Thursday, June 10, 2021

Homeschool High School World Literature Curriculum

Learning Language Arts Through Literature

The following is a sponsored post in collaboration with Common Sense Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I'm continuing today with my homeschooling high school series. Today's post focuses on Language Arts. This was really a huge struggle for me, but I am ecstatic that I have finally settled on the Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLATL) curriculum from Common Sense Press that delves deep and provides us with exactly what we need to study language arts in high school.  

Quick Overview

Program: Learning Language Arts Through Literature: The Gold Book - World Literature
Subject(s): literacy, literature, world cultures, ELA
Religious Perspective: Explores World Religions through their literature
Format: Books
Grades: 9th - 12th
Language: English 
Price: $14.00 - $27.00


Homeschool Literature Curriculum


Finding a language arts curriculum that meets my expectations has always been a struggle. And once my middle kid started 9th grade, my stress level about this subject skyrocketed. UNTIL I learned about LLATL. I just wish that I had learned about it before we started 9th grade instead of a few months ago. 

This program is simple and easy to implement. Easy to teach AND easy for my student to get done on his own. I don't necessarily have to teach this subject. But I do because I love it.

LLATL - World Lit sample


Open-and-Go Curriculum


The program uses two main books: the text book which contains all the lessons, and A World Literature Anthology, with excerpts of (yep!) world literature. To complete the course, I ran up to my local Half-Price Book Store and purchased copies of The Odyssey by Homer, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. I had to order No Fear Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare off of Amazon.

That's it. The textbook and anthology are the main materials my son needs. It's set up for a 5 daily lessons each week, but honestly, you can do as many as you want in a sitting. Sometimes we do one lesson in a day, and sometimes we push and do all five. I LOVE the versatility of it!

But what I love even more, is that this program explores literature from all over the world and throughout history. I've loved learning and exploring right alongside my kid. And when I'm excited about it, he enjoys it more and we have great discussions.

This course isn't designed to read just a few books in their entirety. Instead, it is like a smörgåsbord that presents amazing literary works from all over the globe. 

The text itself is divided up into 5 sections:
  1. Early Literature,
  2. Epic Poetry,
  3. Medieval - Renaissance,
  4. Enlightenment - Romanticism, and
  5. 20th Century.
Right now, we are in Epic Poetry, partially because we've so enjoyed exploring some of the new stuff. For example, we've all heard of haiku poetry, but neither one of us had ever heard of tanka poems. We spent some extra time with that. 

I am SO grateful that we homeschool because I don't feel pressured into getting it all done as quickly as possible. We can enjoy this and while we may go ahead and push the learning through the summer, if we don't finish until a few months into the new school year, we're okay with that.

What I Like BEST


I love the diversity and thoroughness of this curriculum. So far, we've read excerpts of Hindu hymns from the Rig Veda, the Epic of Gilgamesh (of course!), African proverbs, Japanese folktales, Aesop's fables, Zen parables, portions of the Bible, the Analects of Confucius, and even suras from the Koran.

Seriously, you can see why I like it and highly recommend it. Last week, I told you about the world cultures curriculum I'm planning for my elementary kid. Now, I'm sharing one for my high schooler!! Yay!

I just cannot stress enough how important it is to me for my kids to travel the world. And if we can't do it physically because of a pandemic, then we'll do it virtually through online programs and books. And curricula like this one from Common Sense Press is excellent. I recommend 100%!!

I also love that my 15yo kid actually LIKES it. This is not always the case with him. He struggles so much with dysgraphia that he automatically complains about any subject with written assignments (Hello? All of them?!). But he does enjoy these lessons.

Based on this experience, I do plan on using their other curricula for high school literature with my kid. Next year, we'll probably dive into British Literature as my kid loves all things British (including the accent).  

If your kids aren't old enough for high school, yet. Check out their other LLATL textbooks. They start with 1st grade.

So if you are homeschooling a high schooler (or preparing to do so in the fall), go and check out this curriculum.

