Welcome!

Welcome to Homeschool Out of the Box, (HSoBX), a unique homeschooling co-op experience conveniently located near the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA.

Two aspects of HSoBX set us apart from other quality home school experiences in the Tidewater, VA area: our commitment to high-level secular instruction and our dedication to developing a homeschooling community.

All of our faculty hold college degrees or are experienced practitioners in their field. We are happy to include offerings from the Attucks Theater Multicultural Performing Arts, Lighting the Way and Bricks4Kids .

Our parent community meets monthly at local restaurants for a Mom’s Night Out. When not in class, students enjoy a lunch/recess hour filled with running outside and card or board games inside. HSoBX hosts Spirit Days which include: Crazy Hat Day, Halloween Costume Day, Wear Your Flair Day and the very popular St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt.

We are known for our passionate instruction and strong bonds. If you’re looking for support, friendships and quality instruction for your homeschooling family, HSoBX is the home for you. We strive to maintain an inclusive, non-religious community, and would love for you to join us! To contact us for more information, please send an email. We would love to talk with you.

Class descriptions: Spring 2015




All ages


   

HSoBX Girl Scout Troop #104 (Ginny Harvey; ginny@hsobx.org) -- ages 5-15. Science, arts, outdoor skills, and more! Welcome to our homeschool Girl Scout troop! This multi-level GS troop includes girls from Daisy level up through Seniors (approximately grades K-10). The Girl Scout program emphasizes progressive leadership development through girl-led, hands-on, just plain old fun activities. So what does this mean for you and your daughter? The girls will have numerous opportunities to choose the activities they'd like to try, and we're hoping parents will share their special areas of expertise as we earn badges in a variety of areas and take part in service projects to help our community. Join us as we learn more about ourselves and the world around us! Associated costs include $15 GSUSA registration and approximately $65 for vest or sash, book, Council patches and pins. Troop dues are $25/year.


Daring and Dangerous Club for Boys (Misty Thompson; starofleo@yahoo.com) ages 6-11
Hey boys, listen up! Are you tired of hearing about all the cool stuff the Girl Scouts are doing? Do you think it is time the boys got to do some cool stuff too? If so, you need to join HSOBX's Daring and Dangerous Boys Club. This class will be all about boys having fun, doing daring feats, and earning awards along the way. The activities are tailored to boys of various age ranges. This class will emphasize team work, personal growth, and FUN! $150 or three payments of $55


Steel Band (Mosaic Steel Orchestra; wahailey@mosaicsteelorchestra.org)
Class I Beginning - Ages 8-12
Class II Intermediate Ages 10+.
Learn to play Steelpan – the National Instrument of Trinidad & Tobago. This class is for those that love music and like to be involved in the creative process. Join in as we explore steelpan history and culture; learning the concepts of harmony, melody, movement, rhythm, scales and texture. This class also develops individual strengths such as focus and communication within the context of a teambuilding group activity. We culminate with an exhibition performance so you can invite friends and family to our Caribbean Get-Away. All instruments and materials for participation are provided.  Intermediate level with instructor approval.  (HSoBX will be subsidizing this class to bring the tuition to $175)


   
Age 4-6

Hands on Science (Sheri Huddleston; SheriH1979@yahoo.com) -- Come explore Science using your 5 senses. We will focus on science-based sensory exploration. Hands on activities will help students learn about the world around them. Do different apples really taste differently? What happens when you mix flour and water? Can you move a rubber duck across a "pond" using a spray bottle of water? Learning can be fun and can be quite messy as well. Students need to have a smock with their name on it.  $125 or three payments of $45.

Play and Learn(Patricia Richman; patricia@hsobx.org) ages 4-6.  PLEASE CONTACT INSTRUCTOR DIRECTLY FOR PLACEMENT IN THIS CLASS.  Come and learn through play!  In Play and Learn we explore numbers, letters, history, geography, physical science, life science, and the animal kingdom.  Each class uses stories, music, big muscle movement, crafts, and guided activities to support our theme.  Play and Learn runs in a three year cycle, so children who return always have something new to discover.  A list of topics will be sent at the beginning of each semester, if parents would like to further explore our subjects at home.  This is the Montessori based, educational experience you've been looking for!  Play and Learn is a two hour long block class.  $250 or three payments of $90.




Age 6-8


Mystery Detectives (Robin Frazier; robinfrazier529@gmail.com  ) -- Objective: Each forensic science class focuses on children practicing science inquiry skills: asking meaningful questions they can investigate, and developing explanations based on their evidence and observations.
Crime Lab Science Class
Children investigate a crime scene mystery; they find evidence, meet suspects, and investigate the evidence to come up with their own explanations of what happened—just like real forensic scientists do.
• Each activity will have your child acting and thinking like a real forensic scientist
Children explore mysteries around a bike crash, a missing painting, a missing diamond, and money missing from a zoo. They observe about the evidence and then use the evidence to make inferences about what they think may have happened.
• Develop observation and problem-solving skills using the same equipment and techniques as real detectives. Kids get in-depth experiments such as, how to locate and handle evidence, test for counterfeit currency, analyze hair and soil samples, secure fingerprints, and footprints, and create a crime scene report complete with sketches.
All supplies will be included
Students will get a magnifying glass, handouts and take home mystery paperback book
This is two classes combined into 15 week program.  $150 or three payments of $50 each.      


