WHL Discussions - Literature, Analysis

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Julie in MN
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WHL Discussions - Literature, Analysis

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:21 pm

Q re HS World Literature selections
club190 wrote:Is anybody doing the World this year? Could you tell me why Silas Marner and Cry Beloved Country are the books of choice for the term? Those two are the only ones I don't have (save the TM and stuff like that) and I was wondering why ... why those books are chosen to be studied of course, but also, why aren't they already on my shelves! It's hard to be a bibliophile sometimes and this is one of those times!

What kinds of assignments are done with these selections? I'll check out the Notgrass book for sure but I don't think either Beloved Country or Silas Marner came up when my oldest read it a few years ago. Is it kind of like what we'll be doing this year with the Progeny Press Guides for 8th grade ECC? Are these books the ones that are studies deeply and then the Book Basket book list would be for simple reading?

I'm wondering how difficult it would be to substitute things. I know this course is still two years away for us but if he only has just a few books to analyze, those are the only two lit books I don't have already and I want to know if I could have him read something else that we already own. If the TM has explicit notes or assignments for them though, I'd just have him do it as it's written.

Blessings,
Chris
Chris,
Is it possible that you haven't seen the full list of literature for WHL? There is a lot of lit that year.
http://www.mfwbooks.com/highschool-whl.html

As for those specific books, Beloved Country is probably part of the "world" focus, being that it's about Africa. It's a very standard literature study. Silas is more popular with Christians, as it is about character and such.

As for which books are studied in depth, I hope someone with experience chimes in, but at convention it appeared to me that all the literature was studied.
Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DS4home
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Re: Q re HS World Literature selections

Unread post by DS4home » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:39 pm

I don't have my WHL manual yet, hope to order next week :-)
But here's my take on it. They no longer assign book basket time in high school. The literature doesn't use study guides like PP. ( Although I'm not sure about that British Lit book set, I don't have it yet. ) Marie will often times help the student through a book within the daily notes section of each week.

Just by looking at the WHL sample pages on line, it looks like they will spend 2 weeks each reading through those two books. Silas Marner has quiz questions (comprehension type questions) after you are done reading it. Cry the Beloved Country has an English assignment labeled Plot Summary. I'm not sure how that is taught - maybe with Marie's notes?

I just had to get off my lazy bum and pull Notgrass off the shelf - and you're right! !? Those two books are not part of their reading lists....now I'm curious too. Where did they get those titles from to add to the WHL year? There really are sooooo many books to choose from, I don't know how one narrows it down to a final list such as MFW does! I like the simplicity of being told "read this".

Just rambling now... ;) Does that help any?

Dawn
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Julie in MN
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Re: Q re HS World Literature selections

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:33 pm

club190 wrote:Thanks Dawn and Julie,
Thanks for the heads up about no more book basket in high school years. Andrew will like that\, though he really isn't anywhere nearly widely enough read for him to stop having a reading slot assigned. He'll barely put a dent into that 1000 Good Books list and the 100 Great Books list, but we persevere.
Chris,
There is still a reading slot in high school, just not a book basket slot. In WHL, he'll put a dent in that list reading Shakespeare, Beowulf, Pilgrim’s Progress, A Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice, The Hiding Place, etc. And don't forget there are like 27 books in the New Testament. That's another big dent.

My oldest son was public schooled and they only studied 2 or 3 books per year, along the lines of Tuesdays with Morrie. Our kids will be well read using MFW, don't worry!
Julie
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Lisa M
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Re: Q re HS World Literature selections

Unread post by Lisa M » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:56 pm

My daughter will be doing this program next year, so I do have the TM.

It does not appear that these two books are studied "in depth" as a Progeny Press guide would do. The student is given two weeks to read each book, and has a brief writing assignment based on each.

We can always "overthink" a curriculum, but I am trusting that the Hazell's have chosen these books for a good reason, that they balance out the literature that will be used over the four years of High School, and that's good enough for me:-)

The Progeny Press guides, while helpful, would be a bit overkill for every book. Sometimes, it's just good to read the book, think about it a bit, and move on.

