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Thread: confused about Honors English

  1. #1
    This is my first year using TOG, so I'm still wrapping my head around everything. (In other words, forgive me if I'm missing something obvious.) I really want my 15 yr old to do Honors English this year. In looking at the Teaching Rhetoric Literaturedocument, I see multiple places discussing the requirements. On the Credits Chart, it says Honors would consist of "all assignments, including written exercises for Literature and at least 30 weeks of composition assignments...One of those papers should be a literary analysis paper and one should be a literary comparison paper."
    Then when I look at the Suggested Requirements chart (the one with the percentages of what is worth how much of the grade) it requires all 3 literary analysis papers. Which is it?
    Also, am I understanding the customizing appendix correctly that Honors English would not read everything? We can cut things out and still call it Honors? I was already planning to cut Henry V because she'll be reading it in a Shakespeare class she's taking as a separate elective this year. Am I right in thinking I could cut a bit more as well?

  2. #2
    Hi there! Let me see if I can help you (and Dana, please weigh in if I get this wrong!). "All assignments" means all 36 weeks of literature assignments, plus all the SAP work for each week, for Honors. So in that case you would not be able to use the cutting chart. However, if your daughter IS doing Henry V in a different class, then I would consider it as a completed assignment for TOG Honors.

    On the papers... the cutting chart shows the three to five (it varies from year to year) literature papers that are SUGGESTED requirements for each year: the Personal Response to Literature paper, three Literary Analysis papers (one on a story, one on a drama, and one on a poem), and the Literary Comparison paper. For an honors credit, you only have to do two of these: one of the Literary Analysis papers and the Literary Comparison paper.

    The reason why we suggest up to five papers each year and provide specific weeks in which it would be good to do them each year is because we never know which paper or combination of papers parents might want to assign. You might have your student do the Personal Response paper and a Literary Analysis paper on poetry one year, then have her do a Literary Analysis paper on drama and a Literary Comparison paper the next year, etc. But you are never required to do all of them in one year for any credit---not even Honors. :-)

    I'm sorry the charts confused you; I can certainly see why they did! I wish I could simplify it for you, but it also seems that figuring out credits, especially when mixing literature and composition, is just one of those sticky things that gets confusing easily. :-/ However, please let me know if you can think of a clearer way to word the charts! I'm always looking for feedback. :-)

    Let me know if this helps, or if there's anything else I can do to help! And also, just a thought: Year 2 is a pretty full year, so if your daughter is going to struggle with the full workload of Honors, I would seriously consider dropping her down to a regular credit so that you can cut up to 1/4 of the literature assignments. Then in Year 3 or Year 4, when the workload is a bit easier because the books are in modern English, etc., it might be a good time to bump her up to Honors. But that's just a thought, since you know her abilities and I don't! :-)

    Christy Somerville

  3. #3
    So she just needs to do 2 of the big papers? That's a lot easier than all of them! (I did realize after I posted that the percentages chart was for Honors Literature, not Honors English - that made things a bit clearer.) And we could choose any 2?
    I do think she's not just capable but ripe for Honors Literature. She's looking forward to most of the readings this year, and I am too. I actually didn't want to cut anything else, except maybe Phaedra. Even then, it was mostly leaving that as an option if we needed breathing room rather than a definite plan to cut. We don't want to miss any of it! (I will be adjusting other subjects; I'm not completely unrealistic.)
    Underneath "How to Lighten" (just before the cutting chart) #2 does say cutting blues and greens "should allow most students time to combine our writing assignments with literature readings to earn a High School Honors English credit" (vs. a literature credit). If that's not the case, you might want to remove the word Honors. I do very much appreciate the Teaching Lit document, and all the work that must have gone into it. The idea that there is any guidance in what to do, what not to do, how to grade, how to weight, etc. has me dancing with joy! (We were doing a curriculum last year that ended up having no guidance, help, or decent customer support!) I am quite happy to take guidelines and adjust for our individual situation. Thanks so much for a prompt answer!

  4. #4
    Oh dear, does it say that? Yes, I'm sorry for that confusion! I will have to check with our credits guru and ask her whether you can use the cutting chart and still do an honors credit, or whether the credit chart is wrong when it says "all assignments." Thanks for pointing it out!

    I'm so glad that you like the Teaching Rhetoric Literature document. :-) It still needs a lot of work, but I think it does serve you ladies and I'm so grateful for that! I had fun writing it. :-)


  5. #5

    Do you have an answer on the cutting chart and Honors English?

    My daughter 9th grader) is doing a grammar program, writing, and TOG literature. I was just reading the cutting chart last night and was thinking of reducing the reading load since we are adding other elements to our Engilsh studies. I understood that if I cut the blues and greens but had the writing (and grammar) we would still be doing Honors English. Is this correct?

    Wife to one amazing dh
    Mom to 5 dc
    17 yo R
    14 yo D
    11 yo UG
    9 yo LG
    and 7 yo LG

    Our fifth year using TOG
    Year 4

  6. #6
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Kingsport, TN
    In order to obtain the Honors English according to TOG documents, the student should not cut any reading assignments. However, you can substitute writing assignments (red bordered pages in the week-plan) for the literary writing assignments.

    **(I see why you are confused! The cutting information is more for those who are earning a LITERATURE credit instead of an English credit. It states this erroneously in the cutting document.

    Hope this helps!
    Dana C. in TN
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

    "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
    like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
    I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!"
    Deut. 32:2-4

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