The book/course seems good overall, but it asks students to complete assignments then places the actual reading assignment in such a small picture that it is unreadable. (example concept builder 1-A). We cannot find any way to make it larger. I can put it on the bigger screen of the computer instead of the e-reader, then with magnification it can barely be seen, but the browser doesn't even allow it to be printed which would allow me to photocopy and enlarge it. If this were fixed, then we would recommend the e-book.
As far as it being a hard book, as another reviewer said, that is a personal preference. I would much rather have a book that challenges than one that does not. A homeschooling parent can always make a book easier by not requiring everything in the way it is written, however, to really prepare for college and life, so far this book looks like a good one if they can just fix the technical issue.
This curriculum should have a label attached to it stating in bold print, "Warning NOT for whimps!"
World Literature by James Stobaugh is quite an impressive program! Rigorous in its' approach, spanning The Epic of Gilgamesh to Cry the Beloved Country, your High School student will be exposed to the writing of cultures from the ancient world to the modern era all with a Biblical Worldview.
Each of the 34 chapters are broken down into 5 daily lessons which include: learning objectives, daily warm-ups, concept builders, assigned reading, weekly essays and tests. Completing this course will count for 1 credit each in writing and literature. PLUS, earn 1 credit for History by using the corresponding History curriculum also written by James Stobaugh.
In order to really test drive this curriculum, I "dropped" my 9th grader into the chapter pertaining to The Odyssey. My reasoning for this was because he just finished this book utilizing a different curriculum. I wanted to get a first hand feel how my son would do with a more critical thinking/essay based approach plus I wanted to know how I would adapt to teaching it. Taking into consideration the grade level difference and learning styles, we moved forward.
The Chapter on the Odyssey went like this:
Day 1 - General information and answer questions on Homer. Assign essay due on Day 5.
Day 2 - Plot. Write a summary and precis. Answer questions on Character development.
Day 3 - Dramatic irony. Answer questions on character development and how it relates to you personally.
Day 4 - Critics Corner. Answer questions on plot structure
Day 5 - Epic Simile. Write a 10-12 line epic simile. Answer questions about plot. Essay due. Take test. (note - these tests are generally in essay form).
My son definitely enjoyed the diversity in the day-to-day exercises. Though expressing himself in weekly essay writings is a bit of a challenge, I know with a little practice he'll be successful.
As for me, English isn't my forte. There are literary elements and styles utilized in this curriculum that I needed a refresher for and some that I needed further background in order to teach.
On another note, the student will need to read approximately 200 pages per lesson. The author suggests reading the books over the summer. I personally feel that its better for retention to read the book right before analyzing it. Since we school year around, that would mostly work for us taking a bit longer for each book than originally scheduled. And, it does not appear that adjusting the schedule would in any way detract from the curriculum.
As for whether or not we will continue on with this book. Honestly, at this point we are up in the air. However, it is one of the curricula we are considering for the future.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of World Literature Teacher & Student Guide from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Let me begin this review by saying that I have not actually used this curriculum with my children. I received the book for review and here are my thoughts upon going through the student text as well as the teacher's guide.
The Good --
I like the scope of this literature course. It ranges from ancient history (Sumerians, Egyptians, Ancient Greece, etc) through early church history and the modern age. It highlights literature from many different areas around the world -- China, India, Persian & Arabic, Europe, etc. Organized in a timeline fashion--chronologically through different ages. Literary works are interpreted through a Christian viewpoint.
The Bad --
Teacher's guide does not include the literature texts that the student book does. Much of the literature is not included in the student text but rather has to be checked out of the library or purchased. Set-up is as an independent study, however for many of the discussion/for thought questions, it'd be helpful to hear other viewpoints as well (discussion setting -- at least with a parent or family if done as an individual homeschooler)
The Ugly --
This curriculum is set up in such a way that the author suggests that the student read the major works the summer before the course. And I mean MAJOR! Works such as The Illiad, The Odyssey, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, Faust, etc. I don't like that. Not that I don't want them to read them as a part of this course, but if reading those makes the course too long, just split it up! I like to keep my children's summers precious. They ARE still children!
Soooooooo . . .my thoughts? I think that we actually WILL use this textbook, just not as intended. I think we'll use it in conjunction with world history. I think we'll use it as a multi-year course. I think we'll use chapters, not go through the entire text.
Not what I expected, but I think we'll find a way to make it useful for us!
I received a copy of this book and the teacher guide for free from Master Books (here) for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review