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Category: Language Arts and Literature

The Memory Project: Pied Beauty and More

The Memory Project: Pied Beauty and More

Memory is the storehouse of whatever knowledge we possess; and it is upon the fact of the stores lodged in the memory that we take rank as intelligent beings. Charlotte Mason, Home Education, p. 151 I’ve been thinking about memory...

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How to teach grammar: is it relevant to diagram?

Teaching Grammar: To Diagram or Not to Diagram?

  When I teach essay writing for high school or college exams, I encourage students to beware of using absolutes such as “always” or “never,” because these are rarely true — there are exceptions to almost everything, and those absolutes...

Two Poems and a March for Independence Day

In honor of United States of America’s Independence Day on the 4th of July, here are are two thought-provoking, classic poems, plus one of my all-time favorite marches. The first poem, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “A Nation’s Strength,” would make an excellent...

The Madness of Multiple Choice, A Guest Post by Andrew Pudewa

If you’ve ever wondered whether Excellence in Literature needed a few multiple choice questions to make it “better,” this delightful essay by my friend and publisher Andrew Pudewa will make our position clear. Like comprehension questions, another pernicious evil, multiple-choice...

7 Alternatives to Writing a Literary Analysis

Essay writing is not the only tool for studying literature. Students can benefit from the occasional opportunity to approach the great books in a fresh way, so here are a few alternatives to writing a literary analysis.

A Piqued Plea for Correctly Peeking at the Peak

How to use the correct word when peeking at a peak.

Teach classic literature in context with Excellence in Literature

Teach Classic Literature in Context

Reading and teaching literature in context is a bit like studying a map before you set out for a walk in a strange city. Context helps you find significant intersections, decipher archaic language, and find a path through old-fashioned rhetoric. Here’s how to do it.

Education is an atmosphere;, illustrated by a Mary Cassatt image.

Charlotte Mason was Right! Education is an Atmosphere

Charlotte Mason said that “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life,” and she was right. A study published in 2010 on “Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success” (PDF), reports that a family’s “scholarly culture – the way of life in homes where books are numerous, esteemed, read, and enjoyed” matters. Here’s how!

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