Back-to-school supplies pH strips, ruler, protractor, graph paper, highlighter, colored pencils, hi-polymer eraser, pencil, pen, science reference bo
 

Course History for Planet Homeschool

Arts | Computer Science & Design | Engineering | Humanities | Life Skills | Makers | Mathematics | Physical Education | Science | Social Science | Test Prep

 
Arts

Applied Arts | Performing Arts Education | Visual Arts

 
Applied Arts

Culinary Arts | Fiber Arts | Graphic Design | Metalworking | Woodworking

 
Culinary Arts

A collection of baking tools and ingredients including a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, mini prep bowls, mini-loaf pans, springform cake pans, mini-muffin tin, tart tin, sifter, pastry brush, bowl scraper, whisks, kitchen scale, flour, spices, eggs, honey, maple syrup, chocolate chips (and olive oils in the background) by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.Baking

Ann Angle

  • Fall 2019 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $170 (12 weeks) – $11.33/hour
Supplies: $45

Do you like to eat cake? Do you or maybe a friend have a food allergy? Would you like to learn how to make yummy treats for yourself or your pets? Then come to this class! We will learn how to bake with regular and alternate (allergy-friendly) ingredients. We will learn the science behind baking using various techniques and media. We will make cakes, cookies, pretzels, muffins, all kinds of bread, dog and cat treats, and whatever else the class decides. During the first class, we will cover kitchen safety and learn what makes baked goods rise.

We will also make a cake. Come dressed in clothes that can get messy, and tie long hair back.

Every accommodation will be made for those with food allergies.

Image: Photo of a collection of baking tools and ingredients including a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, mini prep bowls, mini-loaf pans, springform cake pans, mini-muffin tin, tart tin, sifter, pastry brush, bowl scraper, whisks, kitchen scale, flour, spices, eggs, honey, maple syrup, chocolate chips (and olive oils in the background) by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.

 

Spring 2019 mixing bowl with whisk and scraper by Carrie WilderHow to Boil Water

Barbara Crist-Nepp & Doug Nepp

  • Spring 2022 • 2nd Period • pending
  • Spring 2020 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered
  • Spring 2019 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered
  • Fall 2017 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered
  • Fall 2016 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered
  • Fall 2015 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Supplies: $270 (12 weeks) – $24.50/week

Are you ready for a rollercoaster ride of fun?!! Are you ready for some of the best food of your life?!!! Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!!!!! (we mean boil water). You will learn to prepare some crazy good food using fresh ingredients. You will learn proper cooking techniques including always cooking with a good beverage in one hand and good music on the phonograph. Discuss the origins of food and the importance of food in different cultures. Expand your horizons by expanding your palate as this class takes you from kitchen neophyte to kitchen ninja and you go on an eating binja (spelling is not part of the class, yeah!). You can’t help but rhyme when you’re cooking with thyme. So don’t be lame. Show you’ve got some game. So hurry now, CHOP – CHOP (see what we did there), and sign up for this class.

We plan each semester based on the needs and wishes of our students. They let us know what they are interested in based on a questionnaire we ask them to fill out before class begins.

As instructors, we like to expose our students to many different ingredients, foods, dishes, and styles of cooking, etc. By taking and participating in our class, you agree to try all the dishes we prepare or bring to class. (Of course, we would never ask you to eat anything that you have a sensitivity to or are allergic to. We would also never ask vegetarians, pescatarians, or vegans to handle or eat food that is not part of their diet.)

$270 supplies fee covers food for 11 weeks of class.

Required materials:

  1. Students will need to supply a chef’s knife (required). Aprons are optional. Instructors will keep the knives (for safety reasons) for the semester and students will bring them home at the end of the semester. Choose a knife that the student can handle easily (neither too long nor too heavy). No ceramic knives. Please make sure the knife is sharp as dull knives are very dangerous. Knives should be in guards/sleeves to protect the edge and either labeled with the student’s name or in some way that they can recognize their own knife.

  2. Students are responsible for purchasing ingredients for their final cooking project on the last day of class.

Homework commitment: Students plan a final project which will probably require 1 to 2 hours of research and prep time.

Image: Photo from a Spring 2019 class at Planet Homeschool by Carrie Wilder, All rights reserved.

 

Sculptural Fantasy Cake Decorating

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Fall 2018 • 2nd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $186 (12 weeks) – $12.40/hour
Supplies: $50

Learn multiple cake decorating techniques, from frosting flowers, stars, and shells to fondant sculptures finished with edible glitter. Over the course of the semester, you will make your own cake, colored decorator frosting, and colored fondant and then use your imagination to design and engineer sculptural fantasy cakes and cupcakes.

 
Fiber Arts

Leg harness upcycled from an old KAPPA jacket. Photo by Go to Utopia By Cho on Unsplash.# REVAMP # REPURPOSE # RENEW!

Janet Lewis & Sarah Beggs of Fiber Works MPLS

  • Fall 2021 • 2nd Period • 3 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $150 (12 weeks) – $10/hour

How do we achieve sustainability? Where does one person even start to make a difference? With this new class, we aim to teach students how to begin to make their own wardrobe a sustainable one. Students will bring in garments they no longer wear or do not like the way it fits and together we will come up with creative ways to up-scale, revamp, repurpose it. Let’s all work to keep clothes out of the landfill!

Required materials: Students will need to source their materials, sometimes from a fabric shop and often from thrift stores or their own stash.

Students should bring a sketchbook (or notebook) and drawing utensils (colored pencils or pens are useful) to each class.

Homework commitment: Students should plan to spend at least an hour each week working on their projects outside of class. Depending on the project, some weeks may require more and others less.

Image: Photo by Utopia By Cho on Unsplash.

 

A montage of fashion design sketches and labels by Sarah Beggs and Janet Lewis of FiberWorks MPLS. Fashion Design

Janet Lewis & Sarah Beggs of Fiber Works MPLS

  • Fall 2019 • 1st Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $150 (12 weeks) – $10/hour

We will take a close look at what it takes to be a Fashion Designer, delving into:

  • History Of Fashion

  • Garment parts and style of garments

  • Different cuts and shapes in dresses, shirts, pants, necklines, and sleeves

  • Types of Fashion: Haute Couture and Ready-to-Wear

We’ll also learn about different designers and why they are important and work on developing your own style.

Other topics covered will include:

  • Understanding textures and colors

  • Learning about all kinds of fabric

  • A look at current trends and understanding them

  • How to get your designs manufactured.

Each student will make their own inspiration board that includes sketches, color choices, fabric swatches, photos, and accessories.

Required materials: Students will need to get some supplies on their own.

Image: Montage by Fiber Works MPLS.

 

Photo from an anime festival by Linus.L Photography. 2017. CC BY-SA 2.0.Fashion: Costume & Cosplay Design

Janet Lewis & Sarah Beggs of Fiber Works MPLS

  • Spring 2022 • 1st Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour

You can see in your mind exactly what you want your costume to look like! But what does it take to create the perfect costume you envision? Where does one even begin? We will take a close look at what it takes to bring to life the costume or garment of your dreams. In the first half of the semester, we’ll take a look at fashion designers, anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, TV, and video game characters. We will come up with creative ideas to take your drawing from paper to reality, learn sewing and construction basics. We will take a look at fabric, materials, and tools best used for costumes. We’ll spend time with construction, making patterns, cutting, gluing, and finishing. Characters all need props and make-up, so we’ll spend some time with prop ideas and how best to make them. Basic make-up techniques and products. The second half is devoted to the development and completion of each student’s project/costume.

Prerequisites: None. We tailor our instruction to where students are at in their skills and curiosity. This is an elective type class so we try to meet them at their level, regardless of age, and engage their critical thinking and interests.

Optional Field Trip: We would like to take the class on a field trip, COVID permitting.

Required materials: Students will need to source their materials, sometimes from a fabric shop and often from thrift stores or their own stash. They will need a sketchbook and drawing utensils — colored pencils or pens are useful.

Required materials: Students should plan to spend at least an hour each week working on their projects outside of class. Depending on the project, some weeks may require more than others less.

Image: Photo from an anime festival by Linus.L Photography. 2017. CC BY-SA 2.0.

 

Fiber Arts: Knit/Crochet

Kim Chase-Kozak

  • Fall 2018–Spring 2019 • 3rd Period • 10 students registered
  • Fall 2017–Spring 2018 • 3rd Period • 7 students registered
  • Fall 2015 • 2nd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $230 (23 weeks) – $8/hour

Fall Semester: Crochet
Spring Semester: Knit

Welcome all to the wide wooly world of fiber arts! Possible topics may include looming, knit, crochet, weaving, needle felting, wet felting, winter wear, holidays, applied math, amigurumi/shapes/creatures, colorwork, lace, granny squares, free knit/crochet, donation items, yarn bombing, whatever you can dream up! The class will very much reflect the personalities and desires of each individual.

Come socialize and learn and/or work on knit or crochet. This class tends to be a nice relaxing break in the day.

Prerequisites: None. All ages and levels. For beginners just starting basics to experts wanting some time and space to practice and consult on new techniques.

Optional supply fees:

  • $35 beginning knit kit
  • $30 beginning crochet kit
  • $20 stash access

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester. No charge for continuing students who have paid the supply fee once already. You are welcome to supply yourself if you want.

NOTE: There will be an option to purchase additional supplies as a group.

Opportunity for 1 or 2 teen assistants with excellent people and needlework skills who are willing to focus on helping others over their own work (contact Kim Chase-Kozak if you’re interested!).

 

Graphic with fiber arts supplies including scissors, buttons, crochet hooks, and a ball of yarn, designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.Crafting for a pandemic!

Kim Chase-Kozak

  • Spring 2021 • 3rd Period • 4 students registered — online

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $75 (16 weeks) – $3.75/hour

This class was originally going to be Fiber Arts - knit and crochet in person. However, given we will still be online in the spring, I am mixing up the format a bit. This is going to primarily serve as a freeform crafting and social hour. Bring your favorite craft and topic of discussion and we’ll get to know each other and our arts over zoom weekly. I am open to hosting additional zoom social hours if the crowd is interested. Ideas are drawing, origami, needlework, knit, crochet, looming, sculpting, painting, quilling, embroidery, etc. Come with some handwork for the first day and be ready to introduce yourself!

If you are a person interested in learning to loom, crochet, or knit or you already have experience and advancing your skill, I have plenty of online resources and suggestions for you and you will be able to get questions answered via e-mail or we can look at having opportunities for questions during our zoom sessions. I will e-mail before the first class to check in with everything and see if anyone wants direction to be ready for the first day. I am an advanced needleworker and can help you with just about anything you can dream up!

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 

Needlework Creature Workshop

Kim Chase-Kozak

  • Fall 2016 • 4th Period • 11 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $100 (12 weeks) – $6.75/hour

Have you ever wanted to learn to crochet monsters, cute creatures, a Tardis, characters, and more? Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. (Try googling to see what great things you can make!)

Learn to crochet or advance your skills! This class is flexible for those who already knit or who have other patterns or project ideas.

Homework commitment: expect to spend the first several weeks of class learning to crochet and practicing at home, particularly if you are a beginner.

The $30 optional supply fee (recommended for beginners in particular) will get you 2 crochet hooks, enough yarn for 2-3 beginning projects, many appropriate beginner- to intermediate-level patterns, access to my stash of yarn, and other creature supplies (embroidery floss, various eyes, felt, stuffing, etc).

If you have a particular self-chosen project or pattern you’d like to tackle, you will be responsible for those supplies. If you have paid the supply fee, you can continue to use the stash/notions all semester even if you end up buying yarn for something.

 

Sewing (Beginning to Intermediate)

Maria Almli

  • Fall 2017 • 2nd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $147 (11 weeks) – $10.75/hour
Supplies: $15

We will make a pincushion, pajama pants, and a project of your choice. Possibilities include a bag, skirt, mittens, cape, decorative pillow or simple quilt.

Online tutorials will be available for reference at home.

Prerequisites: None. Accommodations for different skill levels are available from beginners through the intermediate level.

$15 supplies fee includes materials for the pincushion.

Required materials: All students will need their own sewing machine, pins, seam ripper, and sharp scissors. Students will need to provide their own fabric for the pajama pants and the free choice project.

Homework commitment: Some sewing outside of class will be necessary to complete projects.

 
Graphic Design

Introduction to Graphic Design

Dawn Keenan

  • Fall 2018 • 1st Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $144 (12 weeks) – $9.60/hour
Supplies: $25

Welcome to the exciting and ever-changing world of graphic design. Learn how to use space, color, fonts, and pictures to create a visually appealing page. Hands-on projects and lively discussion await you in this fun class where you will come away with a mini-portfolio of your efforts.

 
Metalworking

cover image of The Complete Metalsmith Student EditionJewelry and Metalwork

Joyce Nelson Shellhart

  • Spring 2022 • 4th Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $50

This class will introduce students to the tools of a jeweler or metalsmith. The class will begin with creating findings to use on their jewelry creations. The work will progress from wirework to shaping metal and connecting metal shapes.

$50 supplies fee covers an extensive supply list with metals, tools, and stones. Students will receive a small selection of stones to add to their work.

This class will involve sharp tools and torch use students must be alert and careful to prevent injuries.

Homework commitment: Homework time will vary with the assignment.

 

Artistic Metalworking

Michelle Lehman

  • Spring 2018 • 4th Period • 12 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 4th Period • 15 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $40

Identity crisis? This hybrid shop/art class will introduce the basic concepts of several types of metalworking including casting, embossing, electro-etching, and welding. Students will explore some of the history of metalworking as we create a variety of projects featuring different metals and techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to visit my home and use a plasma cutter and MIG welder to create a unique, functional, or artistic piece.

 
Woodworking

Woodworking

Michelle Lehman

  • Fall 2015 • 2nd Period • 13 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $156 (12 weeks) – $10.40/hour
Supplies: $35

In this hybrid shop and fine arts class, we will explore the world of woodworking using hand and power tools to create a variety of projects. Wood can be used to craft functional, beautiful, and fun items. We will explore a wide array of tools and techniques to cut, shape, carve and finish our designs.

Possible projects include:

  • Pocket Catapult
  • Pizza Cutter
  • Decorative Leaf
  • Carved Forest spirit
  • Gumball Machine
  • Plank Chair

Families should be aware that some tasks may be challenging for younger students.

 
Performing Arts Education

Dance | Music | Theater Arts

 
Dance

Two PHS students practice ballroom dance with Yvette Harvieux. Photo by Nic Rosenau.Ballroom and Latin Dance

Yvette Harvieux of Cinema Ballroom

  • Spring 2021 • 4th Period • cancelled due to COVID-19
  • Spring 2020 • 4th Period
  • Fall 2019 • 4th Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $185 (16 weeks) – $9.25/hour

Dancing is more than a fun way to get moving! This class will provide students with a useful, life-long skill that will benefit them physically and socially!

Students will learn ballroom and Latin technique and footwork, dancing etiquette, and lead and follow skills.

Dances include cha cha, rumba, jive, swing, waltz, tango, and more!

Image: Photo of two PHS students practicing ballroom dance by Nic Rosenau. 2019. CC BY 4.0.

 

Tango by Gan Khoon Lay, licensed from the Noun Project.Intermediate/Advanced Ballroom Dance

Yvette Harvieux of Cinema Ballroom

  • Spring 2019 • 4th Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $185 (16 weeks) – $9.25/hour

Continue to develop your dance skills in this Intermediate to Advanced Ballroom Dance class.

We’ll work on intermediate combinations of patterns, Ballroom and Latin technique, dancing etiquette, and lead and follow skills. To feel comfortable, we suggest that students should have attended at least one previous ballroom dance class either at Planet Homeschool or at Cinema Ballroom. Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Merengue, and Swing are examples of the dances this class will focus on.

Image: Tango by Gan Khoon Lay, licensed from the Noun Project.

 

Intro to Ballroom and Country Western Dance

Bill Smith

  • Spring 2018 • 4th Period • 13 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $112 (12 weeks) – $7.50/hour

In this introduction to social dancing for beginning and intermediate dancers, we’ll focus on the fundamentals of country waltz, cha-cha, East Coast swing, West Coast swing, and country two-step dances. Come have fun learning this great lifelong skill!

 

Ballroom Dance

Ms. Dorothy Rose

  • Fall 2017 • 4th Period • 14 students registered
  • Spring 2017 • 4th Period • 26 students registered
  • Fall 2016 • 4th Period • 26 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 4th Period • 18 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $336 (12 weeks) – $12/hour
60-minute sessions

This course began many years ago as a result of students’ requests and has remained very popular ever since.

This class will provide students with a useful, life-long skill that will benefit them physically and socially. Dances included in the course are Waltz, Fox Trot, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Tango, Cha Cha, Samba, Mambo, Polka, Rhumba, Quick-Step. In addition, students will learn several “warmup” group dances.

 
Music

Photo of choral sheet music by David Beale on Unsplash.Choir and Instrumental Ensemble

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Spring 2020 • 1st Period • 5 students registered
  • Fall 2019 • 1st Period • 7 students registered
  • Fall 2018 • 1st Period • 8 students registered
  • Spring 2018 • 1st Period • 5 students registered
  • Fall 2017 • 1st Period • 9 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 3rd Period • 6 students registered
  • Fall 2015 • 3rd Period • 16 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $308 (28 weeks) – $8.80/hour
Supplies: $20 per semester

Students will learn proper vocal and instrumental techniques, sight-singing, and some basic music theory. We perform music in parts and students are invited to help choose some of our performance repertoire.

We end each semester with two performances for family and friends.

Supply fees help to defray the costs of music folders and sheet music.

Image: Photo by David Beale on Unsplash.

 

Photo of Michael Oachs playing guitar by Hawthorne Oachs.1:1 Private 30-Minute Guitar Lessons

Michael Oachs

  • Fall 2020 • 3rd-4th Periods • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (12 weeks) – $33.25/hour
30 minutes
Supplies: $20

Enjoy private guitar lessons at a discounted rate, available only for Planet Homeschool students.

Face-to-face lessons provide the best foundation for any student by providing basic fundamentals and guidance on “healthy playing”. Proper posture, positioning, and finger, hand & arm positions will ensure that the playing experience is one of total enjoyment!

If you’re looking for a friendly, skilled, patient, and experienced guitar teacher - a teacher that tailors the approach to help you reach your goals faster - look no further than Michael Oachs. Lessons are well balanced and fun, with the student’s needs a priority. Areas of focus include chord studies, tablature, reading standard notation, music theory, performance, songwriting, singing with guitar, reading ’fake’ music, guitar gear, and much more.

Required materials: Students need to provide their own instruments, amps, and cables.

Image: Photo by Michael Oachs’ daughter. 2020. All rights reserved.

 

Guitar, Ukulele or Harmonica

Joe Filipovich

  • Fall 2015 • 1st Period • 10 students registered
  • Spring 2015 • 2nd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $192 (12 weeks) – $32/hour
30-minute lessons

Music lessons for guitar, ukulele, and harmonica for 1 or 2 students per 30-minute lesson. Students in the same class session must be playing the same instrument and should be of similar age (for example 10–12, 13–15, or 16–18).

Tuition includes an instruction book with chords, scales, music, and songs.

Guitar rental available: $125. Students will pick it up on the first lesson and return it on the last lesson. The other option is $37 for a month-to-month rental. Guitar rentals are limited and are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Harmonica and ukulele rentals are not available.

Ukuleles, harmonicas, and guitars can be purchased at most local music stores. Harmonicas can cost as little as $15 and ukuleles can cost as little as $60.

www.JFmusicLessons.com

 

Music Composition Workshop

Benjamin Klein

  • Spring 2022 • 2nd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $300 (16 weeks) – $15/hour

In this workshop, we will explore different ways in which to create music through various composition, improvisation, and other music-making strategies. Students are invited to participate as both composers and performers where the focus of the creative work will be to write music for each other to play and experiment in.

All performing and music experience levels are welcome. Projects will be guided to include the contribution of all participants.

We will also listen to the music and survey various composition strategies that other composers have undertaken to create their work in order to inspire ideas for our workshop.

Required materials: Students will need to supply their own musical instruments.

