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Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide Set Review by Barbette Yingst

Sharon Watson
Writing with Sharon Watson
P.O. Box 6441
Kokomo, IN 46904-6441

I had the opportunity to review the Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide from Writing with Sharon Watson. I received a whole set to review. It included:

* Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide Student Book - $39.49

* Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide Teacher’s Guide - $16.49

* Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide Quiz and Answer Manual - $8.49

* Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide Novel Notebook eBook Download – FREE

This curriculum covers these novels:

* Pudd’nhead Wilson, by Mark Twain

* The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells

* The Friendly Persuasion, by Jessamyn West

* Peter Pan, by Sir James Barrie

* Warriors Don’t Cry, by Melba Pattillo Beals

* A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

* Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

* The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

Please note that these novels are not included in the curriculum. You need to acquire them before beginning or borrow from the library as needed.

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to review this spectacular product. As a lover of old literature and antique books, I appreciated that some of the books in this course were written over one hundred years ago. Some teens aren’t always interested in classic novels, but Sharon does a great job of taking the classic and making them interesting and relevant to today!

Before my daughter started reading each of the books covered in this course, there were several lessons in the student book that helped her prep for the book reading. The prep lessons help you understand the author better, and the context of the story that you will be reading. There is also a “Suggested Reading and Homework Plan: Preview.”

This section looks a little like this:

Week 1:

___ Complete lessons 1-3

Week 2:

___ Read Chapters 1-12

Week 3:

___ Read Chapters 13-21

Week 4:

___ Decide on one activity and begin work on it. You’ll find the list of activities at the end of this chapter. Your teacher will tell you when this is due.

___ Complete lessons 5-7

___ Hand in your activity and breathe a sigh of relief.

We both found the plan to be so helpful. It is set up with boxes to check when completed, and lays out perfectly which lessons to do—and when, as well as what chapters to read in the corresponding book. There is also a downloadable Novel Notebook to use along with the course. The notebook that you download has questions and tidbits about each story. Then after each book is read there are follow up questions as well as a section entitled, “Your Choice of Activities.” In this section your student can pick one (or more if they like) of the activities. These activities are fun and help your student expand their understanding of the literature they just studied.

Sample activities include:

• A Calendar – Create witty saying for your own calendar

• With a Friend – Interview someone of a different ethnic background again

• Find Your Roots – Research your genealogy

• Mars – Facts on the planet

• Write what You Know – using what you already know to write a short story

• List Mania – Compile a collection of quotations

• I’ll Watch the Movie – Compare book to movie and give a movie to review

• Tea Time – Brew sassafras tea

. . .and so much more!!!

Everything works so spectacularly together and makes this course a fabulous addition to our homeschool. Sharon Watson has truly thought of everything! My daughter loved this course!

I have to say that I am ecstatic about how much my daughter enjoyed this course. She has never really been a fan of reading. She has struggled in the past with reading comprehension, but what we found as we worked through this curriculum, was that her love for reading began to grow!

Personally, I found the ease of utilizing every aspect of the curriculum beneficial. Since the novels are not included in the curriculum, it was easy to request them from our library and check them out for each portion of the course! 

Curriculum is the most important choice that you will make when it comes to your homeschool. Choosing just the right one is a huge responsibility and isn’t always easy. One of the main reasons that I wanted to homeschool was because during their time in “Brick and Mortar” I felt that they were only learning information for the short term…either to take a standardized test, or the like. I wanted them to learn information that would stick with them for a lifetime. The way that Sharon Watson intertwines the information, vocabulary, questions, and bonus items. . .she assures that your student will remember these lessons for years to come.

I am so excited that we had the opportunity to review this amazing curriculum! Check it out for yourself, it will be easy to see the impact it makes in your child and their education!

-Product review by Barbette Yingst, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016