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AP English

Course Description

From Ellen Greenblatt, author, AP English Literature Teacher’s Guide:

“Your lessons are a model, both in its content and in the clarity of its presentation. I hope that your colleagues have recognized, as have I, the value of your contributions. Your final syllabus exhibits the same fine intelligence and attention to detail as the rest of your work. Your personal philosophy reveals an intelligent sensitivity to your students’ culture and beliefs coupled with a desire to teach a rigorous college-level, challenging class. Your choice of texts and of discussion strategies is exemplary.”

AP English is a college-level preparatory course for BOTH the AP® English Literature and Composition test AND the AP® English Language and Composition test. This course has been approved by the College Board’s AP® Course Audit Program and authorized for both examinations.

AP English is a year-long course. The first semester will be spent on thematic units exploring close reading of various texts from the Greeks through the 19th century and the second semester will focus on modernism and postmodernism paired with nonfiction articles.

Students will have the potential to earn 12 college credits based on their AP test scores. This class is open to 11th and 12th graders who have already received high school English training. The student does NOT have to have taken a formal literature class to be accepted, but should still be well-read.

This class offers a unique opportunity: two AP® preparations in one! This class also offers:

  • The possibility of 12 college credits in one year (four semesters of college English)
  • Lower textbook costs
  • Essay-writing practice on a weekly basis
  • Readings in both fiction and nonfiction
  • Class discussion
  • Papers that meet requirements for high school requirements that also prepare students for the AP® tests.
  • Two full practice AP® examinations, graded and with feedback for the student

AP English has proved to be very successful for WFTH students.

  • ALL of the students passed the tests with a score indicating “successful mastery of the subject matter at a college level.” Nationwide, only about 60% of all test takers passed the tests at this level.
  • A third of WFTH’s students scored in the top 10% in the nation, and another third scored in the top 30% of the nation.

Class Requirements

Technical Requirements

  • A computer with internet access – high speed recommended.
  • An email address unique to each student.
  • Any version of Word (If a version of Word is 2003 or lower, you will need to download this converter from Microsoft to read Word 2007 documents)

Class Format

The class will last for 30 weeks. The class is asynchronous, meaning that each student can complete his or her work at the time that is most convenient. There is not a designated class time. Homework must be posted by midnight, EST, Monday–Friday.

All students will be provided with a username and password to Write from the Heart’s online classroom. They will use this classroom to interact with other students, post papers, and conference with their coaches. Students will also have access to their grades through this classroom.

Classes have daily assignments. Occasionally, there are assignments that span several days. Assignments are intended to take approximately 1 ½ hours a day.

All writing coaches are also available via email throughout the week.

Class Dates

September 5, 2017 - April 27, 2018

(There will be a one-week break the week of Thanksgiving and a two-week break at Christmas. There will be a one-day break on March 30, 2018.)

All AP English students must complete the summer reading assignment BEFORE class begins. All information will be emailed to the student as soon as registration is completed. The reading assignment consists of reading one three-act play, several chapters from Foster’s book (provided), and a review of literary movements (provided). The work will take approximately 20 hours to complete.

Book Requirements (purchasable on the Store page)

Required Books:

The following specific versions of these books are required:

  • Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Norton Critical Edition. 4th ed. New York: Norton, 2005. ISBN: 0393926362.
  • Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, SEVENTH Edition. ISBN: 1603290249.
  • Lunsford, Andrea and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Everything’s An Argument. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2012. ISBN: 1457606062. (Please note: there is a version of this book with readings—you do NOT need that version. It is twice as expensive, and I will be providing all of our readings.)
  • Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Washington: Folger Library, 1992. ISBN: 074347712X.

Optional Books:

We will be reading all of these books in class, but you may read any version you like. You will be given time to get them from the library as well. Throughout the year, students will periodically be given a list of books to choose from that can be easily obtained from the library. They will be required to procure their own copies of these works.

  • Foster, Thomas. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. New York: Harper, 2003. (This book will be provided to students in an etext format with a few chapters removed due to inappropriate content. If you would like to have a hard copy, you may purchase it, but please be aware that those chapters would then be available to your child.)
  • Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. London: Penguin, 1995. ISBN: 0142437336.
  • Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. New York: Ballantine, 1953. ISBN: 0345342968.

Price (for the 2017-2018 school year)

Early Bird Cost: $965 if payment is made in full by May 31st, 2017

Regular Cost: $995 (after May 31st, 2017)

Installment Plan: From $342 per month

Refer a Friend

Refer another family to WFTH, and receive a $25 discount per family who registers and pays for a full year class. Have the new family list your name in the registration and you will be contacted with your coupon code.

Click here to create a referral for your friends.

