Online Learning Options and MOOCs

I received a few emails from Emily Sorensen about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other online educational resources. These all look like great resources for homeschoolers and others pursuing higher education. She has also included links for making college affordable.

Contributed by Emily Sorensen

As one of my initiatives at the Center for School, College, and Career Resources, I’m trying to connect students to the information they need to pursue an education online. I want to recommend one particular guide on massive open online courses (MOOCs) that includes comprehensive details such as cost, sample courses and info on ten of the most popular MOOC providers, including Khan Academy, Coursera, and edX.

Student’s Guide to MOOCs – https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/moocs/

That would be great! Thank you for doing that. I did come across these other guides that I believe your community would find helpful for homeschooling and online learning.
Updated May 28
Here are a another site you can check out:
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Quad City Homeschool Charter Schools and Co Ops

I often get an email here and there from someone new in town who is already homeschooling or someone who is ready to take the plunge into homeschooling. I often get asked about local homeschool Co Ops. Lately, people have been asking if we have a homeschool charter school…like the ones that are popping up in different states like California where kids attend some classes once a month, or once or twice a week, and the parents get the curriculum from the school for “free” or through our tax dollars, just like public school kids, to teach their kids at home. So I want to share with you what I know we have here. I would LOVE for others to help me update this article with additional information about Co Ops or other homeschool communities here. For now, I’ll do my best with what I know.

Homeschool Charter Schools

While we don’t have homeschool charter schools like the ones in CA, we do have some programs that are somewhat similar.

Classical Conversations is a Christian based curriculum with a weekly instructional gathering component. Our area has enough families in this program that they have a weekly group meeting.

Sequoia Choice is the closest thing we have to a homeschool charter school around here. They even have a few different options. You can sign up through their charter to receive textbooks and receive guidance and monitoring through one of their teachers/advisors. It looks like you can take classes PT or FT through them. When they first came to Prescott a few years ago, I attended an informational meeting about it. They were talking about having regular gatherings for kids. Possibly weekly. I didn’t see anything that mentioned that on their website, though.

Williamsburg Academy is an online school that provides real-time, live instruction to a class of students. Right now WA provides classes for MS & HS students. But they may expand to elementary students in the future. WA is a private online school with a private school tuition option (that can be good for families who don’t care for common core standards or state testing or don’t want to report to anyone for their child’s education). However, they have partnered with Sequoia Choice. If you enroll your student for WA for Sequoia Choice, SC pays for your child’s tuition and SC is your child’s charter school. That does mean your child will need to take state exams and you would need to comply with anything else that a state-funded school requires. However, you don’t need to pay the price of a private school for your child to receive a private school education.

There are several families in the area whose kids attend Williamsburg Academy. While their gatherings aren’t weekly, the students do get together for semester kick-off parties or end of semester gatherings. WA encourages its students to interact outside of class and especially in person where feasible.

There are other groups of homeschoolers that meet based on similar interests or who go to the same church or who follow the same educational philosophy. The best thing I’ve found for these special interest groups is to join a Facebook Groups that caters to your style. Email me privately so I can invite you to the closed groups, or do your own FB search to find a group that works for you.

Co Ops

This is even a bit of a mystery to me! I know there are Co Ops in the area. I participate in one and I’ve helped set one up that later dissolved. I know there is a BIG one that meets in a church on Fridays. Word of mouth says that their classes fill up quickly and they rarely have openings. I believe it’s mainly for upper grades. But I could totally be wrong with it. I will try to get more accurate info on this Co Op.

The one I’m in meets in a person’s home and it focuses on Science and Humanities. She accepts students as long as there is room in her home for the extra kids. This one ranges from Pre-K through HS.

Please feel free to email me privately if you’re interested in joining a Co Op. Or, better yet, if you would like to start a Co Op or grow one that you have started, I would be happy to help you advertise it and direct future newbies your way.

Playwriting Class

Playwriting is an exciting and engaging way to learn about performing arts and scriptwriting. To be successful, you need to know where ideas for plays come from, the lingo writers speak, how to create fully dimensional characters, how to write dialogue, where to start your play, how to develop your storyline and reach the story’s climax, and how to bring your play to a satisfying conclusion.