 

Songwriting for All

Brady Geary

  • Fall 2018 • 4th Period

Ages: for 11–19 years
Tuition: $140 (12 weeks) – $9.30/hour

Have you ever wanted to write a song? Whether you have musical experience or not, this course will help you write lyrics and music for an original song—plus, you’ll get experience with both poetry and basic music theory.

 
Theater Arts

Theatrical Productions | Acting Technique | Technical Theater

 
Theatrical Productions

promotional image for Pirates of Penzance designed by Tyler Skidmore and convereted by Sea BlakeTheatrical Production: Pirates of Penzance

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Spring 2017 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $192 (16 weeks) – $9.60/hour
Supplies: $50

The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty, a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Student actors will spend each week learning music, lines, and choreography for the final show.

In addition to weekly in-class rehearsals at PHS, participation in two theater retreats is expected.

Auditions will be held to determine role placements, but all registered students will play a part (there are many spaces for pirates, policemen, and daughters of the Major-General!).

Cast members are also encouraged (but not required) to register for Michelle Lehman’s Theatrical Production Arts class, where they will be given the opportunity to help create the sets, props, and costume pieces for the show.

Additional Dates

  1. Music Run-Through: Thursday, May 26, 9:00 AM–12:30 PM

  2. Choreography Run-Through: Thursday, May 26, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM

  3. Tech Run-Through: Thursday, May 26, 3:00 PM–6:00 PM

  4. Pizza Party: Thursday, May 26, 6:00 PM–7:30 PM

  5. Tech Run-Through: Friday, May 26, 2:00 PM–5:00 PM

  6. Costumes, Hair, Makeup, Set & Props: 5:30 PM–6:30 PM

  7. Open Dress Rehearsal: Friday, May 26, 7:00 PM

  8. Opening Night Performance: Saturday, May 27, 7:00 PM

Note: $50 supply fee is waived for cast members who are also signed up for Michelle Lehman’s third-period Theatrical Production Arts class.

 

promotional image for Witness for the ProsecutionTheatrical Production: Witness for the Prosecution

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Spring 2018 • 2nd Period • 15 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $50

Witness for the Prosecution, adapted by Agatha Christie from her 1925 short story, “Traitor’s Hands”

Student actors will spend each week learning character development, lines, and blocking for the final show. In addition to weekly in-class rehearsals at PHS, participation in two theater retreats is expected.

Auditions will be held to determine role placements, but all registered students will play a part. Cast members are also encouraged (but not required) to register for Michelle Lehman’s third-period Theatrical Production Arts class, where they will be given the opportunity to help create the sets and costume pieces for the show.

Additional Dates

  1. Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 7:00 PM: Movie Screening

    Watch the 1957 movie version starring Marlene Dietrich. Popcorn will be provided! This is an opportunity for students to get an overall sense of the story and to begin thinking about the characters they are interested in portraying.

  2. Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 3:30 PM: Placement Auditions

    These auditions determine which students will be cast as the main characters. To prepare for your audition, please practice a short monologue (2-3 minutes maximum) and be prepared to read a section from the script (a script will be provided for you during your audition). We will also ask you to speak in one or more accents.

  3. Mon, Dec 4, 2017: Audition results announced

  4. Fri, Dec 8, 2017, 3:30 PM: Table Read

    This is our first opportunity to read through the entire play as a cast—each person reads her or his character’s lines aloud.

  5. Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 9:30 AM–3:30 PM: Theatre Retreat

  6. Fri, Apr 13, 2018, 9:30 AM–3:30 PM: Theatre Retreat

  7. Fri, May 18, 2018, 3:00 PM–5:00 PM: Tech Run-Through

  8. Fri, May 18, 2018, 5:30 PM–6:30 PM: Hair, Makeup, Costuming, Set, & Props

  9. Fri, May 18, 2018, 7:00 PM: Open Dress Rehearsal

  10. Sat, May 19, 2018, 4:00 PM–5:00 PM: Set Touch-Ups & Rehearsal Spot Checks

  11. Sat, May 19, 2018, 5:30 PM–6:30 PM: Hair, Makeup, Costuming, Set, & Props

  12. Sat, May 19, 2018, 7:00 PM: Opening Night

  13. Sun, May 20, 2018, 1:00 PM–2:30 PM: Set Touch-Ups & Rehearsal Spot Checks

  14. Sun, May 20, 2018, 2:30 PM–3:30 PM: Hair, Makeup, Costuming, Set, & Props

  15. Sun, May 20, 2018, 4:00 PM: Closing Night

  16. Sun, May 20, 2018, 7:00 PM: Strike

 

promotional image for Babes in ToylandTheatrical Production: Babes in Toyland

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Spring 2019 • 2nd Period • 18 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $50

Babes in Toyland, an operetta composed by Victor Herbert with a libretto by Glen MacDonough.

Student actors will spend each week learning music, character development, lines, blocking, and choreography for the final show. All registered students will play a part.

In addition to weekly in-class rehearsals at PHS, participation in two theater retreats is expected. Placement auditions will be held to determine principal roles in August of 2018. Placement auditions for all other parts (including chorus) will be held in December of 2018.

Additional Dates:

  1. Sun, Aug 5, 2018, 7:00 PM: Movie Screening of Disney’s 1961 Babes in Toyland

  2. Fri, Oct 5, 2018, 11:00 AM: Movie Screening of Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup

  3. Fri, Oct 5, 2018, 12:30 PM: Table Read

  4. Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 10:00 AM–3:30 PM: Theater Retreat

  5. Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 2:30 PM–5:30 PM: Dance Retreat

  6. Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:00 AM–7:15 PM Theater Retreat

  7. Fri, May 10, 2019, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM: Rehearsal Spot Checks and House Set-Up

  8. Fri, May 10, 2019, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM Hair, Makeup, Costuming

  9. Fri, May 10, 2019, 7:00 PM: Open Dress Rehearsal

  10. Sat, May 11, 2019, 10:30 AM–1:30 PM: Run-Through

  11. Sat, May 11, 2019, 2:00 PM–3:30 PM: Dance Rehearsal

  12. Sat, May 11, 2019, 5:30 PM–6:30 PM: Makeup, Costuming |Set Touch-Ups | Concessions Set-Up

  13. Sat, May 11, 2019, 7:00 PM: Opening Night

  14. Sat, May 11, 2019, 10:00 PM: Strike

Cast members are encouraged (but not required) to register for Julianne Bruce’s third-period Stagecraft class, where they will have the opportunity to help create sets and costume pieces for the show. Students who register for both classes need only pay one supply fee.

 

Henry Irving in Macbeth at Lyceum Theatre, from Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. Print. London, England, 1888. Theatrical Production: Macbeth

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Spring 2020 • 2nd Period • 15 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $50

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

Student actors will spend each week learning character development, lines, and blocking for PHS’s spring production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

In addition to these weekly in-class rehearsals at PHS, participation in two theater retreats is expected. See below for schedule details.

Auditions will be held to determine role placements, but all registered students will play a part.

Cast members are also encouraged but not required to register for the third-period Stagecraft class with Julianne Bruce to help create the costumes, sets, props, make-up, and more for the PHS production of Macbeth. Students who enroll in both courses will only pay one supply fee.

Participation in Logan Verdoorn & Lukas Brasherfons fall semester Theater Workshop: Focus on Macbeth & Stage Combat class is beneficial but not required.

Schedule:

  1. Auditions
    Friday 13 December 2019
    starting immediately following clean-up for PHS (or approximately 3:15 PM)
    at Planet Homeschool

    Auditions will be brief. Please be prepared to fill out an audition form, perform a prepared monologue of your choice (the monologue does not need to be Shakespearean), and read from the script. Every person who signs up for the Macbeth class will get a role in this production. These auditions are for placement purposes.

  2. Table Read, Potluck, and Babes in Toyland Screening
    Saturday 14 December 2019
    1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
    at Waite Park Church (1510 33rd Ave NE, Mpls)

    Cast decisions will be announced and everyone will receive their scripts and read through the story as a group. There will also be a potluck and screening of the 2019 PHS production of Babes in Toyland.

  3. Weekly rehearsals with Director Tiffany Skidmore
    Fridays, 10:35 AM – 11:50 AM (75 minutes)
    January 10, 2020 – May 8, 2020
    at Planet Homeschool

  4. Theater Retreat #1
    Friday 10 April 2020
    10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
    at Shakespearean Youth Theatre, 550 Vandalia St, Saint Paul, MN 5511

  5. Theater Retreat #2
    Saturday 25 April 2020
    3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    at Shakespearean Youth Theatre, 550 Vandalia St, Saint Paul, MN 55114

  6. Touch-Ups and Open Dress Rehearsal
    Friday 8 May 2020
    4:00 PM – ~10:00 PM
    at Shakespearean Youth Theatre, 550 Vandalia St, Saint Paul, MN 55114

    • Touch-ups at 4 pm

    • Doors open at 6:30 pm

    • Performance starts at 7 pm

    • Notes from the director following the performance.

  7. Opening Night
    Saturday 9 May 2020
    1:00 PM – ~10:00 PM
    at Shakespearean Youth Theatre, 550 Vandalia St, Saint Paul, MN 55114

    • House set-up at 1 pm

    • Tech-set-up at 1 pm

    • Run-through at 3 pm

    • Hair, make-up, and costumes at 5:30 pm

    • Concessions set-up at 5:30pm

    • Doors open at 6:30 pm

    • Performance starts at 7 pm

    • Production photoshoot immediately follows the performance.

  8. Sunday Matinee
    Sunday 10 May 2020
    12:00 PM – ~6:00 PM
    at Shakespearean Youth Theatre, 550 Vandalia St, Saint Paul, MN 55114

    • House set-up at 12 pm

    • Tech-set-up at 12 pm

    • Hair, make-up, and costumes at 12:30 pm

    • Concessions set-up at 12:30pm

    • Doors open at 1:30 pm

    • Performance starts at 2 pm

    • Strike immediately follows the performance.

Image: Henry Irving in Macbeth at Lyceum Theatre, from Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. Print. London, England, 1888.

 

Theatrical Production: The Sound of Music or Spamalot

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Spring 2021 • 2nd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $50

  1. The Sound of Music, a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Based on the 1949 memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.

  2. Monty Python’s Spamalot, a musical comedy with music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle, lyrics by Eric Idle, and book by Eric Idle. Adapted from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Student actors will spend each week learning music, lines, blocking, and choreography for the final show. In addition to weekly in-class rehearsals at PHS, participation in two theater retreats and an open dress rehearsal is expected.

Auditions will be held in the Fall to determine major role placements, but all registered students will play a part no matter when they join the cast.

Cast members are also encouraged (but not required) to register for Julianne Bruce’s Stagecraft class, where they will be given the opportunity to help create the sets and costume pieces for the show.

NOTE: $50 supply fee is waived for cast members who are also signed up for the Stagecraft production arts class.

Auditions for principal roles will be held in August of 2020 (dates TBA).

 
Acting Technique

a group of Musical Theater Minnesota students pose on stageMusical Theater Minnesota

Mariana Petersen

  • Fall 2021 • 3rd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $185 (12 weeks) – $12.30/hour

Class is divided into three roughly equal blocks consisting of dancing, singing, and acting. Class begins with two warm-ups, one for our bodies and another one for our vocal folds. Students then work on dance, singing, and acting techniques through a series of different exercises and games. The repertoire includes songs from well-known musicals such as Hamilton, The Lion King, Aladdin, Wicked, Cats, Hairspray, and many more!

The semester ends with a 15 to 20-minute performance to which friends and family are invited. Costumes for this performance will be made with simple clothes that can be found at home. The performance is a consequence of the learning process, and while it is not the main focus of the class, it is a great way to showcase what the students have learned.

The instructors will assign different roles taking into account the abilities, age, and experience of each student. However, the shows will never have “leads” and “supporting actors” or “ensemble”, everyone is equally important and the students have a say in what character they want to play, what songs they are going to sing, and what the storyline of the final performance will be.

Prerequisites: None. All levels are welcome. No previous experience is required. This class was designed for ages 10–14 years. Older students are welcome as long as the older student is okay with the presence of younger students.

Required Materials: Students should wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring a bottle of water to in-person classes.

Homework commitment: Students should plan to set aside about 1 hour each week to review lines, songs, and choreography between classes.

Image: Photo of students from a Musical Theater Minnesota program.

 

Graphic showing various kinds of microphones, by Sophia Redfern-Hall.Voice Acting

Logan Verdoorn of Shakespearean Youth Theatre

  • Spring 2021 • 1st Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $55

Strengthen your skills and learn new techniques for voice acting - the new frontier of theater! We’ll explore voice and speech techniques, how to audition, narrate, perform from a script, and practice basic audio recording and editing techniques. Finish the semester by recording an audio drama or audiobook!

The $55 supply fee covers a microphone for recording.

Students will need to download free software for audio editing!

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 

Graphic with comedy and tragedy masks, by Sophia Redfern-Hall.Acting: Scenes and Monologues

Julianne Bruce

  • Spring 2021 • 3rd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $180 (16 weeks) – $9/hour

A personalized acting course for beginners to advanced students. Actors will learn how to find a monologue and scene to perform, rehearse and memorize lines alone and with others, and constructively critique their own and others’ work. There will, of course, be theater games.

Prerequisites: Students should be mature enough to stay focused on their own and others’ work during the entire class period, be able to memorize scripts, and be capable of articulating opinions in a constructive and helpful way.

Homework commitment: Students should plan on spending time outside class working alone and (online) with scene partners.

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 

Promotional image of John Gielgud and Margaret Leighton in the 1959 Broadway production of Much Ado About Nothing. September 1959. Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.Clowns and Fools: Shakespeare's Comedy (Focus on Much Ado About Nothing)

Logan Verdoorn of Shakespearean Youth Theatre

  • Fall 2020 • 2nd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $200 (12 weeks) – $13.30

Much Ado About Nothing features Shakespeare’s sharpest wits and dullest sluggards. Explore Dogberry (the foolish fop cop), Leonato (creator of the OG Dad joke), Beatrice (Shakespeare’s scrappiest heroine), and a whole cast of fabulous (and funny) characters in this comedy workshop that will cover slapstick comedy, physical clowning, verbal jousting, and more through one of Shakespeares most popular plays.

Image: Promotional image of John Gielgud and Margaret Leighton in the 1959 Broadway production of Much Ado About Nothing. September 1959. Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Promotional image from the 2019 production of The Two Noble Kinsmen at Shakespearean Youth Theatre in Minneapolis.Theater Workshop: Focus on Macbeth & Stage Combat

Logan Verdoorn & Lukas Brasherfons of Shakespearean Youth Theatre

  • Fall 2019 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 11–19 years
Tuition: $200 (12 weeks) – $13.33/hour

Sharpen your Shakespeare skills and develop foundational stage combat skills to prepare for PHS’s upcoming production of Macbeth!

In this hands-on class, we will focus on diving into the minds of Shakespeare’s greatest heroes and villains through acting work, text analysis, and character development exercises. Unravel the mysteries and intricacies behind characters such as Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Macduff as we explore the themes of Shakespeare’s original text through scene work, acting exercises, and performance. As a class, we will dive into the text to develop new interpretations to bring this classic piece to life in modern times. Do you know the difference between an iamb and a spondee? By the end of this class, you’ll be slinging anthesis and trochees like a pro as you prepare to tackle one of Shakespeare’s greatest masterpieces.

We’ll also break out the swords to learn fundamental stage combat skills that will be sure to bring audiences to the edge of their seats.

This class is ideal for both beginning acting students and experienced actors who are looking to deepen their acting skills and knowledge of Shakespeare.

Participation in Dr. Tiffany Skidmore’s spring semester theatrical production of Macbeth is not required!

Image: Promotional image from the 2019 production of The Two Noble Kinsmen at Shakespearean Youth Theatre in Minneapolis.

 

A group of improvisational actors react. Photo submitted by Julianne Bruce.Improv

Julianne Bruce

  • Fall 2019 • 3rd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $132 (12 weeks) – $8.80

Think Whose Line Is It, Anyway? or theatre games with a purpose. Improvisation—acting without a script—requires concentration, trust, and the desire to have a lot of fun! Improv techniques build skills used in many areas of performance.

The class will end with a showcase.

 

Blue Snowflake microphone on a desktop with a cup of coffee and a computer mouse and the edge of the computer keyboard by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.Voice Acting

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Fall 2019 • 4th Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $132 (12 weeks) – $8.80/hour
Supplies: $15

Students will learn proper vocal technique. They will develop multiple characters, learn how to audition, narrate, and perform from a script (for commercials, animated films, audiobooks, etc.), and practice basic audio recording and editing techniques.

Image: Photo of a Blue Snowflake microphone on a desktop with a cup of coffee and a computer mouse and the edge of the computer keyboard by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.

 

Improvisational Theater

David Weinlick

  • Fall 2016 • 3rd Period • 14 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $75 (12 weeks) – $5/hour

Creativity-on-demand can be tough. Although improvisation is very much about making things up on the fly, there are still ways you can practice the art of being spontaneous. This class will explore students’ ability to work “off-script” and enhance their creative play. Students will learn tools of the trade used by professional improvisational actors, and they will develop their ability to act out worlds of their own imagination. The class will focus on improvisational teamwork to create scenes together, even when those ideas may clash. Get ready to break through any social reticence and find your own dramatic genius.

Students should be prepared to feel ridiculous at times.

 

Sing! Dance! Ensemble

Prudence Johnson

  • Fall 2014–Spring 2015 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $420 (28 weeks) – $12/hour

This musical performance class is centered on great music and history as the students dig into the roots of American popular music. They’ll learn four decade-defining songs, study vocal techniques and styles, stage presence, and collaboration.

The final on-stage revue will feature the four big songs gleefully arranged and choreographed.

Occasionally, Prudence may invite guest artists to help teach this class.

Prerequisites: Reading and singing experience is a plus but not required.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

 
Technical Theater

Rehearsal boxes being painted for the Spring 2019 production of Babes in Toyland. Photo by Nic Rosenau.Stagecraft

Julianne Bruce

  • Spring 2021 • 3rd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19
  • Spring 2020 • 3rd Period • 14 students registered
  • Spring 2019 • 3rd Period • 20 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $50

Learn the technical side of theatre, from sets and props to costumes and make-up. This class will provide the behind-the-scenes support for our spring production of [Babes in Toyland (2019), Macbeth (2020), and The Sound of Music or Spamalot (2021)].

Students who register for this class in addition to Dr. Tiffany Skidmore’s second-period theatrical production course will pay only one supply fee.

Stagecraft students who are not part of the cast will work as the backstage crew during the show.

Image: Rehearsal boxes being painted for the Spring 2019 production of Babes in Toyland. Photo by Nic Rosenau. All rights reserved.

 

Planet Homeschool student in police officer costume for 2017 PHS Pirates of Penzance production. Used with parental and student permission.Theatrical Production Arts

Michelle Lehman

  • Spring 2018 • 3rd Period • 16 students registered
  • Spring 2017 • 3rd Period • 14 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $50

Putting on a show is more than just jumping on stage. It’s all about bringing a world to life! Learn the ins and outs of theater production in this hands-on class. We will explore set design and construction, prop creation, costume design, and the hair/makeup for our very own PHS production of [Pirates of Penzance (2017) and Witness for the Prosecution (2018)], directed by Dr. Tiffany Skidmore.

Image: Planet Homeschool student in police officer costume for 2017 PHS Pirates of Penzance production. Used with parental and student permission. All rights reserved.

 

A montage of cosplay ideas by Sarah Beggs and Janet Lewis of FiberWorks MPLS.Costume 101: Costumed Role-Playing/Cosplay

Janet Lewis & Sarah Beggs of Fiber Works MPLS

  • Fall 2020–Spring 2021 • 2nd Period • 4 students registered — online

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $350 (28 weeks) – $10/hour

We’ll take a look at Anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, TV, and video game characters. Come up with creative ideas to take your drawing from paper to reality. Learn sewing basics. We will take a look at fabric, materials, and tools best used for costumes. We’ll spend time with construction, making patterns, cutting, gluing, and finishing. Characters all need props and make-up, so we’ll spend some time with prop ideas and how best to make them. Basic make-up techniques and products.

There is a possibility of a field trip to a local entertainment group here in the Twin Cities if the COVID-19 situation allows.

