High School

Are you yearning for the educational freedom and flexibility to explore your interests and talents? We believe education at its best helps students develop a vision of who they are and their unique place in the world. Our high school curriculum is built on rigorous academic standards to encourage critical thinking and intellectual development, and it is customizable so you can combine your educational study with your real-life passions. We prepare you well for college, career, and a lifelong love of learning.

If you live in the local Brattleboro, Vermont area, check out Brattleboro School Without Walls.

2 Ways to Use Our Curriculum

Independent Use

Follow our 36-week print curriculum for a guided, comprehensive experience, or customize lessons to match your particular interests and skills. We offer a recommended course schedule  for those seeking a typical, college prep high school education, or choose individual courses to complement your other studies. Our expert college counseling service and our free college counseling webinar series are available to all homeschoolers.



Many families choose enrollment in our distance learning school for more structure and teacher support. Students may enroll full time and earn an Oak Meadow diploma, or take individual courses for enrichment, credit recovery, or transferable credit. You’ll find creative ways to earn credit toward your Oak Meadow diploma, such as our Life Experience Elective Credit option, Advanced Study Project, and dual enrollment. College counseling is included with tuition.

High School

Curriculum Overview

High School

Student Stories

Music lover


Reach for the stars beyond traditional school walls.

Euan attended traditional school growing up and was a successful student, but he thought a distance learning program would better help him meet his music goals: to study cello at a performance conservatory, then to pursue a graduate degree in conducting. According to one of his Oak Meadow teachers, Euan also has blossomed as a scholar, citing the way Euan learned to weave his musical background into the analysis of a complicated poem.

“If you already know what you want to do in your life, a distance learning program will help you manage your own schedule while you work towards your goals. My Oak Meadow teachers are kind and supportive, and they understand my crazy schedule, especially when I have competitions and concerts to conduct. I appreciate their insightful comments and feedback on my academic work. They always encourage me to think deeper.“

Horse enthusiast


Train hard. Compete well. Student-athletes can do it all.

Nora has been riding horses since she was six-years-old, and she is now an accomplished equestrian. As a dual citizen of the U.S. and Cambodia, Nora recently was named to the national equestrian team of Cambodia, and she will compete at this year’s Southeast Asian Games. She says that Oak Meadow has given her the time, discipline, and focus to stay on track to reach her athletic goals (Oak Meadow is NCAA approved). While Nora’s parents chose Oak Meadow for the same reasons, they also wanted to be sure she got an education that would prepare her well for college.

“Oak Meadow helps you learn how you learn. You can dive in and work on one subject for a few days or even weeks, instead of doing a little bit of everything daily. It’s truly flexible, not just regular school on a computer, like many online schools. Distance learning gets you into the habit of doing whatever it takes to learn what you need to know, and it lets you come face to face with your interests and dares you to take them as far as you can. You learn to be a leader, not a passenger, of your own life.”

True Distance Learner


Earn an accredited U.S. diploma!

Marcos lives in Mexico. When he was preparing for high school, Marcos wasn’t satisfied with the local school options, so he and his family researched other opportunities. Marcos wanted three things: to study in English at an accredited U.S. school; to have the flexibility to train, compete, and travel with his Ultimate Frisbee team; and to have the freedom to work at his own pace as well as the challenge of learning how to study independently. He’s been successful on all counts and is heading to a U.S. college next year.

“Distance learning isn’t easy. It requires an incredible amount of discipline, focus, and the ability to plan ahead and organize your time. My teachers have been amazing. I’m impressed with the amount of feedback they give me, how fast they grade my work, and their constructive and positive comments. Something I didn’t expect was that I’d interact with other OM students, but I’ve made good friends!”

The Un-schooler


Are you happily homeschooling but want more structure?

Until she was 11-years-old, Becca was “unschooled,” meaning her family allowed her to learn on an informal basis and to pursue activities like dancing, horse riding, and soccer. She eventually wanted a more structured school environment, and her parents discovered Oak Meadow. Enrollment provided a rigorous academic framework, but also the chance for Becca to pursue her passion for travel. She studied abroad in Sweden (where she earned Oak Meadow credit for a language immersion program), France (where she completed her Advanced Study Project), and India, and learned how to integrate those experiences with her Oak Meadow studies.

