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Classic Children's Literature VI

Why do we need stories? C.S. Lewis said, “The nearest I have yet got to an answer is that we seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves. We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own.”

Such is the yearning of children and adults alike, for it is through stories that we enter into a world that is not our own, and yet become more who we are meant to be. It is through stories that we can learn virtue. In giving children stories, they enter into the world of the characters and reflect on the virtues and vices of the protagonists and antagonists. It is a gentle, appropriate, and vivid way for children to learn what Dietrich von Hildebrand called a “response to value” and the virtue that blossoms from that response.

In this class, children will read, enjoy, and interact with classic works of literature in order to learn through knowledge, experience, and reflection the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. Students will respond to these texts through discussion, written analysis and reflection, commonplace entries, and artistic mediums in order to reach the whole child in our study.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

Sections with Cat Wise

  • Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes
  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
  • Notebook with lined paper (spiral bound or three-ring binder)

Sections with Jillian Strecker

  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • Various selections (Longfellow, Tennyson, Shakespeare, and more)
  • 5-subject notebook with storage pockets
  • 8.5” x 11” spiral-bound blank sketchbook
  • 24 pack of colored pencils

Any unabridged edition of the above texts is acceptable.

Catherine “Cat” Wise has loved to read since before she started school. Raised in a military family, she attended public school in Italy and then was homeschooled before obtaining a BA in elementary education with a Spanish minor at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Texas and becoming a bilingual kindergarten teacher. When her oldest child was a toddler, Cat discovered classical education and fell in love with the idea of cultivating wisdom and virtue through great books, fascinating histories, and the beauty of language. Cat has been classically homeschooling her own three children for nine years and is honored to learn alongside them of the Creator and His magnificent works. She loves talking about books and reading with anyone who will listen, but also enjoys working jigsaw puzzles and baking yummy desserts, and is currently trying to visit as many National Parks as she can, attend live theater performances at every opportunity, and teach herself to crochet.

Jillian Strecker has a BA in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, a MA in Russian literature from University College London and is currently working on a certificate in Classical Learning from the University of Dallas. She has shared her passion for literature, writing and poetry with children at private schools in New York City and New Orleans for over a decade. She is also a homeschool mom who has been educating her children for more than 13 years. Additionally, Jillian is a published poet who is currently working on two books of poetry, one for children and one for adults. When not teaching and writing, Jillian loves reading literature. Her favorite writers are Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, Flannery O’ Connor and Charles Dickens. She also loves riding her bike with her husband and two sons, baking and watching the original Twilight Zone series with a large bowl of popcorn.

Quarter 1

  1. Review of the four Cardinal Virtues
  2. Story Elements (Conflict, Plot, Setting, Characters, Theme)
  3. Narration
  4. Commonplace Journal

Quarter 2

  1. The Virtue of Faith
  2. Antagonist, Protagonist
  3. Drawing connections (This reminds me of... I wonder about...)

Quarter 3

  1. The Virtue of Hope
  2. Identifying and using Literary Devices (onomatopoeia, foreshadowing, similes, etc)
  3. Formulating discussion questions
  4. Poetry types

Quarter 4

  1. The Virtue of Charity
  2. Summary/Main Idea
  3. Genre

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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