Students will also have access to Fiber Works MPLS studio in NE Minneapolis for open sewing time if families feel comfortable having students attend an in-person, small-group sewing time.

As always, we at Fiber Works MPLS encourage the use of reusable, found, recyclable materials.

Students will need some kind of drawing tools (pencils, pens, colored pencils) and a sketchbook. Most other materials can be sourced free or very cheaply.

Access to a sewing machine is helpful but not required. Students have an open invitation to our studio and access to those materials/tools as needed.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

Image: Montage by Fiber Works MPLS.

 

Cosplay Weapon and Prop Design

Ann Angle

  • Fall 2018 • 4th Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $120 (10 weeks) – $9.60/hour
Supplies: $25

Have you ever wanted to look like your favorite anime character? Have you ever wanted to have that cool sword or shield from your favorite video game? Have you always wanted to make the same things as your favorite YouTubers but didn’t have the tools or space for it? Then this class is for you! In the first class, we will make Link’s hat, a nice warm one you can wear in the winter. At the end of every class time, students will have completed a project they have personalized to their interests and learned skills they can use at home to continue to create.

 

Costume and Stage Make-up with Prosthetics

Michelle Lehman

  • Fall 2015 • 4th Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $144 (12 weeks) – $9.60/hour
Supplies: $35

Learn the fundamentals of prosthetic making and application as well as make techniques for costume and stage in this hands-on class. We will begin the term by creating a lifecast, sculpting a prosthetic appliance, and casting our prosthetic just in time for Halloween. From there, we will learn other application and make-up techniques to bring to life fun and gruesome characters and creations.

This class is not suitable for students with a latex allergy. On the first day of class, all students will do a product test to check for reactions.

Some tasks may be challenging for younger students.

 
Visual Arts

Drawing | Filmmaking | Painting | Photography | Printmaking

Collage of alternative art projects by Abigail Adelsheim-Marshall.Alternative Art

Abigail Adelsheim-Marshall

  • Spring 2020 • 3rd Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $60

If you want to create impressive art but have struggled with traditional formats (or you just want to try something new) this class is for you! Over the course of the semester, we will create unique works of art including marble coasters, custom snow globes, jewelry, baskets, and many others! This is a great class for those interested in learning how to DIY, from picking a project, planning the design, and learning how to execute it successfully. This class will give you the tools you need to complete future projects, as well as a number of projects you get to take home (that make great gifts!).

Photos by Abigail Adelsheim-Marshall.

 

A student's decorated flower pot from the Spring 2019 Expressive Art Experience class with Valerie Geary at Planet Homeschool. Photo by Nic Rosenau.Expressive Art Experience

Valerie Geary

  • Spring 2019 • 4th Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 11–19 years
Tuition: $180 (16 weeks) – $9/hour

Come create art each week that’s fun, challenging, and interesting—in a way that is expressive but not requiring artistic “talent.” Art projects will be more about enjoying the process of creation and not about being easily evaluated to reduce the pressure of creating a perfect end-product. We’ll focus on fun, contemporary, surprising, challenging, and even humorous experiences. This class gives teens an opportunity to express themselves in safe and appropriate ways, maybe even incorporating these activities into their lives outside of class.

A student’s decorated flower pot. 2019. Photo by Nic Rosenau.

 

2D Art

Valerie Geary

  • Fall 2017 • 1st Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $99 (11 weeks) – $9/hour

Calling all artists AND nonartists. That’s right. Whether you are a skilled artist, someone that doodles or you like art but never make any yourself this class will fit you perfectly. Try your hand at a variety of projects such as designing wallpaper, stylizing animals, and making art with words to name a few. This class will get you started on an individual project, give you time to work and feedback to help you along the way. And the best part is seeing the range of amazing creations from all the students, side by side.

 

3D Art

Valerie Geary

  • Spring 2018 • 4th Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $180 (16 weeks) – $9/hour

Come make amazing 3D creations using a variety of materials. We will use clay, recycled materials, and paper to jump into the world of 3D art. These projects will be fun for everyone whether you consider yourself an artist or not. Projects may include art wind chimes, scale model sculptures, and zentangle-inspired reliefs. This class will get you started on an individual project, give you time to work and feedback to help you along the way. And the best part is that you will leave with some awesome art!

 
Drawing

Paint splash Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.Figure Drawing

Joyce Nelson Shellhart

  • Spring 2021 • 4th Period • 5 students registered — online

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $235 (16 weeks) – $11.75/hour

Drawing the human figure is one of the most feared drawing subjects by students. This course will demystify drawing figures in still poses and action poses. All subjects will be clothed also giving us the opportunity to examine fabric texture and draping. The final class sessions will examine figure drawing in exaggeration producing the cartoon or illustration. Students will develop a more refined sense of how the human body creates a sense of movement in space on a two-dimensional surface. We will study the interplay of light and dark to create volume.

All supplies are included in the class fee.

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 

Paint splash Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.Exploring the Natural World Through Art

Joyce Nelson Shellhart

  • Fall 2020 • 4th Period • 5 students registered — online

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $195 (12 weeks) – $13/hour

This course will examine our natural world from broad horizons to the world barely visible to the naked eye, using different artistic mediums and exploring styles of expression from realism to abstraction. Students will become more keenly aware of our natural world surrounding us through color, shape and form, the contrast of light and dark, textures.

Subjects will be found on our weekly virtual field trips. The class will virtually visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Como Park, Normandale Community College Japanese Garden, and Lake Minnetonka. A list of mostly free venues and the dates will be included in your supply packet.

All supplies are included in the class fee.

Image: Photo by Shannon Kunkle on Unsplash.

 

A spiral-bound pad of drawing paper with two drawing pencils, a marker, two erasers, and a textbook on drawing by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.ABCs of Drawing for Beginning to Accomplished

Joyce Nelson Shellhart

  • Fall 2019 • 4th Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 10–16 years
Tuition: $185 (12 weeks) – $12.30/hour

Drawing can be taught like any skill. Students begin thinking around age 10 to 12 if they can’t draw like [insert a famous artist or friend], or if what they draw doesn’t look realistic to them, then they are a failure. Like any skill, each lesson builds upon the next, opening the student to trust their power of seeing and recording what is buried in the creative side of our brains. Joyce Nelson Shellhart first read Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards in 1979, while struggling with teaching her high school art students to draw. She felt their frustration and decided to experiment with Betty Edwards’ methods. The results were remarkable, once the students felt they could draw realism they were much more open to trying more abstract ideas. Since then she has used the methods in private lessons and classroom settings with children to senior citizens. Never say, “I can’t draw” in front of Joyce, because she will challenge you. “If you have average eyesight, average eye-hand coordination, I can teach you to draw.”

Each student will be supplied with a basic drawing set for the semester including carefully selected pencils and paper on the first day of class.

Each class will have a brief lecture followed by studio work. Students will be encouraged to share their work with the class. Drawing outside of the class will also be encouraged.

This class is perfect for beginning artists as well as more accomplished art students.

Image: Photo of a spiral-bound pad of drawing paper with two drawing pencils, a marker, two erasers, and a textbook on drawing by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.

 

Advanced Drawing

Megan McNinch

  • Fall 2017 • 3rd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $136 (11 weeks) – $9.89/hour
Supplies: $30

In-class exercises and sketchbook work will help students learn new skills while building on and reinforcing drawing basics. We’ll explore principles of design, anatomy for artists, drawing a likeness, basic color theory, and more. Students will also look at and discuss work by a wide variety of contemporary and traditional artists.

Prerequisites: This class is designed for students who have taken drawing classes previously or have independently explored drawing fundamentals and are ready for a more challenging course.

The $30 supply fee includes one sketchbook. Additional sketchbooks may be purchased through the instructor for $12 each or independently.

 

Middle School Drawing

Megan McNinch

  • Fall 2017 • 4th Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 10–15 years
Tuition: $136 (11 weeks) – $9.89/hour
Supplies: $30

Students will learn drawing fundamentals while exploring their personal interests. Fun and engaging in-class exercises and sketchbook work will focus on improving drawing skills and helping students express their creativity. Students will experiment with pencil, ink, charcoal, and more. In addition to student work, we will look at and discuss work by a number of artists and explore a wide variety of drawing styles.

The supplies fee includes one sketchbook. Additional sketchbooks may be purchased through the instructor for $12 or independently.

 

Drawing

Megan McNinch

  • Spring 2017 • 4th Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $136 (11 weeks) – $9.89/hour
Supplies: $30

Students will learn drawing fundamentals while exploring their personal interests. Fun and engaging in-class exercises and sketchbook work will focus on improving drawing skills and helping students express their creativity. Students will experiment with pencil, ink, charcoal, and more. In addition to student work, we will look at and discuss work by a number of artists and explore a wide variety of drawing styles.

$30 supplies fee includes one sketchbook. Additional sketchbooks may be purchased through the instructor for $12 or independently.

 
Filmmaking

Spring 2019 PHS student checks camera before beginning to film. Photo by Nic Rosenau.Adventures in Filmmaking!

Deacon Warner

  • Spring 2019 • 1st Period • 6 students registered
  • Spring 2018 • 1st Period • 8 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 4th Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $275 (16 weeks) – $13.75/hour

Students will explore the art of filmmaking from story development and scriptwriting to camera work and editing. The class is structured around a series of short film projects: two in-camera projects, a video poem, and a short narrative film.

The class includes two extra sessions at FilmNorth in St Paul for editing:

  1. Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 9 AM to 12 PM
  2. Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 9 AM to 12 PM
  1. Wednesday, February 16, 2018, 9 AM to 12 PM
  2. Wednesday, May 4, 2018, 9 AM to 12 PM
  1. Tuesday, February 18, 2019, 9 AM to 12 PM
  2. Tuesday, April 28, 2019, 9 AM to 12 PM

Image: Photo of a Planet Homeschool student checking the camera before beginning to film by Nic Rosenau. All rights reserved.

 
Painting

Robert Andler Lipski. The Place I Remember. 2015. Mixed media collage with paper, photo, prints, fabric, vinyl. Lavenaa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.Acrylics and Mixed Media

Joyce Nelson Shellhart

  • Spring 2022 • 4th Period • pending — online

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $35
pending

Come with us as we explore creating art with anything from newspaper, buttons, old playing cards, cardboard, tissue paper, used birthday cards — things that you might have considered junk or trash until you put them together and add color with acrylics. These amazing contemporary artworks can tell a story, focus on abstract shapes or even create a realist scene depending on the student’s interest.

The instructor will prepare an art kit of basic items to be distributed the week before class begins. The $35 supplies fee includes canvases, acrylic paints, glues, glitters, fine tip permanent markers, a collection of fun papers, modeling paste, baby wipes, some buttons, and several paint markers.

Students are encouraged to search their homes for items they find interesting to add to their artworks (with parental permission).

Homework commitment: Students should expect to spend a minimum of 2 hours a week working on their projects outside of class.

The class may try and gather in the parking lot at PHS once a month to share our projects with one another in person, depending on the weather.

Image: Robert Andler Lipski. The Place I Remember. 2015. Mixed media collage with paper, photo, prints, fabric, vinyl. Lavenaa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Photo of a person painting a tree on a cliff by Jade Stephens on UnsplashDiscover the World Through Acrylic Painting

Joyce Nelson Shellhart

  • Fall 2021 • 4th Period • 6 students registered — online

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $45

Painting with Acrylics is no longer just squeezing paint from a tube. Acrylics come in a wide assortment of permanent paints from thin inks to thick impasto, allowing the artist to experiment with many different painting styles and effects. This class will allow that experimentation and encourage students’ development in what makes an interesting painting. The class will begin with color mixing, progress through experimenting with different acrylics while each lesson will cover one of the basic principles of design. The final weeks will allow students time to work independently on a painting or series of paintings of their choosing.

We will try to meet up once a month outside, depending on the weather, so that I can look at each student’s work individually and we can discuss our artwork as a group. This gathering may be in the parking lot or east lawn of PHS or at another nearby location. (Student’s in-person attendance will not be required.)

Homework commitment: 2 hours a week minimum

$45 supplies fee covers various types of Acrylic paint, brushes, canvas, heavyweight paper, palette, palette knives, pencils, erasers, carrier for paints and canvas.

Students can pick up their supply kits from me at PHS’s Not-Back-to-School Gathering on Friday, August 27, 11 AM – 2 PM at Saint Anthony Village’s Central Park. If you are not able to attend this event (or if it is cancelled due to inclement weather or other unforeseeable circumstances), you will need to make individual arrangements with me to pick up supplies prior to the first week of class.

Image: Photo by Jade Stephens on Unsplash.

 

Photo of supplies used in class by Michelle Albrecht de Grados.Intro to Acrylics & Watercolor

Michelle Albrecht de Grados

  • Spring 2020 • 4th Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $160 (16 weeks) – $8/hour
Supplies: $120

Be inspired from the history of famous artists’ canvas paintings to the making of modern-day eco-art projects, and use your own creative innovations to design masterpieces of your heart’s desire. Get in touch with your inner artist and let the fun unfold before your very eyes! Mimic the masters or design from your own imagination. Join fellow artists in the making!

The $120 supplies fee includes:

  • $20 table easel
  • $40 for acrylics/watercolor paints
  • $20 paint brush set
  • $20 variety of canvases/canvas paper
  • $20 for specialty eco-crafts

Included “no charge on loan” are paint water wells, sponges, palettes, and color wheels.

Required materials: Students must bring their own painting smock/shirt/pants/shoes. Long sleeve dental/doctor snap-up overshirts work great as painting smocks, can be found online at a discount or at local thrift stores.

Image: Photo by Michelle Albrecht de Grados.

 
Photography

Photos taken by PHS students on display at the Spring 2019 Open House and at Hamlin Midway Library in Saint PaulPhotography

Kathy Oaks

  • Spring 2022 • 4th Period • pending — online
  • Fall 2018 • 2nd Period • 5 students registered
  • Spring 2018 • 1st Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $260 (16 weeks) – $13/hour
pending

This fun class covers basic photography, from the history of the photographic process and influential photographers to using your camera to best effect today. Assignments will include understanding light and shadow, perspective and focus, composition, emphasizing your subject, using natural light for portraiture, etc. If possible the class will include two field trips during class time.

Required materials:

  1. Students will need to supply a digital camera. Any camera with adjustable settings for exposure is fine: DSLR, point and shoot, cell phone, tablet. Students should bring cameras to class each week.

  2. Apps should be installed on cell phones and tablets to adjust shutter speed and aperture, if possible.

  3. Online Course: Students will post their favorite photos weekly to a private online space (such as a private Facebook Group) for positive critiques.

  4. Students will print their two best photos for formatting and display at the end of the semester.

Homework commitment: 30 minutes per week

Image: Photos taken by PHS students on display at the Spring 2019 Open House and at the end-of-semester exhibit at Hamline Midway Library in Saint Paul. Photos by Kathy Oaks. All rights reserved.

 
Printmaking

Relief Printmaking

Megan McNinch

  • Spring 2018 • 3rd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $180 (16 weeks) – $9/hour
Supplies: $35

Students will experiment with a variety of relief printmaking processes including linocuts, woodcuts, collagraphs, and more. Through printmaking we’ll also explore design essentials and principles like color, balance, and proportion. In class discussions, we’ll look at work by printmakers and artists from around the world and throughout history. The class will culminate in a themed print exchange and the option to bind prints into a simple bound or accordion book.

 
Computer Science & Design

Photo of a student working on a laptop during a Fall 2019 Planet Homeschool class by Nic Rosenau.3-D Modeling and Animation

Connor Skidmore

  • Fall 2019–Spring 2020 • 4th Period • 3 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $308 (28 weeks) – $8.80/hour
Supplies: $20 per semester

The goal of this course is to teach students the fundamentals of what animation is and how it works, as well as to give them an opportunity to learn some techniques for themselves. We will cover topics such as frame-by-frame animation and stop motion, keyframes, and setting animation to audio. Students will also learn the basics of 3D modeling using the free professional modeling software Blender, and how to integrate this into their animations.

Required materials: Students will need to bring laptops and charging cords.

Image: Photo of a student working on a laptop during a Fall 2019 Planet Homeschool class. Used with parental and student permission. All rights reserved.

 

MacBook Pro laptop running Blender. Photo by Nic Rosenau. 2019.3-D Design Blender

Kim Chase-Kozak

  • Spring 2015 • 4th Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $165 (16 weeks) – $8.25/hour

An introduction to the world of computer-generated 3D modeling. As an introductory course, it provides a basic understanding of the skills and techniques employed by 3D designers in a wide range of applications. We will explore basic mesh modeling, texturing, lighting, animation, and rendering. Additional projects and topics may be added for students that work quickly.

Required materials: Students will need to provide their own computer that can download and run the free and open-source 3D creation suite Blender. Please make sure this will install and run before registration.

Students will also need a good internet connection at home.

Homework commitment: You will get the most out of this class if you spend some time doing outside projects that will be assigned.

Photo of a MacBook Pro laptop running Blender by Nic Rosenau. 2019.

 

Advanced Minecraft Redstone with Breadboard Electronics and Arduino Programming

Michelle Lehman & Ethan Lehman

  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 4th Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $350 (28 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $20 per semester

Delve deep into the world of Minecraft to create advanced projects using redstone. Having covered the basics and completed several redstone builds to hone our skills, we’ll now work on coding command blocks and setting up game mechanics for custom maps and mini-games.

The $20 supplies fee covers the cost of sensors and electrical components.

Required materials:

  1. Students will need to have a computer with the full version of Minecraft installed. Note that the mobile versions of Minecraft do not include all redstone options needed for this class.

  2. Students will need to purchase an Arduino UNO (approximately $25) to use in class.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

 

Beginning Programming with Minecraft Mods

Kim Chase-Kozak

  • Fall 2016 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $150 (12 weeks) – $10/hour

A fun introduction to programming using tools designed to make beginning programming less daunting. Ready to think like a programmer? Learn about variables, data types, functions, loops, logic, conditionals! Sound confusing? It won’t by the end of this class! We will do most of our learning in the world of Minecraft Mods.

Access to the Minecraft Mod Blockly tool will be provided with registration for this class.

This will be a Minecraft-focused class, but may require a little in-class flexibility! We may move to in-class activities or possibly apply some of these principles in the free programming tool Scratch if our wifi is problematic. Scratch is a better tool for demonstrating some principles, can be used offline, and is formatted very similar to the Minecraft Mod Blockly tool.

Prerequisites: beginning programmers welcome.

Required materials:

  1. You will need a laptop you can bring to class with you.
  2. This laptop will need to have Minecraft installed and running.
  3. I will ask everyone to install Scratch (a free tool) on their laptops at home before class starts as a backup plan to the Minecraft Mod Blockly software that will require internet access.
  4. You should have a good understanding of your own machine and file system.
  5. You will need internet access at home for homework.

 

Programming Pong via Unity screenshot by Andre Infante via makeuseof, 2017. Photo of MacBook Pro laptop and red Playstation game controller by Nic Rosenau, 2021Video Game Programming

Kim Chase-Kozak

  • Spring 2022 • 3rd Period • pending
  • Spring 2016 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour
pending

Using the game engine Unity and the object-oriented language C#, students will be introduced to the world of game design and programming. We will discuss and implement objects, functions, logic, arrays, operators, loops, and other concepts that are used in most programming languages. We will also start with making simple games and talk about design concepts and processes that real-world developers might use when designing your favorite game. Bring your logic, your creativity, and your patience!

Class time will be a combination of demonstration, time to work on new concepts and have individual questions answered. This class will end with a self-designed project of the students choosing.

Prerequisites:

  1. You should have an understanding of your own laptop and file system.

  2. It is to your advantage to have had some programming experience and understanding (Scratch or Alice is fine).

  3. The class will be kept open-ended to accommodate various experience levels and interests.

  4. If you are someone who has Blender modeling experience, Unity and Blender can work together to design games but Blender is NOT a class requirement. This may be demoed briefly if there is interest for students to implement in their own projects.

Required materials:

  1. Students must have a laptop they can bring to class that can run Unity.

  2. Students must download and install Unity prior to the first day of class. It should be a simple install, and if it’s not, you may not have an appropriate laptop. If you can install it and bring it up, you should be good to go! You will need this installed for our first day of class. I will not have the ability to install and debug this for individuals during class.

