Introducing Wasko Lit

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Quick Note: For those of you who have followed this blog, I apologize for my long absence. I took a full-time teaching job last fall and was unable to maintain my blog work for that season. It was, as it turns out, a one-year stint, so I am back in action. 

-Brian

I started WriteAtHome in 2001 with five students. Since then, WriteAtHome has helped tens of thousands of homeschooled teens become proficient and powerful writers. We have never done anything other than teach writing in that period for one simple reason:

I think writing instruction lends itself naturally to an online format. Lectures and class discussions are minimally effective in teaching writing. Writing skills grow through practice and feedback from writing tutors (or, writing coaches in our case). It is the exchange of drafts with thorough and insightful comments that is the heart of teaching writing. Even though I have taught literature in a local co-op setting, I wasn’t sure how it would work in an online format.

But times have changed, software has evolved, and web connections have sped up to where I think it’s possible to teach lit in the way I’d like.

That’s why I’m introducing the brand new Wasko Lit online literature program!

By “brand new,” I mean never offered online before. I’ll be using a curriculum I have developed over twenty years of teaching weekly classes to homeschoolers. It’s anything but new to me. I’ve honed the curriculum down over the years. It’s both impressive, challenging, and thoroughly engaging.

The courses are for high schoolers, though sharp 8th graders are welcome to enroll in Lit 1. We’ll be following a Great Books curriculum that’s been influenced by the classical education movement in homeschooling. That means we’ll be reading many of the greatest works of literature the Western world has ever known. Not little excerpts either. In most cases, we’ll be reading whole works.

Don’t let that intimidate you though. Have I mentioned I’ve been teaching this stuff for a long time? It’s not just for honors students or future Ivy Leaguers. My great joy and privilege over the past twenty years has been introducing the Great Books to ordinary teenagers. I’ve found they can handle a lot more than what we usually give them. I know how to take kids through difficult texts in a way they can not only follow, but appreciate and enjoy. Believe it or not, we have some serious fun delving into the works of Homer, Cervantes, Milton, and Faulkner.

I’ve even worked with students with reading challenges and learning disabilities. They were willing to work hard and determined to keep up, and they finished the full four-year program with flying colors!

We’ll be using Go To Webinar for the course. Unlike WriteAtHome, Wasko Lit will involve a once-per-week, real-time class session that will involve both a short lecture and virtual discussion. I’ll be teaching the class alongside my wonderful wife, Melanie, who will serve as the course moderator. Her job will also be to keep me from wandering too far off topic.

I plan to write more about Wasko Lit in future posts, but if you are interested and would like more information, feel free to visit the site now:

WASKOLIT.COM

They are full-year courses and cost only $399, but if you get in early, I’m offering a $100 discount to the first 25 students. I don’t expect that offer to last very long, so take advantage right away!

*****

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have in the comment section below. 

About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian Wasko

Brian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.

View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Dawn Jones
    Dawn Jones07-15-2016

    Hi Brian,

    I can not say much at the moment, except a huge thank you for all the work you’ve put in, designing and creating this class for homeschoolers. You are a joy to read, and a living invitation to learn better how to write.

    Glad and grateful,

    Dawn

  2. April
    April06-15-2016

    I have the same questions as above. What literature will be used and what grade recommendation? What will the format look like?
    -April

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko06-16-2016

      Hi April.

      The book lists and lots of other information are available at WaskoLit.com. I may include the syllabuses in another post, but in the meantime, please visit that site.

      It’s a high school curriculum, but 8th graders are welcome to start with Lit 1. If your students are older than 9th grade, you’ll have to decide where to start, since a four-year chronological plan won’t work perfectly. I’m happy to help with that decision.

      Classes will meet at a weekly scheduled time (the times and dates are on the web site too). We’ll be using GoToWebinar–an easy software program that’s free to you. It will allow students to attend class, which will include a live broadcast. My wife and I will be on screen and students will be able to participate either using a microphone or typing questions and answers via chat.

      During the week, there will be lots of reading to do, of course, and a discussion question to answer online most weeks. I’ll also be assigning a quarterly project–either a paper or some other creative assessment.

      I hope you’ll consider signing up!

  3. Tami
    Tami06-15-2016

    Can you post a syllabus. What books are going to be covered? What types of writing assignments will be given? . What grade do you recommend this class be taken? Will this prepare a student to take an AP Language or AP Literature class or exams?

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko06-16-2016

      Hi Tami,

      I will post a syllabus here, but it’s already available, with lots of other information, at WaskoLit.com. Please go there to see what we’ll be offering. 🙂

      There will be two writing assignments per course. They will be basic literary analysis papers. The length will depend on the grade level and the topic of the paper. I will be providing materials that will explain how such papers are done. I’ll also be available to answer any questions along the way. These will be one draft assignments (unlike the three-draft method I employ with WriteAtHome).

      The papers are a minor part of the course. It’s much more about understanding, appreciating, and (I hope) enjoying the books themselves.

      These are high school courses, but Lit 1 will work for 8th graders as well. Unless the student is advanced and eager, I wouldn’t start any younger than 8th grade.

      These are not strictly AP courses. I have to do more research on it, but I believe for a course to be considered AP, it must follow a set curriculum. Let me look into it more.

  4. Molly
    Molly06-14-2016

    yes sir, my question is what kind of credits does this class cover for high school ? is it just a lit. or does it cover maybe engish and hist. credits as well ? thank you

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko06-16-2016

      Hi Molly.

      This course is designed for homeschoolers, and in every state I’m aware of, the parent decides what constitutes a credit for homeschoolers. I’m not accredited by anyone, so I can’t issue credits. But with homeschooling, that’s not relevant.

      That said, parents will most likely consider any of these courses a full English/language arts credit. It focuses on literature, and only includes two papers, so I would recommend adding additional writing (consider WriteAtHome.com) and perhaps some grammar, which we will not be covering. But even if you didn’t supplement, you would be justified in calling it a full language arts credit.

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