Detailed Class Descriptions PDF Print E-mail

 Algebra 1

Instructor: Tahla Stephens

Course fee:  Free instruction, materials fee $10 per semester

Student min/max:  1-12

Course description: Algebra 1 covers all topics in a first-year algebra course, from algebraic expressions, signed numbers, exponents, inequalities, probability to linear and quadratic equations.  We also cover algebra-based real-world problems through out. With Saxon, a basic overview of geometry concepts of area, volume, angles, and Pythagorean Theorem are developed and practiced as well. With Algebra 1, students begin developing the understanding required for entrance into Algebra 2 or Geometry courses.

Curriculum used:  Algebra 1, Saxon, Third Edition

Class plans: Students will generally have to complete one lesson each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for a total of four lessons per week. Parent monitored take-home test on Wednesday. Students will also need to use the accompanying Solutions Manual to check daily homework.  Students will need to redo all of the problems that they miss. 

Homework:  Students can expect between 6-8 hours of homework each week.

Tests/papers/presentations: Students will take regular tests.  There will not be any papers or presentations.

Grading: 50% homework, 50% tests.  Tests can be retaken.


Algebra 2

Instructor: Mike Ghirardelli

Course fee: $40 per month

Student min/max: 1/6

Course description: Algebra 2 mathematical instruction that includes work on equations, exponents, functions, and radical numbers. 

Curriculum used: Saxon Math Algebra 2: An Incremental Development Third Edition

Class plans: Students will work on skill based, teacher directed curriculum using Saxon math to build and develop application of skills. 

Homework: Students will work 1-2 hours per week on skills associated with lessons done in class. 

Tests/papers/presentations: Students will take unit tests as well as a final test.

Grading: 50% homework, 50% tests



Instructor: Nancy Hammerland

Course fee: $40 per month, materials fee TBD

Course description:  This class will examine basic principles of astronomy and the laws that govern the universe. It will cover the history of astronomy and the important figures whose ideas led to our understanding of astronomy today. While no specific math skills are required, the class will cover the fields of math and the nature of the computations used to reach the findings of modern astronomy. While a Christian world-view is taken in the class, discussions of secular perspectives will be compared, as well as old-earth/young earth arguments. Every effort will be made to make this as "hands on" and relevant as possible, especially in what is directly observable in the night sky. There will also be an emphasis on biblical references to cosmic events such as the creation of the heavenly bodies, the star of Bethlehem and the prophetic events in Revelation.  Field trips and other outings are very likely. Text (and any additional materials) is to be determined and will likely be a combination of several from highly regarded Christian authors.



Instructor:  Pastor David Polhamus

Course fee:  $25 per student if 6 or more students, $30 per student if 5

Student min/max: 5-no max

Course description: This course will cover provide an overview of the Bible.  Students will look at the big picture of the Bible as well as look at the themes of each book individually.  The 1st semester will cover the Old Testament; the 2nd semester will cover the New Testament.

Curriculum used: BIble

Class plans: Each class will include prayer, devotions, discussion, and lectures.



Instructor: Adrienne Hanagan

Course fee: $40 per month, $100 one-time materials fee at the beginning of the school year

Student min/max: 4-12

Course description: This class will cover general high school chemistry.  In the laboratory portion of the class, the student will learn how to perform detailed and accurate measurements and to relay this information so that another person may be able to duplicate the experiment.  In the lecture presentation of this class, the following topics will be covered: Energy, heat, and temperature, atoms and molecules, changes in matter, molecules and atoms in chemical equations, stoichiometry, atomic structure, molecular structure, polyatomic atoms and molecular geometry, acid/base chemistry, chemistry of solutions, the gas phase, thermodynamics, kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and reduction/oxidation reactions.

Curriculum used: Exploring Creation with Chemistry: 2nd Edition, Dr. Jay Wile

Class plans: Instructionwill include lecturing, showing chemistry DVD's, and doing lab demonstrations; the students will be doing lab experiments. Lecture and explanations will take place once per week as will lab work. The students will be performing about 30 lab experiments throughout the year.

Homework: Student are expected to complete 5 hours on homework and labs per week and one hour per week on reading the text and recording important information on 5x8 cards.  The student will complete “On your own” questions, which have the answers provided in the book; these questions will not be graded and may be checked off; these should take about 1 hour. The study guide questions are required as part of the grade and must be completed; they may take about 2 to 3 hours maximum. The student is expected to watch Khan Academy Chemistry videos on you tube which run from 10 to 20 minutes each. Lab data sheets and lab reports will be required as well. Lab data sheets should be completed in class and lab reports should be started in class and completed at home. Completion of lab reports should take no more than one hour.

