A Couch Readers
Teacher. Librarian. Lesson Creator.
Providing custom, online English Language Arts instruction to Homeschool students in 6th-12th Grade.
Homeschool English Curriculum
Online Virtual Instruction for Middle and High School
Novel Based Instructional Approach
Every unit starts with a novel, sometimes two depending on the student, and the lessons grow from that. Studies have shown that children who read novels are more empathetic, score higher on standardized tests, and form a life-long love of reading. As I get to know your student, the novels chosen will be based on their unique interests, while still covering the standards, providing challenging lessons, and setting high expectations.
For example, if your student is interested in Superheroes, we'll read Renegades by Marissa Meyer and study the political systems of anarchy vs. socialism. We'll study the characteristics of a superhero (courage, strong moral compass, a traumatic past, celebrity status or alter-ego), then the students will write a short story on the origin of a superhero they've created. We'll then wrap up the unit by studying the effect Captain Marvel had in the 1970's on gender equality and why the directors chose to use No Doubt's "Just a Girl" for the final fight scene in the 2017 movie.
Individualized Custom Pacing
Some students work well with a list of assignments each week and a due date on Friday. Some students need daily due dates and recorded lectures. And some students need daily interactive video conferences. I can create any of these options and adapt them as the students grow.
Individualized Academic Years
Some students need 6-weeks to get through a unit and some need 8-weeks. I can adjust the pace of instruction to take as long or as short as you need. The year can be a traditional nine months or go year round starting in February.
Multiple Student Families & Multiple Family Groups
For families with multiple students in different grades, each student gets their own curriculum, their own attention, and their own work and deadlines. I can work with students from different grades in creating group projects that meet requirements for each student's academic needs. Multiple families can work together to create grade level pods.
Minimal Parent Requirements
I've taught students of all ages, from elementary school through high school, and have taught both in person and remotely for years. Parents are always invited to interact and engage in the courses I design for their children, but this is not a requirement. I particularly enjoy when parents give me feedback on whether or not their child is having fun with their study, because a primary goal is to make education enjoyable as well as challenging. Many homeschool parents have demanding schedules, so the peace of mind I offer in engaging their children with direct or indirect involvement is purposeful.
There is no need for expensive software or monthly subscriptions. Costs are kept low through the use of well-vetted, publicly available platforms that are easy to use for both students and parents. All of the students' work products are kept remotely, so there is no fear of accidental deletion or the loss of a good college writing sample with the software we use.
Students will work with PowerSchool Haiku Learning. This program allows students to submit work online, tracks grades, and creates transcripts to submit to state officials. The program helps students stay organized with a calendar, lists of assignments, discussion boards, and messaging the teacher.
Students will use a Gmail account and have access to Google Drive apps for collaborative activities. This allows for feedback when revising and editing essays, short stories, or presentations. Google Hangouts allows for video conferencing between students and myself to go more in depth on a lesson.
Both of these platforms are similar to what students will be utilizing in colleges and universities. Your students will becoming familiar and grow accustomed to required tools before moving onto higher education.
I can't thank you enough for your amazingness and eruditiousness and awesomocity! I wish my 9th grade English class had been this interesting and well thought through!
Mom of a 9th Grader
I see a change in his desire to form individual opinions (as opposed to just aping ours), a greater tendency toward reading independently of anything I give him, and just the hint of a grown up's personality coming to life (aided by the sporadic crack in his voice). I think it will be a VERY interesting year!
Dad of an 8th Grader
My name is Amber Couch. I have been working in education for almost two decades as a homeschool English teacher, a middle and high school librarian, and an elementary teacher. I am a graduate of Nevada State College with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education and a Masters of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The best part of my job is helping students find their next favorite book. It brings me great joy to talk about books with kids, teachers, or parents. I can talk magic schools, dragons, space odysseys, love triangles, and tragic teenage angst all day. All my English lessons start with a novel, and are supported with articles, websites, virtual field trips, and cross-curricular units that delve into history, science, anthropology, and even astronomy.
I specialize in custom-tailoring English curriculum to each student's personal and academic needs, and have worked both in traditional school settings as well as homeschool/remote education settings with students from diverse backgrounds and learning styles. I believe that each student is unique and that the key to success in college and in life starts with a solid grounding in reading, writing, and communication, which cannot be truly acquired by simple, static instruction.
Get in Touch
Contact Amber Couch to discuss how you would like to customize your homeschool English instruction.