Homework commitment: Expect to spend some time reinforcing what we’ve done at home during the week so we can keep moving forward with new concepts.

Image: Photo of a Steam game controller on red backlit laptop keyboard, by Nic Rosenau. 2019. CC BY 4.0.

 

Steam game controller on red backlit laptop keyboard, by Nic Rosenau. 2019. CC BY-SA 4.0.Video Game Design

Connor Skidmore

  • Fall 2019–Spring 2020 • 3rd Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $308 (28 weeks) – $8.80/hour

This course is designed to teach students the fundamentals of game design, particularly as it applies to video games. Game design covers many aspects, such as how to make various aspects of a game work together, and how to make a game fun. Fall semester focused primarily on the conceptual side, how video games are built from the ground up, including breaking down existing games. This spring semester, we will focus on applying these skills, and students will design and develop their own projects using more advanced software.

Required materials: Students must provide their own laptops. Students will also be required to purchase games totaling about $40.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

Image: Game Development by Chunk Icons, licensed from the Noun Project.

 
Engineering

strength testing a modelDesign, Build, Test: Structures

Peter Hoh

  • Spring 2022 • 4th Period • pending
  • Spring 2020 • 2nd Period • 11 students registered

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $225 (16 weeks) – $11.25/hour
Supplies: $10
pending

Use the engineering design process to explore materials and structures. We will work collaboratively to build structures out of various materials such as paper, cardboard, and wood. Then we’ll test our structures to see how they respond to forces. We will analyze what works and what doesn’t to learn how we can make better structures.

$10 supplies fee covers masking tape, glue, index cards, brass fasteners, zip ties, hardware (nuts, bolts, screws).

Prerequisites: Students should have the fine motor skills necessary to use scissors.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook, pencil, and protective eyewear to class each week.

Homework commitment: While time will be provided during class for design work, some students might prefer to think about their design between class sessions.

When we start making projects over multiple sessions, families will be responsible for transporting the partially-finished projects to and from PHS weekly.

Photo by Peter Hoh.

 

Edina High School Team Captain flying a drone in the VelociDrone simulatorFPV Drone Sports and Engineering

Joel Stewart & Marty Wetherall of Youth Drone Sports Championships

  • Fall 2021 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $225 (12 weeks) – $15/hour
Supplies: $60

Learn how to build and race first-person-view (FPV) drones and gain a hands-on understanding of the engineering behind this sensational new way to fly.

First-Person-View Drone Racing and Freestyle is best described as Robotics-meets-Pinewood Derby-meets-Star Wars. Learn to build and fly your own indoor micro-FPV quadcopter and race it, or just express yourself in aerial freestyle. Then join- or form a team of fellow homeschoolers to compete with students around the state. Not only will you learn all the STEM subjects applied (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, aerospace engineering, video engineering, open source, math, physics, battery science, MacGyvering, and more) but if you can fly these little micro-FPV drones you can fly ANY drones, opening up a growing world of drone-related professions. This is the high school sport you’ve been waiting for.

Beginners welcome!

There will be at least one race event during each semester held outside of the classroom at a prearranged location.

Each student will receive their own radio controller purchased with the $60 supply fee.

Required materials: Students will also need to purchase a license for the VelociDrone FPV Racing Simulator app (£16.99) with the Micro Class Quads add-on (£4) which comes to about $30 with the current exchange rate.

Homework commitment: At least 5 hours per week of simulator practice time.

This course is designed specifically for high school students.

Image: Promotional image of the Edina High School Team Captain flying a drone in the VelociDrone simulator from Youth Drone Sports Championships.

 

Transmitter with purple tiny whoop drone by Nic Rosenau. 2021.FPV Drone Sports Club

Member Mentors

  • Spring 2022 • 2nd Period • pending

This is a cooperative exploration of drone sports led by parents and guardians acting as mentors to the student pilots. We’ll work together to learn how to build and race first-person-view (FPV) drones. Students will gain a hands-on understanding of the engineering behind this sensational new way to fly.

First-Person-View Drone Racing and Freestyle is best described as Robotics-meets-Pinewood Derby-meets-Star Wars. Learn to build and fly your own indoor micro-FPV quadcopter and race it, or just express yourself in aerial freestyle. Not only will you learn all the STEM subjects applied (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, aerospace engineering, video engineering, open source, math, physics, battery science, MacGyvering, and more) but if you can fly these little micro-FPV drones you can fly ANY drones, opening up a growing world of drone-related professions. This is the high school sport you’ve been waiting for!

Families will pool resources to assemble a reconfigurable course from PVC pipe and connectors and other materials. It is possible that between $5 to $20 will be needed to purchase some supplies.

Students will also need all of the following equipment, most of which may be ordered from Youth Drone Sports Championships:

  1. VelociDrone FPV Racing Simulator app with the Micro Class Quads add-on: $30 via purchase voucher from YDSC
  2. a laptop with the VelociDrone FPV Racing Simulator app installed (and a power cable) that they can bring to class
  3. Transmitter: RadioMaster TX8: $70
  4. FPV Headsets: Fat Shark Scout Goggles: $170
  5. Tiny whoop drone: YDSC Brushed Racer Kit: $170

Order Equipment

Anyone wanting to compete as part of YDSC will also need a YDSC membership, which is $50 for 200 tokens or $100 for 500 tokens. Tokens are then redeemed to participate in Sim Events, MTS Ladders, or IRL Racing. The $50 membership is sufficient to compete in all virtual races.

Join YDSC

Image: Transmitter with purple tiny whoop drone by Nic Rosenau. 2021. CC BY 4.0.

 

Engineering for Kids logo.Computer Building and Robo Battles

Engineering for Kids

  • Fall 2018 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $240 (12 weeks) – $16/hour

This class combines computer building and programming with robotics to give students experience with a wide range of practical, hands-on STEM skills.

Computer Building with Piper and Raspberry Pi

Build. Program. Play. Learn how to build a computer with Piper, the computer that prepares students for a lifetime of building technology. As students build Piper and progress through games, they develop technical skills and approaches that lead to inventive solutions. Engineering for Kids will coach you through this learning system which teaches kids hardware engineering and programming through a combination of an engaging storyline, physical building, and the Raspberry Pi Edition of Minecraft. Students do not take home the computers they build. See buildpiper.com for more information.

Robotics: Robo Battles

Using LEGO Robotics and computers, students create, program, and control robots designed to perform challenges such as the SumoBots Challenge, Jousting Challenge, and the Catapult Challenge. Come learn the principles of robotics, computer programming, and teamwork in this fun, high-energy class!

 

Engineering for Kids logo.Crime Scene Analysis & Hit or Myth

Engineering for Kids

  • Fall 2018 • 3rd Period

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $240 (12 weeks) – $16/hour

Crime Scene Analysis

Become a forensics investigator and find out who stole the blueprints for our secret new invention. Using principles of investigative and forensic science, students will analyze evidence in the simulated crime scene using math, science, and technology. Each day is a new adventure to decipher cryptic clues and DNA codes, reconstruct a car crash, and devise a lie detector to find a culprit.

Hit or Myth

Does breakfast cereal really have iron in it? How many pennies can a balloon lift? Can a car run on air? Join us as we explore these and other mind-bending scientific questions and decide what’s a hit and what’s a myth.

 

Engineering for Kids logo.Software Engineering & Electronic Game Design

Engineering for Kids

  • Spring 2018 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 10–15 years
Tuition: $310 (16 weeks) – $15.50/hour

Software Engineering: Scratch Video Sensing

What’s more fun than playing an interactive video game? Writing one! Video sensing allows students to design and program their own video games and then test them by interacting with the program via webcam. In this Scratch program, students work together to create their own games, art, and musical instruments while exploring coding foundations.

Electronic Game Design: Racing Games-Motocross

Ladies and gentlemen start your engines! On your mark, get set, GO! We will use the Engineering Design Process to create a storyboard that will outline the rules of play and characters for our game based on the basic rules of racing. Then, we will use Clickteam Fusion 2.5® to bring our storyboard to life with programming. At the end of the program, everyone takes home a working Windows-compatible game (Clickteam Fusion 2.5® does not support Mac or Android operating systems).

 

Engineering for Kids logo.Middle School Civil Engineering

Engineering for Kids

  • Fall 2017 • 2nd Period • 5 students registered

Ages: for 10–15 years
Tuition: $235 (12 weeks) – $15.50/hour

Civil Engineering

Students use the Engineering Design Process to design, create, test, and refine a balsa wood bridge designed to withstand the greatest force. They examine several different types of bridge designs and discover how the forces of tension, compression, bending, torsion, and shear are distributed throughout their structures.

Mechatronics Engineering

Explore the basics of mechatronics engineering (a blend of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer control, and information technology) and logic-based programming as students use littleBits® and work together to design gadgets, tools, and machines to solve various challenges.

 

Engineering for Kids logo.Middle School Engineering

Engineering for Kids

  • Spring 2017 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $298 (16 weeks) – $14.90/hour
Supplies: $45

Electrical Engineering: Electrified (Jan 13–Feb. 17, 2017)

Students use the Engineering Design Process to design, create, test, and refine basic electronics and circuits. Students experiment with Snap Circuits® to discover the capabilities of major electronic components. In addition, students build their own flashlights and explore the world of magnetic energy by building their own Magnetic Levitation vehicle.

Hardware Engineering - Get Wired with Makey Makey (March 3–April 7, 2017)

Imagine designing a piano using celery or creating a custom digital training program. Now, envision playing video games using just your body, a bit of wire, and your own imagination. In our hardware engineering program, students engineer their own customized video game controllers using a Makey Makey device and materials that can be found in just about any kitchen. Through the application of circuitry, acoustical engineering, and video game design, students discover new ways to interact with technology, all while creating unique designs in a fun collaborative environment.

Mechanical Engineering: Master Machines (April 21–May 12, 2017)

Students use the Engineering Design Process to design, create, test, and refine a variety of machines and mechanical systems. Students learn the basics of fluid mechanics, simple machines, and other design and engineering concepts while constructing roller coasters, egg-drop vehicles, and an incredibly fast air-powered dragster they keep at the end of the course.

 

Engineering for Kids logo.Middle School Robotics

Engineering for Kids

  • Fall 2016 • 2nd Period • 15 students registered

Ages: for 10–15 years
Tuition: $186 (12 weeks) – $12.40/hour

LEGO® Robot Surgeons (Sep 16–Oct 28, 2016):

Students design and program robots to function as medical robots by accomplishing a task that would cure a disease or address an issue within a human organ. Students use LEGO® Robotics and computers to learn principles of robotics, computer programming, and teamwork.

LEGO® Robotics Olympics (Nov 4–Dec 16, 2016)

Students design and program robots to compete in simulated Olympic events such as sprinting in a race, throwing a basketball, and shooting a puck into a hockey goal. Students use LEGO® Robotics and computers to learn principles of robotics, computer programming, and teamwork.

 
Humanities

English Language Arts | History | Languages | Literature | Philosophy

 
English Language Arts

Creative Writing | Essay Writing | Journalism | Public Speaking

 
Creative Writing

Early morning at Lake Bled, Slovenia, by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash.Creative Writing: Fantasy

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2022 • 2nd Period • pending — online
  • Fall 2017 • 3rd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $280 (16 weeks) – $14/hour
Supplies: $20
pending

Fantasy is the oldest form of storytelling. From the creation stories of the Dakota to the Epic of Gilgamesh to The Odyssey to Beowulf, we have always found comfort in tales of brave heroes and hideous beasts, of new worlds and ancient magics, of powerful rulers and epic dangers.

We will read, write and maybe even publish fantasy. We’ll take a look at the most powerful tropes (story types) in fantasy writing, read masters of fantasy like Alice Bradley Sheldon, Neil Gaiman, and Susanna Clarke. We’ll talk about keeping dragons, casting spells, wielding swords, defeating tyrant kings, encountering the fae, contending with demons, avoiding imps, and defeating wizards. We’ll write long and short fiction, as preferred by the individual student.

Students will write in each class period and have writing homework. In class, we will share our work. We will encourage positive, constructive critique that leads the writer to write more.

Students should bring a notebook and pencil or laptop to class.

Homework commitment: Students will have approximately 15 to 45 minutes of homework per week.

Group work requirements: Students will work in groups outside of class, but all collaborative work can be done online.

$20 supplies fee covers materials costs for games and other classroom activities.

Image: Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash.

 

Description. Author.Creative Writing: The Short Story

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2020 • 2nd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $230 (16 weeks) – $11.50/hour
Supplies: $15

At the heart of every person is a story. You have a story you want to tell. You may not even know it. This class will help you tell that story and many others.

This class will help students develop short stories and novels through a positive, helpful and confidence-building critique method used in writers’ groups around the world. Students can expect to do lots of writing and some revision and to regularly celebrate their and others’ writing.

Students can come into class with their own ideas, but that is not required. Through quick, fun, and engaging writing prompts and activities, students will be able to develop a number of ideas and pick from them to get started writing.

Image: Photo of a Planet Homeschool student writing in a notebook by Nic Rosenau. All rights reserved.

 

A shelf of science fiction books at the Hennepin County Library in Saint Anthony Village, Minnesota, USA by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.Creative Writing: Science Fiction

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2019 • 1st Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour

Someday we’ll live in a world of artificial intelligences, regular space travel, advanced technology or maybe even aliens, dystopian societies, and interplanetary governments. For now, we just get to write about it. We will read and write science fiction. We’ll take a look at the most powerful tropes (story types) in science fiction writing, read masters of science fiction like Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, and Alice Bradley Sheldon as well as contemporary authors of science fiction. We’ll talk about rebellious robots, exploring and living on Mars, fighting aliens, traveling at light speed, and integration between humans and computers.

Students will write in each class period and have writing homework. In class, we will share our work. We will encourage positive, constructive critique that leads the writer to write more.

Image: Photo of a shelf of science fiction books at the Hennepin County Library in Saint Anthony Village, Minnesota, USA by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.

 

Creative Writing

Nora Parker Cox of The Light Academy

  • Fall 2018 • 1st Period • 2 students registered
  • Spring 2017 • 1st Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $212

Join us as we explore the main parts of creative writing! We’ll start with characters (and yes this includes villains), move on to plot, and end with, well, how to finish — and all along you’ll have a chance to experience world building hands-on by adding to a giant class map! Each day of class will have games to warm-up our imaginations, chats about all things creative writing, and plenty of time to write (or draw if comics are more your thing). At the end of the semester, you’ll have a chance to share something you’ve been working on (but you certainly don’t have to)!

 

Novel and Short Story Writing

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2016 • 1st Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $260 (16 weeks) – $13/hour
Supplies: $25

At the heart of every person is a story. You have a story you want to tell. You may not even know it. This class will help you tell it and many others.

This class will help students develop short stories and novels through a positive, helpful, and confidence-building critique method used in writer’s groups around the world. Students can expect to do lots of writing, some revision, and to regularly celebrate their and others’ writing.

Students can come into class with their own ideas, but that is not required. Through quick, fun, and engaging writing prompts and activities, students will be able to develop a number of ideas and pick from them to get started writing.

 

Fan Fiction

Jeanne Bain

  • Spring 2015 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $192 (16 weeks) – $9.60/hour

What happens when Katniss Everdeen, Captain America, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer enter the Doctor’s TARDIS? Will they fly through time and space and fight a battle in the Hogwarts Castle? Get lost in Howl’s Moving Castle? In fanfiction, anything goes! Sharpen your pencils, engage your wit, push up your sleeves and explore the craft of creative writing through fan fiction! Warning: Plenty of group writing, improvisation, and cosplay.

 

Poetry typed out on my grandmother's typewriter by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.Poetry Writing

Nora Parker Cox of The Light Academy

  • Spring 2020 • 3rd Period • 2 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $212 (16 weeks) – $10.60/hour

Students will be introduced to the many different types of poetry, both through readings, discussion, and writing. Poetry goes far beyond the rhyme, including song writing, memory tools, and even spells and curses. This class will be heavy on reading, discussion, and writing. In addition to writing four different poems, students will also be reading two poems each week and preparing a written or spoken response to share during the class discussion.

Image: Photo of the word “poetry” typed out on my grandmother's typewriter by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.

 

Flat lay photo of coffee cup, MacBook Pro laptop with script onscreen, printout of script, highlighter, pencil, pen, and binder clip by Nic Rosenau.Play & Scriptwriting

Nora Parker Cox of The Light Academy

  • Fall 2019–Spring 2020 • 4th Period • 5 students registered
  • Fall 2017 • 2nd Period • 5 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $371 (28 weeks) – $10.60/hour

Learn how to write a play in this fun, hands-on class! Each student will be responsible for creating a character (or several) and representing that character in the class-created play. This is our third year! We’re bringing Detective Murphy back for a Sci-Fi wedding! Opal has been released from prison and her and Murphy are getting married, but Marigold returns from her search for the perfect story with a story that follows her. This is the first year this class will be drawn out over both semesters. Not only will we write the play, students will learn how to edit and get this script performance ready. This class will have no additional homework other than completing what was started in class.

The fall semester will focus solely on writing the play and the spring semester on edits and performance.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

Image: Flat lay photo of coffee cup, MacBook Pro laptop with script onscreen, printout of script, highlighter, pencil, pen, and binder clip by Nic Rosenau. 2019. CC BY 4.0.

 
Essay Writing

Description. Author.Formal Essay Writing

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2019 • 1st Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour

If you love writing or if you hate writing, this class is for you. In school, college, life and work today, writing is more important than ever. Everyone has to be able to write. Through fun, focused activities, Students will build their skills in writing about life, personal experiences, and serious current events. Together, we will write a descriptive essay, a persuasive essay and an analysis essay as well as a “choice essay” for the last part of the course. Students will have input/choice throughout the course on the topic of their essays.

Successful communication through writing just requires practice, confidence and knowledge. Because of this, we will spend some time of the fundamentals of writing, including basic grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and essay structure.

NOTE: Upon request, college-bound students may write a draft of their college essay for the latter “choice portion” of the course.

Image: Photo of a Planet Homeschool student’s written paper inside a blue folder by Nic Rosenau. All rights reserved.

 

Research Paper Writing

Carrie Pomeroy

  • Fall 2018 • 4th Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $185 (12 weeks) – $12.33/hour

Research papers do NOT have to be a tedious slog! They can be a great opportunity to challenge your thinking, surprise yourself, and make new discoveries about a subject that fascinates you. We’ll explore how to choose a focused topic, craft a thesis statement, organize research, and more. Through weekly assignments, in-class activities, and peer review, you’ll work your way up to writing a research paper step by step. In the process, you’ll practice skills you can use in high-school academic work and beyond.

Please note: though we may touch on some points of grammar and punctuation toward the end of this course, we’ll primarily be focusing on building academic writing and critical thinking skills.

Tuition includes a copying fee for course hand-outs.

 

Research Paper Writing

Elise Duval Werger

  • Spring 2018 • 3rd Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour

This class is for high-schoolers who wish to develop and improve their academic writing skills. Students will complete a formal research paper on a topic of their choice. Gain academic writing practice with a topic that fascinates you! Because this class will focus on academic writing skills, it is expected that participants already have a basic working knowledge of grammar and punctuation.

Homework commitment: Weekly assignments, writing exercises, and peer review will keep the process manageable and enjoyable.

 

Essay and Nonfiction Writing

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2017 • 3rd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $180 (16 weeks) – $9/hour

If you love writing, or if you hate writing, this class is for you. In school, college, life, and work today, writing is more important than ever. Everyone has to be able to write.

Through fun, focused activities, Students will build their skills in writing about life, personal experiences, and serious current events. Together, we will write a descriptive essay, a persuasive essay, and an analysis essay as well as a “choice essay” for the last part of the course. Students will have input/choice throughout the course on the topic of their essays.

Successful communication through writing just requires practice, confidence, and knowledge. Because of this, we will spend some time on the fundamentals of writing, including basic grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and essay structure.

 
Journalism

Podcasting

Maria Almli

  • Spring 2017 • 2nd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 11–19 years
Tuition: $215 (16 weeks) – $10.75/hour
Supplies: $30

Explore different types of podcasts, learn how to interview, put together a story, and record and edit audio. Workshop each other’s pieces.

