Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TOS Review: Excellence in Literature

Quality, classic literature has always been an integral part of our homeschooling experience. This is due, in part, to the fact my mother has a Master's in English, and is a retired teacher with 30-some years of teaching experience. Plus, I have always enjoyed reading, and desire to instill that love in my children.
One program in which I have long been interested is Excellence in Literature. I've heard excellent reports over the years, but just was never able to try it out for myself....until this year, thanks to the TOS Homeschool Crew!

We were sent an electronic copy (pdf format) of the Introduction to Literature. I'm having Teen Girl "test" it, even though she is a Senior this year. I think it will help prepare her for any college literature classes she may take in the future!

From the website:

Introduction to Literature is a college-preparatory literature and composition course. Focus works, including novels, short stories, poems, and drama, have been selected for literary quality, and for their place in the historical development of literature. Context readings provide background information about the author, the historical period, and the literary and artistic context of the focus work.

Students will gain an understanding of the development of literature and will practice the skills of close literary analysis through essays, approach papers, and other evaluative writing.

The first unit of Introduction to Literature consists of short stories:

A White Heron, by Sarah Orne Jewett
The Purloined Letter , by Edgar Allen Poe(This one is not scary, if you're concerned about that.)
The Diamond Necklace, by Guy de Maupassant
The Ransom of Red Chief, by O. Henry
A Worn Path, by Eudora Welty
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber

The rest of the units include:

Unit 2: Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne
Honors: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne

Unit 3: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. by Mark Twain
Honors: The Prince and the Pauper, by Mark Twain

Unit 4: Jane Eyre. by Charlotte Brontë
Honors: Shirley or Villette, by Charlotte Brontë

Unit 5: Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
Honors: Murder in the Cathedral, by T.S. Eliot

Unit 6: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Honors: Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Unit 7: Animal Farm, by George Orwell
Honors: 1984, by George Orwell

Unit 8: The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
Honors: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare

Unit 9: Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
Honors: The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan
I have been able to find most of the selections for free online, both in electronic format, as well as audio versions. Since I don't have an e-reader, though, we have picked up most of the books from a used bookstore. The short stories I located online, I went ahead and printed off for Teen Girl to have in her hands.

I also took the ebook to Office Depot, to be printed off, so we don't have to sit at the computer to read through.

One thing I thought was pretty fun, I found a picture book copy of The Ransom of Red Chief, with a copyright date of 1970, and illustrated by Paul Frame, at the library! I was probably more excited to find that than Teen Girl was. ;)

I'm already making plans for Botanist Boy, a couple years from now, to start with the Introduction to Literature, and continue through the other courses. Check it out for yourself, with this free sample unit. And here is a free printable information sheet with 5-year booklist.

Excellence in Literature--Introduction to Literature, can be purchased in print format, for $29.00, plus $4.95 shipping, or e-book, for $27.00. Or you can purchase a combination pack (all five levels) for $139.00, plus shipping, for print format, or $135.00 for e-book format.

Contact Information:


Janice Campbell
Everyday Education, LLC
P.O. Box 549
Ashland, VA 23005


Be sure to read what other Crew members have to say about Excellence in Literature, by clicking on the banner below.


As a review blogger, I am provided a free copy of the book, curriculum or product to test and use in order to write an honest review. I receive no other compensation and the opinions I share are my own and not influenced by the company in question. Pin It Now!

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