While Teaching the Classics is meant to guide parents and students toward literary fluency that can be applied to any text and in any situation, many parents are still at a loss how to teach literature as a subject. Sure, thanks to Adam and Missy Andrews they can interpret and discuss books, but which books should they read? How many should be assigned? Which books are appropriate for which grade levels? Reading Roadmaps answers all these questions and more, offering a scope and sequence for K-12 literature education.
There are extensive lists of books for each grade, grouped by six different schedules (there are only five lists)—the daily/weekly, monthly, six-week, quarterly, and seasonal models. The daily/weekly model is for those wanting to emphasize the humanities and literature, while the seasonal model is for those concentrating on math and science who nevertheless understand the need for some literature instruction; the models in between facilitate a more moderate approach. Each model list is accompanied by sample schedules and discussion suggestions.
Alongside each title in the lists are a brief plot summary; description of the book's major conflicts, themes and literary devices; alternate titles that can be read in place of those listed; and the week or class period in which that title is to be discussed. The alternate titles usually explore similar themes to those covered in the main selections, though this is not always the case. Younger kids will read mostly picture books and basic chapter books, while older students read everything from Twain to Shakespeare to Conrad and Tolstoy.
Picture books are used at every level to reinforce certain elements of analysis. A supplemental chapter near the end of the text offers extensive instruction for guiding students in writing from literature. This isn't copywork; older students are taught how to form a thesis from a literary passage, develop their arguments, and encapsulate them in an articulate paper of their own. Chapter 8 includes grading and high school credit information, and an appendix presents a glossary of literary devices and terms.
Most parents will find Chapter 9 of particular value. It is a brief discussion of major periods in the history of Western literature, and includes short descriptions of each period, along with lists of important titles and authors from each one. There is even space to compile your own lists for each period, an exercise that could prove very useful for high school students. One of the main benefits of a literature education (as well as one of its greatest joys) is the ability to discover great works on one's own.
This isn't a literature curriculum in the way most people use that phrase. It is meant to be used in conjunction with Teaching the Classics, and apart from that program Reading Roadmaps will be nearly incomprehensible. Side by side, however, these two resources will help and allow you to train your kids not just to love classic books, but to think creatively and logically about them. This is one of the best tools Christian parents can offer their children, and the Andrews' Reading Roadmaps is an excellent asset for that task.
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Sample From Kindergarten
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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