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2014-15 school year.
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The Hobbit Course now available in Unlimited Access!

Accessing Recorded Courses and The Hobbit

As our live courses are completed, they are converted to recorded courses through our Unlimited Access! service. Unlimited Access! gives you 24/7 access to more than 80 courses including The Hobbit: There and Back Again with J. R. R. Tolkien.

It is $1 for the first 7 days. Try it out and make sure it’s the perfect fit for you and your family! After that, it’s $30 per month. Keep as long as you like and cancel anytime.

Click on the Subscribe button in the right margin to have access to this course and many others.

The Small Details

Total classes: 6
Duration: Middle school – 45 minutes each. High school – 1 hour each.
Prerequisite: Ability to read the book with pleasure at about 3 chapters per week.
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester. Follow with the Lord of the Rings series for a full school year of credit in literature.
Instructor: Henry Russell, Ph.D.
Course description: Tolkien’s The Hobbit was written as a children’s story and retains much of the clarity and light-heartedness of its kind. But Bilbo Baggins’ world is slowly made richer and deeper both by the author’s use of the Catholic elements from the great medieval saga of Beowulf and the background world of Tolkien’s deepest Elvish imaginings. By the end of the novel, Tolkien’s life-long themes of 1) a long-fought history that shapes the needs of every modern day; 2) the need for heroism from simple people; 3) the necessity for constant moral vigilance by those who are destined to lead; 4) the conquest of charity over greed; and 5) the sorrow and beauty created by these first four themes, have penetrated to the heart of the reader. The success of this novel convinced Tolkien and his wise and humane publishers, Allen and Unwin, that the modern world was ready to hear more of the complex moral and supernatural world which Tolkien once thought was of interest mostly to scholars of the ancient like himself.
Course outline:
Class 1: An Unexpected Party – A Short Rest
Class 2: Over Hill and Under Hill – Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
Class 3: Queer Lodgings – Flies and Spiders
Class 4: Barrels out of Bond – On the Doorstep
Class 5: Inside Information – Fire and Water
Class 6: The Gathering of the Clouds – The Last Stage
Course materials: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Homework: One to one and one-half hours per week. Weekly quizzes and final exam. Answer keys provided for parental or self grading.

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