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Kelly on the prairie

Windows to the World...Anyone have this?

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I am thinking of getting Windows to the World and am wondering if anyone has a copy that they could review. I have looked at the samples online, but I wanted a more personal review.


What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?


I have seen some literature studies that I thought were time fillers lacking substance and before I make this purchace, I thought I ought to ask here.

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I'm so glad you linked to this. I really needed to hear what you said about middle school literature (& plot) - what a breath of fresh air! I have been trying to "rest" and "trust" WTM in spite of the flurry of literature analysis threads awhile back. I was certain this was a high-school level skill, that we *would* get to it, and master it. But - hey, what do I know, my oldest is only going into 8th?!


Thanks for the head-up. I love getting a glance at this journey from your vantage-point. Many times it seems I'm just wandering without a map!


Good to "see" you!


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I was certain this was a high-school level skill, that we *would* get to it, and master it. But - hey, what do I know, my oldest is only going into 8th?!



If you are looking for a lit. analysis program for middle school, Christian Light Education does an excellent job with lit. analysis plus more in their 15 week reading program.


Here's what's covered in grade 8 (which we are using):


SUNRISE READING 800 – Where Roads Diverge


Analyzing story characters

Working with the Latin word roots

annus, quattuor, and junctum

Identifying setting in a story

Defining and identifying foreshadowing

Identifying figurative language:

metaphor, personification, simile

Understanding and identifying allusions

Considering the results of respecting

older people

Understanding and identifying conflict

Relating characters’ actions to “where

roads divergeâ€

Understanding what an essay is

Identifying the theme of an essay and

a story

Interpreting unusual figures of speech

Rewriting a passage to eliminate a figure of speech

Identifying the lessons taught in a


Identifying the theme of a fable

Identifying paraphrases

Paraphrasing passages

Identifying personification

Extracting lessons from characters’