Optional Field Trip: Students will also have the opportunity to tour a radio station.

Required materials:A smartphone, laptop computer and headphones are required for this class. It is possible that an iPod touch or iPad could substitute for the smartphone. If you do not have a smart phone, please check with the instructor about the specifics of your device prior to signing up.

A permission slip allowing child’s voice on the internet is required for this class.

Homework commitment:This class requires homework including listening assignments, fieldwork, and audio editing.

 

Newspaper & Photojournalism

Tesha Christensen Pettit

  • Spring 2015 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $160 (16 weeks) – $8/hour

Do you like to write reviews on movies or music? Snap photos or take video? Let others know what’s going on? Delve deep into a topic and write a hard news story? Feature someone’s hobbies? Do you know that everyone has a story to tell?

Be part of an online newspaper at Planet Homeschool. Learn the basics of being a reporter while becoming a more discriminating news consumer. Try your hand at writing several different kinds of news stories to find your niche. We’ll talk about why freedom of the press is protected in our constitution, and how the working environment varies for reporters around the world. As technology changes, we’ll learn about the shifting news landscape and we’ll talk about how becoming a good news writer will benefit you no matter what career path you take.

 
Public Speaking

designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.Public Speaking

Kathy Oaks

  • Spring 2021 • 4th Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $192 (16 weeks) – $9.60/hour

The challenges of presenting oneself and one’s ideas are different online than they are in person. This class will help you work on group introductions, enunciation, body posture, confidence, extemporaneous speaking, and ultimately giving a formal speech you’re passionate about.

Everyone will get a chance to speak every week!

These skills will help you be successful in many areas of your life, and the class format is fun and engaging. We’ll be learning exercises that will transfer to in-person speaking, so you will need space during this class to get up and move around, and the ability to project your voice without disrupting the rest of your household too much.

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 
History

Modern American History: Reconstruction to 1980

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2014–Spring 2015 • 1st Period

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $208 (16 weeks) – $10.40/hour

Using the amazing power of hindsight we will look at events and decisions that shaped Modern American History! We will use primary documents, art, literature, movies, web sources, potential speakers to analyze our more recent US history. Students will engage in class discussion and challenge themselves and each other to view history through the eyes of those who lived it.

  1. Reconstruction Era
  2. Robber Barons or Job Creators?
  3. Industrialization
  4. Labor & Unions
  5. Strikes
  6. Spanish American War
  7. Progressivism- What is it?
  8. Isms
  9. Colorado Wars
  10. A cheese Sandwich and WWI
  11. Women’s Suffrage
  12. Roaring 20’s
  13. Sacco & Vanzetti
  14. Scopes Trial
  15. KKK is back
  16. Gangsters
  17. Hoover, Love him….hate him
  18. Crash
  19. Great Depression Part 1
  20. Great Depression Part 2
  21. Causes of WW2
  22. The Last Good War
  23. World War 2- The Japanese
  24. Manhattan Project
  25. The Home Front
  26. After the Good War
  27. The 1950’s
  28. Civil Rights….What Civil Rights?
  29. Cuban Missile Crisis
  30. Civil Rights Movement
  31. Vietnam
  32. Black Panthers
  33. 1970’s
  34. Nixon
  35. Iran Hostage
  36. We Didn’t Start the Fire

 

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, by Felipe Simo on Unsplash.Modern World History and Current Events

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2020–Spring 2021 • 3rd Period • 7 students registered — online
  • Fall 2017–Spring 2018 • 3rd Period • 11 students registered
  • Fall 2014–Spring 2015 • 3rd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $392 (28 weeks) – $11.20/hour

A look at the events in the world from approximately 1945 until today. This class analyzes recent historical events that have had a direct impact on current world events. Examples include how decisions made in the Middle East following WWII contribute to the current conflict between Israel and Palestine; the Soviet Union, the United States, and the Cold War and how power struggles still continue even after the fall of the Soviet Union; how the fall the of the Soviet Union has led to increased uncertainty around nuclear weapons; China’s rise as an economic superpower; Iran and the United States and the complicated relationship between the two countries; the emergence of South American countries in the world economic system. What is the Doomsday Clock and is it still pertinent today? In addition, we’ll study Africa and the numerous military coups and India’s growth and influence in the world. We will also look at and analyze current events making headlines during our class sessions. Students will need to be able to access current news and be willing to share that information in class.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester. New students may review Fall Semester topics at homeschoolingclasses.com or just jump in and start. If a Fall Semester topic comes up in class, Theresa will direct new students to the materials for the previous discussion.

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

Image: Photo of Saint Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, by Felipe Simo on Unsplash.

 

History of Rock and Roll

Dr. Tiffany Skidmore

  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 4th Period • 5 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $336 (28 weeks) – $9.60/hour

Fall Semester: Origins to 1970
Spring Semester: 1970 to the Present

Learn about the origins of rock music, the genres that have influenced it, and its impact on the music of today. Discuss the relationship between popular music, culture, and history. Learn to identify standard rhythms and chord progressions and learn to analyze song structure.

In past years, my classes have also enjoyed composing and performing songs as a group.

Homework commitment: Assignments for this class will include several short writing assignments, one longer paper, and one class presentation.

Note: Because most rock songs contain mature content, families will be given a list of songs that will be studied in class each week. Students who wish to leave class for certain discussions will be welcome to do so.

 

Cover of World History: The Big Eras: A Compact History of Humankind for Teachers and Students from World History For Us All.World History: The Big Picture

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 1st Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $371 (28 weeks) – $10.60/hour

Utilizing the approach of looking at world history as a big picture, this class will challenge students to view world history as part of the larger patterns of historical change. From Pharos to the Great Wall of China, the Rise and Fall of Roman Empire to William the Conqueror, the black death, Renaissance and the great civilizations of South America and everything in between students will dig into world history. This Class will focus on “nine big eras” historical change and patterns of Humans and the Environment, Humans and other Humans, and Humans and Ideas. The class incorporates primary source documents, a class “time travel” presentation, and in-class activities.

Textbook: World History For Us All’s World History: The Big Eras: A Compact History of Humankind for Teachers and Students, by Edmund Burke III, David Christian, and Ross E. Dunn

 

Revolution: A World History

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2018 • 2nd Period • 5 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $260 (16 weeks) – $13/hour
Supplies: $15

Governments can make their citizens quite grumpy sometimes, and so revolt is a constant theme in world history. While revolutionary movements might have slightly different goals and begin for slightly different reasons, they have much in common. Revolutions begin from an act of government violence and erupt as a result of further state-sponsored violence. We’ll study various revolutions throughout world history with additional special focus on the 20th century, the revolutions of 1968 and the recent “Arab Spring”. Students will get a sense of the causes, demands and success of various revolutionary movements through discussion, debate, mini-lecture, videos, reading and role play.

 

The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis. By Parthenon, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons..Ancient World History

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2020–Spring 2021 • 1st Period • 6 students registered — online

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $392 (28 weeks) – $11.20/hour

Utilizing the approach of looking at world history as a big picture, this class will challenge students to view world history as part of the larger patterns of historical change. From Pharos to the Great Wall of China, the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire to William the Conqueror, the black death, Renaissance and the great civilizations of South America and everything in between students will dig into world history. This class will focus on “nine big eras” of historical change and the patterns of Humans and the Environment, Humans and Other Humans, and Humans and Ideas. The class incorporates primary source documents, a class “time travel” presentation and in-class activities.

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

Image: The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis. By Parthenon. 2018. CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Art History

Valerie Geary

  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 4th Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $320 (28 weeks) – $9.14/hour

Fall: 1400s through Impressionism
Spring: Impressionism to Modern Art

The lives of artists can be as interesting or even more interesting than the artworks each artist creates. This class will focus on one or two artists each week. Learn about faces made of fruits and whether an artist really tethered himself to a ship’s mast during a storm to completely understand the experience of a tempest. Find out who made a monthly time capsule by taping a box closed each month filled with things ranging from drawings to birthday cake.

We will move chronologically looking at not only the artist and artwork but also the time period, geography, and major historical events during the artist’s lifetime. We may be tempted to create a bit of art along the way but these would either be group projects or simply projects to better understand a medium and in no way is “art talent” a requirement.

 

Design for a Flying Machine. Leonardo da Vinci, 1488, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.Artists, Thinkers, and Inventors

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2020 • 1st Period • 3 students registered

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $225 (16 weeks) – $11.25/hour
Supplies: $20

We’ve all heard of Galileo, DaVinci, Einstein and Ghandi. They were great thinkers, artists or inventors. But have you heard about: Benjamin Banneker, Granville Woods, or Margaret Knight? This class takes a hand-on approach to investigate some famous inventors, thinkers, and artists and those who are not so well known. What sort of things did these people invent or propose and why? Why are some well known and others are not? Each week we will learn about someone new. We will spend time investigating their thoughts, re-create some of the inventions, practice some painting and art and delve into what made these individuals so creative. Along the way, students will get to build their own project and explore an artist, thinker or inventor, not covered in class. They will then have the opportunity to share these projects and their research with the other students.

Image: Design for a Flying Machine. Leonardo da Vinci. 1488. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Apollo 12 astronaut Charles Conrad Jr. with the Surveyor 3 in the Ocean of Storms (20 Nov. 1969). NASA AS12-48-7134.Points in History/Conspiracy Theories

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2019 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered
  • Fall 2017 • 4th Period • 4 students registered
  • Fall 2015 • 3rd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $160 (12 weeks) – $10.67

In the fashion of MythBusters, students look at significant events, institutions and groups throughout history and some well and lesser-known conspiracy theories that have evolved surrounding them. Some examples might include:

  • the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • the moon landing—was it actually filmed on a Hollywood set?
  • Pearl Harbor—did the US government let it happen?
  • 9/11
  • the missing flight Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
  • and others that provoke student interest.

The class will look at established facts regarding the event and then analyze the event in comparison with conspiracy theories. The goals of the class are to look at history from different perspectives, learn to question sources, figure out what constitutes a reliable source(s), determine the merit of the conspiracy theory, and to have fun fine-tuning our analytical skills.

Image: Apollo 12 astronaut Charles Conrad Jr. with the Surveyor 3 in the Ocean of Storms (20 Nov. 1969). NASA AS12-48-7134. NASA.

 

After the great Chicago fire of 1871, corner of Dearborn and Monroe Streets via Wikimedia Commons.History's Worst Decisions, Disasters, and Catastrophes

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2020 • 4th Period • 14 students registered — online

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $168 (12 weeks) – $11.20/hour

Imagine a “divine wind” that saved a country from a superior invading force. For one group it’s almost a miracle; for the other, it’s a catastrophe. Examine how the re-discovery of a group of islands referred to as the Fortunate Islands led to the death and displacement of millions of people for hundreds of years. We will look into a famous general who became so impatient to invade, he managed to kill half of his own army before the battle even started. You’ve probably heard of real estate scams. But did you know that one of the biggest real estate scams happened in the Middle Ages? Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, this look back at history’s worst decisions and greatest catastrophes will always be interesting.

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

Image: After the great Chicago fire of 1871, corner of Dearborn and Monroe Streets. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Thousands of people gathered at the Minnesota state capitol building during the Minnesota Senate debate on a same sex marriage bill in. 13 May 2013. Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia CommonsLGBTQ Plus History

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2022 • 2nd Period • pending — online
  • Spring 2019 • 1st Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $225 (16 weeks) – $11.25/hour
pending

A student requested class that will take a historical and sociological look at how cultures have embraced, accepted, rejected or ignored people who were non-heterosexual. We will utilize writings, films, literature about and by LGBTQ+ people and study individuals who did not live as heterosexual. We will look at major events in history that have shaped and impacted how society views the LGBTQ+ community and how the LGBTQ+ community sees itself. Some of these recent events may include, the Holocaust, Stonewall, AIDS, and the Marriage Equality Movement.

Class will require student input as to specific areas of interest.

Homework commitment: 1 hour

Image: People gathered at the Minnesota state capitol building during the Minnesota Senate debate on a same sex marriage bill in. 13 May 2013. Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Description. Author.Medieval History

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2021 • 4th Period • 12 students registered — online
  • Fall 2016 • 2nd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $225 (16 weeks) – $11.25/hour
Supplies: $20

What happened after the fall of Rome and before the Renaissance? The Medieval period or Dark Ages! This class will take us back to the time of castles, warlords, knights in battle, and catapults. We will look at the how & why castles were built and examine the types of weapons used by the armies. We will discuss how siege warfare was conducted and how armies used biological warfare even during this time period. We’ll spend some time looking into the Vikings, illuminated manuscripts, and some pretty gross jobs that people had. We will also discuss the Black Death (plague) and its impact on Europe. We may even have time to build a siege weapon!

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 

Logging in Park Rapids, Minnesota, 1895. Miscellaneous Items in High Demand, PPOC, Library of Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.Minnesota History for Middle Schoolers

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2021–Spring 2022 • 4th Period • 4 students registered — online
  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 1st Period • 5 students registered
  • Fall 2015 • 4th Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 10–15 years
Tuition: $392 (28 weeks) – $11.20/hour

How many nicknames do you know for the State of Minnesota? Who was the first Governor of the State? Who is our current Governor? Why is St. Paul the capital and not Minneapolis? Who lived here before the Europeans migrated into this area? MN State history is all around us and this class will provide opportunities to dig into our State’s past and find out all sorts of interesting stories, puzzles, mysteries, and facts.

We will utilize hands-on activities such as artifact digs, potential field trips, etc. We will also use primary source documents, art, literature, web searches, and our own neighborhoods to learn more about our Minnesota history.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook and writing utensil to class.

Homework commitment: 1 hour

Textbook: Northern Lights: The Stories of Minnesota's Past, by Dave Kenney, either ©2013 (ISBN: 9780873518857) or ©2003 (ISBN: 9780873514408).

cover of the 2003 edition of Northern Lights textbook cover of the 2013 edition of the Northen Lights textbook

Image: Logging in Park Rapids, Minnesota, 1895. Miscellaneous Items in High Demand, PPOC, Library of Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Description. Author.Spies Throughout History

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2020 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 3rd Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $225 (16 weeks) – $11.25/hour

Join us as we maneuver our way through history in search of spies. The class will look at ancient history to determine if spies had an impact on important events and we will uncover modern spies and find out how their work has influenced events in the past two to three hundred years. We will learn some practical spying skills, check out spying and operatives in some well-known books, find out what it takes to be a spy and learn about the different types of spies and spymasters. We’ll discuss current spy agencies like the CIA and MI6 and try to understand the rationale for utilizing agents who spy for their country. We’ll also learn about what happens when a spy is caught! We will utilize games, in-class activities, movies, and some books in our search to understand the world of spycraft.

Image: Vera Atkins, WAAF squadron officer, United Kingdom Government. Cecile Pearl Witherington Cornioley, British SOE agent in World War II. Krystyna Skarbek (1908-1952), from Poland, British spy during World War II. Scan of identity paper dated 11 mai 1945 (1945-05-11). Via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Boudica 60 AD, Aphra Behn 1640–1689, Zheng Yi Sao 1775-1844, Sojourner Truth 1797–1883, Ada Lovelace 1815-1852, Marie Curie 1867–1934, Josephine Baker 1906-1975, and Joan Jett 1958–Women Throughout History

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2021 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered — online
  • Fall 2017 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $168 (12 weeks) – $11.20/hour

Throughout history, women have comprised about 50% of the human population. However, if you read history, even a little bit of history, you soon realize that women are rarely mentioned. Why is that? Well, this class will introduce you to some of history’s most amazing women as well as the impact of women in everyday life. We will look at women in Africa, China, Europe, the Americas, even the Antarctic! The dates will cover ancient history to the modern day. We will discuss the importance of women in history even though they did not receive the official acknowledgment that men received. So let’s change that and check out these women in history.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook and pencil to class.

Homework commitment: 1 hour

Boudica 60 AD, Aphra Behn 1640–1689, Zheng Yi Sao 1775-1844, Sojourner Truth 1797–1883, Marie Curie 1867–1934, Josephine Baker 1906-1975, and Joan Jett, born in 1958. Wikimedia Commons.

 

Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) Frances Green, Margaret (Peg) Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn leaving their ship, Pistol Packin' Mama, at the four engine school at Lockbourne AAF, Ohio, USA.WW2 A-Z

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2021–Spring 2022 • 3rd Period • 10 students registered — online
  • Fall 2017–Spring 2018 • 1st Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $392 (28 weeks) – $11.20/hour

Many of the veterans who served in WWII have died and with those deaths goes our tangible national memory of this horrible piece of world history. This is a year-long class that explores WWI in-depth. We will analyze events to determine why it started, when and where and how. It didn’t start at the same time for everyone! We will investigate the countries involved and those who remained neutral. There will be discussions about the differences between fascism, communism, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism (lots of isms.) We will also try to figure out how the German, Italians, and Japanese people allowed the takeover of their governments by those who were determined to rule the world. Time will be spent looking at famous individuals, but also at the common person. We will discuss the Holocaust and its impact then and now. Primary source material will be used including, documentaries, letters, political cartoons, and more.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook and pencil to class.

Homework commitment: 1 to 1½ hours a week

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

Image: Women Airforce Service pilots (WASPs) Frances Green, Margaret “Peg” Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn, leave their B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft, “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” during ferry training at Lockbourne Army Airfield, Ohio, USA, 1944. Air Force photo, via Wikimedia Commons.

 
Languages

American Sign Language | French | German | Japanese | Spanish

 
American Sign Language

Three PHS students sign A, S, and L. Photo by Nic Rosenau. 2019. CC BY-SA 4.0.Sign Language for Beginners

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2021–Spring 2022 • 1st Period • pending — online
  • Fall 2018–Spring 2019 • 2nd Period • 11 students registered
  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 1st Period • 10 students registered
  • Fall 2014–Spring 2015 • 2nd Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $490 (28 weeks) – $14/hour
Supplies: $20
pending

This introduction to American Sign Language will walk students through the fundamentals of this dynamic and complex form of communication. Taught just like a first-year course in any language, this class will teach grammar, usage, vocabulary, and “survival” sign language to beginning students. The class will be taught simultaneously in English and ASL, providing students a language-intensive environment in which to learn. Students will leave knowing how to negotiate basic social situations in sign language and talk about themselves, their environment, travel, food, clothing, and everyday tasks, among other topics.

As Tim’s brother-in-law is deaf and Tim’s sister-in-law is a sign-language interpreter, he regularly uses sign language and has been building his fluency over the past ten years.

$20 supplies fee covers materials costs for games and other classroom activities.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook & pencil or laptop to class.

Homework commitment: Students will have approximately 15-45 minutes of homework per week.

Image: Three PHS students sign A, S, and L. Photo by Nic Rosenau. 2019. CC BY-SA 4.0.

 
French

French Conversation

Ms. Dorothy Rose

  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 3rd Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $224 (28 weeks) – $12/hour
40-minute sessions

 

French is a gateway to the worlds of art, music, literature, cuisine, business, and diplomacy. This class is designed for students of all levels and all ages. The emphasis is on speaking and understanding the language. Reading, writing, and culture are incorporated, as well. The goals of the class are achieved through the use of stimulating, interactive, individualized activities, created by the instructor. Success and enjoyment are guaranteed!

Prerequisites: None. All ages and all levels are welcome, and all materials are included in the tuition.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

 
German

Pfaueninsel Lustschloss (Peacock Island Palace) photo by Bekah JorgensenGerman - Conversation and Culture

Rebekah Jorgensen

  • Fall 2021–Spring 2022 • 3rd Period • pending — online

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $350 (28 weeks) – $10/hour

This course will cover the basics of being able to communicate in German, as well as important cultural aspects of traveling in German-speaking countries. Students will learn how to communicate basic needs, understand important written and spoken information, and make polite conversation. The emphasis will be on functional survival German and culture topics that are helpful for feeling more comfortable in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland; additional culture topics will be explored based on student interest.

For additional fees, students who want a more rigorous German language study, including work equivalent to a middle school or high school German credit, may add unit plans for self-study, asynchronous work with teacher support on an as-needed basis, and/or regular live tutoring.

Homework commitment: While students can participate with no outside work, because it is a language course students will retain material more successfully the more time they practice outside of the course.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester. Review of the first semester’s material will be incorporated, as well as additional materials provided to new students based on what was covered the first semester.

