Course Details:

The teacher will provide all materials. Students will need to use Google Docs.

Long Story Short: Full High School English From a Christian Perspective

$45.00 / week

Short stories are special. They quickly introduce us to characters, settings, conflict, and themes that relate to our lives. Short story authors are a special breed as well, able to craft a satisfying, thought-provoking story that we can read in one sitting. Stories reflect life and help us see ourselves and the world in which we live. In this course, we will use classic short stories to learn how to analyze literary devices, figurative language, story elements, characterization, theme, etc. while thinking about and discussing essential questions through a biblical lens.

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We love stories because they reveal aspects of the human condition. Literature makes people think deeply about life. We study literature while applying a biblical lens to that human condition, which is practice for applying biblical principles in our own lives. We don’t just tack on a verse of scripture in our curriculum; instead, we are diving deep into the Bible first to establish and understand what God’s word says about life and the human condition. Then we practice how to live a biblical life by analyzing and evaluating literature according to precepts in the Bible. Additionally, older, classical literature is written with rich vocabulary, beautiful imagery, layered themes, and complex sentence structures; further, they contain ideas that make us ponder ourselves and our world deeply. When we study classic literature through a biblical worldview, we can better understand our world and strengthen our Christian perspective on life. The stories chosen in this curriculum have some value of beauty in regard to the literature and help us bring out important biblical principles.

Short stories are special.

Short literature quickly introduces us to characters, settings, conflicts, and themes that relate to our lives. These authors are a special breed as well, able to craft a satisfying, thought-provoking story that we can read in one sitting. Stories reflect life and help us understand God and see ourselves and the world in which we live correctly when understood from a biblical perspective. In this course, we will use classic short stories to learn how to analyze literary devices, figurative language, story elements, characterization, theme, etc. while thinking about and discussing essential questions.

As students continue through the literature, they have requested more literature, so they can remain in the class for yet another year. Therefore, we are working to add more short stories and literature so students can take this class for three years if they wish. We are grateful for your loyalty and honored to experience so much literature together for years! πŸ₯°

Even though this is an ongoing class, if students remain enrolled throughout the year, they will complete a year of high school English in 30 weeks. We usually take a week off in November and two-three weeks off in December. Students can come and go as they like. Students complete various types of writing, read, analyze, and evaluate literature, and meet communication standards in Socratic Seminars.

The benefit of this being an ongoing class is that students can pop in and out as they are able. Taking vacation? Pause the subscription and don’t feel like you need to make up the work. Enjoy a vacation and do the learning that is inherent in travel. Sick? Take a break and recover. One of the best aspects of homeschooling is flexibility, and this class enables you to be as flexible as you need. You can also remain enrolled and watch the recordings.

After teaching this class online for three years, I moved to a Socratic Seminar style of discussion on the second live class. This empowers high school students to “own” their conversations and to be active participants. The discussion is much more thoughtful and students are more engaged as a result. The teacher guides them along, especially on the first day, as they prepare for the discussion; additionally, the Socratic Seminar Prep Sheet work they do between live classes helps them think deeply about what they read. This class requires a lot of participation!


♦ THE FIRST CLASS OF THE WEEK: In the first class, students prepare to read by discussing essential questions and building a foundation of biblical truth. Then, we read the short story together, and the instructor annotates the story as we read. This vastly improves reading comprehension and models for students how to do a close read. After reading, the instructor teaches aspects of the literature: author’s craft, literary elements, figurative language, irony, etc. Depending on the time available, they will write their own questions for the Socratic Seminar and the instructor will give feedback on the quality of their questions.
♣️ HOMEWORK: Students will do some Bible study to continue developing a foundation of truth. Then, they reread the story and annotate it themselves, learning to evaluate literature from a Christian perspective. They complete asynchronous work in the classroom, which will take 60-90 minutes, depending on the length of the story. They turn this work in and they are graded.
β™₯️ THE SECOND CLASS OF THE WEEK: Each student is given the opportunity to evaluate the story for its entertainment value and literary value, defending their ratings by using literary terms. It is my hope that they start to understand who they are as readers and begin to understand what kind of literature they like and don’t like and why. The most fun is our BATTLE OF THE GIFs. Students have to find a GIF that illustrates the story, and we vote on the most creative and hilarious! Students will then have a student-led and teacher-supported Socratic Seminar, working to answer the essential questions, formulating theme statements, discussing the author’s craft and worldview, and analyzing and evaluating the piece of literature. The teacher will assign the writing homework and instruct them on how to organize their writing based on the prompt.
♠️ HOMEWORK (WRITING COMPONENT): Students complete a writing assignment, which should take 30-60 minutes. The essays vary from informative, argumentative, literary analysis, literature response, and even creative writing. When they submit their work, the teacher will give feedback on their writing in the areas of ideas, analytical thinking, support of a thesis, conventions, creativity, and writing style.

