Kelly Elmore

Kelly has been life-learning alongside her daughter, Livy, for 14 years. Aside from that most important experience, she has a BA in English literature and Classics from The University of the South at Sewanee and an MA (and half a PhD) in rhetoric and composition from Georgia State University. She has taught and tutored at every level from toddlers to graduate students, across many subjects (literature, writing, grammar, history, gymnastics, Latin, research, effective communication, math, and parenting), and in a variety of settings from a university writing center to a one-room schoolhouse. She is trained to teach mindfulness to children of all ages through the Mindful Schools organization and includes mindfulness practices in all her classes. She believes that in order for people to learn, they must first feel loved and accepted; every exciting thinking, writing, and learning skill follows from that foundation. Check out her website at and her teaching Facebook page at

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High School Writing: Stop! Grammar Time!

Target Ages: High School

Min/Max Students: 5/15

Class Times: (choose one)

Option 1: Tuesday 9:30 – 10:25

Option 2:  Thursday 3:00 – 3:55                 

Class Dates: Sept. 3 – May 14 (31 weeks)

Cost: $190 per semester

Description: This year, we’ll do a comprehensive look at English grammar, focusing on understanding how all the parts fit together, and then how to use that information to improve not only the correctness of their writing, but their style and sentence-complexity as well. We will learn diagramming (not at all horrible, I promise!); in fact, because diagramming is so visual, I think it often works especially well for those visual, spatial, mathematical, logical thinkers among us. And for everyone, there is just no better way to understand the way language works. After we get the basics down, we’ll learn to edit our own and our peers’ writing for clarity, style, and punctuation/usage. Looking at grammar in this way will make you a better writer, reader, and even thinker; yes, grammar at this level is interpretive and analytical.
When the students advance to their college-prep, research and essay class, they will really benefit from this foundation. And don’t worry, we will begin at the beginning. You don’t even need to know what a noun is on day 1. Guys, I know people are weird about grammar, but I swear on all that is holy, including NOUN CLAUSES, that I will make this fun for you. You’ll actually marvel at how much fun it is all on its own.
One hour a week of class time (that’s the amount for a typical half credit)
Credits: One credit of literature and composition when paired with either high school literature course

Materials: workbook

Homework: There will be several hours of homework a week. The homework is kind of like math homework, in that you will actually be practicing the skills and “working problems.” Except the problems are all breaking apart your own language to better understand English and your own mind. IT’S AWESOME.

High School Literature: Place and Culture

Target Ages: mature 12-15

Min/Max Students: 5/15

Class Times: (choose one)

Option 1:  Tuesday 3:00 – 3:55

Option 2:  Thursday 2:00 – 2:55

Class Dates:  Sept. 3 – May 14 (31 weeks)

Cost: $190 per semester

Description: We’ll read novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction works that touch on themes of place and culture, coordinating loosely with Darby Kennedy’s Human Geography course. Our approach will be to read (out of class and sometimes together in class) and discuss the works together. The class will focus on the methods of reading literature: students will learn by watching the teacher think about the works, participating in that thinking, and making explicit for themselves how thinking about literature works. The class will prepare students for reading, analyzing, and drawing conclusions in high school and college literature classes. And it will be fun! Meets 1 hour a week.
Credits: One credit of literature and composition when paired with grammar course

texts that aren't available online

Materials: texts not available online

Homework: Homework will be almost all reading, with an occasional project, research, or writing assignment. Expect about an hour a week.

Crushin' It: Tools for homework, housework, volunteer work, work work, and hobbies

Target Ages:  12ish - adult

Min/Max Students: 5/15

Class Times: Friday 11:00 – 11:55 

Class Dates:  Sept. 6 – Dec. 13 (14 weeks)

Cost: $25 (covers the materials and the room rent)

Description: I have attended a productivity workshop for the last two years (a full-priced, expensive, totally worth it kind of workshop), and I was so impressed by the materials. However, the audience they target is more people who are already a little skilled at or motivated to work on their productivity, organization, executive function.
I negotiated with these awesome productivity folks to let my class access their materials for $10 initially, and then a “pay what it was worth” structure at the end. 
So, I will be teaching a weekly workshop with these materials at cost: $10 for the website access and $5.25 an hour for the room rent. I’ll donate my time and training. I see this as something people NEED to live the life they want, and I want to be able to help our community in this way.
We will use the materials to understand the 4 phases of goal achievement: goal setting, planning, execution, and reflection. We will try out their multitude of tools on our own projects: school, work, home, anything. We'll discuss our ups and downs in using the tools, and help each other with accountability and problem-solving.
I honestly believe these materials are the gold standard in executive functioning skills, and this is a super low-cost way for anyone to get an introduction.

Materials: provided

Homework: optional: try out tools and report back

Middle School and Junior High Literature

Target Ages:  10-14

Min/Max Students: 5/12

Class Times: Friday 10:00 – 10:55 

Class Dates:  Sept. 6 – Dec. 13 (14 weeks)

Cost: $180 per semester

Description: We’ll read novels, short stories, poems, and plays. Our approach will be to read (out of class and sometimes together in class) and discuss the works together, learning about how to think about literature and also learning geography, history, and culture surrounding the works we read.
Possible works (to give you an idea of what kinds of books we might read): The Diary of Anne Frank; The Miracle Worker; To Kill a Mockingbird; Bud, Not Buddy; Anne of Green Gables; Over Sea Under Stone; Ender's Game; "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County; 
As always (in any of my classes at any level), audio, ebooks, and being read to are equally good ways to read the book.  

Materials: texts not available online

Homework: Almost all reading homework, about an hour a week. Occasional research or projects.

