Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Excellence in Literature

Be still my heart!  Literature! 
You love it or hate it, but you're not likely neutral.
What if you could use a literature course to help your child gain a love great literature?  What if you could use a literature course to help your child gain advanced placement or earn CLEP credit?  Interested?  This is a complete introduction to literature course.  It is geared toward students in the 8th grade or higher.  If your child does the additional reading and writing, AP or CLEP credit is a possibility. 

Excellence in Literature: Reading and Writing Through the Classics is the first of five Literature courses offered by Janice Campbell at Everyday Education:

Introduction to Literature (English I)
Literature and Composition (English II)
American Literature:  A Survey Course (English III)
British Literature:  A Survey Course (English IV)
World Literature:  A Survey Course (English V)

"By the end of the course, students will: 
*Understand the process of writing, including the use of tools such as a writer's handbook, dictionary, and thesaurus.
*Have specific understanding of selected representative texts by major authors of the periods studied. 
*Have a general understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the works.
*Be able to analyze literary texts and present thoughtfully developed ideas in writing.
*Demonstrate competence in essay organization, style, and mechanics."

Some of the course contents include:  

How to Read a Book

Discerning Worldview Through Literary Periods

Around the World in Eighty Days
Jane Eyre
Treasure Island
The Tempest
Gulliver's Travels
Formats and Models
Approach Paper Format
Sample Poetry Analysis
What an MLA Formatted Essay Looks Like
Excellence in Literature Evaluation Rubric
132 pages
I liked:

This is a very thorough introduction to literature.  My daughter was able to read and implement the curriculum primarily on her own at 14 years old.  Mind you, she is a reader and a writer.  She's been reading a minimum of an hour a day for several years.  She is also a self-motivated writer.  She has a blog, writes stories, poetry, and wrote her first research paper because she wanted to at age 12.  I just want you to understand the type of child who is using this book. 

Reasonable prices:  $27.00 for e-book, $29.00 plus $4.95 shipping for spiral bound print book
$139 if you want a binder with all the grades in it.

A notebook, paper, a pencil, and our computer were all we needed.  It's not consumable.

Good for a visual learner; but, some of the books can be found on-line in a audio format.
Mrs. Campbell used a nice variety of short stories and novels.

Short stories were used to introduce the methods of analysis and of writing approach papers.

There was nearly as much writing as reading.  Originally, I thought it would basically be a reading list.

Mrs. Campbell included detailed intructions for how to do the reading, the analysis, and the writing.

She also included a rubric for evaluation.

I didn't like:

I found that I didn't really like this particular product as an e-book.  I would prefer to have a hard copy in my hand.  Fortunately, for those of us who are old time paper book lovers, this book is also available in print form.  I did print out some of the chapters that I needed. 
Some of the links on the e-book didn't work right.  I had to go to the website and search.  Each time, I found what I needed.

Janice Campbell's blog
Every Day Education Catalog
Many other products are available to help you with transcripts, writing, college, and more.  Just take a look at their on-line catalog.

Based on Emily's review and my own, I highly recommend this.
Click the button below to read more reviews.

I received this product free of charge as part of the Old Schoolhouse Crew review team.


  1. I enjoy your reviews, Laura! I will keep this in mind for Joy. She's 7th grade this year and like your Emily is a natural and avid reader and writer.


  2. Great review - Hey - just a heads up, I followed from the Crew Blog Linky, and it just brought me to your website, not the review. You might want to fix that. ;)


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