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Christianne's Lyceum of Literature and Art

Programs for Home Learners 2016-2017

About Christianne’s Lyceum

Christianne’s Lyceum is a centre that celebrates literature and art and puts it at the centre of family and community life. Through programs that emphasize making connections between literature and what’s going on in the outside world, the Lyceum encourages young people to see themselves as readers, writers and artists, as they engage with abstract ideas and reflect on their own place in society. Armed with these experiences, students begin to seek possibility and explore ways that they can use their voices and actions to participate in their communities. 

The Lyceum is a cozy living room, a specialized library, a well-equipped studio and a whimsical art gallery bound up in one. It’s a place that brings together writers, illustrators, educators and families to share diverse ways of making meaning, different schools of thought, and the richness of story in its many forms. 

About Programs for Home Learners

Our workshops for home learners give youth the opportunity to use great works of literature and challenging ideas as inspiration for their own writing and art. 

Our small class sizes and commitment to co-constructing curriculum with our students, mean that no matter what your children’s interests or abilities, the Lyceum is a safe and encouraging environment for them to explore their own creativity. 

Age Range

We believe that our programs benefit from a broad age range; older participants are presented with valuable leadership opportunities, while younger students are inspired by the ideas of older participants.  When necessary, the group will begin with an introductory study session, and then break into smaller age-appropriate groupings. 

Snack and Lunch

The Lyceum provides a healthy snack for participants which includes rice crackers, cheese, a variety of fruit, juice and water.  We are able to accommodate most allergies. For classes that stretch over the lunch hour, we ask students to bring a packed lunch. 

Registration and Fees

In recognition of the cost of homeschooling three or more children, the Lyceum offers a special discount to larger families. If two students attend our programs at full price, we will give a 50% discount for each additional family member. All art materials are included in the price of the class.  Our registration policies are available on our website.


Register for programs in one of three ways:

By calling 604.733.1356

By emailing

By dropping by the Lyceum at 3696 W. 8th Ave (at the corner of W. 8th and Alma)

This Year's Programing:

The Stories in Our Food

September 20 to October 25 (6 sessions)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Ages: 5 to 14

$375 + GST

Food brings us together through story — the stories we tell around the table, the stories of the people who prepare our food and the stories of the people who grow it.  During this program, we’ll look at the choices that people make around food and discuss the impact that these choices have on our communities, and the environment.  We’ll interview local food lovers— everyone from farmers to beekeepers, chefs to cookbook creators — and use the knowledge they impart to inform our own food experiments.  Each class we’ll take a simple base recipe and modify and tweak it until it becomes truly ours; something that reflects the food that grows where we live, and our own individual tastes.  On the last day of class, we’ll compile these recipes in our own mini-cookbook — a publication overflowing with simple and delicious dishes that will be easy for our students to recreate at home. 

The History of Drawing

November 3 to December 8 (6 sessions)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM 

Ages: 5 to 14

$375 + GST

In this class, we’ll look at the history of drawing as a form of storytelling.  Beginning with early cave paintings, we’ll discuss the ways that materials, techniques and the motivation to create has changed over time.  We’ll touch on the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, the life-like sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci, and the surrealists and automatic drawing.  We’ll also delve into the world of graphic storytelling, looking at the ways that comics and graphic novels have evolved over the later half of the twentieth century.  Using Allen Say’s novel, Drawing from Memory, as inspiration, we’ll create our own visual narratives accessing a wide variety of drawing techniques and styles. By the end of class, students will have a portfolio of drawings that will reflect their own stories and unique ways of seeing the world. 

Very, Very Small: Gulliver’s Travels and Miniatures

January 10 to February 14 (6 sessions)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM 

Ages: 5 to 14

$375 + GST

Jonathan Swift’s satire, Gulliver’s Travels has been delighting audiences since it first appeared in 1726. In this class, we’ll look at the first part of this classic work of literature, in which Lemuel Gulliver is shipwrecked and finds himself in Lilliput, an island country that is home to a race of tiny people.  As we read, we’ll discuss the major themes presented by the work, including whether physical power or moral righteousness should be the cornerstone of society, the conflict inherent in statements such as “those who are not with us, are against us”, and the question of whether one’s perspective on reality is more important than reality itself.  Along the way, we’ll create miniature scenes in exquisite detail, crafting tiny pieces from a variety of media. 

