Writing 2.0 is an intensive reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar course for middle school students. The course is geared towards preparing students for the English that appears on standardized tests.
You will need a computer, Internet connection, camera, and microphone to join our course.
What You'll Learn
Effective and powerful use of language is the foundation of a good education and is vital for long-term career success in many fields.
We improve these skills by addressing several key areas:
To write well, you must practice. A lot. All students write one essay for every class, which is then read, commented on, and corrected by an experienced instructor (outside of class, not in class).
You can't become a great writer without reading the writing of the greats. Each session is designed around a specific work of literature or non-fiction specifically chosen for reading level, appropriateness, and genre.
Our curriculum includes such books as
For middle school:
- John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
- Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
- Various short stories, essays, and articles
For high school:
- Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
- Steven Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,
- Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
- Various short stories, essays, and articles
We regularly cover carefully chosen grammar topics based on students' actual writing, from common errors in subject-verb agreement to problems with flow, coordination, and awkwardness.
Each book or reading assignment includes a comprehensive vocabulary list of the vocabulary contained in the work assigned. Students are also quizzed on the vocabulary both for homework and in class. We like using the actual vocabulary from the materials because the students can see the words in use and can benefit from repeated exposure to that word. (Did you know that the word countenance appears 32 times in the novel Frankenstein?)
Students are assigned a predictable amount of homework for each session--about one hour of reading, an online vocabulary quiz on the words contained in the reading, and an essay.
Classes are 2 hours long.
Teacher: Erin Billy. Please note that in case of illness or travel, a substitute teacher may be arranged.
You will have a live, expert instructor
This is a live course with a live instructor; this is not a self-paced course that you work through alone. (Real humans are always the best teachers.)
We are currently offering four levels of access to the course to better serve the needs of our students and their parents:
- 🔥 The Works: Live Class + Essays + Reading + Coaching: Every option we offer for our class, plus 45 minutes weekly of one-to-one coaching with your instructor or another instructor. Note: Coaching time must be used within one month and does not roll over to the next month.
- 🧑🎓 Live Class + Essays + Reading: This is our most popular option. Students attend the live class, do the homework, including reading and writing, and get feedback on their writing.
- ✍️ Essays + Reading (No live class): For students who can't make it to the live classes, we offer the option to do everything in the course except the live discussion and in-class activities. This is great for students who want to read and write and get feedback.
- 📚️ Reading Only (No essays; no live class): With this option, students and guardians will have access to our online learning platform, which includes the vocabulary work and the reading checks (which are basically our way of checking to see that the student completed the reading).
Please note that we may refine these options in the future based on what best helps our students.
Of interest to parents
- First, we are on your side. We have your best interests at heart. We've been doing this for decades now and have been building this specific program since the early 2000s. We're not just educators, we're parents, too. Feel free to contact us anytime to talk to get a sense of us as people.
- Yes, this course is taught by expert instructors over video in real time. (The students aren't watching pre-recorded videos.)
- We use level-appropriate materials vetted by staff and other sources. Some examples: The Giver (for middle-school level) and the ever-important classic Nineteen Eighty-Four (for high-school level).
- Homework: Yes, we actually assign and check to make sure the students are doing the homework. Yes, we have pretty good rapport with our students and will remind them if they're falling behind.
- We focus on: First, making sure the students do the actual reading. Second, we discuss concepts, deeper ideas, implications, and the like. Finally, vocabulary is vital, so we provide a comprehensive vocabulary plan to make sure the students build their vocabulary.
- We work really hard to offer value and quality. We are parents too, and are fully committed to helping (been doing this since 1998). We have reviews on our site, but check out our unfiltered reviews as well.
- Trial class: We ask that you register and pay for the class. If it's not going to work out for you, we will issue a refund for that class and all remaining classes no worries and no questions asked. (This is for new students only, please.)
- Monthly tuition: Tuition is charged monthly automatically to your credit card. During that time, you have access to the online learning system and the right to attend live sessions. Most months have four live sessions, but some may have three and others may have five. Tuition is based on the average number of live sessions, and we do not charge less or more for that month. We do not discount for a partial month.