Homeschool Class Descriptions

Descriptions of 7th-12th grade classes offered for 2020-2021.

Math Classes

Problem Solving
Strategies, Patterns, and the Common Core

Strategies, mathematical patterns, logic, and meta-skills important for a solid math background. Content includes a review of arithmetic and prepares students for Algebra I.  A great class for fun, discovery, and discussion of challenging math problems. A great class for building mathematical confidence and solidifying arithmetic background. Although the students generally enjoy this approach to math, the skills learned in the class improve Common Core standardized math scores such as on the PSAT, ACT, and SAT.

Algebra I
NY Regents-level class

Covers the concepts of a NY Regents Level Algebra I class with problems that encourage students to think for themselves and understand mathematics rather than just memorizing formulas. Students learn to discuss problems and explain ideas to peers. Covers the standard topics such as linear equations, linear inequalities, quadratics, polynomials, rational expressions, functions, modeling, and probability as well as the more unusual skills of creating equations, reasoning, and interpretation.

Geometry
NY Regents-level class

Covers the concepts of a NY Regents Level Geometry class with problems that encourage students to learn the concepts in a deep way and communicate this knowledge to others. Covers the standard topics such as transformations, congruence, similar triangles, right triangles, trigonometric definitions, parallel lines, three-dimensional geometry, circles, and arcs. Students learn in a active way: seeing math in context, finding applications, making models, drawing constructions, and doing proofs.

Additional Math Classes
Algebra II, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus (AB or BC), AP-level Statistics, Math SAT Prep, Math ACT Prep

Classes available by request.


Science Classes

Biology I

This course covers high school biology.  Material is learned through discussion, videos, documentaries, online games, worksheets, and more. Students will learn to relate science to their everyday lives and to participate in constructive discussion with peers.  Topics include evolution, cellular structure, the respiratory system, and other units. This class focuses on the ecological and environmental side of biology, rather than biochemistry.

Notes: This class does not provide any lab time. Also, while worksheets will be provided, instruction on sex ed and the reproductive system will be left to parents.

Biology I Lab

Covers the labs associated with the Biology I class. Materials list and lab information will be provided as well as indications of which labs accompany which topic in the Biology I class. Labs include Dichotomous Key, Beaks of Finches, Biodiversity, Dissection of a Plant, and Making Connections. A completed lab book is required in order to register for the NY Regents Level Living Environment Exam.

Chemistry I

Covers the concepts of a high school Chemistry class.  Students will learn the basics of chemistry and gain confidence manipulating chemical equations. Topics include dimensional analysis, acids and bases, thermochemistry, the gas laws, nuclear reactions, and the periodic table.  Material will be learned through student-initiated discussions, videos, documentaries, and worksheets.

Additional Science Classes
Physics I, Chemistry I lab, Science ACT Prep

Classes available by request.


LANGUAGE ARTS CLASSES

English Literature
Reading and Writing Together

In this course, students will engage with literary texts through collaborative readings, discourse, and many types of writing. Our class activities will help students to increase their language and written-communication skills; to find joy in the processes of close reading, research and analysis; and to foster collaborative understanding and discourse with others as a way of life.

Through fun writing exercises, both during and outside of class time, students will gain fluency in rhetorical techniques as well as greater confidence in their individual voices. Assignments may include: personal narrative/creative nonfiction (compare/contrast character with own life experiences), argumentative essay (character-based investigations), analytical essay (research-style paper on a book of their choice), and poetry chapbooks (thematic reflective writing).

7-9th grade Language Arts/English (virtual)

This virtual course in Language Arts/English for 7th-9th graders will provide a meaningful, integrated program that has been designed in light of the Common Core Standards for these grades. Using Commonlit.org, a free source of online texts and language arts resources, students will engage in the four language arts processes: listening, speaking, writing, and reading. Instruction will involve a variety of strategies for reading literary and expository texts that are divided into thematically based units. Relevant related media such as short film excerpts and brief documentaries will accompany individual texts. Writing instruction will include the development of written communication skills, including narrative, informative/explanatory, and argumentative writing. Standard English conventions are developed through the writing process. Usage, mechanics, and strategies for vocabulary development are integrated into literature and composition components. In addition, the course will address grammatical concepts and applications. See below for a sample unit of texts and media.

