Monday, July 27, 2009

New Curriculum Review

For the last two years, as I've been teaching various English-related classes through my church's homeschool co-op, I have ended up writing/assembling my own curriculum. This was not for lack of looking for a ready-made curriculum to use - I would have been glad to find one; however, it just seemed that all the curriculae I looked at were either too childish and relied mostly on rote busywork (which I hate as a main learning tool), or too mature or explicit (including themes, language, or analysis that was offensive or just too heady for my younger highschoolers).

For my first class, an introduction to poetry class, I actually spent several weeks writing my own curriculum, complete with workbooks and lesson plans. For the rest of my classes, I ended up selecting my own literature, pairing it with discussion prompts I developed, and writing my own classroom charts, handouts, and worksheets. It worked well - it was tailored exactly to the level and interest of my students - but it was time-consuming.

Imagine my excitement when I attended HEAV this year and discovered Andrew Adams and his Center for Literacy Education! Finally a "curriculum" that I could apply to any piece of literature, complete with teaching method, supplemental materials, and resources. After sitting through two of his seminars and looking through his exhibit table, I ended up buying his Worldview Supplement (including DVD set) for this fall.

I am looking forward to selecting literature to use with this method for the upcoming school year!