Monday, August 22, 2016

Changing Things Up, Already

Well our best laid plans for ninth grade curriculum are already being altered before we even purchased it all. I had been waiting on acquiring the literature curriculum since we decided to start with a Memoria Press poetry set we already own, but also because I wasn't entirely sold on our choice.

After much reflection, online review reading, sample viewing, and stalking TWTM boards, I decided that although the Excellence in Literature guides may be wonderful, they also aren't for Amber (or me). Sigh. I really wish I had come to this conclusion months ago. And maybe I had; I vaguely remember taking the EIL curriculum off the "to be purchased" list, yet it was back on the list by August.

This decision left me in a lurch, though, since I really had no backup contender, which also might have been why EIL ended up back on the final curriculum list. At first I wasn't too concerned about it because we were starting with poetry. However, Amber keeps telling everyone her favorite and most anticipated subject this year is literature. That means I really need to ensure the literature curriculum is a good fit!

I hurriedly viewed all the literature curriculum we've vaguely considered or tried in the past, just to remember why each comes up a little short for us. Next came a frantic internet search where I did find something that might fit what we want, but would need supplementation. Absolutely nothing fit the style of lessons we need along with even half of the reading list matching my list. I could find near perfect reading list matches in entirely the wrong learning style though. My conclusion was that our best bet would be a combination of several publishers while leaving out significant portions of each curriculum / guide set to attain the desired reading list.

Then, I had an epiphany while looking one last time at samples from the Excellence in Literature guides on the IEW website (I was so hoping I could really just make EIL work).  What I really wanted and have been looking to find is a way to be more confident in myself as Amber's instructor.  This would allow us to use our lesson style with our reading list.

After finally determining the real issue, I realized there is a solution for that!

Oddly enough, we already had part of tools needed in Tapestry of Grace, so I went ahead and made the small purchase to acquire their short works anthology of public domain poetry. However, we had not originally planned on using Tapestry of Grace for literature because their selection of literature was, again, not exactly what I wanted for Amber. Still, the English poetry sections are perfect (along with a few novels).

The missing piece to this quandary I found on the IEW website: Teaching the Classics. Not only will this provide me with a framework (and the confidence) to guide Amber's literature studies for the next four years, it also is a short five hour course that Amber can view with me to jump start her foray into literary analysis.

I'm now waiting on my delivery of Teaching the Classics while we work on poetry from our Memoria Press set and from Tapestry of Grace. Amber and I are finally both enthusiastic over high school literature. Crisis averted. Whew!

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