The teacher’s feedback is based on the mastery of concepts and skills, and traditional grades are given. Students may redo their writing based on the teacher’s feedback and suggestions. Your teacher can also provide assistance in getting information ready for NCAA approval of this coursework.

Classic Short Literature – The Schedule:


  • “Ruthless” by William de Mille
  • “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
  • “Araby” by James Joyce and “Witches’ Loaves” by O. Henry
  • “To Build a Fire” by Jack London


  • “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov
  • “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathanial Hawthorne
  • “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain
  • “The Body Snatcher” by Robert Louis Stevenson


  • “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl

**No coursework the week of Thanksgiving. Enjoy time with your family! Your subscription will be paused automatically.**


  • “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving
  • “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl
  • “The Reluctant Dragon” by Kenneth Grahame

**No coursework from December 22-Jan 4. Merry Christmas! Your subscription will be paused automatically.**


  • “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” by anonymous (Arabian Nights)
  • “A New England Nun” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce
  • “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin


  • “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
  • “The Masque of Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell


  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “A Retrieved Reformation” by O. Henry
  • “The Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury
  • “A Case of Identity” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe


  • “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin
  • “The Lady or the Tiger” by Frank Stockton
Class Ends on April 19th. Happy Summer!


Doctrinal Statement

We have adopted The Master’s Seminary Doctrinal Statement. Learn more about Karen Lemons, the course author.


Parental Guidance:

***While we read many touching and sweet stories, others have mature themes, such as murder, violence, suicide, revenge, alcohol, death, prejudices, racism, guilt, betrayal, etc., and are intended for mature secondary students. For example, in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale, “The Cask of Amontillado,” the main character is a murderer getting revenge. He takes a drunken man down to a cellar and buries him alive. We read everything with a biblical worldview, so in this example, students learn what the Bible says about taking revenge, the potential for wickedness in men, and the dangers of drunkenness. We study a heavy dose of Proverbs with this particular story. I avoid stories with sexual themes as well as modern stories. The stories we do read are classics and most–if not all–were written a century ago or longer and are commonly read in high schools. They help students understand the world in which they live as they ponder deep questions that are as relevant now as they were then. Stories are written with a Lexile score between 700-1400. I encourage students to talk to their parents about the stories and the issues they study in the lessons.***


Course Syllabus

coming soon…

Class Introduction Video

Coming soon…

Taught From a Christian Perspective

Our mission is to equip learners’ minds and shepherd their hearts. We want them to have saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and then develop a biblical worldview. This means they view their world, themselves, and God in a way that aligns with what the Bible teaches. This brings great peace and understanding to the believer because we serve a good, sovereign God. This course is taught with these goals in mind. In class, we may pray, read scripture, and discuss how to view the content from a Christian perspective.

We have adoptedΒ The Master’s Seminary Doctrinal Statement.

Learners Need Explicit Instruction!

Explicit teaching is a method of instruction students desperately need! It is the opposite of a constructivist philosophy whereby students try to construct meaning themselves.


Instead of leaving students to magically figure out how to write an essay or read or do a geometry proof, we teach explicitly, which is backed by a large body of evidence, and it’s how Mrs. Lemons teaches her undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates in college to teach! We do it this way because it’s how kids learn.

Explicit instruction is “a structured, systematic, and effective methodology for teaching academic skills. It is called explicit because it is an unambiguous and direct approach to teaching that includes both instructional design and delivery procedures. Explicit instruction is characterized by a series of supports or scaffolds, whereby students are guided through the learning process with clear statements about the purpose and rationale for learning the new skill, clear explanations and demonstrations of the instructional target, and supported practice with feedback until independent mastery has been achieved.”
-Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching by Anita L. Archer and Charles A. Hughes.

Anita Archer trained Mrs. Lemons in workshops, and it changed her teaching. Read a little more about the research behind explicit teaching here and here.

To read more about your teaching and learning methods, read Mrs. Lemons’ blog.


The Lemons-Aid Team

Lemons-Aid teachers have a few things in common.
❀️ They love their students and value each of their unique strengths and personalities that make our classes special. Our classes can be described as fun, personal, academic, challenging, and supportive.
🀩 We work to keep learners engaged, so there is always a degree of student accountability for their attention and focus, whether that be through asking them direct questions or by using the chatbox.
πŸ’­ We know all kids can learn, but sometimes things are hard! To support students, we teach them how to develop effective thinking and learning habits that will bring them success in class and in life.
🌟 Building relationships with students so they know we care about them helps us balance the high expectations we have for them regarding their effort, work quality, and behavior. Our students are encouraged, cared for, and they achieve!

