Examples in Teaching
Written by students in the various home school classes, the following works were compiled to help other students in their work. The poetry, prose, music and art presented below were inspired by the literary works studied in our various classes.
 

Public Speaking

  1. Speech Night is a formal event given at the end of the school year in which each student delivers a 3- to 6-minute speech completely without notes to a general audience. The event may include dramatic monologues, poetry recitations and plays.

English History Book Project

  1. The English Literature and History class studied the lives of many kings and queens, wars and movements. They were assigned to write something about what they learned in the form of a children’s book. Although there were many admirably illustrated examples I could have chosen, I have included only a sampling of students’ work in this page.

Biography

  1. In the Personal Narrative Class students read examples of journal writing, autobiography, personal narrative and biography, using the works as models for their own writing. Listen to a sample interview for the biography and read some examples.

Essay Writing

  1. In the Personal Narrative Classes, as well as other classes, students learn to write narratives constructed from personal experiences. Before composing their narratives, the students are trained to think of everyday experiences as apt topics for the narrative. Many students think that only an extraordinary experience, such as a bullfight, African safari, or WWII pilot experience will do. Listing some of the subjects written by Joseph Addison, Charles Lamb or E.B. White—three of the greatest essayists of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries respectively—will quickly prove this assumption wrong: getting sick, friendship, schoolteachers, cemetery tombstones, the death of a pig, an afternoon of an American boy, and trips to a lake are just a sample of the common subjects that these essayist thought worthy enough to write about. Here are some student samples.

Short Story Writing

  1. Before writing their own creative works, students of the Short Story and Novel class first study the “oral tradition” works, such as fairy tale and myth. They learn about the common elements of the oral tradition, including stock characters, fantastical details, random occurrences, harsh punishments for the oppressors and lavish rewards for the oppressed. Tales of the oral tradition, according to Jung and Freud, reveal much about our unconscious mind, and can be helpful in understanding ourselves as individuals and as a culture.

Heraldry Project

  1. Students in the English Literature and History class learned the history of heraldry and studied the significance behind the colors, charges, lines and beasts. The students were then assigned to craft a shield displaying heraldry of their own design.

Fables

  1. Before writing their own creative works, students of the Classic Works of the Imagination, Symbol and Allegory class first study the “oral tradition” works, such as fairy tale, fable and myth. Like the short story class, they learn about the common elements of the oral tradition, including stock characters, fantastical details, random occurrences, harsh punishments for the oppressors and lavish rewards for the oppressed. Stories involving animals are some of the oldest works of literature in the oral tradition, going back several thousands of years.

Poetry

The Vice and Virtue and Foundations in Literature and History classes spend a good amount of time reading poetry and learning poetics and rhyme and are assigned to write a poem during the year using a meter and rhyme scheme that they studied.

The Poetry Bee

Every other year the younger students participate in the poetry bee, which tests their knowledge in poetry, poets and poetics. Find out about the rules of the contest, the poetry memory work involved, and the questions here.

Greek Influence Project

The Greek Influence class studied Greek literature and its influence on art, music and most importantly, literature. So many works of English literature as well as of Western music and art have been inspired by the myths, drama and epic poetry of classical Greece: Handel’s oratorios, Breugel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Keats’ odes, and Shakespeare’s tragedies are just a few monumental examples. After studying myths and Greek literature themselves, students were assigned to compose a piece of music, write a short story, or make a painting, sculpture or other work of art that interprets a myth.