top of page

ENGLISH AND WRITING

We offer a full secondary English program for students, regardless of what level they're at. The content is dynamic, allowing students to participate several years over and gain more advanced skills. The program is broken into three levels, all of which can be repeated for at least two years.

ENGLISH FOUNDATIONS: BEGINNING ENGLISH

Beginning literature-based class that teaches foundational writing structure, including sentences and paragraphs, as well as creative writing techniques. Also focuses on fundamental grammar and punctuation, including sentence diagramming. Book discussions will focus on story structure and literary devices such as description and metaphor. Poetry and short stories will also be included. Appropriate for ages 12-14.

IMG_2932.JPG

ENGLISH AND THE ESSAY: INTERMEDIATE ENGLISH

Intermediate literature and nonfiction-based class that teaches how to write a 5-paragraph essay and the personal narrative essay. Creative writing assignments are also included. Includes advanced grammar and punctuation (clauses/phrases) with sentence diagramming. Book discussions will introduce themes and rhetorical devices such as symbolism. Appropriate for ages 14+. Students who are 13 may enroll if they can demonstrate an understanding of paragraph structure and basic grammar/punctuation.

LITERATURE AND WRITING: ADVANCED ENGLISH

Advanced literature-based class that focuses on reading great books, poetry, and short stories and discussing “big” ideas and themes, with a focus on advanced literary devices and author intent. Research skills will also be covered, and writing assignments will include several literary analysis essays and a research paper. Grammar/mechanics will also continue to be reviewed. Appropriate for ages 15+. Students must have previously taken English and the Essay OR demonstrate understanding of 5-paragraph essay structure to enroll.

