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Lang Arts / English Classes

Great Books Literature

Class Description:

Great books are great for a reason: they can change the life of those who read them. In this class, students will read, hopefully enjoy, and delve into some really great books spanning a variety of authors, genres, and eras. Through discussion, activities, writing exercises, and a few brief history lessons for context, students will develop an appreciation for as well as an understanding of the importance, meaning, and application of the themes, stories, and ideas presented within the books. Through these means, the primary goal is for each student to walk away truly affected by these works of literature.

  • Note: This class is an excellent follow up to the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature course!
  • Note II: Parental feedback on the book list is welcome!

Book List Possibilities

  1. The Giver
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. Fahrenheit 451
  4. Ender’s Game
  5. A Wrinkle In Time
  6. Pride and Prejudice
  7. The Hiding Place
  8. Go Ask Alice
  9. Catcher in the Rye
  10. Girl of the Limberlost
  11. Peace Like a River
  12. A book of short stories

Prerequisite: N/A

Tutor: Whitney Grindberg

Class Length: Full Year Course

Grade Level: 9th-12th Grade

Class Size: 5 students minimum, 20 students maximum

Tuition: $160 per semester

Homework: 3-4 hours a week, depending on reading schedule

Materials: TBD book list, access to email and internet, word processing for writing assignments. *Parental feedback on the book list is welcome!


How to Read Your Bible

Class Description:

If you have ever wondered if there were ways of getting more out of your Bible-reading, this class is for you! Over the course of the school year, we will read much (if not all) of the Holy Bible and delve deep into the literary devices, genres, and techniques that comprise the greatest Book ever written. Our goal will be to see the beauty of God revealed to us in the Bible and to train our hearts to be excited about reading Scripture!

Tutor:  Braxton Carvette

Class Length:  One Full Year or One Semester – Fall/Spring

Grade Level:  8th-12th 

Tuition:  $165 per semester

Class Size:  Minimum of 5; Maximum of 20 

Textbook Requirements:   A Bible. Preferably the English Standard Version as that is the version that will be used by the tutor.

Supplies: Different colored pens, pencils, or markers may be helpful for the student, but are not required.

Prerequisite: None.

Homework: Yes. 2-4 hours per week.

Required:  Internet access. A type of word document for class papers.


Journalism

Class Description:


Have you ever torn your hair out trying to get your student to practice writing papers? Well, one way to help combat this is to make writing fun. And what better way to do that then to have them participate in writing a newspaper?

During this course, students will help design, edit, and write a monthly newspaper for WEST. As the year progresses, each student will be required to write at least once for each section of the paper, gaining experience in various forms of writing. Grammar rules will be discussed along with ethics in journalism, interviewing techniques, and other journalistic topics. Students will also get practice in meeting deadlines and editing. One parent had this to say after their student attended this course:

My daughter is now at a very challenging school and received an A in English/writing and I attribute a lot of this to her work with Sue.  She learned to organize her thoughts through outlines, to write, to rewrite, to express and communicate herself clearly through writing.  The proof is in the results. 

Prerequisites:  None

Tutor:  Susan Kilbride

Class Length:  One Full Year (75 minutes/week)

Grade Level:  Grades 7-12

Class Size: 5 student minimum, 15 student maximum

Tuition:  $175 per semester

Homework:  Approximately 2-3 hours/week

Textbook Requirements:  Provided by tutor at no additional cost

Supplies:  None

Required:  Access to a computer, the internet, and Microsoft Word


Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

Class Description:

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature encourages students to “unlock” the mysteries within literature by teaching analytical techniques, literary elements, literary devices, and writing genres.  Students will learn how to read, infer, analyze, and write about literature, going beyond memorization of the elements of literature to applying them and even appreciating them.  As not all readings come from a Christian worldview, author worldview will be discussed, as well as the power of literature to influence.  Discussion and small group activities will be utilized in class, as well as reading, writing, and projects at home.  Students will end the course with practical experience in literary analysis and interpretation, and better prepared for upper level literature classes.

Prerequisites:  Students must be able to write an understandable paragraph with a topic and clincher sentence, and be interested in an academically challenging study.

