Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes


I came into this course with very little interest in chemistry, and I exited it making geeky chemistry jokes to my family and teaching my little brother about intermolecular forces during the Christmas Eve service in church (no joke!). 

Admissions Essay Workshop

On-Line for Summer 2021

Teacher: Maya Inspektor

Email: minspektor@aphomeschoolers.com

Note: As of February 2, 2021, it should now be possible to register for any open sections of the workshop in the AP Homeschoolers online store. 

 

This online workshop is designed to help students produce a top essay in response to a 2021-22 Common 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.

These are the offered dates in 2020:

 

Workshop #1: Monday, May 24 - Friday, June 11 

Note: This workshop may overlap with the online administration of AP exams in 2021. If you would not like to have the workshop potentially overlap with your AP exams, I suggest you choose a later date.
Drafts due: 

Instructors:

 
 
 

Workshop #2: Monday, June 14 - Friday, July 2

Drafts due: 
  • Sunday, June 20
  • Sunday, June 27
  • Sunday, July 4 

Instructors:

  • Maya Inspektor (up to 20 students) This section is now full
  • Odelia Chan (up to 10 students)
  • Shannon Deegan (up to 15 students)

 

Workshop #3: Monday, July 5 - Friday, July 23

Drafts due: 
  • Sunday, July 11
  • Sunday, July 18
  • Sunday, July 25

Instructors:

  • Maya Inspektor (up to 10 students) This section is now full
  • Odelia Chan (up to 15 students)
  • Rachel Garner (up to 15 students)

 

Workshop #4: Monday, July 26 - Friday, August 13

Drafts due: 
  • Sunday, August 1
  • Sunday, August 8
  • Sunday, August 15

Instructors:

  • Maya Inspektor (up to 10 students) This section is now full
  • Tynan Stewart (up to 10 students)
  • Rachel Garner (up to 10 students)
  • Shannon Deegan (up to 10 students)

Workshop #5: Monday, August 16 - Friday, September 3

Note: Mrs. Inspektor will still be providing instruction in this workshop, but she will not be directly responding to any student essays. 
 
Drafts due: 
  • Sunday, August 22
  • Sunday, August 29
  • Sunday, September 5

Instructors:

  • Odelia Chan (up to 15 students)
  • Tynan Stewart (up to 10 students)
  • Rachel Garner (up to 10 students)

 

Workshop #6: Monday, September 6 - Friday, September 24

Note: Mrs. Inspektor will still be providing instruction in this workshop, but she will not be directly responding to any student essays. 
 
Drafts due: 
  • Sunday, September 12
  • Sunday, September 19
  • Sunday, September 26

Instructor:

  • Odelia Chan (up to 15 students)

 

Note about co-teachers: Ms. Chan, Mrs. Deegan, Ms. Garner, and Mr. Stewart 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, July 26 - Friday, August 14 (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 except for Mrs. Deegan has worked with me (Mrs. Inspektor) before either as teaching assistant or co-teacher, and I selected them for the quality of their comments and the depth of their interest in seeing students succeed. Mrs. Deegan is herself an experienced AP English teacher and admissions essay counselor, and she will be joining AP homeschoolers as AP English Language teacher in the 2021-22 school year! 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.

Workshop fee: $150

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 limit, 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.)

Odelia Chan is a former outstanding teaching assistant for AP English Language and Composition, after taking the class with Mrs. Inspektor in high school. She graduated summa cum laude from Waldorf University, majoring in Communications. Odelia is currently a novelist and freelance writer. She has experience working as an English teacher and all-subjects tutor, and loves guiding students toward becoming excellent writers.

Shannon Deegan will be joining AP Homeschoolers as a teacher of AP Literature this fall.  She has taught AP Literature and many other English classes in a public high school - this is her ninth year - and a side project of hers has always been consulting seniors on their college essays.  While she was an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, Shannon worked at their Admissions Office as a Dean Assistant, and the experience left her passionate about the college application process and especially the craft of college essays.  She earned her Masters in Teaching (Secondary English) at U.Va as well.  The process of drafting and polishing an essay for college admissions can be a rewarding, fulfilling experience, and Shannon is eager to help students find their voices in the genre.  

Rachel Garner is a former student of both AP English courses taught by Mrs. Inspektor and will be co-teaching AP English Language for the second time in the 2021-22 school year. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greenboro, where she majored in History, focusing on medieval England. She is currently finishing a MA in Cultural Heritage Management at the University of York, with a dissertation on use of narrative in heritage interpretation. A creative writer since she could read, she has also worked a decade for the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum in student mentoring, forum moderating, and event planning. She loves working with homeschooled teens and is excited to return to co-teaching this year. After more than a year in the city of York, England feels like home, but she currently lives in North Carolina with her family.

Tynan Stewart has co-taught AP English Literature with Mrs. Inspektor for the past four years. Last year, he also co-taught AP English Language, and this year he will be launching his own pre-AP English class. As TA and now as a co-teacher, Mr. Stewart stands out for his passion for writing and devotion to helping students succeed, and I still found myself quoting from his work for years after he exited my class! He is now a graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in English Literature and Cognitive Science, all while also competing as a collegiate swimmer, and he recently finished a master's program in journalism. While in still in college, Mr. Stewart helped teammates navigate their Freshman English courses, often working closely with them on essay drafts. He has also worked with a nonprofit magazine, the Boston Review, helping to edit essays on poetry, literature and culture before their publication. Finally, he already owns more books than he can can possibly read in the near-future, but continues (for some reason) to frequent bookstores.

 

 

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