There are tons of "Great Books", but there is some debate as to what makes a book "great". We are also using the SAT study guide for the next three years, which includes a suggested reading list. My husband looked at several of those books and immediately dismissed them as a waste of time for our daughter. I looked at some and thought "no - not that one". Then there were the ones we disagreed on (Pride and Prejudice..."Why would anyone want to read that?"..."But I LOVE that book!"...) So it's definitely a debatable issue.

We will be using "reading" time to give her books that we want to make sure she reads. Really, they are only beginning to learn, and I want their reading to be interesting for them, not just a torturous education pursuit.

Here's a few additional lists that I have been using for supplemental reading ideas:

http://moodyclassics.com/
http://www.thegreatbooks.com/reading/

You'll notice that many of the books we are reading during the high school years are on this list.

Hope this helps.
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Julie in MN
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Re: Q re HS World Literature selections

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:15 am

Lisa M wrote:There are tons of "Great Books", but there is some debate as to what makes a book "great". We are also using the SAT study guide for the next three years, which includes a suggested reading list. My husband looked at several of those books and immediately dismissed them as a waste of time for our daughter. I looked at some and thought "no - not that one". Then there were the ones we disagreed on (Pride and Prejudice..."Why would anyone want to read that?"..."But I LOVE that book!"...) So it's definitely a debatable issue.
I went to a workshop by Mr. Stobaugh last fall and he convinced me that sometimes books that aren't great in my eyes might still be worth reading. For example, I had scoffed at Alice in Wonderland, and Mr. Stobaugh happened to use it as an example of an SAT essay he wrote, where he used the book to prove one of his points. After his workshop, I realized that even just understanding references to books of our culture would be helpful for my children. If someone gives a speech or writes an essay comparing "falling down a rabbit hole" to something else, I would like my kids to understand the reference. And if my son is the one giving the speech, he needs to have common examples that people can relate to. So the end of the story... I had my son read Alice last year and we discussed it :)

Mr. Stobaugh also discussed the value of higher vocabulary found in "classic" books.

As for Pride & Prejudice, I think it's part of the "world" theme in WHL, since it's probably the best-loved book in England, as well as being pretty representative of a certain place and time. At the tutoring center where I work, they spend a lot of time studying Pride & Prejudice in their program. I find that if you can't relate to a book, it can be helpful to look up the book online and find the things that you're "supposed to get" out of it -- themes and symbols and such. I rely on that when I have to go over a book I really don't care for, and it at least gives us something to discuss, pro & con.

For my son, I'm thinking we would go the audiobook route on that one. Ideally, he will learn to understand the "language" of the book. If that fails then there's always the 6-hour movie version :) I definitely want him to be familiar enough to spot a reference to the book.

Julie

P.S. I think all of these books are on his SAT list -- including Silas and Beloved Country.
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club190
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Re: Q re HS World Literature selections

Unread post by club190 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:14 pm

When we were getting ready for Matt to start high school, I did a search for all the "Great Books" lists out there -- and there are a ton of them. I printed the lists out and set to work with a pen and paper and made one list that I thought was a good representation of the things we wanted our son to have read before leaving our nest. I already knew what his HS 4 year plan was going to be -- ancients, middle ages, modern world, then American -- so I put the book titles onto a page that "went with" each particular era. Some of the books on those lists are downright awful for a Christian to expose their mind to -- those were culled off my list. Some were still rather dicey but full of things that matter for cultural literacy, so they stayed, but those were the ones we did as read-alouds with play-by-play discussion. No one ever outgrows read-aloud time in our home. We usually have one thing going for the whole family and others from each child's personal list. I read out loud a lot!

Anyway, from those lists, I picked 10 to 12 each year that I felt were the ones that would benefit the most for discussion in a larger setting and those became the monthly selection for the book group I host. Discussing a book with Mom is totally different from discussing a book in a larger group. I made sure that I put the "heavier" ones on our personal one-to-one discussion lists and left more of the lighter ones for peer discussion. I chose to do it that way because the people in my local homeschool community weren't interested in as rigorous a program as we were pursuing and wouldn't have come to the discussions otherwise.