Teaching with the Fables (BE Essert; cerwydwyn@gmail.com and Tricia Mahlau-Heinert; mhfamilyof6@gmail.com) -- Each week students will hear a fable or story and the class will take the story into a creative wonderland of activities designed to engage student's imagination and spirit as they learn. We will use block crayons to color and draw, watercolor paints, clay and/or beeswax for modeling, instructors may present a puppet show based on the fable or ask the students to do so and we may include some natural science lessons and writing exercises as part of the lesson.  Instructors will provide art and puppetry materials. (TBD: Parents may be asked to order a Main Lesson Book for students.). $140 or three payments of $50. Paypal or cash payment preferred.


Mini Makers (Eleanor Jones; aewjones@gmail.com) -- Get started building simple circuits, machines, and toys! We will work with motors, old computer parts, magnets, and other items to make machines and toys. For kids who have already taken this class we will be working on new projects! $100 or three payments of $35


American Biographies (Tricia Mahlau-Heinert; mhfamilyof6@gmail.com ) -- This class will utilize a cooperative teaching model and there will be no tuition. Each parent with a child registered in the class is responsible for preparation and teaching 2 of the 15 weeks in the semester. Our goal is to create a book of American folk/historical heroes. Each week a parent will read or tell a story about one of the heroes below, and teach a song from that era, have a snack, or do a craft or build something. Each child will bring a drawing pad and crayons each week and they will draw something from the story.  Then, as a class, we will work on a sentence or two to write about the drawings. The in-class composition will be sent by email to all the parents each week. You can choose to have your child copy the “biography” from class into their drawing pad, or simply print the sentences from the email and glue them to the back of their drawing, or for those who wanted to do further homework, the child could write a more complete biography. The last class will be a potluck party and we will read all our writings, remembering each hero.


> George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, Thomas Jefferson, Sacajawea, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver,   No cost because class will be taught in cooperative manner by the parents of the students in the class.





Our Changing Solar System (Deborah Rice/Lighting the Way; ltw@ltweducation.com) -- From exploring asteroids to understanding the sounds of our solar system. This past year our knowledge of our solar system has changed. We will start with our Sun and it's dynamic weather. This is a science and math rich class. We will be utilizing NASA educational programs to discover how our knowledge of our solar system has changed.  $100 or three payments of $40.



Age 9-11


This is Your Brain (Adrienne Ashby; adrienne@hsobx.org) -- In this class we will study the human brain and how it works. Using the Ellen McHenry “The Brain” curriculum, we will learn about the history of brain research and about how memory works. We will conduct several experiments including making an MRI of an orange, creating a brain hat and baking brain cookies. There will also be a dissection of a sheep’s brain.  We will play memory games and dream games and have a reflex relay.  $140 or three payments of $50






Way Beyond Clay - Scuplture in America  (Deva Brockett; knittingdeva@gmail.com) -- Create 3-D forms with wax, paper mache, wire, wood, glass, clay, and more, to explore mass, space, texture, and the expressive potential of the different mediums. In each class we will make sketches for our projects and then execute various ancient and contemporary sculpting techniques to turn them into 3D art. Along the way, we will also study famous American sculptures and the 3-D artists who made them. Students who have taken my classes in the past will love all the new projects. New students will enjoy experiencing this hands-on approach to teaching art and art history, because working with real supplies and techniques makes learning about artists and the fundamentals/principles tangible and memorable. I believe that every person can make meaningful art, without being restricted to realistic drawings and paintings. My goal is to give even the most reluctant student tools to make art their own, and to inspire enthusiastic artists to try new materials and new modes of expression.  $130 or three payments of $50.


Mini Makers (Eleanor Jones; aewjones@gmail.com) -- We will learn circuit diagrams and start wiring simple circuits and machines. We will also use conductive thread and work with some wearable electronics by the end of class. We will also learn how to break down toys and old electronics for motors, fans, and speakers for some of our projects. $100 or three payments of $35.


Geography Rocks Part II (Maryann Casey; macasey@icloud.com) -- Ever wonder which way is north? Want to learn how to measure a mountain? What exactly are the differences between continents, islands, coastlines, plains, and valleys? Come discover the answers to these questions and more!


Continuing on from our exciting exploration of the earth’s atmosphere and hydrosphere, now, we are really going to rock! Part II of Geography Rocks! will explore the physical geography of our wonderful world, focusing specifically on earth’s lithosphere or land. Topics to be examined in class will include: earth’s layers and plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes, rocks and minerals, weathering and erosion, and more!


In an effort to reach all types of learners, class activities will vary widely. Each week, we will have in-class discussions and review. These discussions will be accompanied by hands-on projects, crafts, games, and simple experiments to reinforce the topics explored. Homework will be minimal and will also vary across a spectrum of activities in order to appeal to diverse learning styles (for example, artistic expression, independent research, interactive websites and videos, etc.). Homework is not expected to exceed one hour per week. (Enrollment in Geography Rocks, Part I not required, however, preference will be given to those former students.)  $125 or three payments of $45.





Creative Writing Club (Patricia Richman; patricia@hsobx.org) -- If you love to write and cannot wait to share your work with the world or if writing comes slowly as your mom insists on just one more sentence, this relaxed, creative, FUN writing club is the class for you! Over the course of the semester we will write and share four assigned pieces and three "free" pieces, play games, and publish a small class newsletter. Our assignments this semester will develop parts of a short story - problem/solution, character development,  $100 or three payments of $40;. $50 for additional sibling.


Must Love Shakespeare (Lydia Netzer; lydianetzer@gmail.com) -- In  this class for lovers of poetry and theater, we will read three kid-friendly Shakespeare plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest. Parents should expect to read aloud with their
children, one act per week, as we will be reading the actual plays, not a child’s version! We’ll be using the Cambridge School Shakespeare texts.  These engaging editions have the plays printed on one side of the page and interesting notes, pictures, and facts on the left. Search the
name of the play and “Cambridge School Shakespeare” to find them (they cost about $10 each), and make sure you get the January 2014 editions, as they are a bit different from the 2005. We’ll read aloud and do activities, and we’ll also work on a “plain language” abbreviated version of each play, which the kids will write and perform. The price of the class is adjusted so you’ll be happier about buying three books. $90 or three payments of $33.


