Our Programs

Small Group Classes

Holly Dodson offers a variety of lively, engaging, live online classes for second grade and up.  Six BRAND NEW classes will be offered in Fall 2022, including Social Studies, American History, and Creative Writing.

Live online means your student can take advantage of Holly’s popular classes no matter where they live.  Students receive quality instruction from an experienced teacher, and interact with the teacher and their peers, all from the comfort of their home.  

All classes are small group, with up to eighteen students per class. This size allows for group interaction and sharing of ideas among students, as well as individual attention from the teacher.  Classes are 55 minutes in length and meet once a week.  Tuition is $275 for the 16-week semester.

Class Schedule

New Classes Begin September 2022

All Classes are Live Online!  

12

Sept

Vocabulary, Spelling, Grammar Grades 5-6

Live Online – Monday 10:00 – 10:55 am

Description

Vocabulary, Spelling, Grammar

Recommended for Grades 5-6

Grammar is an important component of written and oral language, and understanding grammar is key to communicating in a way that is clear, interesting, and precise.

Vocabulary is the foundation for comprehension and communication. A rich vocabulary is important for reading comprehension, and it improves students’ ability to communicate through speaking, listening, and writing. 

Spelling instruction also aids in both reading and writing. 

In this class, we will focus on all three of these key components of effective communication. Students will learn and review rules of capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, and how to apply these rules to effective writing. Students will use the Wordly Wise vocabulary curriculum, which features a variety of activities and approaches to apply and extend their vocabulary. Exercises will incorporate the use of context clues, the study of roots, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, and antonyms, reading comprehension, and writing. Finally, students will receive instruction on spelling rules and patterns and practice lists of grade-appropriate spelling words that include compound words, words with silent letters, homophones, etc.

12

Sept

Vocabulary, Spelling, Grammar Grades 3-4

Live Online – Monday 11:00-11:55 am

 

Description

Vocabulary, Grammar, and Spelling Recommended for grades 3-4

Grammar is an important component of written and oral language, and understanding grammar is key to communicating in a way that is clear, interesting, and precise.

Vocabulary is the foundation for comprehension and communication. A rich vocabulary is important for reading comprehension, and it improves students’ ability to communicate through speaking, listening, and writing. 

Spelling instruction also aids in both reading and writing. 

In this class, we will focus on all three of these key components of effective communication. Students will learn and review rules of capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, and how to apply these rules to effective writing. Students will use the Wordly Wise vocabulary curriculum, which features a variety of activities and approaches to apply and extend their vocabulary. Exercises will incorporate the use of context clues, the study of roots, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, and antonyms, reading comprehension, and writing. Finally, students will receive instruction on spelling rules and patterns and practice lists of grade-appropriate spelling words that include compound words, words with silent letters, homophones, etc.

 

12

Sept

Middle School Vocabulary, Spelling, Grammar Grades 6-8

Live Online – Monday 12:30-1:25 pm am

Description

Grammar is an important component of written and oral language, and understanding grammar is key to communicating in a way that is clear, interesting, and precise.

Vocabulary is the foundation for comprehension and communication. A rich vocabulary is important for reading comprehension, and it improves students’ ability to communicate through speaking, listening, and writing. 

Spelling instruction also aids in both reading and writing. 

In this class, we will focus on all three of these key components of effective communication. Students will learn and review rules of capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, and how to apply these rules to effective writing. Students will use the Wordly Wise vocabulary curriculum, which features a variety of activities and approaches to apply and extend their vocabulary. Exercises will incorporate the use of context clues, the study of roots, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, and antonyms, reading comprehension, and writing. Finally, students will receive instruction on spelling rules and patterns and practice lists of grade-appropriate spelling words that include compound words, words with silent letters, homophones, etc.

 

 

12

Sept

Creative Story Writing Grades 4-7

Live Online – Monday 1:30-2:25 pm

Description

Students love the creative writing units in my popular IEW writing classes, and they keep asking for more! This class is for students who love to write stories and want to keep learning. We will begin by introducing/reviewing the IEW story sequence chart, and write three-paragraph stories based on that easy to follow “recipe” for short stories. We will start with familiar fables and fairytales, and then get creative with borrowing a plot and creating our own versions of these fanciful tales. We will also have fun with the ever-popular IEW three-picture story model (always a student favorite in my IEW classes).

13

Sept

Intro to IEW For Young Writers Grades 2-3

Live Online – Tuesday 9:00-9:55 am

Description

Intro to IEW Writing

Recommended for Grades 2-3

This is a very beginner level IEW Writing Class for students in grades 2-3. 