Now that Andrew is getting ready to enter high school, I've done the same thing for him this summer. Unfortunately, I couldn't just recycle the lists, mainly because Andrew doesn't read well enough yet.

The books that are on the Ancients and World schedules are great, really good ones, but like I mentioned earlier in this thread, there are two that I didn't use already and so they're not on my shelves. From your descriptions though, I'm really looking forward to Silas Marner!

Blessings,
Chris

P.S. Pride and Prejudice is one of those stories that I KNOW we're supposed to read, reread, and really mine a whole lot of lessons from, but I just can't stand it! And so, it's one of those failures from MY personal Great Books list. War and Peace is my other great failure. It worked enough for us to get through it, but it sure wasn't the best way to read a book!

I really like Gene Stratton Porter's books and have devoured every one I can find. I download the PDF or ePub file from Gutenberg and send them to my eReader software on my PDA or my phone and read them from there. I've only seem one or two of her books in actual print format. BTW, there are quite a few famous books missing from my list -- all of them being "girl" books! I have boys only though, so that could have something to do with why I chose the books I did for our family's Great Books lists.
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Re: Q re HS World Literature selections

Unread post by Bret Welshymer » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:52 pm

The books chosen for the high school program fit several criteria. One of the criteria is to include books written by authors on the "classics list." Another is to choose books that fit with what is being studied in history. Doing so helps to integrate Bible, history, and literature. Books are also chosen for their Biblical moral content and potential for personal impact on the reader. Another factor is the length of a book. We want to include a variety of literature without overwhelming the student with too much reading. The student will respond to each book read in WHL with a different type of writing assignment. For instance while reading Cry the Beloved Country the student will be writing plot summaries. This book was chosen for the program because of the way it deals with forgiveness and the story's location in South Africa. Silas Marner is on the classics list and includes important moral points. I hope this overview is helpful.

Julie in MN
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British Literature for WHL - How much used and when?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon May 20, 2013 10:04 am

homeforhim wrote:Hello,

I'm back with another question! I am wondering if the parallel text is used in its entirety? Also, are the lessons spread throughout the weeks when novels are being read or only on the weeks noted within the table of contents from the sample? Thanks,

Rachael
Hi Rachael,
Sorry you had to wait so long for a response.

I'd have to get out my British Lit book and really dig through it page-by-page in order to answer "for sure," but I feel like it really was all used. And that would be typical of Marie.

In the sample, I think you are looking at the table of contents for the year? That would give you the correct info. British Lit is used in weeks 12-14 and 18. It looks like a fat book, but it's a parallel text, so half the number of actual new pages, plus there is background material like a short bio on each author.

There is also "British Lit" in some of the novels read, so the parallel text isn't the only place where students are exposed to literature from Britain.

Does that give you what you need?
Julie
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homeforhim
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Re: British Literature for WHL - How much used and when?

Unread post by homeforhim » Mon May 20, 2013 12:09 pm

Thank you, Julie, that is exactly what I wanted to know!

Another question for you (or anyone else!), how in-depth does the literary analysis go in the British parallel text (not just comprehension questions)? I have looked at the sample online but it is hard to get a feel. I see lit analysis in the Animal Farm assignment also so I was wondering how detailed it is or if together with the British it is a basic introduction?

Thanks,
Rachael

Julie in MN
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Re: British Literature for WHL - How much used and when?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon May 20, 2013 12:36 pm

I don't remember actual literary analysis during the British Lit book. I would say that like MFW in general, there isn't a heavy emphasis on techniques which authors may or may not have used, but there is an effort to insure understanding (comprehension) and a step beyond "what happens" to look at "what is being said" by the story or the author, if that makes sense.

And yes, during Animal Farm, as you saw, the student goes through the Writer's Inc list of literary analysis terms, which is quite extensive. Students also do character sketches along with Pride & Prejudice, and a plot summary with Cry The Beloved.