mistakes and examples

Identifying the parts of plot: conflict,

crisis, climax, resolution

Labeling a plot map for a story

Understanding and identifying prejudice in story characters

Identifying a strategy for avoiding

wrong judging

Interpreting symbolism in literature

Considering anger as a response to


Considering and identifying satire

Identifying the main ideas of paragraphs

Writing the main idea of a paragraph

Interpreting a metaphor from a

Scripture verse

Gaining information from letters, dialogue, and narrative

Identifying allusions

Comparing a character’s situation to a

Bible character’s

Identifying the main points of stanzas

of poetry

Identifying summaries of stanzas of


Marking the rhyme scheme of a poem

Identifying eye rhyme

Contrasting two characters

Interpreting the meaning of a poem

Applying the message of a poem to



Identifying first- and third-person narrators

Considering how point of view helps

develop a story

Identifying characters as static or


Identifying a selection as romantic or


Identifying the theme of a selection

Determining the likely veracity of statements

Analyzing a poem’s structure

Identifying beautiful language in a poem

Working with the Latin roots jactum and


Identifying the possible varying sides of

a story

Interpreting description

Analyzing character in relation to

‘‘where roads divergeâ€

Analyzing how characters took responsibility

Analyzing setting

Identifying foreshadowing

Applying principles from the story to life

Interpreting passages from an essay

Inferring from the essay

Identifying onomatopoeia

Marking the rhyme scheme of a poem

Identifying similes

Identifying a paradox

Interpreting poetry

Comparing a poem and an essay

Identifying mood-creating words in a


Telling why the first person to declare

his cause usually seems right

Understanding unity in a poem

Writing an additional stanza for a poem

Marking meter in a poem

Learning the term iamb

Identifying the thesis of an essay

Identifying examples that support the


Identifying the double meaning of a title

Working with the French root para

Comparing characters’ actions to

Scripture passages

Determining character traits from actions

Interpreting symbols in a story

Using context clues to determine word


Identifying the elements of setting

Interpreting and applying Bible verses

Identifying an allusion

Identifying proper response to life situations


Identifying a story frame

Telling how a character obeyed a Bible


Telling how someone could have better

obeyed a command

Defining denotation and connotation

Identifying the denotation and connotation of words

Identifying the climax of a story

Determining the broad setting of a story

Working with the Greek roots biblos

and philos

Identifying reasons for characters’ feelings

Interpreting figurative language

Describing how different views of the

same thing can be both right and


Choosing the most likely correct view of

an incident

Identifying the lesson taught by folktales

Describing the characteristics of folktales

Comparing two versions of a folktale

Determining word meanings from context clues

Inferring details from the story

Identifying character qualities from

characters’ actions

Paraphrasing text from the story

Interpreting an allegory

Summarizing a list of items

Identifying a statement that best states

the idea of a number of statements

Interpreting symbolism

Describing the results of jealousy and


Analyzing characters’ actions in light of

“where roads divergeâ€

Identifying irony

Thinking clearly about disagreements

Tracing the internal conflict in a story

Identifying a character as static or


Working with the Latin root centum

Understanding the reasons for a character’s actions

Identifying an allusion

Understanding stereotypes

Identifying indications of prejudice

Explaining the irony in a statement

Applying a verse to the story

Paraphrasing a poem

Interpreting symbolism in a poem

Identifying the main idea of a stanza of


Learning the term anecdote

Identifying the keyword in an anecdote


Identifying problem-solving skills

Identifying actions that show persistence, observation, and understanding

Identifying protagonist and antagonist

Relating setting to mood

Identifying character traits from actions

Identifying the elements of plot: conflict,

climax, resolution

Working with the Greek root hydro

Analyzing a character’s actions in light

of ‘‘where roads divergeâ€

Explaining how “talk leads to penuryâ€

Identifying the resolution of the story

Determining word meanings from context clues

Paraphrasing lines of poetry

Explaining the poem title

Identifying mood or atmosphere of stanzas of poetry

Identifying the theme of a poem

Matching paraphrases to lines of poetry

Completing two parodies of a poem

Identifying four types of fallacies in


Marking rhyme scheme and rhythm

Identifying alliteration in a poem

Identifying the moral

Paraphrasing a verse

Working with the Latin roots terra and


Identifying unfair judgments

Determining character by observing


Identifying couplets

Identifying refrains

Telling how a refrain affects the mood

of a poem

Identifying irony

Identifying the theme of several verses

Matching a popular saying to a proverb

from Proverbs

Explaining the meaning of unusual


Identifying foreshadowing

Analyzing character in light of the story


Noting the descriptive language used to

describe setting

Inferring details from the story

Matching figures of speech to their


Describing aspects of the story setting

Explaining characters’ actions


Determining meanings of words from

context clues

Inferring details from the story

Analyzing characters’ actions in light of

“where roads divergeâ€

Understanding the historical background and setting

Identifying four types of fallacious thinking

Comparing and contrasting two characters

Considering how others can stereotype

you and your family

Relating setting and mood

Identifying the double plot of a story

Identifying the theme of a story

Considering the effect of one’s actions

on others

Matching lines of poetry to paraphrases

Identifying the theme of a poem

Paraphrasing lines of poetry

Matching lines of poetry to anecdotes

that illustrate them

Identifying foreshadowing

Determining character from actions

Identifying how different characters

would respond

Identifying “victim†and “overcomerâ€


Identifying how characters obeyed a

Bible commandment

Defining parallel

Identifying three types of parallelism in

Hebrew poetry

Identifying the meanings of stanzas of


Identifying an implication of the poem

Identifying the part of the plot

Working with the theme of the story

Identifying a character as an “overcomer†or a “victimâ€

Identifying protagonists, antagonist, and


Explaining irony in story events

Drawing lessons from story events


I highly recommend it!

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I used the first 1/2 of the CLE Level 6 Program with my youngest last fall. Liked it. Good stuff! It was just what he needed at the time. :001_smile:


Of course I TOTALLY understand that we all need/want different programs at different times. But I just thought I would throw out some thoughts: One of the advantages that I see with the WtW program for high school is that it teaches annotation. It actually FOCUSES on it - and teaches the literary analysis THROUGH the annotation process.


I haven't been able to find many programs that do that (I don't know if CLE level 800 does; I know that level 600 didn't - which was fine; it did what I wanted it to do! :001_smile:) I really think that the lack of annotation instruction is an economics issue. Many programs that teach literary analysis well are designed for classroom use - the VERY place where anthologies need to be passed down year after year from student to student. So they aren't focusing on TEACHING students HOW to write in their books. That back-n-forth/pitcher-n-catcher relationship that Adler, Bauer, and many others encourage (require? demand? INSIST upon?) is never mentioned. The goal for those great text-book programs seems to be to answer the questions ABOUT the text rather than to learn to ask the right questions. (Please don't misunderstand me - I LIKE textbook programs and have MANY of them sitting on my shelves. I realize that most programs are probably shooting to develop students that learn to ask the right questions; it just didn't work for me. I NEVER learned to do that. *I* just never made that leap as a student; I was one of those good students who always did what I was TOLD to do, but I never made the jump and started scribbling outside the lines on my own. Because I'm tutoring one-on-one, I'm trying to capitalize on teaching my kids to constantly break out and push beyond to a place of asking the questions... It helps to have them staring at a BLANK margin with just a set of objectives. tee hee Sink or swim, baby! :D) THAT is the place where I fell down when I got to college and then into my adult life. I didn't know what kinds of questions to ASK. I waited to be asked - rather than having something to say about nearly EVERY sentence. So of course your mileage may vary. I TOTALLY respect that - but I enjoy reading SO much more when I'm scribbling in my books. I want my kids to head in that direction ASAP. So WtW is a good thing for us right now.


