The Athenian Academy


Class Offerings

Early Registration (through May 26)

Regular Registration (through July 15)

Late Registration (July 16 - September 2)

2017-2018 Class Descriptions

Science Classes

Elementary Chemistry (8-10 years old)

Students will have the opportunity to explore chemistry through weekly hands on activities and text activities to be completed in class and at home assignments. Students should be able to read and write at grade level.  

Text:  Chemistry for the Grammar Stage - Student Workbook ($17 to be paid on the first day of class), Usborne's Internet-Linked Science Encyclopedia, Marie Curie's Search for Radium (used for one week), Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes.

Middle School Physics:  This class is appropriate for students grade 7-9.  This class will consist of an overview of all the basic topics associated with physics:  Force, Motion, Energy, Thermodynamics, Sound, Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Engineering, Robotics and Nuclear Physics.  Each week will include one or more lab activity designed to illustrate concepts covered in their at-home reading.  We will continue to use Elemental Science’s curriculum.  They offer extremely comprehensive coverage on each subject while keeping it approachable.

Earth Science:  This class straddles the middle school high school line.  The material meets the necessary requirements for a high school lab science, but the material is accessible for an upper level middle school student.  Material will cover topics in astronomy, geology including rivers and oceans, and meteorology.  

High School Biology: This is would be a class substantial enough to qualify for high school laboratory science credit. This is a more traditional textbook oriented biology class than past biology classes I have taught.  It will be using a CK12 free online etext.  Material will be covered in four units (about 9 lessons each):  Cell structure, function and reproduction; genetics and evolution; ecology, eukaryotes and plant life; animals and the human body. This class includes lab activities nearly every week.  Dissections will be a part of some lab activities.  Students uncomfortable with dissections can talk to me about virtual dissection alternatives.

High School Chemistry:  This is would be a class substantial enough to qualify for high school laboratory science credit.  This is a more traditional textbook oriented chemistry class than past classes I have taught.  It will be using a CK12 free online etext.  This class will cover all fundamental topics including:  Atomic/Subatomic structures, Periodic Table, Nomenclature, Varying Bonds & their properties, The Mole & Stoichiometry, States of Matter and their properties (particularly gases), Solutions, Equilibrium, Acids & Bases, Redox reactions, and Entropy.  This class will include consistent lab activities sufficient (and likely to exceed) criteria to meet “lab science” requirements.

High School Physics:  Designed to cover the fundamental topics of Physics (mechanics; properties of matter; temperature, heat and expansion; sound and light; electricity and magnetism; atomic and nuclear physics), this course offers access to physics concepts without requiring high level math.  While students should have a good understanding of algebra, this class does not demand advanced math (trigonometry or calculus).  This class will include a lab component to ensure that it meets or exceeds requirements to be classified as a high school level lab science.

Environmental Science:  Whether this course is taken as a capstone following other science courses or as an introduction preceding science classes to follow, this class serves as a great opportunity to integrate scientific disciplines.  Incorporating chemistry, earth science and biology (as well as social sciences like psychology, economics and sociology), students will explore topics associated with ecology; populations (of all kinds of species); water, air and land use; resource management; sustainability and health.  This class does include a lab component with frequent lab activities meeting or exceeding requirements to receive high school lab science credit.  This is a great option for students seeking high school lab science credit that are not in advanced math courses.

Social Science

High School Psychology: Designed as an introduction to psychology, this course covers the history of psychology, significant schools within psychology, subfields within psychology, physiological psychology.  This course is accessible to most engaged students.  While not a hard science, it does meet social science requirements for most schools.  In addition to being  a fascinating field of study, it is one of those classes that someone can actually use in everyday life.