The Discount 


If you're already convinced and off to buy it yourself, then here's a discount code for you! Get 15% off when you enter the code: Summer2021

It's valid through July 31st.

The Giveaway!


The winner gets to choose 1 Teacher/Student set from Learning Language Arts Through Literature or 1 Great Science Adventures!



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Learning Language Arts Through Literature


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

K - 8th Activity Guide from Smithsonian


This is so awesome! This week I saw that there is a new Smithsonian Education activity guide for kids available for download online.

Inspiration Nation is filled with inspiring stories, hands-on experiments, and art projects for students in K through 8th grade. The 40-page activity guide is bold, creative, and colorful, and portions of it are bilingual. 

It focuses on three main questions:

  1.  “How have you been inspired?,” 
  2. “How have others been inspired?,” 
  3. and “How can inspiration change the world?”

This resources is part of their Learning Lab collection, so when you download it, you'll have the option of taking a tour. If you've never used a Learning Lab, it's pretty fascinating. There is a tool bar that lets you do/read a variety of things including:

  • information about what you are seeing, i.e. a description and other details,
  • additional resources or interactives that the artist has uploaded to supplement the piece,
  • the option to add the piece to your own virtual collection (!),
  • the ability to bookmark it as one of your favorites,
  • the option to cite the source if you are doing research (it will create the citation for you in MLA, APA, or Chicago style),
  • and the ability to flag the source if you are especially impressed or concerned about it.
Overall, what a fabulous resource to keep your kids engaged and learning this summer in a really fun way!

Click here to get your free print-friendly PDF of “Inspiration Nation.”

Monday, June 7, 2021

Printables for Summer Fun Learning

Are you looking for fun activities to keep your kids busy, entertained, and learning this summer? Consider some of my bilingual printables! They're available in English and Spanish - you pick the language that best suits your needs. 

This year, I have some new activities for you, such as the Sandía Activity Pack and the 4th of July Book of Words. 

Older kids may prefer the Bilingual Travel Games for long road trips, or even the Magic Tree House pack of supplemental activities if they are just now reading the first three books in the series (in EITHER language!). 



Lots of fun activities to develop math, literacy, and fine motor skills!




Introduce vocabulary for celebrating the holiday.




Ways to extend the learning with this fun series of books!




If you are embarking on a family road trip, help boost your kids' English or Spanish vocabulary along the way with this bilingual packet of 10 travel-related games. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Special Discount Code from Spanish for You!


Summer is officially here in our household!

One kid has gone away to camp and another is taking college essay writing classes. What does your summer look like? Does it include language learning for your young ones?

If so, Spanish for You! wants to help. They are offering MommyMaestra readers a $5 coupon code that can be used in any of these ways:

You can't beat that! 

So don't wait. Take advantage of their kindness and go download some lessons! Just remember to use the discount code MommyMaestra5 at checkout! This coupon will be good through June 30th.

Happy learning!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Igniting Wonder for World Cultures with Picture Books

Beautiful Feet Books

The following is a sponsored post in collaboration with Beautiful Feet Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I'm a planner. And when it comes to homeschooling, few things excite me as much as discovering new curricula that I think will delight my kids while teaching them valuable lessons. So while I currently have a preschooler, I'm already looking forward to Kindergarten curricula. And my most exciting discovery at the moment, is the Around the World with Picture Books literature pack from Beautiful Feet Books.

(Psst! Don't miss the GREAT giveaway and freebie at the end of this post!)

Quick Overview

ProgramAround the World with Picture Books Part 1 from Beautiful Feet Books
Subject(s): literacy, literature, world cultures, geography
Religious Perspective: Christian
Format: Books
Grades: K - 3rd
Language: English 
Price: $27.95 for the Teacher Guide up to $205.95 for all the materials (books included)


Charlotte Mason's Good Books


Beautiful Feet Books is a Charlotte Mason-inspired history and literature curriculum for homeschool families. (If you are new to homeschooling and don't know about the Charlotte Mason method, here's a post I wrote for a quick overview.)

