Winter 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 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. 

Becoming Story Detectives:  

Winter 2021

Introduction to Literary & Rhetorical Analysis Essays

For Students Ages 13-15 (9th & 10th Graders)

Taught by Writing Coach Royd Hatta

Beyond the Box Learning

Minimum 2 students, Maximum 8 students


Wednesdays, 10:00-11:15am PT, 75 minutes each

Winter: January 13 - March 24, 2021

(10 lessons, No Class Feb. 17)

Spring: March 31 - May 26, 2021

(8 lessons, No Class Apr. 7)

Lessons via Zoom

Plus, up to 2 hours of 1:1 private session for essay review.

This course will show students the inner workings of a story through the eyes of a reader/detective. 

 We will cover two plays in the Winter where we will dive deep to process, question, and understand the stories’ layers of meaning. 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 story elements: character development, plot/conflict, resolution, setting, themes, and key literary devices. 

In the Spring, we’ll deconstruct how editorial articles and speakers choose their words to persuade us. Rhetorical analysis develops our critical eye so that we understand how we are pulled towards arguments and influenced to consider their points.

Throughout the course, students will develop their critical thinking skills while learning concrete tools for writing persuasive essays in general, and analytical essays in particular. As always, we'll provide an essay structure and break down the thinking and writing into small steps.

Our readings will include following:

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare.

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Since these plays are meant to be watched, I recommend doing so first, and then read the script. Either can be watched during the Winter Break.


"The Shakespeare, High Street, Lincoln" by Lincolnian (Brian) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

"A Raisin in the Sun . . ." by daystar297 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Into the Belly of the Whale

An Adventure Story Writing & Illustration Workshop 

For ages 8-11

Thursdays 1:00pm - 2:00pm PST 

Jan 14, 2021 - Mar 25, 2021

(No class Feb. 18)

10 sessions, 1 hour each

Minimum 4 students, Maximum 6 students.

Tuition: $321 per student

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

Will Unicorn Cookies Sell?

A Young Entrepreneurs Workshop

Ages 8-11

Taught by Writing Coach Royd Hatta

Thursdays, 1:00-2:00pm PT

January 14 - April 29, 2021

(No classes Feb. 18 & Apr. 8)

14 lessons, 1 hour each

Minimum 6 students, Maximum 10 students.

Tuition: $450 per student

Imagine baking moist, frosted strawberry cupcakes for your neighbor’s birthday party, selling beautiful photographs of Sequoia and Yosemite on, or designing fun fantasy game apps for smartphones. All three of these business ideas were created by our homeschooling students, young entrepreneurs! If you have 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 students who would like to explore building their own home-based businesses with the support of parents and friends. 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 your next steps.

Advanced High School American Literature Courses

Open to Homeschooling Teens ages 15-18

Mondays, 3pm-4pm PST 

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

Winter 2020-2021: The Modern Era (1950s-2018)

Nov. 19, 2020  – Feb. 25, 2021 (10 lessons)

(No classes: Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Break; Dec. 11 through Jan. 6, Winter Break; Feb. 18, February Break)

Readings include:

  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (Vietnam War story)
  • Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut (WWII story)

Spring 2021: Rhetorical Essay Analysis 

Mar. 11  – May 20, 2021 (10 lessons)

Readings include:

For questions or to register, please contact:

[email protected].

Spring 2021

Becoming Story Detectives:  

An American Experience & Rhetorical Essays

  • 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.
    • An audio exists on YouTube, but most libraries have it. 
  • Rhetorical Essay Analysis

Writing assignments will include:

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

For questions or to register, please contact:

[email protected].