How to Homeschool High School Literature with Excellence

Achieve excellence in your homeschool with Apologia American Literature

Sometimes homeschooling high school can seem like a daunting task. As a homeschool facilitator, keeping things balanced between being interesting and being thorough can be a bit of a struggle.

All too often it seems like we have to make a choice between fun and shallow, or comprehensive and boring, and, as a lifelong bookworm, nothing makes me sadder than a literature curriculum that is guaranteed to bore a student to tears. 

(Disclosure: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time in exchange for writing an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.)

Why, oh why, does it have to be that way??

But it doesn’t…

Today I’m thrilled to share with you the most thorough, yet engaging, high school literature curriculum I’ve ever seen.

Apologia American Literature


What is American Literature all about?

I remember the day this curriculum arrived like it was yesterday. Every time we get new curriculum, I’m like a child opening her presents on Christmas morning.

Imagine my delight, then, when I opened the box and found not only a beautiful text that included so many of my beloved American classics, but also a spiral-bound notebook accompanying it.

If you’ve visited my blog before, you’ll know exactly how I feel about notebooking.

Pure bliss.

I was instantly hooked.

I know, I know. That sounds really superficial, but that was only the start of it. Let’s take a look at everything this curriculum has to offer:

  • Over 800 pages of quality American literature spanning an extensive range of history
  • Thorough and thought-inducing comprehension questions for each selection
  • A supplemental notebook which contains all of the comprehension questions in a beautiful spiral-bound format
  • An exhaustive Answer Key, along with a Daily Lesson Plan outline available for free on the Apologia Book Extras site (This login information can be found inside the American Literature textbook.)

Another “feature” of this curriculum that I really appreciate is that the author, Walt Jones, PhD, is not only the 2017 Recipient of the Educator of the Year Award from Bryan College, where is is a professor, but he is also a homeschool Dad. Additionally, he’s taught his American literature course to other homeschool students.

You know a curriculum is going to be good when it was written by someone who understands the needs of homeschool parents because he is one.

How we used Apologia American Literature in our homeschool:


As much as I love this curriculum, there’s one thing I need to point out:

It’s best suited for older high school students.

In hindsight, I wish I had waited to use this curriculum until my daughter’s junior or senior year. (She is currently in 10th grade.) Some of the selections did intimidate her at first because they truly do compete with those in college textbooks, so we decided to do it twice a week, rather than every day as we had originally planned.

Another tweak we made was that we both sat down and read the selections aloud together, and then she chose three questions to answer in her notebook.

After we made those minor adjustments, everything was a go, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. She has made such huge strides in analyzing pieces of literature I never even tackled in my AP English classes when I was a student.

The combination of the literature selections and the questions designed to get students to dig more deeply proved to be just what she needed to go from reading superficially to reading for meaning.

This is truly the most comprehensive literature curriculum I’ve ever come across, and it is the perfect resource to help prepare a homeschool student for college-level classes.

If you’re interested in seeing what Apologia American Literature has to offer, download FAQ & sample here.

Homeschooling high school doesn’t have to be as stressful as we often make it out to be. With trusted resources like Apologia, we homeschool parents can breathe a little bit easier.


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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

2 thoughts on “How to Homeschool High School Literature with Excellence”

  1. This looks like a great book. It may seem like a small detail, but somehow I appreciate the spiral binding option. Oftentimes literature books are massive texts that feel hard to process at once because you’re aware of how much there is to cover. Thanks for introducing us to Apologia!

    Liked by 1 person

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