I consider us to be an eclectic homeschool family drawing from various methods those aspects that inspire and engage us the most. What I love best about the Charlotte Mason approach is the use of living books instead of text books. Living books are those written by authors who are knowledgeable and passionate about a particular subject. They make history come alive for the reader and capture their imagination. I used these extensively with my older children and am now looking forward to using them with my youngest.

I also am striving to raise global citizens who can interact with any person of any background from anywhere in the world. So when I discovered that Beautiful Feet Books has several literature packs that explore world cultures, I was ecstatic! 

Beautiful Feet Books


A Literature Approach


My favorite way to teach young children is through reading, reading, and reading more great books. And that's exactly what Beautiful Feet Books provides. 

I chose to receive Around the World with Picture Books Part 1, which covers Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. The Asian books dive into China, Japan, Thailand, and India. And the African books explore Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana.

The complete set comes with 17 books, a teacher's guide, and a composition book. Included in the 17 books is an atlas that I've been dying to buy for years, but my big kids were just too old for it. I'm so excited to have my hands on it. More about it below...

BUT if you are on a budget, you can also purchase JUST the teacher's guide ($27.95) and then request all the books from your local library. They probably already have most of them, and if not, would surely be happy to order them for you.

Beautiful Feet Books

The Teacher's Guide


Oh. My. 

That's exactly what I thought when I saw the teacher's guide. Seriously, it's remarkable. It's beautifully done. The full-color guide walks you through each of the 70 lessons and provides lots of extra activities and resources to explore, including artworks, nature connections, recipes, and more.

The guide goes from one country to the next until all 11 countries have been explored. As your student completes the art assignments, they should cut and paste them into the notebook (which, by the way, is imported from Japan and specifically designed for beginning writers). Many of these will be the reproducible maps and drawings found in the back of the guide that your child will color in with colored pencils or watercolors. So the pages of the notebook will mostly contain these pieces of art, with minimal writing. Instead, the lesson encourage oral presentations and dialogue with your children to foster a deep connection both with the subject matter and between parent and child.

The Books


And the picture books have been carefully curated to best represent each country. I love the authenticity of each one and the glimpses of culture that they contain. Some have no words, such as Anno's China, which has only illustrations (the back of the book has descriptions of each scene). Each page is full of activity, a collection of snapshots of daily life in China.

Personally, I love that someone has done all the legwork for me and that I don't have to take time to go and search for books for each country and then try to find them in my library, bookstore, or online. Having it all put together saves me time, which I simply don't have to spare. And the guide makes it possible for me to simply open and teach. I can grab it, look it over, then sit down with my youngest and the book(s) of the day.

Beautiful Feet Books


What You'll Need


As I mentioned above, this is a literature-based program. The box that arrives supplies almost everything, but you'll also need the following:
  • colored pencils
  • set of watercolors
  • paintbrushes
  • watercolor paper
You may have all of these already. But I really appreciate that there's not a ton of stuff I have to buy to use this program. 

There's also ingredients for the recipes, but that's certainly up to you if you want to make your own, buy it (if you live near restaurants that serve the dishes), or decide to skip some all together. 

One of the great things about this program is that it very flexible and the guide simply provides you with ways to explore and build on the books being read.

My youngest was there for the unboxing and immediately grabbed the book Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski. He was enthralled (to my delight!) by all the illustrations. And we've even read some of the books already at his insistence. Totally okay. We read the same books over and over again. So it'll be fun when we add the activities from the guide - that will give the books a fresh slant. 

If this sounds like type of program you're interested in using with your elementary student, go take a look at their product page for more information!


The Freebie


Beautiful Feet Books is giving away the free eBook, 5 Ways to Know If A Book Is Worth Sharing With Your Kids by Josh Berg. To get your copy, sign up here.

The Giveaway


Don't miss this generous giveaway! TEN (10!) winners will receive $100 in store credit to use at Beautiful Feet Books!




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