Literature

Discussion in 'Homeschooling Forum' started by menageriekeeper, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    I'm going to need either a cirriculum for both American Literature and English literature or a bunch of good reading guides for each. Anyone have any sources?

    To set a little background:

    Chris will be in eighth grade. Because of his migraines and the fact he just plain doesn't like to read, we(neither the public school or I) haven't required him to do more than the bare minimum of either reading or writing essays. He can read, mind you, he just doesn't have much of the experience of reading an entire book from beginning to end. He also doesn't write coherent paragraphs (much less entire essays) though grammar is not a problem.

    To remedy this, I've decided that next years language arts will consist of nothing but reading and writing essays. Yes, I realize it will be like pulling teeth, but by the end of the year I expect him to have learned how to communicate in writing.

    One thing we found out by accident is that he enjoys Shakespeare. That gives me the idea that we either haven't found reading material he enjoys or what he's been given isn't mature enough to keep his attention. Either way it's got to be fixed.

    Sooo, suggestions are welcome!
     
  2. Rubato 1

    Rubato 1
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    I'll ask my wife (she has a degree in English Education).
    My homeschooling included Pilgrim's Progress and one or two of the beka lit books for British Lit. In American, I can't remember anything specific.
    I might be crucified for saying this, but I think if you can instill in him a love for reading, you don't need to worry too much about the literature he has or hasn't read in HS. I know that I have read as much Lit as most of the people on this board, but it came because I loved to read, not because I was forced to read this and that in HS.

    IMO,

    R1
     
  3. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Thanks!

    I would love to instill in him a love for reading. From two parents who read constantly we ended up with one reader, one non-reader and one who is ambivilant.

    But, his non-reading thing is genetic, inherited from my father who had to be made to learn to read (he tells us he could never figure out as kid why anyone needed to read. :eek: ). To this day my father only reads what he has to read.

    But, I still believe part of Chris' problem is finding material challenging enough to keep his attention. If Shakespeare does that for him, I'm all for it!
     
  4. Don

    Don
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    What does he like?

    My oldest son doesn't like to read too much; but I started getting Popular Science and Popular Mechanics, which both have articles on things he can make/do at home, and he loves them.
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    If it's printed on paper he doesn't like it. He's pretty big into photography and we have all sorts of photography books/mags in the house. He won't read 'em.

    He reads just enough to get through his schoolwork and he's done. Been this way since he was was tiny. Never would sit still for a story and if I was reading, he was trying to pull the book out of my hand. :rolleyes: I wondered if he'd been switched at birth!

    He does like Shakespeare (surprise!), but I don't feel confident teaching it without some sort of guide. Found a nice generic guide online at one the university sites for reading and discussing poetry, so I can make do with that for the sonnets. Still need something for the plays.
     
  6. Gold Dragon

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    Maybe this list of Shakespeare study guides will help. That site also has a fairly comprehensive Literature study guides.

    If he likes graphic novels, I would recommend Watchmen by Alan Moore that is probably one of the only comics that would get consideration in a course on American literature because of how it transformed comics from the realm of lowbrow kids stories to a respectable art form. If I remember correctly, it had very little violence and no emphasis on sexuality that is common in other comics. I can't remember if there was coarse language, but if there was, I don't believe there was very much.

    Another suggestion might be picking classic literature that also have film versions. After he finishes the book, spend time watching the film as well. I enjoyed the film and novel versions of To Kill a Mockingbird even though it is in black and white.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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  8. Don

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    Um, your understanding of Watchmen is incorrect. There aren't any explicit sex scenes, but there are indications of rape and some nudity (including frontal of a male). There's also some language. As for violence, well, it depends on your "acceptance level": there are several scenes dealing with one character's psyschosis that some may not consider too graphic, but are quite disturbing. Any parents that are considering using it should carefully screen it first.
     
  9. Gold Dragon

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    Thanks for clarifying. I haven't read it in about 10 years so I don't remember these details. I just remember being blown away at the literary quality of a graphic novel and thought it would be a helpful suggestions in menageriekeeper's case. At 13, her son might be ready for some of the more mature aspects of the story, but maybe not. Thanks for the warnings.
     
  10. menageriekeeper

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    Thanks for the info, Don. I pretty much screen everything and have a fairly high tolorance for violence and language so long as it is used in such a way as the reader is left with a clear understanding that that this is inappropriate. So a "bad guy" cursing would be in character and cursing would help identify him as such. Violence is pretty much the same thing.

    It crosses my line when the "good guys" are acting as bad as the bad guys.
     

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