Although we do give grade level suggestions for our quarter classes, please do not enroll your student based on age or grade level alone.
Primarily, please consider your student's prior writing experience and current skill set.
Beginning Writers (little to no experience) - If your student has no grammar experience and you are not working on grammar separately at home, we strongly recommend completing Grammar I - IV before beginning any other writing classes.
With a basic working knowledge of grammar, next assess your student's writing skill set. Can your student write single sentences that are informative? If not, choose Sentence Stretchers. This class provides an excellent bridge between grammar classes and paragraph writing. If your student can comfortably write informative sentences, move on to The Paragraph. If your student can write a paragraph of at least four sentences with general ease, next consider The Composition. This class introduces students to compositions of 3-5 paragraphs. If your student is capable of writing simple three-paragraph compositions but needs more practice, we recommend Composition Practice. If your student is proficient in writing basic compositions, you can consider any of our other beginning classes, in no particular order: The Summary, The Narrative, Expository Writing, or Research Basics.
Beginning Literature - These classes are suggested for young writers and readers, grades 3-6. Poetry Basics is best taken by a student who can comfortably write strong sentences and basics paragraphs; book study classes and literature overview classes are best taken by a student who can comfortably write basic compositions.
Growing Writers (some writing experience with good foundation) -Students moving into the Growing Writer classes should be capable of writing paragraphs independently and have some exposure to the idea of composition. Again, if your student has little to no grammar experience, we strongly recommend completing Growing Grammar I - IV before completing any other classes.
Essay Basics is typically the best starting place for most middle-level students. This class introduces composition concepts such as introductions, conclusions, and organizational methods. Essay Basics ultimately teaches the five-paragraph essay method. Students write three complete essays in this class. Following this class, students might benefit from additional practice in Essay Basics Practice, writing one five-paragraph essay week.
If your student is capable of writing a five-paragraph essay with ease, you can consider one of our Growing the Essay classes or The Research Paper. Please note that Growing the Essay I & Growing the Essay II are equivalent to Growing the Essay Fast Track. The Fast Track class teaches all eight concepts in a single eight-week session. Students write one new essay of 7-10 paragraphs each week. Growing the Essay I followed by Growing the Essay II split the concepts over two eight-week sessions and allow the student to write a rough draft and revision for each essay.
Growing Literature - These classes are suggested for growing writers and readers, grades 7-9. We highly recommend proficiency in the five-paragraph essay before enrolling in these classes. If your student struggles to write proper sentences, strong paragraphs, or basic five-paragraph essays, they are not ready for the literature classes.
Advanced Writers (writing experience with strong understanding of grammar and essays of 5-10 paragraphs) - Students moving into the Advanced Writer classes should be capable of writing essays of 7-10 paragraphs, with basic exposure to the ideas of descriptive, narrative, expository, and opinion writing.
Advanced Writing Skills is a great place to start but not required. This class covers skills to improve writing voice in grammar-assignment style.
Choosing & Using Sources is another great starter class but also not required. This class covers the different types of sources and their uses in addition to how to properly use and cite sources within papers. We do cover some of this information in The Expository Essay and The Persuasive Essay, so students with strong attention to detail and/or prior experience with sources may not need this class. However, for students who have no prior experience with source use or students who tend to need slower and more thorough exposure to concepts to grasp them, we strongly recommend this class prior to any of our advanced essay classes.
The Expository Essay is the next best class. We highly recommend this class for most upper-level students, even if they have prior experience with the expository essay. This class provides plenty of practice but is also simpler than the next two essay classes, so students are able to become familiar with our program without being overwhelmed. Again, we offer this class in two formats: The Expository Essay Fast Track as a single eight-week class or The Expository Essay I followed by The Expository Essay II as two eight-week classes, allowing for rough drafts and revisions of each essay.
Students who have taken The Expository Essay (completing the fast track class or BOTH The Expository Essay I and II) or who have prior strong experience with expository writing may enroll in The Persuasive Essay or The Exploratory Research Paper. Students who have taken The Persuasive Essay or who have prior strong experience with persuasive writing may then enroll in The Advanced Essay. Again, we offer both The Persuasive Essay and The Advanced Essay in two formats: The Persuasive Essay Fast Track or The Advanced Essay Fast Track as one eight-week class; or the classes split into two (The Persuasive Essay I/II or The Advanced Essay I/II) to allow for rough drafts and revisions.
We also offer Professional Writing, appropriate for any upper-level student with a minimum of five-paragraph essay experience.
Advanced Literature - These classes are suggested for advanced writers and readers, grades 10-12. We require proficiency with multi-page expository essays and MLA source use prior to enrolling in one of these classes. If your student cannot write multi-page expository essays or has no prior use with MLA format, they are not ready for the literature classes.
Creative Writers (all levels) - Our creative writing classes are open to students grades 6 and up, although younger students with a good writing foundation are permitted to take these classes. We do recommend that all new students begin in Intro to Creative Writing to get a feel for our style of instruction and feedback. Some other classes require a prerequisite or comparable experience (noted under each description), but generally, classes may be completed in any order the student wishes.