This year for our homeschool curriculum, I wanted to change our language arts style. I wanted to add in more literature and writing; kind of change to a Charlotte Mason style. Even though we did change and it's going well, I was excited to learn that I would be reviewing Excellence in Literature as a member of the TOS Crew. I have read about EIL before, and it really sounded interesting to me. Now that we have the first book, my initial thoughts were confirmed :^)

We received Excellence in Literature - English I: Introduction to Literature. The EIL curriculum series are each college-prep courses. English I is the college-prep literature and composition course where "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" (everyday-education).
The objectives of this course are that each student will:
  • Understand the process of writing, including the use of tools such as a writer’s handbook, dictionary, and thesaurus.
  • Have specific understanding of selected representative texts by major authors of the periods studied.
  • Have a general understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the works.
  • Be able to analyze literary texts and present thoughtfully developed ideas in writing.
  • Demonstrate competence in essay organization, style, and mechanics.
The Introduction to Literature course helps guide students to develop different styles of essays based on the literary piece that was assigned. I want to mention here that the short stories and books that were used in this course are excellent. They are varied in style and author, but all of the pieces are classics that are engaging, thought provoking, and timeless.

"My goal is to encourage a love of good literature while preparing students for the challenges of college-level writing" (Janice Campbell)
Janice Campbell is the author of Excellence in Literature. She graduated with honors from Mary Baldwin College with a BA in English. Her educational philosophy is "most closely aligned with the Charlotte Mason series..". She & her husband also homeschooled their 4 children through college. With this background, she was able to develop and a unique curriculum that truly promotes her goal. You can read more about how she chose each piece for her curriculum in this blog post
The Excellence in Literature curriculum is designed for students in grades 8-12. There is a total of 5 different courses. Each course has 9 different units with a 4 week lesson plan for each.

What makes EIL special?
  • Your student will be able to read carefully chosen classical pieces
  • The lessons are self directed
  • There are week by week lesson plans
  • Evaluation rubrics are offered to guide you through the grading process
  • An Honors option is available to possibly earn college credit

Here is a great info sheet that offers an insight into Excellence in Literature. You will find a little bit about everything in this info sheet, including a syllabus for each of the 5 courses. To give you an idea of what Excellence in Literature is all about, they offer a sample unit that you can instantly download. I encourage you to do this. You will then see why I believe EIL is a wonderful curriculum.

As I have indicated above, I am impressed with the depth and thought that was put into the creation of Excellence in Literature. Though we have not had the course for long, my daughter has enjoyed reading the short stories that were chosen (you don't even have to go search for them, as there are links to each of them). The lessons map out each step for her (mostly) and there are sample papers that she was able to use as reference. The only thing that she didn't like so far was the first short story The White Heron. She thought it was "too depressing". She didn't like the, as she put it "lose-lose scenario". But I thought it was a good story and I am sure if she re-reads it, she'll gain a different outlook of it. Do consider, though, that she is 15 and does like happy endings - for everybody. 

You can purchase EIL - English 1: Introduction to Literature for $29 (hard copy) or $27 (e-book format). Either can be purchased through Everyday-Education. You can also purchase the entire set for $139/$135 (depending on format). If you are looking for a new curriculum or a supplement to your existing one, Excellence in Literature may be right for you. It has definitely become a great source for us.

You can read additional reviews on EIL from the TOS Crew. 
And remember: I received this product free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew with sole purpose to provide an honest review after using the product. For more information on this, please see my disclaimer


11/12/2011 11:03

This sounds like an excellent program, thanks for sharing!


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