Welcome to our monthly Spotlight on Five! ~ Literature

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Welcome to our monthly Spotlight on Five


No new curriculum? 

Were my parents joking? Do school without schoolbooks?

It was 1980 and my parents were on staff at Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Austria. The year before, I had studied with other American children. That year I was the only English-speaking child.

“You can use these,” my mom said, handing me old textbooks, which included a science book published in 1949 and that stated there were 48 states. I could feel all the knowledge I had ever learned slipping away.

In addition to outdated textbooks, my mother spent several weeks sick in bed. Except for my daily Pre-Algebra tutor, I was on my own.

Reluctantly I read the textbooks, but ignored the chapter questions. Instead, I devoured books in the small library.

Biographies as well as historical fiction became my textbooks. I don’t remember the contents of my “official” history textbook, but the settings, plots, and characters or people from the books were embedded in my mind.

Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery stories kept me company. Books about missionaries made them real. I worried about George Muller’s orphans and I trekked through the jungles sharing the Gospel with Bruchko. I also read books about the names of God and, sometimes unknowingly, classic literature.

Reading compelled me to journal, write stories, and create scripts. And I dreamed dreams that fueled my imagination and help me create stories.

Eight months later when we returned to California, I was tested. I had maintained a B+ average. I hadn’t flunked. I didn’t need to repeat a year. Plus, what couldn’t be measured is the amount I’ve retained from that school year and from other books I’ve read over time. Literature served me well.

Use literature to enrich your homeschooling environment too:

  • Occasionally set aside the history textbook; instead, choose historical fiction and biographies. Read some aloud; if they are old enough, let your children read by themselves.
  • Use fiction (not reading books) to teach your children story elements and to dig deeper in to books. My Literature Kits or Adam Andrews’ lessons at are excellent for this purpose. Discussing and identifying story elements will enable your child to develop strong storylines when writing.
  • Encourage your children to write responses to literature: poems, scripts, original stories, letters to a character, or just a few paragraphs. Have them start a diary or journal. Don’t correct every piece of writing; allow them to use their imagination without the fear of making mistakes.
Marla Schultz

Marla Schultz is a homeschooling mother of six, ages 4 to 15. An avid reader of great books of all genres, she is especially fond of children’s literature. Marla graduated from Central Bible College in Springfield, MO with a B.A. in Bible and Communications Arts and an emphasis in Literature. Her mother’s love of books and their family’s missionary experiences has motivated her to learn more about different countries, cultures, and time periods through fiction, and to share that love of learning and discovery with her own children. Marla stays busy homeschooling, writing, and teaching drama to young children in her community. She also enjoys writing fiction and is in the final stages of editing a children’s book she wrote and writing a Christian fantasy for middle grade and young adult readers. You can find Marla’s Literature Kits at


Take a look below at this month’s resources for additional ideas. Be sure to let us know how you teach literature in your homeschool. Email Paul and Gena Suarez and share your story. We’d love to hear about it!



October’s Spotlight on LITERATURE!


Analytical Grammar

Read Right Systems

Progeny Press

SNAP! Learning

Macmillan Publishers

Analytical Grammar

Analytical Grammar

Middle school is a special time for language arts instruction. There is so much to cover that it seems impossible to schedule in a way that doesn’t take hours to complete. Analytical Grammar and its new companion middle school language arts program, Beyond the Book Report, are the answer.
You’ve heard of Analytical Grammar. It’s one of Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks for Homeschoolers. It’s a systematic, easy-to-teach, mastery-level grammar, punctuation, and usage program.
Beyond the Book Report is new. It is a middle school literature and writing curriculum that covers EVERYTHING your child needs to learn during these important years. Each season teaches two or three different book reports that are used as the catalyst for teaching literary analysis, newspaper writing, poetry, drama, public speaking, essays, and research papers. The curriculum comes with everything you need . . . video lectures, rubrics, activities and assignments, all scheduled and ready to go.
Use code TOS2013 to save 10% on any of our products through December 10th.
Teaching language arts doesn’t have to be time-consuming or frustrating. Let Analytical Grammar and Beyond the Book Report make your middle school language arts meaningful, rich, and doable!


