American Literature Course Description

Note: This class is not offered for the 2016/17 school year.

What does it cover? 

The study of English literature often tends to emphasize the great heritage of British literature, overlooking many of the literary achievements of our young country. This year-long survey course attempts to correct that neglect by studying a wide scope of American literature, ranging from the early days of the USA up until the present day.

We cover novels, short stories, memoirs, and poetry from writers as diverse as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harper Lee, even venturing into the 21st century. The course aims to catch a glimpse of major American time periods and cultures, including discussions of Puritan New England, the slave-holding South, the Western frontier, and more. Students will become familiar with key themes of American literature, and come to appreciate different styles and methods. 

Who is it for? 

Due to the amount of reading and the nature of class discussion and assignments, this course is recommended for high school students who are strong readers: recommended age is 15 and up. (Please see my recommended scope and sequence.) All students will be expected to participate in class discussions. Evaluation will be based on their participation as well as other assignments including 5 short response essays, an in-class presentation, quizzes, tests, and one formal paper at the end of each semester.  

How does it work? 

Class meets for two hours per week. Along with the reading assignments, students are provided with discussion questions to help prepare for class, and take frequent quizzes to encourage careful reading. There is one exam per semester. Writing assignments are returned with teacher feedback. Students and parents can check their progress and grades online throughout the school year (grades are updated monthly). 

Class Time: Wednesdays, 10am-12pm Mountain time (9-11 Pacific, 11-1 Central, 12-2 Eastern). Begins September 2nd.

The cost for this 33-week course is $600.

Mrs. Skiles maintains a great momentum in her tutorials.  Four of my children have enjoyed a variety of her classes and we have always been very excited about the literature chosen and the required projects.  A homeschool mom with a few years behind me, I feel that Mrs. Skiles is superior to most tutors available online, as her combination of insight, humor, and intelligence makes for an unbeatable intellectual experience!

- Georgia, parent of several CTT students. >> See more testimonials

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Required Texts

The following links are to the editions that Mrs. Skiles will be using in class, in most cases. I have tried to pick low-cost editions wherever possible. There are several Barnes & Noble classics, which often sell 3 for the price of 2. While it is helpful to have everyone use the same editions, feel free to use other editions that you have. (Those marked with an asterisk are exceptions: in those cases the linked edition is required.)