Office Hours: Reading Journals

Whether it's journaling, commonplacing, or copybooks, keeping notes on what you read can be a great way engage with the material and make sure it stays with you after you turn the last page. It can most certainly offer a more human alternative to the worksheet or comprehension question for a student. 

But why is that true? What is the purpose of a reading journal, and what kinds of things should we encourage our students to journal about? How do we make sure that even in our journaling we are not "using" literature or disrespecting the author? And where do we start?

Office Hours: Achieving Diligence in the Classroom

We've all been there before. We begin the year with such enthusiasm, but just a few weeks (days?) in finds us behind schedule, overbooked, and overwhelmed. And yes, we know that grace is sufficient and our identity is not hanging on our failure or success...but still, some things would certainly be a lot easier if we could cultivate a little diligence in our classroom. How can we do that? Where does diligence come from and how can we ensure its survival? 

Office Hours: Balance and Finding Rest in the Middle of Summer School Prep

July 17, 2017

Summer is here! And while you are hauling out the pool toys and planning your family's next great adventure, somewhere in the back of your mind you know that fall will be here sooner than you would like. You're exhausted and ready to burn the homeschooling books, but you're also a little afraid of entering the upcoming academic year unprepared. How can we both get the rest we need and ready ourselves for the next go around? Are you allowed to take a little "me" time, or is there no rest for the weary?

Office Hours: Vocab and Grammar in Literature Study

March 23, 2017

Here at CenterForLit, we are historically known for not being huge fans of the worksheet. We want to listen quietly to what the author has to say instead of using their work in a way they did not intend. However it is true that our students need to develop their vocabulary and grammar skills, and like it or not this is usually one of the main goals of a literature workbook. What, then, are we to do?? There's no denying that the arts of vocabulary and grammar are strongly related, and even necessary predecessors, to the art of literature. So how do we make sure all of these areas get covered without sacrificing our literary philosophy? After all, as much as we'd like to, we can't add more hours to the day. 


Office Hours: Shouldn't There Be Homework? A Discussion Concerning Worksheets and Book Reports

February 16, 2017

Worksheets and book reports. Ah, you remember them well. In fact, they may be the reason your love of reading burned out as a child. Here at CenterForLit, we are sworn enemies of the comprehension question. And yet, you may wonder how else you are to know whether or not your student completed their reading-- not to mention whether or not they understood it! How do we as teachers cultivate a love of reading while also tracking our students' progress? And what is the proper balance between assignments and free reading? This is the topic for our February edition of Office Hours on the 16th at 1:00 Pacific Time/ 4:00 Eastern Time. Your homework? Just be there!

Office Hours: Tips on Writing from Literature

January 19, 2017

We all know that literature and writing belong together like peanut butter and jelly, but what exactly should that look like? What is a literary analysis paper, and why do we write them? Does it harm our experience of a book by making us miserable, or can it be a helpful tool for enhancing our understanding?

There are some important tricks of the trade when it comes to crafting and defending a written argument about a work of literature, and some key factors to keep in mind as the teacher assigning such a project to your students. In the first Office Hours of the new year, we will be tackling this subject together. We know it sounds intimidating, but we promise that it doesn't have to be! With just a few essential pieces of information, your student can be worlds ahead when it's time for him to turn in his first college paper. So join us at 1:00 pm Pacific/ 4:00 Easter on January 19th, and we'll share a few secrets that we use behind the scenes in our own Online Academy!