Image: Pfaueninsel Lustschloss (Peacock Island Palace) photo by Bekah Jorgensen.

 
Japanese

Photos of lanterns at Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa district of Tokyo, Japan by freddie marriage on UnsplashJapanese

  • Fall 2021–Spring 2022 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered — online
  • Fall 2020–Spring 2021 • 3rd Period • 9 students registered — online
  • Fall 2018–Spring 2019 • 3rd Period • 5 students registered
  • Fall 2017–Spring 2018 • 2nd Period • 10 students registered
  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 2nd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $420 (28 weeks) – $12/hour

Konnichiwa! Take your interest to the next level and learn Japanese. You will learn to speak and listen through practical conversation you can use daily as well as fun cultural activities and exploration. We will master the complete set of Hiragana and Katakana through writing and reading material relevant to our conversation and cultural exploration. A few key Kanji will be incorporated with a goal of recognition as well as an entry to writing and reading for those who want to extend their studies. There may be separate classes or learning segments geared toward beginners or returning students as needed.

Homework commitment: There will be homework and resources provided to continue to practice throughout the week.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

Image: Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash.

 
Spanish

Description. Author.Spanish for Beginners

Carlos D.D. Grados

  • Fall 2019–Spring 2020 • 1st Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 11–19 years
Tuition: $420 (28 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $25

Students will learn the basics of conversational Spanish and a stress-free fun setting. Students will also learn about different cultures in the Spanish-speaking world.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

Image from Carlos D.D. Grados.

 

Spanish Conversation

Ms. Dorothy Rose

  • Fall 2017–Spring 2018 • 3rd Period • 6 students registered
  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 3rd Period • 6 students registered
  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 3rd Period • 11 students registered
  • Fall 2014–Spring 2015 • 3rd Period • 12 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $224 (28 weeks) – $12/hour
40-minute sessions

 

Bienvenido! Next to English, this practical language is the most frequently used language in the U.S. Although some writing, reading, and culture are incorporated into this stimulating, interactive, individualized course, the emphasis is on speaking and understanding the spoken language. A great variety of activities and methods will be used to appeal to all learning styles.

Prerequisites: None. All ages and all levels welcome, and all materials included in the tuition.

This full-year course will accept new students for Spring Semester.

 

Beginning Spanish

Ms. Dorothy Rose

  • Spring 2015 • 3rd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $224 (28 weeks) – $12/hour
40-minute sessions

 

Bienvenido! Next to English, this practical language is the most frequently used language in the U.S. Although some writing, reading, and culture are incorporated into this stimulating, interactive, individualized course, the emphasis is on speaking and understanding the spoken language. It is geared mainly for beginning students, who will be speaking español in no time at all! A great variety of activities and methods will be used to appeal to all learning styles.

Prerequisites: None. Students at all levels are welcome and will benefit from this class.

 
Literature

cover of Beowulf A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney Bilingual Edition.Beowulf, Monsters, Heroes, Superheroes

Elise Duval Werger

  • Spring 2016 • 1st Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 11–16 years
Tuition: $160 (16 weeks) – $8/hour
Supplies: $5

Ever wonder how a 5th-century Epic Hero would hold up against a modern Superhero? Meet Beowulf!

This class is an in-depth literary exploration of one of the oldest surviving tales written in the language which eventually became Modern English. We’ll dig deep into the text while learning about the geography, history, language, weaponry, and lifestyles of characters from 5th-century Nordic lands. Decide for yourself how much Beowulf resembles your own favorite superhero as you discover why this story still fascinates readers more than 1,000 years after it was written.

Miniature weapon creation included!

Textbook: Beowulf, a new verse translation by Seamus Heaney. Bilingual Edition.

 

The Evolution of Black Literature

Riley Davis

  • Spring 2020 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour

This class is to explore the history and evolution of black literature and how it has shaped the image of the black community in America. We will utilize multiple literary forms including contemporary novels, graphic novels, film, plays and poetry. This class will not be white washing or watering down the important and graphic violence that the black community faces and has faced through history due to the actions of white supremacy. Students will be challenging their personal conscious and subconscious perceptions and biases of what is blackness.

 

What the Dickens?

Elise Duval Werger

  • Fall 2016 • 1st Period

Ages: for 12–17 years
Tuition: $125 (12 weeks) – $8.33/hour

Immerse yourself in the world and works of Charles Dickens. Explore details of life in 19th century London. Discover why Dicken’s characters are so memorable, how he gets away with scathing social criticism, and why this master of satire is still popular today.

This class will focus on three of Dickens’ works (Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities), along with some of the major societal issues which serve as backdrops to these tales (such as industrialization, the role of government as it relates to poverty, and social revolution).

“The Best of Times”? Guaranteed!

Homework commitment: Students will be expected to read up to 100 pages per week. Assignments will focus on the techniques of writing literary analysis.

Textbooks:

  1. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens

  2. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

  3. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

Unabridged, any edition.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

 

Gruesome Fairy Tales

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2018 • 2nd Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $215 (16 weeks) – $10.75/hour

Peeling away all the glitter, gowns, fairy godmothers and singing mice, we get down to the real origins of fairy tales. The original fairy tales are not those wonderful happy ever after stories some children have read to them at bedtime. They were warnings about life and what happened to those who didn’t listen. Fairy tales have been around forever, cultures have similar tales, each with a cautionary tale included. This class digs into those tales and really analyzes what happens in the original stories before Disney changed them. We also learn about fractured fairy tales, how to create them and will, by the end of the class, have compiled our own group of student created fractured fairy tales.

 

Literature with Harry Potter

Valerie Geary

  • Fall 2016 • 1st Period • 7 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $160 (12 weeks) – $10.67

Using the first three Harry Potter novels (Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban) we will explore literary devices such as personification “the car burped out the suitcases”, themes of courage and family, the imagery of Hogwarts castle and the symbolism of the sorting hat. We will also use additional readings (handed out in class) including short stories, nonfiction, and poetry to compare and further explore these popular works of fiction.

Prerequisites: Students will need to have read the first three Harry Potter novels prior to the first day of class.

cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997). By J.K. Rowling. cover of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998). By J.K. Rowling. cover of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999). By J.K. Rowling.

 

Oil portrait of William Shakespeare at age 46, painted in 1610 during the poet's lifetime, now owned by art restaurateur Alec Cobbe. Unknown artist, possibly photographed by Oli Scarff. National Trust, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.Life of Shakespeare

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2017 • 2nd Period • 3 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $215 (16 weeks) – $10.75/hour

Shakespeare lived over 400 years ago, but his works are as alive today as they were then. Who was this man and where did he come from? How did he become such a famous playwright? What about the rumors that Shakespeare didn’t really write the plays that are attributed to him? In this student-inspired class, we will look at the time and culture that surrounded Shakespeare’s life. We will see how the culture he lived in inspired and shaped him. We’ll dig into the known facts about his life and investigate what life was like for a person of his position. The class will also look at the political climate of the time and how Shakespeare’s plays provided an opportunity to comment on the intrigues of court and politics. We’ll also look at and evaluate some of the theories that Shakespeare was not actually the writer of the plays. Of course, we’ll spend time with his work and pick scenes, insults, and characters to present, practice, and analyze. Student input and interest will provide a framework for some of the works we study. We will also have a William Shakespeare Action Figure to inspire us during class!

Textbook: Most of the works we look at will be available online but some students may desire to obtain copies of something similar to the No Fear Shakespeare books.

Image: Oil portrait of William Shakespeare at age 46, painted in 1610 during the poet's lifetime, now owned by art restaurateur Alec Cobbe. Unknown artist, possibly photographed by Oli Scarff. National Trust, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

line drawing of Harrison Bergeron weighed down by various impedimentsTales With a Twist (Literature Through Short Stories)

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2021 • 1st Period • 5 students registered — online
  • Spring 2017 • 3rd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $168 (12 weeks) – $11.20/hour

Short stories are an art form. In the space of just a few words, an accomplished author can paint a vivid picture and story that sometimes stays with you forever. One such story is attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Six words that tell a potentially complicated and shockingly sad tale.

Many short stories reflect the worries, concerns, and thoughts of not only the author but the general population of the time. Join me as we travel through time, history, and creative minds using short stories to analyze events, fears, and historical events that were prevalent and happening at the time.

We will read what I like to call “Tales with a Twist.” Some are funny, some are dystopian, disturbing or just thought-provoking. But all of the stories we read will have a surprise or intriguing ending and we will focus on a different story in each class. We’ll look at the author, the time period the story occurs, and what was going on in the world when the author wrote it. One example of a story we might discuss would be “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook and pencil to class.

Homework commitment: 1 hour

Image: Illustration from the e-book edition of “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. from Goodreads.

 

The Lord of the Rings as Literature

Elise Duval Werger

  • Spring 2015 • 1st Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $160 (16 weeks) – $8/hour

Join this year-long exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale. Examine Tolkien’s sources (including Beowulf & the tales of King Arthur) and learn about the conventions of epic literature. Dig into Tolkien’s use of languages (including those he created). Immerse yourself in his use of poetry, setting, theme, and motif in this engrossing book. Enjoy losing yourself in Middle Earth and analyzing TLOTR to your heart’s content.

Homework commitment: Participants will read 2–3 chapters (approximately 40 pages) per week and engage in regular (short) writing assignments. Occasional extra reading of source material optional.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

cover of the  1973 Ballantine Books edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien. cover of the  1973 Ballantine Books edition of The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien. cover of the  1973 Ballantine Books edition of The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

 

cover art for The Silmarillion by JRR TolkienTolkien 201: The Silmarillion

Elise Duval Werger

  • Fall 2015 • 1st Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $120 (12 weeks) – $8/hour
Supplies: $20

Loved The Lord of the Rings? Can’t get enough of Tolkien? Always wanted to start reading Tolkien’s works but don’t know where to begin? Join this fast-paced and in-depth look at J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

Explore Middle Earth’s creation stories, as well as tales of valor, romance, and tragedy. Discover what happened in the years before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and make connections with tales from Finnish, Greek, and Norse mythology.

Prerequisites: This course is suitable for strong readers who are either already fascinated with the realm of Middle Earth or who want to jump in from the very beginning.

Homework commitment: Weekly reading assignments of 25-30 pages and regular short writing assignments will be expected. Thematic activities and projects in class will keep participants engaged in a hands-on way.

 
Philosophy

Building Big Brains

Krista Boos & Barb Martinez of Ex Ed Homeschool

  • Fall 2021 • 4th Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour

To ’think outside the box’ we must first identify the box and even recognize that we are in one. Challenging assumptions, identifying biases and logical fallacies, deconstructing thinking patterns, examining logic and reasoning, and asking thoughtful questions are the foundation of this class. We use riddles, games, and problem-solving activities, that engage our students as they develop skills that they can take with them and apply to everyday life and situations.

This class is activity and discussion-based. Each class begins with a different puzzle, game, challenge, or activity to solve (A student favorite: Students create a package that will safely transport a single Pringle chip through the mail!). We then deconstruct the activity so students can build skills in identifying:

  • Logical Fallacies
  • Biases
  • Assumptions
  • Red Herrings
  • Thought patterns
  • Problem Solving opportunities
  • Effective Critical Thinking Skills
  • The role of creativity in problem-solving

We use Socratic questioning to achieve a deeper understanding of each activity and the way our brains work and think. Students are encouraged to systematically question and examine their own thought process and approach to the challenge and to think critically about their own assumptions. This class is highly interactive, discussion, and activity-based.

Students will need:

  • Notebook
  • Pen(cil)
  • Markers
  • Toothpicks or popsicle sticks (12)
  • Small amount of clay or play dough
  • Pringles (there are similarly shaped gluten-free chips for those who need it on Amazon or at Aldi)
  • Index card (any size)
  • Scissors
  • One project will use a variety of materials that you are likely to have on hand. These materials will be unique to each student based on their design.

Image from Ex Ed Homeschool.

 

Photo of police officers standing guard towards George Floyd protestors in Minneapolis riots by munshots on Unsplash.Contemporary Moral Problems

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2020 • 1st Period • 6 students registered — online
  • Fall 2018 • 1st Period • 6 students registered
  • Fall 2016 • 3rd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour

This debate and philosophy course focuses on the moral controversies of our day and developing your own ethics. We will briefly look at different philosophical theories about what it means to be ethical and then move on to discuss a series of ethical dilemmas. Students will ultimately choose the ethical issues we will debate. Possibilities include war and violence, animal rights, abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, and many other contemporary moral problems. We will, in addition, touch upon other current events in ethics that arise as the semester progresses. Throughout the semester, students will work to hone their debate skills and develop their own personal philosophy of ethics.

This is an integrated English and Social Studies course.

Image: Photo of police officers standing guard towards George Floyd protestors in Minneapolis riots by munshots on Unsplash.

 

Photo of hacker binary attack code made with Canon 5d Mark III and analog vintage lens, Leica APO Macro Elmarit-R 2.8 100mm (1993) by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.Questioning Reality

Nora Parker Cox of The Light Academy

  • Fall 2020 • 3rd Period • 4 students registered — online

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $195 (12 weeks) – $13/hour

How do you tell whether something is real or not? What makes it real? In this time of CGI, virtual reality, and augmented reality, this class looks at what tools we use to determine the different parts of our reality. After all, what is reality, anyway? This class will be heavy on reading and writing assignments and, while open to everyone, may be more suitable to those students with a strong grasp of these subjects.

This class will only be available online. Students will need access to Zoom in order to participate in the discussion and the PHS dashboard for the class in order to access readings and upload assignments.

Image: Photo of hacker binary attack code made with Canon 5d Mark III and analog vintage lens, Leica APO Macro Elmarit-R 2.8 100mm (1993) by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

 

Zombies by Gan Khoon Lay, licensed from the Noun Project.Ethics of the Apocalypse

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2019 • 1st Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $160 (12 weeks) – $10.67

Are you prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse? Join us and find out!

What is an apocalypse? According to the dictionary, an apocalypse is the complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation, or an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.

Thankfully most individuals never experience an apocalypse. But, what would we do if one happened to us? This class will explore ethics before, during, and after an apocalyptic situation. We will discuss potentially real and some fantastical situations too, hint, a zombie apocalypse!

We will examine theories about human nature being good or bad. We will also look at why some people make heroic sacrifices and decisions and others make very selfish ones.

We will look at some real-world disasters that were apocalyptic for those involved and discover how those individuals dealt with life and death situations. This class will also discuss the trends of “prepping” and “survivalism”.

Students will be presented with opportunities to make decisions in simulated apocalyptic situations and then debrief and discuss their thoughts and choices after the simulation.

Join us for this fun, thought-provoking class!

Image: Zombies by Gan Khoon Lay, licensed from the Noun Project.

 

Cover image for Philoosphy for Teens Questioning Lifes Big Ideas, by Sharon M. Kaye, Paul Thomson.Introduction to Philosophy

Elise Duval Werger

  • Spring 2017 • 1st Period

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $165 (16 weeks) – $8.25/hour

What do I know? Can I be sure I exist? What is reality? How should I act? If you like to think deep thoughts and ponder life’s great questions, this class is for you!

Dig into some of the big questions about Being, Knowing, and Doing. Explore the writings of selected Great Thinkers of Western Philosophy. Sharpen your skills in debate, presentation, and logical thinking.

Prerequisites: Recommended for strong readers who enjoy classroom discussion and debate.

Homework commitment: There will be weekly reading and writing assignments.

Textbook: Philosophy for Teens: Questioning Life’s Big Ideas, Sharon M. Kaye & Paul Thomson, ©2007 Prufrock Press
ISBN 978-1-59363-202-1

 
Life Skills

Adulting 101 graphic from Ex Ed Homeschool Adulting 101

Krista Boos & Barb Martinez of Ex Ed Homeschool

  • Fall 2021 • 2nd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour

Adulthood is a gradual transition, not a magical moment dictated by a birthdate. There are exciting things like buying a car, moving out of your parent’s house, staying up late, and eating whatever you want. Balanced with practical things like paying for that car, insurance, and repairs, how to find an apartment, and practicing self care.

Based directly on the requests of our teen students, we have developed this class to cover some of the exciting and practical aspects of adulting. We will cover financial matters, basic life skills, and communication skills. When students leave this class, they will know how to search for a job, explore careers, how to communicate professionally, how to sew a button, how to make a few meals beyond the box, the basics of investing, filing taxes, making a budget, what things cost, what to look for when buying a car or renting an apartment, and more.

It takes a village to raise our kids and get them to adulthood and sometimes they need to hear things from adults other than their parents when it comes to these practical topics. Our students were very specific in the topics they requested and we have put together this class as an answer to their questions. Together, we can set them on a path to being successful adults.

This course is for students who are ready to take a look at what it means to be an Adult in an age-appropriate way.

Required materials: Students will need a notebook and pen(cil); an iron, ironing board, and T-shirt to iron; all supplies and a way to cook an egg. We will tell them each week what they need to bring. Everything they need should be easily found at home.

Homework commitment: About 1 hour per week. There is homework every week.

Image from Ex Ed Homeschool.

 

Bike Repair

Tyler Skidmore

  • Fall 2017 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $125 (12 weeks) – $8.33/hour
Supplies: $60

This course will provide the fundamentals of how to repair and tune up bicycles. This course would be useful for someone looking for a bicycle repair job, someone who is a bike enthusiast, or just someone who enjoys tinkering. Class will be held in the parking lot (or another space large enough for bikes, bike stands, and students).

 
Makers

Homeschool board game design class supplies on a green cutting mat. Notebook, T-square, ruler, French curve, scissors, tape measure, glue stick, colored pencils, mechanical pencil, blank playing cards, dice, chips, pawns, meeple, poker chips. 2019. By Nic Rosenau.Board Game Creation

Kim Chase-Kozak

  • Spring 2022 • 4th Period • pending
  • Fall 2019 • 3rd Period • 6 students registered
  • Spring 2018 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $200 (16 weeks) – $10/hour
Supplies: $25
pending

Board game players and inventors welcome.

We will walk through the process to create our own board game. We will discuss design, gameplay, game types, probability, themes, logic, flow. After that, we will go on to selecting our own theme and start a rough prototype and go into test play mode. Hopefully, you will have a working board game at the end of class! This will be a fun and challenging class!

$25 supplies fee includes many supplies for making your games. If you want to create a more complex game you may need to assemble some of your own game pieces.

There may be options for group purchases of game-building supplies.

Homework commitment: Plan on spending some time working on your game at home.

Image: Photo of board game design supplies on a green cutting mat including a notebook, T-square, ruler, French curve, scissors, tape measure, glue stick, colored pencils, mechanical pencil, blank playing cards, dice, chips, pawns, meeple, poker chips (2019) by Nic Rosenau on Unsplash.

 

FANDOM!

Michelle Lehman

  • Fall 2017 • 3rd Period • 13 students registered
  • Fall 2016 • 3rd Period • 11 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $30

From Harry Potter to Star Trek sometimes fandoms just take on a life of their own. We’ll explore several class selected fandoms and their cultures while geeking out with some FAN-tastic projects. Ever wanted to make a sonic screwdriver, tool your own leather bracers, build a phaser or assemble your own light saber? Then this is the class for you!

 

Advanced Harry Potter Crafts & Gizmos

Michelle Lehman

  • Spring 2015 • 3rd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $192 (16 weeks) – $9.60/hour
Supplies: $30

Go beyond wand making and butterbeer to create magical creatures and objects from the world of Harry Potter. We will sew, sculpt, craft, and create our way through projects that will bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. From caring for Mandrakes in Herbology to learning Vera Verto in Transfiguration to exploring the restricted section of the library to create our very own Sorcerer’s Stone, this class is the next best thing to going to Hogwarts!

 

Instrument Building, Electronics, and Creative Media: An Exploration of Sound ArtInstrument Building, Electronics, and Creative Media: An Exploration of Sound Art

Benjamin Klein

  • Spring 2022 • 2nd Period • pending
  • Spring 2021 • 2nd Period • 3 students registered — online

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $300 (16 weeks) – $15/hour
Supplies: $35
pending

We will explore ways to use sound creatively through a series of building and composition projects.

