The American experience is unique in world history – a nation founded not on ethnicity but ideology, whose people have struggled for more than two centuries to realize the proposition that all men are created equal.  American literature demonstrates the power of this idea in all of its triumph and devastation.  We’ll join Hester Prynne, Jay Gatsby, Henry Fleming, Huckleberry Finn, Atticus Finch and others as they live out the contradictions inherent in a nation “of the people, by the people and for the people.”  Are you an American, too?  Come read and find out!

CenterForLit  instructors use the Socratic method to conduct online discussions of classic books.  This method involves asking questions that force them to think carefully about their reading, and then to think carefully about their thinking.  Using the author's theme as the goal of the discussion, instructors encourage students to understand his message by discussing the structural and stylistic components make up his story.  Next, students are drawn by further questioning to critically examine their own assumptions about the author's theme.  As a result, students gain a deeper understanding of the book, and also of themselves as readers and thinkers. 

Course Details: 

  • Instructors: Adam and Missy Andrews.
  • Schedule: Monthly 2-hour Socratic discussions with optional bi-weekly writing classes (see full schedule and titles below).
  • Times:  2-hour discussions are held at 4:30PM Pacific Time (7:30PM Eastern)
  • Technology: GoToWebinar conferencing service (included in tuition) provides screen sharing and live audio with chat.  Students raise hands to participate aloud, or chat privately with instructors.
  • Conversation boards:  Students make regular contributions to a private, chat-style discussion of each book with the other students in the class.  Posts are graded by course instructors.
  • Recordings: High quality audio recordings of each class (with discussion notes in PDF format) allow students to participate at their own pace if desired. Students will receive an email invitation to join our ShareFile database, where they have access to recordings and notes from each discussion.
  • Grades and Credits:  Writing students receive regular report cards and earn one High School credit in composition.  Discussion students receive regular report cards based on their participation in the conversation board and earn one High School credit in English.
  • DON'T WANT GRADES? Call 509-738-2837 to enroll as a "Book Club" student - no report cards, no pressure, just great discussions!      
  • Tuition: one time payment of $199 for the second semester of the Socratic discussion class; an additional $200 for the second semester with the optional writing class.

Optional Writing Section:

  • Availability:  Open to students enrolled in the discussion course.
  • Mid-year Enrollment: Full year students completed assignments leading up to one full paper last semester. Students who join us mid-year will not miss any concepts, as all elements are reviewed for each paper. Students will complete two full papers in the second semester.
  • Instructor: Adam Andrews
  • Tutors: Ian and Emily Andrews
  • Schedule:  Bi-weekly 45-minute classes on Tuesdays at 3:00PM Pacific time (6:00PM Eastern)
  • Assignments:  10 bi-weekly assignments on various aspects of writing from literature (Thesis statement formation, Source development, Outlining, Mechanics and Style) leading to three full-length literary analysis essays. Students submit assignments via the ShareFile database and receive line-by-line comments and grades according to a pre-determined schedule.
  • Recordings:  All classes are recorded and available in the ShareFile database to allow asynchronous participation; however, assignment due dates are not flexible. 
  • Grading:  Assignments are evaluated against a five-fold rubric that pinpoints areas for improvement.  Periodic report cards summarize progress, and combine grades from the writing and discussion portions of the class. 
  • Teacher access:  In addition to live classes, instructors and tutors are available via email to answer specific questions.
  • Click here to download a sample essay prompt
  • Click here to download a sample writing lesson
  • Click here to download a sample graded assignment
  • Click here to download the grading rubric
  • Click here to download a sample report card


Discussion Schedule:

All discussion classes meet at 4:30PM Pacific time (7:30PM Eastern).


Writing Class Schedule:

Our optional American Lit writing class is available to students enrolled in the Socratic discussion course.  All writing classes meet at 3:00PM Pacific time (6:00PM Eastern).


Upon enrollment, you will download a registration packet with complete instructions
for joining each online discussion and participating in the Conversation Board.
If you would like more information, you can call our office any time at (509) 738-2837.

                                                               Click below to purchase this course in the member area and receive a 10% discount.                                                                     Not a member?  Join here!



We appreciate the responsibility involved in choosing curriculum materials for your students, and we ask you to make this decision carefully. If your plans change and your student must withdraw from a class, CenterForLit can transfer your registration to a different class or to a future term; however, THERE ARE NO REFUNDS FOR ONLINE CLASS REGISTRATIONS.