Computer Science Unplugged (Cynthia Dise; cynthiadise@gmail.com) -- Go beyond the screen for a close up look at computing! Using hands-on activities, students will learn the principles of computer science. Computer science encompasses much more than programming, it also includes hardware, design, and networking. This class will cover topics such as: pioneers of computing history, the parts of a computer, circuits, algorithms, sorting methods, binary numbers, Boolean algebra, networking, and more. Minimal homework.  $135 or three payments of $50.



Age 12-14



Way Beyond Clay - Scuplture in America  (Deva Brockett; knittingdeva@gmail.com) -- Create 3-D forms with wax, paper mache, wire, wood, glass, clay, and more, to explore mass, space, texture, and the expressive potential of the different mediums. In each class we will make sketches for our projects and then execute various ancient and contemporary sculpting techniques to turn them into 3D art. Along the way, we will also study famous American sculptures and the 3-D artists who made them. Students who have taken my classes in the past will love all the new projects. New students will enjoy experiencing this hands-on approach to teaching art and art history, because working with real supplies and techniques makes learning about artists and the fundamentals/principles tangible and memorable. I believe that every person can make meaningful art, without being restricted to realistic drawings and paintings. My goal is to give even the most reluctant student tools to make art their own, and to inspire enthusiastic artists to try new materials and new modes of expression. $130 or three payments of $50


Easy English (Be Essert; cerwydwyn@gmail.com) -- Easy English is geared to help those students who struggle with a FEAR of grammar, punctuation and writing. The emphasis in this class will be on having FUN while learning the basics for middle school students. The idea is to take words like: spelling; poem; essay; vocabulary; and punctuation and make them less intimidating, maybe even to make friends with them! This class will be lighthearted and there will be minimal homework. A $15 materials fee is included in the class price for printouts to be provided by the instructor.  $140 or three payments of $50 each. Paypal or cash preferred.


The Age of Discovery (Be Essert; cerwydwyn@gmail.com) -- The Age of Discovery and the Scientific Revolution. We will learn about European exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries and about the peoples the explorers encountered in the Americas. We will learn about governments, economies and ways of life around the world. We will also learn about the Scientific Revolution.  This is the sequel to the Middle Ages class. This is a stand-alone class and attendance does not hinge on having attended the Middle Ages class. We will use the Moving Beyond the Page text called The Age of Discovery. Students will need a copy of The Age of Discovery and The World Made New: Why the Age of Exploration Happened & How It Changed the World.  $125 or three payments of $45 each.  Paypal or cash preferred.


Survival Russian (Irina Sander; golovkina@hotmail.com) -- This is a basic introduction to the fundamentals of the Russian language, which includes: the alphabet, basic vocabulary, common phrases (Survival Russian).  This course will also incorporate the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.  Younger students may take the class with teacher permission.  $140 or three payments of $50.




Psychology 102 (Suzanne Wheatley; suzchuck@aol.com) -- This class is  a continuation of our Fall Psychology 101 class, though it's not a requirement to have taken 101. We will go deeper into the theories of prominent psychologists, talk about some of the theories we didn't have time for in the Fall semester and also the new brain research and it's impacts on the field and our everyday lives. Each week will have some type of activity and class discussion. Homework will consist of some light reading and mostly be optional. $130 or three payments of $50.


Cryptography Club (Virginia Harvey; ginny@hsobx.org) -- Did you ever wonder how spies really keep their reports secret?  How confidential information can be sent over the Internet? Did you ever want to send a secret note that only your friend will understand?  We’ll start with simple Caesar ciphers to get warmed up, and then move on to substitution, keyword, and frequency analysis ciphers.  We’ll learn about the Enigma cipher, the Navajo Code talkers, modern public key encryption systems, and how to hide e-mail messages in plain sight.  Fair warning: this class does include some math, like finding averages and percentages.  One hour of homework per week.  No book required, just come with your minds and pencils sharp.  $120 or three payments of $45.


Wicked Plants (Maryann Casey; macasey@icloud.com) -- Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the garden! A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. In Wicked Plants, we will take on Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an “A to Z” of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend.


Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this class will introduce the basics of plant biology and plant classification, along with how plant defenses may be helpful to plants and wicked to humans and animals. Expanding upon the popular book “Wicked Plants” by Amy Stewart, this class will examine the warning signals used by plants as defense mechanisms; bio-chemical, physical, and neurological processes between plants and the human body; the adaptive defense qualities of plants; and weighing the risks of using plant derivatives in making health care and wellness decisions.


In an effort to reach all types of learners, class activities will vary widely. Each week, we will have in-class discussions and review. These discussions will be accompanied by hands-on projects and simple experiments to reinforce the topics explored. Homework will be minimal and is not expected to exceed one hour per week.


Come delve into the dark side of the plant kingdom and discover the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard!  $125 or three payments of $45.