Projects for this class include:

  • building a speaker circuit

  • building a contact mic

  • using an inductive coil to locate circuits embedded in the environment

  • constructing an oscillator

  • exploring digital ways to manipulate the signal sent to a computer using programs Sonic Pi, Soundtrap, and others

Each single-session project is modular with the intent that they can be combined to create larger, more comprehensive projects. In the process of building, we will also explore different ways artists, musicians, and inventors have created sonic art through projects much like the ones we will create.

$35 supplies fee covers instrument building and electronics components including speaker, USB audio adapter, wood, breadboard, connectors, battery, capacitors, resistors, and other electronic components

Based on enrollment, we can coordinate the ordering of different materials that could be assembled into kits for pick-up or mailing, otherwise, projects can be oriented around materials readily available at home.

Image: Photo by Benjamin Klein.

 

Principles of LEGO Design

Dr. Tom Anderson

  • Fall 2017 • 3rd Period • 7 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 2nd Period • 11 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $96 (8 weeks) – $9.60/hour

Want to take your LEGO-building skills to the next level? This class will explore construction techniques and the design process, including the use of free computer-based tools. Along the way we’ll learn a little math, science, architecture, and history.

LEGO pieces will be provided for use in class. Students may also bring in their own pieces and creations.

 
Mathematics

Description. Author.Algebra I

Judy O’Neill

  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 4th Period • 2 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $364 (28 weeks) – $10.40/hour

This high-school-level course for 8th–12 grades includes a review of basic concepts and properties of numbers and the study of equations and inequalities, polynomials, rational expressions, exponents, radicals, the quadratic formula, and the rectangular coordinate system.

The course will include lectures, textbook reading, practice problem sets, and formal tests.

Prerequisite: Students must have proficiency in basic arithmetic including operations on integers, fractions, and decimals, exposure to exponents, radicals, and other topics covered in Pre-Algebra.

Textbook: Algebra for College Students, by Kaufmann and Schwitters (Seventh edition). Algebra I covers chapters 1–7.

Required materials: graph paper.

Homework commitment: Students must complete weekly homework assignments in order to progress through the material.

 

Description. Author.Algebra II

Judy O’Neill

  • Fall 2014–Spring 2015 • 1st Period

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $364 (28 weeks) – $10.40/hour

Topics include the study of several kinds of functions (linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic), solving systems of equations, matrices, conic sections, sequences, counting techniques, and probability.

The course will include lectures, textbook reading, practice problem sets, and formal tests.

Prerequisite: Algebra I

Textbook: Algebra for College Students, by Jerome E. Kaufmann & Karen L. Schwitters, 7th edition, chapters 8–15.

Required materials: graphing calculator (TI-84 recommended)

Homework commitment: Students must complete weekly homework assignments in order to progress through the material.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

 

The CollegeBoard logo consisting of an outline of an acorn and the word CollegeBoard plus the CLEP logo, consisting of the letters C, L, E, P inside an ribbon arrow pointing right (or forward) and the words College-Level Examination Program.CLEP Test Prep: College Algebra

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2017 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $220 (12 weeks) – $14.67/hour
Supplies: $25

Students will learn new content, drill, and take timed tests every week.

Students can expect to complete homework for this course.

Image: logos for the CollegeBoard and CLEP.

 

Geometry

Judy O’Neill

  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 3rd Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $364 (28 weeks) – $10.40/hour

This high-school-level course includes the study of points, lines, planes, angles, triangles, other polygons, circles, and solids; similarity and congruence; transformations; geometric constructions; and an introduction to trigonometry. Deductive reasoning and the axiomatic system are used to analyze and produce formal and indirect proofs.

The course will include lectures, textbook reading, practice problem sets, and formal tests.

Prerequisites: Students should have completed Algebra I and have the ability and willingness to do and submit homework weekly.

Required Materials:Students should have a compass, protractor, and straightedge (ruler)

Textbook: Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding, by Harold Jacobs (3rd edition). The instructor has some copies of the text available for loan.

Homework commitment: Students must complete weekly homework assignments in order to progress through the material.

 

Middle School Math Enrichment

Judy O’Neill

  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 1st Period

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $364 (28 weeks) – $10.40/hour

A group math enrichment experience for middle school homeschoolers in 5th–7th grades. This class is intended to supplement whatever math curriculum you are using. Topics may include Pascal’s Triangle, simple probability, graphs and charts, working with base 10 and other number bases, math “magic”, history of mathematics and mathematicians, logic problems, the metric system, and mathematics games.

Families who register at least 2 weeks prior to the start of class will have the opportunity to request specific topics to be covered.

Prerequisites: none

Homework commitment: There will be a minimum amount of homework on an occasional basis.

 

cover image for the 7th edition of Precalculus by Ron Larson and Robert P HostetlerMath Review/Test Prep

Judy O’Neill

  • Spring 2021 • 2nd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 15–19 years
Tuition: $255 (16 weeks) – $12.75/hour

For students who want a review before moving into Pre-Calculus and/or who are preparing for standardized tests. We’ll review algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra concepts tested in standardized tests like the ACT or expected of students who will be moving into more advanced math. We will do test prep based on what tests the students are specifically preparing to take.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra II (one of these classes could be in process).

We will do some review from the text Precalculus, by Ron Larson and Hostetler (7th edition). I have copies of the text available to lend to students; contact me directly to make arrangements if you wish to borrow a book.

An additional book for preparing for a specific test may also be needed.

 

Brass protractor circa 1800 with compass by Compo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia CommonsOne-on-One Math Tutoring

Judy O’Neill

  • Fall 2021 • 1st–4th Periods • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $360 (12 weeks) – $30/hour
60-minute sessions

Individual teaching/tutoring of math based on student’s level, from elementary mathematics through pre-calculus.

Textbook: Level and textbook for individual student will be discussed with the family before the semester.

Required materials: Some levels of math will require a calculator.

Homework commitment:There will be weekly homework assignments.

Tuition may be paid as two equal payments of $180, with the first payment due by the first day of class and the second payment due by the sixth week.

Image: Brass protractor (circa 1800) by Compo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Cover of the Pre-Algebra An Accelerated Course by Mary P Dolciani 1996 edition.Pre-Algebra

Judy O’Neill

  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 2nd Period • 3 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $364 (28 weeks) – $10.40/hour

Topics covered include properties of and operations on integers, fractions, percents and decimals, ratios and proportions, and introductions to algebraic expressions, exponents and square roots, linear equations, probability, and geometry.

The course will include lectures, textbook reading, practice problem sets, and formal tests.

Textbook: Pre-Algebra: An Accelerated Course, by Mary P. Dolciani.

Required materials: graph paper.

Homework commitment: Students must complete weekly homework assignments in order to progress through the material.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

 

Probability and Statistics of Games

David Weinlick

  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 4th Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $355 (28 weeks) – $10.15/hour

This course will introduce students to the principles of statistics and probability, focusing on games as a tool for understanding what probabilities mean. Students will be able to better interpret statistics and apply their knowledge to real-life situations. We’ll explore how games of chance work, and what ’the house always wins’ really means. Students can apply what they learn to building a better Magic deck, improving their odds in dice games, and so on. To the extent possible, the class will focus on games chosen by the students that can provide examples of the principles of probability. After covering the essentials of statistical probability, students will demonstrate that knowledge by applying it to questions of their own.

Prerequisites: Students should feel comfortable with algebra basics.

 

Description. Author.Wonderful World of Puzzles and Numbers

David Brokken

  • Fall 2019 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour

Explore both the craft of arithmetic (make friends with numbers! you’ll never regret it!) and the art of puzzle-solving. We will sometimes focus on one main problem for a class, looking at different strategies that can lead to a solution. (Anything from trial and error to changing the conditions of a problem to get an idea of how to proceed.)

Free yourself from dependence on calculators. Learn how to live comfortably with numbers, and understand how they get along with each other. Mental math is easier than you think! And, along the way, learn to think creatively by a series of logic and creative puzzles.

Image: Escher, M.C. (1938). Day and Night [Woodcut in black and grey, printed from 2 blocks. 677mm x 391mm].

 
Physical Education

Maria Benford teaching fencing at Planet Homeschool in Spring 2019. Photo by Carrie Wilder.Fencing

Maria Benford of Minnesota Sword Play

  • Spring 2022 • 1st Period • pending
  • Fall 2021 • 1st Period • 9 students registered
  • Spring 2020 • 1st Period • 13 students registered
  • Fall 2019 • 1st Period • 12 students registered
  • Spring 2019 • 1st Period • 11 students registered
  • Fall 2018 • 1st Period • 10 students registered
  • Spring 2018 • 1st Period • 17 students registered
  • Fall 2017 • 1st Period • 16 students registered
  • Spring 2017 • 1st Period • 18 students registered
  • Fall 2016 • 1st Period • 16 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 1st Period • 15 students registered
  • Fall 2015 • 1st Period • 20 students registered

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $280 (28 weeks) – $8/hour

Classical fencing emphasizes the practice of the sword as an art, a science, and a recreational activity. Learn the basics of fencing with minimal rules and lots of play. You will learn at a comfortable pace and fence with others of all levels in a fun, safe, active environment.

All fencing equipment is provided.

Students should bring a water bottle and wear long jogging-type pants, a T-shirt, and tennis shoes.

Image: Photo of a PHS student holding a fencing foil with Coach Maria in the background, from a Spring 2019 Planet Homeschool class. By Carrie Wilder. All rights reserved.

 

Introduction to Yoga and Meditation

Marisa Vargas

  • Spring 2019 • 2nd Period

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $208 (16 weeks) – $10.40/hour

Practicing yoga builds strength, enhances concentration and self-esteem, cultivates a peaceful, relaxed state of body and mind, and offers teens tools for managing stressful situations.

This class will include learning yoga poses (asanas), introduction to meditation, mindfulness techniques, basic principles of yoga philosophy and relaxation opportunities. The instructor will guide the students to find balance in body and mind by introducing yoga poses in a meditative way as well as flowing sequences of poses and fun breathing techniques that will keep the students engaged and active as well as creating a peaceful mind.

Required materials: Participants will need to bring their own yoga mat to class, but teacher will provide yoga blankets and blocks.

 
Science

Astronomy | Biology | Chemistry | Geoscience | Interdisciplinary | Physics

 
Astronomy

Star TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard), outshines galaxy NGC 7250.Astronomy

  • Fall 2021 • 2nd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $165 (12 weeks) – $11/hour

An introduction to modern astronomy and the universe as a whole. We will start with our own solar system and venture out to explore stars, galaxies, black holes, quasars, and more. We will delve into answers to answers to big questions like: Are we alone in the universe? What exists outside our galaxy? How do stars evolve and die? What is the fate of the universe? What do we know and how do we know it?

Image: Star TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard), outshines galaxy NGC 7250. NASA.

 
Biology

cover of CK-12 Biology.High School Biology

Lauren Borer of Naturally Curious Education

  • Fall 2018–Spring 2019 • 2nd Period • 11 students registered
  • Fall 2017–Spring 2018 • 4th Period • 12 students registered
  • Fall 2015–Spring 2016 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $438 (28 weeks) – $12.50/hour
Supplies: $15

Explore the wonders of the living world this school year!

Students will participate in hands on lab activities that will complement and enhance their at home biology learning. During the course of the school year, students will cover biology topics and activities relating to the nature of life and scientific method and design, the principles of ecology, cells and cell structures, structures of life from microorganisms to plants and animals, and will briefly touch on genetics and evolution.

In the fall semester, we will learn the history of science, the basics of ecology, living organism classification, and plants and animals. The spring semester we will focus on cellular biology exploring cell organelles, cellular processes including photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and how cells reproduce.

Textbook: Students will work at home on the topics via an online biology textbook through CK-12 biology.

Homework commitment: A course outline will be given out on the first day with complimentary lessons and activities to be completed at home. Students are expected to work outside of class time and complete projects on time.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

 

Cell karyotype exhibiting trisomy. Darryl Leja, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH.High School Genetics

Lauren Borer of Naturally Curious Education

  • Spring 2020 • 3rd Period

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $250 (16 weeks) – $12.50/hour

Go more in-depth in the study of the human genome. We’ll learn about inherited traits, genetic diseases, mutations, natural selection, and selective breeding. The semester will consist of hands-on activities and lectures to explain the processes that make us who we are. We’ll discuss the ethics of genetic engineering, cloning and more.

Image: Cell karyotype exhibiting trisomy. Darryl Leja, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH.

 

Description. Author.Naturalist Training/Nature Journaling

Lauren Borer of Naturally Curious Education

  • Fall 2019 • 1st Period

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $188 (12 weeks) – $12.50/hour
Supplies: $15

This is a class for all budding naturalists. Through observation, nature journaling, and hands-on activities, we will explore the natural world outside our door. We will learn about phenology, identifying insects, plants, birds, and trees. We will discuss the interrelationships of all aspects of nature to each other and us. Food webs, nutrient cycling, and niches will all be explored.

Required materials: Bring your journals, binoculars, field guides, and hand lenses!

Optional field trips to be offered for further hands on learning.

Photo by Lauren Borer.

 

Phenology Journaling

Lauren Borer of Naturally Curious Education

  • Fall 2015 • 1st Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $144 (12 weeks) – $9.60/hour

Use a field journal to learn how to keep track of the seasonal changes that happen as we go from summer to fall. Students will draw, write, and record information, honing their observation skills and their understanding of the natural world around them.

 

Description. Author.Herbal Medicine: Plants & Potions 101

Clare Gardner Nieto

  • Fall 2019 • 4th Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $15

Explore the world of medicinal plants and medicine making. For thousands of years, natural products have been the backbone of traditional systems of healing throughout the globe. Plant medicines were used for everything from cuts, bumps, colds, stomach aches, rashes, and insomnia to asthma, migraines, circulatory diseases, and nervous system issues. In fact, the active ingredients in plants and fungi are the basis of many of our modern-day pharmaceuticals. You will learn how to access the treasure chest of remedies that’s right outside your door. We will begin with a basic overview of the history and lore of medicinal plants in different cultures around the world. We will learn how to identify and harvest our local plants and what they can be used for. The class will focus on herbs for first aid, immune system support, and stress relief. We will enjoy a mix of classroom learning, hands-on experience and plant identification/foraging walks. Hands-on projects will include the creation of glycerin tinctures, salves, syrups, and other medicinal remedies. Each student will come away with a mini-medicine chest. This class will empower students to explore the world around them and find their own healthy balance within it.

Photo by Clare Gardner Nieto.

 
Chemistry

Photo of three clear beakers by Hans Reniers on UnsplashHigh School Chemistry

Dr. Tom Anderson

  • Fall 2021–Spring 2022 • 1st Period • 6 students registered — online
  • Fall 2018–Spring 2019 • 3rd Period • 11 students registered
  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 1st Period • 14 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $532 (28 weeks) – $15.20

Chemistry as a discipline is concerned with matter, change and energy. Beginning with a look at atoms and the periodic table, students will develop an understanding of how and why atoms arrange and rearrange themselves into the matter that is all around us. Topics include states of matter, heat and energy, behavior of gases, and chemical reactions. The course will also examine chemical kinetics and dynamic equilibrium. Demonstrations and hands-on experiments will allow students to practice careful observation and measurement skills, with attention given both to descriptive and quantitative work. In addition to topics such as acid/base chemistry, batteries and electricity, food and fuels, and the laws of thermodynamics, students will learn about stoichiometry and the forces that hold matter together.

Prerequisites: Basic algebra knowledge

Textbook: The textbook we will be working from is Chemistry 2e from the OpenStax project. The book is freely available as an online textbox or as a pdf and is also available in printed form for $52.25. It is a college-level textbook, so interested students will be able to easily go into greater depth on particular topics if they wish.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook and pencil or other note accommodations to class plus wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed shoes on lab days.

Homework commitment: 2 to 3 hours a week

Image: Photo of three clear beakers by Hans Reniers on Unsplash.

 

Description. Author.Middle School Chemistry

Dr. Tom Anderson

  • Spring 2018 • 4th Period • 5 students registered
  • Spring 2017 • 2nd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $256

This fun hands-on middle school chemistry class will give students a chance to learn about the natural and man-made materials in the world around them. We’ll also introduce skills in making careful measurements and observations in regular lab activities with chemistry professor Dr. Tom Anderson.

Required materials: Students will need to supply a pencil/pen for notes and wear long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe shoes for lab days.

Image: Photo of elemental children’s blocks by David Ballew on Unsplash.

 
Geoscience

 
Geology

Geology of Minnesota

Lauren Borer of Naturally Curious Education

  • Fall 2016 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 10–16 years
Tuition: $150 (12 weeks) – $10/hour

Minnesota has an amazing geological history! It really is the land of not only 10,000 lakes, but a land formed by fire and ice! In this fall semester course, we will cover basic geology – processes, rocks and minerals, and geologic time – and learn about Minnesota’s geological wonders.

We will have two optional field trips during the semester for $15 per field trip:

  1. October 7
    Interstate State Park
    + $5 daily pass fee

  2. October 19
    Fort Snelling State Park
    + $5 daily pass fee

No textbook is required. Most classes will be lab and project-based.

 
Interdisciplinary

Atmospheric science | Biophysics | Environmental science

 
Atmospheric science

High Altitude Balloon Science

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2016 • 2nd Period • 12 students registered

Ages: for 11–19 years
Tuition: $115 (8 weeks) – $11.50/hour
Supplies: $45

This hands-on, science-intensive workshop will focus on the art of high altitude ballooning. High altitude ballooning, the act of sending a helium-filled weather balloon to the edge of space (in our case, equipped with an HD camera) and then back down, is an increasingly popular, highly educational, and incredibly fun way to learn about physics, weather, and our atmosphere. It is also a great way to vicariously travel to space!

The workshop will take place over several weeks in which students will explore such topics as lift, atmospheric pressure, the composition of atmospheric layers, the laws of motion, buoyancy, radiation, thermal effects, gravity, and microgravity. Students will perform in-class experiments, presentations and learn the equipment and steps necessary to launch a high-altitude balloon.

The materials fee covers materials for experiments, the cost of helium, and of the sacrificial weather balloon.

The workshop will culminate in the launch of our own high-altitude weather balloon and with watching the video footage of its journey. It is possible for the balloon (and all of my gear) to be lost in transit. I haven’t lost a balloon yet, but it is possible! In this case, we wouldn’t be able to watch the video of our balloon’s flight.

 
Biophysics

Collection of objects used in the biomechanics class include shells, feather, sponge, bone, and more. Photo by Kathy Oaks. Biomechanics — An Exploration of Our Natural World

Dr. Tom Anderson

  • Fall 2021 • 4th Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $192 (12 weeks) – $12.80/hour

This fun hands-on exploration of the physical properties of our natural and constructed world will teach students about the properties of the different structures that hold our world together. They will learn why things work the way they do, from our bones to the shells of sea creatures to how trees grow so tall to how skyscrapers stay up.

Photo by Kathy Oaks.

 
Environmental science

Description. Author.Climate Change Science

Lauren Borer of Naturally Curious Education

  • Spring 2019 • 1st Period

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $250 (16 weeks) – $12.50/hour

Delve into the complex topic of climate change. Students will learn the science behind what is causing climate change, the indications of climate change, how the changing climate will impact Minnesota, and what steps local, state, federal, and global governments are doing to minimize climate change impacts. By the end of the semester, students will be armed with evidence of climate change to back up what 97% of scientists agree upon.

The students will have a semester-long project to work on developing a theoretical climate change study and will present on the final day of class.

 

Description. Author.Environmental Science

Lauren Borer of Naturally Curious Education

  • Fall 2019–Spring 2020 • 2nd Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $438 (28 weeks) – $12.50/hour
Supplies: $15

Students will study topics relating to the environment, its resources, quality, and ethical issues. We will learn about biogeochemical cycles, energy flow within biotic systems, weather and climate, the effects of agriculture, pollution, and population growth on our planet.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

Image: NASA: Weather, Global Warming and Climate Change.

 
Physics

Middle School Physics

Dr. Tom Anderson

  • Fall 2017 • 4th Period

Ages: for 10–14 years
Tuition: $200 (12 weeks) – $13.33/hour

This physics class will give middle-school students fun hands-on experience with energy, momentum, forces, and other concepts that help us understand the universe around us. Focus will be on experiments, measurements, and a gentle introduction to problem-solving with professor Dr. Tom Anderson.

