No prerequisites are required for this class; however, we read English classical literature, so a proficient reading level is necessary. The time required for this class is two to three hours of at-home work per week. Students will need a three ring binder with dividers labeled: poetry, 5 minute writes, grammar/SAT, essays, and literature guides.
Parents will need to provide the novels that we will study. I cannot
predict what we will read because, unlike public school, I will not know what students have already read until class begins. I will give two or three weeks notice when we begin a new book. Please note that most classics are free on Kindles and some other E-readers. They are also generally available at the library.
Each class period begins with a short discussion of what is going on in the world (3 minutes or so). This discussion is to foster critical
thinking skills, general knowledge, and language ability. We exclude
violence and politics. Often this discussion prompts the 5 minute write; this is a timed exercise on topics of interest. It helps students think quickly, organize, write, and recite. We generally read these in class.
Every week we study poetry. Poetry is the most advanced development of language. It requires ideas and vocabulary arranged in a way that can be classified as art. We read the poets who have the greatest command of the language and the most profound thoughts. Students will write their own poetry as well.
We read classical and important modern-day literature. Parents always have the option of requesting alternate literature, although I am careful to select appropriate books. Students should read every week day. I space the books assuming they do so. We also will study short stories. I have a few books to loan, but it would be great to have each student have a book of short stories. These are available at used book stores for very little, and are always available at the library. Two or three times during the year, I will assign a "short story of choice." Students will also have an opportunity to read "books-of-choice" during the year. They will give oral book reports on these.
In high school we have an SAT practice exercise every week. Most are taken from actual ACT or SAT testing materials. I also use "Essay Corrections" which are sentences that contain grammar or usage errors taken from the class essays. This way we study the grammar and usage that is needed for each particular class. I find students pay attention when it is their sentence or other class members' sentences on the homework page that need correcting.
Students write an essay every week. Topics are usually assigned to
correspond with the literature or poetry we are studying. Students save these and keep track of their errors and weaknesses. We will also study famous speeches and do some speech and debate in class. The second semester students do a research report. One of Shakespeare's plays is also part of the second semester. During the summer students and their families will have an opportunity to go to the Old Globe to see a professional Shakespeare play.
I consider myself to be a mentor/tutor/assistant teacher to my students.
Parents are actually the grade givers in home schooling. However, I do give grades and evaluations on request. Otherwise, parents have a notebook with hundreds of graded essays, grammar handouts, book reports, speech evaluations, SAT/ACT exercises, quizzes etc. to determine a grade.
I will hand out a list of missing assignments to students before the end of the semester. Students keep all work that is graded and passed back in their binder. I try to have 85% new material each year if I have repeat students (So far, I always have had them.) Parents are, of course, always welcome in class.
The fee for this class is $99 for the first semester and $150 for the much longer second semester ending the end of May. Payment can be monthly, by semester, or by year. You may bring payment to class, mail it, or use my PayPal account under firstname.lastname@example.org. Minimum class size is six, and
maximum class size will be sixteen. I will schedule an information
presentation and question/answer session before classes begin. More information on that to follow.
2460 Reill View Drive
Escondido, CA 92025
Maximum number of students: 20