If you want to explore script writing and learn script writing this class is for you. The skills you learn in this class will help you write better stories, better dialogue and be useful in many other writing areas. This class is not just for writers, anyone with an interest in any aspect of performing will benefit from learning about the aspects of writing and storytelling techniques that will be presented. An experienced team of writers, directors, actors and designers, from Prescott Center for the Arts, will
teach this class. The team has years of experience working with elementary and secondary students. The goal of the class will be to guide students through the process of writing, revising and producing their work. Students will be encouraged to submit their plays for Prescott Center for the Arts Young Playwrights Festival. They will also learn about additional opportunities to submit their work for scholarships or other playwriting competitions. In the spring, a special festival production opportunity will be given to all writers who wish to take their play to the next step of performance.

This course will meet once a week for 2 hours for a total of twelve weeks. Additional work out of class will be encouraged and required for students to achieve the best results with their writing. (Students should plan to spend an average of 2 hours per week outside of class working on assignments and their play script.)

Learning Outcomes:
Students will understand the structure of a story and the structure of a theatrical script.
Students will learn how to fully develop a character for a play or story.
Students will learn to write dialogue that helps convey and move a story forward.
Students will write and revise a 10-minute script that will not exceed 10 pages.
Students will learn to submit writing for competitive opportunities.
Students, who desire, will participate in the process of bringing their writing to life for a showcase performance.

Class Location: Prescott Center for the Arts StageToo
Time: Mondays from 1:00 to 3:00pm
Class duration: 12 weeks beginning on Jan. 8, 2018
Cost: $125. Per student
https://www.pca-az.net/young-playwrights-festival.html
Prescott Center for the Arts Young Playwrights Festival Information
Email questions to:
Debra White
dclarewhite@me.com

PCA Ex. Director
director@pca-az.net

Science, Literature, and History Class

Lydia Wimber, who lives in the heart of Prescott Valley (near the library), will be teaching a Science, Literature, and History Class in a one-room-school format. The majority of the students are in 1st-6th Grades. This is a class that has been following a curriculum for the past 2 years, so it will be going on its 3rd year. Students can join in at any time, but the teacher will teach the curriculum where they left off at the end of the school year. The curriculum is created by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so, like other religious curriculums, sometimes combines secular and religious topics into the lessons. This curriculum can be taught to children who are not LDS, as the academic thoroughness of the curriculum is to be accounted for, and Mrs. Wimber can tailor the lessons to the needs of her class. If you are interested, please follow the links to learn more about the curriculum and contact Mrs. Wimber at jlwimber2@yahoo.com for more information.

From Mrs. Wimber:

I will continue to teach the Tuesday/ Thursday class for all ages. 8am-12pm. I would like to offer the classes for $80/month, depending on enrollment. This includes Lessons in the three subjects indicated above using an LDS based curriculum. You can check it out here:

LDS Homeschool Curriculum – The Family School Online

The price for this class includes most of the cost for the curriculum and any copies I need to make for it. You may be asked to send your child with a copy of the pages for the workbook for history. I spoke with some parents and we thought we could continue with the current curriculum for history which is “The Story of the World”. We would begin where we left of at the fall of Rome with the second volume of the series. This is a link to the workbook pages. You should shop around, though and you may find a better price elsewhere. This is also offered as a PDF download that you can print:

https://www.amazon.com/Story-World-Classical-Activity-Renaissance/dp/1933339136

Another option for history lessons that would not include purchase of the workbook is the LDS Homeschool Curriculum that I am using for the Science and the Literature classes. I already have access to the history portion as well and could use that for our history lessons. I would look through it and try to start the lessons where we left off with the other lesson.

Sewin’ Time Classes

Yesterday, we were at the PV public library to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and participate in the activities. My kids are crazy motivated to read! This is amazing!* While we were there, I ran into a fellow homeschooling mom who I’ve run into before. 🙂 She let me know that she teaches sewing classes and asked if I could post about them. She is interested in teaching several classes. So if you have a group you know of and want to set something up with her, or if your child (or you!) wants to join a class, send her an email with your contact info and she’ll work something out with you!