 

Space Travel, The Future, and You

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2017 • 1st Period • 5 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $490 (28 weeks) – $14/hour
Supplies: $25

A Basic Physics Course.

We live in an exciting time for space travel. In our lifetimes we’ll see private moon missions, the colonizing and possible terraforming of Mars, explorations of distant solar system objects like “2014 MU 169” and the mining of asteroids for precious metals. Companies like SpaceX and Blue Origins are welcoming in a faster, cheaper and more awesome chapter of space exploration by creating reusable rockets and space planes. NASA is the most successful space program anywhere in the world and is sending out probes, orbiters and landers faster than ever before. Organizations like the European Space Agency, CERN, NASA and others are discovering more about the nature of our universe and the possibility of life on other worlds. This class will explore all of these topics and more.

Students will engage in discussion and debate about the impact of new technologies, alien life and space travel on society. They will engage in hands-on activities and group work, write, watch videos, listen to mini-lectures and most importantly, tap into their sense of wonder about the vastness of our universe.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

 

Fundamental of Physics: Light, Heat, Motion and Energy

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2015 • 1st Period • 5 students registered

Ages: for 10–15 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour
Supplies: $49

This hands-on course with familiarize students with major concepts in physics including matter, energy, the structure of atoms, forces, and motion. Geared toward a middle school audience, we will engage in experiments, small group work, lectures, discussions, and debates. We will not only explore the fundamentals of physics but reach beyond to the questions physics has yet to discover. Where did all of the “stuff” in the universe really come from? Are there other universes? What about other dimensions? Why does gravity work? We’ll ask these questions and more in our attempt to unlock the secrets of the universe and understand the world around us.

 

Secondary Science Education logo.Conceptual Physics

Secondary Science Education (SSE)

  • Spring 2015 • 4th Period • 5 students registered

Ages: for 14–19 years
Tuition: $300 (16 weeks) – $15/hour

The central theme of conceptual physics is the study of mass, force, and energy. Students will begin to further develop their understanding of the atomic model. Emphasis on the understanding of units and unit conversions continues. Experimental documentation and report writing continues to be built upon as well. The course begins by providing some of the key physical laws and equations that the students will use to measure and understand the basics of physics and energy. Newton’s Laws of Motion is introduced here as are many of the equations concerning the mechanics of objects. Potential and kinetic energy is also discussed as is gravity. The course will then expand the student’s discussions to include other ways of quantifying energy. Students will learn about thermal energy and how it is transferred. Students will study electricity and magnetism here also. The final chapters discuss the phenomena of waves, including both light and sound. The course concludes with further discussions on the atomic model. Chemical bonds, the periodic table, and many basic chemical reaction principles are also discussed.

This is an ungraded high-school level course with the option for families to request the answer keys for worksheets and tests for at-home grading.

 
Social science

Civics and Government | Economics | Futurology | Geography | Psychology | Religious Studies | Social Studies of Marketing

 
Civics and Government

Description. Author.Mock Trial

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2021 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered — online
  • Spring 2019 • 3rd Period • 15 students registered
  • Spring 2016 • 2nd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $225 (16 weeks) – $11.25/hour

Have you ever tried to persuade someone to change their mind but were unable to present a good argument for your case? Do you like to solve puzzles or find answers to questions? Have you ever wondered how the legal system works or thought about being an attorney? Would you like to be more comfortable speaking in front of people? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this may be the class for you!

Students will learn about the origins of law and the basics of the United States’ judicial system. The class will look into how laws have been made throughout history and how lawmaking has evolved. We will then explore legal terms, courtroom etiquette, and individual roles involved in legal proceedings and trials.

Students will explore and examine several actual court cases and then actively participate in three to four mock trials (time/class-dependent.) Court roles will alternate among students for each mock trial. The cases litigated will increase in complexity as the class term proceeds.

(Students who have taken this class previously can take it again, new court cases will be used.)

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 

Description. Author.US Government & Civics

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2018–Spring 2019 • 2nd Period • 11 students registered
  • Fall 2014–Spring 2015 • 2nd Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $378 (28 weeks) – $10.80/hour

Do you have what it takes to be an American Citizen? If you were born in the United States, you are automatically a citizen of the US. But do you know enough about this country and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship? Why should we care about the construction of our local, state and, national governments? What’s the point in knowing the original intent of the authors of the constitution and bill of rights? Who decided to have 3 branches of government? What 200-year-old Supreme Court decision impacts us today? Why does any of it matter?

We will also focus on the 2018 midterm election. Students will have the chance to become actively involved in a campaign for a candidate of their choice.

This class focuses on what being a citizen of the United States means. We will delve into the rights and responsibilities of a citizen. At the end of the class, we will take the citizenship test that is given to all new citizens. Additionally, students will learn how to construct and write a research paper.

  1. What is Government; What is Civics?
  2. Rights & Responsibilities of Citizens
  3. Historical Background of Government
  4. United States Founding Principles & Background
  5. Election 2018
  6. What is an Election?
  7. Constitution
  8. Bill of Rights
  9. Amendments
  10. Federal vs State & Local
  11. The 3 branches of government
  12. Executive Federal/State
  13. Legislative Federal/State
  14. Judicial Federal/State
  15. Political Parties
  16. 4th estate- the press
  17. Representatives
  18. Public Opinion
  19. Lobbyists
  20. PACS & ALEC
  21. Federal Reserve & Monetary Policy
  22. US & It’s position in the world
  23. Immigration
  24. Citizenship test

Class discussion is a major emphasis as well as writing. Major assignments and projects include:

  • volunteering with a campaign during the 2018 election and writing a reflection paper about the volunteer experiences
  • a research paper and power point presentation or prezi on an element of government
  • a biographical analysis of US Supreme Court Justices
  • research to determine the reliability of differing news sources
  • utilization of primary source documents
  • discussion and analysis of US Supreme Court decisions
  • analysis of current events including the results of the 2018 election.

A full-year course. Spring registration is limited to students enrolled in the Fall.

Textbooks:

  1. The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide To The Constitution, by Linda R. Monk

  2. The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide, by Linda R. Monk

Both of these books are available used and inexpensively.

Cover of the 2015 edition of The Words We Live By Your Annotated Guide To The Constitution by Linda R Monk. Cover of the 2007 edition of The Words We Live By Your Annotated Guide To The Constitution by Linda R Monk.     Cover of the 2018 edition of The Bill of Rights: A Users Guide by Linda R Monk. Cover of the 2004 edition of The Bill of Rights: A Users Guide by Linda R Monk.

Photo of the ACLU’s Pocket Constitution Of The United States photo by Nic Rosenau. CC BY 4.0.

 

Cover image for the 2017 edition of the Great Decisions Briefing Book.Current Events

Maria Almli

  • Fall 2017 • 1st Period • 4 students registered
  • Fall 2016 • 1st Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $147 (11 weeks) – $10.69/hour
Supplies: $25

Using the Foreign Policy Institute’s Great Decisions curriculum, the Current Events class will delve into topics such as Nuclear Security, the Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Future of Europe, Trade and Politics, Conflict in the South China Sea, Saudi Arabia in Transition, and Latin America’s Political Pendulum, We will also discuss local and national news in each class. Discerning media bias, the use of multiple news sources, and fact-checking will also be part of the class.

Homework commitment: This class requires some homework, mainly class reading and keeping up on the news.

 
Economics

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.Will You Be Rich When You Grow Up? Economics for Everyday Life

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2021 • 1st Period • 8 students registered — online

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour

How likely is it that you’ll be rich when you grow up? What kind of job will you have? How does the apple you eat get from the tree where it grows to your kitchen counter at home? Where is most of the world’s steel made? Why do most drug dealers live with their moms? Why do some sunglasses cost $10 and others cost $1200?

We’ll answer these and many other questions in Economics for Everyday Life. We’ll explore and learn fundamental concepts of economics like supply and demand, incentives, division of labor, specialization, and opportunity cost and use that knowledge to better understand our lives and our world.

Image designed by Sophia Redfern-Hall.

 
Futurology

Robotic arm make latte art. 3D illustration purchased from iStock. By sarawuth702.Futurology: Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Androids

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2020 • 1st Period

Ages: for 10–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour

It is not uncommon today to hear someone say “We’re living in the future.” The digital revolution, the mobile revolution and advances in computing, manufacturing innovations like 3D printing, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous cheap quality goods and space travel are all examples of the future coming to us now. This class will explore near-future technologies, events and trends like self-driving cars, the “end of work”, teleportation, living in space, micro-living spaces among many others and give students a chance to research and create their own predictions of the future.

Image: Robotic arm make latte art. 3D illustration by sarawuth702 purchased from iStock.

 
Geography

Ecoregions map of Canada, United-States and Mexico from Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0. Original created by Inkscape and uploaded by Cephas from Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment, by Taylor H Ricketts; et al, 1999 (ISBN 9781559637220).North American Geography for Everyone

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2021 • 2nd Period • 5 students registered — online

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $210 (12 weeks) – $14/hour

You live in one of the most interesting and ecologically diverse places on Earth, but what do you really know about North America? Where have you been in North America? What are the top three locations you’d like to visit next?

North America contains incredible nations. The United States is the third-largest nation by both population and by land mass. It hosts one of the most diverse national ecologies in the world including desert, rainforest, tundra, forests, plains, and highlands. It is also the most racially, religious, and ethnically diverse place in the world. Canada contains the north magnetic pole, is the second-largest nation in land area, one of the northern-most nations in the world, and one of the most free. Mexico has the mildest climate in North America, contains the most populous city on the continent, is the birthplace of North American printing, and home to the world’s smallest volcano.

We’ll discuss the physical and human geography of North America, how diverse groups of people interact with the natural environment to produce landscapes (human and physical) of the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and Canada. We’ll learn states, capitals, rivers, and mountains and also patterns of human settlement, economic activity, and land use.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook and pencil or laptop to class.

Homework commitment: approximately 15 to 45 minutes per week. Students will work in groups outside of class, but all collaborative work can be done online.

Image: Ecoregions map of Canada, the United-States, and Mexico. Original created by Inkscape and uploaded by Cephas from Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment, by Taylor H. Ricketts, Eric Dinerstein, David M. Olson, Colby J. Loucks, William Eichbaum, Dominick A. DellaSala, Kevin Kavanagh, Prashant Hedao, Patrick Hurley, Karen Carney, Robin Abell, and Steven Walters, 1999. CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Cover image for Mapping the World with Art, by Ellen J Mchenry.Mapping the World With Art

Valerie Geary

  • Fall 2018 • 4th Period • 11 students registered

Ages: for 11–19 years
Tuition: $180 (12 weeks) – $12/hour

This class is part history, part geography and part art. Classes will include some historical information related to the part of the world we will draw. Students will surprise themselves when following simple directions to create a map each week of a detailed part of the world. We will also expand our learning with class games and activities. I love this curriculum and look forward to sharing it with more students.

Curriculum: Mapping the World with Art, by Ellen J Mchenry.

 

The Promise of Place: High School Geography

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2016–Spring 2017 • 2nd Period • 6 students registered

Ages: for 13–19 years
Tuition: $385 (28 weeks) – $11/hour
Supplies: $25

What does where I live have to do with who I am? How does the mortality rate in my hometown affect my chances of living a long life? How does Gross Domestic Product affect my chances of getting a job after high school or college? Why does it matter where I’m “from?”

Answer these and hundreds of other questions in this rigorous course that teaches the core concepts of high school geography, employing each of the Minnesota academic geography standards. Students will engage with geographic data, create their own maps, be able to identify major landforms (and nations and capitals), learn to negotiate latitude and longitude, learn the important geographical locations and features of our globe, debate global issues related to geography, use place as a lens through which to understand the world and produce a final project of their own choosing.

 

Human Geography

Tim Hereid

  • Fall 2015 • 2nd Period • 9 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $160 (12 weeks) – $10.67
Supplies: $25

Human Geography studies the movement of people, culture, money, language, ideas, technology, and information across our world. By studying physical and electronic maps including those available through Google Earth, students will begin to see these phenomena in action. By creating their own maps of their local environments, students will learn and employ the basics of cartography and see their city, town, or community in a new light.

This class will help students understand immigration patterns, topography and its influence on human decision-making, global and national language patterns, globalization, and diplomacy, among other concepts. While these topics may seem complex, maps and geography are not. Students will be able to actually see patterns emerge before their eyes as they study maps and resources from all over our world and throughout history. Students will also have a very short course in countries, capitals, and major land features as a part of the class.

 
Psychology

Collection of Harry Potter-themed items including a toy stuffed Hedwig the Owl, wand, glasses, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, psychology textbook, and more. By Amy Pass. 2020.Psychology of Harry Potter

Amy Pass

  • Spring 2020 • 4th Period • 10 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $192 (16 weeks) – $9.60/hour

Learn the concepts of Psychology 101 through the stories of Harry Potter, including (but not limited to) human development, personality, family systems & communication, and mental health/illness.

Photo by Amy Pass. All rights reserved.

 

Psychology of a Serial Killer

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2018 • 1st Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $162 (12 weeks) – $10.80/hour

We see them in movies, tv shows and read about them in bestselling books. But who are these people that violate every ounce of our human moral code? Are they like Dexter from the popular TV show? Or do they follow the path of the villain in Silence of the Lambs? Why does someone become a serial killer and why is the public so fascinated with them? We will begin our class by discussing what is “normal psychology?” and then move into abnormal psychology. The class will learn about the history of serial killers and what the FBI has to do with serial killers? We will then apply that information to case studies of famous serial killers. Another area that will be covered will be the forgotten victims of serial killers, the families of the victims. We will also look into the reasons why society is so fascinated by these individuals.

This is a class that was originally requested by students. It deals with a difficult topic and is for mature students.

 

Le Poulpe Colossal by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. 1801. In Histoire naturelle, generale et particuliere des mollusques, animaux sans vertebres et a sang blanc. Ouvrage faisant suite aux ouvres de Leclerc de Buffon, et partie du cours complet dhistoire naturelle redige par C. S. Sonnini, membre de plusieurs societes savantes. Tome Second. L Imprimerie de F. Dufart, Paris. Pierre Denys de Montfort. Etienne Claude Voysard. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.Parapsychology, Cryptozoology, and Other Strange Stuff

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2020 • 2nd Period • 8 students registered — online
  • Fall 2018 • 3rd Period • 11 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $168 (12 weeks) – $11.20/hour

Open your mind to the unexplained as we delve into the world of parapsychology, cryptozoology, and other unexplained phenomena. As a class and individually we will search out and analyze reported events of ESP, including mind-reading, telekinesis, precognition, and remote viewing. We will also explore the world of cryptozoology or hidden animals. We will ask about and research strange animals like the Sasquatch, chupacabra, and Kraken. We will also look at animals previously thought to fit into cryptozoology categories like the Mountain Gorilla and Panda. We may even find time to explore and research UFOs, ghosts, or near-death experiences. Above all else, we will question everything and hone our critical analytical abilities.

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

Image: “Le Poulpe Colossal,” by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. Pierre Denys de Montfort. Étienne Claude Voysard. 1801. In Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des mollusques, animaux sans vertèbres et a sang blanc. Ouvrage faisant suite aux œuvres de Leclerc de Buffon, et partie du cours complet d'histoire naturelle rédigé par C. S. Sonnini, membre de plusieurs sociétés savantes. Tome Second.. L'Imprimerie de F. Dufart, Paris. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 
Religious Studies

Symbols of the major religions of the world: Star of David for Judaism, name of Allah in Islamic calligraphy for Islam, dharmachakra (wheel of dharma) for Buddhism, O? ligature in the Devanagari script for Hinduism, a taijitu representing yin and yang for Taoism, and Christian cross for Christianity. Created by Tinette. 19 July 2006, via Wikimedia Commons.World Religions

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Spring 2020 • 2nd Period • 4 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $225 (16 weeks) – $11.25/hour

Religions have played a major influence on world events for millennia. Religions have helped shape social, political and cultural beliefs. This course focuses on some of the major religions that have impacted humans in the past and continue to exert great influence on our cultures, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Shintoism. Students will compare and contrast these religions, look for similarities, differences and connections between them.

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

Image: Symbols of the major religions of the world: Star of David for Judaism, name of Allah in Islamic calligraphy for Islam, dharmachakra (wheel of dharma) for Buddhism, O? ligature in the Devanagari script for Hinduism, a taijitu representing yin and yang for Taoism, and Christian cross for Christianity. Created by Tinette. 19 July 2006, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

A sign hangs from wooden poles, reading Welcome to Jonestown Peoples Temple Agricultural Project. Trees and jungle are on both sides of the road. This photograph is located in the Moore Family's yellow album and was taken during John and Barbara Moore's May 1978 visit to Jonestown. A handwritten note on the back of the print reads, Entrance to Jonestown - one of two signs.Cults and Extreme Religions

Theresa Redfern-Hall

  • Fall 2019 • 3rd Period • 4 students registered
  • Fall 2018–Spring 2019 • 4th Period • 7 students registered
  • Fall 2016 • 3rd Period • 8 students registered

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $168 (12 weeks) – $11.20/hour

This class provides students with the opportunity to ask and find out “What is a cult?”, “How do cults draw in followers?” and “Why do people join cults?” We will also look at what is an “extreme religion,” and what characteristics separate those extreme religions from other religions.

We will begin an analysis of Maslov’s hierarchy of needs and a brief survey of cults throughout history. We will then move into the present time and analyze cults of the recent past and those currently in existence.

This is a class that encourages students to ask many questions and look deeper into the world around them. Some of the areas/types of cults that we will study include: Doomsday or Apocalyptic Cults, The Heaven’s Gate Cult, The People’s Temple (Jim Jones), extreme fundamentalists in the traditional Christian, Hebrew, and Islamic religions, and how extremists have affected the Middle East. We will incorporate readings, documentaries, and class discussions.

Required materials: Students should bring a notebook and writing utensil to class.

Homework commitment: 1 hour

Students will need access to Theresa’s website homeschoolingclasses.com in order to access readings and assignments.

Image: The welcome sign at the entrance into Jonestown. The sign reads “Welcome to Jonestown: Peoples Temple Agricultural Project.” Image from The Jonestown Institute at San Diego State University via Wikimedia Commons.

 
Social Studies of Marketing

Ads and Image

Krista Boos & Barb Martinez of Ex Ed Homeschool

  • Spring 2021 • 3rd Period • cancelled due to COVID-19

Ages: for 12–19 years
Tuition: $240 (16 weeks) – $12/hour

Examine TV commercials, campaign materials, and social media from past campaigns, to understand their influence on elections. Students will then create their own candidate and media campaign with their new knowledge.

Part 1: Students will watch television commercials, examine campaign materials and social media with a critical eye:

  • They’ll learn how influential emotion in advertising is

  • How to spot logical fallacies

  • Negative vs positive ads- which work?

  • How does a candidate create an image?

  • What is the impact of this commercial? Does it work?

  • What is the role of social media?

  • Historical examples

Part 2: In this non-partisan problem-based learning class, you will be a media consultant for a candidate of your own design. After researching and examining the roles of media, image, and messaging in campaigns, you will create a fictitious candidate and an accompanying media campaign to make your candidate appealing to voters.

Image from Ex Ed Homeschool.

 
Test Prep

The ACT logo consisting of the letters A, C, and T with a bright red dash to cross the A.ACT Test Prep

Tim Hereid

  • Spring 2019 • 3rd Period

Ages: for 15–17 years
Tuition: $325
Supplies: $30

This ACT Prep course will take students through each of the core subjects of the ACT (English, Math, Reading, Science and the Essay). Students will find and identify error patterns, relearn content as necessary, learn to use their time efficiently in each section of the test and work to improve their overall scores.

In Tim’s experience tutoring over 200 Minnesota students on the ACT he’s found tried and true ways to beat the clock, conquer the content and sweeten the score. He’ll use individualized and group methods to help students through the challenging content of the ACT.

Tim will use REAL tests from recent years, so students will have access to the very latest material from the ACT.

Students can expect about 30-60 minutes of homework per week that must be completed by the following class.