Periodic Chemistry (Andrea Kinnear; andrea@hsobx.org) -- Learn the ins and outs of the Periodic Table to include its history and 'what it all means.' We will craft our way through the periodic table; our first project:  ionic dice.  This course will be a great preview to future chemistry studies or augment an honors high school chemistry course. Expect 1-2 hours of homework each week to include adopting an element and learning about the history of each element. Students will need an organic chemistry model set as well as a laminated periodic table.  $130 or three payments of $50.
Robotics NXT (Robin Frazier; robinfrazier529@gmail.com) --  ages 9 and up.  Using this curriculum, Students will:
• Build an understanding of basic science concepts related to robotics
• Apply the processes of scientific inquiry and engineering design
• Build skills in science, engineering, and technology
• Math- Fractions-Ratio- PI-Measurement-Basic Physics
• Speed and power,
• Speed and wheel diameter,
• Wheel diameter and distance travel
• Explore related careers in these fields
• Apply the skills and knowledge they are developing to new challenges.
• All equipment is provided. Students will complete a journal
10 weeks of robotic Lessons- 5+ weeks of Creative building with lesson guides
$165 or three payments of $154.50



High School


Quiz Bowl (Lydia Netzer; lydianetzer@gmail.com) -- Limber  up your buzzer fingers and get ready to answer questions, learn trivia,  and have fun. Each week we’ll play Quiz Bowl under the NAQT rules (http://www.naqt.com)  with our own buzzer system. Students who do well answering questions in  class may qualify to travel with our tournament teams. Two travel teams
were formed in the fall semester! Despite being brand new to Quiz Bowl,  they won many rounds, and we had three individuals place as top scorers. Skill in this game is cummulative, so this semester we will go deeper into the topics we’ve been studying, underscoring what we have
been learning. For example, during one week this semester we learned the presidents in order by number, but next semester each student will take  five presidents to research more in depth. Quiz Bowl knowledge builds over time, and specialties arise from the students’ passions and
interests. Get your journey started! $100 or three payments of $40.


Way Beyond Clay - Scuplture in America  (Deva Brockett; knittingdeva@gmail.com) -- Create 3-D forms with wax, paper mache, wire, wood, glass, clay, and more, to explore mass, space, texture, and the expressive potential of the different mediums. In each class we will make sketches for our projects and then execute various ancient and contemporary sculpting techniques to turn them into 3D art. Along the way, we will also study famous American sculptures and the 3-D artists who made them. Students who have taken my classes in the past will love all the new projects. New students will enjoy experiencing this hands-on approach to teaching art and art history, because working with real supplies and techniques makes learning about artists and the fundamentals/principles tangible and memorable. I believe that every person can make meaningful art, without being restricted to realistic drawings and paintings. My goal is to give even the most reluctant student tools to make art their own, and to inspire enthusiastic artists to try new materials and new modes of expression.  $130 or three payments of $50.


Human Biology (Virginia Harvey; ginny@hsobx.org) -- Now that we’ve made our way up the evolutionary tree to chordates and finally to mammals, we’ll take a look at that very complicated mammal, the human. We’ll learn about some of the different organ systems that make up human beings, including the circulatory, digestive, respiratory, nervous, excretory, and musculo-skeletal systems. We’ll also touch on the integumentary, endocrine and lymphatic systems. (We will not be covering the reproductive system.) Labs will include heart rate and blood pressure measurements, blood typing, memory challenges, and lung volume measurements. Dissections will include sheep (or pig) eyes, brains, kidneys, and hearts. Fall semester’s Comparative Anatomy class is NOT a prerequisite for this class.  $160 or three payments of $55.


Food Justice (Andrea Kinnear; andrea@hsobx.org)  Explore how subsidizing corn, using pesticides and standardizing crop definitions contributes to food deserts, obesity and even slavery within the United States.  Books will include Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook, Cultivating Food Justice by Allison Hope Alkon, Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel and possibly one more.  Homework will consist of readings, and students will be expected to discuss readings in class.  Students should be able to write on a high school level and should expect one paper and one capstone debate. $100 or three payments of $35 +books to be purchased by student.


American Poetry 2: Return of American Poetry (Lydia Netzer; lydianetzer@gmail.com)
Picking up just after the Civil War and hurtling into our contemporary times, we’ll study fifteen poets (and their related literary friends) and learn what happened to literature in America in the 20th century. Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, and e.e. cummings are among the writers we’ll read, and the Harlem Renaissance, the Beats, the Black Mountain School, the New York Group, and Formalists are among the movements we’ll study. Since many recent works are not in the public domain, we’ll be using a textbook for this class. The Oxford Book of American Poetry is available for $20 in hardback, and will contain everything we need for this class as well as everything we read in the fall semester, back through Anne Bradstreet. $90 or three payments of $33.

Cryptography Club (Virginia Harvey; ginny@hsobx.org) -- Did you ever wonder how spies really keep their reports secret?  How confidential information can be sent over the Internet? Did you ever want to send a secret note that only your friend will understand?  We’ll start with simple Caesar ciphers to get warmed up, and then move on to substitution, keyword, and frequency analysis ciphers.  We’ll learn about the Enigma cipher, the Navajo Code talkers, modern public key encryption systems, and how to hide e-mail messages in plain sight.  Fair warning: this class does include some math, like finding averages and percentages.  One hour of homework per week.  No book required, just come with your minds and pencils sharp.  $120 or three payments of $45.   

Fall 2014: Schedule

Please view the schedule for our fall 2014 semester here.

Fall 2014: Class descriptions


Multiple Ages


HSoBX Girl Scout Troop #104 (Ginny Harvey) ages 5-15. Science, arts, outdoor skills, and more! Welcome to our homeschool Girl Scout troop! This multi-level GS troop includes girls from Daisy level up through Seniors (approximately grades K-10). The Girl Scout program emphasizes progressive leadership development through girl-led, hands-on, just plain old fun activities. So what does this mean for you and your daughter? The girls will have numerous opportunities to choose the activities they'd like to try, and we're hoping parents will share their special areas of expertise as we earn badges in a variety of areas and take part in service projects to help our community. Join us as we learn more about ourselves and the world around us! Associated costs include $15 GSUSA registration and approximately $65 for vest or sash, book, Council patches and pins. Troop dues are $25/year. 