If you want more analysis of literary techniques, it's easy enough to look up Sparknotes online and view their themes & motifs pages and such. I've pulled in different things here & there for my very non-literature-oriented young man, because I just want him to see what I have a passion about :) I've even posted some things I've used over on the MFW High School yahoo group, if that would help. Some kids just get it, though, and don't need a lot of busywork-type discussion from a mom like me ;)

Julie
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Julie in MN
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MFW WHL high school literature question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:54 am

4littlehearts wrote:Am I supposed to give a grade to the questions that the students are supposed to be answering in the British Literature book? If so how do you assign a grade for that? Thanks!
Hello,
There are several things in AHL that go under the "daily work" grade. So if you go to the English grading page at the front of the manual, the very last item is daily work - effort, daily work, discussions. You wouldn't have to do anything fancy for that 10% of the grade, just attendance in class usually qualifies :)

Because my son was subbing some things for his homeschool book club, i did plug in all the assignments on the grading page (and then sometimes crossed them back out if that's what we subbed out LOL). So if you want to plug all those in as part of the grade, I can easily list them. But basically, it's the British Lit questions, the Exploring World History questions on literature, and the letter to a friend (except Silas Marner questions, which are on the grading list). All of those would basically go under "daily work."

HTH,
Julie
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4littlehearts
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Re: MFW WHL high school literature question

Unread post by 4littlehearts » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:29 pm

Thanks Julie! That makes sense. I did not think to look in the manual.

TriciaMR
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Literary Analysis question - high school guides

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:03 pm

Sue G in PA wrote:I've used AHL, WHL and US1 with my oldest who just graduated. I felt like the concrete literary analysis was lacking. My son used US1 for 9th (a tweaked version as he was younger), skipped last year as a result of our co-op using a different curriculum and will now be using WHL for 11th.

I am concerned that he will not be exposed to any Literary Analysis. I'm wondering if adding in IEW's Windows to the World Literary Analysis course would be too much? I really like the looks of the course but am concerned it will be too much when added to WHL. Any thoughts? Thanks.
Did you have them do any of the Progeny Press guides in Jr. High?
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Sue G in PA
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Re: Literary Analysis question - high school guides

Unread post by Sue G in PA » Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:18 pm

He has completed 3 PP Guides (1 last year and 2 this year). I was looking for something a bit more formal for Lit. Analysis than what the PP Guides provide. KWIM?

Julie in MN
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Re: Literary Analysis question - high school guides

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:14 pm

Hi Sue,
The Progeny guides do include some lit analysis - usually there's at least a topic or two such as foreshadowing or metaphors. In high school, there's a Progeny guide for Scarlet Letter.

In WHL, the main English book is Writers Inc, and that has a section on Literary Analysis, plus a whole section on Literary Terms that the students go through.

Here is a post I wrote back when we were using whl: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 994#p94994 :
Julie in MN wrote:I would say that like MFW in general, there isn't a heavy emphasis on techniques which authors may or may not have used, but there is an effort to insure understanding (comprehension) and a step beyond "what happens" to look at "what is being said" by the story or the author, if that makes sense.

And yes, during Animal Farm, as you saw, the student goes through the Writer's Inc list of literary analysis terms, which is quite extensive. Students also do character sketches along with Pride & Prejudice, and a plot summary with Cry The Beloved.

If you want more analysis of literary techniques, it's easy enough to look up Sparknotes online and view their themes & motifs pages and such. I've pulled in different things here & there for my very non-literature-oriented young man, because I just want him to see what I have a passion about :) I've even posted some things I've used over on the MFW High School yahoo group, if that would help. Some kids just get it, though, and don't need a lot of busywork-type discussion from a mom like me ;)
In US1, Stobaugh is very big on literature and the MFW guide includes part of his Skills for Literary Analysis. However, I wouldn't say that he is big on formal lit analysis, either - the kind that you would never do in college unless you were in a lit class, where you argue whether or not a particular author has used a particular technique effectively, etc. Stobaugh is, however, big on the classics and on looking at author worldviews (which is a theme in US1, after the entire Bible has been read).

