Here are tips on how to use The Hobbit Literature Study Guide.
How to Use The Hobbit Literature Study Guide
We recently had a request for the best way to use 7Sisters Literature Study Guide for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. That reminded me that 7SistersHomeschool.com’s Literature Study Guides are not your typical guides and that maybe it is time to share a refresher on how to make the most of them.
We 7Sisters have important values for our Literature Study Guides:
- They should never kill the book.
- In the old days, before we developed our guides, our homeschool high schoolers complained that the literature study guides that we found for them were SO intense, so detailed, that they could not enjoy the story. They often felt lost in the weeds of too many concepts and questions and not enough time to enjoy the book. That’s why we started creating our own guides and using them with our kids, our co-ops and group classes.
- AND they should contain no-busywork.
- Homeschool high schoolers have enough in their schedules without needing to waste time on useless busywork. Thus, you will find that our literature study guides are as concise as possible.
- We do not cover every theme or literacy concept possible, many books have so much richness that it would take forever to cover them (and take out all the fun of reading the book).
- Also, they should be adaptable.
- The six of us 7Sisters (who’s the 7th Sister? YOU are!) have homeschooled 24 of our own kids and helped homeschool many more. We have noticed that there’s not ONE kind of learner (you’ve noticed that, too, I’m sure within your own kids).
- Since there are so many kinds of learners in our families, we created the study guides to be adaptable to many different kinds of learners. There are instructions in each guide for helping struggling, average teens and honors teens adjust activities to fit the best-fit level for them.
There are three basic formats for 7Sisters Literature Study Guides:
- Many study guides are divided by chapter to discuss how the themes and literary concepts we are studying in this book are used in each chapter.
- Some of our Literature Study Guides based on a few themes or literary concept that are so pervasive that it is best to look at them in the book as a whole, rather than chapter-by-chapter. (The Hobbit Literature Study Guide is one of these.)
- AND our freebie Anne of Green Gables Literature Study Guide. It is a light-hearted, short guide that was developed for use by the whole family. There are simple activities for various age and abilities based on this delightful story.
Now that we have got that clarified, let’s talk about how to use The Hobbit Literature Study Guide.
The Hobbit Literature Study Guide introduces overarching themes and literary concepts. We can learn the concepts then watch for them through the book as they arise.
Specifically, in The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien is using ancient mythology themes like:
- Eucatastrophe (A *good* catastrophe that turns the tide of the story.)
- Return to Old Truths (Characters find the power of ancient truths and values)
- Heroic Epic (A *hero’s journey* story)
Tolkien is also integrating more modern and popular themes:
- Coming of age (We think of this story genre as being the story of a teen becoming an adult, in this case, Bilbo is not a teen but he is naive and inexperienced with the world outside his abode.)
- Apprenticeship (These are stories of people whose journey is led by a guide.)
He used tools that were common in ancient stories:
- Personified animals
He also used more modern/popular tools:
- Richly-developed characters
How to use The Hobbit Literature Study Guide? This is a more concept-oriented study guide, I would suggest this order:
- Have your homeschool high schoolers read the introductory information (or read it together, it’s a fun discussion tool)
- Then, have your teens read over so that they know what to look for as they reads (this is also fun to do together, but not necessary)
- Next, have your teens read the book. This can be done as:
- A family read aloud
- In audiobook form
- Read the actual book!
- Lastly, have your homeschool high schoolers go back and answer the questions. (Remember, you have a separate answer key.)
Note: There is an informal vocabulary list included.
- We like for students to find their own definitions (they tend to remember better when they look up their own definitions).
- This vocabulary list can be handled in several ways, choose which is best for you:
- Ignore the list (if your homeschooler is working with another vocabulary program.
- Look up the words first and choose a definition that might fit an ancient setting
- Or look up the words as you run into them in the text.
- Try looking up only the words as you read and are curious about specific words
- Or look up the words after you finish the book
Remember: there’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school, so adapt any 7Sisters guide to your family’s needs! Download 7Sisters The Hobbit Literature Study Guide for a rewarding experience for your teens.
Let me know what kinds of cool things your family has done with The Hobbit and 7Sisters The Hobbit Literature Study Guide.
You can download the complete list of 7Sisters Literature Study Guides at this link. Also, get a comprehensive look at understanding high school literature credits in this Authoritative Guide post.
For more on creating different levels with 7SistersHomeschool curriculum, check out this episode of Homeschool Highschool Podcast.