Tutor:  Jennifer Holt

Class Length:  Spring Semester only

Grade Level:  Grades 9-12 (8th grade by tutor approval)

Class Size: 5 student minimum, 20 student maximum

Tuition:  $185 per semester

Homework:  Approximately 4 hours/week

Textbook Requirements:  Windows to the World: An Introduction to Literary Analysis by Lesha Myers (student book only)

Supplies:  None

Required:  Internet access is required for students to receive class notices, download supplemental reading and worksheets, and link to applicable websites.


Introduction to Communication and Speech

Class Description:

In numerous studies of CEO’s and employers, the ability to communicate is cited as the number one job skill. In this year-long Introduction to Communication and Speech, students will develop this critical skill by learning to organize their thoughts in prepared and impromptu presentations, by using effective delivery techniques (eye contact, body language, vocal variety) and by practicing interpersonal communication skills. Every student will speak in every session–some giving prepared speeches, some giving impromptu speeches and some evaluating speeches. Every student also will have the opportunity to give a personal testimony of faith or values.

Skills: Effective listening, critical thinking, organization of ideas, controlling nervousness, techniques of persuasion and influence, conflict resolution, impromptu speaking, storytelling, using logic and emotion to engage and persuade, time management, delivery techniques, providing helpful feedback to others.

Prerequisite: None

Tutor: Robin Fraser

Class Length: One Full Year

Grade Level: Grades 8–12

Class Size: 5 student minimum, 20 student maximum

Tuition: $172 for fall semester. Spring semester $185

Homework: 1-2 hours per week. Homework will include researching supporting points, writing speeches and practicing.

Textbook Requirements:  No text required


Essay Writing

Class Description:

Every day, the ability to communicate through the written word is vital.  In this year- long class, we will be looking at and developing different genres of essays so that the students will become better communicators through writing. We will be looking at cause & effect, personal, persuasive, as well as more creative works like poetry (and more, if time allows). 

As students compose these essays, they will have the opportunity to critique one another’s works in small groups as well as get feedback from the teacher. 

In addition, there will be a year-end portfolio and class presentation on a piece of the student’s work as part of the final project.

This course is the follow-up to Writing Fundamentals.   Students need to practice their foundational writing skills in as they prepare for high school, college work, career and life in general.  This course is it!

Note:  We will focus on excellence, creative expression, and collaboration as students practice the elements of writing from a variety of perspectives such as:  

  • Persuasive
  • Compare & Contrast
  • Thesis Statements 
  • Cause & Effect
  • Research / Report Factual Writing
  • Narrative Essay
  • Creative Thought Writing

Prerequisite: N/A

Tutor: Robin Fraser

Class Length: Full year (new students are accepted second semester if space available)

Grade Level: Grades 8-12

Class Size: 5 student minimum, 20 student maximum

Tuition: $170 for fall semester.Spring semester $180 per semester

Homework: 2-3 hours of homework weekly depending on the assignments

Materials: Students will need a lined paper notebook, 2-pocket folder, pencils, pens, highlighters, and an assortment of markers – some additional handouts may be provided


Writing Fundamentals Levels: ½, 1, and 2

*All writing classes are full year courses.  A tuition payment will also be required for the second semester of this class. 

Class Description:

Writing Fundamentals (Level ½), Writing Fundamentals (Level 1), and  Writing Fundamentals (Level 2)  will be using the Institute for Excellence in Writing method  to teach students  strong foundational writing. From note taking, structural and stylistic techniques,  creative writing, and  report writing to more advanced skills such as timed essays and critiques, students will learn skills that will prepare them for high school, PSEO, and college-level writing assignments.
 

THREE LEVELS of Writing Classes: Starting at the elementary level, students need as many years of writing practice as possible before proceeding to high school and PSEO courses where quality writing skills are an expected medium for learning. It takes time and repeated practice to digest effective writing skills, and students must start with small bites and gradually work to greater challenges. Thus, these writing classes offer three levels: Writing Fundamentals (Level ½)  for grades *5-7, Writing Fundamentals (Level 1) for grades 7-9, and Writing Fundamentals (Level 2)  for grades 8-10. Based on a principle of mastery, these courses provide time and space for meaningful practice, growing competence, and significant refinement of individual style.

Parental Involvement: Parents must proofread all assignments. To better nurture, reinforce and benefit from these skills, parents of younger students are enthusiastically encouraged to attend classes with their students.  Assignment and checklists must be downloaded.  Grades will be posted on iGrade.com. This will be able to be accessed by the parent and the student.

