He is primarily interested in being able to read German philosophers, especially the monist Ernst Haeckel.
Accordingly, since this a course in how to read German at a complex level, there will be a strong emphasis on grammar, and the vocabulary will be selected primarily from Haeckel's die Weltraethsel.
We are using Lange's New German Method (Clarendon, 1876), which is available free online and is from the same era as the main author that the student wishes to read.
Here is a tentative syllabus, which is certainly far from definite and will be adjusted in accord with how things work out.
1. Declining the Definite Article and Several Types of Nouns.
a. The Alphabet and Pronunciation. (Make sure that he is doing it right.)
b. Introduction to gender, case, and number.
b. The Definite Article (to be memorized).
c. Paradigms of various types of noun (to be memorized).
d. Nominative forms of the personal pronoun and the present indicative conjugation of Sein.
2. Composing simple sentences.
a. Quiz on declension of nouns and the definite article.
b. Noun-vocabulary from Haeckel that follows the patterns already learned.
c. Review of the present indicative of Sein.
d. The Indefinite Article.
e. Use of predicate nouns.
f. Use of predicate adjectives.
g. Introduction to adjective-vocabulary (to be memorized).
h. Variations of word-order in a simple sentence.
i. Introduction to the present indicative of Haben (to be memorized).
j. Use of nouns with the definite article as direct objects.
3. Possessive Pronouns.
4. Present and Imperfect of Regular Verbs (including Haben).
5. The perfect tense.
a. Formation of Perfect and Pluperfect tenses of Regular Verbs (with Haben).
b. Formation of Perfect and Pluperfect tenses with Sein.
a. with the Accusative.
b. with the Dative.
c. with the Genitive.
c. Prepositions that take Dative or Accusative.
7. Conjugation of Irregular Verbs.
8. Full Declension of Personal Pronouns.
9. Conjugation and uses of Werden (future tense).
10. Contractions of prepositions with the Definite Article.
11. Adjectives used attributively (big topic) with ("new declension") or without ("old declension") the definite article.
12. Adjectives with the Indefinite Article ("mixed declension").
13. Comparative forms of adjectives.
14. Irregular Verbs of the First Class.
15. Irregular Verbs of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th classes.
16. Irregular Verbs of the 5th and 6th classes.
17. Irregular Verbs of the 7th class.
18. The Infinitive.
20. The Potential Verbs (the six Modal Auxiliaries).
21. Separable Compound Verbs.
22. Inseparable Compound Verbs.
23. Use of the Article.
24. Personal and Possessive Pronouns.
25. Indefinite and Interrogative Pronouns.
26. Indirect discourse.
27. Dependent Word-Order.
28. Demonstrative and Relative Pronouns.
29. Reflexive Verbs.
30. Verbs that take Genitive and Dative Objects.
31. The Passive Voice.
32. Imperative, Subjunctive, and Conditional.
33. Cardinal Numbers and Ordinal Numbers.