Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Teaching High School English

When I considered homeschooling for high school, the subject that concerned me most was English. I love to read and did read many classics in high school and college. However, I had no confidence in my ability to teach a student how to analyze literature, to understand its meaning and context, to analyze the literary elements. But I found that for English, as for the other subjects, there are several programs that will help me do that!

When Emily was in 6th or 7th grade, we reviewed Excellence in Literature. She was a bit young for the program, so we just did a couple of units, then put it aside until she was a bit older. Still, I realized that this program gave me some structure and enough guidance that I felt that teaching high school literature and analytical essays was doable. Then, I discovered 2015-09-29 15.14.26Lightning Literature. It was a bit easier to use, both for me and for Emily, so that was our primary curriculum for 9th grade. In addition to comprehension questions and essay prompts, it provides explicit lessons in each unit for topics such as plot elements, conflict, rhyme, and setting that are incorporated into the writing prompts.

This year, we’re using Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide. The focus of this course is the use of conflict throughout each of the focus novels. It includes vocabulary, comprehension, writing, discussion, literary elements, and projects in each chapter.

Here are reviews I’ve written on each of these literature programs:

Lightning Literature

Illuminating Literature

Excellence in Literature

We did some grammar instruction for 9th grade, but won’t be studying grammar formally anymore. We will incorporating some vocabulary study. This year, we’re using Greek Morpheme Lessons. We’re also using The Power in Your Hands for additional writing instruction this year. I am hoping that Emily’s writing will become more polished this year and want to focus on teaching her to write well-organized essays.

As Emily begins the 10th grade, not only am I feeling confident about teaching classic literature and writing skills, I’m excited about re-visiting books that I read long ago and looking forward to finding more favorites.

Read more about High School Language Arts at these other blogs!

Homeschooling High School Blog Hop 2015

Carol from Home Sweet life shares Homeschooling High School- Language Arts (&History!)

Leah from As We Walk Along the Road shares Teaching Language Arts in High School: Curriculum and Activity Choices

Tess from Circling Through This Life shares Teaching High School Language Arts: Resources

Michele from Family, Faith and Fridays shares Language Arts

Wendy from Life at Rossmont shares Highschool Language Arts

Erica from Be the One shares Language Arts Resources

Kym  from Homeschool Coffee Break shares History in the Form of Stories

Gena from I Choose Joy shares Homeschool High School: Using Socratic Discussion for Literature Studies

Laura from Day by Day in Our World shares How to Teach High School Language Arts Without Tears

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