I was looking for a program that would teach literary analysis THROUGH that process of annotation. WtW does that for us - plus a few other things that I want to make sure that we cover before we head into next year's literature list.





Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey


P.S. Oh - another thought. I was also looking for a program that I could use in a VERY interactive way. I'm sure that there are lots of ways to use WtW, but I was looking for a program that would stimulate discussion with my oldest. I set aside A LOT of time to work with him this month on this, and I was looking for a program that would give us LOTS of things to talk about when we had face-time - every day! He preps on his own (and so do I) and then we meet and bounce our ideas around. A traditional text-book program is designed just a little too tightly for that. I really wanted to use something that was just a little bit roomier.


But as Michele showed - that CLE program covers a LOT of ground! It really worked well with my youngest last fall. In OUR case, he was a bit TOO needy when it came to reading; that program really shoved him away from me and helped him to see that he could do this "stuff" without the momma! So for us, that program allowed me to use our face-time for other things - YMMV. Thank GOODNESS that there are so many great programs that we can use to educate our kids EXACTLY where they are in life. Skills, content, and life lessons - all in one tight package!

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So, when you say "annotation" you mean writing down your thoughts, notes, etc. in the book, right?


That *is* hard to teach!


It's not that we never do "literary analysis", and it's certainly not lack of mom-materials - I always say it took Teaching the Classics to help me "get" Reading Strands, but it took WEM to make TtC accessible to *any* book I read! (But, I couldn't have started there.) And *I* get WEM, and I use it for myself to guide our literature discussions, and dabble down bits and pieces to my kids as they seem able to absorb/appreciate it.


But, my ds isn't ready for all that, yet. Though he is making connections, and starting to see the "story behind the story" (starting!), he isn't ready to make it his own. Definitely not ready to write about "his thoughts" on the subject. He's still in the "absorbing the world around him" stage and discovering how different other people's worlds can be. He's still firmly entrenched in the one-page summary and one-or-two-sentence evaluation. But one day, he'll get bored with that and be ready to move on.


This year he has seen some of *my* notes in his books, so I'm hoping that will give him a paradigm that - hey, this is ok. But, next year we are going to try to do library books. Hmmmm......I'll have two doing the WTM 8th grade Lit list, and I'm planning a little Nan-inspired, everyone listen while reading their own book time. (They are ALL on Cd at the library!) I just can't see buying books ($$$-wise). OK - I'll compromise and get sticky notes and write on them! (Sorry, I'm thinking and typing at the same time - LOL!) Again, not forcing them to write, but just letting them know more what *I* would write as an example to follow when they're ready.


And, on writing (not in-the-book, but "about the book"), I haven't found WEM very helpful on that regard, which may be my own fault, so I'm definitely putting this in the margin of my WTM.



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Now when we read books (other than CLE readers) we "see" what we otherwise would not have seen. Knowing what metaphor, simile, forshadowing, alliteration, allusion, parody, etc. are from CLE reading (& applying it) has helped tremendously. No, CLE reading 8 doesn't teach annotation, but it teaches so many other lit. analysis, poetry & criticial thinking skills.


Have you looked at Roman Reading? It teaches how to annotate. Download ROMAN reading pfd to read the whole program. On the website, it suggests starting annotation with Poe's A Telltale Heart (love this short story).


Writing About Literature by Edgar Roberts is very similar to Windows on the World but for the college crowd.


I just got my hands on Windows on the World an hour ago so I'm going back to reading it!



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No, I haven't heard of "Roman Reading" - will check it out. Thanks! I have Roberts text on my shelf. Like it! But I needed quick-n-easy rails to run on for this month; WtW fit the bill for me - open and go. :001_smile:


We'll see how far we get. Gotta' dash...




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What kind of supplements or book suggestions does Mrs. Myers suggest for making the course a year long one for high school? I looked at samples, and I love the way this book teaches. However, I want a full year course. I guess I could start with Windows to the World and then move to our own books.



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I wish to thank you all for your answers:001_smile: I got to preparing for our Vacation Bible School and completely forgot I posted this question until yesterday.


The student I am considering using this with is going into seventh grade next year and unlike many, I was unimpressed with Hewitt Lightening Literature. It sounds as though Windows may be over her head a tad, but when I read the samples, it looks very doable for her. I'm not sure I am ready to invest in Teaching the Classics. However, I will say I kick myself all the time for not having purchased IEW earlier. I have the summer to consider it.

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