Thursday, May 7, 2009

For Such a Time as This

This is going to be a multi-part post.  I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing for 7th grade for Connor, and when it comes to literature, that basically means looking to see where I want him to be for high school and working backwards.  Here are my rambling thoughts.

For Such a Time as This is a five year LA program, including Skills for Literary Analysis, Skills for Rhetoric, American Literature, British Literature, and World Literature.  

Disclaimer:  I have not used this program.  I have read a LOT of online reviews, I have thoroughly gone over the author's website, I have thoroughly read every sample I could find (and he has changed the samples in there somewhere).  This is my opinion based on all of that.  Someone who has actually used, or even owned, the materials would be more qualified to review it.


What I like: 

Solid Christian program

Great books

Written to the student

Teacher book includes a DVD with stuff from the author

Written by a man (keep in mind, I have four boys...)

One of the daily assignments throughout the entire program (I think) is to write in a prayer journal

There is fantastic instruction and examples of what he is looking for in any given assignment

Very little "workbookish" types of assignments

Things like the Brit Lit program have books with boy-appeal (Beowulf, MacBeth, Sir Gawain, Robinson Crusoe, Frankenstein, Lord of the Rings), not just the Pride & Prejudice type selections (actually, P&P is the only "primarily feminine" book on the list, I think... most BritLit things I've looked at are very heavy on Austen, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Pygmalion, etc.)


What I don't like, keeping in mind that this is to go *with* Sonlight, mostly with SL's high school cores:


There are LOTS of great books.  We're talking 15-23 titles per year (combining a short stories group as one, splitting the Lord of the Rings trilogy into 3)

There are LOTS of LONG books (uhhh, War and Peace, for instance)

They are writing, on average, two essay-type papers per week

There are a lot of additional "enrichment" suggestions, which add a LOT more reading, video, and field trips, and they look fantastic, and I'd want to add them, and would feel guilty if we skipped them all

My decision, after really truly looking this over is that if we continue with SL, doing this is major overkill.  Either I'd have to drop nearly all the SL reading and certainly all the writing assignments, or I'd be spreading this out so far it would be unrecognizable.

I *am* keeping this in mind, particularly if we end up doing something non-SL in high school (like a semester of government, plus a semester of psychology), as I would love for Connor to do one of the high school Lit ones.

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