π™†π˜Όπ™π™€π™‰ π™‡π™€π™ˆπ™Šπ™‰π™Ž: English Language Arts
#High-Energy #Skilled #Experienced #Relational #Fun
Karen is the Founder of Lemons-Aid. She has a bachelor’s degree in English, a minor in Education, and a master’s degree in Education Administration from Liberty University. With a teaching certificate and a principal’s license in both Washington and Colorado, she has many years of experience teaching English Language Arts and History / Social Studies at the middle school and high school levels. Additionally, she is TESOL and TEFL certified and enjoys teaching English Language Learners from all over the world. She has worked in private and public schools at every level and is currently an affiliate faculty member at Colorado Christian University, supervising teacher candidates in their undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs. She is a teacher of teachers. A homeschool mom herself, she admits that teaching other people’s kids is easier than teaching her own teenage boys! She lives in the Denver, Colorado area where she cheers on the Broncos, Avs, and the Rockies, but her favorite athletes are her own kids who play hockey and baseball!
πŸŽ₯ Karen’s Intro Video


𝑱𝑬𝑡𝑡 𝑹𝑰𝑨𝑳𝑬: English Language Arts
#Experienced #Knowledgeable #Empowering #Patient #Rises Above the Ordinary.
As a certified English teacher, Jenn has taught in some capacity over the course of the past twenty-five years. She has taught middle school and high school English classes in both private and public school settings, tutored international ESL students online, developed and taught literature and public speaking classes for a local homeschool co-op, and homeschooled her own two children. Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in English Education. A strong believer in lifelong learning, Jenn has also taken several graduate-level courses related to teaching. Jenn enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and their two teenagers. She enjoys taking day trips close to where they live in upstate New York. In her spare time, Jenn enjoys singing and performing in plays. Additionally, she enjoys curling up on the sofa to read a good book. More than likely, one of her four cats will be curled up at her feet.
πŸŽ₯ Jenn’s Intro Video

π™†π™π™„π™Žπ™π™€π™‰ π™π™π™€π™€π™ˆπ˜Όπ™‰: Elementary
#Fun #Inspiring #LoveForLearning
Kristen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a minor in child psychology from Liberty University. For nearly a decade, she has worked in elementary school classrooms, as a private tutor, and as an online ELL teacher. While passionate about education in general, her favorite subjects to both study and teach are reading, grammar, and writing. She and her husband are actively involved in a church where she works as a Sunday School teacher and Children’s Ministry teacher to ages 4-6. No matter where she is teaching, Kristen tries to find ways to connect with her students and to create an exciting classroom that builds a passion for education. It is her desire to not only teach a subject but also to foster a love of learning which inspires students to want to learn more even once the class is completed. Kristen lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and their new baby boy! In her spare time, Kristen loves to create teaching content such as interactive lesson plans, worksheets, and more! She also enjoys doing family outings and crafting.
πŸŽ₯ Kristen’s Intro Video

π™ˆπ™π™Ž. π˜Όπ™‡π™„:
#Engaging #Fun #Patient #Kind #Encouraging
Ali has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked with children over the last 11 years. She taught for 6 years in public school, 2 years in Kindergarten and 4 years in First Grade. She has worked as a reading tutor and ESL teacher online for the last 4 years; she has also tutored children in-person in reading, writing, and STEM. Ali believes that every child is a natural learner; she believes that an educator’s goal is to engage each child in the way that they learn best! She is passionate about creating a safe and FUN environment that teaches the whole child. Each time she enters a classroom, whether it is in-person or online, you can find her singing, playing games, and making learning fun. Ali lives in Missouri, near St. Louis with her husband and fur-child (an 80 lb. German Shepherd who doesn’t know how big he is). In her free time she loves reading, writing, crafts, hiking, working out, and spending time with my family.
πŸŽ₯ Ali’s Intro Video

π™†π™„π™ˆπ˜½π™€π™π™‡π™” π™‹π˜Όπ™π™„π™‰π™„π™Žπ™„: English
#Energetic #Kind #Encouraging #Authentic #Enthusiastic #Guide
Kim loves life, loves people, and loves learning! She views each student as a team member with his or her own unique talents, skills and life experience to bring to the group. She loves helping students expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills to reach their greatest potential. Kim has a Bachelor’s degree from Cairn University in secondary Education with certification in English (NY and PA) and endorsement in music. Her classroom experience has focused on English, PE and Bible education, but she has tutored in a variety of areas including ESL, special ed, math, history, science and music (piano and voice). She lives in northeast PA with her wonderful family. She has homeschooled all of her seven children. The youngest five are still in school and ensure that every day is an adventure. Kim also coaches intramural and competitive sports throughout the year. She loves music, sports, reading and taking long walks up her dirt road admiring wildflowers, listening to birds and reflecting on what she is learning in life!
πŸŽ₯ Kim’s Intro Video

Christian Teachers on Outschool

We want to serve you on Lemons-Aid! For first-time learners on Lemons-Aid, you can use the coupon code Newbie20 to get $20 off your first class.

However, if the schedule doesn’t work for you, we will happily teach you on Outschool, but we can’t talk about Jesus.

Use this referral code and get $20 off your first class on Outschool: LEMONSA2020

Christian Outschool Classes

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