Read Right Systems

Read Right Systems

Read Right offers families something exciting: a distinctly different way to solve reading problems, now available via live and interactive tutoring using the Internet. The Read Right Online Tutoring Service is guaranteed. If you aren’t satisfied after eight tutoring sessions, request a refund.

For 150 years, reading interventions for struggling readers have focused primarily on re-teaching “basic skills”: phonics, decoding, and word identification, with fluency and comprehension treated as separate skills.

Read Right Tutoring is distinctly different because the methods are grounded in fundamentally different assumptions as to what causes reading problems and what is required for excellent reading ability to develop. Rather than divide reading into parts and provide instruction for the parts, Read Right methodology uses a patented system focused on total excellence in sentence and passage reading, regardless of the severity of the reading problem. Read Right students-including students with dyslexia–graduate from the program reading aloud as naturally as they talk (no awkward breaks or pauses) and fully comprehending what they read.

Read Right is documented to be highly effective by rigorous research. Learn more about the program at or contact Mervina Sturgeon:; 360.545.4443 (PST).

Progeny Press

Progeny Press

Reach new heights with Progeny Press study guide for literature from a Christian Perspective! 
Looking for more than activity sheets or a who-did-what series of questions? Want to dig into the essence of the novel? 

Progeny Press study guides for grades K-12 provide easy-to-use, reproducible lessons on literary terms, comprehension and analysis, critical thinking, related Biblical principles, vocabulary, and activities, plus a complete answer key!

Progeny Press is committed to teaching culturally relevant literature from a Christian perspective. Our purpose is not to bring you only “safe” literature, but to teach literature that is well-written and that will help students develop and refine how they deal with man’s philosophies in relation to God’s word. Progeny Press examines literary terminology and technique in good, culturally relevant literature to equip students for understanding the craft of writing and to enhance their joy of reading. With these things in mind, we promise to bring you good literature, provide good literary analysis, and measure it by the light of scripture.

Check us out online, view free samples, see all of our 100+ study guides, and learn more at

SNAP! Learning™ Interactive Digital Leveled Books


Easy-to-USE, Easy-to-TEACH, Easy-to-LEARN

If you are looking for a new reading product designed for leveled reading that is easy to teach and easy to learn, SNAP! Learning has developed just the product. This program was designed for home schooling with built-in lesson plans that any parent can easily use.

Our innovative, interactive mobile platforms actively engage your child and make reading fun! With guided and fully scripted lessons for you, your child will be able to learn a variety of literacy and foundational skills in each of our 128 titles.

Another key feature, progress is tracked by an automatic built-in data base for tracking scores as they complete each lesson.

Price for this truly ground breaking product: 

Unlimited-Access-to-Our-Full-Library-12 Months-$89

Annual subscription includes titles for downloading and printing, digital tablet use

and projectable interactive books.

  • Videos, multiple slide shows, animations, charts/graphs, built-in fluency exercises, and multiple choice assessments.
  • Content that matches social studies, science, or history standards.
  • 2,000 vocabulary words with flash cards.
  • Pre-kindergarten through 6th grade books with accompanying lesson plans.
  • Titles applicable to direct instruction, close reading, guided or independent practice, and text dependent questioning.

Macmillan Publishers

Macmillan Publishing
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making returns for another Fairyland adventure!

Since her first journey to Fairyland, September has been longing to leave the routine of home and embark on new adventures with her friends Ell and Saturday. Join her as she is spirited away once more in The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, the third installment in the New York Times-bestselling Fairyland series by author Catherynne M. Valente.

“Like September, readers may leave their hearts in Fairyland.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“One of the most extraordinary works of fantasy, for adults or children, published so far this century.” — Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine


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