Review of the Ninth Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press

Memoria Press offers their classical Literature Guide Sets to bring your children into a deeper understanding of literature that has influenced our society.

For this review, our family received the Ninth Grade Literature Guide Set. This set includes the Teacher Guides and Student Guides for Henry V, Beowulf The Warrior, Canterbury Tales, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Our family focused on Canterbury Tales during this review period.

What is Memoria Press?

Memoria Press offers resources and curriculum for classical Christian education ranging from elementary grade levels through high school. Not just for the Christian homeschool family, Memoria Press offers ways for involved families to provide knowledge to further the education of their publicly and privately schooled children.

They offer such topics as logic and rhetoric, modern languages, Latin, classical literature and poetry as well as the traditional subjects of math, science, and phonics.

A classical education focuses on children memorizing and repeating information in the grammar stage, using the information to ask “why” in the logic stage, and evaluating the information to become effective writers and communicators during the rhetoric stage. It focuses on seeking after truth through the study of classic literature, grammar, rhetoric, logic, math, music, and science.

What is included in the Ninth Grade Literature Guide Set and how did our family use it?

Memoria Press, and the classical education model, includes four stages. In their high school curriculum, they guide students through each of these four stages. Stage 1 is the Pre-Grammar, or preparation, stage in which students are prepared to receive new information by activating their prior knowledge and experience of a subject. This is important as it activates our memories and prepares us to add new information to the already acquired.

For example, Canterbury Tales includes four brief stories and Memoria Press studies three of these and includes a general prologue. For each of these stories, we went through all four of the stages of the classical education model. So for the Pardoner’s Tale, my son and I defined and discussed greed in our lives and in America and how it affects a person’s choices.

The Grammar, or presentation, is stage 2. Here students are given new vocabulary words, facts, notes, ideas, and basic features of the story. They read and answer comprehension questions to help them understand details, setting, plot points, characters, and events.

In Canterbury Tales, Memoria Press helped my son understand Old English and the many vocabulary terms Chaucer uses. He identified the setting, described characters, recalled details from the story, and identified the major plot points.

Stage 3: Logic, or the Dialectic stage, encourages students to now reason with the facts they have learned as they compare, contrast, and connect their ideas. This stage uses Socratic Discussion Questions for verbal discussions that are meant to guide students to come to understand the lesson, or One Central Idea, the author is teaching his readers.

Can you see how these stages build upon each other? Isn’t this brilliant? First access prior knowledge, then build on it, next reason with it. Now find the main lesson.

In the final stage, 4: Rhetoric, or expression, students are asked to organize and write their thoughts about the Central One Idea. In the Student Guide, Memoria Press gives students an outline for their conclusions. First they are asked to summarize the story. Then identify the Central One Idea. Next they must support their conclusion with three or four points from the story and choose a Central Quote that supports their Central One Idea. Students must then write an essay by choosing an offered topic. My son wrote about how Chaucer used the Pardoner to give us an example that greed is the root of all evil.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Even though I am not a fan of classical education in the early and middle grades, I do recommend the Memoria Press Literature Guides for High School. Using all four stages brought my son to a more complete understanding of these classical literature pieces more than other curriculum we have used. These classical literature pieces are important for students to understand and the way Memoria Press defined and explained the vocabulary and background of the stories including the history and culture surrounding them was very valuable to our understanding of the pieces themselves.

As I order more for the future, I will order the Literature Guide Sets that include the novels because the Guides refer to pages and line numbers in the novels Memoria Press publishes. We used other printings of the novels and did not have the same page numbers, which made it a bit more difficult to follow along with the study guides. So I recommend purchasing the sets with the novels included even if you already own the books.

You can find these and other curriculum materials from Memoria Press by visiting their website or following these links.

 

 

First to Tenth Grade Literature Guides {Memoria Press Reviews}

Disclaimer

I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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