Fall 2021 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 7th.
  • A daytime phone number for us to reach you. 

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

Jump into Our Roaring Time Machine: 
An Online Story Workshop For Writers
Ages 9-11 / Grades 4-5-6
Taught by Writing Coach Shu-Hsien Ho
Beyond the Box Learning

THURS 11am-12pm PST
Sept 9 - Nov 11, 2021

10 Zoom sessions
60 minutes each

Minimum 5 students, 
Maximum 8 students

Tuition: $330 per student 
Includes detailed feedback for story drafts
and 1-on-1 coaching.

Imagine meeting Cleopatra, shaking hands with Martians, and taming a T Rex.

All three would be amazing, first-hand encounters if we could travel through time!

For anyone who has been intrigued by our mysterious past or the potential to explore our technological future, this workshop is the perfect opportunity to discover a fantastic world.

We invite students to experiment with their imagination and ideas through writing and illustrating their own adventure tales.

We’ll provide a highly interactive, playful environment to inspire students to brainstorm ideas and create their own stories of time travel, historical fiction, science fiction, or anything in between. 

Our workshops will walk through every step of the writing process:

  • 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 

Each student will be invited to present a reading on the last day of class.

To register, please contact: [email protected]

Will Ninja Desserts Sell?  

A Teen Entrepreneurs Workshop

For Rising  7th - 8th - 9th Graders
Taught by Writing Coaches 
Shu-Hsien Ho & Royd Hatta

Tuesdays, 10:00-11:15am PST

Sept 7 - Nov 16, 2021 (No class Oct 12)

10 Zoom lessons
75 minutes each

Minimum 5 students
Maximum 8 students.

Tuition: $390 per student

Includes detailed feedback on written assignments & 1:1 coaching.

Imagine baking moist, frosted strawberry cupcakes for your neighbor’s birthday party or selling beautiful photographs of Sequoia and Yosemite on Amazon.com. Perhaps, you're up to designing fun fantasy game apps for smartphones.

All three of these business ideas were created by our students, ages 18 and younger!

If you've ever been curious to start your own business, this workshop is the place to begin.

This course will be a highly interactive, playful, hands-on workshop for young entrepreneurs who would like to explore building their own home-based businesses with the support of parents, friends, and mentors.

We’ll walk through the steps of brainstorming and developing possible products or services, researching target customers, writing persuasive ads, creating marketing plans, and presenting a clear one-page business plan for taking action.

To register, please contact:

[email protected]

Photo by Ariana Suárez on Unsplash

Independent Projects: A Deep Dive into Curiosity

Zoom online Writing Workshops for Ages 11-13

Taught by Coaches Shu-Hsien Ho & Royd Hatta

Sept 7 - Nov 16, 2021
Tuesdays, 1:30-2:45pm PST

10 lessons
No session on Oct. 12

Minimum 7 students, Maximum 10 students

7-10 students: $350 per student
6 students: $375 per student

Have you ever wondered how archeologists discover T-Rex fossils? Or, what it would be like to live in Paris during the French Revolution?

This Independent Project course is a space where students can explore a specific question or topic that intrigues them and learn concrete steps for digging into the research and creating a story or essay.

Past projects have included the life of a falconer, marketing tools for selling a game app, and the impact of plastic pollution in our oceans.

All topics are welcome. 

We invite you to join us on this special journey!

Lessons will include:

  • Highly interactive, hands-on brainstorming exercises to inspire curiosity.
  • Opportunities to apply newly learned skills and concepts to real world scenarios.
  • A step-by-step process for developing skills in research, interviewing, critical thinking, writing & revising.
  • Up to 2 hours of one-on-one coaching (arranged outside of group classes).
  • Detailed reviews & feedback for students’ written assignments.
  • Oral presentations of final research papers on the last day of class.

To register, please contact:

[email protected]

Mirrors of Humanity I, II, & III
A Three Course Series (FALL, WINTER, SPRING)

See the course descriptions that follow below.

2021-22 High School Literature Analysis
Open to Homeschooling Teens Ages 13-17

Taught by Writing Coach Royd Hatta

Hybrid: In-person & Online 2021-22 

In-person: Palo Alto Library - Mitchell Park
Streamed Online via Zoom
Note: For September, we will primarily be on Zoom
until the Palo Alto Library extends their hours as planned. 

Wednesdays, 10:00-11:15am PST 

Ten (10) lessons for each course.
75 minutes each

Minimum 2 students,
Maximum 8 students
Tuition includes detailed feedback on essays & private 1:1 coaching. 

We’re offering a Special Rate based on the number of students:
  • 2-3 students: $575 per student per course
  • 4-8 students: $475 per student per course

Each course in Fall 2021, Winter 2021-22, and Spring 2021 is paid separately.

Please see the course descriptions below.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Fall 2021 - Mirrors of Humanity I: 
Seeing the Other

WED 10AM-11:15AM 
Sept 15 - Nov 17, 2021 
10 lessons

No sessions on Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving Break.

Lessons via Zoom/In-person

For Fall 2021, our readings will explore the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of race in American society. From this confluence, we will introduce several concepts of analysis and critical thinking.

Fall 2021 Readings will include:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • Two young siblings begin to see the underlying prejudice in the South...in all its forms.
  • Selected Short Stories & Essays:
    • When Will There Be a Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemison
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • Selected essays by James Baldwin
    • Allegory of the Cave by Plato

To register, please contact:

[email protected]

Photo by Mark Olsen on Unsplash
Winter 2021-2022:  
Mirrors of Humanity II:
Short & Powerful

WED 10 AM - 11:15 AM PST
Dec 1-15, 2021; 
Jan 5 - Feb 16, 2022 
10 lessons

No Sessions: 
  • Nov. 24, Thanksgiving; 
  • Dec. 16 - Jan. 4, Holiday Break;
  • Feb. 23, February Break
For our Winter 2021-22 course, we will explore the art of the short story. These landmark works will reflect the themes of individualism, identity, rebellion, personal vs. social power, and responsibility to each other and ourselves.

This course will also practice the Short Story Lit Analysis section from the AP English exam. 

Winter 2021 Short Story Readings:  
  • James Hurst: “The Scarlet Ibis” 
  • Ted Chiang: "Tower of Babel" from Stories of Your Life
  • Helena Maria Viramontes: Under the Feet of Jesus (excerpt)
  • Flannery O'Connor: "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
  • Shirley Jackson: “The Lottery”
  • Rutger Bregner: Humankind: A Hopeful History (excerpt)

To register, please contact:

[email protected]

Spring 2021 – Mirrors of Humanity III

Politics and Technology

WED 10 AM-11:15 AM PST
March 2  – May 11, 2021 
10 lessons

No Session Apr. 13, Spring Break

For Spring 2022, we will cover Orwell’s classic 1984, a personal favorite, paired with Astra Taylor’s The People’s Platform, a meditation on the power of the internet and the data-driven methods that increasingly fosters a narrowing world view.

Spring 2021 Readings:

  • 1984 by George Orwell - A Dystopian Classic
  • The People’s Platform by Astra Taylor - Excerpt. An examination of the power of our hyper-connectivity and our relationship with the major internet platforms of the world. 

To register, please contact:

[email protected]