Guided Literature Discussion #

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Target audience

  • Homeschool parents
  • Co-op teachers
  • Interested adults!
  • Teens who can’t stay away…!

Required text

  • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
My (Julie’s) favorite book of all time!

What happens when an uptight spinster chaperone and her naive youthful charge embark on a trip to Florence? Why, they discover love and music, art and the gods! Of course this cast of characters falls into all kinds of muddles (in particular, a muddle that involves a good-looking young British chap and a kiss!) which lead them home to England, where the entire family and a good natured cleric sort things out.

You won’t want to miss discussing the dozens of witty remarks Forster makes in this genuinely warm, romantic, philosophical novel set in early 20th century Italy and England!

Objectives

The goal of this class is to enable parents to participate in a book discussion that explores the vocabulary of literary analysis in a relaxed, pressure-free environment. Parents can learn how to support their teens in reading literature for more than plot. In Brave Writer, we talk about “Big Juicy Conversations.” This class will be one long delicious conversation about Lucy Honeychurch, Mr. George Emerson, and a cast of memorable characters.

That said, if you have a teen who would love to discuss this fabulous book, by all means sign him or her up! We’re happy to have high school students in this class as well.

Terms of analysis

  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Literary allusion
  • Irony
  • Characterization
  • Author asides
  • Setting
  • Dialog
  • Conflict

…and more. If you would like to experience what it’s like in our Boomerang Book Club or would like to be able to lead discussions like the ones we hold there, or if you are the kind of adult who salivates for a good book group conversation, this is the right month long class for you!

We’ll also take a look at how the book stacks up against the Merchant-Ivory film (same name) if you are able to see it (not required).

I hope you’ll take advantage of this (our lowest priced) class so that you’ll feel prepared and ready to lead these kinds of discussions with your kids. We’ll provide you with materials to use for your own book selections in the coming year.

Hope you’ll join us!

For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.

Class Structure Description

Brave Writer online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from four to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.

Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer. Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment. We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing.

Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.

Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.

Brave Writer takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialog is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer values here.

What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.

Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.

Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!

To explore our Brave Writer classroom, click here to access a sample class.