Our Favorites for High School English - Living Literature

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My family has used Oak Meadow for all of our english courses in high school.  Oak Meadow is a hands-on, project oriented curriculum that strives to teach the whole student, hands, heart and mind.  It's focus is similar, in a lot of ways.. to Charlotte Mason.

We loved how many of their english courses and history courses are intertwined, with living literature.  And we especially liked their english courses in high school.  

We started with "Oak Meadow-Literature and Composition 1" in 9th grade, and then worked through OM  Lit and Comp 2, in 10th. Then we did "American Literature" the following year. Senior year, we did "World Literature." We were  pleased with all of them!  Each course was designed around living literature.

Most colleges look for 4 English courses during the high school years, and want to see both literature and composition in each of them.  But some only ask for lit and comp for 3 years, then are moe wide open for the 4th year.  We could have made our own courses, but preferred using Oak Meadow instead.

Here's the link to my review of....

We loved this course which included the following novels:

1.  A Separate Peace
2.  Huck Finn
3.  Anthem

Click here to read the review.

We did OM's American Literature at the same time as we studied US History.....

This course gave my daughter lots of writing practice, while learning to do literary analysis, as she  read her American lit, including:

The Great Gatsby
The Read Badge of Courage
To Be a Slave
Speeches, Interview, Editorials, Magazine Columns, etc.

The critical thinking questions were excellent and led to great discussions.  The writing assignments included  expository, interpretive, and contrast/compare essays. And it dovetailed so nicely with out history studies, as we were studying US History that year as well...

Both of these courses were great for developing my teen's comprehension and critical thinking skills...

Comprehension and Critical Thinking
The comprehension questions, in these courses, helped to review the plot and other key points in the story. Things such as point of view, character development, were discussed and made clear. We had wonderful discussions each week, about each of the literature selections.
I love this curriculum, as it really helped my daughter to analyze the story/novel, and later to do her literary analysis essay.
The critical thinking questions were also helpful for my daughter's narrations. They helped my daughter to see the meaning behind the story and to develop her own ideas about it. 
We would sit down with a pot of tea and share a great talk time. I loved to hear her own ideas as the developed. Great mom and daughter or son talks, and good critical thinking practice!  When it came time to write an essay, my daughter had all the pieces of the literary puzzle! 

They also were key to building up her essay writing skills....
Writing Essays

While reading the living literature, and working on the writing assignments, my daughter learned to write essays of many kinds, in addition to research papers.  

Through these courses, my teen learned literary analysis and developed excellent writing skills, both of which helped her to write her college essay, and succeed in college level writing.

Oak Meadow curriculum can be purchased used.  Just google, "Oak Meadow seconds."

What do you like to use for teaching high school English?  Feel free to share in the comments, and...

Have you seen my book on college yet?

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Kindle is $7.17 on Amazon  or read for free on Prime. 
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What's included in the book?  

Check out the review on The Curriculum Choice.  

Thanks for stopping by,


Betsy is mom to her 20 year old daughter whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote a new e-book on college..   She offers free homeschool help and messages at BJ's Consulting

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