Developmental Psychology: For students who have a special interest in psychology and have some fundamental understanding of basic psychology, this is an opportunity to explore further.  In this course the focus in narrowed to consider the process and stages of human development.  Beginning even before fertilization with genetics and following human growth from fetus to death.  Each stage will include a discussion of social and cultural issues, biological development, particular psychological issues facing that population and significant research and movements associated with that stage.  This class will include mature and sensitive topics.  It will be necessary to discuss sexual development, gender identity, suicide, substance abuse, death and dying.  Each of these topics will be covered within context, but textbooks and materials are typically are targeted at university students.  This course would qualify as a social science elective on high school transcripts

Citizenship 101:  A course broken into four units:  Branches of Government, Our Constitution, Freedom of Speech, Find Your Voice.  Each unit targets an aspect or attribute associated with being an engaged and informed citizen in the United States of America.  

Branches of Government provides an overview of the fundamentals of our three branches of government, the balance of powers, historical limitations and overreaches of these powers.  

Our Constitution will provide students a fundamental understanding of the U.S. Constitution, powers provided to the federal government versus state governments, individual freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights and other amendments, how amendments are added to the Constitution and what role does the Supreme Court play in interpreting and establishing precedence.  

Freedom of Speech will focus on our first amendment rights with particular emphasis on our Freedom of Speech.  We will consider limitations (if any) on freedom of speech, concepts of libel and slander.  We will review significant court cases regarding freedom of speech.  This unit will also be used to explore the role of a free press as the “fourth branch” of government and its role in providing a further check on the other branches of government.  

In Find Your Voice we will move beyond the rights of a citizen and begin to focus on the responsibilities of citizenship.  In this unit, we will learn how to formulate informed opinions. How do we find information that is reliable? How can we balance inevitable biases in information in order to formulate an independent opinion rather than simply becoming a voice for someone else’s agenda?  We will learn to express these opinions effectively and persuasively. We will learn some fundamentals of public speaking (think eye contact, voice control, etc.) as well as learn about Aristotle’s fundamentals of rhetoric. By doing this, we will also be able to recognize these attributes in others and become more discerning listeners less susceptible to manipulation (the dark side of persuasion).

Model United Nations: In this class students will learn and develop a variety of skills.  Targeting synthesis, students will combine skills in geography, global affairs, sociology, composition, rhetoric, public speaking, research and more to prepare to participate in a role play experience as a foreign delegate to the United Nations.  Students will discuss and devise positions, as a foreign ambassador on a wide range of topics addressing social, scientific, political, environmental, etc. policies while working to address national sovereignty and precedence.  This is a great opportunity for students to gain confidence in skills they currently possess and strengthen areas of weakness.  This is an opportunity appropriate for any student ages thirteen and up.


Language Arts

British Literature: Rather than being anthology oriented, this class will pivot around six representative works.  These have been selected to address significant periods within British Literature.  Tentatively this list will include Beowulf (Anglo-Sazon Period), Canterbury Tales (Middle English Period), Henry V (Renaissance), A Modest Proposal (Neoclassical Period), Frankenstein (Romantic Period), The Importance of Being Earnest (Victorian Period), Animal Farm (Modern Period).  Each work will be discussed within its historical and social context.  Additionally, as each text is discussed literary concepts will be addressed providing students with an understanding of figurative language, genre, story elements and literary criticism/lenses.  Each period will be concluded with a written assignment addressing the concepts and works discussed.

Humanities:  Explore social movements through art, history, music, literature and science.  Over the course of the year we will cover four modern eras and consider what defines these eras, what provoked them and how the human experience was expressed.  We will explore:  The Gilded Age (1878-1889), The Jazz Age (1914-1928), Depression/WWII (1929-1945) and The Modern Era (1946- ).  While our study will be Western oriented, and lean towards the American experience, topics of global significance will be explored.  Each week students will have a unique hands on experience lead by one of three teachers exploring the various aspects of the era.


Statistics: This course is designed to cover the fundamentals of probability and statistics.  While it would be good to have a good working knowledge of Algebra, additional math skills or understanding of statistics is not necessary.  This course is structured to provide a foundation for college level statistics classes.  Students preparing to study social or laboratory sciences can benefit from this opportunity as statistics will be required as part of their course of study.  Many colleges and universities will allow statistics to satisfy a math requirement.  You will want to confirm this with any universities you are considering.  We will be using CK-12 Basic Statistics, a free online e-text.