*NOTE:Regardless of past writing experience, ALL NEW STUDENTS MUST START AT Writing Fundamentals (Level ½)  or Writing  Fundamentals( Level 1)

Writing ½  is not required, but it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED before Writing Fundamentals (Level 1). Students should repeat Writing ½  and/or Writing Fundamentals (Level 1) until they are ready to move on. Each year  the same units are taught with all new assignments.    It is best to take the Writing classes consecutively until the student has successfully mastered all Writing Fundamentals levels.

Regardless of past writing experience, no mid-year entry is allowed. Students must take Fall and Spring semesters of each level within the same school year to complete that level.


Writing Fundamentals 1/2: 5th – 7th Grade

Class Description/Level ½ Skills:

key word  outlining, drafting and revising, stylistic techniques, fables, summaries, introduction to research reports, short essays,  grammar, usage, mechanics lessons, vocabulary, games, and a  project/presentation at the end of the year.

Prerequisite: None

Tutor:  Mrs. Nancy Djerf

Class Length: Full year / 90 minutes per class

Grade Level: 5th-7th grades.  

  • Level 1/2 may also be considered for older students who are not ready for the academic challenge of a high school class. Contact WEST for details.

Class Tuition:  $195 per semester

  • Tuition includes handouts that will create a personal writing handbook.

Class Size: Minimum of 5 students with a maximum of 22 students

Materials Required:   Required for all Levels

  • 3-inch  3-ring binder
  • 12 tabbed dividers
  • loose leaf filler paper
  • ball point pens
  • different colored fine tipped markers or colored pencils for labeling homework assignments: yellow, orange, red, pink, green, blue, purple, brown, black.
  •  basic assortment of highlighters for class.
  • access to a computer and printer. Assignments will be required to be typed.
  • a mini stapler

Homework: 2-6 hours per week depending on assignment


Writing Fundamentals 1 : 7th – 9th Grade

Class Description/Level 1 Skills:  

note taking, outlining, narrating, drafting, editing, revising, stylistic techniques, story sequence, summaries, citations and bibliographies, 5-paragraph essays, grammar lessons, vocabulary and quizzes, year-end project and presentation.

Prerequisite: None

Tutor:  Mrs. Nancy Djerf

Class Length: Full year / 90 minutes per class

Grade Level: Grades 7– 9

Class Size: 5 student minimum, 22 student maximum

Tuition: $195 per semester.

  • Tuition includes handouts that will create a personal writing handbook.

Homework: 2-6 hours per week depending on assignment

Materials Required:   Required for all Levels:

  • 3-inch  3-ring binder
  • 12 tabbed dividers
  • loose leaf filler paper
  • ball point pens
  • different colored fine tipped markers or colored pencils for labeling homework assignments: yellow, orange, red, pink, green, blue, purple, brown, black.
  •  basic assortment of highlighters for class.
  • access to a computer and printer. Assignments will be required to be typed.
  • a mini stapler

Writing Fundamentals 2: 8th – 10th Grade

Class Description/Level 2 Skills:  

note taking, outlining, narrating, journaling, drafting, editing, revising, stylistic techniques, flashbacks, imitation of style, summaries, citations and bibliographies, multi-source reports, research report, critiques, timed essays, grammar lessons, vocabulary and quizzes, year-end  project and presentation.

Prerequisite: Completion of Writing Fundamentals 1

Tutor:  Mrs. Nancy Djerf

Class Length: Full year / 90 minutes per class

Grade Level: Grades 8–10

Class Size: 5 student minimum, 20 student maximum

Tuition: $195 per semester.

  • Tuition includes handouts that will create a personal writing handbook.

Homework: 2-6 hours per week depending on assignment

Materials Required: Required for all Levels:

  • 3-inch  3-ring binder
  • 12 tabbed dividers
  • loose leaf filler paper
  • ball point pens
  • different colored fine tipped markers or colored pencils for homework assignments: yellow, orange, red, pink, green, blue, purple, brown, black.
  •  basic assortment of highlighters for class.
  • a quality college-level dictionary. Electronic dictionaries are acceptable; however, students will not have internet access.
  • access to a computer and printer. Assignments are required to be typed.
  • mini stapler