Underage Pedantry Threatens the Five Paragraph Essay
September 4, 2013 8:38 AM Subscribe
The kid reads. The kid writes. There's got to be a better way.
posted by baseballpajamas to Education (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the deal:
We've decided to home school our 13 year old son this year as a kind of transition from his previous school (small, loosely structured, dauntingly small pool of peers) to next year's entry into public high school. I'd be grateful if we could leave off any discussion of the social and emotional merits of home schooling: I have no doubt that this is the right choice for him this year.
The plan is to augment home study with stuff like team sports, theater, and some a la carte classes.
Of the latter, the plan for this Fall had been to sign him up for a literature class at a local ad hoc learning place that serves homeschoolers. Unfortunately, after a beginning-of-the-year meet-and-greet at this place, we are all reminded just how stiff, humorless, and pedantic these people are (including the kids!), and fear that we have signed our son up for four months of misery.
So the question arises: are there online options that could work for him? A Google search yields countless online learning opportunities, of course, but what are the good ones? Or what are the good ones for him? Even though you don't know him, maybe you can help.
What we are looking for:
-An online course or other kind of learning zone suitable for a 13-year-old boy who writes voraciously (fiction, drama, comics) but needs to be urged to read novels.
-The course should build his (so far, relatively undeveloped) skills related to critical reading of literature and the formulation of a reasoned response to pieces of literature.
-It should also teach him how to structure a basic essay about a novel, play, or equivalent, enable him to graciously give and receive feedback on essays, and teach the value of drafting and revision of written work.
-Bonus points for supporting thoughtful discussion of literature among peers.
I'm open to general recommendations that would help me separate the wheat from the chaff of online learning, but I'm really hoping to hear from parents whose kids have experience with specific online learning sites and can report back: strong thesis statement not required. Thanks!