Note: if you have already paid for your class, this coupon can be redeemed via a refund or for next year’s registrations. Codes are valid for one year.

Payment Methods

We accept check, credit card, or PayPal for full payments. We also offer installment plans (credit card and PayPal only).

  • We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. All payments are securely processed through VeriSign/PayPal.
  • Installment plans (credit card and PayPal only):
    • All installments will be invoiced through PayPal. All major credit cards are accepted.
    • Invoices will be emailed at the beginning of every month and due on the 15th of every month for the installment period selected.
    • Late payments may result in loss of the hold for the student's admission spot.
    • Installment plans are designed to be completed by the beginning of the school year. Not all installment options will be available as the school year approaches.
    • Refunds for any cancellations will follow the Refunds Policy below.

Refund Policy

  • $100 is nonrefundable for cancellations made by August 1, 2017.
  • $250 is nonrefundable for cancellations made by October 1, 2017.

No refunds will be made for withdrawals made after these dates. Refunds will be given by check regardless of the original method of payment.

Terms of Payment

  • Payments must be postmarked by the due date shown.
  • There will be a $30 returned check fee.
  • Admission to the class is not finalized until full payment is received. For the installment option, a position in the class is temporarily held, but admission to the class is not finalized until the full payment has been received. Upon receipt of final payment, a confirmation email will be sent to the parent.

Credentials

This AP English course has been approved by the College Board’s AP® Course Audit Program.

Veldorah Rice has received additional training to prepare her as an AP English instructor. She has received the following accreditations specifically for teaching AP English:

  • Summer Institute Instruction in AP English Literature and Composition, University of California, Los Angeles, June-July 2008.
    This six-week, 45-hour equivalent online course focused on training teachers in utilizing literature in the AP classroom and how to most effectively teach readings in a way that is both wide and deep. The course was taught by Ellen Greenblatt, University High School in San Francisco; she is a member of the AP Test Development Committee and of the SAT II Literature Test Development Committee. She also wrote the AP English Literature Teacher’s Guide, the College Board’s official training manual.
  • Continuing Education Instruction in AP English Language and Composition, La Roche College, October 10, 2008.
    This all-day College Board course was held at in Pittsburgh, Pa and focused on how to effectively prepare students for the essay portion of the AP Language and Composition exam. It was taught by Don Stoll, Associate Professor at Rowan College, Glassboro NJ. Professor Stoll has been an AP reader (essay test grader) for eight years, and for the past two years served as the Chief Reader (a college professor who has the responsibility of ensuring that students receive grades that accurately reflect college-level achievement).
  • College Board Course Audit Approval, September 15, 2008. Renewed on January 2017.
    All instructors teaching courses designated as AP must submit materials to the College Board for a Course Audit. These materials include a course-long syllabus, list of textbooks, assignment descriptions, class activities, and an explanation of how the course meets curricular requirements. An audit must be completed separately for EACH course. Veldorah has submitted audit information and been approved to provide instruction in both AP® English Language and Composition and AP® English Literature and Composition.

How Our Classes Work

Write from the Heart is unique among online classes for homeschoolers: it blends the flexibility of an asynchronous online style with the peer collaboration of a classroom. This means that there are no set class times, but students interact with one another on a daily basis.

The students are all given a password and unique log in to our online classroom. Each week, the students will utilize a syllabus that lists their daily tasks for the week. All tasks are due by 11:59pm, EST. Some tasks last several days, while others require the students to finish in one day.

Classroom screenshot

Workshop Format

One of the most important features of Write from the Heart is the collaborative writing process. Every paper is reviewed several times before it is turned in for a grade. Students learn about composition not only by writing themselves, but by learning how to critique others and think critically about their own piece.

In the workshop approach, your child’s paper is reviewed:

  • At the outline stage by a writing coach
  • After each revision by two separate peers in the class.
  • In an instructional “conference” with a writing coach.
  • After the final draft by a writing coach using a grading rubric.

This process takes about two weeks to complete. This workshop method allows students to learn as they work, seeing their ideas develop and grow before their eyes. The peer interaction, monitored by coaches at every step, allows the students to increase their skills in a collaborative way. Many times, they become personally invested in the success of their peers. Write from the Heart is a community of learners, committed to positive interactions and encouraging growth.

How Are Students Graded?

Class grading

All students receive homework grades for work completed throughout the class. This includes grammar activities, instructional assignments for composition skills, workshop interactions, and posting of paper drafts at each stage of revision. A gradebook is provided in the online classroom so that students can track their grade throughout the class.

Final writing assignments are assessed using a rubric that focuses on content, development, organization, voice, and mechanics. The grading also takes into account the growth that the student has made through the workshop and revision process. Students receive written comments throughout their final paper. On the rubric, they are told where they are strong as well as where they need to improve.