WEEKLY CLASSES

Kids 6-12, teens, or adults will enjoy a one hour class each week. Class size is limited to four students to allow sufficient instructor attention. Students will purchase a $35 pattern package which contains roughly 10 projects. One pattern package will last each student about 9-10 months. Once they complete that package they are ready to move to the next level. Teens and adults have their own specialized pattern packages.

CAMPS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

This is a great way to jump start you or your child’s sewing skills. Camps are fun! Most camps consist of two half days of creating, learning, and laughing. They also allow for a larger class size. At the end of the camp, you may go home with something to wear, a backpack, or even a matching outfit for an American Girl Doll and you!

CONTACT:

Sherri Smith

sewintime@hotmail.com

Prescott Valley

 

 

*You can sign your kids up for the library’s SRP online. Just go here.

Prescott Area Summer Camp Ideas for 2016*

Summer time can sure be a great way to give our kids the opportunity to attend a summer camp for a few days in something they really love (or something we would love for them to learn). It also can give homeschool moms a little bit of a break! (I’m sooo looking forward to summer, myself!) And summer camps can also be a fun thing for our kids to do with a neighborhood friend that normally goes to school…or with a favorite homeschool friend that lives across town.

Sport Camps:

If your child is interested in a specific sport, look up/contact the local leagues or businesses/studios for summer camp options. Yavapai Soccer, Prescott AYSO, Little League, Softball, Basketball Camp (in PV it’s through the County), Dance, Karate, Martial Arts, Golf. There really are too many options to mention here. But I’ll do my best.

Sport Camps at Prescott YMCA

Gymnastics Camp at Prescott YMCA

Embry Riddle has sport camps: Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, Softball

Swimming Lessons at Mountain Valley Splash or YMCA

Academic Camps/Classes:

Yavapai College for Kids: Their classes include art, language, writing, technology, nature, science, cooking, photography, drama, filmmaking. Fantastic options for exploring interests or going into depth on already known interests.

Embry Riddle also has a variety of camps for teens in aeronautics and engineering. Even a helicopter class!!

Nature Camps:

Zoo Camp at Heritage Park Zoo (there are 6 different sessions)

All Children in the Woods

The Arts:

These places have had theater camps in the past: Prescott Center for the Arts and Footlight Productions (with Fusion of Movement)

Other Summer Fun Ideas:

A few years ago, I wrote this post for other Summer Fun ideas. But some ideas for Summer Fun include:

  • Harkins Summer Movie Series
  • Summer Library reading program with activities and shows at your local library (Prescott, PV, or CV)
  • Arts and Craft classes as JoAnn’s or Michael’s
  • The Spot, a Children’s Museum
  • Visiting local museums like the Smoki Museum, Phippen Art Museum, Sharlot Hall Museum, the Dewey museum, the museums in Jerome
  • Easy to difficult hikes (or some for mountain biking) like Watson Lake Riparian Preserve, hikes on Mingus Mountain, Thumb Butte, the Constellation Trails, the white dot trails at Watson, Pea Vine/Iron King Trail, Granite Mountain hike, the new hike up to the top of Glassford Hill, Salida Gulch, Indian Ruins trail near Lynx Lake
  • Day Trips to Phoenix, Sedona, Slide Rock State Park, Cottonwood, Fossil Creek, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and all that those places have to offer
  • Spending an afternoon or morning at the lake: Watson Lake, Lynx Lake, Goldwater, Granite Basin, Mingus Mudhole, (Willow Lake…if you want to battle the bugs…Willow Lake is best for the trails, not the lake)

I hope with these Summer Fun Ideas you’ll have an enjoyably filled summer of learning, fun, relaxation, reading, and creativity!

* This list is definitely not comprehensive. In fact, PLEASE email me with other summer camps in the Prescott area. I will update this post periodically with additions. Please email me with the name of the Summer Camp and the website for more information, and the ages of kids the camp works with. prescotthshub@gmail.com 

Thank you!