Fall 2020 Classes

The following online classes are currently available for enrollment. Please note that we also teach small private classes that are not listed here. If the offerings below do not fit your schedule, feel free to email us, and perhaps we can find a class for your young writer. 

To register, please send an email to [email protected].

Please provide:

  • The title of the course.
  • Your child's name.
  • Your child's age as of Sept 9th.
  • A daytime phone number for us to reach you. 

Either Writing Coach Shu-Hsien Ho or Royd Hatta will respond as soon as possible. 

Robots, Rogues & Rocket Launches: 

A Zoom Story Writing Workshop

For ages 8-10 (Rising 3rd-5th Graders)

Thursdays 1pm - 2pm PST (12 lessons) 

September 10 - December 3, 2020 (No lesson on Nov. 26)

Minimum 6 students, Maximum 12.


6 students: $385 per student

7-12 students: $360 per student

Year 3522. Planet Earth. Robots can do anything from cooking gourmet meals to performing heart surgery. We now travel to Mars and Venus to visit our cousins for the summer while astronauts explore galaxies beyond the Milky Way. What other wild and unexpected discoveries have we made? Do we communicate with aliens? Have we reversed global warming with technology developed on International Space Stations?

Join us in our new writing workshop where we imagine a future full of surprising adventures in outer space. We’ll play interactive games and share creative prompts to inspire curiosity and ideas. Students will be encouraged to research and use real scientific facts in their own stories.


Our course will walk through all steps of the writing process: generating first ideas, writing new scenes, organizing, integrating details, revising for clarity and logic, and editing towards a final draft. Each student will be invited to present a reading on the last day of class.

For questions or to register, please contact:

[email protected].

Into the Belly of the Whale: 

An Adventure Story Writing & Illustration Workshop 

For ages 9-11 

Tuesdays 1:30pm - 3:00pm PST (12 sessions)

September 8, 2020 - December 1, 2020

(No class Nov. 24 Thanksgiving Week)

Minimum 6 students, Maximum 12 students.

(This course is currently full.)

Imagine stepping into the mouth of a giant, diving through a black hole, or transforming into a superhero. Just as Pinocchio entered unexpected and sometimes dangerous worlds in his quest to become human, this workshop will invite students to travel with their story characters and tackle the twists and turns of their amazing adventures. We’ll tap into our imaginations with highly interactive storytelling games and illustration exercises as we walk through every step of the writing process:

  • Inspiring a love for creative writing
  • Understanding the structure and the power of a compelling story
  • Generating and organizing ideas
  • Writing with momentum
  • Revising for clarity and logic
  • Editing towards a final draft

By the end of the course, each student will have an illustrated story and will present a reading on the last day of class.

For questions or to register, please contact:

[email protected].

The Power of Persuasive Speeches: 

For ages 12-14

(Note: This is a long-standing, year-long homeschool group. Please contact us to see if this course would be a fit for your child.)

Tuesdays 10:00am - 11:30am PST (10 sessions)

September 1 - November 3, 2020

Minimum 6 students, Maximum 12 students.

Two (2) Spots left.

Tuition: $380 per student per Course

Greta Thunberg, Martin Luther King Jr., and Sojourner Truth. How do certain speakers have the courage and power to draw a wide audience of listeners and followers? What are the patterns or frameworks used for effective speeches that create a movement? 

This course will dive into the nature of a compelling speech, its key elements, its persuasive and rhetorical techniques, and the emotional drive that calls readers and audiences to action. We will read and watch speeches by famous leaders, activists, and creators. We’ll ask students to apply these tools as they write their own persuasive speeches based on topics of personal interest. In the end, our focus will be to inspire writing that makes a difference.

Readings and videos will be selected from speeches by:

Greta Thunberg, Helen Keller, Cesar Chavez, Rigoberta Menchu, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr., President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, J.F. Kennedy, Yuri Kochiyama, as well as TED talks by various innovators.

This course will be followed by the classes below for the same group.

Winter: Poetry Writing Workshop 

November 10 - December 8, 2020 &

January 12 - February 23, 2021 (10 lessons)

(No classes: Nov 24, Dec 15 through Jan 5, and Feb 16.)

Tuition: $380 per student per Course


Shakespeare Plays, World Literature, or Independent Research

Mar 2 - May 11, 2021 (10 lessons)

Tuition: $380 per student per Course

For questions or to register, please contact:

[email protected].

Becoming Story Detectives: 

Introduction to Literary Analysis & Essay Writing

For ages 13-15 (Rising 9th & 10th Graders)  

Wednesdays, 10:00am-11:15am PST, 75 minutes  

September 9 - November 11, 2020

(10 sessions + 1 hour of 1-on-1 private Skype session for essay review)

Minimum 2 students, Maximum 8 students. 


2-3 Students: $565 per student 

4-8 Students: $460 per student

This course will show students the inner workings of a story through the eyes of a reader/detective. We will choose short stories and 1-2 novels to enter a “deep dive” process to digest, question, and understand the layers of meaning in the stories. What is the author’s main message? How did he or she intentionally plant clues or symbols to foreshadow upcoming plot twists? How does the author surprise us? We will also discuss the core elements of story: character development, plot/conflict, resolution, setting, themes, and key literary devices. Students will develop their critical thinking skills while learning concrete tools for writing persuasive essays in general, and literary analysis essays in particular. As always, we'll provide an essay structure and break down the thinking and writing into small steps.

Our readings will be chosen from the following:

Short Stories:

  • "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu (fantasy short story that won the Hugo & Nebula Awards)
  • "All Summer in A Day" by Ray Bradbury (science fiction set on Venus)
  • "The Rules of the Game" by Amy Tan (an unexpected chess and family story)
  • "The Lady or the Tiger" by Frank R. Stockton (classic with mystery ending)


Animal Farm by George Orwell (An animal allegory that provides political commentary about governments that manipulate language and seek absolute power.)

Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston (Memoir about a girl and her family who experience the Japanese American Internment Camp at Manzanar during World War II.) 

The Giver by Lois Lowry (Futuristic story about a boy who begins to question his society and its rules when he is selected to become the next Receiver of Memory.)

Writing assignments will include:

  • Short journal entries
  • Response-to-literature paragraphs
  • First draft essays & revisions

For questions or to register, please contact:

[email protected].

Online 2020-21 High School American Literature Courses

Open to Homeschooling Teens ages 15-18

Thursdays, 10:30am-11:45am PST

(See dates below)

Minimum 2 students, Maximum 8 students.

Tuition: $560 per student per course

(Includes detailed feedback on essays & 1 hr of private 1:1 coaching.)


We’re offering a Special Rate based on the number of students:

2-5 students: $520 per student per course

6-8 students: $490 per student per course

Fall 2020: Paths to Freedom

September 10 - November 12, 2020

         Fall 2020 Readings:

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler (Time travel to Antebellum South/slavery)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - Selected Chapters (author & journalist, Won 2015 National Book Award, letters to his son about the history and politics of race in the U.S.)
  • Poetry by Phillis Wheatley, 1753-1784 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/phillis-wheatley
  • James Baldwin (selected essays)