Carrier Shell writing classes in year 5:  What will be new in fall 2024?

Carrier Shell has provided online classes for four amazing years!  During our first two years, we started by providing our flagship California and US history courses.  In year three, spearheaded by Ms. Tracy and Ms. Chenning, we added beginning and intermediate IEW courses for students in grades 4-7, to provide a valuable foundation for developing writers.  Now as we plan for our fifth year, Ms. Tracy will embrace a new IEW curriculum, Discoveries in Writing, an enriching course in the fundamentals of writing for elementary students.  Ms. Chenning will pivot from teaching with the IEW method to teaching the Lost Tools of Writing, a course on persuasive writing she wanted to bring to our program and has taught in person in her local homeschool community.  Also this year we are adding a third level of writing:  Adventures in Writing for middle school students taught by Kevin O’Brien.  Each of these instructors will offer important insights into what it means to write and to write well.  As a curriculum author and the director of our online class program, it has always been my educational vision to offer curriculum and courses that engage a variety of approaches for vivid, transformative learning.  It’s in our mission statement!

Concerning the expansion of our writing program, I wanted to share a few thoughts.  In our classes, before bringing on a new instructor, I am looking very carefully that they will contribute something unique and of the utmost quality for our families to guide students with their love for what they teach.  Though I could hope that an instructor would remain to teach a class with which they are “successful,” I believe that teaching is an offering – one that comes from each person’s soul.  All of our classes come out of this sense of offering as well – we love and understand the homeschooling community and want to make it a more beautiful place by offering a particular class.  As a director, I welcome a diversity of approaches as it offers educational freedom that many of us sought in our initial impetus to homeschool in the first place.  More variety in writing experiences equals more portraits of what it means to be a writer.  As homeschoolers, we aspire to higher things!  (There is a lot more I could say about writing and my journey to become a writer; perhaps that will be the subject of a future blog article.)  The homeschool journey is rich, mysterious, and a unique learning opportunity for all involved:  parents, students, and even our instructors.  

It can be so easy for parents to find one approach that seems to work and stick with it, especially when parents see positive results.  With homeschool curricula, indeed, there are so many flavors.  The focus of our additions of advanced and middle school writing classes is to help students expand and consider a variety of writing styles and approaches, further allowing them to find a place where they can successfully participate in the process of crafting their thoughts into words.

Families can expect that as Carrier Shell grows as an organization, our list of classes will flow into an ever-widening stream; a few courses – even beyond our California class – might even seem out of the box.  (Hehe!)  The one thing that families can count on with this growth is Carrier Shell’s commitment to providing high-level, intriguing classes that are stimulating, keep literature-based learning at the forefront, and boldly go to new places.  

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