Students will be introduced to IEW style writing (based on Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing program). Students will learn to create key word outlines and be introduced to “dress ups” designed to make writing more interesting. Using models and checklists for daily writing, students learn a “formula” for good writing, taking the guesswork out of an often bewildering subject.

We will use original source materials, created by Holly, based on more than a decade of working with IEW students and learning what they love to write about. Students will write about seahorses, bees, koalas, Komodo dragons, coati, elephants, ostriches, and more!  High interest materials make writing more fun! All materials are included in a pdf document that you can print at home.

 

Pre-requisites: Students should be comfortable writing sentences and be able to copy notes off the board onto their own paper.

13

Sept

Beginning IEW Grades 3-5

Live Online – Tuesday 10:00-10:55 am

Description

Beginning IEW (Recommended for grades 3-6)

Writing can be one of the most difficult subjects to teach. Students find themselves staring helplessly at a blank sheet of paper without any idea where to begin.

In this class, which is based on Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing Program, students are given source materials so they always know what to write about (no more, “I don’t know what to write!”), and they learn specific techniques for improving their writing style. Using models and checklists, they always know exactly what is expected of them in their writing assignments, leading to more independent writing.

During this course, students learn how to create key word outlines, a valuable skill that helps them in writing and note taking in all content areas.

Students learn to use “dress ups” and “sentence openers,” specific stylistic techniques that add variety to sentence structure.

Using models and checklists for daily writing, students learn a “formula” for good writing, taking the guesswork out of an often bewildering subject.

This class uses original source materials, created by Holly, based on more than a decade of working with IEW students and learning what they love to write about. Students will write about fascinating animals including snakes, bats, sharks, giraffes, crocodiles, tigers, frogs, and gorillas. High interest materials make writing more fun! All materials are included in a pdf document that you can print at home.

13

Sept

IEW Medieval History-Based Writing Grades 5-7

Live Online – Tuesday 11:00-11:55 am

Description

Medieval History Based Writing (recommended for grades 5-7)

Knights, Vikings, kings, and other famous figures of the Middle Ages come to life as students learn to write with structure and style.

In this class, students will practice IEW style writing (based on Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing program) using medieval history-based writing lessons. This is a great class for students who have some IEW experience and want to continue reviewing and practicing writing from a source and using key word outlines, dress ups, and openers. The text sources in this class are medieval history-based, so students will learn some history and vocabulary while focusing on becoming skilled, confident, independent writers.

Please note: Although the student book contains some religious material, this class is secular, and any Biblical references are incidental rather than the focus of the writing. You may need to assure some charter schools that this is a secular class in order to have them approve the class and student books.

13

Sept

Description

Middle School English Literature and Composition (Grades 6-8)

In this class, students will read a variety of engaging and challenging literature, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, award winning novels, short stories, nonfiction, and shorter articles. We will discuss the reading in class, and learn about literary devices (simile, metaphor, allusion, foreshadowing, imagery, personification, etc.) and story elements (character, theme, plot, point of view, setting, conflict, etc.). Written assignments will be based on the reading and will include a variety of styles, including expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. Students will learn to write a summary, a character sketch, a compare/contrast essay, an argumentative essay, and more.

First semester books will include

I will be focusing on reading comprehension, analysis, and writing. I highly recommend my Grammar, Vocabulary and Spelling for Middle Schoolers as a companion to this class. Together they make a complete, well-rounded language arts curriculum.

13

Sept

Literature and Writing Grades 3-5

Live Online – Tuesday 1:30-2:25 pm

Description

Beginning IEW Writing

Recommended for Grades 3-5

Writing can be one of the most difficult subjects to teach. Students find themselves staring helplessly at a blank sheet of paper without any idea where to begin.

In this class, which is based on Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing Program, students are given source materials so they always know what to write about (no more, “I don’t know what to write!”), and they learn specific techniques for improving their writing style. Using models and checklists, they always know exactly what is expected of them in their writing assignments, leading to more independent writing.

During this course, students learn how to create key word outlines, a valuable skill that helps them in writing and note taking in all content areas.

Students learn to use “dress ups” and “sentence openers,” specific stylistic techniques that add variety to sentence structure.

Using models and checklists for daily writing, students learn a “formula” for good writing, taking the guesswork out of an often bewildering subject.

This class uses original source materials, created by Holly, based on more than a decade of working with IEW students and learning what they love to write about. Students will write about fascinating animals including snakes, bats, sharks, giraffes, crocodiles, tigers, frogs, and gorillas. High interest materials make writing more fun! All materials are included in a pdf document that you can print at home.

14

Sept

Dive Into Social Studies Grades 2-3

Live Online – Wednesday 10:00-10:55 am

Description

Dive into Social Studies (Recommended for grades 2-3)

In this class, young learners will be introduced to a variety of social studies topics including geography, historical biographies, government and democracy, culture, and economics.  Hands-on learning activities make all the units interactive and fun!

