Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes


The students were very insightful and brought thought provoking questions and comments to the class discussions.  Of course, not everyone had the same opinions, but everyone's ideas were treated with respect.  It was an honor to interact with such intelligent students, and they encouraged me to push myself to new levels.

Application Essay: Common App Workshop

On-Line for Summer 2021

Teacher: Maya Inspektor

Email: minspektor@aphomeschoolers.com

This online workshop is designed to help students produce a top essay in response to a 2022-23 Common Application essay prompt (or other long-form college application essay prompt). This workshop isn't intended merely to be “practice” or “instruction,” but rather students should emerge from this workshop with an essay that they can actually use when they apply to colleges in the fall. At the same time, they should also develop the skills they need to craft responses to other application essay prompts in the future. Almost every college uses the Common App today, but students who know they want to apply to colleges or scholarships that use different prompts are welcome to work on those essays in this workshop instead. During the final week of class, we'll also provide some guidance on how to respond to short-answer questions.

Who should apply: Rising seniors who will be applying to college in the fall using the Common App or another long-form essay style! 

 

Note: This summer, Mrs. Inspektor (along with co-teacher Tynan Stewart) will also be offering a separate workshop focused on short-answer college application questions (350 words or less), such as the questions asked by the UC California system or the short questions included in many college applications to supplement the Common App essay. This workshop might also be the best choice for students looking to respond to long-form essay questions that require a more straightforward response style; feel free to e-mail Mrs. Inspektor (minspektor@aphomeschoolers.com) to consult about which workshop would be the most appropriate choice for you! 

 

These are the offered dates in 2022:

 

Workshop #1: Monday, May 23 - Friday, June 10 

Drafts due: 

Instructors:

 
 
 

Workshop #2: Monday, June 13 - Friday, July 1

Drafts due: 
  • Sunday, June 19
  • Sunday, June 26
  • Sunday, July 3 

Instructors:

  • Maya Inspektor (up to 15 students) Workshop fee: $180 FULL!
  • Odelia Chan (up to 15 students) Workshop fee: $150
  • Meredith Pochily (up to 15 students) Workshop fee: $150

 

Workshop #3: Monday, July 11 - Friday, July 29

Drafts due: 
  • Sunday, July 17
  • Sunday, July 24
  • Sunday, July 31

Instructors:

  • Maya Inspektor (up to 10 students) Workshop fee: $180  FULL! 
  • Odelia Chan (up to 15 students) Workshop fee: $150
  • Meredith Pochily (up to 15 students) Workshop fee: $150

 

Workshop #4: Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 19

Drafts due: 

  • Sunday, August 7
  • Sunday, August 14
  • Sunday, August 21

Instructors:

  • Maya Inspektor (up to 6 students) Workshop fee: $180 FULL!
  • Odelia Chan (up to 15 students) Workshop fee: $150
  • Meredith Pochily (up to 15 students) Workshop fee: $150

 

Note: If there is demand, we may add additional workshops in late August or early September. Mrs. Inspektor would provide the instruction for these workshops but would not be the primary teacher. If you're interested in an additional workshop, please e-mail Mrs. Inspektor at minspektor@aphomeschoolers.com.  

 

Note about co-teachers: Ms. Chan, Ms. Pochily, and Ms. Baert will be responsible for providing all feedback on student work for a portion of the class, while I (Mrs. Inspektor) will write all the Morning Messages as well as provide all feedback to the students in my own portion of the class. (I think it's very important for one teacher to comment on all drafts of a student's essay-- we get to know our students well during the course of the workshop!) All students in each workshop will interact with each other; the different instructor names merely indicate who will be commenting on each student's work. Mrs. Inspektor designed the workshop and will provide the daily instruction in the form of Morning Messages, and she will be happy to answer questions from any student in any section.

You will know when you register which instructor will comment on your work; for example, registering for "Application Essay Workshop 4: Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 19 (INSPEKTOR)" will register you to Mrs. Inspektor's section of the the fourth workshop. When one teacher's section fills up, that option will disappear from the online store. I'll also try to note here when sections fill up. 

Every co-teacher has worked with Mrs. Inspektor before either as AP English Language or AP English Literature co-teacher, and I selected them for the quality of their comments and the depth of their interest in seeing students succeed. You can learn a bit more about each one of us in our bios at the bottom of this course description.  

These intensive workshops will involve instructional messages every weekday and essay drafts due at the end of each week (Sunday). Students should expect to spend up to several hours of work on their essays each day.

