Classes Offered

FALL 2022

** ART AND SOCIETY:  This is a seminar-style class that explains some of the basics of art history, while applying art to a broader context. Themes for the fall include expressions of power, the human form, transformations, colonialism and more. We focus on key artworks in a global context, from prehistory to modern. Students work collaboratively on designing the syllabus. High school with mature middle school exceptions.  Some of the material will have mature subjects.

Tuesdays 13 sessions in person at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA FULL Waitlist OPEN

** WORLD WARS:  World Wars examines the causes, events, conditions, individuals, and repercussions of World War I and World War II (the focus for fall is World War I). We begin by looking at earlier global conflicts, and then explore the issues in Europe during the Belle Époque: the growth of technology, the spread of colonialism and imperialism, and the rise of nationalism. After the war breaks out, we cover its battles, weapons, strategies, and politics, but also the human stories through poetry, art, film, literary works, and material culture. This class is taught by Henry Burby, a former homeschooler who just earned his MA in History at City College. High school with mature middle school exceptions. Some of the material will cover sensitive subjects.

Thursdays 13 sessions Columbus Circle location, with a Zoom option 

3-4:30 PM

** ANCIENT GREEKS:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art-based four-year cycle history classes were the first classes I offered to homeschoolers many years ago. The cycle moves to the Classical World now, and fall brings the Greeks, winter Romans, and a spring mini session on ancient Europe (Neolithic, Vinca, Hallstatt, Briton, Angles, Saxons, Picts, Scots, etc.) and transitions to the Classical and Medieval worlds. The Fall Semester Ancient Greek Civilizations class will utilize collections from the Met to understand key issues: government, warfare, religion, archaeology, interconnections, and the arts. We read from Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, at least one tragedy or comedy, and other written works, too.

Mondays 12 sessions meeting ONLINE 12-1:30 PM High school with mature middle school exceptions  OR

Thursdays 12 sessions meeting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 10-11:30 AM. Tween and Teen.

FULL Waitlist OPEN

OR

Fridays 13 sessions meeting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art  5-6:30 PM High school with mature middle school exceptions

** LITERATURE: BANNED BOOKS:  What makes a banned book banned? We move through some of the classics in world literature banned by various groups using heavy discussion, optional writing assignments, close reading, character analysis, plot analysis, and examination of historical context. Some of our banned books in past semesters included Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Americanah, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Lord of the Flies, The Price of Salt, The Color Purple, and many othersSelections are chosen by the students, and from a list of books usually read in high school or college literature classes. High school with mature middle school exceptions.  Some of the material will have mature subjects.

Mondays 12 sessions 2-3 PM. ONLINE 

** ESPIONAGE AND HISTORY:  Welcome to the world of secrets! This class takes on the history of spying, from the tactics described in Sun Tzu’s Art of War to the modern use of corporate spying. We consider the big events of history: spying in ancient texts and mythology, Sir Francis Walsingham as Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, the Culper spy ring, the advantage of women and BIPOC spies, industrial espionage, World Wars, the Cold War, and more. High school with mature middle school exceptions.  FULL Waitlist OPEN

Wednesdays 12 sessions 1-2:30 PM Columbus Circle location with a Zoom option  FULL WAITLIST OPEN

** PARANORMAL AND HISTORYParanormal and History was a big hit in the previous years, and I’m delighted to bring it back. This class is a survey of global and United States history, but through the lens of the paranormal. We focus on ghost accounts, alien stories, supernatural abilities, haunted spaces, etc from the time periods in question as well as modern day stories about places and people associated with these periods. Skeptics welcome. This is not a course on only paranormal beliefs, but a history course, using this approach to navigate our way through history. Topics for fall include the alien theories and Ancient Egypt, the Anunnaki and Mesopotamia, accessing the dead in various ancient societies, Medieval demonology and possessions, Viking hauntings, haunted castles, haunted battlefields, Taoist ghost stories and spooky pirate lore in the age of exploration.

Thursdays 5-6:30 PM Columbus Circle location with a Zoom option. High school with mature middle school exceptions. FULL WAITLIST OPEN

** APPROACHES TO RELIGION: What is religion? Is it beliefs and practices of cultures, or is it personal faith? Do all religions hold a belief in a god or God? What are the earliest religions on record, and what makes a religion a religion? This class combines theory with a secular look at world religions. Primary sacred sources, ritual, art, music, oral tradition, magic, gender roles, psychology, and other issues explored in class. High school with mature middle school exceptions. Some of the material will have mature subjects.

Thursdays 13 sessions 1-2:30 PM  Columbus Circle location with a Zoom option 

** WOMEN IN HISTORY AND SOCIETY:  What does it mean to be a woman? We evaluate this concept through various cultures to start, looking at roles, status, rules, regulations, and customs, and then move to history. We consider rulers such as Hatshepsut and Zenobia, look at ancient law codes that mention women, study women’s roles in ancient and Medieval religion, and move to the modern by evaluating women like Hypatia and her legacy, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mathilda, Joan of Arc and others. The next term will move our discussion to the late modern and the women’s rights movement. Issues involving feminist theories and intersectionalism are also included. Note: trans women are women, and are included in this class. High school with mature middle school exceptions.  

