Friday’s Hardwired Homeschool Hints: Literature Helps

fridays hardwired homeschool hints 150X150 It’s back to school for the Topsies (or not-back-to-school as I know some of you prefer)!

That means time to dig deep into my resource bookmarks and find more great Hardwired Homeschool Hints to add to my Friday blog posts!

Today’s subject: Literature Helps

Whether you’re kids are fans of Dr. Seuss or Dostoevski, you want to be able to help them get the most they possibly can out of what they read.  About four years ago, we dedicated an entire year of homeschool to Classic Literature, and it was a blast. 

So here are some of my favorite techie tools for studying literature:

Sparknotes and Shmoop:  Interesting, engaging, relevant, and yes…digital guides to classic literature and more.  (Think Cliffnotes as written by your favorite “hip” college professor tech-geek)

Children’s Literature Database:  This has always been my go-to guide for finding quality books on specific subjects, for specific grade-levels, by specific historical setting, or even which won specific awards.  A must-have bookmark!

Teach With Movies:  If you have visual learners at your house, who happen to remember what they “see” even better than what they “read”, then you might appreciate the website Teach With Movies.  Each movie listed has accompanying lesson plans and learning guides.  Here is the link to their Literature page. (TWM requires a small annual subscription)

Lit2Go: If you love classic literature, but don’t always have time for  it, you might appreciate the free mp3 downloads at this site that you can listen to on iTunes, in the car, or on your MP3 player.

Literary Elements Mapping: Cool graphic organizer tool for helping students map out the elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution in whatever book they are studying.

WannaLearn Classic Literature List: We used this list extensively when we were focusing on the classics.  Direct purchasing links for each of the books, as well.  I often recommend the games at this site, and I can highly recommend using the topic “Literary Terms” for your next session of game play

Banned Books Online: I always thought it would be so much fun to do a unit study or exploration of solely “banned books.”  If you ever have that strange inclination for yourself, here is a great link.

If you’d like to check out all previous Hardwired Homeschool Hints posts, click on this link.

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8 Responses

  1. Do you guys have a subscription to Teach with Movies? I’ve had that bookmarked for ages, but haven’t ever done it (not like the $12 annual fee would kill me 😉

    And that Children’s Literature Database is fantastic!! Thanks for the link

    • FM – – we did a few years ago. I liked it, but it is a little “schoolish”, which works terrific for some kids, and not as well for others, but I still used the ideas they gave and worked them out for us. It really might be worth a subscription if you at least wanted to use the discussion questions and such…

  2. Thanks for all those great links! Even us non-home schoolers find them interesting!!

  3. I love Lit2Go, also LIbrivox is a good source of free MP3s.

  4. Thanks for these – all the links sound like fun!
    Almost makes me look forward to fall and winter weather, so that when we are stuck inside, we have interesting literature links to check out 🙂

    • Karen – I’ll email ya the info! And yes…winter is the PERFECT time for good literature!

  5. Oh, and I noticed on Jena’s blog that she links to your Friday’s Hardwired Homeschool Hints in her sidebar… can I do that, too? And if so, how? (Keep in mind the name of my blog when you answer:-)

  6. AH! If I get addicted to clueless crossword I’m telling everyone it’s your fault. 😉 I love the idea of doing a unit study on banned books!

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