  • What homeschool philosophy is this curriculum built on?
    None specifically, although it pulls from what we consider to be the best ideas of several major homeschooling ideologies. This curriculum is focused on helping students build the critical thinking skills and technical skills to help them successfully navigate college or other “post-high school” pursuits. It uses literary classics as its framework (both new and old), and it strives to include a variety of voices (culture, gender, race, etc) in the books selected.
  • What books are you planning on using?
    Our book lists are still being developed, but here are examples of books that are being considered and could be included at each level to give you an idea: Beginning: Secret Garden, Call It Courage, Julie of the Wolves, Tuck Everlasting, Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, Wonder, Stargirl, Treasure Island, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler Intermediate: To Kill a Mockingbird, Christmas Carol, Diary of Anne Frank, Animal Farm, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Book Thief, Watership Down, Importance of Being Earnest, Odyssey, Of Mice and Men Advanced: Silas Marner, Picture of Dorian Gray, Cry The Beloved Country, A Separate Peace, Little Women, The Good Earth, Jane Eyre, The Oxbow Incident, Life of Pi
  • Do you include books with bad language? Graphic content? Immorality?
    While it's never desirable to be exposed to rough language or graphic content, we believe you can't completely "bubble" the students. One of the reasons we put age limits on our classes is because we want to be able to discuss and wrestle with more difficult and “worldly” ideas, which students are usually exposed to already. Since they can't be shielded forever from these things, the goal is to provide a forum to discuss difficult concepts in the context of a solid, values-based foundation. Also, the value of what can be learned from these books is extremely high. These are considered classics not just because of the plot but also the way the author crafts the story - including their use of symbolism, imagery, characterization, diction, tone and other literary techniques. How the author uses these techniques to unfold the themes in the book is one of the valuable processes that the students are learning because the depth of understanding of the theme only comes as it's discovered through each student's personal analysis and thinking.
  • My kid is really sensitive. What if they can't read a book the class is reading?
    We recognize that different students have different sensitivities. Either because of past experience or personal issues, a specific book may be “too much” for a student. If so, we have ways to accommodate them so they can still feel successful in the class.
  • My kid has learning challenges (ADHD, dyslexia, struggles to read, hates to write). Will these classes work for them?
    We believe in the principle of low floor/high ceiling when developing our curriculum. That means that every student who is willing can come to class and feel successful. Homework assignments are designed to meet a variety of learning needs and accommodations can be made to help students, including listening to audio books, having parents help type papers, etc. This curriculum is specifically designed to support “learning-different” kids.
  • My kid is gifted (reads a thousand pages a week, writes all the time, etc). Will these classes work for them?
    The low floor/high ceiling model is also designed to accommodate learners who are ready to do more. We build in ways for them to push themselves throughout the curriculum, including additional reading options and bonus homework assignments. In addition, most of the activities and writing assignments are built so that no matter how “gifted” your student is, they will still have room to improve and build upon what they can already do. Also, our individual mentoring process for writing means each student gets feedback that aligns with what they need most to grow.
  • Which level should my kid take this year?
    Here is what we recommend for students of different ages: 2/7th grade: Start with Beginning. 13/8th grade: Start with Beginning. At the end of the year, we can discuss whether they are ready to move to Intermediate or would benefit from another year in Beginning. 14/9th grade: Start with either Intermediate or Beginning. If your student is still struggling with basic writing (sentence structure/writing a paragraph), they will benefit from a year in Beginning. If they are fairly comfortable with writing, they will be fine starting in Intermediate. 15/10th grade: Consider starting in Intermediate unless the student needs remedial help with writing. Another alternative is to make sure they have access to remedial help at home or with their writing mentor. 16-17/11th-12th grade: Start with Intermediate unless the student has a solid foundation in writing 5-paragraph essays and is comfortable with the essay-writing process. Most students who have not had a structured writing program should have at least one year of Intermediate regardless of their age before taking Advanced.
  • Can my kid skip a level and move ahead?
    Usually students benefit from staying in the age-range that’s outlined for the classes. We have found that even gifted students benefit from being around peers of roughly the same age. Also, while they may be able to read the content, they aren’t necessarily ready to do the level of critical thinking required in the higher level classes. If you feel that your child should be an exception, please reach out and we will review your request.
  • How much homework and what kind of homework will my kids have?
    Because we only meet once a week, we build a curriculum that uses homework to do anything that can be done at home so we can save class time for things that can only be done in a group setting. That means most lectures, all reading, and most writing will be done at home. Each level has a different amount of time that students will spend on average. The amount of time they spend will vary depending on how fast they read and how fast they write. Beginning: 1-2 hours per week Intermediate: 2-3 hours per week Advanced: 4-5 hours per week
  • Will my kid get individual feedback on their writing assignments?
    Yes and no. Each mentor will read and comment on each assignment that is turned in. However, with many students and only one teacher, the amount of feedback will be less that most students need to really improve. In order to accommodate this discrepancy, we build in a “writing mentor” process where students find and work with outside mentors one on one to get additional feedback. Students can use a parent, relative, or neighbor as their writing mentor. We are also considering providing IEP writing mentors for an additional fee that students could take advantage of.
  • What will my kid be able to do after they take these classes?
    Our goal is to prepare the kids to be strong critical thinkers, as well as have the practical skills they need to be successful in college, their careers, or other adult pursuits involving language and communication. To accomplish this, we teach skills using age-appropriate activities and assignments that are designed to build on themselves year after year. This chart gives a sample of the skills and discussion topics we cover at each level.
  • How old do students need to be?
    Our program is for students ages 13-18 years old. All of the content in our classes is designed for that age group. However, occasionally, 12 year old students are ready for the content. If you believe this is the case with your student, feel free to reach out.
  • How much homework is required?
    Each class requires between 1-2 hours of homework each week. This means that a student could have a full schedule of 5 classes, and expect to do no more than 10 hours of homework a week. However, homework requirements vary slightly from class to class.
  • How long are classes?
    Classes usually meet once a week for 1-2 hours. Each class is a little different, and we try to schedule our classes in a way that students in each location can take as many classes as they would like in the same year. Classes last all school year with breaks for major holidays and seasons.
  • What is expected of parents?
    Each class has different requirements, but generally, it is expected that parents will help ensure that students attend class and do their homework. Parents may also be asked to help out with activities and events that are relevant to the courses their students are participating in. For our debate program, parents participate in judging tournaments throughout the year. As a rule, parents should expect to judge one tournament per debate student. Debate tournaments are on Saturdays throughout the school year and last all day.
  • How do I get in touch with my student's teacher?
    If you are registered for a class, your teacher should be in contact with you. However, if you don't have your teacher's contact info, you can find it on our IEP Team page here.
  • When does the school year start/end?
    All of the important dates can be found on our calendar page. No matter what class your student is taking, you can find the dates you need there.
  • How much is tuition?
    Tuition for the 2022-2023 school year is $500/class per student, and classes last the full year. The first $50 of tuition is paid when you fill out the registration form, which holds your spot in class and gets your student an ID/Competition Number for the school year. The remaining tuition is paid on through the Thinkific platform as classes start and gets your student access to the class content and homework assignments. Both portions of tuition need to be paid for your student to make it onto their class roster. Registration form: https://form.jotform.com/220744778846066 Thinkific class list: ieprogram.thinkific.com
  • How do I pay tuition?
    All of our classes are hosted on the Thinkific platform, and tuition is handled there. You can find your class and pay tuition by going to ieprogram.thinkific.com Please note that if you have multiple students in your family, they will each need a Thinkific account.
bottom of page