Unit 1 Theme - Justice and Injustice

  • Novel—To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • Short Story—“Thank you, M’am” by Langston Hughes
  • Poems—“Learning to Read” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
    • “On Turning Ten” by Billy Collins
  • Nonfiction Texts—“From Slaves to Sharecroppers” by Leigh Deckle
    • “Herd Behavior”, by Commonlit Staff
    • “The Scottsboro Boys” by Jessica McBirney
    • “An Overview of the Great Depression” by Jessica McBirney
  • Videos—Clips of To Kill A Mockingbird, 1962
    • “The Great Depression—Crash Course”

Conversational Spanish

A beginning level conversation class in Spanish. Appropriate for students at the Spanish I and Spanish II levels. Learn common Spanish phrases and how to use them. Work on speaking, listening, and responding skills. The class works toward speaking only Spanish for the entire class. Unlike traditional classes where student focus on reading, writing, and grammar, this class focuses on being able to use Spanish for everyday types of conversations. Students will learn basic conversations for traveling and meeting new people.

Additional Language Arts Classes will be listed later.
Classes available by request.


SOCIAL SCIENCE CLASSES

Civics I

Students learn how they can participate and affect government, now and in the future. They see how much of an impact they can make at the community, state, and country levels. With the presidential election approaching, students may be eager to understand civic life and participate in political conversations. Students will study governmental systems and learn to communicate with their representatives. Class materials may include educational games and apps.

Civics II

This course will cover threats to democracy as laid out in the Constitution: gerrymandering, role of interest groups/lobbying/revolving door in politics, corporate influence in elections, barriers to a multi-party system (possible solution: ranked-choice voting).  We will also cover historical movements such as the History of Voting Rights, Anti-Slavery Movement 1830-1870,  Women's Suffrage 1850-1920, and the Civil Rights movement 1950s-1960s. Primary election/presidential election update -> electoral college pluses and minuses


Environmental Science

Sustainable Agriculture
Topics in Sustainable Food Systems

Where does the food you eat come from? What does it take to grow and transport it? Organic vs. non-organic, non-GMO vs. GMO, local vs. non-local. How do our choices affect the environment, the farmers, and our own health?

Local Garden Design
Your Edible Landscape

Using a permaculture lens, you and your fellow classmates will analyze your home and any outdoor space you have where you live, to plan and execute an edible garden area for the next growing season. You will learn to apply basic permaculture principles to grow your own herbs and veggies at home. If your family is open to it, the class will help build and set-up each growing space.


Creative Arts Classes

Sewing

No Class Description yet.

Drawing

For beginning to intermediate drawers with a focus on wildlife and people. Black and white drawings, from sketching basics to final drawings. Study different basic animal and human anatomies, facial and body expressions, and shading depending on the light source. Students work on exercises to develop their abilities as well as projects in their areas of interest.

Intro to Photography

Whether you use an iPhone, a dSLR or a mirrorless camera, come learn the basics of photography from exposure to composition. Each week will involve a short lecture and then time to discuss each students home assignment.


Electives

Teen Yoga

Fun and active as well as harmonizing and restorative(teens often LOVE the restorative poses!).  Class will start with a flow to warm up the body through many linked poses. We will follow with various balance poses, weave in some work on core strength, flexibility, following the breath, and attention to alignment, all with gentle and playful direction. We will try some strength and challenge moves and then slow down for some poses that calm and harmonize with a meditative intention. The class environment will be exploratory and playful.  Teens learn to see where their body is in space and discover which poses are easy and which ones challenge them.

Teen Zumba

Zumba is a fun class that mixes working out and dancing! So fun that you don’t even know you’re working out! Our teen class consists of Zumba songs and fun songs you already know such as Pitbull, Shakira, J. Lo, Bruno Mars & more!

Wilderness Survival Class

In-person

Participants will learn primitive shelter building, methods for obtaining and purifying water, various fire building techniques, ways of securing food, such as foraging, tracking and trapping, and how to heighten their awareness, as well as deepen their connection with nature . Each class is different, building on previous skills and relating to the season and what the earth provides.


Dates: 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19 (makeup rain date).

Additional Tutoring is Available in Most Subjects