World Literature by James Stobaugh is quite an impressive program! Rigorous in its' approach, spanning The Epic of Gilgamesh to Cry the Beloved Country, your High School student will be exposed to the writing of cultures from the ancient world to the modern era all with a Biblical Worldview.
Each of the 34 chapters are broken down into 5 daily lessons which include: learning objectives, daily warm-ups, concept builders, assigned reading, weekly essays and tests. Completing this course will count for 1 credit each in writing and literature. PLUS, earn 1 credit for History by using the corresponding History curriculum also written by James Stobaugh.
In order to really test drive this curriculum, I "dropped" my 9th grader into the chapter pertaining to The Odyssey. My reasoning for this was because he just finished this book utilizing a different curriculum. I wanted to get a first hand feel how my son would do with a more critical thinking/essay based approach plus I wanted to know how I would adapt to teaching it. Taking into consideration the grade level difference and learning styles, we moved forward.
The Chapter on the Odyssey went like this:
Day 1 - General information and answer questions on Homer. Assign essay due on Day 5.
Day 2 - Plot. Write a summary and precis. Answer questions on Character development.
Day 3 - Dramatic irony. Answer questions on character development and how it relates to you personally.
Day 4 - Critics Corner. Answer questions on plot structure
Day 5 - Epic Simile. Write a 10-12 line epic simile. Answer questions about plot. Essay due. Take test. (note - these tests are generally in essay form).
My son definitely enjoyed the diversity in the day-to-day exercises. Though expressing himself in weekly essay writings is a bit of a challenge, I know with a little practice he'll be successful.
As for me, English isn't my forte. There are literary elements and styles utilized in this curriculum that I needed a refresher for and some that I needed further background in order to teach.
On another note, the student will need to read approximately 200 pages per lesson. The author suggests reading the books over the summer. I personally feel that its better for retention to read the book right before analyzing it. Since we school year around, that would mostly work for us taking a bit longer for each book than originally scheduled. And, it does not appear that adjusting the schedule would in any way detract from the curriculum.
As for whether or not we will continue on with this book. Honestly, at this point we are up in the air. However, it is one of the curricula we are considering for the future.
Check out a sample lesson in the Student Guide and Teacher's Guide for yourself!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of World Literature Teacher & Student Guide from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for an honest review.