Homeschoolers have the advantage of utilizing methods that can capitalize on the strengths and learning styles of their students, but sometimes the best approach to learning a subject is by way of a traditional textbook. Implications of Literature is a textbook approach to teaching great literature at the high school level. If you are looking for a curriculum that covers a broad range of literature selections (short stories, poetry, biographical and auto-biographical fiction, drama, and the novel), this might be the right fit for your homeschool.
The student text contains all of the reading selections, making the use of the text very easy for the home educator. It also includes an introduction to each genre, with vocabulary clearly explained (i.e., "Symbolism refers to an object, place or person that possesses its own significance, and, at the same time, represents something bigger and more universal"). Additionally, each selection includes an introduction that tells about the author and pertinent background information about the selection itself.
After each selection, the student is prompted to answer comprehension questions, critique the selection using questions posed in the text, complete a writing assignment complementary to the selection, review vocabulary, and hone their grammar and syntax skills through exercises meant to be completed in notebook form.
The teacher's text includes all of the content of the student text with annotations accompanying each page in order to help the teacher to more affectively communicate what is being taught through each selection. TextWord Press also provides a test bank CD, but the high price tag of $119.00 might prove to be prohibitive to most home educators.
The literary works covered in the Explorer Level include "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," "The Blood of the Martyrs," "The Last Leaf," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Barbara Frietchie," "The Death of the Hired Man," "The Charge of the Light Brigade," the Gettysburg Address, excerpts from David Copperfield, and many more.
The TextWord websites communicates the standards by which they have chosen each selection:
- All textbooks must be academically challenging and must build character and mold young minds in a positive manner without resorting to didacticism. At a time when the teaching of solidly-based comprehensive language-arts skills has become a nationwide priority, the acquisition of sophisticated, values-driven language-arts skills in an enjoyable and challenging manner is an important goal.
- All texts must be student-friendly, geared to the building of comprehension techniques and to the development of critical and analytical skills. The acquisition of competency in the all-important areas of oral and written communication must be seriously addressed.
- All publications must meet the educational and curricular requirements of the State of New York, thus becoming eligible for purchase by schools using state funding.
One potentially minor caution, however: the first sentence of the preface to the teacher's edition contains a typo that makes the grammar of the sentence incorrect. It may be insignificant, unless the remainder of the teacher's edition and the student text contain similar errors. I felt that particularly for a text written with the goal of "aid[ing] students read (sic), understand, and communicate more effectively and clearly," it was worth mentioning.
Despite the variety of methods and curricula available to me, there are still some subjects that I approach in the same manner I was taught in the classroom. If you feel a textbook approach to literature is a good fit for your high school student, then Implications of Literature just might fit the bill.