Homeschool Curriculum · Reviews

IEW Teaching the Classics Review

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Institute for Excellence in Writing sent me Teaching the Classics  to try out for a review. This is a DVD seminar and workbook to teach parents/teachers how to teach the classics without having to have a degree in literature. The DVD and Workbook are priced at $89.00. Here is a little blurb from their website about the product:
Teaching the Classics will revolutionize the way you and your students read books. By using short stories as the models and the Socratic approach as the method, the authors systematically prepare you to teach character, plot, theme, and other elements of fiction and literary analysis. Useful for teachers of all ages and abilities.

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There are 4 DVD’s with six sessions all together. In the workbook you will see a break down of the sessions on each of the DVD’s so you can plan out how you want to watch them. I watched them over the course of a couple weeks as I was able to sit down. Also you will learn how to identify things in literature by going through the workbook and using it as a guide. He talks about things such as simile’s, alliteration, and metaphor’s.

I really enjoyed them, they opened my eyes to how easy it really is to teach classic literature and also taught me a bit about how to look at literature by not only reading the words but putting the works into context by finding information out about the author, the time the work was published and so much more. It’s going to make literature teaching much more enjoyable and interesting for my girls. The great thing about this product is that you can start with young children. Children’s books are a good place to start because they are simple and easy to read.

One of the most important things said that I remember from the very first session, and really I think carries on throughout the whole idea of teaching any subject, is that if you can not break a subject down simple enough to explain to a ten year old then most likely you do not truly understand it yourself. It would be a good idea to revisit it and make sure you know it. I believe having this idea alone will help me to teach better from this point on.

Overall I really enjoyed this session even if just to teach and train me on how to teach and understand great literature. But I think my students will also reap the rewards for this on going training. I really advise anyone who does not think they can teach classic literature to watch this seminar and you will be surprised how easy it actually will be.