Curriculum Preview: Try before you buy!

The first two lectures are free. They were designed to act as free professional development (and inspiration!) for homeschooling parents.

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  What to Do and How to Do It
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  Do you have 3 minutes to fill out a course review?
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Hi, I'm Ms. Finnigan

For ten years I taught high school literature at classical schools. My colleagues who taught upperclassmen told me that they could easily identify which students had been through my 9th grade literature class because they were the best writers, and my literature students often thanked me for teaching them how to write. One administrator told me that I was the best writing instructor their school had ever seen!

Funny thing was: I taught composition courses too, and I never received this same kind of praise about those classes. Why?

I believe the recipe for my students' success depended 60% on what I taught them about writing, 30% on what I assigned them and how I graded them, and 10% on, well -- that's my secret ingredient! I'll reveal that at the end!

I loved setting up my students for success in high school and beyond. By sharing my methods and approach with you, I believe I can help you to do the same for yours!

Purchase "How to Assign and Grade High School Essays"!


Dear Ms. Finnigan,

I hope that you had a wonderful summer! I have been at Franciscan University for a few weeks now, and I am having a wonderful time! I wanted to let you know that earlier this week, I had the first draft of my English paper displayed on the large classroom screen for peer editing (and extra credit!), and as I was reading through it, my English teacher kept pausing me to point out to my classmates all the things that she loved about the paper. She did have some minor edits, but she was very impressed by the draft. Anyway, it made my day, and I figured I'd let you know about it because I know that I can trace a lot of the techniques that I used in that paper back to what you taught me in your class! Thank you for preparing me for the writing I've been doing here at college!

Sincerely, Rebecca

Email received September 2022

I know what you're thinking!

Is my high school student "on track" with writing?

What kinds of essays should my student be doing?

Should we be writing essays or something else?

Should we be doing grammar or composition?

Do I need to outsource? (This is very expensive.)

We've done "all the writing things" but my student's work is just -- meh.

My student says she doesn't "know what to say."

They hate it when I grade their writing!

I hate grading their writing!

Are grades even necessary when it comes to writing?

Should I let them revise for a better grade?

Am I training them to lose their voice and be formulaic?

When do they break free of the five-paragraph essay?

What about plagiarism, cheating, and AI?

Do they have to do a research paper?

Do they have to know MLA, APA, Chicago style?

How do I critique their work without sucking their will to live?

How do I get involved with grading their work without sucking MY will to live?!

I want them to be ready for college. Will they be?

My child is not going to college: How important is writing?

My child is a great writer already. How do I help him or her to keep growing?

Where are we? Where do we need to be? How do we get there?

As a former high school teacher with a 10-year proven track record of helping high school students to grow exponentially as writers, I can answer these questions.

Check out the video for a 4-minute overview and if you want to get started on this class, the first two lectures are free!