British Christian Authors is one of Hewitt Homeschooling’s Lightning Literature and Composition guides, which teach college-level composition skills to students in grades 11-12 by having them read and respond to great literature. These literature guides use full-length novels, autobiographies, plays, essays, short stories, and poems. Unlike some literature programs that take a scatter-shot approach (where none of the literature seems connected) or that try to dump too much into one book, Lightning Literature guides focus on a few classics in depth, and in a systematic manner. High school students can spend a semester or a year focused on literature that will not only help their reading comprehension and love of books, but their own writing as well.
British Christian Authors begins with C. S. Lewis on the subject of writing a five-paragraph essay, followed by George MacDonald on interpreting and writing with symbolism. Then the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins teach about word choice, imagery, and syntax in poetry. Next, the students learn about writing clearly with Why Does God Allow War? After that, Amy Carmichael shows students the importance of writing for a reason, and G. K. Chesterton teaches about writing to persuade. Students will learn about literary analysis from T. S. Elliot, and finally they will settle down with a good mystery by Dorothy Sayers and learn about writing what they know.
List of contents:
- C. S. Lewis (nonfiction: The Four Loves)
- George MacDonald (novel: selections [text in this Guide] from Phantastes: A Faerie Romance)
- Gerard Manley Hopkins (poetry [text in this Guide]: “Heaven-Haven,” “Easter Communion,” “Pied Beauty,” “Carrion Comfort”)
- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (nonfiction: Why Does God Allow War?)
- Amy Carmichael (nonfiction: selections [text in this Guide] from Gold Cord)
- G. K. Chesterton (nonfiction: Orthodoxy)
- T. S. Eliot (essay [text on the Internet]: “Tradition and the Individual Talent”)
- Dorothy L. Sayers (novel: Gaudy Night)
You will need to purchase unabridged copies of the following four books:
- The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis
- Why Does God Allow War? by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
- Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton
- Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L Sayers
Rather than a bland text put together by a committee, British Christian Authors was compiled by Lucy S. R. Austen, a homeschool mom with a passion for literature and writing. In her own words, she “finds reading as necessary as breathing, and writes in the spaces between.” In addition to the Student’s Guide, a free Teacher’s Guide is included, which contains a course schedule and answers to comprehension questions, along with a copy of the writing exercises and discussion questions. For most students, Hewitt recommends a semester for each Lightning Literature guide. But students who struggle in language arts may wish to take a whole year for one guide, while supplementing with separate grammar work and/or other language arts materials.
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, a well-respected not-for-profit educational corporation, has been in business for over 50 years. The curriculum provider is known for its commitment to academic excellence, character development, and community service. Co-founded by homeschool pioneer Dr. Raymond Moore and Carl Hewitt, their motto is “Develop a Mind for a Lifetime of Use.” Hewitt offers curricula for Pre-K through Grade 12, Achievement Testing for Grades 3-8, and grading services for junior and senior high. They provide quick, reliable service to online customers in all fifty states and around the world; and walk-in service to customers in southwest Washington and Portland, Oregon. Their store is located at 3140 Evergreen Way in Washougal, Washington, in a picturesque setting at the “Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge.” Stop by and visit them on your way to Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument!
What types of activities and courses have you used as electives? Leave a comment and we may include yours in a future column!