Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

You will observe population, topography, GIS, mapping, and economy in an entirely different light. You should find yourself fascinated with the methods used to keep track of our current world.

AP Class Reviews

Own Your Voice: A Writing Workshop for the Scholastic Arts Awards taught by Maggie Baert

by Students and Parents

Highly Recommended! ([I took the Admissions Essay class] with Ms. Baert) posted by David Brodsky on July 04 2019 at 19:07:54

My college essay is done, and it's the end of June! Need I say more?

For me, writing a college essay was the most dreaded part of the college applications process, and I'm really happy with the essay I now have. In the three week workshop, there are relatively short daily assignments (especially in the first two weeks), and there is an essay draft due at the end of every week, to which you recieve extensive comments.

I think you need 5+ free hours a week for the workshop.

Class Review [from a student who took AP lang with Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert] posted by Angelia on May 15 2017 at 12:57:34

Yes, absolutely! I felt very comfortable on exam day, due to both our work throughout the year and the practice exams we took leading up to it.

One of our assignments was writing an essay for the AFSA High School Essay Contest on the current refugee crisis. I thought this was one of the most valuable projects I have taken part in. It stretched me out of my comfort zone as a writer and as a reader as I sifted through complex articles and overwhelming statistics that I otherwise wouldn't have picked up. I also felt bettered as a citizen and person, because now I understand more of what is happening in the world. Lastly, this helped me on the exam by learning to understand complex materials. 

I've always been interested in reading and writing, but I do think that this course enhanced that. I want to read and write even more now!

Definitely! Our class webboard was always full of interesting topics, and other students would respond right away to questions or discussion topics others posted. Also, we had several book clubs throughout the year when we discussed different books we'd read. All of my book club experiences were great and I learned so much discussing topics with the other students.

A student who is willing to work hard, is open minded and wants to discuss/debate things while listening to the other side, is motivated, and enjoys writing and reading.


Thank you Mrs. Inspektor, Ms. Baert, the TAs, and all of my classmates for such a great year!

I loved this class! [from a student who took AP lang with Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert] posted by Jenna Gaertner on July 31 2015 at 22:51:34

This was my first AP class taken for me. I was slightly nervous going into the preparation and testing. However, I had nothing to worry about. Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert were both incredibly helpful with the preparation, and I did feel like I was fell prepared. 

I probably spent about 11 hours a week on this course. It was definitely worth it. :)

My favorite essay must have been the Place essay we composed. I love creative writing so I was very happy that Mrs. Inspektor has one or two Creative stores in the midst of all the essays. 

I am definitely interested in this subject. I have always loved to read, so I was very happy to learn more about how to write like some of my favorite authors. :)

I loved being able to discuss and communicate with the other students in theis class. We all share a love of reading and writing and could bounce ideas and thoughts off of each other. They gave very helpful feedback and really tried to make you better. :) Thanks guys!

I would definitely reccommend this course to anyone who is thinking of taking an AP class. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Thank you so much to Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert for preparing me for the exam and helping me become a better writer!

Truly exemplary [from a student who took AP lang with Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert] posted by Nathan Leung on May 22 2015 at 15:54:26

This class is a triumph.  By far the best English class I have ever seen and probably the best online class as well, it not only did an extraordinary job of preparing me for the exam but was also truly enjoyable and stimulating.  Was it difficult?  Yes.  Did it take a lot of time?  Absolutely.  But nuanced and complex thought requires time and this class forces you to invest that time week in and week out.  It teaches you how to write yes, but it does so by teaching you how to think and how to condense your thoughts into words. It fosters a culture of considered discussion and through this class I've found a couple of brilliant friends. Yes, quite a bit of time is spent explicity on exam preparation, but other assignments like the Literary Narrative and Science Challenge allow every student to explore his or her writing in many different forms.  They free us from the tyranny of the simple five-paragraph essay and give us license to improvise and make something entirely our own.   I cannot recommend this class enough, and although it is a long journey, each step is completely worth it.

Excellent Course [from a student who took AP lang with Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert] posted by Margaret Sarnoff on May 18 2015 at 24:05:35

I really enjoyed this course. I definately write more maturely now than I did before taking AP English Langyage and Composition. My  teachers (Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert) were really encouraging while still helping me grow as a writer and critique my own work. The other students and the teachers asistants were all helpful and mature. The sources that we used may be troubling for some (profanity was used occassionally in one of the books we analysed), but overall there was nothing truly offensive.

I especially loved how the point of this course was not to be persuaded or dissuaded of beliefs or costumes, but to write effectively. The topics covered (from pop culture to politics) were just media to practice writing with skill, and you were welcome to disagree with a source as long as could backup your objection.

