Some of the best things are born of necessity. While no one twisted Adam and Missy Andrews' arms to get them to create Teaching the Classics, a number of local homeschool parents (knowing the Andrews' academic backgrounds) did ask repeatedly to be shown how to teach their kids to appreciate and analyze literature. The Andrews eventually complied, distilling what parents need to know to lead Socratic-style dicussions about great books into a relatively short lecture series and syllabus.
Teaching the Classics isn't a curriculum. There are no assignments, no lesson plans, and no workbooks, and you certainly can't hand anything to your kids and have them work on their own. Instead, it's a lifestyle tool, providing you and your children the necessary tools to understand literature, and by extension any ideas that make their way into your home, whether through the newspaper, movies, or talk radio. In his engaging DVD lectures, Adam Andrews shows the importance of reading quality fiction, and then equips you to do so.
Because it's not a curriculum, there's no required reading list, but there is an appendix in the teacher syllabus offering a book list of recommended titles for young children, elementary and middle school kids, and high school students. Each title is arranged alphabetically by author, with a brief description of the listed book. We carry about 90% of these titles (we're working on bringing all of them in), and they're listed below. Remember, these aren't required reading, but they do make an excellent place to start.
We're very impressed with Teaching the Classics, as well as the other products developed by Adam and Missy Andrews. Good books are important to us, but we see no point in reading them only for entertainment purposes. Literature needs to be engaged, and as Christians we have a responsibility to engage it in a particular way, a way the Andrews are willing and able to share with those of us who didn't major in English. The variety of titles in the list below shows how versatile their approach really is, though we encourage you to start with picture books no matter what age your kids are, as they offer a non-threatening venue for putting somewhat foreign concepts into practice.