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Does anybody have a suggestion for a writing course that will prepare a student for AP English class (not exam) but won’t take more than 5-6 hours weekly? I was intrigued by WTMA rhetoric courses, but  my understanding is they are too time consuming. I have also looked at Roy Speed Essay Writing and Appreciation, but can’t fine parent reviews.  What else is out there? 

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IEW has an AP Language prep book that my oldest used to self study for the exam. It was pretty easy to use and prepped him well.

Or did you mean something that will prepare them for the writing they will need to take an AP class in the future?

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32 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

IEW has an AP Language prep book that my oldest used to self study for the exam. It was pretty easy to use and prepped him well.

Or did you mean something that will prepare them for the writing they will need to take an AP class in the future?

 

Yes, something that will be a good lead into potentially AP English he might take later. I really like the looks of WTMA Rhetoric 2 or 3, but two hours a day homework sounds unreasonable in addition to literature. It’s unreasonable for this particular kid. 

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9 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

 

Yes, something that will be a good lead into potentially AP English he might take later. I really like the looks of WTMA Rhetoric 2 or 3, but two hours a day homework sounds unreasonable in addition to literature. It’s unreasonable for this particular kid. 

Yes, even when self studying for the AP, my D'S never spent more than 2 hours a day on writing and literature combined unless he was taking a timed practice exam. Too much on one subject!

It sounds like you're maybe looking for outsourced classes, and I can't help with that, but FWIW Elegant Essay followed by Windows to the World and lots of classic reading prepared my D'S just fine.

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A Cindy Lange class?

We haven't done an AP English class but I felt like my kid would have been prepared for one after Wilson Hill's Fundamentals of Academic Writing class. (I'm not here recommending that class; I'm just saying my particular kid could have done well in an AP English class after that one... If, in an alternate universe, she chose to spend that much time writing in English.)  

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9 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

A Cindy Lange class?

We haven't done an AP English class but I felt like my kid would have been prepared for one after Wilson Hill's Fundamentals of Academic Writing class. (I'm not here recommending that class; I'm just saying my particular kid could have done well in an AP English class after that one... If, in an alternate universe, she chose to spend that much time writing in English.)  

 

Mine took that already and it was great. 

Everything I look at either has lit suggestions I don’t like, or it’s too time intensive. I am not even sure he will take AP English since PAH asynchronous courses won’t be a good match. So I might need to find something for more than just one year. 

Has anybody worked with Lux writing center?  

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

Has anybody worked with Lux writing center?  

My kids worked with Mr Lux when he was at Write Guide.  They really liked him - very good experience. 

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We have really liked the online Bravewriter writing classes at the high school level.  Not terribly time consuming but set up my oldest well for DE comp and lit study.   Kind of spendy though.  

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11 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

My kids worked with Mr Lux when he was at Write Guide.  They really liked him - very good experience. 

 

Does he teach or only corrects what you turn in? If I sign sign up for example with a goal of producing a research paper, will he teach him how to approach it step by step?

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8 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

We have really liked the online Bravewriter writing classes at the high school level.  Not terribly time consuming but set up my oldest well for DE comp and lit study.   Kind of spendy though.  

 

We tried Bravewriter and really disliked it. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 

We tried Bravewriter and really disliked it. 

 

I could see it being teacher dependent too.   I should have been more specific.  I really dislike Bravewriter prior to the expository essay class (middle school and essay prep) but after that level it worked well here and fit the bill.  

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8 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I could see it being teacher dependent too.   I should have been more specific.  I really dislike Bravewriter prior to the expository essay class (middle school and essay prep) but after that level it worked well here and fit the bill.  

 

One of mine took the essay class. I had such high hopes. It just isn’t the right provider for us. 

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3 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 

One of mine took the essay class. I had such high hopes. It just isn’t the right provider for us. 

Sorry!  It especially stinks when it's so expensive!

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19 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

Does anybody have a suggestion for a writing course that will prepare a student for AP English class (not exam) but won’t take more than 5-6 hours weekly? I was intrigued by WTMA rhetoric courses, but  my understanding is they are too time consuming. I have also looked at Roy Speed Essay Writing and Appreciation, but can’t fine parent reviews.  What else is out there? 

My son took Roy Speed's Logical Communication course last year (11th grade) and is continuing with his Essay Writing and Appreciation course this year (12th grade). I wholeheartedly recommend both of his writing courses. Logical Communication is a solid course that gives the foundation, so that's where you want to start, and then follow it up with Essay Writing and Appreciation.

I'm going to share here what I've posted in other threads about our experience . . . 