Knitting (Kelly Moore) Let's learn to knit! Learn how much fun you can have with needles and yarn! First we'll learn to cast on, knit, and purl. We'll learn to work the garter stitch, stockinette stitch, and how to knit ribbing and cast off your project! In addition to knitting basics, we'll learn a little about the history of knitting, how to read patterns and how to choose the right yarn and needles for projects. We'll also learn to increase and decrease stitches, and how to use yarn needles to do finishing work on finished projects. ($125/semester or $45/month; includes basic supplies).


Creative Writing Club (Patricia Richman) ages 7-11.   If you love to write and cannot wait to share your work with the world or if writing comes slowly as your mom insists on just one more sentence, this relaxed, creative, FUN writing club is the class for you!  Over the course of the semester we will write and share four assigned pieces and four "free" pieces, play games, and publish a small class newsletter.  An assigned piece may look like "What is your name?"  where we will write about our name, how we got it, do we like it, etc.  A "free" piece is whatever you would like to share: a story, book report, poem, even writing from another class.  Our writing games will include Mad Libs, Story Boxes, and Sentence Scramble.  And everyone will have at least one piece published in our newsletter.  Writing prompts and assignments will be tailored to the club member's readiness and comfort.  While a 5 year old may dictate three sentences and draw a picture to go with their story, an 11 year old may develop the same topic at length.  If you are looking for an encouraging and supportive space to share your writing, come join us!  All writing levels welcome!   ($100 for the semester, siblings $50)


Ages 4-5


Play and Learn (Patricia Richman) ages 4-6.  PLEASE CONTACT INSTRUCTOR DIRECTLY FOR PLACEMENT IN THIS CLASS -- patricia@hsobx.org  Come and learn through play!  In Play and Learn we explore numbers, letters, history, geography, physical science, life science, and the animal kingdom.  Each class uses stories, music, big muscle movement, crafts, and guided activities to support our theme.  Play and Learn runs in a three year cycle, so children who return always have something new to discover.  A list of topics will be sent at the beginning of each semester, if parents would like to further explore our subjects at home.  This is the Montessori based, educational experience you've been looking for!  Play and Learn is a two hour long block class.  ($250 for the semester or three installment payments of $90).


Mini Munchkin Makers (Eleanor Jones) - CANCELLED

Ever wonder how your lights turn on and off? Want to look inside some of the electronics we use every day? Start on the path to becoming a Mini Maker by learning about electricity and basic circuitry. Every week we will learn from a new scientist like Joule, Ohm, or Tesla. We will stamp our own circuit diagrams and then build our own using Snapcircuits and littleBits. ($80 for the semester or three installment payments of $30).  


Five in a Row (Sheri Huddleston) This homeschool curriculum uses beloved children’s literature to teach in a way that causes children to fall in love with learning. At home, children will read a designated book several times with a parent.  In co-op, connections between the book and  Social Studies, Geography, Language Arts, Applied Math, and Science will be made with hands-on activities.  ($120 for the semester or 3 payments of $45.  PayPal to sherihuddleston@yahoo.com).


Ages 6-8


Ancient Science (Misty Thompson)

Ever wonder how such large stones were moved to make Stonehenge? What was used as money before there were coins? How can you make a sundial and tell time with it? How did people deal with daily problems before our modern comforts? This class will engage in hands-on activities to demonstrate early simple machines and devices created to help people. Students will look at early maps of the world, explore basic navigation techniques, and creatively solve everyday problems people would have encountered. All of the projects will be easy to do with common household items, so students will be able to recreate the experiments. Instruction sheets will be sent home after each class, along with a brief history of the science involved. Students will have science journals to record predictions and will use the scientific process to increase their understanding of the results (CLASS FEE PENDING).


Mini Makers (Eleanor Jones)

Get started building simple circuits, machines, and toys! We will explore electricity with littleBits and eventually set up our own circuits. We will learn how to cannibalize broken toys and electronics to make our own tools and toys.  Some of our projects will include a motorized man, moon buggy, a variety of pumps, and our own mini generator. We will be soldering in this class, so for safety all students must have safety glasses. ($85 for the semester or three installment payments of $30).


Building BIG! (Juliana Perez-Lopez) Calling all Junior Engineers!    Join us to explore large structures such as bridges and skyscrapers, and learn what it takes to build them.    We will have fun doing lots of hands-on activities to explore the key engineering principles behind these superstructures.   Based on the "Building Big" book by David Macaulay and the PBS series.  ($150 for the semester or 3 installments of $55)


Steel Band (Anthony Hailey) Escape to the Caribbean each week this fall by learning to play steelpan – the National Instrument of Trinidad & Tobago. If you love music and like to imagine white sandy beaches, crystal blue water and palm trees; then this is the class for you. We explore the history, culture and especially the soothing Island Music of Trinidad & Tobago; learning concepts such as movement, melody, harmony, rhythm and texture. This class also develops individual strengths such as focus within the context of a teambuilding group activity. We culminate with an exhibition performance so you can invite friends and family to our Caribbean GetAway. All instruments and materials for participation are provided. ($150/semester or 3 payments of $55, sibling + $100 then 3 payments of $85) 

Junior Robotics 2 (Robin Frazier)

Students enhance their understanding of programming using WeDo® software, a visual, drag-and-drop environment designed for LEGO® motors and sensors. Each class students will learn a new concept, while creating an extraordinary robot project using Bricks 4 Kidz® plans and LEGO® bricks, motors, and sensors. Students will also enjoy STEM challenges throughout the 15 week session.  LEGO® is a registered trademark of the LEGO® Company which is not affiliated with these programs. ($150 for the semester or three installment payments of $50).