Those who would really benefit from this corse would be anyone who is able to work hard and become a better writer, and especially those who love writing. Writing is esentual to almost every proffesion, and taking AP English and Composition helps you be prepared for anything. The course load wasn't overpowering--just expect to spend 1--1 1/2--2 hours a day, and 1/2--2 hours on the weekends (if procrastinate like me). There will be days when you desperatly don't want to do anything like an asigments, there will be others where you wish you had more to do (yes, it happened to me).

As much as I've learned about writing through this class, I can't seem to write a review to do it justice. [from a student who took AP lang with Mrs. Inspektor and Ms. Baert] posted by Katherine Ichinose on May 21 2015 at 20:35:31

As gushing and as enthusiastic as it may be, there is no way this review can fully capture how amazing this class is. I took this class in my 9th grade year, and I cannot express how much I enjoyed it. Not only was it the most fun class I’ve ever taken, but it was also beyond thorough in every aspect of learning. This class went beyond just preparing me for the exam and equipped me with an enhanced understanding of language, rhetoric, and I even learned about organ regeneration and the organic food industry. ;)  The discussion questions forced me to think critically and deeply analyze elements of writing I might otherwise skim right over. Not only that, but the discussion questions were often thought-provoking and engaging. One of the amazing things about this class (only ONE of them, mind you) was the exposure to other students’ thoughts and writing. I was amazed by the talent of my classmates and was honored to be part of the class. Almost every day we would read a “Morning Message” from Mrs. Inspektor, which including the teaching and instructions for that day. These Morning Messages could be quite lengthy, but I didn’t mind the length, because Mrs. Inspektor was so engaging in her writing. It was easy to enjoy the learning process with Mrs. Inskektor and she is the best teacher I could ask for.

Oh, absolutely! I doubt any course could have completely quelled the pre-exam jitters I felt, but once the exam actually started, I was hardly nervous at all! On this side of the exam, I feel confident and expect at least a 4. The actual exam was easy compared to the much more challenging Cliff’s AP practice exams we took throughout the year. The essays went smoothly, and I’m confident with my performance. At the beginning of the year, I was only getting 5s (out of a possible 9) on my timed exam essays, but at the end of the year, I scored all 9s on my last practice exam. The teacher comments I received on all my essays from Ms. Baert (my section teacher) were thorough, thoughtful, and helpful. Going into the exam knowing I could succeed in this challenging class gave me the confidence I needed to take the exam.

I put in about one to two hours a day, sometimes more when we had a major essay that we were working on, but that was partly (okay, maybe more than just “partly”) because I just ENJOYED it so much. Especially when we had a major essay due, I would invest so much time in it that sometimes my mom would chide me for neglecting my other studies. As rigorous as this course is though, there is no superfluous work. It’s all very significant and necessary to the course, and all of it is worthwhile.

Well I honestly think that all the assignments were valuable! The timed essays that we wrote regularly were immensely helpful for the exam, and also in learning how to form a complex argument. Our biggest essay, the DuPont challenge essay, was extremely challenging for me because I am not at all a science-minded person, but going through it with many other students and following Mrs. Inspektor’s guidance made it much easier and more enjoyable. I have to say my FAVORITE assignment was the Place Essay, where we picked a place and described it. I was up late on the night this assignment was due, exchanging essay revisions with a fellow classmate and frantically searching down the last fugitive tense changes.

I’ve always been an English-lover, but this class did enhance my interest in areas of English I’d previously found unenjoyable, particularly scientific non-fiction. We read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and participated in two non-fiction book clubs. While I still enjoy fiction more than non-fiction, my appreciation for non-fiction grew through taking this course and looking at pieces of literature that I would otherwise never have read.

Interesting is hardly a strong enough word to describe them. I’ve had unicorn wars and flown on squirrel gliders and met some amazing friends through this class. We exchanged essays, discussed books, encouraged each other, and had some very erm… lively… discussions on the taste of water. :P Aside from us goofing off together, I was SO impressed by all of the students in this class. They were talented, hard-working, friendly, and I was so thrilled to be part of this class. All of the students were open and welcoming. (I transferred into this class after my original class was cancelled, and everyone made me feel right at home in this class.) Not to mention they all had some really great feedback to give me on my essays. I really enjoyed reading their writing and getting to see their personalities and get to know them.

Honestly I think that any student who is willing to work to improve could succeed in this class, even if they don’t like English or don’t have strong writing skills. Where this class shines (which is basically everywhere, granted) is that the teachers and TAs are so willing to work with individuals. Any student can move from a mediocre writer to a spectacular one through this class if they are open to letting the teachers help them. If you are willing to plunge into this class, and are ready to enjoy English, make friends, grow as a writer, thinker, and person (and you might get some college credit as a bonus), you will get so much out of it, you’ll never regret it! It was worth every late night and tough assignment.

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