Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I take a Caedmon Tutorial?

The study of literature is so much more than simply reading a poem or a book. It teaches you something about yourself, about the world around you, and about those who have come before you. Literature is a kind of time capsule in which is stored “the truth of our human tradition” (G.K. Chesterton). True, you can pick up a work of literature right now, where you are, and begin to read it, think about it, and enjoy it. But there is nothing so satisfying than meeting with others in a friendly, open community environment to discuss ideas and to delve into the words and images of good authors.  Caedmon Tutorials seeks to offer this kind of community atmosphere in a virtual space. It is my hope that we will proceed, guided by the Light of Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, with the humility to sit at His Feet and learn from His Wisdom.

2. Who should take a Caedmon Tutorial?

Caedmon Tutorials are reading and writing intensive. To take a tutorial, you must have the self-motivation to stay on top of the readings and to be an active participant in class discussions and online forums. Because of the virtual nature of the program, it will be imperative that everyone does his/her part towards making the classes run smoothly and successfully. The level of reading, writing, and discussion will most likely suit a keen high-school age student; however, college-age or mature students/adults are welcome to join us. Students, regardless of age, will be respectful, cooperative, encouraging, and involved.

3. What qualifies you to teach a Caedmon Tutorial?

First, my love of good books! But, if you’re signing up for a Caedmon Tutorial, you probably love reading too. I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in English Literature. I’m also a certified teacher in the province of Ontario. In addition, I have had the privilege of teaching about ten different English Literature courses at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy---everything from Classical Literature to Canadian Literature. Needless to say, literature is a passion of mine, and I’m excited to share it with you!

4. How does an online tutorial work?

Once you’ve registered for the course, you will receive log-in information. This will allow you to access the Student Centre section of the website. Here, you will find links to resources for your tutorial. This is also where you will go to attend weekly online classes. A link to a Webex account, the meeting platform for these tutorials, will be provided here, along with instructions on how to use Webex.  It’s quite simple: just follow the appropriate link and choose “Join a Meeting.” This will bring you right into the virtual classroom. Once class begins, you will be able to listen to and interact with your tutor and classmates using chat options, as well as your personal microphone.  The webex conferencing software also allows me to share notes, white board and PowerPoint presentations, etc., with you, in real time.

5. What do I need to do to participate in a class?

The first thing is to make sure you have a modern, up-to-date computer (PCs or Macs work equally well) and a trusty high-speed or satellite connection. You will also need speakers and a microphone. Apart from the hardware, you will also need to ensure that you acquire all the specified texts for the course and keep up with your readings and assignments. The tutorials require students to be strong readers and writers in English. The Medieval Literature course, in particular, challenges even the strongest readers because the language of some of the texts is presented in Old or Middle English, which is often vastly different from our modern English language.

7. Are all tutorials conducted online?

Yes, all classes will be conducted online. For those students living in the Ottawa area, I would be very open to hosting an end-of-year get-together at a mutually convenient location!

8. What about parent involvement?

Caedmon Tutorials is meant to be an aide to homeschooling parents, so parent involvement is not only acceptable, but encouraged. I hope that parents will take a keen interest in what their children are learning and will feel free to offer assistance to them as they progress through the tutorial. I will keep both students and parents up-to-date about tutorial-related information via email and would welcome parents’ comments/questions. At the end of the year, interested parents will have the opportunity to fill out an evaluation form on the tutorial. I will use their comments and suggestions to improve the content and delivery of the course in the future. Any additional information about your child (learning disabilities, giftedness, etc.) which will help me better serve their needs would be appreciated. This may be communicated via the registration form or by separate email.

9. I love to read, but my writing is poor. Can I join a tutorial?

Caedmon Tutorials are not writing courses. Instead, writing---as well as class discussions and presentations---will be the vehicle used by which you will convey your thoughts and ideas and demonstrate your comprehension of course material. In this sense, your ability to communicate by writing is important. However, your actual writing will not be a large part of the assessment. If you love to read, we’d love you to join us! I hope that, as you engage with the class and the texts, you will feel inspired to work on your writing skills. There are lots of wonderful writing resources available out there, and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction, if necessary.

10. Do I have to buy the text editions mentioned in the syllabus? What about translations?

The syllabus provides links to editions of course texts which I will be using. Please do your best to acquire the recommended editions so that we can all be on the same page, literally! generally has amazing deals and their service is efficient. Alternately, check out local area second hand bookstores to look for our tutorial texts, making good note of the author, editor, translation, publishing house, date of publication, and ISBN number. The same advice applies to translations. If, however, you wish to share with us excerpts from another translation (this applies to Medieval Literature students only), this exercise could be potentially fruitful. It would allow us to explore the variety of ways in which modern translators interpret the Old and Middle English languages. That being said, even if you have an alternate translation to share with us, I would still expect you to also have the tutorial translation.

11. What are forums and how will they be used?

A forum is an online discussion site. All students will be expected to participate in ongoing classroom discussions, post questions, and make comments on the week’s readings in their class’s personalized forum. The forum is only accessible to students through the Student Centre via the Caedmon Tutorial website.