Creative Writing Club (Patricia Richman) ages 7-11.   If you love to write and cannot wait to share your work with the world or if writing comes slowly as your mom insists on just one more sentence, this relaxed, creative, FUN writing club is the class for you!  Over the course of the semester we will write and share four assigned pieces and four "free" pieces, play games, and publish a small class newsletter.  An assigned piece may look like "What is your name?"  where we will write about our name, how we got it, do we like it, etc.  A "free" piece is whatever you would like to share: a story, book report, poem, even writing from another class.  Our writing games will include Mad Libs, Story Boxes, and Sentence Scramble.  And everyone will have at least one piece published in our newsletter.  Writing prompts and assignments will be tailored to the club member's readiness and comfort.  While a 5 year old may dictate three sentences and draw a picture to go with their story, an 11 year old may develop the same topic at length.  If you are looking for an encouraging and supportive space to share your writing, come join us!  All writing levels welcome!   ($100 for the semester, siblings $50)


Five in a Row  (Suzanne Wheatley) - CANCELLED
This homeschool curriculum uses beloved children’s literature to teach in a way that causes children to fall in love with learning. At home, children will read a designated book several times with a parent.  In co-op, connections between the book and  Social Studies, Geography, Language Arts, Applied Math, and Science will be made with hands-on activities.  The books and activities, while similar in format to the 4-5 year old Five in a Row class, will reflect the needs of older children.  


Ages 9-11


Poetry Tea (Adrienne Ashby)

Calling all lovers (and haters) of verse and lovers of tea! In this class we will celebrate, explore and find the fun in poetry by reading it, writing it, and reciting it. We will learn about rhythm and meter using the Random House Book of Poetry for Children and Michael Clay Thompson’s Music of the Hemispheres. Our class will publish its own illustrated book of poems. Along with our poetry, we will share cups of tea and learn the history of this ancient beverage. There will be 30 minutes of homework each week. ($125 for the semester or three installment payments of $45).


Art: Sculpture, Way Beyond Clay (Deva Brockett)

Create 3-D forms with wax, paper mache, wire, wood, glass, clay, and more, to explore mass, space, texture, and the expressive potential of the different mediums. In each class we will make sketches for our projects and then execute various ancient and contemporary sculpting techniques to turn them into 3D art. Along the way, we will also study famous sculptures and the 3-D artists who made them, like Michelangelo, Bernini, Haruki Nakamura, and  Sher Christopher.  Students who have taken my classes in the past will love all the new projects. New students will enjoy experiencing this hands-on approach to teaching art and art history, because working with real supplies and techniques makes learning about artists and the fundamentals/principles tangible and memorable. I believe that every person can make meaningful art, without being restricted to realistic drawings and paintings. My goal is to give even the most reluctant student tools to make art their own, and to inspire enthusiastic artists to try new materials and new modes of expression. ($130 for the semester or three installments of $50, plus $15 supply fee)

Additional supplies: Each student will need a sketchbook, pencils, scissors and erasers.



Geography Rocks! – Part I (Maryann Casey) 

Ever wonder which way is north?  Want to learn how to measure a mountain?  What exactly are the differences between oceans and seas, rivers and streams? Come discover the answers to these questions and more!  This class will explore the physical geography of our wonderful world, from the skies (atmosphere), to the land (lithosphere), and all the water in between (hydrosphere).  This class will be offered in two parts:  Part I (Fall 2014) will examine Earth’s atmosphere and hydrosphere and will include such topics as: atmospheric conditions, climatic zones and global weather patterns, classifying clouds and rainbows; along with, water forms and oceans, wetlands, watershed drainage, and aquifers.  Part II (Spring 2015) will focus on Earth’s lithosphere and will investigate landforms, plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes, rocks and minerals, and weathering and erosion.  ($125 for the semester or 3 payments of $45.)


Class will consist of in-class discussions and review accompanied by hands-on projects, activities, and simple experiments to reinforce the topics explored.  Homework will be minimal and will be comprised of viewing online videos and reviewing online interactive websites.  Homework is not expected to exceed an hour per week. 


Newbery Book Club (Tiffany Firestone)

Join us as we read, discuss and respond to three Newbery Award winning books. The books we will read are The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. Through the lens of these literary works we will map a journey, solve mysteries and illustrate scenes from a novel through the use of comic strips. There will be reading and journal entries assigned weekly. ($120/semester or 3 payments of $45)


Steel Band (Anthony Hailey) Escape to the Caribbean each week this fall by learning to play steelpan – the National Instrument of Trinidad & Tobago. If you love music and like to imagine white sandy beaches, crystal blue water and palm trees; then this is the class for you. We explore the history, culture and especially the soothing Island Music of Trinidad & Tobago; learning concepts such as movement, melody, harmony, rhythm and texture. This class also develops individual strengths such as focus within the context of a teambuilding group activity. We culminate with an exhibition performance so you can invite friends and family to our Caribbean GetAway. All instruments and materials for participation are provided. ($150/semester or 3 payments of $55, sibling + $100 then 3 payments of $85) 

Comic Creator Camp (Jessica Filosa) Bricks, Camera....COMIC Action!  Explore the artistic form of comic book design as you learn to create your personalized edition. Create your own characters, develop story lines and incorporate pictures of actual sets, all designed with LEGO® Bricks! After creating various scenes, students will snap pictures and upload them, utilizing a software program to create their very own, one of a kind comic book. Along with honing your story telling skills, this class is sure to take your imagination to the next level. Students will have different assignments throughout the 15 week session and they will be provided with a digital copy of the comic book they created. So, how’s that for comic relief? ($150 for the semester or three installment payments of $50). 

