Big Ideas in Literature that Changed the World

Reading and writing for high school homeschoolers should include big ideas.

Big Ideas in Literature that Changed the World

Big Ideas in Literature

I am fortunate to live within driving distance of the Liberty Bell, so all my children have grown up visiting that American icon. They also have also memorized the scripture engraved on it:

Proclaim liberty throughout the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof.

Leviticus 25:10

Our founding fathers had a big idea: LIBERTY.

That idea of liberty encompassed a lot of stuff: economics, politics, religion, lifestyle.

They didn’t just accidentally all come up with the same thoughts at the same time. These men had spent their youth and early adulthood reading and memorizing two important authors that drilled the idea of liberty into their souls:

-God (you know, the Bible)

-John Locke (the philosopher who came up with most of the ideas that you see in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.)

If you would like to teach world-changing ideas to your children, try this:

-Bible Study                                                                            

Model Scripture knowledge yourself. Read and memorize Scripture with your kids.

The culture of our founding fathers valued Scripture memorization, thus they had personal access to many verses and Christian ideas for wisdom and guidance.

-Literature Study

Read and memorize poems and quotes from a chosen time period or a chosen idea (like great Christian Writers). Experiencing themed literature of the time helps a child internalize the ideas that drove culture.

While our learning co-op children have groaned in the process, they can tell you what it is like to recite The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus at the foot of the Statue of Liberty (in the rain).


All students should study the ideas that drove a culture. Young students do this through biographies.

Homeschoolers should study the ideas that drove what people were doing through history. They can do that through biographies and the study of the philosophic ideas of the time. (Check out History and Philosophy of the Western World in our Ebookstore!)

History and Philosophy of the Western World

-Writing Powerful Essays

Homeschoolers must be comfortable and skilled in communicating their ideas. Writing helps young people clarify and communicate their thoughts.  (Our essay-writing guides help usher students through these important skills from middle school through high school.)

Essay Writing Guides
Click image to view Essay Writing Guides.

Young people who are not idea-driven may become self-driven and selfish. Young people who carry big ideas make big changes in the world!

What big ideas do you teach your kids?

Born Again

Help your children learn big ideas by reading about big-idea people in our literature biographical e-study guides:

God’s Smuggler- by Brother Andrew

Joni- by Joni Ericksen Tada

Born Again- by Chuck Colson


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Big Ideas in Literature

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

10 Replies to “Big Ideas in Literature that Changed the World”

  1. Oh, still on the computer and thought of a fun way that I teach big ideas… Movies!

    Your picture of the Liberty Bell reminded me of National Treasure – a great film that uses a contemporary setting to look at big pieces of our history and the big ideas behind them.

    Titanic is another movie that uses a contemporary setting to tell a very personal tale of titanic historic proportions.

    Both of these films have sparked thought-provoking discussions in our home, car, hearts and minds.

  2. Great tips, Vicki!

    We have always emphasized independence with our children. Some days it has made our parenting very challenging, but we believe it helps them stand up for their beliefs and themselves and will be a tremendous asset to them as adults.

    • I agree, Kym, you may have stronger-willed children who need more discussion and why’s answered but the outcome can be wise and contributing adults- that is worth it.

  3. When memorizing scripture, I find it helpful to memorize passages, not just a verse here and there. It helps keep it in context. Reading scripture with your children is also a good way to help them form the Bible-reading habit. My youngest is not that fond of reading, so he listens to the Bible on his iPod as he’s going to sleep at night.

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