Homeschool Class Descriptions

Descriptions of 7th-12th grade classes offered for 2019-2020.

Math Classes

Problem Solving
Strategies, Patterns, and the Common Core
10:30 Tuesdays

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
9:30 Tuesdays

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.

NY Regents-level class
12:30 Tuesdays

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

Classes available by request.

Science Classes

Biology I
A NY Regents-level Class
10:30 Tuesdays

This course covers high school biology in preparation for the NY Living Environment Regents exam. 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
NY Regents-level class
Correspondence Course

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. Due to various constraints, this class will not be offered at the Mindful Cafe in person.

Chemistry I
NY Regents-level class

Covers the concepts of a NY Regents Level Chemistry class in preparation for the NY Chemistry Regents exam.  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.


Literature and Composition
Keys to Craft and Analysis
9:30 Thursdays

Students will approach selected samples of the writer’s craft in a range of genres, viewing them through the lens of the creative act and the critic’s response as analogous, parallel processes.

Students will engage in an organic process of reading, investigation, and analysis followed by the presentation of well structured, focused , concise personal responses to prompts provided by the instructor in the form of short answers and longer essays.

Ultimately students will master the key elements of written expression in these forms using a variety of literary selections as the raw materials for the process.

Conversational Spanish
10:30 Thursdays

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.

Creative Arts Classes

Improv Acting
1:30 Thursdays

This class will introduce various improv exercises and principles to explore various characters in a fun and playful environment. Little to no lectures, the exercises are aimed to help students listen clearly, to be authentic, to better communicate, to minimize/eliminate judgments, to explore different roles (thereby understanding diversity), to be accepting of others, and to support each other. No acting experience is necessary.

12:30 Tuesdays

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.

Graphic Design
12:30 Thursdays

FIRST SEMESTER.  Develop an understanding and analyze examples of professional design while working on exercises to learn the foundations of graphic design. The class will introduce subject and principles of typography, negative space, visual hierarchy, logos, advertising, shirt design and more. We will learn together how the same challenges are being solved in the commercial world.
SECOND SEMESTER.  Based on the skills that were developed in the first semester, we will move to work on digital visual solutions. We will learn basic photoshop while understanding resolution, vector vs. pixel art, image manipulation and more. Assignments such as crating social media ads, digital logos, flayers and more. The students will need a laptop computer and a membership to adobe photoshop, ( adobe photography plan).


Teen Yoga
1:30 Tuesdays

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.


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.

Additional Tutoring is Available in Most Subjects