Reading Non-Fiction: History, Science, Geography, and Math Through Books

Target Ages:  Middle School

Min/Max Students: 5/15

Class Times: Thursday 10:30 – 11:25 

Class Dates:  Sept. 5 – Dec. 12 (14 weeks)

Cost:  $190 per semester, includes all supplies and materials

Description: In this class, we would start each unit with a high-quality read aloud, exploring some non-fiction topic by discussing and formulating questions as we read the book together. If we have interest, good questions, and potential experimentation about a topic, we will spend a week or two running experiments, doing research, reading more books, and exploring our curiosities. 
Students will learn about the topic, but as important and maybe more important, they will develop critical reading skills, learn curiosity and questioning, conduct research, and practice designing experiments.
The schedule will follow student interest, and how long we spend on any topic will be determined by how many questions and how much curiosity we have about it.

Homework: very rarely homework

Mystery Science

Target Ages:  Elementary    

Min/Max Students: 5/12

Class Times: (choose one)

Option 1:  Tuesday 11:30 – 12:25

Option 2:  Thursday 9:30 – 10:25

Class Dates: Sept. 3 – Dec. 10 (14 weeks)

Cost:  $190 per semester

Description: This elementary science course will use the Mystery Science curriculum to explore different science topics throughout the year. Mystery Science uses videos and experiments presented as mysteries, and based on our unit last year, kids LOVE it and learn so much.
I'll supplement the mysteries with high-quality science picture books, as well as other activities.

Homework: none, only optional things to share with parents

Little Literature

Target Ages:  8-10

Min/Max Students: 5/12

Class Times: Tuesday 1:00 – 1:55 

Class Dates:  Sept. 3 – Dec. 10 (14 weeks)

Cost:  $180 per semester

Description: This class will be a real literature class for elementary students, meaning it is not a reading class, but a thinking class. We'll read high quality children's literature (chapter books), and we'll begin discussing it in a literature way: characters, setting, plot, themes, values, and its effects on us. We'll discuss these things in a fun and accessible way so that these young readers get invested in reading and thinking! I may throw in occasional poetry, stories, or picture books.

Independent reading is NOT required. I'll read out loud a lot, and children can use audio books or read-alouds at home. Being read to by an adult is a special way to engage with books, better in many ways that solitary reading. I encourage it!
There will be some at home reading (not every week, but many weeks), but no other homework.
I don't believe that 8-10 year olds should be able to sit still and listen like little statues. Human children need to move! The class will accommodate movement and normal childhood behaviors. Just because we read books doesn't mean we'll be quiet and still.
Possible book choices to give you an idea of what we'll read: Roald Dahl books, The Cricket in Times Square, The Secret Garden, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Charlotte's Web, the poetry of Lewis Carroll, etc.

Materials: books for the class, library is fine!

Homework: reading at home most weeks, best completed with family instead of alone

Elementary History: The Ancient World

Target Ages: 7-11

Min/Max Students: 5/12

Class Times: Tuesday 10:30 – 11:55 

Class Dates:  Sept. 3 – Dec. 10 (14 weeks)

Cost:  $190 per semester, includes all supplies and materials

Description: We'll use a history spine (not chosen yet) for elementary students with lots of interesting pictures, and I'll supplement with library books and selections from other spines. 
Independent reading is NOT required!! 
There will be reading at home from the history spine most weeks, but this should happen with a parent, not alone. Please don't make this a reading exercise, instead make it a time for the parent to read and the child to learn how fascinating history is! 
This class starts off my elementary history sequence, which moves through four years of history, leading up to middle school. We begin with the ancient world, learning about history as a story, through books, projects, research, and discussion.

Materials: history book, everything else provided

Homework: Reading at home with a parent most weeks, nothing else

Elementary Math through Books, Games, Puzzles, and Projects

Target Ages: 6-10 

Min/Max Students: 5/10

Class Times: Thursday 1:00 – 1:55 

Class Dates: Sept. 5 – Dec. 12 (14 weeks) 

Cost:  $190 for fall semester, includes all supplies and materials

Description: In this class, we will explore math concepts using engaging picture books, games, puzzles, mysteries, art, logic, and hands-on projects. We will often use manipulatives, and we will relate math concepts to the world that the children know, understand, and are fascinated with.

No particular math skills are required. Each child will be able to find something to learn and interest them at their own level, and I'll bring in extra challenges for the more advanced math students.

Parent Hour

Target Ages: Adult

Min/Max Students: 4/15

Class Times: Thursday 11:30 – 12:25 

Class Dates: Sept. 5 – Dec. 12 (14 weeks) 

Cost:  $10 per class, $35 per month if you pay in advance for a 4-week sequence

Description: This hour is for you, parents! We'll move through a sequence every four weeks:
1. mindfulness topic (secular mindfulness practices)
2. happiness skill (based on current research about well-being)
3. parenting topic (all in alignment with gentle/conscious parenting)
4. poems you'll love (to fuel you up with beauty)
This class will help you make social connections, build friendships, take time for yourself with other adults, and build skills for a good life. We will be all about encouragement, not about guilt.
FYI, I'm a certified positive discipline parenting and classroom management teacher with lots of experience teaching those skills to different groups. I'm also trained as a mindfulness teacher by Mindful Schools. 
We are all parents here, and you can go and come as your child might require, and littles are welcome to come in and out as they need to. I can also help you to find a PIC for your kids if you want to have this hour off from your other responsibilities.
This is a drop-in class, and you can pay for only the classes you come to. Feel free to choose based on the topic or your schedule. Coming regularly is best for building community and strengthening your social connections. In order to encourage that community, I'll give a discount for people who sign up for a month in advance.

Homework: none, just optional things to try at home

Priscila Benson