Homeschool Courses: Shanan 2021-2022 (English & Writing)

I’m excited to be preparing several classes for the Shanan Tutorials 2021-22 Schedule.  Shanan is a program for homeschooled families to partner with experienced tutors for instruction in class settings once or twice per week. At home, parents help students and collaborate with tutors to complete instruction of course materials. All Shanan classes meet at Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church on Mondays AND/OR Wednesdays for 70 minute classes. Shanan meets for 32 weeks: 16 Fall and 16 Spring. Shanan administrators are currently surveying interest from newly interested and returning Shanan families to help create a plan that accommodates the most students. (Be sure to take the correct survey.)  Since I’ve had a few questions about my plans for next year, here’s some basic information related to Shanan’s CURRENT offerings.

    • There are two English teachers at Shanan, me and Mr. Jack Gale. I have almost 10 years of classroom experience in public, private, and homeschool environments. Mr. Gale has 50+ years of classroom experience.  He was my high school English teacher in the mid 90s! He’s amazing.
    • Mr. Gale will teach the twice a week Honors Grammar & Composition (9th-12th) and American Literature (9th-12th). He is also preparing a new once a week Science Fiction (9th-12th) option, which may include some speculative (non-realistic) fiction. (I am going to beg Mr. Gale to let me take that course. :))
    • I need a minimum of 5 students enrolled in a course in order to hold that course. Classes I am proposing are as follows. In order to be placed in any writing course, students must demonstrate 90% proficiency on a 4-6th grade level grammar test.
      • Literary Genres. M&W–9th-12th grade. Our text is IEW Windows to the World  by Lesha Meyers.  This survey  course covers a broad scope of American, British, and world literature, including poetry, novels, short stories, and plays in relatively equal portions.  This year our long works have included To Kill a Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol, Cry the Beloved Country, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Honors students also read Just Mercy, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, and Othello. We have covered many short stories and poems. The course does involve writing literary analysis essays, but its primarily emphasis is literature analysis and discussion.
      • The Intro to Grammar and Composition class that I offered this year has been redesigned as Essay Writing & Grammar. Ideally, middle grade developing writers will take both courses.
        • Essay Writing. ONCE per week 7th-9th grade. This class is designed to be paired with the Grammar class, which will held be the same time on the opposite day.  With that said, students who pass a 7th-8th grade Grammar proficiency post-test may take Essay Writing ONLY. Some of our essays will be paired with various readings and novels. I am strongly considering The Lost Tools of Writing for our class text.
        • Grammar. ONCE per week 7th-9th grade. This class is designed to be paired with the Essay Writing class; however, it MAY be taken alone.  Our curriculum will include the Get Smart Grammar program from Grammar and methodology from The Writing Revolution. There IS a required placement pre-test to ensure students have proficiency with 4th-6th grade grammar.
      • Writing for Muggles. ONCE per week. 7th-9th grade. Our text is Grammar for Middle School by Killgallon, but our major writing assignments will be creatively derived from reading the Harry Potter series. We will write letters from Hogwarts, Daily Prophet articles, fan fiction creating a sibling for Harry, and other pieces designed to energize writing from those who love the Harry Potter series. Students need to have already read or be concurrently reading ALL 7 books in the series. There IS a required placement pre-test to ensure students have proficiency with 4th-6th grade grammar.
      • Creative Writing ELECTIVE. ONCE per week. 7th-12th grade. Our current text is The Creative Writer: Level 3 by Boris Fishman, but that might change for next year. We spend 3/4 of the year writing short stories and the other 1/4 writing skits and poems.  This class is a great choice for students who love writing for pleasure and want to be challenged to improve AND try new forms of writing. This class is NOT sufficient as a full high school English credit as we do not discuss formal academic writing OR literature.
    • ALL my classes will require students to use and submit assignments via Google Classroom. I am including my course intro video from last year (2020-2021), in which I introduce myself and discuss some of the curriculum that I’ve used this year. It isn’t up to date, but it does have some helpful info.

**Since it is a big issue for many people, I will go ahead and explain Shanan’s masking policy.  Shanan follows ALL mask-wearing, social distancing, and cleaning protocols followed by our church host, Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church.  Currently, we have masking, distancing, and cleaning protocols requested by the church host, but excepting a few weeks, we  have been able to meet live.  When classes are virtual, they proceed at their normal schedule on a digital platform; I use Zoom. Any changes to CoVid rules will be those initiated and allowed by the church. All policies are in deference to our stewardship there, which is to say that our policies DO NOT stem from tutor, parent, or student opinions.  We simply follow the policies of the church. All tutors and students have to sign agreement forms acknowledging adherence with these policies.

1 thought on “Homeschool Courses: Shanan 2021-2022 (English & Writing)

  1. Hi Katrina. I filled out the class interest earlier. I know there is a lot of planning involved in the scheduling of these classes but would like to add that I am interested in the Essay Writing and possible Grammar for my rising 7th grade daughter if instruction is held in the morning. Since it looks like she may have to take the Grammar to take the Essay Writing and we would have to do possible Monday and Wednesday, that is what works for us as she has another commitment on Wednesdays from 1:30-4. Look forward to seeing more info.

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