“Oak Meadow has allowed me to become responsible for my own education. I’m the one who must make sure I get my work done and that I understand it. I think giving young people a chance to become more independent and responsible is the best thing a school can teach. Oak Meadow also has given me the opportunity to learn things that extend far beyond the printed textbook.”

Boat Smarts


Be free. Sail the seas! Bring your education wherever you go.

Alex and his family enjoy a unique lifestyle: For the last couple of years, they’ve lived on a sailboat and traveled around the Caribbean Sea. To Alex, who formerly attended a traditional school, one of the best things about being enrolled in Oak Meadow is the ability to schedule his education around his life, rather than the other way around. Check out these FAQs about Oak Meadow high school, including how we integrate learning and technology.

“I can do all my schoolwork offline, using internet only for research, turning in assignments, and communication with my teachers. This makes doing schoolwork in remote locations, with limited internet access, possible. I plan out my work each weekday: I study in the mornings and evenings, so the bulk of my day is available for other activities. It’s much better than being stuck in a classroom eight hours a day. I feel I’m getting an even better education while also having the freedom to enjoy life.”



An actor’s life for me! Pursue your passion while earning credit.

Seth has been homeschooled his entire life, but as high school drew near, he wanted a more structured school program with the support of experienced teachers and to earn an accredited high school diploma. Seth says Oak Meadow is a great fit because it allows him to be involved in and get credit for the things he loves (he earned life experience credit for an internship at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts) while staying focused on his future academically.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve had a passion for the performing arts. Every year I participate in several full scale musical theatre productions. Weekly I take dance, voice, and acting lessons. In addition to my passion for being onstage, I also interned in the education department of a local performing arts center, which broadened my interest in the administrative side of putting on a production. Oak Meadow has allowed me to chase my dreams!”



Set goals and do what you love, without missing school.

When Paige moved with her family from the U.S. to France, she enrolled in Oak Meadow so she could study in English while learning about different cultures around Europe. With an eye on college, she has been able to take the necessary prep courses while experiencing French life and the local arts, such as wine-making and bread-making (her Advanced Study Project focused on those artisanal crafts). She has traveled on her own to Portugal, Germany, and Canada, integrating her academics with what she absorbs when visiting other countries.

“I wouldn’t be able to travel or pursue my hobbies nearly as much had I been at a traditional school. I’ve also become closer with my family, healthier (I have time to exercise, cook my own food, relax with my art), and more independent and self-reliant since enrolling at Oak Meadow.”

A born leader


Want an education that feeds your intellect and your heart?

Paresa and her family live on a farm in Texas, and she loves doing daily chores and caring for their animals. That natural compassion led to Paresa’s dedication to volunteer work and public service. Oak Meadow allows her to create a schedule that accommodates her interests. For example, she works with a local political action group (block walking, registering voters, and informing the public), and she’s a regular volunteer at her local library. Her teachers recognized her leadership skills and excellence in academics by nominating her for the Oak Meadow chapter of the National Honor Society.

“While many students may thrive in the typical classroom setting, others, like me, do better when they have more freedom with their education. Distance learning not only allows you to learn from the traditional assignments you are given, but also from the experiences you discover through your own endeavors.“

Purchase Curriculum

Resources for enrolled and independent high school students.

Common Ground: Religion, Community, and Problemsolving for the Global Era

Common Ground: Religion, Community, and Problemsolving for the Global Era is a project-based course asks students to consider one of the greatest puzzles of world history: How can members of diverse religions come together as one community in which the specific practices of each are honored? Students spend the semester researching a wide variety of world religions and, using their findings, to design an interfaith center that takes on this question, aided by frequent teacher feedback and discussion. Students are invited to incorporate their own interests into this endeavor – past projects have focused on food, clothing, history, and social justice – and to shape it in the manner that is most meaningful for them.

Physical Education

Oak Meadow students can meet their Physical Education requirements in many ways. For example, students may belong to a local gym, take formal lessons in martial arts, or take swimming at the YMCA. For students who are not taking formal lessons or who may not belong to a gym, their PE requirements can still be met by keeping a log of the physical activities they are involved in.

