Upper-School Scholarship Skills (Summer)
Term: Summer 2020, July 6–July 28 (7 sessions)
Target Grade Levels: 9–12
Schedule: 2x / week, 90 min.
The Upper-School Scholarship Skills summer course will have a dual focus on advanced reading and productivity skills.
Advanced Reading Skills
Formal reading instruction is often limited to basic literacy skills, which are frequently mastered by 6th grade. In addition to elementary reading (“decoding”) skills, students need to develop inspectional, analytical, and synoptical reading skills. In this summer course, we will practice together the skills presented in Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren’s work How to Read a Book, using selections from the Great Books of the Western World. In this manner, students will become better prepared to tackle the wide variety of texts that they will encounter in their courses: textbooks, nonfiction, novels, poems, plays, histories, essays, and more.
I have personally benefited from many books and productivity strategies, and I don’t think there is one perfect system that fits every person. Rather than requiring students to follow a specific system, I will offer basic principles and suggest ways that students can adapt them to their preferences and life situations. These will include strategies for how to:
- Budget time
- Maintain a calendar
- Keep a log or journal
- Manage complex projects
- Create and update task lists
- Plan days, weeks, months, years, and beyond
- Track habits
- Establish routines
Summer Reading Groups are less formal than the yearlong courses, but students are still expected to participate and come to our meetings prepared. While there will be some reading assignments from How to Read a Book, it is a long text and we won’t read it cover to cover. Much of the work in the course will be hands-on practice in productivity. Students will set up a planner, put together and maintain a personal calendar, practice planning long-term projects, track task completion, and budget time.
Syllabus: View the course syllabus here.
Placement: Please read about our new process above.
Course Materials Coming Soon!
Adam lives in rural Kansas, where he and his wife homeschool their three children. Adam studied philosophy at the University of Kansas and received his MA in philosophy from the University of Memphis. As a philosophy student, Adam was most interested in the history of philosophy. Over the past ten years, Adam has taught a variety of subjects in 5th–12th grades, mostly in the humanities. His study of philosophy taught him the joy of carefully reading old books and gave him a Socratic paradigm for in-class discussion—two essential components of his teaching style.
While teaching is one of Adam’s favorite activities, he has a variety of interests which help to remind him that, although “the unexamined life is not worth living,” it is also true that the “unlived life is not worth examining.” Thus, he tries to pull his nose out of a book (or away from the computer) long enough to take his wife to a concert, read to his children, go on a walk with his dog Buck, mow the yard, fix something that is broken, or otherwise hold back the forces of primordial Chaos. firstname.lastname@example.org
High-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.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
Headset: 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.
Zoom: 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. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- 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.