As we are on the verge of beginning the World Geography guide this year with our third son, I thought I'd pop-in and share a few things we've discovered in the past with the BJU lit that might help. As far as the BJU lit goes, it really helps if you can view the Student Reader as a series of living stories that we want the students to primarily enjoy as they read (without feeling like they must also be dissecting as they read to elicit a whole host of specific responses). So, in order to allow them to enjoy the story, we must not get between the story and the reader. This means that we need to let the students just read the story from the reader without the aid of any Teacher's Notes or without focusing on the end of story questions the first trip through.
Next, after reading the story, the HOD guide will assign the student questions from the end of the story to either answer in writing or to meet with the teacher to discuss. Even at this point, it is not advisable to regularly be sharing all of the Teacher's Notes for each question with the student or to expect the student to answer even remotely as fully as the notes suggest. In my opinion, the notes are exhaustive and are meant to provide any and all possible answers that any student may share. So, I see the Teacher's Notes as a Cliff's Notes version meant to aid the teacher, rather than a grading rubric meant to show the ideal answer a student should give. Keep in mind that these notes were written for a classroom teacher, where a discussion of a question would result in many varied responses in a lengthy discussion from a whole group of students. This is a very different situation than we have in the homeschool setting with a single student being required to answer all questions alone!
With this in mind,if the student is struggling with an answer to a question or has been especially succinct with an answer then this is the time that I would have the student read through the Teacher's notes for only that question (simply to give them a few more ideas of the direction in which he/she could have gone with his/her response). There is no need to have the student read the Teacher's Notes for every question as this may result in the student feeling inferior and inadequate in his/her responses thinking he/she could never come up with the breadth and insight that the manual suggests for a response.
Before scheduling BJU lit for grade 9 in our World Geography Guide, my oldest son and I went through BJU American Lit for his 11th grade year. The BJU American Lit is even fuller than the grade 9 lit, and I also added full-length novels to my poor oldest son's year. We learned a lot that year about what was too much for lit and about what was really helpful or enjoyable for that matter. So, as I moved into the World Geography lit with my second son, I took a much lower key approach to the BJU lit, simply allowing him to read and do exactly what it says in the HOD World Geography guide plans for lit. without delving so deeply into the Teacher's guide and all of its materials. We had a much better year, and my son loved the stories and learned a lot!
So, I would encourage you to keep the manual only for reference for you as your student answers. Share the answers from the manual for only the questions that the student either misses entirely or answers very succinctly. Make sure you let your student know that the manual gives every answer you might encounter in a classroom of students. Be sure the student doesn't feel like he never gets the answer "right."
One other thing I also wanted to mention, as it struck me in this thread as well...is the mention of the son who no longer reads for pleasure outside of school now that he has reached high school. I will share that I had this same concern with my own oldest two sons during their high school years, and my husband and I actually discussed it multiple times. What we discovered is that the students are doing so much reading during school that when they finally have free time, they are inclined to do something else other than read.
If you think back to your own education, this is actually true of most high school and college students too! So, if it is often true that high school students don't read much for pleasure, ask yourself how important it is that the books they are reading for school are truly excellent and living books.
My older two sons have both told me that they loved their literature and living library books for high school and felt their need for reading was fulfilled in that way. My husband reminded me that I need only look at the list of books the boys are reading each year to see what a rich reading experience they are actually enjoying. He said he would be thrilled to have completed such a list of books at the end of four years of his free reading time!
Last, I will encourage you that after beginning college filled with classes that often were devoid of literature, my oldest son has gone back to reading in his free time because he missed reading living books! My second son in line is beginning college classes coming up too, and he is back to reading for pleasure this summer. So, don't despair that your child is no longer a reader during the high school years, because the high school guides schedule the reading all throughout the year, so your student is still a big reader!