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].
- 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:
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.
- Romeo and Juliet public domain audiobook at LibriVox
- Recommended Movie version: Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet. (Most Public Libraries have the DVD.)
- Barron’s Shakespeare Made Easy Series: Romeo & Juliet.
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.
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
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 Amazon.com, 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)
- 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)
- The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison (Selected Chapters)
- AP English Language & Comp Exam Prep (May 12, 2021)
- Rhetorical Analysis: Essays & current event articles
- Malcolm Gladwell, Ursula Le Guin, et al. (Selected essays)
- AP Exam Schedule & 2020 Exam Details & Sample Questions
For questions or to register, please contact:
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
- George Orwell’s "Politics and the English Language" Essay
- Selected Essays & New York Times Opinion Pages
Writing assignments will include:
- Short journal entries
- Response-to-literature paragraphs
- First draft essays & revisions