Review: Mosdos Press Literature Pearl Set

Today I’d like to share with you an amazing curriculum find.  This company is not very well known in the homeschooling world, but I am hoping to change that by spreading the word!

Mosdos Press is a superior secular literature anthology series that does not compromise values.

I truly could not have said it better myself!

It can be hard to find secular materials and curriculum, so when I stumbled upon this gem I just had to share it with you all!

Mosdos Press offers six level sets starting at 3rd grade and going through 8th grade.  My review will be based on our experience with the Pearl set, which is the 6th grade set.

What makes this literature curriculum stand out, for me, is that it isn’t just literature.  This curriculum incorporates vocabulary and writing!

The Pearl set has 36 short stories, 3 drama selections, 15 nonfiction selections, 46 poetry selections, 3 dramatic poems, and 2 songs!

The books are so incredibly thick and rich with quality pieces!  Seriously –look at how thick the textbook (hardcover) and workbook is!

I’ve browsed through the whole book, but honestly have not read every single short story and poem just yet.  We’ve been using the Pearl set for a little over a month now.  What stories and poems we have read have been absolutely amazing and quite interesting!  They have led to some very engaging conversations with my daughter.

The most valuable tool of all is the Teacher’s Annotated Edition books.  The Pearl set comes with two spiral bound Teacher’s books.  They are an absolute MUST.  You can certainly just purchase the textbook and workbook, but I can’t possibly overstate how advantageous also having the spiral bound books has been for us.

Besides having the usual workbook answer guide, The  Teacher’s Edition basically tells you how to teach literature!  It seriously feels like you have someone holding your hand through the process giving you an intro on how to introduce the story before beginning to read it.  It provides information on the literary components found in each story, guide to reading, and so much more!

I have used several different books for Reading Comprehension before this one.  They all had one thing in common; read the passage and answer questions based on what you read.  Answers were all found right in the passage -no critical thinking, no analytical thinking, no requirement for a logical thought out answer based on your child’s own opinion.  They heavily relied upon multiple choice answers.   What makes this curriculum unique and stand out is that the child actually needs to think when answering a question.  In some cases, there are no right or wrong answers- as long as your child provides a well-reasoned and relevant answer based on the material read, he or she will succeed.  The child needs to analyze and think!

My daughter and I end up discussing a lot of the stories, asking each other how we’d feel if in similar circumstances.  One such example was the the short story called Iqbal Masih.  We talked and talked about how one would feel if they were in Iqbal’s shoes, whether what he did was brave or foolish given how it ended.  We discussed courage in the face of danger and what that meant.

I mentioned that this isn’t just a literature curriculum.  There’s also vocabulary.  There’s usually a Word Bank at the bottom of each short story page that introduces the new words: 

Then in the workbook there’s a Vocabulary Activity page or two:  

And yes, there’s more!  Each short story has a mini original story found in the workbook.  We are then able to compare and contrast the mini story with the short story we just read in the textbook.  

Like I said, quite comprehensive!

The writing aspect is also based on the short story you read.

What’s really neat is that some of the writing activities have a Graphic Organizer that helps you put your thoughts down.  It involves the knowledge and comprehension of the story you just read.  Sometimes it asks you to compare and contrast the mini original with the short story you just read.  It varies from story/poem but there’s always some form of writing aspect; whether it be creative writing, or journal format writing, or even write your own short story based on a literary component from the story you just read (i.e. foreshadowing, internal conflict, etc.).

The beauty of this literature, vocabulary, and writing curriculum is that it all ties together quite beautifully giving the child a chance to truly understand what was taught by reiterating it in the variety of ways.

It usually takes us at least two days, sometimes up to as many as three days to complete one short story, mini original, vocabulary, and writing that goes with it.  My daughter and I take our time with it.  If it needs another day, then we give it another day.  This is something to be enjoyed and not to be rushed through.  Because we’re going at a slower and more relaxed pace, taking the time to discuss and enjoy the stories together, I can easily see this taking us more than a school year to complete and I am totally fine with that!

This is something that does require your presence.  Sure, the child could do it independently, but I feel the child could learn so very much more if you are involved and using the Teacher’s Edition to teach.

Mosdos Press Pearl Literature Curriculum is a rich, well balanced, and thorough secular curriculum.  I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to impart an appreciation and love of literature to their child.

Mosdos Press sent me the Pearl Set to review.  All of the opinions expressed here are my own.  And yes, I truly and really, and wholeheartedly recommend this curriculum!!