The world of work is undergoing rapid changes and has left many people — across industries and at varying levels of experience — wondering what comes next. 

Can we gain some clues about the future of work by looking at the past? Why do we work in the first place? 

Monique Polak shines some light on this history and its implications in Why Humans Work: How Jobs Shape Our Lives and Our World.

Along the way, we'll practice foundational composition skills by writing four multi-draft essays in a variety of forms and topics. 

Gain Key Academic Writing Foundations

Students will learn foundational academic writing skills including brainstorming, organization, revision, formatting, and proofreading. 

Guided Class Flexibility 

This is a guided class, which means there are no live meetings, but there is student-teacher interaction and weekly due dates for assignments. This format works well for students who don’t enjoy live, on-camera sessions or who have unpredictable weekly schedules. 

Students can interact with the instructor and each other via our class discussion board.

Practice Writing as a Process

Most importantly, students will compose four multi-draft papers with individual video feedback on rough drafts and the opportunity to revise a final draft.

Class Details

Age Range: 13-18

Class Size: 3-10 Learners


Class is from January 29-April 28, 2024 with no live meetings


To participate successfully in this class, learners will need the following:

  • A copy of Why Humans Work by Monique Polak (ISBN: 978-1459-827-950) (used copies are fine; borrowed/library copies are acceptable but it’s preferable for learners to have their own copy so they can take notes in it)
  • PDF Reader
  • Learners will submit work through Google Drive (a Google (Gmail) account can be acquired for free)

Select a pricing plan and sign up

Meet Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason

Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason is the founder of Dayla Learning. She has a PhD in rhetoric and composition, a passion for helping students find their writing voice, and two homeschooling children of her own.

Michelle has taught in a wide variety of settings including six years as a full-time college professor. She has been teaching virtual and in-person homeschool writing and humanities classes for more than five years.

Michelle believes in meeting students where they are and — as any of her previous students will tell you — believes deeply that there is no such thing as a bad rough draft!

Is this the right fit for your learner?

Learners will be most successful in this class if they have the following skills/experiences: 

  • Previous writing experience (the ability to write 2-3 paragraphs on a single topic)
  • The ability to read nonfiction texts at Lexile Level 1000L-1100L with strategies for decoding unfamiliar words and recognizing key details

Skills Gained

This class is a Level 1 High School Writing class, which means it is specifically designed to provide foundational writing skills for high school students. 

For each major assignment, students choose which writing prompts they’d like to complete. This means that students of varying ability levels and familiarity with academic writing conventions can find an assignment appropriate for their level.

Students will learn about the following:

  • Developing reading comprehension and note-taking strategies
  • Finding their own writing process
  • Working on a complete draft in stages that focus on revision
  • Reflecting on what works to build strong writing habits
  • Development of a personal writing process
  • Familiarity with strategies for the higher order concerns of writing (main idea, organization, development, and comprehension)
  • Familiarity with strategies for the lower order concerns of writing (formatting, style, and mechanics)
  • Synthesizing ideas from multiple sources and mediums

Finding the Right Challenge

This class is best for students who want an interesting and engaging topic but may not be comfortable with long reading assignments each week. The text for this class is easier to comprehend than my more advanced High School Writing classes in the same series. 

Advanced readers and those with a lot of previous writing experience may find the pace of this class too slow and benefit from a High School Writing 2 or High School Writing 3 class instead.

Common Core Standards Alignment

For those who are using Common Core standards, this course meets the following: 

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1, 9-10.2, 9-10.3, 9-10.4
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.1 A-E, 9-10.2 A-F, 9-10.3 A-E, 9-10.4, 9-10.5, 9-10.9 B, 9-10.10
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.1, 9-10.2, 9-10.3, 9-10.4, 9-10.5, 9-10.6
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1, 11-12.2, 11-12.3, 11-12.4
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1 A-E, 11-12.2 A-F, 11-12.3 A-E, 11-12.4, 11-12.5,
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.1, 11-12.2, 11-12.3, 11-12.4, 11-12.5, 11-12.6

Upon successful completion of class, instructor provides detailed exit letter suitable for inclusion in portfolio. Families may request numerical grade at beginning of class for a detailed course grade summary, but it is optional. 

Individual Support

All students will receive individualized video feedback on all rough drafts that specifically addresses their rough draft submissions.

My teaching philosophy very much focuses on starting with students’ strengths to build confidence and using them to work on improvements over time.

Feedback is tailored to each student’s individual needs and goals. I also encourage a lot of self-reflection and provide opportunities for students to directly communicate their challenges so that facing them with strategies becomes a normal part of the writing process.

Select a pricing plan and sign up