Tests/papers/presentations: There will be 15 module tests per year as well as 2 tests per semester.


Study Guide Questions: 10 x 15 = 150 points 7.5%

Module Tests 70 x 15 = 1050 points 52.5%

Lab Reports 10 x 30 = 300 points 15%

Semester Final 2x200 = 400 points 20%

Student's attentiveness, effort in class (especially important are observations of lab safety for 25-100 points), and proper lab book maintenance = 100 points 5.0%­­­­­­­­­­

2000 points maximum for 100%



Instructor: Lizhi Gao

Course fee:  Free instruction, $20 per month materials fee

Student min/max:  any

Time: Biweekly Saturdays 7:30-9:00pm

Location: Englewood

Course description:  Beginning level Mandarin; Pinyin system (Latin script rather than Chinese characters); conversational, reading, and writing; basic topics such as numbers, greetings, family, daily life; Chinese culture

Curriculum used:  Integrated Chinese Level 1 Part 1 and additional instructor-created materials

Brief description of class plans:  Classes will consist of teacher instruction and student practice.  Both individual and group work.  Oral and written, role playing, games, worksheets, etc.

Homework:  One hour a week; oral practice (pronunciation) in front of a mirror, practice worksheets, projects

Tests/Papers/Presentations:  One test per week, final test, no papers, 1-2 presentations per month

Grading:  Participation 30%, tests 50%, presentations 20%


Consumer Math

Instructor: Addy Sewall

Course fee: Free instruction, material fee of $10 per student

Student min/max: 1-no max

Course description: Students will learn personal finance topics that are needed to succeed in life outside of their parent's home. 

Curriculum used: Self-compiled; multiple sources


Cooking 101

Instructor: Hilary Osborne

Course fee: An initial fee of $80 per student (due at Back-To-School Night) will cover chef and paring knives, an apron, and a cutting board that the student will take home at the end of the year.  (For safety reasons, these items will be kept at the school and locked up at all times.)  Ongoing materials fees of $20 per month per student will cover all food purchases.

Student min/max: 1-no max

Course description:  In this class we are going to learn supermarket basics, knife handling skills (did you know there is an easier way to peel that orange?), the gamut of meal prep from appetizers to entrees, napkin folding, basic table and hosting etiquette (Moms, I cannot guarantee that your sons will bring table manners home with them ;) ), fancy but easy food presentation, sanitation, etc. At the end of the year, the students will be divided into two teams, with each team prepping and serving a meal to the other.

Grading: Students will be graded on class participation and practical application. Although paper tests are not included, paying attention and following direction are critical. 


English Composition 

Instructor: Nancy Hammerland

Course fee: $40 per month, materials fee TBD

Course description: Students will be instructed in composition using a 5-step process and evaluations using specific rubrics. The types of writing to be covered will be: narration, description, cause and effect, persuasion and argument, compare and contrast, and process. Numerous models of each type will be provided and examined before assignments are given.  Teacher will provide text (The Riverside Reader).


Fine Art

Instructor: Tahla Stephens

Course fee:  $45 per month, materials fee $35 per quarter

Student min/max:  5-15

Course description: The purpose of this class is to provide the student with a year long, high school level, Fine Arts experience. We will discover Drawing with graphite and colored pencil, incorporating various compositions and styles, while practicing techniques such as shading, value, and color theory. Students will learn to use the tools for rendering in Pen & Ink and Watercolor painting. We will experience Sculpture, Fiber Arts with a focus on weaving, and Altered Art. There are a total of six art forms we will explore ‘hands-on’ and each student will submit one ‘project’ from each of these forms, as well as their sketchbook, in lieu of tests. Access to an email account, computer, printer & internet as well as a camera is necessary for this class.

Curriculum used: Ultimate Art Bible ISBN 9781908449016 Please Note: There is a small amount of nudity in this book so I ask that parents go through the book and draw clothes on the few pictures and illustrations that have nudity.

Description of class plans:

September/October:  Drawing with Graphite & Colored Pencil:  Exploring Still Life, Composite, Landscape, Portrait and Free Form through shapes, composition, techniques and tools using value, shading, style.  We will also begin learning color theory. Although emphasized this month, Drawing is practiced all year, and is assigned as homework throughout. (The Student’s Sketchbook is the only 1st Quarter project) (A Graphite or Colored Pencil Drawing is a 2nd Quarter Project) 

November:  Pen & Ink Techniques and Tools:  Building on drawing skills as well as concepts of composition in Still Life, Composite, Landscape, Portrait and Free Form. Students explore & practice techniques using various quill tips to achieve desired results. (2nd quarter project) Sculpture--Exploration of sculpture will be a continuation of our discovery of composition with the emphasis of energy and motion in the Sculpture Form.  (2nd quarter project)

December/January:  Fiber Art with an emphasis on weaving: We will explore further the concept of composition within free form while learning the basics of loom weaving: warping, weft fiber choices, patterns, weaving on a loom. Students will create a Fiber Art sculpture that is a composite of various samples of this art form as well as mixed media of the student’s choice. (Because we have only one loom, this project is considered a 4th quarter project) Students will also continue to grow in their drawing techniques as they explore animal & human portraiture.

