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Course name
How to be an Excellent Student Note Taking, Test Taking, and How to Get an A
Live course taught by Sharon Hamric-Weis, Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA for Summer 2024 High School Organization Skills

How to Be an Excellent Student is perhaps the most important course you’ll ever take. When you join, you’ll learn the most important, must-have skills for school success and find out how to get the highest listening skills for understanding; how to take the best notes from a lecture and from a text; how to listen and read “actively” for greater connection and higher comprehension; the best ways to prepare for a test; how to take timed tests effectively; and more!


How to get the most out of the How to Be an Excellent Student: Note Taking and How to Get an A course:


  • Read: Read all of the information here, below. Recorded Course students, please skim the course in its entirety before you begin.

  • Recording: Always begin each lesson with the class instruction/lesson.

-- Recorded course students: Click on "Recording" and watch the lecture for Class One.
-- LIVE course students: Attend class before attempting any of the coursework for the week.

  • Note Taking: Prepare a notebook and take complete notes while attending class! Note taking is very important in this course -- so please do not skip this step!

  • Weekly Readings: After the class, check for any readings (documents/downloads or online readings), quizzes, and activities. Always read the week's materials before starting the week's assignment.

  • Assignments: Complete the homework in the order that it is listed on the page.

  • Review: If you are confused at any time, re-watch parts of the recording for clarity. The PowerPoint is also available for you.

  • Continue: Repeat the process until all four (4) classes are completed.

  • Time Frame: All assignments are to be completed before the next class unless noted.

  • Finishing: Once the course is completed to the parent's satisfaction, there is a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course. Fill in the document for your records. You may also copy and paste the descriptive content of the course (located at the top section of the page). Make sure to record your grades; HSC does not provide record-keeping.

Total Classes: 4

Class Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; August 5, 6, 7, and 8, 2024

Class Time: 11:30 AM Eastern (10:30 Central; 9:30 Mountain; 8:30 Pacific)

Duration: 55 minutes per class

Prerequisite: None

Suggested Grade Level: 7th to 12th

Fee: For all 4 classes: $47 if you register on or before April 15; $67 if you register after April 15.

 (Registration closes one week before the first day of class. After that date, registrations are not guaranteed. There is a $20 surcharge for late enrollments after the course is closed.)

Suggested Credit: One-third of one semester credit. Add the credits of this course to any six- or eight-week course for a full semester credit. Credits are determined by the weeks and amount of work, so with completing all work for this course and a heavy-work 6-week course or a light-work 8-week course added completes the full semester credit.

Instructor Bio: Sharon Hamric-Weis, BSEd, JD

Course Description: Get the skills to become strong, confident, and able to study for any high school level course with success! This course is a must-have for students who want to make learning and test taking the easiest (and most successful) that it can be. You'll learn the skills of active listening and active reading (what they are and how they work for you), note taking and annotation (for any "live" or online course or learning situation), critical reading skills for comprehension (to remember what you've read faster and with easier recall), test-taking skills (how to prepare for tests and what to do during tests), and more. You'll use these skills in high school, college, and beyond. Be prepared for the future and do well in your coursework today when you take this course!


Course Outline:

Class 1: Active listening and how to take notes effectively

Class 2: Active reading and how to study effectively

Class 3: Critical reading skills for comprehension

Class 4: Test-taking in a timed setting


Course Materials: All materials are provided free within the course.

Homework: This is a lecture course with approximately two (2) hours of work per class (reading and computer-generated quizzes for immediate feedback).

©2016-2024 Homeschool Connections and Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA (aka author Erin Brown Conroy/E. B. Conroy) All rights reserved.

This course is designed by Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA.

  • This material is only to be used for its intended purpose by active subscribers of Homeschool Connections. Any other use without explicit permission is in violation of the seventh commandment (yes, the 7th commandment) and in violation of US and International copyright laws.

  • You may print or download to local hard disk extracts for your personal homeschool and non-commercial use only. This is not to be used for homeschool co-ops without express written permission from Homeschool Connections.


Course name
How to be an Excellent Student Note Taking, Test Taking, and How to Get an A
Sharon Hamric-Weis, Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA
Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA, Bonnie Donlon, Aubrey Heki, Natalie Meyer Schira
Sharon Harrigan, Jamie Driver
Summer 2024
Life Skills ➤ Organization Skills
Grade level
High School
Course type
Seats available
32 seats available
Seats remaining
11 seats remaining
Start time
August 5th, 2024 at 11:30 AM ET
End time
August 8th, 2024 at 1:00 PM ET
Access start time
July 22nd, 2024 at 8:00 AM ET
Access end time
February 28th, 2025 at 8:32 AM ET
Enrollment availability start time
February 16th, 2024 at 8:32 AM ET
Early enrollment discount ended
April 15th, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET
Late enrollment penalty start time
July 29th, 2024 at 12:33 AM ET
Enrollment availability end time
August 1st, 2024 at 8:33 AM ET
Relative due dates
Relative due dates are disabled for this course.

About Sharon Hamric-Weis

During her last year of teaching, Mrs. Hamric-Weis converted to the Catholic Church and was confirmed. Upon her acceptance to the Dickinson School of Law, she and her husband relocated to her home state of Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Hamric-Weis practiced law as Assistant Counsel for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and has been published in the Dickinson Journal of International Law, as well as working as a decision writer for the Pennsylvania Board of Workers’ Compensation.

After working in law, Mrs. Hamric-Weis left her employment to raise her children and homeschool for several years before returning to work as a paraprofessional teaching and caring for a student with multiple disabilities.

She is happy to be homeschooling her three children and teaching the advanced writing courses for Homeschool Connections.

Click here to learn more about Sharon Weis!

About Erin Brown

Professor Brown has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing/Genre Fiction (terminal degree in writing) from Western Colorado University, a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Rehabilitation, and a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree in Education from Western Michigan University. Professor Brown was a homeschooling parent for 34 years and homeschooled 10 children. She lives in Michigan and enjoys writing Science Fiction and Fantasy books in coffee shops, speaking online and at conferences, and walking her dogs.

Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA, is the creator and Director of the Aquinas Writing Advantage program. She is the author of nine books (including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Writing Success) and has been a professional author, editor, and university professor for over 30 years.
Erin designed the online writing program for three universities and taught at Patrick Henry College (writing, research); Cornerstone University (multiple writing courses, interpersonal communication, management and leadership, and critical thinking); and led the General Education Communications curriculum development (writing, communications, critical thinking) for Western Governors University.

Click here for more info about Erin Brown!

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Sharon Harrigan

Sharon is a convert to the Catholic faith from an Evangelical background. Though no longer homeschooling her own children, she is currently helping to homeschool two young boys, teaches advanced ESL classes, and, with her husband, teaches NFP classes to engaged couples. She lives in the Chicagoland area and tries to see her new granddaughter as often as she can!

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Jamie Driver

Jamie grew up as the eldest of six kids in her Catholic homeschooling family. She lives in the Dallas area and spends her time instructing and choreographing all styles of dance at local studios, but her passion is tap dance. Jamie is an Assistant Director and Instructor with Rhythmic Soul’s Tap Company and trains dancers local to the Dallas area, as well as nationally online. She loves instructing the next generation of tap dancers and continues to perform herself with Rhythmic Soul’s Pro Company. Jamie believes in encouraging dancers to step outside their comfort zone, having fun, and using their unique talents to glorify God. In her free time, you can find her making orders for her Catholic business, Saintly Sacrifices, or visiting a local coffee shop with a friend.

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