British Literature for Average High School Students

We often think of British Literature as a subject for college-bound students in high school. But have you considered ideas for a credit of British Literature for Average high school students? Even non-bookworm high school students should study one year of British literature.

British Literature for Average High School Students. High School British Literature has a reputation for being a tough course. However, done right, British Literature can be an interesting and inspiring credit for average teens. Here's how. #7SistersHomeschool #BritishLiterature #HomeschoolBritishLiterature #HomeschoolLanguageArts #HighSchoolEnglishCredit

British Literature for Average High School Students

British literature for average high school students is not only possible, it can be enjoyable. Not every title has to be 500 pages long with challenging vocabulary! Average teens can have a meaningful experience with British Literature by concentrating on ideas rather than length and challenge-level of books.

Here are 3 tips for helping your homeschool high schooler enjoy British Literature:

Read real books and poets, but choose those that have clear storylines, understandable lyrics and are at least vaguely familiar to your teen.

That is what the 7Sisters’ British Literature: A Full-Year High School Course is about. It brings to life British Literature for average high school students. The titles are familiar to many families. The study guides included are:

  • Animal Farm
  • Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • The Hobbit
  • A Christmas Carol
  • British Poetry Selections
  • Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • HG Wells’ The Invisible Man
  • Sense and Sensibility
Britiish Literature
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It is important to not kill the book when choosing a text to guide average high school students through British Literature. Do not allow busywork, killer-level analysis, and over-burdensome assignments. Allow an average student to enjoy the story and gather useful take-aways that may be applied to their lives.

7Sisters’ British Literature gives just that: a collection of no-busywork, accessible study guides for 8 different full-length books and a short, understandable British poetry unit.

This 120-page downloadable e-text will provide British Literature for average high school students and give them rich ideas and a chance to actually enjoy the subject. Here’s an excerpt from British Literature: A Full-Year High School Course.

The information for each book includes a “how-to” section, vocabulary, supplemental ideas, and answer keys for each guide. Download a copy for your homeschool high schooler! You can view an excerpt of British Literature for High School here.

Use audiobooks and family read-alouds for more challenging books like A Tale of Two Cities or Sense and Sensibility

Audiobooks and read-alouds really help reluctant readers get into the text. Besides, listening to a good British reader is SO delightful! (There are great readers on audiobooks for The Hobbit, too, you should try it.) 

    • You can often get audiobooks at the library or FREE on Librivox.
    • Choose You-Tubes and read-alouds for poetry. There is nothing like a great British speaker or actor reciting British poetry! You-Tubes videos can truly bring poetry to life for average homeschool high schoolers. I’ve got a Pinterest board where many great poems are presented by British readers. (Here’s a link to my Pinterest Poetry board.)

How do you choose the poetry for your average homeschool high schoolers and not be threatening or overwhelming. 7Sisters British Poetry gives a very simple introduction to the great British poets.

British Poetry
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Use movies or televisions series whenever possible for more challenging books like A Christmas Carol or Sense and Sensibility.

Many average high schoolers are visual learners. Whenever possible, show your teens a movie version of the book BEFORE you read the book. This is not cheating. It is leveraging your teens’ learning styles.

Here are a few favorites that our teens suggest:

  • Sense and Sensibility (1995)
  • The Hobbit (Peter Jackson’s series)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (1958)
  • A Christmas Carol (watch several version- including Muppets’ version)
  • Sherlock Holmes (HOW many different movies and tv series ARE there? Want to have some fun? Watch several and have a compare/contrast discussion.)
  • Jeeves and Wooster (This is a delightful BBC series that lasted for 3 seasons. The scripts closely follow the books. Relax and enjoy all 3 seasons! Then read just ONE book. Try Right Ho, Jeeves and do our 7Sisters Literature Study Guide.)
  • All Creatures Great and Small (Another of my family’s favorites television series from BBC. The early seasons are also very close to the books.)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Watch several versions and compare/contrast)
  • Treasure Island (Watch several versions and compare/contrast)
  • The Lord of the Rings (series by Peter Jackson)

How do you turn all this into a British Literature credit for the homeschool transcript?

Earning an average-level credit for the homeschool transcript is simple:

  • Read books (either by audio, read-alouds or actual reading the book by the teen). Here’s a post that guides choices on how many books to read based on age, interest and ability. There are also instructions in the 7Sisters Literature Study Guides.
  • Then log hours on study guide work, movies or television series, family discussions, and paper writing. Log as many or few hours as fits your family’s needs and meets any requirements that your supervisory organization advises (if you have one).
  • Don’t overdo it! You don’t need to keep up with the Honors-level students! It right to do what’s right for your teens. After all, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school.

Studying British Literature will help your teens gain confidence that they understand their cultural roots. It will broaden their perspectives on life. Enjoy!


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British literature for average high school students


Vicki Tillman

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

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