Logical Communication with Roy Speed has been a big hit. It focuses on clear thinking, organizing ideas and arguments, backing up your ideas with evidence, logical flow, and rhetorical devices, all in conjunction with analyzing high-quality essays. The instructor has appropriately high standards and is enthusiastic, the live classroom is well-managed and has interactive discussions, the workload is just right (emphasis on quality, not quantity), and the feedback is individualized (appropriate for a range of abilities), prompt and constructive. DS has taken several composition courses before this, and this one is the best he's had by far. It has been the best money we've spent out of 9 years of homeschooling and many online classes. Mr. Speed is known here on the forum for his Shakespeare courses. He has also taught at a co-op for years and teaches writing to professionals, so he's experienced with writers at a variety of levels. DS will be taking his Essay Writing and Appreciation course next year. DS decided to do this instead of taking English Comp through dual enrollment or AP because he thoroughly enjoys the live class sessions and we know he will benefit significantly more from Mr. Speed's class. Mr. Speed has spoken with us personally by phone about our son's strengths and areas he can improve on next, and I was impressed by his reaching out to us to do that. 
 
Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer.
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56 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Does he teach or only corrects what you turn in? If I sign sign up for example with a goal of producing a research paper, will he teach him how to approach it step by step?

Well, I'm not sure how he's got things set up compared to WriteGuide, for whom was one of many tutors working for them.

With WriteGuide, you could ask for more explicit teaching, or to focus on particular kinds of writing, and they'd set you up with what they thought was a good tutor.  I was looking for someone to work on research papers - Mr Lux was one of three tutors we worked with over a few years, and one of the favorites.  What I wanted from my kids was to write research papers with MLA citations, but I wanted them to pick the topics.  I gave them the choice of a science or history topic, or writing a literary analysis paper, then pick a different topic the next time.  (The lit analysis paper isn't really research, but also would involve citations supporting an argument).  Mr Lux would give them feedback on their writing, structure, where they needed to be more concise, where they needed to expand and give more concrete examples/support, how citations worked and where to use them.  He'd also work with them on narrowing their thesis and making sure it was well supported.  

The structure at WriteGuide was an email back and forth each day - so student submits some writing, receives email back with feedback and advice.  There wasn't a syllabus or reading or any kind of teaching presentation, but I also didn't ask for that.  At WriteGuide, you could ask "find someone to teach my student X" and they'd work with that - the teaching would be in the teacher emails.  

Not sure if he's doing things the same way now he's got his own thing going, but the feedback and advice was constructive and useful and my kids wrote some good papers.  Things were worked on incrementally, so the teaching part was in the back and forth.

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30 minutes ago, TarynB said:

My son took Roy Speed's Logical Communication course last year (11th grade) and is continuing with his Essay Writing and Appreciation course this year (12th grade). I wholeheartedly recommend both of his writing courses. Logical Communication is a solid course that gives the foundation, so that's where you want to start, and then follow it up with Essay Writing and Appreciation.

I'm going to share here what I've posted in other threads about our experience . . . 

Logical Communication with Roy Speed has been a big hit. It focuses on clear thinking, organizing ideas and arguments, backing up your ideas with evidence, logical flow, and rhetorical devices, all in conjunction with analyzing high-quality essays. The instructor has appropriately high standards and is enthusiastic, the live classroom is well-managed and has interactive discussions, the workload is just right (emphasis on quality, not quantity), and the feedback is individualized (appropriate for a range of abilities), prompt and constructive. DS has taken several composition courses before this, and this one is the best he's had by far. It has been the best money we've spent out of 9 years of homeschooling and many online classes. Mr. Speed is known here on the forum for his Shakespeare courses. He has also taught at a co-op for years and teaches writing to professionals, so he's experienced with writers at a variety of levels. DS will be taking his Essay Writing and Appreciation course next year. DS decided to do this instead of taking English Comp through dual enrollment or AP because he thoroughly enjoys the live class sessions and we know he will benefit significantly more from Mr. Speed's class. Mr. Speed has spoken with us personally by phone about our son's strengths and areas he can improve on next, and I was impressed by his reaching out to us to do that. 
 
Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer.

 

May I ask what is a workload? 

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1 hour ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I could see it being teacher dependent too.   I should have been more specific.  I really dislike Bravewriter prior to the expository essay class (middle school and essay prep) but after that level it worked well here and fit the bill.  

We did have success with a Bravewriter class, but I also don't think we would have liked it before Expository Essay.  My dd only took Advanced Composition with them, for which prereq is Expository Essay, but she already knew how to write one, so they let her skip it.  My dd ended up liking that class.  It is $$ but I was desperate.  I wanted a writing class that went beyond "this is thesis, now write 5 paragraphs and a conclusion", but that was just writing and not a full English class with lit and grammar.

I'm having some envy about those Roy Speed classes - they sound like something that would have worked for us, but I don't think they were around then.

