The Inklings

Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
Target Grade Levels: Grades 9-12: 8th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.
Price: $595.00

Course Sections (choose one)
Section 1:
M/W 11:00 a.m. ET with
Section 2: T/Th 11:00 a.m. ET with

New Placement Process: Click to Read
To help ensure that students enroll in the correct course levels, Scholé Academy requires many students to complete placement evaluations. Placement evaluations are only provided to students after the corresponding course registration has been completed. A placement assessment will be required in the following situations:
  • if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
  • if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
  • if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
  • if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Parents are encouraged to connect with the Assistant to the Principal and/or with the course instructor to make the best enrollment decision for their student.
Registration is not finalized until the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
There is a $75 deposit built into the cost of each course.
  • If a placement evaluation has not been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
  • If a placement evaluation has been administered, withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted part of their $75 refund: $35 will be paid to the instructor for the placement evaluation, and the remaining $40 of the original deposit will be refunded.
After May 1, withdrawals are granted a full course refund, less the $75 deposit. Students may withdraw from a course through the second week of classes. After the second week of classes, no refund is given.
Dear Parents and Students, 
Thank you for considering enrollment in The Inklings course, which is being offered for the first time at Scholé Academy! I’m very excited to be guiding students in reading and discussing the works of three great authors. 
My intended goal for this course is to present the writings of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Dorothy Sayers at a leisurely pace to ensure we enjoy the works of these 20th-century British authors famously known as The Inklings. In order to honor the principles of restful learning, I’ve projected a 3-year reading cycle, starting with Year A in the 2019-2020 term. This course is designed for 9th to 12th graders but mature 8th graders are welcome to enroll.
For each year a student is enrolled he is expected to purchase the corresponding Walking to Wisdom Literature Guides, which will form the primary texts for the course. A limited number of related reading materials will also be integrated into the course reflecting the varied talents of these writers in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and essays.  
Course Syllabus: View course syllabus here.

Projected 3-year Cycle: The 2019-2020 Academic Year is considered Year A.
Year A: Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis), The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis), The Man Born to Be King (Dorothy Sayers)
Year BThe Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien),  The Lion Witch, and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis),  The Man Born to Be King (or an alternate Sayers selection like “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged“)The Last Battle (C.S. Lewis)
Year C: The Two Towers (Tolkien), The Return of the King (Tolkien), Sayers Selection TBD

Tolkien, Sayers*, and Lewis all expressed their ideas in both fiction and nonfiction. The fiction includes dramatic literature, short fiction, long fiction, epistolary satire, and allegory. To shed light on their fiction, we have incorporated some nonfiction essays of Lewis and Sayers in the guides that cover their works. These books will change students’ lives and, in the meantime, teach them how to read with delight, depth, and skill, as well as prepare them to write well.

These substantial literature guides thoughtfully instruct students with the following habits:

• Taking notes in their books
• Orally telling back the story
• Summarizing
• Creating their own questions
• Keeping notes book-wide on the great ideas that animate the book
• Participating in creative enrichment activities related to the books
• Engaging with questions that stimulate discussion about thematic material
• Answering different types of questions, such as reading questions, which develop close-reading skills
• Answering life questions that apply the material
• Reading sample student writing
• Memorizing important quotations
• Writing a strong essay at book’s end

*Sayers was not technically a member of the Inklings literary group, but rather was a close associate of Lewis and Williams, and her work shares the same concerns. Thus, we have included her in this series, considering her an Inkling “in spirit.”


At Scholé Academy, we have carefully considered how we should engage our contemporary culture as those who believe that Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and that all truth has its source in him. We think it is important to provide our upper school students (in grades 7-12) with tools and opportunities for critically examining various cultural trends, issues and mores through the lens of orthodox, Christian beliefs. Being confident in the truth revealed to us in creation, the Scriptures, and the tradition of the church, we are not afraid to follow the truth and its implications nor to address error and falsehood. … Read more about our Faith & Culture.


Introduction video from the teacher:

Required Course Materials:*

  • Walking to Wisdom Literature Guides, Classical Academic Press
  • Review 3 year cycle detailed in the course syllabus. 2019-2020 we will start with Year A:
    • Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)
    • The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)
    • The Man Born to Be King (Dorothy Sayers)

Optional Materials

  • Commonplace Journal

*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.

BWheadshot_BIOSchinstockJ squareJoanne Schinstock earned a BA in Journalism from Creighton University and a Master in Humanities from the University of Dallas. After studying a year abroad focusing on Italian language and culture in Florence, Italy, she began her teaching career as a middle school classroom instructor in Language Arts. While working at the Highlands School (Irving, Texas), she was the co-chair of the English department and a middle- and upper-school English instructor. The Dallas Catholic Diocese recognized Joanne as a Work of Heart Award recipient, honoring outstanding teachers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Joanne also obtained an adjunct professor of Humanities position at Brookhaven College in the School of Arts and Sciences (Farmers Branch, Texas).

From classroom teaching, her interests in the profession expanded to work in curriculum writing and professional development as a consultant for primary and secondary schools. Subsequently, she worked as a language arts instructor for a 6th–12th grade all-girls charter school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Joanne joined the faculty of Scholé Academy in 2016. She and her husband, Brad, find joy in forging their family culture in their Catholic faith and in the classical Christian tradition, participating in their church community, their children’s school community at The Academy of Classical Christian Studies, and delighting in weekend family outings. Mrs. Schinstock teaches Writing & Rhetoric, Literature, and History at Scholé Academy. jschinstock@scholeacademy.com

You can read more about Mrs. Schinstock’s philosophy of education here.

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:


  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.


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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

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