Is There a Teacher’s Manual for Excellence in Literature?
Since the Excellence in Literature (EIL) guides are designed to be self-directed, they are written so that you do not need a teacher’s manual. The front of the book contains background information on:
- — how to approach the course
- — how to read analytically
- — how to write an essay
As you can see in the sample module, a week-by-week lesson plan in each module tells students what to read and write each week.
Rubric, Models, and Handbook
Instead of a teacher’s manual, the study guide contains a rubric (checklist of standards) for evaluating papers, and the instructions and models (samples) for each type of paper that will help you measure how well the student is doing.
In addition, you should have a writer’s handbook, such as the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers or Writer’s Inc. The handbook provides answers about grammar, style, and usage for both parent and student, and is very helpful when evaluating papers.
With a handbook, the student can find answers for questions such as how to use a comma, how to use pronouns, or other questions of grammar, style, and usage. The parent, teacher, or writing mentor can use the handbook to provide instructive feedback on student writing assignments. Unlike most handbooks, the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers also contains over 200 pages on how to construct arguments and write essays, and is designed to be useful both in high school and college.
At the back of the Excellence in Literature study guide, you will find
- instructions for how to do the Honors option
- instructions and models for each type of paper required
- an assignment checklist
- a student evaluation summary
- a brief chapter on how to evaluate the essays
- a rubric to help you provide constructive feedback
- a glossary
As the teacher or writing mentor, you will evaluate each essay with the included rubric. Since there are so many possible responses, EIL doesn’t have (or need) an answer key. Some families outsource evaluation to another homeschool parent, co-op leader, or teacher. Many families have found retired teachers or graduate students who are capable and willing to evaluate papers for a reasonable fee.*
*We sometimes receive inquiries from parents who would like a referral to an evaluator. If you provide this service and are willing to have your name, a brief bio, website (if any), and email address listed on this site, please email us.
What makes Excellence in Literature different?
This five-year curriculum focuses on full-length classic literature studied in its historic, artistic, and literary context. That means you study great literature, see famous art, and hear beautiful music, all in appropriate historic context.
Benefits of the Excellence in Literature format
- Self-directed lessons help students learn college-style study habits
- Mix and match modules allow you to coordinate literature with other subjects
- Instructions and models help your student complete each type of writing assignment
- Included rubric makes writing evaluation simple and constructive
- Optional honors track helps to prepare students for advanced placement in college or for standardized tests such as the CLEP
Reviewer Cathy Duffy says, “Students completing these courses should be miles ahead of most of their high school contemporaries in their ability to read and analyze literature at a sophisticated level. The challenging writing assignments also promise to develop student skills in composition to a high level.” You may read the entire review at Cathy Duffy Reviews (be sure to notice the “instant key” at the top of the page for a quick overview of features).