Latin I

Using a reading-based approach, students are introduced to Latin I grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure through a fictional storyline based on an actual household in Pompeii during the days prior to the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Students learn about Roman life, architecture, politics, and culture, and see photos of artifacts, art, and structures uncovered during extensive excavations in Pompeii. Studying Latin leads to a better understanding of the structure and roots of English because many English words are derived from Latin. Latin studies also facilitate the study of French, Spanish, and Italian. Students will gain insight into literature, law, religion, philosophy, ethics, civil engineering, and political science as they complete creative projects that reflect aspects of ancient Rome or Greece.

Biology: The Study of Life

This course satisfies the high school lab science requirement for Oak Meadow enrolled students. The course is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. There are 28 lessons over 36 weeks; lessons are 1, 1.5, or 2 weeks in length and there is a lesson timetable in the introduction. The lessons are organized into 8 units:
Unit 1: Introduction to Biology
Unit 2: Cells
Unit 3: Genetics
Unit 4: Evolution
Unit 5: Ecology
Unit 6: Classification and Diversity
Unit 7: Plants
Unit 8: Animals

The course includes comprehension and critical thinking questions, activities, and labs. Online resources and activities are an integral part of the course. A lab kit is available for purchase, and there is a full list of materials in the appendix. A teacher Manual is available for this course.

Environmental Science for a Changing World

Environmental Science for a Changing World introduces fundamental ecological concepts and explores the interactions between all living things, including humans, and our environment. Students learn about the biosphere, major biomes, ecosystems, chemical cycles, and the role of living things in ecosystems. In addition to learning about environmental problems, students explore practical alternatives for protecting the environment and moving toward a sustainable future. More and more, the broad subject of environmental science needs to be considered on a global scale, and this course helps to increase students’ awareness of global environmental issues, as well as their role in their environment, both local and global. Students are encouraged to think deeply about the issues discussed and their responsibilities as citizens of the Earth. The interdisciplinary nature of environmental science is reinforced throughout the course.

Algebra I

This course covers essential algebraic concepts. Emphasis is placed on applying algebraic and geometric skills to solve word problems. The following skills are covered:

  • evaluation of expressions involving signed numbers
  • exponents and roots
  • properties of real numbers
  • absolute value and equations and inequalities involving absolute value
  • scientific notation
  • unit conversions
  • solution of equations in one unknown and solution of simultaneous equations
  • algebra of polynomials and rational expressions
  • work problems requiring algebra for their solution
  • graphical solutions of simultaneous equations,
  • Pythagorean theorem
  • algebraic proofs
  • functions and functional notation
  • solution of quadratic equations via factoring and completing the square
  • direct and inverse variation
  • exponential growth

World Geography

The study of world geography involves understanding the natural forces that shape our planet and the interactions between people and their environment. It’s about how human activity can modify the surface of the Earth itself and inform the region’s culture and inhabitants over time. This course is also about acquiring information from disparate sources, like maps, statistics, news reports, and literary accounts, and integrating it into a comprehensive understanding. The projects and assignments in this course encourage students to exercise their imagination, creativity, analytical mind, and critical faculties.

This course is designed to be textbook-independent. This means that the course is driven by questions and inquiry that challenge students to become researchers and critical thinkers. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to use a wide variety of sources such as non-fiction books, websites, films, textbooks, journals, novels, artwork, news archives, etc. The course can be used in conjunction with ANY world geography textbook or other research materials.


U.S. History

This course explores U.S. history from the earliest settlements to the dawn of the 21st century. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students are encouraged to integrate information, discover patterns, and develop critical thinking skills in their responses to significant issues and events in American history. Throughout this course, students are required to use information from a variety of sources to evaluate causes and explore values in history. All assignments are designed to help students think more widely, make connections, and reach their own conclusions. In addition, students have regular opportunities throughout the course to pursue areas of interest and create projects of their own design.

This course is designed to be textbook independent. This means that students can use ANY textbook or other research materials to learn about the lesson topics. Students may want to purchase a United States History or American History textbook to use as the primary reading material, or use any combination of materials, but there isn’t one specific textbook attached to this course.

World History

The study of world history is the study of humanity itself. This course moves far beyond the simple learning of historical facts, and asks students to think deeply about what we can learn from the past and apply to the present to create a better future. This course looks at world history through a multi-faceted lens, helping students connect course topics with literature, art, geography, psychology, sociology, economics, science, and technology. Students develop critical thinking and research skills as they analyze relationships between people and events as a means of understanding past and current world events. Students are encouraged to interpret facts, determine cause and effect, separate facts from opinions, explore values, synthesize information, consider divergent perspectives, form hypotheses, and evaluate conclusions. The course combines content-rich lessons with student-designed projects and learning reflections.

This course is designed to be textbook-independent. This means that students can use ANY textbook or other research materials to learn about the lesson topics. Students may choose any current world history textbook to accompany this course; however, relevant and comprehensive information can be found in a variety of places and a textbook is not required. As a textbook-independent course, students will conduct research and locate reputable sources to explore lesson topics, using a variety of print and online sources, film, audio, literature, news archives, artwork, and journals.

The Hero’s Journey: Literature & Composition

The books in the Hero’s Journey, an introductory literature and composition course, feature ordinary people who find themselves in circumstances that require extraordinary acts, and how these acts relate to the archetypal hero’s journey. Lessons provide historical background on the setting and author, and discussion points for exploring literary themes and issues with family and peers. Students develop a wide range of composition skills throughout the course, using techniques and formats such as: comparative essays, first person writing, figurative language, summarizing, poetry, persuasive writing, inferential reading and contextual clues, and observational writing.

Composition: Expression and Understanding

Composition: Expression and Understanding is designed to help students develop essential skills that will form the basis for their long-term development as a writer. Learning to write is a journey rather than a destination; at the heart of this journey is the need to know oneself. In the first semester, The Art of Expression, students will explore a variety of reading and writing assignments to help them understand their own individual perspective, strengths, challenges, and skills. They will gain tools for understanding themselves and others, and practice the skills needed to articulate arguments and viewpoints.

In the second semester, The Act of Understanding, students explore their individual curiosities in a semester-long inquiry project. Using techniques of creative research, students will be guided each step of the way, culminating in a final essay of high-quality writing and in-depth research skills.