Our Programs

Small Group Classes
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Holly Dodson offers a variety of writing classes and language arts classes for second grade and up.

All classes are small group, with up to fifteen students per class. This size allows for group interaction and sharing of ideas among students, as well as individual attention from the teacher. Classes meet at Murrieta Home School Campus. Due to Covid-19, these classes will be live online during the 2020-2021 school year. All classes are 70 minutes in length and meet once a week.

Class Schedule

New Classes Begin September 2020

All Classes Now Live Online!  

08

Sept

Beginning IEW with Grammar

Live Online – Tuesday 8:30am to 9:45am = 1:15 hours

Description

Beginning IEW Writing with Grammar Recommended for Grades 3-5

In this class, 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. 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 Dodson, 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!

08

Sept

Intro to IEW with Grammar for Young Writers

Live Online – Tuesday 9:45am to 11:00am = 1:15 hours

Description

Intro to IEW With Grammar for Young Writers 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) using stories about community workers including firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, and carpenters. 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 stress out of learning to write.

08

Sept

English Lit and Comp for Middle School

Live Online – Tuesday 11:00am to 12:15pm = 1:15 hours

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, 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.

08

Sept

Elementary Vocabulary, Spelling and Grammar

Live Online – Tuesday 2:15pm to 3:30pm = 1:15 hours

Description

Elementary Vocabulary, Spelling, and Grammar recommended for grades 3-6

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

09

Sept

IEW: Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons with Grammar

Live Online – Wednesday 8:30am to 9:45am = 1:15 hours

Description

IEW Ancient History-Based Writing with Grammar recommended for grades 4-6

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. This class will also include direct grammar instruction using the IEW Fix IT! Grammar series. Students will learn parts of speech (nouns, articles, verbs, adverbs, etc.) and grammar and punctuation rules, then apply their new knowledge by finding and fixing errors in daily passages from a story.

09

Sept

Intro to IEW with Grammar for Young Writers

Live Online – Wednesday 9:45am to 11:00am = 1:15 hours

Description

Intro to IEW With Grammar for Young Writers 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) using stories about community workers including firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, and carpenters. 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 stress out of learning to write.

09

Sept

Beginning IEW with Grammar

Live Online – Wednesday 11:00am to 12:15pm = 1:15 hours

Description

Beginning IEW Writing with Grammar Recommended for Grades 3-5

In this class, 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. 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 Dodson, 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!

09

Sept

IEW: U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons with Grammar

Live Online – Wednesday 1:00pm to 2:15pm = 1:15 hours

Description

IEW U.S History-Based Writing with Grammar Recommended for grades 7-8

Travel back in time to early United States history! This theme-based writing curriculum allows students to delve into the excitement of explorers, battles, land expansion, famous ships, and founding fathers while learning to write with the Structure and Style® writing method. In this class, students will practice IEW style writing (based on Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing program) using U.S. 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 U.S. history-based, so students will learn some history and vocabulary while focusing on becoming skilled, confident, independent writers. This class will also include direct grammar instruction using the IEW Fix IT! Grammar series. Students will learn parts of speech (nouns, articles, verbs, adverbs, etc.) and grammar and punctuation rules, then apply their new knowledge by finding and fixing errors in daily passages from a story. This Fix It practice will help them transfer grammar skills into their own daily writing.

09

Sept

IEW: Medieval History-Based Writing with Grammar

Live Online – Wednesday 2:15pm to 3:30pm = 1:15 hours

Description

IEW Medieval History-Based Writing with Grammar 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. This class will also include direct grammar instruction using the IEW Fix IT! Grammar series. Students will learn parts of speech (nouns, articles, verbs, adverbs, etc.) and grammar and punctuation rules, then apply their new knowledge fy finding and fixing errors in daily passages from a story. This Fix It practice will help them transfer grammar skills into their own daily writing.

10

Sept

Beginning IEW with Grammar

Live Online – Wednesday 8:30pm – 9:45pm = 1:15 hours

Description

Beginning IEW Writing with Grammar Recommended for Grades 3-5

In this class, 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. 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 Dodson, 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!

10

Sept

Intro to IEW with Grammar for Young Writers

Live Online – Thursday 9:45am to 11:00pm = 1:15 hours

Description

Intro to IEW With Grammar for Young Writers 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) using stories about community workers including firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, and carpenters. 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 stress out of learning to write.

10

Sept

English Lit and Comp for Middle School

Live Online – Thursday 11:00am to 12:15pm = 1:15 hours

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, 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.

10

Sept

Grammar, Vocabulary, and Spelling for Middle School

Live Online – Thursday 1:00pm to 2:15pm = 1:15 hours

Description

Grammar, Vocabulary, and Spelling for Middle School Recommended for grades 6-8

This is a great companion class for students taking my Middle School Literature and Composition class. Most of the lessons and exercises in this class will be based on the books we are reading in my Middle School Literature and Composition class. It is NOT necessary to be enrolled in the Lit and Comp class to benefit from this class, but the two classes work together to cover everything you need for a well-rounded Middle School Language Arts Curriculum. 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 learn vocabulary and how to use it in proper context, and practice spelling those same words.

10

Sept

IEW: Medieval History-Based Writing with Grammar

Live Online – Thursday 2:15pm to 3:30pm = 1:15 hours

Description

IEW Medieval History-Based Writing with Grammar 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. This class will also include direct grammar instruction using the IEW Fix IT! Grammar series. Students will learn parts of speech (nouns, articles, verbs, adverbs, etc.) and grammar and punctuation rules, then apply their new knowledge fy finding and fixing errors in daily passages from a story. This Fix It practice will help them transfer grammar skills into their own daily writing.

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.

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