Thursday, August 8, 2019

Review~ 9th Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press

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Over the past 11 years during our homeschooling journey, I have always focused on introducing my kids to great literature. Following a classical approach has been a top priority for us. Reading the classics has been easy since we've used Memoria Press over the years. We were recently given the opportunity to review the 9th Grade Literature Guide Set that includes Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Canterbury Tales, and Henry V

Memoria Press is a leader in curriculum that focuses on a classical, Christian approach. They offer curriculum for literature, Latin, Greek, history, art, music, penmanship, spelling, phonics, science, math, logic & rhetoric, and so much more. The book sets can be purchased separately or an entire curriculum package can be purchased for a certain grade. A entire curriculum package has everything you would need to homeschool your child the entire year!

For this review, we received physical copies of the 9th grade literature guide set from Memoria Press. We were not given the actual books the guides covered. We were required to purchase them separately or borrow them from the library. The 9th grade literature guide set focuses on Old English and Medieval works. 

Our literature guide set included the following books.

Beowulf  The Warriors
Teacher Guide
Student Book (students will need a notebook)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Teacher Guide
Student Study Guide (consumable workbook)

The Canterbury Tales
Teacher Guide
Student Guide (consumable workbook)

Henry V
Teacher Guide
Student Book (separate notebook needed)

The purpose of the literature guides are to help students learn to focus on what they are reading when they read. In the literature guides geared for younger students, they are taught to read and think. In the literature guides for the upper grades, students are encouraged to read and think, but also make connections from the particular to abstractions. Students are taught how to compare and contrast, sort and classify in a complex way. Higher learning at work!

The guides feature various tools to help students achieve these goals.

Reading Notes
Vocabulary Training
Comprehension Questions
Discussion Questions
Literary and Rhetoric Devices

Each guide includes essay prompts to go along with the works the students are reading. Good reading and thinking skills leads to good writing. A strong reader leads to a strong writer! At least that is the hope we moms have when teaching our kids!

How We Used the Literature Guide Sets from Memoria Press

Obviously, there was no way we were going to get through all four sets. It was so nice of Memoria Press to provide us with the entire set for 9th grade. We will be using 2 of the sets later this year. The kids are supposed to read Henry V next year, so we'll be using that set next year. 

For this review, we worked on the Beowulf literature guide set. It was one of the many books my kids were required to read this year for history. In fact, 3 out of the 4 books covered in this literature set were on their reading list already. So instead of waiting for the new school year to start, they jumped right on in and started reading Beowulf. 

To work through the Beowulf literature guide, we needed the Beowulf book (we purchased separately), the student book, and the teacher guide. Be sure to purchase the correct version of the book recommended in the student book. I purchased the incorrect book, but thankfully our library had the correct version.

The student book clearly explains how to use the study guide with the text and literature notebook.  After the introduction section, the student book is broken up into 3 parts.

Part 1~ Grendel
Part 2~ Grendels' Mother 
Part 3~ The Fire Dragon

Each part is separated into four sections.

~Pre-Grammar~ Preparation~
Prepare to think about the poem and its central idea. 
Draw upon prior knowledge, experience, interests

~Grammar~ Presentation~
Discover essential facts, elements, and features of the poem
Read the notes, review the vocabulary, and comprehension questions

~Logic~ Dialectic~
Reason the facts, elements, and features of the poem
Sort, arrange, compare, and connect the ideas by working through the discussion questions

~Rhetoric~ Expression~
Express in your own words the central idea presented in the poem with supporting points

At the end of each part, the students are presented with an essay option. Students chose one of the options presented and then write a 3-5 paragraph paper. The paper should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

I love how the literature guides teach the students how to take notes and mark a particular work they are reading. This skill will help them when they go off to college. 

The teacher guide follows the student book, but provides the answers to the comprehension and discussion questions. It includes a Rhetoric essay template for the students to use. The teacher guide also includes quizzes and a final exam. The answers are included for these too. 

What We Thought of the 9th Grade Literature Set

I love the great literature presented by Memoria Press. It allows my children to read classic books that work for both our English and history curriculum. We're able to kill two birds with one stone.

Both Michael and Therese found  Beowulf a little tricky. I'm not sure if it was the material or the fact that we had to take breaks here and there for trips. This summer the kids have been busy and finding the time to devote to school has been a little tricky. I'm not sure their minds were quite on their lessons. We had too many vacations and sporting events to distract them. They hate writing during school as it is, so having to write during the summer was not a huge selling point. I was thrilled tha they had to keep their work going. We weren't able to finish the Beowulf study just yet, but we will once we get back into the full swing of school. 

Interested in a classical, Christian Education?
Find out more about Memoria Press and all the curriculum they have to offer.

The crew was fortunate to receive a wonderful selection of books to review.

Read the reviews and find out more about these classical literature sets.

Till Next Time,

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