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Homeschool English Language Arts, Contemporary Classics Semester 2A

Over 8 weeks, middle and high school students will grow as critical and effective readers, thinkers, writers, and communicators. Literature selections include contemporary novels, short stories, and poetry. Discussion and project based.
Martha Jackson, English Language Arts and Writing
342 total reviews for this teacher
New class
50 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 8 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Students will grow in their ability to read, think critically about, and discuss literary works from a variety of contemporary authors.  Students will grow in their ability to analyze how writers use literary elements in their writing.  Students will be able to express their learning verbally and creatively in a variety of ways. Students will work through the writing process to complete a "This I Believe" essay.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in English, and held a Professional Teaching Certificate in Florida to teach English in grades 6-12.  I taught middle and high school Language Arts in public schools in Florida, and for the past several years I have taught comprehensive Language Arts classes to homeschoolers, both in-person and online.  I have several years of experience teaching novels that deal with the complex issues such as those present in the selections for this class at the high school and middle school level, including "The Giver," "Lord of the Flies," "Night," and "A Long Walk to Water" in various contexts, dealing with the inherent complex issues that arise with these topics.  As we discuss challenging topics in this class, we will affirm the value of all humanity, regardless of country of origin, religion, economic status, gender, etc. 
Detailed weekly assignments will be given.  Students will complete work individually at home and will discuss it together as a class.  Student work will include about 75-100 pages of reading (maximum) per week and will also include several different optional activities (including free-writing prompts). If families are using this as part of a complete homeschool curriculum, students should expect to spend 2-3 hours of work outside of class, however it will be possible to complete the work in as little as one to two hours per week for most students.  Because student's abilities vary greatly, the amount of time it takes students to complete assigned work will vary greatly.  
Students will need "Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson, "Code Talkers" by Joseph Bruchac, and "Flying Lessons and Other Stories" (short story anthology-- this book will be used for sections 2,3, and 4 of this series). Books can be purchased new, used, or borrowed from your local library. Listening to audiobooks is also an option. Parents also need a *free* account with Teachers Pay Teachers to download and print *free* resources from that site for their learners. All other material will be common household and school supplies, or PDFs sent in the classroom.
Students will be informally assessed through class discussion to ensure student understanding and so I, as the teacher, can adapt the class to student's needs.  

Projects and essays will have a grading rubric provided and parents have the option of using the rubric to provide a grade for their learner, or having me grade projects (or opting out of grading all together.) All students who complete projects will receive personalized video feedback on their work. 

For families using this class as part of their ELA curriculum, you will have several pieces of work from this class to include in a portfolio. Please don't hesitate to reach out if there are other elements you need to meet homeschool requirements in your state / province / country.
50 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
The selections for this class are all commonly found on reading lists for learners ages 12-15.  Because each family is different as to what is appropriate for their learners, please read this section. There is nothing graphic or explicit in any selections for this class.

From Common Sense Media about "Brown Girl Dreaming," "Parents need to know that Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming won the 2014 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the 2015 Coretta Scott King Book Award and was named a 2015 Newbery Honor Book. It's a memoir in verse that addresses growing up in the segregated South, racism, Christianity, divorce, sickness, and the deaths of relatives. There's discussion of violent reactions to 1960s-era civil rights marchers and their fears about traveling in the South at night because of violence against African Americans. A woman becomes pregnant without mention of a husband or the child's father, and there are descriptions of adults having drinks at parties. Still, for the most part the people depicted in the book are multidimensional and positively portrayed." (

Because "Code Talker" is a historical fiction novel about a Native American who spends his early years at a boarding school, there are descriptions of how native children were treated, especially with regard to their own heritage. "When Ned Begay is just six years old, he is taken more than 100 miles from his family home to the Rehoboth Mission boarding school in New Mexico, which he will attend through high school. Here, American Indian children are taught to abandon the ways of their tribes and embrace Anglo-American language and culture. Through often draconian measures, students are forced to assimilate; their hair is cut short and they are punished if they lapse back into their Navajo tongue. They are also given English names. It is in this way that protagonist Kii Yázhí becomes Ned Begay." (from Super Summary,

As we discuss the works in class, we will affirm the value of all humanity, regardless of country of origin, religion, economic status, gender, etc.  If you have questions, please don't hesitate to message me. 
"Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson

"Code Talkers" by Joseph Bruchac

"Flying Lessons and Other Stories" edited by Ellen Oh


Martha Jackson, English Language Arts and WritingPursuing Progress Over Perfection
342 total reviews
406 completed classes

About Me

Hi!  My name is Martha Jackson. I mainly teach writing and literature, and I absolutely love it.

My classes focus on breaking down complex ideas into bite-size pieces, giving students concrete tools to grow in specific areas (conducting research,... 
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