Grades 8-12

Description: Debate offers an excellent avenue to learn speaking, research, writing, critical thinking, and argumentation. This class takes a highly practical approach. We will not be involved in any formal debate competitions, but we will study and use the public forum method of debate. Public forum debate focuses on developing debaters who can persuade any audience to support a particular position through a series of back and forth speeches that mimic the real world debates on television with pundits and politicians. Students will learn to persuade not only through logic and reason but also through convincing appeals to emotions and ethics. In today’s world, a well-planned emotional approach will give logic its most powerful impact. By researching both sides of an issue, students will know how to support their own beliefs in the real world by thoroughly understanding the other side.

Quick Looks at Great Books

Grades 9-12
High School English or World Literature Credit

To guide students in reading, analyzing, and appreciating six of the world’s greatest books while acquainting them with many others. Students will be given a list of the world’s greatest books, while studying six of those books in greater depth: A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens), Silas Marner (George Eliot), The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas,) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee,) The Old Man & the Sea (Ernest Hemingway), and Cyrano de Bergerac (Edmond Rostand).

We will study the life and times of the authors and the significance of their works. We will discuss the spiritual lessons we can learn from the characters in the books and the choices they make. We will discuss how literary techniques are used in each of the books we study. We will identify and discuss in depth allusion, flashback, foreshadowing, genre, irony, local color, symbolism, hyperbole, mood, tone, theme, point of view, plot, satire, parody, and other literary terms, while illustrating their use in the books that we study. If you want your student to become familiar with classic works of literature from an educationally sound and Christian perspective, while also having his or her appetite whetted for other great works of literature, then this is the class for you!

Adventures in American Literature

Grades 9-12
High School English or American Literature Credit

Provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the richness of America’s literary heritage. We read and study two American novels in depth and also study timelines, letters, songs, short stories, poetry, and the study of the following writers and their works:
Bradshaw, Edwards, Hawthorne, Paine, Jefferson, Franklin, Cooper, Irving, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Bryant, Longfellow, Melville, & Whitman, Twain, Stowe, Hart, Sandburg, Cather,Frost, Crane, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Steinbeck.

This American Literature class fulfills the Michigan graduation requirement for American Literature, English, or may serve as an elective. We will study the life and times of the authors and the significance of their works, discussing such literary techniques as irony, symbolism, hyperbole, mood, tone, theme, and others. We will also stress the importance literature played in forming our American values. I intend this class to prepare students well for college as well as providing them with the rich moral values which are gradually being lost in current American high school education.

Making Shakespeare Rock!

Grade 7-12
High School English or Elective Credit

A study of the life and times of Shakespeare, the Elizabethan Age, and a detailed study of these plays:
Tragedies: Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, & Macbeth
Comedies: The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, & The Merchant of Venice

Do you think Shakespeare is dull or boring? Do you know that all of his works were written to be acted and enjoyed and not studied laboriously? Oh, we will study his works together, but more importantly, we will enjoy his works together! We will see how his lyrical poetry and moving narratives clearly define the good and evil of his characters and situations. We will see how his works shaped the Elizabethan Age and the theater movement. We will see how many of our current expressions and idioms have originated on the pages of Shakespeare’s plays. We will discover and discuss the common characteristics of his tragedies and comedies, while studying in depth three of each. We will familiarize ourselves with his other works, spending some of our time allowing any willing class members to actually bring his plays and characters to life! We will look at the complex life of Shakespeare, analyzing his life choices and experiences from a redeemed perspective.

ACT/SAT Test Preparation

Grades 9-12
High School graduation requirement

This class may help your student qualify for thousands of dollars in extra financial aid! Standardized tests like the ACT and SAT are frightening experiences for most students. This class will help the student to develop key skills that will boost a student’s ability to score well on the verbal portions of these tests. Students will learn some keys to quick reading comprehension and word usage analysis. Students will learn vocabulary that is frequently used on the ACT or SAT and some specific, practical strategies given by students who actually scored masterfully on these tests. Students will be assisted in actually taking sections of past ACT/SAT tests in timed settings, so that the stress of timed test-taking in a competitive environment is reduced significantly. In this arena, confidence building is as important as “content building!” In the game of standardized test taking, confidence is the essential edge!

This class will cover the changed format for the new national PSAT and SAT.

Practical Public Speaking

Grades 9-12
High School graduation requirement

This class teaches the core principles of public speaking as well as prepare students for “real situations” in life where effective public speaking is needed.

Students will learn how to make the following speeches: informative, persuasive, toast at a reception, job interview, personal introduction, direction giving, funeral eulogy, present an award, an appreciation speech, and others. Students will learn how to organize, outline, and deliver speeches, learning that preparation and experience are the keys to speaking with confidence. Some people are more gifted at public speaking, but God has created all persons with the ability to communicate clearly and effectively if properly trained. Students will be graded mostly on the thoroughness of their preparation and their ability to be clear and poised. A speech syllabus will be given to each student for their use in class and beyond. The importance of non-verbal communication, eyes, pacing, pause, etc. will also be emphasized. Specific help will be provided to combat and prevent “stage fright.” This will be a “participating” class, with a limited number of tests on cognitive data.

Explorations in British Literature

Grades 9-12
High School English or British Literature Credit
This class is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the richness of Britain’s literary heritage and its impact on the U.S. We will study the life and times of the authors and the significance of the authors’ works. This class is inteded to prepare students well for college and provide them with the rich moral values which are gradually being lost in current American high school education.

We will read and study two British novels in-depth, and also study the Anglo-Saxon period through the twentieth century, working through historical and philosophical backgrounds and across genres. We will study Beowulf, Arthurian legends, Canterbury Tales, the Elizabethans, Milton, Bunyan, Swift, Defoe, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Austen, Tennyson, Brownings, Dickens, Kipling, Hardy, Wilde, Yates, Elliot, Woolf, Orwell and Lewis.