Taking a Peek into Windows to the World

Jul 05, 2021 | Posted by Jennifer

IEW’s pathway features a great progression of coursework to help your students develop their writing skills, but those are not the only courses IEW has. Additionally IEW offers materials that support all components of English language arts, including grammar, spelling, vocabulary, speech, poetry and literature, and more. In this post we will take a closer look at a great course that prepares students for college level literary analysis: Windows to the World†.

The program can be completed in as little as a semester or can be expanded to take a full school year. If you prefer to work through the program over a semester, you just need to purchase the basic course, which consists of the Student Book and Teacher Manual. The Teacher’s Manual does not have the Student Book pages embedded within the text, so teachers may find it helpful to purchase an additional Student Book for themselves as well.

The basic course is broken down into fifteen chapters. The Teacher’s Manual provides three suggested schedules. The first one, Core, is the minimum schedule and is broken down into one semester (eighteen weeks of coursework). The next one, Enhanced (with supplements), features twenty-six weeks of coursework. The third schedule offers twenty weeks of teaching content. It does not include any supplemental or reinforcement activities.

This course is written for students working at a high school level. Because it is an analytical course, younger high school students may find the lessons challenging. Many teachers prefer to teach it during the tenth or eleventh grade year.

With the purchase of the course, IEW offers a free download code for A Syllabus for the Introduction to Literary Analysis. If you prefer, you can purchase it printed. This handy syllabus offers two schedules of its own: one that includes Teaching the Classics and one without that course. If you include Teaching the Classics, the course is scheduled over thirty-three weeks. Without it, it reduces to twenty-eight weeks of lessons. There are a few lessons, marked by asterisks, that you can eliminate if you want to fit the class into a particular schedule. If you omit all of them, you reduce the number of lessons to twenty weeks of instruction.

Using the syllabus, teachers will be implementing extra stories to help their students hone their analytical skills, and also will be adding additional novels and a play. The syllabus specifically includes teaching content for To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, and Hamlet, although you are free to substitute novels of your choice in place of those if you wish.

The syllabus provides clear guidelines on all of the supplies your students will need, how to organize them, and how you should prepare to teach each lesson. Best of all, it includes checklists for each week of assignments so that teacher and students are clear about each week’s expectations. The additional stories are also included within this resource. Teachers will be delighted to see each week’s lesson is broken down for them by the following sections:

  • teacher preparation
  • handouts (if any)
  • the class period (This section offers a progression for what content to address during the class itself.)
  • homework
  • if applicable, answers to quiz questions

Teachers should plan to spend some time prereading the Teacher’s Manual and Student Book so that they are familiar with the content prior to teaching. This course does require a bit more planning time than IEW’s video-based or theme-based materials. Also, the curriculum does not explicitly teach Structure and Style. The syllabus assumes that students have already had training in that approach, and there are a few assignments that require students to include dress-ups and sentence openers within their paragraphs.

Someone may ask, “Why should I teach literary analysis?” Here are some thoughts. If your student is planning on attending college, he or she will almost certainly be required to take three college-level English courses, one of which will likely be a literature-based course. Having had some exposure to literary analysis in high school will prepare your student for this type of course. Additionally, literary analysis teaches, obviously, analytical skills. Literary analysis examines worldview. These thinking skills transfer beyond literature. They become life skills.

Finally, taking a literary analysis class helps students to discover nuances in literature that they may have never considered. This enriches their reading experiences, which will hopefully encourage them to continue reading for pleasure beyond their compulsory education years.

Do you have more questions about this course? Take a look at sample pages of each book, which can be found here:

Still have questions? Reach out to IEW’s Customer Service. They would be very happy to help you select the best materials for your students’ needs.


† Contains distinctly Christian content.

Jennifer Mauser has always loved reading and writing and received a B.A. in English from the University of Kansas in 1991. Once she and her husband had children, they decided to homeschool, and she put all her training to use in the home. In addition to homeschooling her children, Jennifer teaches IEW classes out of her home, coaches budding writers via email, and tutors students who struggle with dyslexia.

Live Chat with IEW