essay, edit their draft and then complete their final copy.
I have a daughter in 8th grade and I was very excited to try Excellence in Literature with her. The assignments, while extremely well thought out and explained, were a bit too demanding when combined with her school course load. I can definitely see continuing it again this summer and certainly next year. It is definitely a college preparatory course of study, and a wonderful one at that! I highly recommend it for high school
Click here for a free printable information sheet with a 5 year book list.
The print book (132 pages) is $29 + $4.95 priority shipping. The Ebook version is $27.
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*I was given a copy of Excellence in Literature so I could review it and give my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*