Scarlet Letter Thrift Edition
While not uncommon for high school students to study both American History and American Literature in the same year (typically 11th grade), it is unusual to find a curriculum that weaves the two together. Exploring America goes one step further, not only combining history and literature, but also Bible/Faith. The result is a comprehensive, intensely Christian look at the events, the people, the culture, and the faith of our nation with an emphasis on a God-centered worldview. A student completing the course as outlined would earn three high school credits history, English (literature and composition), and Bible. Obviously designed with the homeschool student/family in mind, the two volumes (each about 400 pgs.) that make up the curriculum text are very readable and interesting, with carefully chosen illustrations. The text is written directly to the student with lessons clearly laid out and easy to follow. Volume 1 covers Columbus to Reconstruction; Volume 2, the late 1800's to the Present. These two volumes plus a resource book American Voices are included in the Curriculum Package. American Voices is a collection of speeches, poetry, and writings from original sources that are used in the course in addition to the literature selections. The literature selections (a whole book approach) have been carefully chosen. The author, Ray Notgrass, states clearly that the perspective of faith influenced the literature selections and that the goal was well-written redemptive literature. Accordingly, some typical American Lit reads are omitted. In addition to selections from American Voices, the following books are studied: The Scarlet Letter, Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Co. Aytch (Civil War diary of Sam Watkins), Little Women, Humorous Stories and Sketches, Up from Slavery, In His Steps, Mama's Bank Account, Miracle on the Hills, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Giver.
There are 30 weekly units, each with five lessons. Each unit begins by listing the lessons and memory verse(s) along with the books used and suggested writing assignments (typically 2-3 assignments; each 1-2 pgs. long; student chooses one) for each unit. Each fifth lesson is a Bible/worldview lesson. Each lesson includes a related scripture reference and each unit includes a timeline of world events.
The Curriculum Package includes the two text manuals (Parts 1 & 2) plus American Voices.
The Student Review Pack is optional and contains three pieces: The Student Review Book, Quiz and Exam Book and Answer Key. The Student Review Book features lesson review questions, literature review questions, Bible commentary and literary analysis. The set of review questions from the text as well as the American Voices assignments for each lesson can be answered either orally or on paper. The Bible commentary is to aid the student in profiting from the Bible reading and study. Also included in the student review book are literary analysis segments and questions for each book selection. The Quiz and Exam book is just that - quizzes (for each unit) and six exams. The Answer Key has answers to all review and literary analysis questions, quizzes and exams.
This is an excellent course for the serious student who wants to study both American history and American literature from the perspective of God's Word and Sovereignty. ~ Janice
Of good literature guides, there appears to be no end. At least one might come to that conclusion when looking through this section of our catalog. However, there are differences between the many guides that we carry - and good reasons why we have added this series. From a secular publisher, this series reflects both the literature choices common to public schools as well as the content issues reflected by state standards. In general, these guides are well organized and easy to adapt to a homeschool or co-op. Although there is a consistent structure across the grade levels, there is also an increasing depth in terms of discussion and heightened expectations in terms of written output. There is also movement from a focus on reading strategies toward vocabulary development and literary analysis, although all three are covered at all levels.
Practically all of the guides include a Resources Overview on the inside front cover, dividing the literature selection (a.k.a. book or novel) into manageable reading assignments. Middle school guides typically have 4-5 assignments/sections while the high school guides have 6-7. Usually you can figure about a week per assignment section. Also included in the Resources Overview is a list of reproducible worksheets to be used with each section. Since each guide includes quite a few of these reproducibles (perforated and hole-punched), preparation is easy and minimal. The Overview also includes a "Connections" section. This refers to supplemental material - often excerpts from other books or magazine/newspaper articles - that is part of an (expensive) Holt library edition of the books which we do not carry. Although this material looks interesting and in some instances could be supplied from other sources, this portion of the guide is small (less than 10%) and will not be missed.
Which brings us to the excellent study material you will not want to miss. After a brief To The Teacher section (you know, objectives, tips, inclusion strategies, etc.), there is background info on the author as well as the historical and literary context for the book. This is followed by critical response information. [I found this fascinating - reading how contemporaries responded to the book. For instance, did you know that Charlotte Bronte was less than impressed with the work of Jane Austen?] Then on to a section called the novel at a glance - structure, major characters, themes, and literary elements. All of this serves to equip the teacher for a thorough and enjoyable study of the book.
The rest of the guide is the individual (weekly) lessons. Each reading assignment/section lesson includes: Making Meaning (first thoughts, reading check, shaping interpretation, connecting with and challenging the text), Reading Strategies (graphic organizers), Novel/Book Notes ("newspaper" with culturally related info), and Choices (project ideas - performance, art, creative writing, group discussion, etc.) all with worksheets. The beginning and ending lesson follow a different pattern. The first introduces the book while the last "Extends and Assesses" - a novel review, literary elements worksheets, vocabulary worksheets, writing projects, cross-curricular projects, and multimedia and internet connections. The remainder of the guides include a three-part test (objective, short answers, and essay questions) and a complete (both test and worksheets) answer key. As mentioned before all worksheets and the test are reproducible.
