Teaching Method

Our Platform and Purpose

 Through the experience of home schooling my own children for 19 years, I have tried numerous methods and materials. After becoming frustrated with covering unit studies out of historical order, I was introduced to the classical-educating model. Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn’s Teaching the Trivium and Susan Wise Bauer’s Well-Trained Mind have made many home educators aware of the language-focused classical method that interrelates subjects in a way in which students can’t help but learn. It is a broad-based study of the liberal arts including the study of literature, poetry, art, drama, history, and languages (especially Latin). The best use of this approach integrates the teaching of values and character, as I do.

The Powers Classical School addresses the language elements of this approach. Below, I explain how the classical approach can be applied in general and then specifically in my classes. If you would like to know how to incorporate this method in the other subject areas of your homeschool, I highly recommend visiting  www.welltrainedmind.com, the source of my basic information on the subject.

My high school classes will utilize the last two levels of the trivium and build upon the first level of basic knowledge already learned in the elementary and middle school years.

High schoolers are in the Rhetoric Stage in their thinking. They are ready to take the facts they have learned and evaluated and to make them their own. This ownership is the impetus for original, forceful, and persuasive written or spoken expressions of the conclusions they have made about a subject.

  • My high school English classes cover American, British, and World classics. The writing assignments include literary analysis essays, creative writing projects, and a position/research paper.
  • The Introduction to Literature and Writing class provides step-by-step instruction on writing, literary analysis, high school grammar basics, and vocabulary (including Latin and Greek roots).  
  • The high school Latin I and II classes give students a firm foundation in the Latin language and in English grammar using The Latin Road to English Grammar, Volume 1 and Volume 2. I have taught from this curriculum for over 15 years, and have been impressed with its incremental and thorough approach to the language. 
  • The upper elementary Lively Latin program which includes Roman History and Roman based artwork as well as the Latin Language.


About Shelly Powers

Shelly Powers & Steve Powers

Hello! My name is Shelly Powers. I graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic College in 1989 with a dual major in English and Elementary Education (and one class away from a minor in Spanish). I started my education career in the public school system of Palm Beach County, Florida, teaching high school and middle school English for one year each. After becoming a mother in 1991, I left my job teaching and stayed home full time with my new son, Clayton. As Clayton grew, it became obvious that God was calling my husband and me to homeschool. After much research and more than a few bouts of soul searching, I started my homeschool career when Clay turned 5. Our daughter, Danae, was born in 1993 and our second son, Cody, was born in 1999. I home educated all three from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

I  discovered classical education and began teaching history in order using this language-based method. It not only organized our overall learning experience, but it helped us interrelate our studies of history, literature, and science. By the time Clay was in middle school, we added Latin, and this solidified our classical approach and prepared my children for their high school and college endeavors. I believe this foundation in Latin is one of the main reasons all three have gone on to be “A” students in Spanish at the college level. I began to teach high school and middle school Latin, at first to a few families, then to homeschool co-op classes. I have taught Latin now for 18 years using The Latin Road to English Grammar, Cambridge Latin, Oxford Latin and Lively Latin.

Clay now has his Masters in English from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and is teaching in the English department at UT as well as working as a technical writer for Siemens. Danae received a general AA and another AA in the Business Management track at Pellissippi Community College, and is now a licensed insurance professional working as a client manager at Trinity Benefit Advisors in Knoxville. Cody has completed an AS in the Physical Therapy Assistant program at South College, received state certification in TN and VA, and is enjoying being a Physical Therapy Assistant in Fairfax, VA.  As I reflect,  I can see all God has taught me through their homeschooling years, and I use these lessons to teach others.

Somewhere along the way, I also discovered the joy of teaching.  God has gifted me in this area, and when I am teaching I am in my most comfortable place. Others have seen it too, and we have included their testimonials on this site.

I look forward to sharing my love of writing, literature, and the English, Latin, and Spanish languages with students of the Powers Classical School.

~Shelly Powers

Powers Family

The Powers Family 2019