Image © Kmiragaya | Dreamstime.com
It’s that time of year where I’m getting lots of email about online classes.
We are different from what else is out there. Here’s how.
1. We were first! I started online classes in 1999 via email. So we know what we’re doing. We’ve had thousands of families go through our programs and what we do works. Period.
2. We believe parents chose to homeschool because, well, they wanted to homeschool their kids. I wasn’t under the impression that parents who homeschooled wanted to find other people to do the teaching of their kids. Sure, we all want help (particularly in the upper grades in areas outside our skill set). But for the primary years in particular, most of us want to be the home educators, not tutorial coordinators.
So, I decided to offer classes first to parents. They need to know how to teach writing even when they aren’t in a class. Kidswrite Basic teaches YOU how to be the best coach and ally to your child that you can be. Together, you and your kids learn to become a happy writing-editing team where your kids actually WANT your input and feedback (if you follow our plan, they’ll come back to you all the way to college to make sure they’ve had your set of eyes look over their work).
3. Our classes are only 3-6 weeks for a reason: you are busy homeschooling your children. We know how difficult it is to coordinate select soccer, dental surgery, your mother-in-law’s hip replacement, piano lessons, and moving to a new house with homeschool let alone a lengthy commitment to an online class with due dates!
Instead, you get to give a good quality burst of energy and commitment to a few weeks of quality, intense, instruction and then take those lessons and apply them to your homeschooling practice once that session ends.
4. Our classes are not tutorials, but writing workshops with multiple students/families and one instructor. We create a support group atmosphere where everyone learns from each other—all questions, all feedback on all papers available for all to read. Suddenly feedback on work is normal—everyone needs it and gets it and it is shown to be supportive and valuable.
5. Our online classroom is asynchronous so everyone from around the world can participate during the hours you are most alert and ready to work. Why should you be tied to 10:00 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday? That’s like being in school. We are trying to accommodate home as much as possible. Log in when you are ready and the instructor will do the same. Questions get answered within 24 hours, feedback on papers within 48 hours (unless otherwise told–some high school work requires longer for feedback). All questions, any time of any day during the class session, are welcome and answered. That’s the whole point of the class.
6. We don’t use video or multi-media because we want to strip down to words—reading words, writing words. It’s subversive really. Half the time your kids don’t realize they are writing. They are asking questions in writing, commenting in writing, discussing in writing. All that “type written thought” trains the mind to think, type, and write at once. When the student goes to actually produce a paper, suddenly they are aware that they know how to do it—they’ve been thinking and turning that thought into writing all along.
7. Our instructors are both professional writers AND home educators. We do more than teach writing. We coach you and your kids how to grow as learners, how to get along, how to maximize your homeschooling commitment. We’ve been there. We know how it is to work on writing with one out of seven kids while all h-e-double-toothpicks is breaking loose! We’re here to help.
8. We focus on writing voice, first, and add academic formats later. Easier to learn the formats with your voice in tact, than to go from formats to “injecting voice” later. Professional writers all know this.
So that’s it!
If you have any questions, let me know. Our fall schedule is posted. Registration opens Monday August 4 (no need to pay us in June for a class that starts in October!). Fall is competitive so mark your calendars (Noon EDT). If you live in Australia or any southern hemisphere country, contact me. We have a better registration time for you.
Summer classes are still registering NOW and start on July 7. Lots of fun ones! Fan Fiction is a blast! Photography, creative writing with Write for Fun, and our fabulous movie discussion groups (great way to “trick” kids into writing if you’ve got resistant ones!). And we have the usual suspects too: Kidswrite Basic, Expository Essay, Kidswrite Intermediate (for high school).
Cross-posted on facebook.