English Course for Teens

ENGLISH course and TUTORING (13+)

Semester course in literature and writing

Spring registration closed

Foundations is our semester-length writing and literature course for teens. It’s is a-g approved for grades 9-10, and meets California language arts standards, including essay writing.

NOTE: There’s an option to sign up for  after-class tutoring in academic writing.  We also offerwriting tutoring to ANY teen — not just course enrollees.

Foundations is a rich, comprehensive English course that teaches essential lessons through in-depth studies of literature, supplemented by music, film and art. It will broaden your student’s horizons and prepare him or her for college—and for life! At the end of the semester, you’ll get a list of the standards met.

In this course, students will:

  • study significant narratives and poetry in depth
  • analyze different expressions of similar ideas, e.g. through music, film, and art
  • engage with important ideas to understand the impact of literature
  • gain essential composition skills every week
  • write at least three full-length essays every semester

The reading list and course schedule for spring 2021 is below; our fall schedule will be posted in mid-summer.  For the foreseeable future, all our courses will be taught only online.

Hours: 9am – 11am; the after-class tutoring option is by arrangement.

Spring Dates: Jan 25 through May 3 (14 weeks total)

Cost:  Each 14-week course is $390. The tutoring options are $490 for the semester ($35/hour).  Prices drop $20 for each additional sibling. Fewer sessions are available by arrangement for $45/hour. Deadline to register is 9/7/20.

LitWits is an approved vendor for Ocean Grove Charter School.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel at least 30 days before the first day of class, we’ll be happy to issue a full refund; there are no refunds within 30 days. Unfortunately, we can no longer offer makeups.

LIsa Craddock LitWits instructor English courses and writing camps

Instructor:  We couldn’t ask for a more qualified, enthusiastic, teen-savvy teacher for your kids than our wonderful Mrs. C.! Lisa Craddock holds BAs in Literature and Theatre, and a Master of Humanities in Film Studies with a concentration in Rhetoric (the art of speaking and writing effectively).  She has taught classes in literature, composition, and film for the University of Colorado, and her scholarship, essays, poetry, and plays have appeared in a variety of literary and academic venues.

Lisa considers it a privilege to homeschool her own four children, avid fans of LitWits since its beginning.  She’s led many educational events for the homeschool community, helping young readers understand themselves and the world through “living books.”  We’re so proud to have her on our team! We know she’ll help your teens grasp great big ideas and gain skills they’ll never forget.



Ages 13+, grades 7-12; a-g approved for grades 9-12

SEMESTER INTRO: The Power of a Story

Week 15 (class meets Jan 25):  Two Persian Princesses; Scheherazade 

Week 16 (class meets Feb 1): Two Persian Princesses; the biblical story of Esther

UNIT FOUR: Differences and Destinies

Week 17 – class meets Feb 8:  Introduction to Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

(No class Feb 15 – President’s Day)

                  Friday, Feb 19 for those not doing Romeo and Juliet: special class Zoom on Hamlet (2006)

Week 18 – class meets Feb 22:  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Week 19 – class meets Mar 1:   The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck or The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Week 20 – class meets Mar 8

Week 21 – class meets Mar 15: Snow Falling in Spring by Moying Li

Week 22 – class meets Mar 22

(No class Mar. 29 – Ocean Grove Spring Break)

UNIT FIVE: Knowing, Understanding, Being & Becoming

Week 23 – class meets Apr 5:  Facing Your Giants project > the story of David and Goliath (7th century BC)

Week 24 – class meets Apr 12:  “Facing Your Giants” project, continued > The Breadwinner 

Week 25 – class meets Apr 19:  “Facing Your Giants” project, continued > Hoosiers (1986)

UNIT SIX: Journeys of Transformation

Week 26 – class meets Apr 26:  A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Week 27 – class meets May 3:  The Lost Boys of Sudan (2003)

Week 28 – class meets May 10