Integrated Health & Fitness

Integrated Health & Fitness is an in-depth evaluation of health and wellness, exploring all aspects of health, including physical, emotional, and social well-being. We cover anatomy and body systems as a basis for understanding the body. We take a refreshing look at diet; while examining in detail the components of food, we also simplify the elements of diet to make it accessible. Some of the many topics covered are personal health care, drugs, sexuality, aging, alternative medicine, and the environment and health. An integral part of the course is fitness; students engage in a regular aerobic and strength building fitness program, using a heart rate monitor as a tool. Students learn the value of exercise for optimal brain function. This course includes a variety of project choices, including research, interviews, multi-media presentations, introspection, and more. The course reading incorporates cutting edge research, and students are encouraged to tune into the media for health related topics. Societal and medical influences on diet and health are explored.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Integrated Health & Fitness Syllabus
Health: Making Life Choices (McGraw-Hill)
Human Anatomy Coloring Book (Matt)
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (Ratey)
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (Pollan)

Introduction to Photography: The Eye, the Shutter, the Light, the Color

One semester course. Photography is a relatively new art, less than 200 years old, but one that changes the way we interpret the world around us and, quite simply, the way we see. This course will teach such fundamental concepts as frame, focus, and composition, while also exploring the more interpretive side of photography. Students will complete weekly assignments, getting hands-on experience and a chance to convey their unique vision of the world. Students will also keep a journal and collect ideas, magazine clippings, inspiring images, and some personal writing about their experiences. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of and general familiarity with the camera they choose to use for this class. Either a 35-mm camera (point and-shoot or SLR) or a digital camera is required.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Introduction to Photography Syllabus
Understanding Exposure, 4th edition by Bryan Peterson (optional, but recommended)


The painting course introduces painting in terms of color and design, and explores representational skills as well as non-representational and abstract elements. This course helps develop basic skills and creative thinking, and students are asked to explore their creative thoughts in a written journal, and to conduct self-evaluations. Using acrylics, students learn to paint still life, portraits, and landscapes, and to use texture, pattern, light, and color to create expressive paintings. Prerequisite: Drawing and Design

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Painting Syllabus
50 Paintings You Should Know (Prestel, 2009)


  • Paints, acrylic or tempera
  • Brushes, soft tip, selection of several sizes
  • Canvas, pressed paper, or canvas board
  • Canvas (cloth) for stretching handmade canvases
  • Stretchers
  • Staple gun
  • Gesso

Drawing and Design

Students are introduced to the primary concepts of drawing and design using exercises and readings designed to enhance artistic skills and appreciation. These drawing and design principles develop a student’s capacities to think creatively and to develop an eye for aesthetics. Exercises include gestural drawing, contour drawing, the use of values to add dimension, portraits, visual composition, and proportion. Students gain experience drawing with pencil, charcoal, colored pencils, soft pastels, and oil pastels.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Drawing and Design Syllabus
The Art of Seeing (Prentice Hall)


  • drawing pencils
  • drawing paper, two sizes, notebook size and larger
  • watercolor paper or a textured paper
  • kneaded eraser
  • charcoal sticks or pencils
  • black, white, and gray construction paper
  • color pencils
  • soft pastels
  • oil pastels
  • painter’s tape
  • watercolors

Integrated Drawing

Integrated Drawing is an experiential course that is designed to help students of all skill levels learn to draw. Students learn the basics of perspective, shading, proportion, color, and compositional balance.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Integrated Drawing Syllabus
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Tarcher)

Level IV Language Study

Oak Meadow offers advanced study in all languages through an individualized tutorial developed in partnership with the language teacher. These full year courses give the student experience in reading literature, writing compositions, and exploring the culture through personal and creative projects.

French III

The French III program uses the latest technology in learning a world language. This updated course consists of the student text and online access to links with valuable resources. Features include interactive activities, games, cultural videos, and electronic tutors. Our French III program emphasizes the skills of listening, understanding, speaking, and writing. The goal is for the student to gain fluency in communicating in French.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow French III Syllabus
French 3 Bien dit! (Holt)
Internet access is required.