These guides are referenced to hardback library editions published by HRW. However, since most assignments are divided according to natural divisions in the book (i.e. chapters, acts, etc.) unabridged editions of the book will work. We don't carry a collection of either American or British short stories that match the ones covered in these guides. However, it's relatively easy to obtain copies of these from the internet by searching for the "story
Once reading skills are mastered, the Bob Jones reading curriculum becomes one of literature study from a Biblical perspective. Literary constructs and techniques are learned and explored in the context of both Christian and secular literary selections. There is increasing emphasis on the evaluation of literature against a Biblical standard. As in the lower grades, reading selections are carefully chosen and represent a variety of genres at each level. Many of these are excerpts or short stories. Grades 8 and up also include one full-length work as part of the course. In response to requests for more studies of complete works, new Study Guides have been added for The Scarlet Letter and Julius Caesar. These can be used anytime during high school. The Teacher's Editions for these studies contain the full-sized text with marginal notes as well as background information, commentary, discussion and/or essay questions, and project ideas. As the course emphasis at each level is a little different, we've further described individual course contents below. All of the Teacher's Editions contain a complete copy of the student text. In the 9th and 10th grade books, these are full-color with marginal notes and answers. All other grades have the reduced student pages in two-tone, again with marginal notes and answers. It seems like it would be difficult to share the student text - especially during discussion time - but it is possible to do so.
Testpacks include ready-to-use tests. Answers are found in the Testpack Answer Keys. Essential materials that are included in Home School Kits are listed first by grade level, followed by asterisked (*) support materials. Multigrade resources are listed together at the end.
We are pleased to be able to distribute BJU Press curriculum to our customers. Most homeschoolers are already familiar with their materials. For those who are not, BJU is a Christian university located in South Carolina that produces and markets curriculum materials for Christian schools as well as home schools. Probably the most homeschool-friendly full-curriculum supplier, they have not only accommodated homeschoolers, but have continually worked to make their materials better suited to the homeschooling family. Many of their courses now contain manuals written specifically for the home school setting, and visuals and supplemental materials have been "pared down" from the bulkier visuals still used in classrooms. While other curriculum suppliers initially frowned on distributing teacher materials to homeschoolers, and provided only expensive classroom versions, Bob Jones quickly embraced homeschoolers, readily allowing them access to teacher's editions and, eventually, producing less expensive spiral-bound or paperbound versions to save money for homeschooling families. Their materials are all top quality. They are professionally prepared, educationally sound, and Biblically-based. Used in Christian school classrooms across the country for years and constantly improved, they are courses you can trust in your homeschool as well. We have long been fans of Bob Jones curriculum materials, having used courses in almost every subject area for one child or another through the years. In our particular situation (seven children, Mom and Dad sharing in teaching as well as in running Rainbow Resource Center), a well-constructed, teacher-ready course can be a God-send. Although we have used a variety of methods and curriculums in our homeschool through the years (and continue to do so), we strongly feel that the Bob Jones materials we have used have helped to produce excellent, college-ready students. Unless you have a particularly strong aversion to textbooks of any kind, at any level, we highly recommend these materials to you.
Curriculum can be found by subject area in our catalog; see index for page numbers. A free scope and sequence is available below, with specific information by grade level.
The best way to describe these wonderful books is "literature and Bible study rolled into one." Truly from a Christian perspective, these classic and award-winning books are examined in the light of God's Word and a Biblical worldview. The author sent us several review copies and they are wonderful!
Each guide includes:
- a concise synopsis of the book
- information about the book's author
- background information pertinent to the story
- suggestions for activities relating to the subject matter
- introduction of literary terms
- vocabulary exercises for each section of reading
- comprehension, analysis, and application questions for each section of reading with discussion of related Biblical themes
- a complete answer key and suggestions for further reading
Their brochure states "Our goal is to teach students of all ages to examine what they read, Christian or secular, classic or contemporary, and value the truth it contains as measured against the Bible." A worthy goal indeed! If you want to study great literature from a Christian perspective, here's your answer! If in doubt, try just one - we're sure you'll be back for more!
Progeny Press guides are available in two formats: softcover staplebound booklets and CD-ROMs. The CD-ROMs originally featured printable .pdf files, but Progeny Press is now transitioning these to interactive .pdf files. Inspired by a tax software, these files are able to be used by the student on the computer, or printed out. Questions in the files have text boxes to type in or buttons to select, so you won't have to print worksheet pages if you don't want to. Plus, users can grade their answers and leave notes as well! Upper Elementary through High School CD guides are now interactive, while Lower elementary
Complete and unabridged versions of great literature with no "frills" to save you money!