Wednesdays 12 sessions 11-12:30 PM Columbus Circle location, with a Zoom option   FULL WAITLIST OPEN

** EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY: Evolutionary Biology covers the history of life, from the smallest of microorganisms to us. We look at history, theory, DNA, genetics, and visit a lot of remarkable creatures who lived on this planet. The stars of the show for fall semester: dinosaurs! We look at the diversity, adaptation, migration, and other evolutionary patters of various species, and discuss what happened — and who remains today. Future sessions will look at later evolutionary patterns and human evolution.  This class is taught by Michael R.P. Coyne, a former homeschooler currently taking classes at Arizona State University. High school with mature middle school exceptions.   FULL Waitlist OPEN

Wednesdays 3-4:30 PM 12 sessions  ONLINE

** GOVERNMENTS:  We cover different forms of government, but focus on seven key countries:  The United States, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Mexico, Iran, Russia, and Israel.  It is based on the themes of the AP Comparative Governments class, studying history, politics, political culture and participation, and economic changes. 

Mondays 10:30-12 PM 12 sessions ONLINE 

SPRING 2022 

Please message me directly if you are interested in any classes for next steps.  Classes planned for in person with a zoom option for most– check in with me for updates on each offering as well as pricing and arrangements.

SCHOOLS OF PHILOSOPHY 

12:30-2 PM Tuesdays  TUESDAY is FULL, waitlist available
Contemplate the meaning of life with us! We ask some of the ineffable questions regarding human existence, and attempt to address them through the schools of philosophy. Students help shape the scope and design of the class. We begin with the Pre-Socratics, philosophies of India, Plato and Aristotle, African conceptions of time, and issues in metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, logic, and existential thought systems.

WORLD LITERATURE

2:30-3:30 PM Tuesdays AND an older teen section on Fridays 4-5 PM.  Tuesday is FULL, waitlist available.

We move through some of the classics in world literature by discussion, optional writing assignments, close reading, character analysis, plot analysis, and historical context. Spring semester begins with Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.  The Friday section is reading George Orwell’s 1984. Selections are those usually read in high school or college literature classes.

LORD OF THE RINGS IN HISTORY AND MYTHOLOGY

10-11 AM WEDNESDAY
Join us as we move through the Silmarillion!

CIVILIZATIONS OF THE ANCIENT AMERICAS

11 AM-12:30 PM WEDNESDAYS – FULL

Fridays 5:30-7 PM older teens (16 and up)

This is the class that started my work with the NYC homeschool community! It forms the first part of a four-year cycle (Year 2: Greece, Rome, China; Year 3: Medieval Western and Eastern Perspectives and Renaissance; Year 4: Ages of Revolutions to the Modern). This term focuses on the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Mayan, Monte Alban, Andean, and Taino.  Art, primary source texts, architecture, religion, archaeology, linguistics, anthropology, and sociology are covered, as well as various modern interpretations.

TWEEN/TEEN CIVILIZATION OF ANCIENT AMERICAS

10-11:30 AM  THURSDAYS. FULL

We focus on Ancient American Civilizations, namely the Olmec, Mayan, Teotihuacan, Monte Alban, Andean, and Taino. Art, primary source texts, architecture, religion, archaeology, linguistics, anthropology, and sociology are covered, as well as various modern interpretations.

Ages are 10ish to 13ish, with exceptions made for serious students who also enjoy games and deep conversatio.

Spring Semester takes us to the Ancient Americas.

LOSERS of HISTORY

10:30- 11:30 PM. Fridays

History is “written by the winners,” but what about the losers? We will spend the fall semester exploring world history, and focusing on the individuals whose decisions brought about disastrous outcomes. This term focuses on the modern losers. Note: “loser” doesn’t have to be insulting, but a reflection of a loss of power, status, and privilege. Thanks to Felicity and Santiago for suggesting this!

GEOLOGY AND HISTORY 

12:30 PM-2 PM Fridays Meets in person at musuems
This is not a typical earth science, geology, or “big history” course. We will discuss the beginnings of planet Earth, from its formation to its changes today, but also focus on how we interact with the rocks and minerals that make up the planet. Topics include metal mining, volcanic activity, fossil fuels, environmentalism, human interpretation of dinosaurs, colliding mountain belts and the meaning behind these mountains in local religions, and more.

SECULAR BIBLE

2:30-3:30 PM Fridays
Why read the Bible, from a secular perspective? Literature, history, law, politics, comparative religion, and current events reference the books that make up the Bible, so it’s important to have a grasp of it!  We are focusing on the New Testament this term.

OPEN TO ARRANGEMENTS

 Senior and Gap Year Capstone

 For seniors and gap year students, this is an opportunity to meet up with other seniors and homeschool educators to work on your final projects.  This is a student driven opportunity.  Dates and times tbd.

Some General Information

  • Ages for all classes: High School, with mature middle schoolers accepted and Middle Schoolish for the Thursday Mesopotamia.  If there is interested in sessions for younger students, please let me know
  • Homework is always presented, but not mandatory (with the exception of AP style classes, which require a lot of preparation). Each family may set the work expectations.  For the literature classes, I expect students to have the book that we’re reading.
  • Students are expected to be courteous to each other, and to me. This means engaging in meaningful discussions relating to the material, not using class time for personal means, staying off phones, and acting in a respectful manner to me and to classmates, which includes students’ names and pronouns.  Note that this is an anti-racist, anti-homophobic and transphobic, anti-antisemitic, and anti-sexist space.
  • Please feel free to reach out concerning your child’s progress and participation in classes
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