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Can you share with me benefits of the Literature Guides?

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    Can you share with me benefits of the Literature Guides?

    My daughter is 6th grade this year. For several years now she has had what I call Book Reading. I give her a literature book, a history book (historical fiction or non fiction) and some sort of anthology or art book. She works through these and as she completes them I add in another, so she always has three books she is reading from. We don't do any sort of indepth talk, she will tell me a bit about what she is reading and we will have conversations as they come up. But my purpose is to expose her to lots of different ideas, topics and stories. But we are not going in depth.

    So if we did the MP literature and spent more time on this aspect of her schooling what would be the benefits? I need to keep in mind that when we increase time in one place, time gets taken from somewhere else, so, I want to understand what the benefits would be.

    My eldest child reads prolifically. She averages 200-300 pages per day; many stories are reread, while many are new. I do not ask her any questions about these books. That is her joy.

    We do pick 3 or so novels per year to read with MP Lit Guides. It is a different type of joy. I have witnessed her vocabulary expand as she derives synonyms from new words in the context of a passage and studies them all quarter. I have seen her inferencing skills grow and her deductive reasoning grow. I have seen her try to recall an answer, but in order to be more precise, return to the text and find an answer that is more nuanced or fully fleshed out. She is appreciating that characters have quotes that reflect their personnae, and she is learning about the narrator, his or her perspective and access to private thoughts and motivations. She is also discussing the importance of Christian virtues like loyalty, courage, fidelity, self-sacrifice, and more...and relating these to her own life and current events. It's not that she wouldn't perceive some of these things on her own own, but because it is in the guide, we make sure we carve out space for it.

    If I could make a small plug for the accompanying quizzes and test, they have expanded my student's ability to assess an answer for its completeness and accuracy.

    The whole program has had an incredible impact on her ability to read, write, analyze and think.
    Mama to 2

    Spring start MP1
    Summer start 5A

    Completed MPK, MP1 Math & Enrichment, MP2, 3A, 4A, SC B, SC C,
    SC1 (Phonics/Math), SC2's Writing Book 1


      Agree with everything enbateau said above. It makes a student think, not just inhale the book, but think. The guides help me to make sure my child is understanding the book. I'm sure you're daughter understands what she's reading, but a lit guide goes to deeper understanding. Helping her to make connections. Also, if we come across a question that a child doesn't know the answer to, we go back through the reading to find that answer. To many "I don't know"s and that child gets the opportunity to re-read the assignment. There's some accountability to completing the guides.
      DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
      DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
      DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

      We've completed:
      Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
      Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6


        Leigh Lowe spoke recently on the importance of good children’s literature. My favorite quote from her talk went something like “ reading a book is not the same as comprehending the book and comprehending a book is not the same as contemplating it.” My wording may be slightly different because this is written down and at the office, but you get the gist.


          I really like that analogy, comprehending vs. contemplating. That's good
          DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
          DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
          DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

          We've completed:
          Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
          Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6


            Michelle T I was going to share the same quote. Instead I’ll share a story that drove home the point for me. Shortly after Sodalitas, my daughter and I were discussing one of the books from the HLS summer reading lists. She had enjoyed the book and asked me to read it. As we were discussing a part of the plot, it became clear she had mixed up some key parts. I was surprised because she is a prolific reader with an excellent memory. For this book, she was just enjoying the story and nothing more. It was a fresh reminder of how read doesn’t mean comprehended or contemplated. Some stories can just be enjoyed but I want my children to learn how to closely read and think about a text. The literature guides help me teach how to underline in a book, take notes as you read and ultimately to think more deeply about a book.

            For 2021-22
            dd- 6th
            ds- 3rd
            dd- 1st
            ds- adding smiles and distractions


              All the other more moms/educators said it already .

              so here’s the I inverse:
              Why do you give your child a novel without a lit guide or study group?

              i mean this as an honest question, not snarky.

              at home:
              boy - 3rd grade
              boy - 2nd grade
              boy - k/1st
              girl - toddler



                Not all reading is for study. Some reading should be just for fun however that doesn't mean we should resort to junk reading. I read aloud or had my children read Charlotte's Web and other literature long before they studied it in school. We read these just to enjoy the time together with a good book but there was never any defining of vocabulary or contemplation of characters. My ability to control the free-time junk reading dimished somewhat as they grew into teens. Confession: my daughter did read the Twilight series in high school-hangs head in shame. Since she wanted to read it, I read it too because I knew nothing about the contents and needed to preview. But, she also read all the good titles required for Highlands and others provided by me.

                The concise answer is that for the literature associated with school, there should be a few (3 to 4) titles that are studied, which means using a literature guide. But for reading beyond that, provide good material and know your child. Get the good stuff in first!




                  Yes, like Michelle says I think some reading should be just for fun. I have no problem with junk reading or twaddle as Charlotte Mason would say. She would probably scold me, but I simply disagree with her. My daughter has gotten so much joy from reading her Garfield comic books. I buy her a few each year for Christmas to add to her collection. She loves the Harry Potter series as do I and we share that together. I buy her the beautiful illustrated editions of Harry Potter when they each come out. I read tons of Agatha Christie, not sure if she would be twaddle, I think I have almost completed all of her books. I am reading Artemis Fowl right now. I just finished a trilogy of the Christian mystery writer Terry Blackstock. So I love stories and I think so much reading should be for fun and I want my daughter to have that. If I read a guide for every book I read it would steal the pleasure. Personally I also have to have light reading. I enjoyed when I read the book The Brothers of Karamazov, but I just couldn't read that stuff all the time or I think my brain would just explode.

                  There has been years of debate in the homeschool world from those who prefer a literature approach to education. Do you use Sonlight where you swamp your kids with tons of books, I mean it is not uncommon to read about 50 books each school year ( for a 5 day core and including the Read Alouds) or do you do an Ambleside Online approach and read fewer books and spend time absorbing the material. I have gone back and forth on that.

                  However, I do see all these benefits that you mentioned and it has really encouraged me to see how beneficial these guides can be. I do like the idea of 3 -4 titles each year where you spend some time with the material. I have had many moments with Sonlight over the years that we just read, read, read and don't really DO anything with the material. With Sonlight you do get some comprehension questions and mapping and stuff to do, but it takes so much to keep up with the readings that most days we just read the books and skipped all the questions!

                  Thank you ladies for all of these great responses!


                    This is one of my favorite articles that I think will answer your question(s). I think this one almost answer Tulip? .

                    DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
                    DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
                    DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

                    Previous Years
                    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
                    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
                    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1


                      This is our first year of doing literature guides and literature study, and I love that we have these four books that we are absorbing slowly and purposefully. My daughter (12) is a prolific reader as well, but has not thought deeply about books until now; she has read them for enjoyment, which I am fine with, but I also want her to experience the joy of making those deeper connections.
                      2020-2021 Ninth year homeschooling, second year using MP cores

                      DD - grade 8; also in AHG and Tae Kwon Do
                      DS - grade 4; also in Trail Life and Tae Kwon Do

                      Five born to Heaven, between 2009 and 2014; because of them we have a ministry called Naomi's Circle for parents walking the path of pregnancy loss

                      DH is a bivocational pastor

                      Celebrating 19 years of marriage this year!