Star Spangled Writers: Intermediate Writing

Spring Semester (12 weeks)

Begins Monday, January 22, 2024

“After taking intermediate writing, my daughters’ writing skills as well as grammar have improved, and they are so much more confident with writing five paragraph essays.  I can tell how much time and effort Chenning puts in to make the class engaging, fun, and productive!”

Sujin C., homeschool mom of former students

Ages: Grades 6-8*

*5th graders may enroll if they have had previous IEW experience

Semester tuition: $340 ($50 discount for private pay*)

*Private pay: Payable in 3 installments of $96.67

Class date and time: Mondays at 10 am and 1pm (75 min)

Instructor: Chenning Peng

Register now!

SPRING SEMESTER ENROLLMENT: Since this is a year-long class, we take mid-year enrollment on a case by case basis. If you are interested in registering for Spring, please connect with the instructor, Chenning Peng, to explore adding your student in Spring.


  • Mondays at 10am: FULL; join wait list
  • Mondays at 1pm: 2

A NOTE ON THE WAIT LIST: If a wait listed class is the only time that will work for you, we encourage you to email us for instructions on joining the wait list! Occasionally spaces open up; sometimes we have a family that decides they will need to switch sections or drop the class.

Course Information

  • Students who sign up for this class are committing to two semesters, fall and spring.
  • To hold an enrollment space, families paying with charter school funds must leave a $25 deposit. The deposit is refundable subject to our refund policy.

Questions? Registration issues or questions for Chenning

Scholarly, fascinating and gratifying!  Chenning’s depth of content knowledge combined with her care for the children sets this class apart.” 

Joyce H., homeschooling mom of a former student

Course Description

Students will practice writing expository, narrative, inventive and critique paragraphs and
essays all while learning about American history. All of the source texts will be about
the events, people and literature of the United States. We will go through all nine units
of writing included in Teaching Writing: Structure and Style over the two semesters.
*Students who have previously taken Pages for the Middle Ages are welcome and
encouraged to enroll! Further practice will give returning students a stronger foundation
and greater confidence and ease in their writing. I will offer ways more experienced
students can scale up their assignments if they wish.

Your students will learn the structure and style of excellent writing, and on the side learn
grammar. Their reading comprehension and understanding of U.S. history will be
strengthened by reading the source texts, taking notes, and re-synthesizing the material.
Fall semester will end with a creative narrative story, and spring semester will
culminate with a Living History report and presentation. I will model every step of the
way, giving the students many tools to improve their writing and enhance their personal
writing style. Students will have ample opportunities to share their writing and learn
from one another. I will read each assignment and provide feedback. They will end the
year writing a clearly organized five paragraph essay from their independent research
with an introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion and bibliography.

We will go at a more accelerated pace than Level A, working up to longer writing
assignments. There will be written assignments due every week.

Some fun topics we’ll write about

Fall topics: Native Americans, Spanish exploration, Jamestown colony, the Mayflower, the Revolutionary War

Spring topics:  Founding fathers, the Louisiana Purchase, Westward Movement, Underground Railroad, Civil War

Class FAQs

What topics will be covered?

  • Structure:  Expository/informative essay – note-taking using key word outlines, topic sentences, clincher sentences, organizing topics, summarizing references, summarizing multiple references, 5 paragraph essay with introduction and conclusion
  • Style: Dress-ups, decorations, literary devices, attention getting opener (hook), how to create an engaging title
  • Narrative essay – story sequence chart, elements of every story
  • Critique essay
  • Grammar instruction will cover and practice with identifying parts of speech, using basic comma and capitalization rules, understanding complex sentence structure and more

Can we use California charter funds for this class?

  • Yes! See our Service Vendorship list for an up-to-date list of charters.
  • Purchase Order (PO) instructions can be found at the bottom of this page.
  • A $25 deposit is required to hold an enrollment spot. The deposit will be refunded when the PO arrives, subject to our refund policy.
  • If your charter is not on our list, please fill out this form!

What are the required books and materials?

What is the estimated weekly work?

The amount of time required will vary by student, 1-4 hours/week is estimated. Writing assignments are due every week.

What types of parental support will be needed?

  • Help navigating Google Classroom, submitting assignments
  • Help student view assignments
  • Parents are encouraged to proofread student’s writing before submission

What tech platforms are required and used?

  • Zoom
  • Google Classroom
  • Google Login or Gmail for each enrolled student

What are the semester dates?

Fall Semester Meetings (September 11-December 4)

9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/27, 12/4 

OFF 11/20 Thanksgiving Week

Spring Semester Meetings (January 22-April 22)

Class dates:  1/22, 1/29, 2/5 2/12, 2/26, ¾, 3/11, 3/18, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22

OFF 2/19 President’s Day

OFF 3/25 Spring Break

What are your registration and cancellation policies?

See this page for policies.

For more answers to your questions, see our Class FAQ page.

Spring Semester – 2024

For billing purposes, please request purchase orders using monthly interval price below (instead of the whole semester length).