 

14

Sept

Exploring American History Through Literature Grades 4-6

Live Online – Wednesday 11:00-11:55 am

Description

Exploring American History through Literature (recommneded for grades 4-6)

History is NOT boring!  In this class, students will learn about early American history through close reading of short nonfiction articles about many of the most important moments in U.S. history.  They will reflect and write about what they learn as they create an interactive social studies notebook.  In addition, students will read compelling true stories from American history, as well as historical fiction novels that bring America’s exciting history to life.  

 

15

Sept

Literature and Writing Grades 4-6

Live Online – Thursday 9:00-9:55 am

Description

Literature and Writing (recommended for Grades 4-6)

In this class, students will read a variety of engaging and challenging literature including realistic fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction, award winning novels, and shorter nonfiction articles.  We will focus on reading comprehension and critical analysis, learn about literary devices and story elements, work on literature based vocabulary, and more.  Written assignments will be based on the reading and will include a variety of styles, including summaries, character sketches, narratives, and opinion.  

First semester books will include Eleven, Hatchet, and Number the Stars.

15

Sept

IEW Ancient History-Based Writing Grades 4-6

Live Online – Thursday 10:00-10:55 am

Description

IEW Ancient History Based Writing (recommended for grades 4-6)

Experience the adventures of the ancient world! This theme-based writing curriculum exposes students to the ancient world through cultural literature and the study of famous places and events while they learn to write with Structure and Style.

In this class, students will practice IEW style writing (based on Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing program) using ancient history-based writing lessons. This is a great class for students who have some IEW experience and want to continue reviewing and practicing writing from a source and using key word outlines, dress ups, and openers. The text sources in this class are ancient history-based, so students will learn some history and vocabulary while focusing on becoming skilled, confident, independent writers.

Please note: Although the student book contains some religious material, this class is secular, and any Biblical references are incidental rather than the focus of the writing. You may need to assure some charter schools that this is a secular class in order to have them approve the class and student books.

15

Sept

English Lit and Comp for Middle School Grades 6-8

Live Online – Thursday 11:00 am-11:55 am

Description

English Literature and Composition for Middle School Recommended for grades 6-8

In this class, students will read a variety of engaging and challenging literature, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, award winning novels, short stories, nonfiction, and shorter articles. We will discuss the reading in class, and learn about literary devices (simile, metaphor, allusion, foreshadowing, imagery, personification, etc.) and story elements (character, theme, plot, point of view, setting, conflict, etc.). Written assignments will be based on the reading and will include a variety of styles, including expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative. Students will learn to write a summary, a character sketch, a compare/contrast essay, an argumentative essay, and more.

First semester books will include

 

15

Sept

Advanced Literature and Composition Grades 7-9

Live Online – Thursday 12:30-1:25 pm

Description

Advanced Middle School Literature and Composition (Grades 7-9)

In this class, we will spend the first semester reading The Book Thief, the internationally acclaimed novel set in Germany during World War II.  We will delve deeply into the many layers of this wonderful book, explore themes, do extensive literary analysis, use textual evidence to support claims, and explore challenging vocabulary.  We will supplement our study of the book with additional historical nonfiction about the time period.  Writing assignments will be based on the book and are designed to develop critical thinking skills and a deeper understanding of literary analysis and formal writing.  

This book and class are recommended for more advanced middle school students (grades 7-9).

15

Sept

Beginning IEW Grades 3-5

Live Online – Thursday 1:30-2:25 pm

Description

Beginning IEW (Recommended for grades 3-6)

Writing can be one of the most difficult subjects to teach. Students find themselves staring helplessly at a blank sheet of paper without any idea where to begin.

In this class, which is based on Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing Program, students are given source materials so they always know what to write about (no more, “I don’t know what to write!”), and they learn specific techniques for improving their writing style. Using models and checklists, they always know exactly what is expected of them in their writing assignments, leading to more independent writing.

During this course, students learn how to create key word outlines, a valuable skill that helps them in writing and note taking in all content areas.

Students learn to use “dress ups” and “sentence openers,” specific stylistic techniques that add variety to sentence structure.

Using models and checklists for daily writing, students learn a “formula” for good writing, taking the guesswork out of an often bewildering subject.

This class uses original source materials, created by Holly, based on more than a decade of working with IEW students and learning what they love to write about. Students will write about fascinating animals including snakes, bats, sharks, giraffes, crocodiles, tigers, frogs, and gorillas. High interest materials make writing more fun! All materials are included in a pdf document that you can print at home.