HTH,
Julie
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Sue G in PA
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Re: Literary Analysis question - high school guides

Unread post by Sue G in PA » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:19 pm

That helps very much. Thank you, Julie. My son did the Guides a bit out of order...he did US1 in 9th grade b/c his sister was using it and I wanted them to study it together. I did tweak it a bit for him, but he completed the Scarlet Letter PP Guide and we discussed it quite a bit. This child is not a reader (I mean, he reads, lol, but he doesn't enjoy it!). We have done many audio books. :/ He will not be an English major, that is for certain.

I think I want him to do more Lit Analysis b/c, like you, *I* like it. ;) But as my husband points out, this child is destined to be a musician. He doesn't care about much else. And he is a gifted musician so I do not worry about this career path for him. I think what is included in WHL will be good enough for him, along with discussion and some Spark Notes. ;) Thank you.

Julie in MN
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Re: Literary Analysis question - high school guides

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:10 pm

Sue,
What a wonderful son it seems you have. I love that homeschooling allows our kids to flourish in different ways.

I apologize that I don't think I read your original description carefully enough and you've already seen WHL. But it seems like just a little chat was helpful, anyways.

And remember that when you get to the lit analysis pages in Writers Inc., you can always chat for a while there. Or, sub in something from other materials you like, if you have the time. My son wasn't paying enough attention to the list (for mom, anyways), so we did something on a video during that assignment (TTC), which seemed to reach him a bit more although he didn't want to continue with it after that assignment LOL. Animal Farm, itself, provoked some good discussion at our house. I felt using SparkNotes on that one was useful, because each character represents someone in the history of communism.

If all else fails, we can chat with one another on the boards and discuss what our boys have missed LOL.
scrapper4life wrote:Julie, what is TTC?
Sorry about being cryptic, I guess I figured a serious lit researcher would know all the temptations out there -- and the rest of the moms shouldn't go there LOL :) TTC in that instance was Teaching The Classics, and we watched the videos for a bit instead of my son reading the terms. It is a pricey option the way we used it, and I spent two years at that convention booth before I made the decision (well maybe I exaggerate), but it worked for my purposes because the teacher is a man and he's enthusiastic about literature and he made the explanation of analysis memorable with Peter Rabbit and such.

We also watched some videos from The Teaching Company (another TTC), such as Elizabeth Vandiver on the Iliad, but subbing things in and out is not something I'm afraid of, since I started homeschooling a high schooler long before MFW had it all planned out for me (for which I was so grateful when I got to my youngest), and this is my last kid at home.

Julie
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Julie in MN
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Need a separate HS literature course??

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Oct 29, 2014 5:16 pm

scrapper4life wrote:I see that MFW covers literature in HS. I do appreciate reading for the joy of it, but wondering if the fundamentals of literature--conflict, character, theme, structure, point of view, and moral tone - are covered. Things like protagonist/antagonist, tragic heroes, foreshadowing, irony, personification, tragic flaw, universal theme, allegory, point of view, genres and elements of plot....for examples.

I read that the founder's background is in literature, so I'm sure this part of MFW is strong. I just need to know (financially) if I may need to supplement with a foundations literature course.

Thank you!
Hello,
I remember a conversation last summer here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 348#p99340

I guess in summary, I'd say that there is not an emphasis on literary techniques in AHL, but instead more of an emphasis on apologetics. In WHL, there is more of a formal study of literature, including going through all the terms in the Writer's Inc. chapter, plus a Progeny Press guide and a few other literary-style assignments. Personally, I might hold off on the investment until you are well into WHL and decide whether there is "enough" of what you love in there or whether you want to sub out a week of reading for a video program on lit analysis, or sub an assignment for a more formal literary essay, etc.

I believe Marie Hazell, the author of the MFW guides, has a background in teaching, speech and language, and curriculum design, but not sure about literature per se. You could call the office for an official answer, though. One of the things I love about Marie's guides is that she tested them on many real-life families in order to discern what students actually responded to.

I hope you get more replies, but I thought I'd go ahead and start the conversation while I was online chatting about Singapore Math :-)

Julie
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scrapper4life
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Re: Need a separate HS literature course??

Unread post by scrapper4life » Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:20 pm

Thank you for the info, Julie!

I will take a look at that link, also.

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