February: Watercolor Introduction:  Building on ‘Line Drawing’ style watercolor, students will continue studying composition in Still Life, Landscape, Composite and Portrait formats, while learning painting techniques and tools for the watercolorist.  We will dive into color theory again with the extensive use of a color wheel.  Students will be able to experience hot and cold press watercolor paper choices from 70 lbs to 140 lbs, as well as watercolor canvas.  (3rd quarter project)

March:  Altered Art, a form of mixed media, is an emerging art form of the present culture and an excellent example of the worldview of relativism. Students will be challenged to transfer a distinct title to their piece by giving it to the viewer in visual clues only.  (4th quarter project)

April/May:  Portrait (Student’s choice of subject(s) & media). Students will pull together all of their skills and techniques learned this year in Fine Arts to create a portrait AND finish up their Fiber Art project as well as their Altered Art project. We will enjoy together an end of year Art Gallery & Dessert Night (Student participation is required.)

Grading Art Projects: At the time each Fine Art Skill is introduced in class and the associated project is discussed, a handout will be given outlining the requirements for grading that project. 

Earn 1 credit per each Semester completed: 

Requirements:  Attend and participate in all scheduled ‘on campus’ Art classes on Mondays and Thursdays, as well as our ‘End of Year Project Gallery and Dessert’ evening. Our on campus class is scheduled for a 1 hour duration.  Off campus school work, referred to as ‘homework’, is designed to encompass 1 hours each of the other 3 days students are off campus studying. (This reflects a total of 5 hours for on and off campus class work combined per week.) In addition to attendance and class participation, students must complete and submit weekly assignments in their sketchbook.  At the end of each quarter Students will also submit for grading, their sketchbook as a whole, and any of the projects as per assignment each quarter. These projects are in lieu of tests.At the end of the year we will host an “End of Year Project Gallery and Dessert Night”. Student participation in this event is mandatory and is considered their ‘final exam’.

Grading: Class participation 20%, Weekly Sketchbook homework assignments 35%, Fine Arts Projects 35%. In lieu of a final test, students will present all 8 projects in our class's “End of Year Project Gallery and dessert night” 10%.

French 1 & 2

Instructor:  Sandy Edwards

Course fee:  Free instruction, student buys Rosetta Stone

Student min/max:  1-10

Course description:  Each family will need to purchase Rosetta Stone’s French program for $159 (equivalent to $18/month in place of instructor, materials, or textbook fees).  Students will work one hour a day according to the program’s 36-week schedule, M/Th in class, and T/W/F at home.

The program includes pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and a cultural activity each quarter. Printable worksheets, quizzes and tests will be completed, graded and discussed.  Each student will prepare a short, cultural presentation each semester.

Curriculum used: Rosetta Stone French Homeschool Edition

Homework: Students can be expected to do between 2 - 4 hours of homework per week.

Description of Homework: Students will spend 1 hour every weekday on the curriculum described above.

Tests/Papers/Presentations: This program provides for continual testing, writing, and speaking assignments.

Grading: Completing program module 50%, worksheets/quizzes/tests 45%, presentations 5%.



Instructor:  Addy Sewall

Course fee: Free instruction, materials fee of $15 per student

Student min/max: 1-no max

Course Description: Students will learn how to use a globe and atlas.  They will learn mapping skills, including reading, scale, legend, drawing, landmarks, etc.  Geographical locaitons around the world will be studied.

Curriculum used: Self-compiled; various sources

Class plans: Sections will include learning what, why, how for each medium, i.e. globe, atlas, map, etc.  Mapping will cover a great deal of time.   



Instructor:  Morgan Goodin

Course fee: $40 per month, $10 materials fee per semester for copies

Student min/max: 4/15

Course description: This general music class will cover elements of basic music theory and music history. We’ll integrate music theory into listening to landmark pieces, learning the history and significance of those pieces, the composers behind them, and their place within musical movements. Additionally, students will be introduced to the different instrument families, including some hands on experience. Students will get a taste of everything--short music theory and ear training tests, a paper and presentation on a composer, piece of music, or instrument (can be tailored to students’ individual interests).

