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What to do for American Lit?

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Assuming he is doing well in the basics of English by now, can't you just do some books? You could pick from the Great Books course or other favorites from the US, and read them. Then assign an essay on each, or get a lit guide for each (Progeny Press, Glencoe online, etc), or just have a good discussion on each? Maybe sometimes do a book/movie comparison. Some important but fairtly gentle books that come to mind are Huck Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird, Autobiolographies of Ben Franklin & Frederick Douglass, and either Red Badge of Courage or another war-related book such as Across 5 Aprils or Killer Angels. Even when my son's already read a book, I sometimes have him read it again at an older age. Or, maybe you didn't mean the literature needs to be "gentle," and there is a whole range of more challenging reads out there.


If you do a decent number American authors, you could still call it American Lit. If not, you could always call it English 11 or whatever. For "English," our local public schools only read 2-3 books a year on average, and often along the lines of Tuesdays With Morrie. Of course, they add in other units (grammar, vocab, etc.), so you'd do more than 2-3 if you weren't going to do a lot else, but it sounds like your son is up to the task.


The only other piece to think about, besides favorite US authors, is whether you want to cover some early American writing and/or American poetry. Those might be harder to pull together without a little research, but there is a lot out there. MFW covers those using some Stobaugh materials, a short text, and a Dover anthology. That kind of thing helps gather together those short pieces.



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We have just started using IEW literature guides so I haven't been at it long enough to dislike anything.;) So far happy with it. Good list for American lit imo. Their units are independent of each other so he could just do what he could complete or most interested it. Honors part lists alternates which could probably be completely substituted if he dislikes one. Samples online along with book lists.

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