This post is part of our series on our favorite homeschool resources.
Shakespeare led me to Course Hero.
Course Hero is an online learning platform where you can access over 30 million course-specific study resources contributed by a community of students and educators. You’ll find practice problems, study guides, videos, class notes, and step-by-step explanations for every subject you’re studying — from economics to literature, biology to history, accounting to psychology, and everything in between. We help you quickly find what you need so you can learn deeply.
This is a robust description, and I have not yet had an opportunity to fully explore all the resources available on the site. I have the free basic membership. This gives me access to their Literature Study Guides which I use for Shakespeare.
How I use these guides
I will use Richard II, our current play, to walk you through how I use these guides.
First, I download and print a PDF of the entire study guide.
Next, I preread for myself as much or as little of the guide as I want to. For me, this changes from play to play. In the case of Richard II, a play new to me, I chose to read less and only read the sections In Context, Characters, and Themes. There is a lot more material, and I may choose to read more of it as we make our way through the play.
Then, during our weekly Shakespeare reading, I have the guide open to Scene Summaries. As the kids are finding their books and gathering, I quickly read to myself the summaries for the new scenes we will be reading. The summaries are simply there as a tool for me in a couple of situations.
- When we are struggling in our recap from the previous week (ie, no one remembers anything) I can quickly glance at the summary for a prompt.
- When we are done with our new reading and narration I can more easily help if we are still struggling to understand what happened.
Why I chose these guides
I prefer these guides over other Shakespeare resources I have used in the past for several reasons. They are free, well done, and concise. I don’t have to flip back and forth in the same book, and the guide can sit unobtrusively on the side. If you haven’t yet found your groove with Shakespeare or are still struggling with your own Shakespeare literacy, I recommend you try these guides.