Christian Literature Curriculum Review

I love to read. For me, there is nothing better than losing myself in a good book with a cup of coffee near by. My thirteen year old daughter inherited this from me. She and I can spend hours together at Half Priced Books just perusing and reading.

My sixteen year old son? Not so much. Being a visual/kinesthetic learner, it has always been a challenge to get him to sit still and read for any length of time. That being said, Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide from Writing with Sharon Watson has changed the way he feels about reading.

Christian Literature Curriculum Review

We received the following Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide books for review:

  • Teacher’s Guide (physical copy)
  • Student Book (physical copy)
  • Quiz and Answer Manual (physical copy)
  • Novel Notebook (PDF download)

The Christian literature curriculum can be used in homeschools, co-ops, classroom setting, or a book-of-the-month club.

 How we used the program

Obviously, we used it in a homeschool setting. It is designed with the self-guided student in mind, however, I worked closely with Oscar. We sat down together several times a week, him with the student book and the first novel (Pudd’nhead Wilson) and me with the teacher’s guide in hand.

We printed the Novel Notebook pages and put them in a binder. The notebook pages are meant to be filled in as you read the novel, so I let him do that on his own. I checked his answers every couple of days.

The Literature Curriculum covers 8 novels in all:

  • Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
  • The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
  • The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West
  • Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie
  • Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

We took turns reading the novel and went through the student workbook together while I followed along in the Teacher’s Guide, giving instruction or clarification when needed.

Because the program can be used in several different ways, there are no distinct instructions for using it in the homeschool setting. However, there are clear instructions for use as a book-of-the-month club.

After a bit of fumbling around and going from book to book to book, I found a groove and was able to create a small working lesson schedule to follow. If I could change one thing, it would be to have a pre-made suggested lesson plan for homeschool use.

What can you expect from Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide?

  • pre-designed (reproducible) grading grid to make grading easy
  • online non-grade quizzes, along with the quizzes in the quiz book itself
  • two semester’s worth of high school literature (language arts)
  • specific ISBNs to make finding the correct edition of each book easy
  • activities that fit different learning styles (YAY multi-sensory!)

What did we think?

Oscar and I will be continuing the program together. I love that instead him dreading the course, he reminds me we need to do literature. For him, my reluctant reader, to actually want to read and discuss what he read… well, that’s nothing short of amazing.

Truth be told, I haven’t read any of the books on the list, so I am learning right along side him- which in my opinion, is the best part of homeschooling.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review
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3 thoughts on “Christian Literature Curriculum Review”

  1. Mara is doing this, too. I loved Sharon’s workshop at IAHE so much, I knew I wanted to buy this as soon as it came out. I love how Sharon gets them/us (I’m doing it too) to think about the author’s intentions and worldview. I have never studied/read literature this way.


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