Friday, June 22, 2012

Not-Your-Usual Literature Study

I spent a few hours at the local homeschool convention today, hoping to get some inspiration as to how to handle literature study next year.   Of course, every where I looked I just saw more and more artificially formulated, over-packaged curriculum that made me shudder.  How could any of that inspire my non-bibliophile?   What's out there was about as mentally appetizing as a t.v. dinner.

"Necessity if the mother of invention," I've been told.  So in true Mother Clucker fashion, I am setting about creating something that works for her learning style.   She will be taking a fantastic high school composition class at our co-op next year, and thrived a wonderful class in literary analysis this past year.    We want her to continue exploring works, without adding lots of redundant written work.

I trolled the internet for ideas, and was intrigued by this article, "Writers as Artists, Artists as Writers." 
I love the authenticity possible through this sort of exploration.    HoneyGirl loves to dabble with different media in art.   We tossed the idea around a bit and she is enthusiastic.    She quickly began linking media to book themes.

"Let's treat it like your book club," she wisely suggested.   The literary analysis will be handled through discussion, where I can still ensure she has noted all the major and minor themes, without the burden of written essays.  I might even choose to do some of the art projects with her.

 I questioned her on the types of books and number of books we would select.  Since the only genre she reads for pleasure is sci-fi & fantasy, I limited her to only one selection.   She opted for ten book to read. I suggested we also add in few plays, as we those we can watch, as well as some poetry.    We might even add in some movies with similar themes to occasionally do some compare and contrast exercises.

All that is left is to create the book list.   She's going to work on her own ideas, and I am to bring some to her.  The only book we've chosen together is "The Secret Life of Bees."  

So, I ask you, what books would you recommend for my chick?  She's done tons of classics, so we're not looking solely down that road.  She likes thought provoking books , and we are looking for all genres.  Got a favorite you'd like to recommend?  Please share, and why it's a favorite of yours!


  1. On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. My favourite novel ever, for several reasons. And if she's going to do fantasy, she might benefit from Finnikin of the Rock & Froi of the Exiles, also by Marchetta. Grim books, but they explore the issues of disenfranchised women during war.

  2. I've read a few really good YA books recently that might interest you two. They have science-fiction-fantasy elements to them, without being strictly in the genre. Kind of crossover-ish.
    Feed by MT Anderson-about a future where people are hooked up to an internet-like feed directly into their brains.
    The Knife of Never Letting Go--the first of a trilogy, by Patrick Ness, set in a distant world where man's every thought is heard out loud.
    Timesplash (not YA) by Graham Storrs: time travel is possible, but has some "repercussions" in the present.
    Also, I'm not sure if you two are into the BBC series Downton Abbey, but if you are, you should love The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton, as much as I did. Lots of fascinating upstairs-downstairs intrigue.