We don’t do a rigorous school schedule September-May. Instead, we do a relaxed schedule year round. This means our kids get summer school every year. They don’t mind. The alternative is spending a large chunk of the summer outside. Spending a large chunk of summer inside and bored silly is not an option, because of our views on the sanctity of life. I would have to kill them, and that would be bad.
So…school during the summer. Summer school.
Last summer, Kaitlyn and Lydia participated in a 16 week online essay writing class by Living the Answer, called Essay Writing: Zero to Sixty in a Semester. They worked hard and found it very challenging, but they enjoyed every bit of it! You can see Kaitlyn’s review of the class here.
This summer, Natalie and Becca took the first part of the same class, Intro to Essays. They had 8 interactive classes, taught live by Mr. Vogel. As with the longer course, each class included a brief in-class assignment, and then a longer assignment that was due before the next class 7 days later. Each assignment was critiqued and graded. Students can see each other’s assignments and Mr. Vogel’s comments, but grades are private.
This introductory class is recommended for ages 10-14, while the full class is for ages 11-16. At 11 and 13, Natalie and Becca were much younger than Kaitlyn and Lydia were when they took the full class, and they had a rather different experience. Like their older sisters, they loved Mr. Vogel’s teaching style and sense of humor, but one of the girls – a reluctant reader and late bloomer – struggled mightily with the assignments, fighting discouragement. The other embraced the challenge, not excelling in the class but making great strides in her own ability and building a lot of confidence and solid technique as a writer. Mr. Vogel was very communicative and willing to go the extra mile to make sure both girls stayed encouraged and learned as much as possible.
Here is what Natalie had to say about the class:
Mr. Vogel is a great teacher. I really enjoyed his classes because he ties in interesting little facts and adds little stories into the class. Mr. Vogel also has a great sense of humor. He really made me look forward to the classes. One of my favorite things about the class was that he had us do in-class assignments, where he gave us a little assignment that we had to do in fifteen minutes and they were not that hard. I got stuck on one of them and didn’t finish it on time, but he said I could just do it later and email it to him. I’m glad I got to take the class, and it was really super fun!
While each had moments of feeling overwhelmed, overall it was a positive experience for both girls, and they came a long way in their ability to write. I am so happy they had the chance to study under such a gifted teacher!
Interested? Here are some of the upcoming online classes:
- Essay Writing: Zero to Sixty in a Semester (Online Version) – August 19, 2013 – December 9, 2013
- Algebra II – August 19, 2013 – May 8, 2014
- Algebra I – August 19, 2013 – May 8, 2014
- Christian Worldview & Apologetics (Online Version) – August 23, 2013 – December 13, 2013
- History’s Great Ideas: Basic Philosophy (Online Version) – January 6, 2014 – May 5, 2014