October update

Parents and students,

Have I explained that I am not the most technologically savvy person? Or perhaps you’ve guessed that.

I’ve recently fielded a handful of questions about why this Website doesn’t send email updates when I add to the course pages. The short explanation is that adding to the pages doesn’t constitute a new blog post; thus, no automatic update reaches you.

I do not want to spam everyone by posting an update each week that says, “Read this week’s updated page.” Instead, please look at the course pages on Tuesday. I typically update within 24 hours from the end of classes.

Fantasy Lit parents, please be aware that your student has a Narnia final project due on October 29. There are 10 different topics from which to choose; some require research and writing, some are art-intensive, and some have digital components. Students must select their topic by Monday, October 15.

College Prep parents, your students have completed narrative essays and first drafts of a college application essay. They are now working on a short research assignment to aid discussion of Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience.” Grammar reviews will be ongoing throughout the course, and students should be writing at least one dialectical journal entry each week. Please encourage them not to wait until Thanksgiving break to write all 10 entries.

Thank you, parents, for sharing these students with me. They are a joy to teach, and I give the credit to each of you.

Until next Monday,

Laura Ford



September 18 update

Dear parents and students,

I apologize for not updating the course pages today. My family is experiencing a medical emergency, and I was not able to upload any notes or documents. Please be patient and know that I will address both courses as soon as I am able. In the meantime, please continue with assigned readings, chapter questions, and/or first drafts. If you did not write down this week’s assignments, please ask a classmate.

Happy reading and writing,

Mrs. Ford

Tuition Payment Info


I will be sending home a tuition payment information sheet on the first day of co-op classes. Please read the information, sign the appropriate blanks, and cut on the dotted lines. Your student will receive a homework grade for returning this information the following week.

Click on the link below in case your student loses the paper–not that I’m implying that would ever happen….

Thanks in advance for working with me to make the 2018-19 year a great one!


Tuition Payment Information


Writing Advice from C.S. Lewis

An excerpt from a letter to Joan on 26 June 1956:

“Good English” is whatever educated people talk; so that what is good in one place or time w[oul]d. not be so in another. …Don’t take any notice of teachers and text-books in such matters. Nor of logic. It is good to say “More than one passenger was hurt,” although more than one equals at least two and therefore logically the verb ought to be plural were not singular was! What really matters is: —

  1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure y[ou]r. sentence couldn’t mean anything else.
  2. Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.
  3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.”
  4. In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please will you do my job for me.”
  5. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

Dorsett, Lyle W. and Marjorie Lamp Mead, editors. C.S. Lewis: Letters to Children. NY, Touchstone, 1985, pp. 63-64.