My popular IEW (Institute For Excellence in Writing) classes

 are also available online in a pre-recorded, self-paced format.  I will provide your student with the same materials that the students in the class receive, and I will edit your student’s homework just like I do for the students in my class.   These classes include video lessons, all materials, and direct teacher feedback.  

Here’s what students themselves say

3rd grade student

3rd grade student

“Before I took IEW class I didn’t like writing, but now I love it. IEW helped me learn dress ups and all of these cool tips on writing. This class is really fun. Usually most classes make me bored but IEW gets me excited to learn, create, write, and use my imagination. Throughout the school year the IEW class taught me a lot and I absolutely loved it.”

2nd grade student

2nd grade student

Before I started IEW I did not like writing as much as I like it now. I am now writing more than ever! And I enjoy writing for fun sometimes.  Mrs. Holly is an amazing teacher and her class is amazing as well. Whether we are in class or on Zoom, it is an outstanding class. I recommend IEW if you want to write superb stories.”

3rd grade student

3rd grade student

“This year in IEW I learned to make key word outlines from source texts.  This was hard for me in the beginning.  My teacher, Mrs. Holly, is patient and good at teaching.  Mrs. Holly helped me get better at writing and I am thankful for her.  I thoroughly enjoyed all of my IEW class this year. ” 

6th grade student

6th grade student

S“I think the IEW writing course is great because both classes I went to I learned and had fun. In this class, they teach you how to write correctly by using key word outlines. Then, they make it harder by adding vocabulary words, dress-ups, and clauses. My favorite part of the class was the three picture stories. While doing the three picture stories you get to be creative and basically, write your own. Our teacher’s name is Ms. Holly. She is nice, funny, and overall an amazing teacher. If you gave me a choice between IEW or any other writing curriculum, I would choose IEW. IEW is the most amazing writing course of them all.”

5th grade student

5th grade student

“Personally, I think that IEW Ancient History class was one of the best classes I’ve ever had. My favorite part about the class is when you have to write three paragraphs about three pictures. It’s really fun because you can make up your own story with your creativity. Our teacher, who is really nice and understanding, always helps us improve our writing skills. Because of how much fun the class is, I would definitely recommend it to a friend. I really enjoyed the IEW Ancient History class; it was super fun with just the right amount of challenges.”

6th grade student

6th grade student

The IEW Ancient History made writing more exciting than I ever thought it could be. The keyword outlines and dress ups are fantastic because they make writing so much easier. Keyword outlines help me sort my wacky thoughts, which are everywhere before I outline, and dress ups make my writing more bearable to read. I loved it when we created stories from three pictures; I enjoy being creative, and stories are the perfect way to let my creativity flow freely. After I started taking the class, it inspired me to make my own stories, which I enjoy sharing around the table. The teacher is the best! She is always ready to assist you, and she is very patient with slower kids. Because I love writing, I would recommend this excellent class to a friend in a heartbeat. I had a great time going to IEW because it had fun challenges that I overcame and I can’t wait to come back next year to learn more.”

8th grade student

8th grade student

“In the past semester, I have been inspired by shout outs during class, my work being used as an example, and encouraging notes being written on the top of my papers… After I worked hard on a descriptive essay, the teacher read the entire paper to the class. I got to go home with the biggest smile on my face knowing I did a good job…Ms. Holly did an amazing job keeping her students encouraged and determined to work hard.”

7th grade student

7th grade student

“Receiving edits on my papers has helped me become more understanding of criticism. I used to take things personally, but now I realize that “not being perfect” is just me receiving feedback. Learning something new. Becoming not only a better writer, but a better person.”

6th grade student

6th grade student

“Answering questions about the book made me take time to think about how the book was written and what the story was trying to imply… All in all I enjoyed many features of this class and faced many challenges, but for once in my life I actually felt encouraged as a writer.

Here’s what parents are saying

“I have seen my student greatly develop her skills in grammar and punctuation. I hear her correct her younger brother, passing on the skills she learned from you onto her younger siblings. Thank you for a great year!” – Mrs. Montejano

“Our son has learned a lot from the classes he has taken with you. He really enjoyed the books that you chose this year. Thank you for all of your hard work!!” – Mrs. Cangi

“Our son has really gotten so much out of your class. He’s like a different kid in the area of language arts! He’s becoming a much better writer through your class and doesn’t seem to have the dislike for writing that he used to have. I don’t have to nag him to do his homework, he’s been on top of it himself. It’s been good for him to read things outside of his box of what he normally likes to read. We are so pleased with your class and instruction!!!” – Mrs. Buchanan

“I have seen how the boys have improved so much in their writing and thinking. The boys like how understandable you are, and how patiently you teach them.” –  Mrs. Alcaraz