 

This workshop is aimed at homeschooled students who will be seniors in the fall of 2021. Students who wish to prepare more than one admissions essay are welcome to register for more than one workshop. 

We'll cover the following topics:

  1. The rhetoric of college applications. What is the purpose of these essays? What do admissions officers spend their days reading, and what do they dream of reading? What kind of persona should you convey, and what pitfalls should you avoid? What unique benefits and risks come with being a homeschooled applicant?

  2. How to strengthen writing while cutting words. The Common App essays have a tight 650-word recommended length, which is a good thing: most essays can become more vibrant when words are cut. I'll help you learn to choose specifics over generalities, streamline syntax, polish grammar, and write with power.

  3. How you can shine through your essays. My main goal for this workshop is to help you bring your voice through your essays, while also helping you figure out what aspects of your experiences and personality will be most appealing to admissions officers. I want you to emerge with an essay that sounds like you-- and that makes you sound irresistible!

The workshop will involve a fair amount of interaction with classmates, as students give each other feedback on their essay drafts and ideas. If any students feel uncomfortable sharing their essays on our password-protected class website, they are welcome to opt out of some of this interaction and e-mail their instructor essay drafts instead.  No interactions will occur via live chat, so students can complete their work at any time of day. Your instructor will give you extensive, tough, specific, and encouraging feedback on at least three drafts of your essay. If you choose to revise your essay further after the class is over, you instructor will be happy to comment briefly on further drafts. This is not a graded “class” and will not appear anywhere on an official transcript. I'm sure your goal is the same as mine: to emerge from the workshop with the best essay you can write, as well as the tools to write any other essays the application process demands. I'm happy to accommodate students' busy schedules or absences. 

Our past students have been accepted into Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and many other top colleges (including top Christian colleges), and many of them also received generous merit-based aid offers. Some of them have even received personal letters from admissions officers complimenting them on their essays! What makes me the most proud, though, is the uniqueness of each essay that comes out of my workshop. We won't write your essay for you; We'll try to help YOU write the best essay you have in you. 

How to register:

To register, simply submit payment for the correct workshop via the AP Homeschoolers website store. I'll contact all registered participants two weeks before each workshop starts. As each section fills up, the option to pay for admission to this workshop will disappear from the online store, and I'll try to update this page as well.

You can read the refund policy for summer workshops here: http://www.aphomeschoolers.com/refunds.shtml 

Instructors:

Maya Inspektor has more than a decade of experience teaching AP English Language and AP English Literature via PA Homeschoolers. As a teacher, her passion and strength lies in helping students bring out their own writing voices and work through the process of revision. She has informally helped students with admissions essay writing for years, and she has offered these workshops since the summer of 2016. If you would like to see a sample of a student's admissions essay drafts (shared with permission) or if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to e-mail minspektor@aphomeschoolers.com. (If you don't hear from me within three business days, try e-mailing minspektor@gmail.com and yiyehtov@gmail.com in case your e-mail is snagged in my spam filter.)

Magdalene Baert co-taught AP English Literature and AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor for many years.  She was also a student and teacher’s assistant for these classes during high school and absolutely loved her experiences. Ms. Baert graduated from New York University with a double major in English Literature and French Studies, and she recently completed a Masters in Publishing at NYU in 2021. She loves to work with writers of all ages and is passionate about helping individuals find their writing voice. She has experience as a writing coach, tutor, translator and copyeditor. Over the past several years, Ms. Baert has worked one on one with students from both public and private schools, and her students have performed well on AP exams and in their writing competitions. She is currently a content manager for a creative agency, so she is always working with interesting writing projects in all fields. 

Odelia Chan is co-teacher for Mrs. Inspektor's AP English Literature and Composition class as well as a published novelist and private tutor. She graduated summa cum laude from Waldorf University, majoring in Communications. Odelia is currently a novelist and freelance writer. She loves guiding students toward becoming excellent writers, and she is known for her prompt and perceptive responses to student essays. She is especially talented at helping students bring out their authentic voice and argument in their essays. 

Meredith Pochily co-taught AP English Language with Mrs. Inspektor for two years. She graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University, where she majored in International Affairs, and later earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After college, she worked with an organization supporting state child welfare agencies, where she managed publications and oversaw the editorial services team. In addition, Ms. Pochily has worked extensively as an English tutor with students of all ages. She is the go-to editor among friends and colleagues, regularly reviewing their papers, essays, and cover letters. She currently works as an outpatient therapist and leads therapeutic and expressive writing groups in addition to providing one-on-one therapy.

 

Click here to read class reviews from past participants
Return to the AP Online Classes Home Page