We had the opportunity to review a physical copy of the Tenth Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press. Four literature studies: Julius Caesar Set, Romeo and Juliet Set, The Scarlet Letter Set and To Kill a Mockingbird Set are included in the tenth grade literature guide set.
I am going to tell you, up front, I love Memoria Press. I was introduced to the company as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew many, many years ago. Since that time, one or more of the products from the company has been included in our education plan every school year.
Memoria Press was founded by homeschool mom, Cheryl Lowe, and her son Brian in 1994. The family-run business publishes Christian Curriculum – some authored by Lowe – that is also used in the Highlands Latin School, which she and her son founded in 2000.
Memoria Press does a wonderful job with the presentation of its products. They are high quality in aesthetics and thorough in content. One of the reasons I enjoy going to our local homeschool convention is just so I can see, everything it publishes, in one place. We currently use its Form Latin curriculum and the literature guides are another favorite.
For this review, we received the Tenth Grade Literature Guide Set without the novels. We received the Student Books and Teacher Guides only. The last time we used the literature guides was in the seventh grade, which does not seem so long ago. My children are growing fast.
Lily is a reader and a writer and one of the things she enjoys about the literature guides are the book selections and the exercises that are included.
As I mentioned, it has been a few years since we used the guides and we immediately noticed some changes in the layout of the Student Book. I must admit, both Lily and I were disappointed with the layout of the Student Book. One of the features she loved (the writer) about the books were the writing pages for her responses.
There is absolutely nowhere to write in the student book. Enter “sad face”. Okay. I stepped back and realized a few things. The guides we previously used were for elementary and middle school grades. Folks, we are in high school now. Wow! Ready or not, we are here now. So, we sucked it up and moved on as we began our high school study.
Each student guide is laid out the same way. There are student (Student Book) and teacher (Teacher Guide) helps, so a student who has never used the guides can easily use them and parents can help along the way.
Although I hate writing in my books, this is one of the skills high school students need to know. The book is a tool/reference to help the student understand the story as well as a use to write their responses. Marking the book helps them keep track of important facts and details and be able to easily locate them.
If you have previously used Memoria Press literature guides, you will see some similarities. Vocabulary and reading notes (ex: character descriptions and some vocabulary) are still included. In the Tenth Grade Literature Guide Set, students are delving deeper into the story they are reading. It is not just a cover-to-cover experience. The focus is on understanding the central one idea of the novel. Students are walked through a “four-stage sequence” (trivium rooted) through grammar (language), logic (thought) and rhetoric (expression). Students gather the pieces of knowledge they need to understand the work, then they start to connect and reason their findings, drawing a conclusion and finishes with sharing/writing about what they have learned. Although our school has a Classical slant, this form of studying is still different to me.
Fortunately, the Teacher Guide has helped with the explanation and allowed me to be a help to Lily as she has worked through the program. If you do not follow a Classical approach, you can still use these guides just fine.
To help her work through the program, I typed up the questions (for our personal use only), so she can write her responses to the comprehension questions. This has made such a difference.
We still love Memoria Press and absolutely love the new way of learning with them in high school through its literature guides. She will continue working through the guides this school year. We are looking forward to Julius Caesar, which we will see on stage this school year.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Tenth Grade Literature Guide Set, which also includes the novels is $129.
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