Smarr Classical Literature Programs

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Smarr Classical Literature Programs

There are very few literature programs that thoroughly integrate composition, vocabulary, and grammar while still analytically covering classical literature selections. The Smarr literature programs are among the few, and they do it all with excellence! Better yet, they have a solid, underlying biblical and Christian worldview. We offer four of their programs: Introduction to Literature, Survey of World Literature, Survey of American Literature, and Survey of British Literature. Each program is a 36-week course during which the students read 10-20 books or comparable selections, which requires about 45 minutes each day. In addition to comprehension and review questions about the books, the program also concentrates on vocabulary building (15 - 20 words per week), writing (essay, argumentative papers, and research papers), and grammar. Complete programs include study guides for each reading selection, writing lessons, paper assignments and teacher helps. The program is now all online and you will receive an online access code. We have received feedback from one customer who advises using a high-speed printer if you are planning on printing out all course material at the beginning of the school year - and expect to use quite a bit of paper too!

The teacher helps include some general notes about the course, daily lesson plans, and answers to all of the questions from the student companion guide, as well as to the vocabulary quizzes. One helpful section has quality suggestions for grading and responding to the “heart” of writing assignments - not just the errors. Included is a detailed rubric for determining the quality level of papers.

The student companion guides are designed to help the student comprehend the material he/she is reading and includes the overall 36-week lesson schedule, along with the daily lessons. The literature lessons include an introduction to the reading selection, vocabulary lists and exercises, reading assignments, recall questions, and critical thinking questions, plus some “Bonus Thoughts” which include additional literature excerpts and historical and worldview notes. Writing lessons cover grammar and editing exercises, step-by-step instruction on the writing process and stylistic elements, and the writing assignments. Students are expected to write several (usually 6-8) full length (five paragraph) essays during each course, and the upper grades (11th & 12th graders) are encouraged to complete the optional impromptu essays. These language lessons follow a similar pattern in each course, but all of the examples and exercises are integrated with the literature from that course. A glossary in the back of the guide lists the vocabulary words studied.

Reading selections have been carefully chosen - novels and poetry that have withstood the test of time, speaking to the soul and emotions of the student. The publisher has attempted to limit the objectionable language as well as material that could be offensive according to biblical Christianity. Where anti-biblical philosophy is evident, the study guide directs the student to biblical references or explanations to counter false teaching. Italicized titles below each course denote reading selections used in the course (but not included in the course). The actual books may be obtained from the library or purchased separately (we carry most of them). Although unabridged versions are required, generally inexpensive paperback versions are acceptable. Some of the selections are compilations or hard-to-find selections published directly by Smarr. (Smarr publications are designated in the course listings - see next column for these). Please note that these texts are no longer available in printed format but can be downloaded for free from www.smarrpublishers.com. There is no stated order to the courses, although to my mind it makes sense to start with the Intro course. Obviously, the American literature course would be an excellent complement to an American history course.

These courses are organized in a very teacher and student friendly manner. They are challenging, meeting or exceeding the requirements for Honors courses, but at the same time the student is enabled and empowered by the instruction provided. Teacher preparation is minimal - actually, practically nonexistent, although there are some grading expectations. The author is obviously convinced of the strength of the training he’s offering and its value to the student, particularly in the area of SAT or ACT test preparation. The publisher offers an unusual guarantee - if a student doesn’t score certain minimum scores on either the SAT or ACT (650 on SAT critical reading; 60 on SAT writing; 50 on ACT English; 4 on ACT optional writing), Smarr Publishers will pay for the cost of the test (as long as the student has diligently completed the coursework and a test prep book). After spending some time with this curriculum, I can understand how he can offer such a confident guarantee. ~ Janice

NOTE: Required texts published by Smarr are now available as free downloads from smarrpublishers.com

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Aeneid (Wordsworth Classics) Item #: 031608
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Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man Item #: 046091
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Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Item #: 046089
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Bulfinch’s Greek & Roman Mythology (Thrift Edition) Item #: 017575
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Call of the Wild Item #: 038063
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Essay On Man and Other Poems Item #: 046245
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Great Expectations Thrift Edition Item #: 017611
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Hamlet / William Shakespeare (Thrift Edition) Item #: 019898
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Humorous Stories and Sketches Item #: 001505
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I’ll Take My Stand - South and the Agrarian Tradition Item #: 047582
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Idylls of the King (Giant Thrift Edition) Item #: 033449
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Iliad Thrift Edition Item #: 005951
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Importance of Being Earnest (Thrift) Item #: 005858
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