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So, do you not like the lit suggested for Mrs Lange's Lit/Comp 2 or 3? Or he already took both classes? It looks like Lit/Comp 3 is just like her AP class except without the extra AP prep.

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37 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 

May I ask what is a workload? 

DS says it is roughly 45 minutes to an hour a day (5 days per week) outside of class, sometimes less, sometimes more on weeks when a first draft of an essay is due. A typical workload, not too demanding. He says they write an essay from scratch about once per month and then spend the other weeks incorporating feedback and revising, which is time well spent. The live classes meet twice per week - for 90 minutes one day per week and 60 minutes on another day per week. Other work, besides the writing and revising, includes reading example essays written by famous/professional writers and doing exercises that analyze those essays (which is heavy enough IMO to "count" for literature), reading and critiquing other students' essays, and keeping a notebook of thoughts and observations. The worktext used in each course was created by Mr. Speed. DS says there is no busywork, every exercise is worthwhile.

DS says he has unlearned a lot of bad writing habits that he learned in other courses. He says those previous courses (not Mr. Speed's) taught him how to use writing "training wheels", basic structure, grammar, etc., that are necessary for beginning writers to learn, but that are important to remove eventually for writing in the real world. Mr. Speed has moved him well past the "training wheels".

FWIW, DS took a DE history course this past summer at our state flagship univ. that was taught by an ambitious young instructor with high expectations (i.e., NOT an easy summer course with reduced workload). That class required a full-blown analytical essay every week. DS got excellent essay feedback from the instructor and he even used one of DS's essays as an example to the other students. I have no doubt that DS was able to write those essays with that level of skill and efficiency thanks to his experience with Mr. Speed.

Edited by TarynB
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45 minutes ago, TarynB said:

DS says it is roughly 45 minutes to an hour a day (5 days per week) outside of class, sometimes less, sometimes more on weeks when a first draft of an essay is due. A typical workload, not too demanding. He says they write an essay from scratch about once per month and then spend the other weeks incorporating feedback and revising, which is time well spent. The live classes meet twice per week - for 90 minutes one day per week and 60 minutes on another day per week. Other work, besides the writing and revising, includes reading example essays written by famous/professional writers and doing exercises that analyze those essays (which is heavy enough IMO to "count" for literature), reading and critiquing other students' essays, and keeping a notebook of thoughts and observations. The worktext used in each course was created by Mr. Speed. DS says there is no busywork, every exercise is worthwhile.

DS says he has unlearned a lot of bad writing habits that he learned in other courses. He says those previous courses (not Mr. Speed's) taught him how to use writing "training wheels", basic structure, grammar, etc., that are necessary for beginning writers to learn, but that are important to remove eventually for writing in the real world. Mr. Speed has moved him well past the "training wheels".

FWIW, DS took a DE history course this past summer at our state flagship univ. that was taught by an ambitious young instructor with high expectations (i.e., NOT an easy summer course with reduced workload). That class required a full-blown analytical essay every week. DS got excellent essay feedback from the instructor and he even used one of DS's essays as an example to the other students. I have no doubt that DS was able to write those essays with that level of skill and efficiency thanks to his experience with Mr. Speed.

 

Mine last question. Do you add reading literature to this course for a full English credit or does it already contain enough reading? 

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2 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 

Mine last question. Do you add reading literature to this course for a full English credit or does it already contain enough reading? 

Last year DS did take a light literature course (NOT writing intensive, but good live discussions - with Wasko Lit) alongside Logical Communications. Looking back, I think that was overkill, but he enjoyed the Wasko class anyway. This year, with him in Essay Writing and Appreciation, we are not adding a separate lit component. The works they read as part of the class are excellent. If you want to ask Roy Speed about the reading list, I bet he'd be happy to talk to you about it. He posts here sometimes, so maybe you could tag him and ask. (I would be happy to tell you about the reading list, but I'm not at home and don't have it accessible right now.)

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1 hour ago, Mom2mthj said:

What grade would you recommend the logical communication class?

Just my opinion, but I'd say 9th grade and up. I'm not sure if Mr. Speed has firm requirements, but you could ask him. There's a lot of discussion and critical thinking going on that my son wouldn't have been able to fully appreciate and participate in younger than 9th grade. And he's a strong student - it's just a maturity thing.

DS took Logical Communication in 11th grade and I was worried at first that he'd be too old, but it worked out great. Mr. Speed has been able to meet DS where he is and give him new challenges. DS had enough outside writing instruction by 11th grade that he had the basics down (a year of Writing With Skill, a short course with Bravewriter (not a good fit), Lost Tools of Writing, and Write At Home), but he needed a focused, dedicated instructor like Mr. Speed who could take him to the next level.