People on the Move

February 21 to April 11 (6 sessions)

(please note: no class on March 14 and 21)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Ages: 5 to 14

$375 + GST

People are on the move — it is no longer likely that someone will be born, live and die, all in one place. In this class, we’ll share a variety of immigration and refugee stories, both historical and contemporary, and discuss the many reasons why people leave their homes to settle in new and unfamiliar places.  We’ll share stories of people fleeing war and persecution, including Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed and Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees by Deborah Ellis, and people crossing oceans for the promise of new opportunities, including The Arrival by Shaun Tan and Our New Home: Immigration Children Speak by Emily Hearn and Marywinn Milne.  We’ll also look at some of the challenges that immigrants face when they reach their new homes.  As we go, we’ll research and share the immigration stories of our own families, which will culminate in a collaborate poem that we’ll illustrate and turn into a broadside. 

Collecting Collections

April 20 to May 18 (5 sessions)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Ages: 5 to 14

$315 + GST

What drives us to collect items we find beautiful or fascinating?  What are some of the benefits of collecting?  Are there contexts in which collecting is harmful?  In this course, we’ll tackle these questions as we look at some famous collections, including the Frick Collection which spawned its own museum, the Princely Collection which was heroically rescued from Nazi Germany, and the Royal Philatelic Collection, a stamp collection kept by the British Royal Family since the late 1800s.  We’ll also debate some of the ethical questions around collecting, including whether it’s ethical to sell items recovered from shipwrecks (like the Titanic) to collectors, whether museums have an ethical duty to return items collected during historical treasure hunts to their countries, or people, of origin (like the potlach regalia returned to the Kwakwaka’wakw of Alert Bay), and whether collecting and displaying human remains (as mummies, for example) crosses an ethical line. Along the way, we’ll read Mr. Karp’s Last Glass by Carly Fagan, a book that explores both the joys and the sorrows of collecting, and invite our students to bring in their own collections (either newly established of long-standing) to share with the group. Each student will be asked to contribute to an exhibit of collections, which we’ll put together as a group. On the final day of class, parents will be invited to the opening of this exhibit, exploring the stories behind our collections, and the evolution of our thinking about collections themselves. 

Magical Beasts in Magical Worlds

May 25 to June 22 (5 sessions)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Ages: 5 to 14

$315 + GST

Is there a secret dragon who lurks in your imagination? A party of adventurers just waiting for you to give them a mountain range to cross?  During this class, we’ll create our own magical worlds, thinking through everything from their forests to rivers, diamond-crusted caves to glittering cities.  We’ll also create a menagerie of magical beasts to inhabit these landscapes. With our worlds and their creatures imagined, we’ll set to work creating intricate maps using the Lyceum’s vast array of art materials.  As we go, we’ll share stories that take place in mystical lands, and or that feature fantastical animals as inspiration.  The finished project for this course has many applications — it would make magnificent wall art, but would also be a wonderful starting place for future writing projects.  Home learners — we’ve got our compasses in our hands, and our packs on our backs — come make us the map populated with magical beasts. We’re waiting to be transported. 

Home Learners’ Writers Workshop

Thursdays 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Ages: 5 to 12 

Term A: September 22 to October 27 (6 sessions) - $216 + GST

Term B: November 3 to December 8 (6 sessions) - $216 + GST

Term C: January 12 to February 16 (6 sessions) - $216 + GST

Term D: February 23 to April 13 (6 sessions) - $216 + GST

please note: no class on March 16 and 23)

Term E: April 20 to May 18 (5 sessions) - $180 + GST

Term F: May 25 to June 22 (5 sessions) - $180 + GST

Our writers’ workshop designed specifically for home learners gives young writers the tools they need to see projects through from beginning to end. Inspiring prompts, publishing projects, positive feedback and the support of a generous group will give your child the confidence to say, “I’m a writer” - a simple declaration that can be life-altering. 

Types of writing covered may include:

expository and persuasive writing

short story



graphic literature

The Monday Debates:  A Program for Older Learners

Mondays 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Ages: 12 to 16

Fall Term: September 19 to December 5 (10 sessions) - $315 + GST

Please note: no class on October 10 and October 31

Winter Term: January 9 to April 3 (8 sessions) - $250 + GST

Please note: no class on February 13, February 20, March 13 and March 20

Spring Term: April 24 to June 19 (8 sessions) - $250 + GST

Please note: no class on May 22

Our Monday program for Older Home Learners focuses on the art of debate.  Each term, a topic of interest to the group is proposed as a subject for debate.  The first part of the term is spent exploring this topic broadly, using a variety of provocations, including literature, guest speakers and visual art projects. Then, students break into teams, and use the knowledge they have accumulated to develop arguments, questions and rebuttals.  The final class of each term is spent in debate, with parents welcome to join us as our audience. 

Kind regards, 

Caitlin Ferguson
Administrative/program assistant 
3696 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver
(604) 733-1356