Levels of Instruction

The goal for Joy in Learning is to make academics and learning a joyful experience for your child and your family.  New families will be invited to one of the four levels described below. We will give first priority to your child’s academic considerations over social dynamics, which will change due to incoming or outgoing students every year.
In deciding where to place your child, we consider which level will provide challenge without frustration. He or she should be able to complete the homework comfortably and relatively independently.  Students who are in classes at the appropriate level will be able to master material, experience success, and develop a sense of accomplishment.

Beyond each child’s experience, the classroom atmosphere benefits by having students who feel successful, as they then confidently contribute to classroom discussions and projects.  Classroom participation creates a positive synergy, resulting in a stimulating and engaging environment for all.

As a group, we meet for 30-60 minutes per subject once a week, giving families the flexibility to schedule the rest of the week as it best suits their educational goals. This approach allows time and opportunity to work for mastery at each level before moving on to the next without the conventional grouping of students simply by age or year.  This combination of parental control and flexibility, set within the framework of the challenging academic goals, blended resources, and weekly accountability, is the strength of the Joy in Learning program.

Brief description of the levels:

RHETORIC (9-12 grade): Advanced reader; able to listen attentively and take notes from lectures up to an hour long; willing and able to participate in group discussions or projects; able to stay on task doing group/lab work with minimal supervision; able to complete in-depth reading, research and detailed writing assignments during the week; expected to schedule and do majority of homework independently; expected to complete homework before next class meeting. Assignments at this level require independent work, as well as interdependent project completion. All students must complete their portion of the project and assignments in order for the class as a whole to move forward.  For this level, work is graded and grade reports are available using Engrade.com. Admission to Rhetoric level is subject to review of Engrade records and instructor evaluations. Rhetoric level is college prep, with the following expectations:

  • Deliver presentations that are fluid and polished
  • Maintain poise responding to feedback such as audience questions or peer reviews
  • Be prepared to address mature topics, themes, and images that arise in college-prep or college-level curricula
  • Write following MLA conventions

LOGIC (6-8 grade): Accomplished reader, able to listen attentively to an instructor for lessons up to 60 minutes long; considerable reading; research and intermediate writing assignments during the week; participate in group discussions and projects in class; work with some supervision at home.  All homework assignments are expected to be completed. For this level, work is graded and grade reports are available using Engrade.com; progress is reviewed before considering advancement to Rhetoric.  Following are expectations for this level:

  • Be able to work independently and follow detailed instructions.
  • Be able to participate and lead discussion.
  • Make clear and organized oral presentations and be able to clearly express oneself in class.
  • Use evidence in text to respond to open ended questions, modify predictions, and confirm or reject hypothesis, and to infer.
  • Analyze several works that have a common theme.
  • At home, read and take notes on multiple reading materials. Define the focus of each, formulate questions, arrange information in an orderly manner. Be able to turn these into a multi paragraph composition.

GRAMMAR (4-5 grade): Accomplished reader; able to listen attentively to an instructor for lessons around 45 minutes long; moderate homework including reading and writing assignments during the week; independent work in class; group discussion and projects in class; work with some assistance or supervision at home. All homework assignments are expected to be completed.  Following are expectations for this level:

  • Be able to work independently and follow instructions.
  • Be able to participate in discussion.
  • Make clear and organized oral presentations and be able to clearly express oneself in class.
  • Use evidence in text to respond to open ended questions, modify predictions, and confirm or reject hypothesis, and to infer.
  • Analyze several works that have a common theme.
  • At home, read and take notes on reading material. Define the focus, formulate questions, arrange information in an orderly manner.

EARLY GRAMMAR (K-3 grade): Pre-reader/early reader; able to participate cooperatively in group activities or projects in class for a full day; minimal take-home work that needs parental assistance. Parents of students in this level are required to be in the building during the school day.  Following are expectations for this level:

  • Be able to follow instructions.
  • Be able to participate in discussion.
  • Make oral presentations and be able to speak in class.
  • Respond to open ended questions
  • Analyze several works that have a common theme.
  • At home, read and complete assignments.