The goal in all grading is to encourage the student. By the end of the class, students will have a concrete collection of works showing revisions along with professional feedback on all assignments.

FAQs

How do I know if my child is ready for this class?
What is the difference between AP English Literature and Composition and AP English Language and Composition?
Why does your course cost more than other AP classes?
How many college credits can my child earn and for what classes?
When is the AP test and how much does it cost?
How is the AP test graded?
If my child doesn’t get a good grade on an AP Exam, will it hurt his/her chances for college admission?
Can I list this class as an AP class on my child’s transcript?
What do we do about missed work if we are traveling?
What should we do if we experience computer problems?

How do I know if my child is ready for this class?

Your child should have completed a literature course as well as have experience in various types of composition (persuasive, narrative, comparison, and research with secondary sources) and timed essays. Your child does NOT have to have taken a formal literature class to be accepted, but should still be well-read. Some works that your child should come into the class having read might be Shakespeare, a 19th century work of significant literary merit, and a 20th century or contemporary work of significant literary merit. Training in a variety of composition is essential. Students who have not completed classes through WFTH will be considered equally, as will students who have only completed Literature I, but show readiness for AP work.

What is the difference between AP English Literature and Composition and AP English Language and Composition?

According to the College Board website:

“The AP English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work's structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.”
For more information, see this article.

“The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help students become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer's purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.”
For more information, see this article.

Why does your course cost more than other AP classes?

This class is two classes in one. Because this class prepares your child for two separate tests, the class itself involves much more preparation and combinations of texts in such a way to meet the needs of both tests. The average online AP preparation class for a single test is about $550-600, has higher textbook costs, and lasts a year for each test. This class gives you both preparations at one time for less cost and time than taking two separate classes, which might not be an option for many students. The units are designed to pair nonfiction works with fiction works in order to more fully understand how the two function in unique ways as well as how they interact with one another. This allows the students to have a richer learning experience than they might by studying AP English Literature and AP English Language separately.

How many college credits can my child earn and for what classes?

Your child can earn up to 12 college credits, which is the equivalent of four semesters of college English. However, every college and university has its own rules about what grade your child must have on the test to be granted these credits, as well as how many AP credits they are allowed to carry into college. Please contact the college your child is considering to find out the exact requirements for that school.

When is the AP test and how much does it cost?

The AP Literature and Composition exam will be held on May 9, 2018 at 8am. The AP Language and Composition exam will be held on May 16, 2018 at 8am. Late testing dates are available for AP testing conflicts only (more than one exam scheduled at the same time).

As a homeschooling student, your child will need to go to the nearest testing center in your area (usually your local public high school). The instructor will be giving both you and your child a detailed schedule as well as specific deadlines and reminders as the test nears to make sure your child is correctly registered. The cost of each test is $87.00, but some students can qualify for a reduced fee.

How is the AP test graded?

Your child will receive specific instruction on both the structure of the test and how to most effectively answer the questions in the time given. The tests are processed by the College Board and graded on a 5-point scale:

5—Extremely well qualified
4—Well qualified
3—Qualified
2—Possibly qualified
1—No recommendation

AP Exam grades of 5 are equivalent to A grades in the corresponding college course. AP Exam grades of 4 are equivalent to grades of A-, B+, and B in college. AP Exam grades of 3 are equivalent to grades of B-, C+, and C in college.

If my child doesn’t get a good grade on an AP Exam, will it hurt his/her chances for college admission?

No. Scores are not received until July, long after most students have been admitted to college. However, f you are looking for ways to help your child stand out on college admissions, taking an AP class is an excellent way to do this. It gives a college a sense of the rigorousness of your homeschooling program. After all, your child would not be considering this course if it was not for your diligence in providing a challenge in the previous English courses your child has completed!

Can I list this class as an AP class on my child’s transcript?

Yes. This AP class has successfully completed the College Board’s rigorous AP® Course Audit process. Only classes that have completed this process can use the AP® designation. Because this class has passed audits for BOTH AP English classes, you may list TWO AP® English classes on your child’s transcript for the school year. If you are concerned about your state's laws being fulfilled, email Veldorah Rice with your state's specific guidelines.

What do we do about missed work if we are traveling?

Even though the class officially begins in September, students are given access to the forum in early August. That way, anyone wishing to begin early to accommodate family vacations may do so. Students also have off the full week of Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas. If a child has access to a computer while traveling, he may complete his work anywhere.

What should we do if we experience computer problems?

Students are advised to frequently make a back-up of their work. If they experience computer failure, they can easily take their back-up to a relative's or friend's house, or to a public library.

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