Curriculum used: TBD: selections from Tonal Harmony by Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne, the Norton Anthology of Western Music, Vol 1: Ancient to Baroque, Vol. 2: Classic to Romantic, and Vol. 3: Twentieth Century, The Study of Orchestration by Samuel Adler, and others. Students won’t need to buy these books; copies of needed pages will be provided.

Class Plans: An average day of class might begin with 15 minutes of Music Theory (taught either through lecture, game, or some type of active class participation), 10 minutes of intro to the pieces for the day, 20 minutes of listening to and discussion of pieces, and 15 minutes of examining/trying out an instrument that is related to the pieces and/or composer being studied.  

Homework: Short Theory worksheets will solidify concepts covered in class. Plan on  a short paper and presentation twice a semester. Some outside of class listening might be recommended.   

Tests/Papers/Presentations: Each semsester will include 4 tests, 2 papers, and 2 presentations.  There is no final test.

Grading: Class participation 40%, Presentations 15%, Tests 15%, Papers 15%, Homework 15%



Instructor:  Tahla Stephens

Course fee:  Free instruction, $10 per semester materials fee

Student min/max:  1-12

Course description: Pre-Algebra covers all topics in a first-year algebra course, but at a simplified level.  Beginning with a review of fractions to the introduction of algebraic expressions, signed numbers, exponents, inequalities, probability to linear and quadratic equations.  We also cover algebra-based real-world problems through out. With Saxon, a basic overview of geometry concepts of area, volume, angles, and Pythagorean Theorem are developed and practiced as well. With Pre-Algebra, students begin developing the understanding required for entrance into Algebra 1.

Curriculum used:  Algebra 1/2, Saxon, Third Edition

Class plans: Students will generally have to complete one lesson each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for a total of four lessons per week. Parent monitored take-home test on Wednesday. Students will also need to use the accompanying Solutions Manual to check daily homework.  Students will need to redo all of the problems that they miss. 

Homework:  Students can expect between 6-8 hours of homework each week.

Tests/Papers/Presentations: Students will take regular tests.  There will not be any papers or presentations.

Grading: 50% homework 50% tests.  Tests can be retaken.



Instructor: Raquel Marin

Course fee: $40 per month, various materials fees

Students min/max: 2/12

Course description: In this Spanish class students will learn the basics of the Spanish language and culture.  They will learn and acquire Spanish in a variety of ways including listening, reading, writing, speaking and hands on activities and research.  Learning a new language is not always easy, (BUT YOU CAN DO IT!), and requires hard word and commitment.  In spite of this, learning multiple languages will give students more opportunities when it comes to finding a job, and is a fun way to converse with other people from other cultures.

 - Comprehensive Spanish language course aimed at developing the students’ ability to understand, speak, read and write in Spanish.

 - A communicative method is used (focuses on a language as a medium of communication; recognizing that all communication has a social purpose), as well as task-based language learning.

 - All the Spanish lessons combine the four main areas for all levels from beginner to advanced: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

 - Translation into English can be used depending on the student’s level, but Spanish is normally spoken the majority of the time in class to immerse the student in the language.

A wide range of materials will be provided, from printable activities sheets, sound recordings, visual images and other learning materials, depending on skill and level.


Curriculum used: TBD 

Class plans: 

*To improve the basic skills of communication (reading, writing, speaking, and understanding    spoken Spanish) at an elevated level.

*To master the materials presented in the text.

*To further an understanding of the Hispanic people and their culture.


 Homework will mostly be assigned from the textbook, as well as worksheets received from the Instructor.  Every day at the beginning or end of the class, homework will be stamped to ensure that it has been completed.  If it is a new concept, we will cover it in class.  If homework is not finished on the day it is due, the student will receive partial credit.  If a student is absent, he/she will be responsible for contacting the Instructor.


Students will keep a 3-ring notebook which will be reviewed every two weeks.  This allows the Instructor to see that students are organized and have kept handouts.

Participation – This will include dialogues, “Everyday Situations,” an oral presentation in Spanish.  For each dialogue students will receive 10 points.  (Evaluation sheet for each dialogue will be given to the student with criterion).


Portfolio – This will be the 3-ring binder in which students will keep handouts and notes organized.  Students will receive a final grade for this portfolio.

Tests/Papers/Presentations: Students will take a written test at the end of each semester as well as chapter exams, a final exam, and give an oral presentation.

