Intro to Lit & Comp


Course Overview
Introduction to Literature & Composition is designed for
advanced 8th graders and above (13+) who love to read. You'll tackle a variety of novels, plays, short stories, and poems—all chosen to be thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Weekly text-based discussions are a big part of this class, as you share your thoughts and opinions with a group of class friends. You'll read, write, and compare your views with homeschooled classmates who live across the country (and maybe around the globe). And as you do, you'll improve your critical thinking and writing skills as a community.

This class is also designed for students who enjoy writing and who have a sincere desire to improve their writing skillfulness. You may be confident in your abilities or you may feel that you need to work on brainstorming, outlining, and getting your thoughts down on paper. We'll work on all those things during the year in an incremental parts-to-whole approach. While you will be writing something every week, you can expect to write four-to-five full essays over the course of the year, planning, writing drafts, editing, and then revising after you receive detailed feedback. And in the process, you'll learn (or reinforce) the basics of MLA formatting and citations. Sharing your writing on the class website throughout the year will offer modeling and gentle, friendly peer editing opportunities to help you grow and improve. 

We'll also tackle vocabulary in a fun waywith flashcards! Don't be surprised when you see "SAT" on the flashcard box. You won't be studying for the SAT yet! But those flashcards will be an enjoyable break from workbooks, and we'll weave vocabulary and grammar into the year in a small, purposeful way.

Are you new to online classes? Whether you are or aren't, this class will help you master the components of online learning, as you navigate through your Moodle classroom and become incrementally more proficient at what an online class entails. Your instructor understands you might be an online-class newbie, so there will be plenty of instruction and assistance along the way.

Join a group of enthusiastic readers and learners who agree that "books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey." 

Representative Goals and Activities

Students will:
  • Read novels, plays, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction for enjoyment and to improve critical reading skillfulness
  • Engage in informal (discussion forums), instructional (parts-to-whole practice), and formal (essay) writing
  • Hone the expression of ideas to demonstrate clarity, coherence, and perceptiveness
  • Receive incremental writing instruction with detailed, individual feedback
  • Learn to write several types of essays, including expository, persuasive, and literary analysis
  • Construct and refine the parts of an essay, practicing and then applying learning to 4- or 5-paragraph essays
  • Write several types of essays, including literary analysis, expository, and persuasive essays
  • Learn and apply basic formatting and citation conventions in accordance with the new 2016 MLA guidelines
  • Fine tune grammar through workbook practice and editing
  • Learn and apply new vocabulary in a variety of ways
  • Engage in active discussions each week—both guided and student-led—on topics relating to the week's reading and writing
  • Offer and receive helpful and positive peer feedback on writing forums

Student Resources

Class Resources:

Class Reading (any unabridged editions except the Jules Verne novel; ebooks and library books are fine):
Homeschoolers are readers! Students who have read one or more of these selections may opt to re-read or substitute worthy alternatives in the same genre.

Summer Assignment

Plan to read your choice of one of these four novels over the summer. There will be a creative (fun) 1-page writing response to your reading (with details provided by your instructor) that everyone will share on day one. (And everyone starts off the year with an A+!)

Online Format and Technology

This is an asynchronous course. While it is highly interactive, there is no live audio or video component. This gives you the flexibility to plan weekly coursework around your busy academic and extra-curricular schedule.  Assignments are set up on a Monday-Sunday timetable, with no specific point during the week that the class "meets" together.  You will access the website regularly, and interact with your classmates throughout the week, according to your own school and family schedule.

moodlepowered.jpgThe class is hosted on Moodle, a learning management system that is popular among online educators and universities. You will need access to a computer with an up-to-date browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Chrome). You will complete assignments directly on the website and upload your writing assignments as Microsoft Word documents. Some assignments will require scanning your notes (or taking a cell-phone shot) and uploading hand-written work. The course website is password protected and accessible only to registered students.

Students may be new to online learning, so there will be significant time spent during the first two weeks of the courseand then as needed throughout the yearhelping students become acquainted with expectations, procedures, and the Moodle format. Questions are expected. The class website will open a week early. There will be a short, easy "practice" assignment, so that students can try out the site before class begins.

Course Tuition, Size, and Schedule

Intro to Literature & Composition is open to home-schooled students who are advanced 8th graders or above, and are at least 13 years old. Tuition for 2017-2018 is $650 for the year, payable to Blue Tent Online at registration. The class size will be capped at 15 students.

 The class will begin on Monday, August 28, 2017 and conclude on Friday, May 11, 2018. The website will open one week early for students to look around their new classroom. There will be a one-week fall break, a short Thanksgiving week, a two-week Christmas break, and a one-week spring break.

The Instructor

Want to learn more about instructor?
If you have questions or would like additional information about this course, please send us a note!