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Teaching the Classics:
A Socratic Method to Literary Education

by: Adam & Missy Andrews

  Our Price: $89.00  BUY NOW
(Includes 4 DVDs, 1 Workbook (97 pages))
Our Price: $29.00  BUY NOW

(Extra Student Workbook)


Did you know that all the elements of great literature are present in your second grader's bedtime story?
Did you know that he can learn to recognize them right now?

Teaching the Classics can help you get him started.

Teaching the Classics
is designed to teach parents the basics of literary interpretation and analysis, so they can pass these critical skills on to their students. This inspiring seminar presents a step-by-step program based on children's books and juvenile literature which leaves parents and students prepared to excel in all things literary, from the appreciation of classic books to the AP English exam.

Because Teaching the Classics presents the fundamentals of literary interpretation from within the accessible world of children's literature, even young student can easily identify the language of literary analysis. After mastering children's stories, older students readily spot these fundamentals in more difficult works, enriching both their understanding of the literature and their appreciation for the author's craftsmanship. Such full understanding enables advanced scholars to achieve the final goal of literary education: analyzing the ideas and world view of the author. Student capable of such close reading need not gear the AP English exam: they are prepared to master it!

Teaching the Classics includes helps in the following areas:

  • Preparing for Literary Analysis - context, literary structure & style, socratic method & list
  • Plot & Conflict
  • Setting
  • Character
  • Theme
  • Practicum - Casey at the Bat
  • Curriculum for Literature - Scope & Sequence, Daily Lesson Plans, Story Chart
  • Socratic List - Questions for any story - hundreds of questions
  • Reading List

Here is a great review of this product:

Do you get tired of buying a new study guide for each and
every piece of fiction? I know, I sure do. Do you avoid certain
classics because you can't find a study guide for that book?
I've been there, too!
I have just the answer for you - Teaching the Classics, by
Adam & Missy Andrews! You can now buy one set of helps
for all the fiction your children will read in their homeschool.
What a great deal! Let me tell you about this fantastic source.
Teaching the Classics begins with an explanation of why
your children should read literature. Literature offers your
children an opportunity to broaden their perspective, beyond
their own experiences. A broad perspective is necessary and
crucial to a strong education for your children. Literature also
portrays pathos, tragedy and wonder in the human condition.
Thus, literature is an end in itself, presenting the Great
Conversation about the good life. The Good Conversation,
according to Mortimer Adler, is a discussion about the relationship
between human and divine. We live in a God-filled world where
we see God's truth, goodness and beauty. As we understand
authors, poets and playwrights, we see God's goodness in our
own world.
This literature manual models the common elements of literature
(context, structure, style), uses children's literature as the best
tool to recognize & evaluate elements (plot, context, settings,
character, theme) and shows how the Socratic method is the
best way to guide your students through literature.
Each of the story elements is explained in the manual, but I'm
sure the DVD goes into more detail. For each element, a
children's literature selection is given to analyze that element.
At this point a chart and Socratic questions are provided for the
teacher. After the children's literature activity, further explanation
in analyzing adult literature is given. Now, you should be able to
analyze any piece of literature for this element. A visual chart
for each element and its relationship to the other elements is
The Socratic method of questioning is explained & reviewed.
Why use the Socratic method?

1. It is the most immediately effective way to involve the student in
the learning process, as it avoids the lecture format. If you are
like most of us, you do not remember much from the lectures
you had in high school and college lit classes. The Socratic
method of teaching involves the student in a way that will help
him remember what he learned for years to come.

2. It allows parents & teachers to put instruction in literature
in the service of instruction in character. Since the curriculum
does not tell you what to think, it allows you (the parent & teacher)
to guide and encourage conclusions - as it should be! You can
carry on a discussion from YOUR worldview! WOW!

3. It allows you to focus on the essential element of education -
HOW TO THINK. The Socratic method does not begin with answers,
but with questions. Students are not told what to think (like the
conveyor belt method of government education), but develop powers
of observation, deduction and evaluation as they learn how to think.

4. It encourages good reading!
The end of the manual includes sample curriculum for studying
literature, literature helps, sample daily lesson plans, and a list of
good books to read. (Hey, I even found some new books to
read on this list.)
A few thoughts and quotes about teaching literature and
encouraging reading with your kids.
It is not necessary that a formal literature lesson happen every day.
Should I say that again? It is not necessary to have a formal
literature lesson every day. Homeschool moms get so bogged
down in doing everything everyday. That is an entirely different
article, but you should not stress out when you don't have a
formal literature discussion everyday with your kids. Formal
literature discussions should be mixed into the curriculum with
informal reading for pleasure!!!
The teacher (usually mom) must READ the book she is discussing!
What a concept! Too often, teachers and parents want to use a
study guide to see them through the discussions. I've been there,
done that. I tried to discuss Pride & Prejudice with my oldest
daughter a few years ago without reading the book again. I
spent as much time looking for study helps as I could have spent
actually reading the book. Give your child a better education by
mentoring the importance of reading/literature by leading a
discussion based on YOUR observations, not the expert's study guide.
I know you can do it. It really isn't that hard and it just got a lot
easier with Teaching the Classics to help you through your literature.
Besides, how can your kids learn from someone who hasn't taken
the time to read the book. I can say this because I read the books
my kids are reading. The best way to learn is by mentoring, as
stated above. You need to read the book, ask & answer pertinent
questions, and locate examples in the text to answer your questions.
Thus, you will guide by example. Your kids will become literary
interpreters on their own. If I can do this, you can do it too! Last
year I read the Iliad with my older kids and we talked about it twice
a week. I found things that were important to me, but not found in
the study guides. I would never have talked about those issues
had I not read the novel myself.

STAY TUNED for a continuation of this review after I finish
watching the DVDs that model the Socratic method with literature.

100% Money-Back Guarantee

If you don't like the product or it doesn't fit your child, we will give you a full refund, no questions asked!

Your success in using this powerful approach to teaching writing is completely guaranteed!


Still wondering why you should read the classics. Listen to
Why Study the Classics? Interview of Wes Callihan by Ashley
Beck.  Click here to discover why you should have your
children read the classics.

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Teaching the Classics
Teaching the Classics: Worldview Supplement
Little Britches

Christian Homeschool Curriculum