12. What if I need to miss a class?

Attendance is mandatory; however, if you must miss a class for a legitimate reason, please contact your tutor in advance of or as soon as possible after the class. All online tutorial sessions will be recorded and you will be expected to catch up on any missed work before the next session.

13. How many assignments should I expect to do in a Caedmon Tutorial?

Apart from a weekly reading schedule, students can expect to respond to questions in weekly forums outside of class time. There will also be announced quizzes/tests; periodic small writing responses; six essays ranging from 750 to 1500 words in length; and two presentations (one at the end of each semester). Please see the tutorial syllabi for more information.

14. How long is a Caedmon Tutorial?

A full year Caedmon tutorial is a 34-week commitment. Classes are divided into four terms: Michaelmas (Sep. 7-Dec. 16); Epiphany (Jan. 11-March 3); Lent (March 8-Apr. 14); and Easter (Apr. 26-May 31). There are three breaks during the year: Christmas Holidays (3 weeks); March Break (1 week); and Easter Break (1 week). Please see the tutorial syllabi for more information.

15. How much does a Caedmon Tutorial cost?

Please see the Fees & Registration page. Note: The fees do not include required texts. When considering a tutorial, you should factor in a book allowance of about $100-$150. I have tried to include texts the purchase of which I believe would be an investment for you and your family. I have also done my best to locate the least expensive editions currently on the market. Please follow the links in the course pages. You may also wish to consider borrowing texts from your local library, friends, etc.

16. I want to take a tutorial but can’t afford to pay the tuition fee in full upfront. What can I do?

Caedmon Tutorials offers three payment options. Please see the Fees & Registration page.

17. Do you offer scholarships and/or busaries?

Unfortunately, Caedmon Tutorials does not offer scholarships or bursaries at this time.

18. I would like to register more than one of my children for a Caedmon Tutorial. Do you offer any discounts for additional children in a family?

Certainly! If you have more than one child signed up for a Caedmon Tutorial, the second and subsequent children may register for $350 (that's a discount of $100). When you complete their registration form, be sure to choose the appropriate payment amount and option.

19. When are Caedmon Tutorials held?

During the 2010-2011 Academic year, the Medieval Literature tutorial will be held on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

20. Do you offer tutorials for younger students?

I am interested in developing a tutorial for students at the grade 6 to 8 levels. However, whether or not this tutorial is offered depends on the needs of homeschooling families. If a literary tutorial is something you think your younger child might benefit from, please contact me to state your interest. I am here to serve the homeschooling community and to work alongside parents in your awesome task of educating your children, so your input is very valuable to me.

21. How much reading should I expect to do for this tutorial?

The nature of a tutorial is to encourage students to accept responsibility for their own learning. The role of the tutor is to guide you in that pursuit. Therefore, your level of commitment to the tutorial will decide how much reading you will (or will not) do for each session. Naturally, each session will have proscribed readings. It is expected that you will read these and be prepared to discuss them in class. Typically, you should be setting aside roughly two to three hours a week to complete your readings and assignments for your tutorial.

 22. How does a tutorial differ from a regular class?

A tutorial is composed of a small number of students guided by a tutor. The aim of the tutor is to help students delve more deeply into a particular subject or text. The aim of the student is to actively engage in this process of going deeper by completing assignments, asking questions, and being observant. Unlike a regular classroom in which the focus and onus for learning is largely on the teacher, a tutorial seeks to put the responsibility for learning into the hands of the student. It is an invaluable way to share knowledge and it helps build the necessary skills a person needs to pursue a lifetime of individual learning. Dedication, perseverence, hard work, application, empathy, open-mindedness: these are just some of the essential skills you will learn through a tutorial experience.

 23. Is there a minimum and maximum number of students you will accept in a tutorial?

To be effective, a tutorial functions best with a small number of students. The typical tutorial will be between three and twelve students.

 24. Do I have to be a Christian to take a Caedmon Tutorial?

No. Caedmon Tutorials are open to everybody. Athough I am a practicing Catholic, I respect my students' various faith backgrounds, and will do my best to ensure that every member of the tutorial feels welcomed and free to share his/her ideas and thoughts with the class. Our common goal will be to seek Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in our explorations of great literature. However, that being said, Caedmon Tutorials present a decidely Christian worldview and our discussions and explorations will be made in the light of Christian tradition and morality, both of which have profoundly shaped English literature and, indeed, Western culture.

25. Can I audit a Caedmon Tutorial?

Although not recommended, yes, there is an option to audit a tutorial. Please see the "Fees and Registration" page for more information.

26. Why does a half-year Children's Literature course cost the same as a full-year tutorial?

The Children's Literature course is unique. In addition to a weekly guided class discussion and weekly feedback on homework assignments (as with the full-year course), you also get the opportunity to have your manuscripts critiqued by your tutor. I will spend as long as necessary to give you helpful feedback which will help you meet your writing goals. I will also schedule periodic virtual office hours with each student to discuss their progress and provide one-on-one help. So, unlike a regular full-year tutorial which requires you to do much of the work on your own, the literature/writing tutorial requires a closer collaboration between you and me. For this reason, the courses cost the same amount.