Homeschooling in American Literature

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My oldest recently finished a semester of American Lit. and will continue in the fall with it.  Last year about this time I started reading, reading and then reading some more.  Since I went to three different high schools I had missed a plethora of great literature along the way.  I had never read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Scarlet Letter, or The Great Gatsby.  So I spent a ton of time reading novels and deciding which ones my sons would read in their high school years.  Here is what I felt was not to be missed...

The Scarlet Letter
The Call of the Wild
Huck Finn
Tom Sawyer
To Kill A Mockingbird
Fahrenheit 451
The Great Gatsby

My favorite from the list above is To Kill a Mockingbird.  Although it has some hard core issues in it, it is not to be missed!  Of course, Mark Twain is just plain fun.  Fahrenheit 451 is appropriate in this day and age as it addresses the evils of technology and the lack of access to books. Honestly, I am not in love with The Great Gatsby.  It is dismal to say the least, but the life lessons make it worth it. I am still debating this book.  If we do read it, I will probably use the Progeny Press study guide for it so that we can talk about it from a Christian perspective.

Short Stories
The Gift of the Magi
To Build a Fire
The Tell Tale Heart
The Cask of Amontillado
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Most Dangerous Game
The Great Stoneface
The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm

The greatest American short story writers were Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe.  Talk about opposite sides of the spectrum!  Poe is dark, grisly, and shocking; Twain is light, comical, and also a bit shocking!

(This study guide has poetry from various areas of the world, but there is enough American poetry and the lessons are well set up that I am going this route.)

So what have your teens read for American Lit.?  What have they enjoyed?

1 comment:

Dana said...

Great list! And, I love that you have spent so much time reading. (Me, too, but for my tween.) I realized I haven't read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and think I will have to give it a try!