Hands-On Math (Theresa Kim) Come practice math skills using manipulatives like rainbow cubes, number tiles, two-color counters, dot paper, and pattern blocks. Hands-On activities will help students visualize operations with integers, explore proportional reasoning, and develop pre-algebra Skills.  Logic puzzles and games will add to the challenge.  Students should be comfortable performing all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.)  Manipulatives will be provided for in-class use. ($120 for the semester or three installment payments of $45.)

Creative Writing Club (Patricia Richman) ages 6-11.   If you love to write and cannot wait to share your work with the world or if writing comes slowly as your mom insists on just one more sentence, this relaxed, creative, FUN writing club is the class for you!  Over the course of the semester we will write and share four assigned pieces and four "free" pieces, play games, and publish a small class newsletter.  An assigned piece may look like "What is your name?"  where we will write about our name, how we got it, do we like it, etc.  A "free" piece is whatever you would like to share: a story, book report, poem, even writing from another class.  Our writing games will include Mad Libs, Story Boxes, and Sentence Scramble.  And everyone will have at least one piece published in our newsletter.  Writing prompts and assignments will be tailored to the club member's readiness and comfort.  While a 5 year old may dictate three sentences and draw a picture to go with their story, an 11 year old may develop the same topic at length.  If you are looking for an encouraging and supportive space to share your writing, come join us!  All writing levels welcome!   ($100 for the semester, siblings $50)


Ages 12-14






Yearbook Staff (Connie McClain) ages 11+

Love photography and design? Have a knack for writing creative captions? Join me as we spend the semester creating the school yearbook! Each student will learn tips for portraits, along with how to get fun, candid shots that still look professional. We will compile photos, come up with creative layouts, and design the yearbook! Organization, time management, and team cooperation will be stressed, as they are key to getting the job done. Each student will need to bring a notebook (one with pockets and several subjects will be handy) and pencil to class each week, along with a digital camera. ($140 for the semester or 3 payments of $50) check or PayPal to connie.mcclain@gmail.com




Art: Sculpture, Way Beyond Clay (Deva Brockett)

Create 3-D forms with wax, paper mache, wire, wood, glass, clay, and more, to explore mass, space, texture, and the expressive potential of the different mediums. In each class we will make sketches for our projects and then execute various ancient and contemporary sculpting techniques to turn them into 3D art. Along the way, we will also study famous sculptures and the 3-D artists who made them, like Michelangelo, Bernini, Haruki Nakamura, and  Sher Christopher.  Students who have taken my classes in the past will love all the new projects. New students will enjoy experiencing this hands-on approach to teaching art and art history, because working with real supplies and techniques makes learning about artists and the fundamentals/principles tangible and memorable. I believe that every person can make meaningful art, without being restricted to realistic drawings and paintings. My goal is to give even the most reluctant student tools to make art their own, and to inspire enthusiastic artists to try new materials and new modes of expression. ($130 for the semester or three installments of $50, plus $15 supply fee)

Additional supplies: Each student will need a sketchbook, pencils, scissors and erasers.





The Middle Ages for the Middle Schoolers (Tina Essert)

Using the curriculum Moving Beyond the Page as a guide, we will study the Middle Ages in Europe. Students will need to have the MBtP book for class. I will organize ordering but will require payment in advance for the books. We will also read two novels: The Hidden Treasure of Glaston and Catharine Called Birdy and discuss them in class.

This will be fast-paced and intense with a good bit of homework in order to stay on top of things. $150 plus curriculum and novels


How to win friends and influence people - a course in public speaking (Sherene Silverberg)

Whether your 12-18yo has a flair for the dramatic or prefers to avoid the spotlight at all costs, this speech class is the perfect fit! This interactive course eases students out of their comfort zone exposing them to a variety of speech genres including persuasive, informative and after-dinner speeches. Through exercises and practice, students will learn effective presentation and delivery techniques…. all in a fun and supportive environment! It is an excellent jumpstart for students considering speech competition. A pre-semester assignment will be sent out to all registered students 2-3 weeks before the semester begins. This course is for beginners, there are no prerequisites to attend this course.


The course will culminate in the students giving their speeches to members of co-op during the lunch periods over the last 3 weeks of the semester. 


Homework is mandatory for this class (students not completing homework will be invited to leave the class with no refund).   The students will be expected to craft their speeches at home, watch videos of outstanding speeches and to practice various aspects of their speeches at home.  Furthermore, all students will be expected to memorize their speeches (8-10 min) so that they can do them by heart when they present them in co-op. ($100 for the semester or three payments of $35).


Space Ship Earth (Deborah Rice)

Discover the difference between Earth’s biomes as you follow a polar bear, orangutan and horseshoe crab through their changing environment and time. Using NASA imaging and monitoring tools, travel to the far north to learn of the changing climate that is causing polar bears to move inland. Follow the ice as it flows to the sea in giant glaciers, calves icebergs and raises the water level of the world oceans. Using scientific investigation, explore sea level rise, methane leaks and polar biome. Learn the carbon cycle, the importance of our rain forest when you explore the changing world of the orangutan. Discover the multi-layered biome of the forest from the tree tops to the murky forest floor. Measure the growth of trees, make a carbon cycle chart. Become a time traveler when you step in to the ancient past, then travel to the present with the hermit crab. Discover how it’s environment has changed and why the hermit crab is important to medical science. This class requires a science journal to be kept that will include science observations, weather monitoring, as well as experimental findings. This class is heavy in math, charting and mapping. ($150 for the semester or three installment payments of $50).


