Frequently Asked Questions 



Do I need special software?

The tutorials run on a web conferencing platform called WebEx, which requires a simple free software download and is accessed from your internet browser. All you will need is a computer with a high speed internet connection, speakers, and a microphone. A headset is recommended.


How many students do you accept into your classes?

While I lecture as necessary to give students background into the literature we are studying, my classes are designed to promote interactive class discussion. This format works best with smaller class sizes, so my limit for each class is 10 students.


How long are the classes?

Each class meets once per week for two hours, for a total of 33 weeks. (One-semester classes are 15-18 weeks long.) 


Are you going to add more classes? 

Classes are recorded; if a student must miss class they will have an opportunity to listen to the recording and turn in a summary for participation credit.  


Do you have a recommended Scope & Sequence for your classes? 

Intro to Lit is designed for 7th and 8th grades. The high school classes can be arranged to suit your convenience and curriculum. American Lit has a slightly lighter reading load, which makes it more suitable for early high school, while British Lit and the electives are reading-intensive and are better for the later grades.  That said, for strong readers a typical scope and sequence could be something like this: Intro to Lit in 8th grade, a writing class in 9th grade, American Lit in 10th grade, British Lit in 11th grade, and Austen/Lewis in 12th grade.


How are students evaluated?

CTT classes are primarily oriented around class discussion, so participation in class is the most important factor in a student's evaluation. Other factors are reading quizzes, presentations, exams, and writing assignments. Formal writing assignments are graded and returned with teacher feedback, and students and parents can log in to see progress and grades online throughout the year, updated monthly. 


How do you evaluate writing assignments?

Writing is an important part of any English class; however, the focus of my tutorials is on the study of literature rather than the mechanics of writing. I evaluate each writing assignment primarily with regard to content, development, and organization. Though I address and explain grammatical issues as necessary, they are not my primary focus. If your student needs more guidance on writing mechanics, you may wish to use an additional writing curriculum or find a writing tutor.


Do CTT classes fulfill high school credit requirements? 

Requirements vary state by state, so as with any other homeschool class, parents must determine if CTT courses fit the bill for their particular state. My classes more than meet the requirements of the state of Montana, and I suspect they will do so in most other cases as well. I will give a grade for your student's transcript each semester.


How do you communicate with students between classes?

Outside of class I communicate important information about class and assignments via email and, for certain classes, with a private student forum. Students are also encouraged to email me at any time or post questions on the forum.


What is your theological background?

I understand that many parents want to know the background of their children's teachers, for good reason. I am a member of the Presbyterian Church in America and my teaching is grounded in my Reformed roots. However, I am delighted to have students from diverse Christian backgrounds, and strive to avoid unhelpful labels. My goal is to live up to Ephesians 4:3-5: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."


Do your classes fit with a classical education model?

"Classical education" means many things to many people, and thus I have not adopted the term with reference to my tutorials. My approach to high school literature, however, is in keeping with expectations for the rhetoric stage of classical education. By this stage, students have moved beyond memorization, and are ready to apply their critical thinking skills to new areas of thought. They are also honing their thinking, speaking, and writing skills as they interact with the literature.

My classes do not follow a traditional "great books" reading list, and have a narrower focus than most great books programs. My courses will focus either on a particular era of literary history, a particular type of literature, or, for elective courses, a specific author. This somewhat more "specialized" approach is well-suited to the student in the rhetoric stage, where students begin to pursue their individual interests and gifts.


Can I take your classes if I am not using a classical education model?

Yes, of course! Almost all educational models recognize the value of studying literature. My classes are appropriate for all high school students. Be prepared for evaluation to be based on discussion, presentations, and written assignments, rather than on comprehensive tests.