Grading: During the semester students will be assessed in many different ways.  Grades will be broken down into the following categories: a combination of written test scores, attendance, any homework assignments given, participation, and a portfolio.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Attendance is vital.  Part of a student’s grade is based on class participation, which requires his/her presence.  If a student does have an excused absence, he/she will receive the daily attendance point.  Excessive absences and lack of participation will result in a lower final grade.  If a student is having personal or academic problems please make an appointment to explain the situation.  Problems due to inclement weather will be taken into consideration.

TESTING POLICY: The lowest score a student receives on one of the chapter exams (excluding oral presentations or final) will be dropped to calculate the final grade.  Make-up exams must be rescheduled within a week of the original.  An alternative plan would be a make-up test within a few days.

EXTRA CREDIT: Students will have the opportunity to earn extra credit as the semester progresses.  The verbs at the end of chapter may be conjugated.

GOALS:  The student shall learn to pronounce correctly a substantial amount of the applicable vocabulary, and shall learn to carry on a limited conversation on various subjects with other students in the class.  Numbers, the alphabet, and basic grammar concepts should be acquired.

Among the more important vocabulary topics are clothing, weather, classes, sports, names of nations, dates, holidays, time measurement, physical conditions, the household, and foods. 


World History

Instructor: Tahla Stephens

Course fee: $25 per month, $25 per quarter materials fee

Student min/max: 1-12

Course description: Our study of World History from creation to WWII will be explored from the perspective of a Biblical Worldview.  We will discover and discuss major people, events and places that helped to shape our world today.  Students will be challenged to go beyond a facts based approach to this subject and enter into developing critical and analytical thinking skills. This is accomplished by coming to class prepared to discuss topics from daily reading portions from our textbook “Exploring World History” by Ray Notgrass and portions of corresponding Bible texts.  Students will ‘journal’ daily, based upon a question derived from these readings and personal reflections/research. The goal of this class is to come to a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian in light of this past and  our present, and to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us about the hope we possess in Christ our Lord.

NOTE: Many historical artifacts and art contain images of nudity, and although I will try to limit these as much as possible, sadly, I cannot guarantee complete censorship. Even our Christian textbook has some nude illustrations. 

Curriculum used: (Available at Mardel's)

“Exploring World History Part 1: Creation Through the Middle Ages”  by Ray Notgrass.  ISBN 9781933410203 aprox. $38. Used 1st Semester

“Exploring World History Part 2: The Renaissance to the Present” by Ray Notgrass. ISBN 9781933410210 aprox $38. Used 2nd Semester

Class plans: We will review & discuss assigned readings.  I will also highlight upcoming people/places /issues/concepts that they will be exploring at home.  Students will turn in their ‘journaling’ assignments and their ‘timeline’ portion weekly as well.  I will occasionally show video clips from various sources to enhance our learning and discussions. Students will often have to complete a ‘fill in the blank’ handout as I lecture from an overhead projector as part of their class participation ‘expectation’.

Homework: Hours per week do you expect your students to spend on this class: 1 hour per day, 5 hours per week. This course is designed for the average student.  Students will have an hour of class time each Monday and an hour each Thursday.  They will have an hour of ‘at home’ work on each Tuesday, each Wednesday and each Friday. 

Description of Homework: Students will be assigned reading portions for their ‘at home’ class days as well as a reflective/research question to be answered in a journal that will be reviewed by the teacher each week.  Students will also create during their ‘at home’ school days, an ongoing timeline to show where the people & events that are being read about/discussed correspond.

Tests/Papers/Presentations: There are no tests or quizes for this class. There is no Final Test.  Students will be assigned a question on each Tuesday, each Wednesday and each Friday that they will reflect on/research if necessary and answer by writing a ½ page in their ‘journal’.  There will be no presentations for students in this class.  Students will voluntarily participate in class discussions AND be called on as well.  Even introverted students must participate in discussions.  Students must come prepared to discuss the assigned reading from the previous ‘at home’ school days.


Project: Student’s three ring binder contains these three sections: Journal 25%, Completed lecture handouts from class 25%, In class participation 25%.

In other words, 75% of the student’s grade is derived from their 3 ring Binder as a whole.  25% of their grade is derived from the student’s in class participation in discussions, both whole group and small group. 


World Literature

Instructor: Nancy Hammerland

Course fee: $40 per month, materials fee TBD

Course description:  This class will provide a broad scope of literature from around the world, representing different cultures and literary periods. Tentative longer works will include The Odyssey, Agamemnon, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Night, and The Good Earth. We will also be covering selected short stories and poetry from Russia, Latin America and Africa.  Emphasis will be on the historical and cultural context of each work and literary significance and contribution to the world. There will be limited written assignments, mostly position papers requiring support from the text. Students will need to purchase or download texts, but it's recommended they wait until specific editions and translations are determined.