Psychology (Suzanne Wheatley)

Come meet Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung!  Explore the development of an individual’s personality and the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind.  Students will discover the relationship between heredity, environment, culture and mental health as well as the history of mental health diagnosis and treatment.  Homework will consist of readings each week.  (CLASS FEE PENDING)


Genetics (Andrea Kinnear)

Using the National Institute of Health’s Genetics, Education and Discovery materials, students will explore topics in genetics including inheritance, genetic diseases, genetic screening and bioethics (discussion will be limited to pre-pregnancy screening).  Hands-on labs (including a genetic evaluation of Harry Potter’s world) will help students visualize what is happening with our genes. Homework will consist of videos, readings and the occasional problem set.  All students will be provided with a 6 DVD set of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's videos on various genetics topics ($125 for the semester or three installments of $45).




High School


The Supremes’ Greatest Hits (and misses) (Adrienne Ashby)

No, not the 1960’s Motown singing group. In this class we will learn all about the United States Supreme Court and the famous and infamous legal rulings that have shaped our modern representative democracy. Did you know that it took a Supreme Court ruling to declare that parents have the right to direct the education of their children? Did you know that the Supreme Court once ruled that the United States government could imprison a group of people solely because of their race? We will discuss and politely debate many of the controversial rulings of the court and how they impact our lives today. We will also study the history of the Court and some of the Court’s most interesting justices. There will be approximately 30-45 minutes of homework each week. ($125 for the semester or three payments of $45).


Gross (and Fine) Anatomy (Ginny Harvey)

What makes an animal an animal, and not a plant or just a cohabiting collection of cells? Do all animals have organs? What about organ systems? Locomotion? We’ll start with sponges and work our way up the major phyla of the animal kingdom, dissecting and comparing as we go. Who were the first animals to move around, and how did that change the world? Who had the first revolutionary one-way digestive tract? What other big innovations led evolution in new directions? This high school level biology lab class will use the PBS series “The Shape of Life” as a reference, as well as dissection guides and specimens from Carolina Biological Supply. Course fee includes a dissection kit (scissors, forceps, scalpel, pins, etc.) that is yours to keep. This class will be followed next semester by a Human Body Systems class. It is not necessary to take both semesters, but the spring semster information will build on the information presented in this class. Guidance will be provided for additional study units to cover a complete high school biology curriculum. ($160 for the semester or three installment payments of $55).


Quizbowl! (Lydia Netzer)

In this class we will develop the skills and knowledge to form 2 official quizbowl teams for competition under National Academic Quiz Tournaments (http://www.naqt.com). Half the class will be spent going over materials in different subject areas, strategizing about to approach different types of questions (computation, pyramid, buzzer race, swerves) and how to effectively memorize facts. The second half of the class will be spent playing Quizbowl with our own buzzer system. ($100 for the semester or three installment payments of $40).


How to Write a Research Paper (Megan Smith)

Do you have a topic that you’ve been itching to learn more about? Learn about a topic of your choosing through the process of writing a research paper. Being able to write a well crafted research paper is a critical school skill. It is also a helpful life skill (writing the annual report for your department at work isn’t much different). This class will cover the research paper process from beginning to end. Class topics will include: brainstorming, narrowing a topic, effective research techniques, writing and proofreading, choosing the best format for your paper, and citations and avoiding plagiarism. ($120 for the semester or three installment payments of $45. Paypal to smith.megan.e@gmail.com).






American Poetry through the Civil War (Lydia Netzer)
This class will serve as an introduction to fifteen American poets, from Anne Bradstreet through Walt Whitman to Emily Dickinson, as we read work from one poet per week, with one associated essay or article. While this is a literature class, a lot of the instruction will focus on note-taking, both taking notes while reading and taking notes while listening. Students will listen to a lecture or essay each week (of increasing length, starting with one minute) and take notes in class. Then we'll go over their notes, compare them to different examples, and work on refining this skill. Students will also take notes from essays, web sites, and news articles they read at home. Finally, they'll learn how to "actively" read (or dissect) a poem by analyzing its literary components on paper, listing research questions, and journaling personal responses. No textbook required, but each student will need a designated notebook (for notes!) to be used in class and at home, and a writing utensil. $100 or three payments of $40.







Art: Sculpture, Way Beyond Clay (Deva Brockett)

Create 3-D forms with wax, paper mache, wire, wood, glass, clay, and more, to explore mass, space, texture, and the expressive potential of the different mediums. In each class we will make sketches for our projects and then execute various ancient and contemporary sculpting techniques to turn them into 3D art. Along the way, we will also study famous sculptures and the 3-D artists who made them, like Michelangelo, Bernini, Haruki Nakamura, and  Sher Christopher.  Students who have taken my classes in the past will love all the new projects. New students will enjoy experiencing this hands-on approach to teaching art and art history, because working with real supplies and techniques makes learning about artists and the fundamentals/principles tangible and memorable. I believe that every person can make meaningful art, without being restricted to realistic drawings and paintings. My goal is to give even the most reluctant student tools to make art their own, and to inspire enthusiastic artists to try new materials and new modes of expression. ($130 for the semester or three installments of $50 plus $15 supply fee)

Additional supplies: Each student will need a sketchbook, pencils, scissors and erasers.



Public Health Ethics (Andrea Kinnear)

What does it mean to be ethical?  Does the definition of ethical change over time.  Using the 20th century American public health system as a backdrop for conversations of ethics, students will explore Typhoid Mary’s quarantine, Margaret Sanger’s works, the Tuskeegee Trials, HIV interventions and other topics.  The final project will consist of a prepared debate on a topic discussed in class.  This class is intended for the mature high school student.  ($125 for the semester or three installments of $45).