 

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If I could do things over, I would skip the AP English and go with Sue Ellen Turscak’s Great Books class at CLRC. You would need to get a prep book and spend some time practicing the essay writing for the exam so that you are familiar with the types of essays (that’s pretty much what my dd did with AP Lit) last year. I paid a tutor $20 every couple of weeks for a few months to give her feedback on her essays.

There is a ton of writing in the GB class. The students write a paper each week and then two longer papers each semester. They also answer comprehension questions fully, using quotes to support their points which is a fabulous skill to get down. And they get detailed feedback from the teacher. There is also a lot of heavy reading. That reading will prepare them well for the multiple choice part of the exam and, more importantly, for anything they may want to read in the future,

This is the best class my dd has ever taken. I only wish I had signed her up when I first found out about it. We love Ms. Turscak. She puts a ton of work into the class. Part of what is so wonderful about the particular class my dd is in is the other students. They are all highly engaged. Right now, a bunch of them have gotten together outside of class and are doing a reading and discussion group. Others have organized a political discussion group. My dd has seriously considered continuing with the class even when she heads off to college next year. Lol!

Roy Speed’s classes have always looked very good to me as well. We have never had the opportunity to try them, though.

ETA: I should be more like Rootann and not “recommend” the class because, if there is one thing I have learned over the years, no matter how great my dd may think a class is, it isn’t going to be a fit for every kid. 

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My current DD’s path to AP Lang with Serbicki looked like this:

6th- WWS 1

7th- WWS 2

8th- Intro to Comp & Lit with Lange

9th- Great Books* 1 with Turscak

10th- AP Lang with Serbicki (which is EXACTLY as described/I was hoping: rich, but lean)

I anticipate she will take AP Lit with Serbicki in 11th and then ??? for 12th.

*Great Books was great preparation for AP Lang, but it could never be considered light, lean, or even a reasonable work load (insert laughing/crying emoji here).

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I agree with the CLRC great books review above except that I do not share the enthusiasm about the student body 😂 and also I don’t know how well the writing will translate to the AP type writing which seems to be its own sort of animal. I hope you all are right, of course. Don’t care, we take CLRC’s great books classes for their sake. 

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50 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

just out of curiosity, how many hours per week is your child spending on CLRC GB class?

I will ask my dd when she gets home, but I suspect it is about 5 hours a week. She has already done a ton of heavy reading starting in 6th grade, though. Some of the books she’s reading this year, she had already read in Latin a couple of years ago. She says Ms. Turscak encourages “righteous skimming” and she does do that with some of the history books.

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2 minutes ago, Mom0012 said:

I will ask my dd when she gets home, but I suspect it is about 5 hours a week. She has already done a ton of heavy reading starting in 6th grade, though. Some of the books she’s reading this year, she had already read in Latin a couple of years ago. She says Ms. Turscak encourages “righteous skimming” and she does do that with some of the history books.

Exactly what she said!

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14 minutes ago, Mom0012 said:

I will ask my dd when she gets home, but I suspect it is about 5 hours a week. She has already done a ton of heavy reading starting in 6th grade, though. Some of the books she’s reading this year, she had already read in Latin a couple of years ago. She says Ms. Turscak encourages “righteous skimming” and she does do that with some of the history books.

 

That’s very little time. 

Between study questions and Summa, just the number of paragraphs that need to be written is in excess of 12 and they all need to be supported by quotes. And the reading load alone is massive. Just writing alone that amount would be 5 hours here. 

you guys have super human kids. 

This is the reason I am asking for a light course 🙂

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23 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 

That’s very little time. 

Between study questions and Summa, just the number of paragraphs that need to be written is in excess of 12 and they all need to be supported by quotes. And the reading load alone is massive. Just writing alone that amount would be 5 hours here. 

you guys have super human kids. 

This is the reason I am asking for a light course 🙂

Oops! I never thought GB was light, but somehow I either missed that you were looking for a light course or forgot by the time I got to the end of the thread. 😮 I will check with my dd, but I do not see her spending tons of time on this class and she loves every minute of it. This is one of the few classes she will go “above and beyond” for because she finds it so interesting and loves Ms. Turscak. I do think they get quicker with this stuff over time. 
 

ETA: This may sound a bit weird, but I think part of the reason my dd can crank out the writing for this class is because Ms. Turscak makes her feel safe with her writing. She will correct her and make suggestions for improvement but she also gives her positive feedback. There are other classes where my dd has taken a lot longer to do a lot less writing because she feels anxious about it. Another plus for Sue Ellen.

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Roadrunner, consider the age of the kids and also GB1 versus GB3 or 4 AND whether books have been read before. Huge differences in these variables on the kids in these threads. 

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