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Online College Preparatory English Usage

Now Enrolling: College Preparatory English Usage
For more information, email eclass@abacus-es.com or call (U.S.A.) (626) 797-7201

A limited number of students will be invited to take the College Preparatory English Usage Class under full scholarship. To be considered for this program, write us a short (200 word) essay explaining your reasons for wanting to study English usage. Preference will be given to homeschoolers and international students.
Runs indefinitely. $200.00/semester or $15/week. Enroll anytime.
Instructor: K. Titchenell
What parents say:

"Grammar as an adventure loaded with SAT words and off-road creative writing excursions ... Professor Titchenell's On-Line College Preparatory English Usage class is the finest cyber class ever to come my son's way!"
-- Pam Gilbert-Bugbee

"If you enjoy wordplay and mental calisthenics, then Professor Titchenell's Introduction to Written and Spoken English for Homeschoolers is the class for you! A painless and fun way to hone your vocabulary and grammar skills!
-- Peter Sierra

Professor Titchenell is the most creative teacher that I have encountered. My children attended his class at EIE where the students were in different levels. Some were gifted, while others had attentional and language handicaps, yet it was a class where all the students were challenged and inspired; even the parents had fun participating. My own writing style has greatly improved after being an observer in that class. LOL Prof. Titchenell is brilliant, kind, compassionate, and has a great sense of humor. He has the rare gift of making grammar fun!
-- Mimi Mather

Taught by the author of SAT Practice: The New Verbal Section, College Preparatory English Usage covers English vocabulary, usage, comprehension, grammar and composition. Please see our English Writing Style and Grammar Resources and Writing Skills Playsheets sections for a taste of class content and style. Course includes online text, extensive resources, personal instructor attention, graded compositions, moderated discussion forums and chatrooms, quizzes, and a certificate upon successful completion.

We at Abacus-es have been providing educational resources for many years (see About Us), including courses for homeschoolers at Excellence in Education, the definitive homeschooling resource center in Monrovia, California.

The online College Preparatory English Usage course was created for the benefit of high school-age homeschoolers who are unable to attend classroom sessions, and it already has participants from around the world.

For more information, email aoseclass@abacus-es.com or call (U.S.A.) (626) 797-7201

The Spirit of this Class

The amazing innate facility children have for learning is so frequently wasted, suppressed, and bypassed, as our society imposes its rigid curriculum upon them, bending their minds unnaturally into the tightly proscribed forms and structures that are, however temporarily, the current standard encountered when attempting to learn English in a one-size-fits-all educational system. The spectacular gift for language acquisition that children enjoy is a particularly poignant loss when used primarily to assimilate the trendy and transient vernacular of popular culture -- an inevitable result of most public schooling.

fiona_award (26K)

Different in every child, when given support and freedom to develop, the spirit of language may manifest itself in remarkable ways. The fact that a three-year-old in a nurturing environment should use vocabulary and expression that stun or at least baffle adults about her and and then go on to do enthusiastic cold readings of Shakespeare at five, need not evoke surprise simply because that would be surprising in a public school. Children already have the learning skills; we homeschooling parents need only present the material, figure out where they are going, and then try to catch up with them.

Continuing in the homeschooling spirit, we cover English grammar, vocabulary and creative wordsmithing, teaching students to wield the language with confidence and imagination.

Prospective students are encouraged to see our homeschooling resources and articles, Homeschooling as a Way of Life, Critical Thinking and Mind Control, Writing Classes online, and our Children's Book Reviews.

We hope that through this course we will be able to share some of our enthusiasm for working in this amazing medium, this palette of subtle and brilliant colors, this magnificent confusion which is the English language.


Who should take this course?
College Prep. English Usage is intended for students who already know how to read and write English well but wish to improve their language facility for college or college entrance examinations. ESL students will find the material valuable but extremely challenging.
What hardware and software do I need to take this course?
The web browser you are currently using to view this page together with the Adobe Acrobat Reader should be all you really need. We do recommend some of our favorite software here: http://abacus-es.com/sat/software.html
What rules apply when taking the course?
I am tempted to reply in the ungrammatical vernacular of the American inventor, Thomas Edison: "Hell, there ain't no rules; we're trying to get something done here." to which I would simply add: Be nice to each other and please don't try to crash the system. Above all, be creative.
Are this course and EIE accredited?
Absolutely not! In my experience, accreditation is more a measure of compliance and conformity than scholarship, and the concept of credit creates an adversarial relationship between student and teacher. Students frequently regard the function of educational institutions this way: “We're not here to learn, we're here to get a degree. Teachers aren't here to teach, they're here to make acquiring the degree difficult.” No. In this environment, teachers and students share exactly the same goal: education. Please see the article: Homeschooling as a Way of Life. For what it's worth (not much really), the teachers are credentialed and highly qualified.
How is the class graded?
This is a “Certificate/no-certificate” class. That is to say, students either will or will not receive a certificate of completion based on their performance. An aggregate of all forms of class participation is the criterion upon which that determination is made: quizzes, journals, forum posts, chat sessions, etc.
When will chats be scheduled and in what timezones?
The main class chatroom will be left open for use at all times and I expect to participate a good deal. Just visit the room any time you feel like it and see if something is going on. At present there are students in the class from eight time zones around the world and this may still increase. It may not be possible to find a time that will work for everyone, but we will try. I expect the best time would be early morning on a Saturday in California which would be mid morning in Texas and Wisconsin, late morning on the US East Coast, mid afternoon in Europe, evening in the Middle East, and late night in the Far East. I expect we will be able to have other chats with a subset of the class. Clearly it will not be possible to make any specific chats mandatory.
For more information, email eclass@abacus-es.com or call (U.S.A.) (323) 432-7128