French II

French II is an intermediate-level course that is studied both with a textbook and online. Each chapter contains sections on vocabulary, grammar, culture, cultural readings, writing, and review exercises. The student has access to the Holt website which provides audio comprehension narratives and dialogues that complement the textbook, in addition to interactive exercises, learning resources, and cultural activities.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow French II Syllabus
French 2 Bien dit! (Holt)
Internet access is required.

French I

French I is an introduction to the study of French is newly designed and written to be studied with a printed text and online access. The Holt website provides audio comprehension narratives and dialogues to accompany the course, interactive practice exercises, learning resources, and cultural activities. The goal for the student is to feel confident in using French. The student will acquire listening, speaking, and writing skills through practice with vocabulary, dialogues, and stories. This course includes a strong focus on the life and culture of the French-speaking countries.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow French I Syllabus
French 1 Bien dit! (Holt)
Internet access is required.

Spanish III

In Spanish III, students move to a higher level of the spoken and written language and become comfortable using Spanish in a wide variety of conversational and written activities. More advanced vocabulary and grammatical structures provide the basis for “real-life” activities that deepen the appreciation for different cultures throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Spanish III Syllabus
Spanish 3 ¡Expresate! (Holt)
Internet access is required.

Spanish II

Spanish II is an intermediate-level course that uses both textbook and online material. Students begin to develop strong vocabulary and grammar skills through a study of culture, cultural readings, and writing. The Holt website provides audio comprehension narratives and dialogues that compliment the textbook, in addition to interactive exercises, learning resources, and cultural activities.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Spanish II Syllabus
Spanish 2 ¡Expresate! (Holt)
Internet access is required.

Spanish I

In this introductory Spanish I course, students are introduced to grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure while learning about the culture, history, and geography of a wide range of Spanish-speaking countries. Students learn details about traditional and modern life, food, art and music, and cultural traditions. The course incorporates a wide range of online cultural and language-learning resources to deepen the student’s learning. The course is designed to engage students right from the start of each lesson and to have them feel confident in communicating in Spanish at this beginning level. Each lesson includes elements of vocabulary, grammar, culture, writing, and review exercises. The student has access to the Holt textbook website, which provides audio comprehension narratives and dialogues that complement the textbook, in addition to interactive exercises, learning resources, and cultural activities.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Spanish I coursebook
Spanish 1 ¡Expresate! (Holt)
set of three blank books (main lesson books)

Latin III

Latin III continues the translations of the Latin II works based more closely on historical fact. The setting is the 1st century A.D. both in Britain and in Rome. The readings reveal the standard of living, the culture and customs of the people, the high level of architecture and engineering, the art and entertainment as well as the education and sports of the time. Students perfect their skill of reading and understanding writings directly from Latin, while they enhance their sense for word derivation and grammar structures. With the help of their teacher, students will develop a mid-term project on the Classics.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Latin III Syllabus
Latin Course III (Cambridge University Press)
Cambridge Latin III Audio CD
Latin III Omnibus Workbook (Cambridge University Press)

Latin II

Latin II focuses on translation of works written in Latin. In addition, using readings and activities in a wide variety of topics, students learn more about the culture of the Roman people. Our updated Latin program includes the CD audio component and the Omnibus Workbook which help to keep the student actively engaged in the learning process of learning language and culture.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Latin II Syllabus
Latin Course II (Cambridge University Press)
Cambridge Latin II Audio CD
Latin II Omnibus Workbook (Cambridge University Press)

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.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Latin I coursebook
Cambridge Latin Course Unit 1 (The North American Fourth Edition)
Cambridge Latin Course Unit 1 Omnibus Workbook (The North American Fourth Edition)
Cambridge Latin Course Unit 1 Audio CD (The North American Fourth Edition)
Set of three blank books (main lesson books)


This physics course combines traditional physics instruction with modern quantum theories of the nature of the universe. The subject is taught at an introductory level, which will allow the average student to grasp the concepts of Newton’s laws, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, optics, DC circuits, waves, electromagnetics, and special relativity.


Course Materials

Oak Meadow Physics Syllabus
Physics (Saxon)
Coming of Age in the Milky Way (Harper)

Note: A Teacher Manual is not available for this course. A Solutions Manual with answers to the textbook problems is available in our bookstore.

Chemistry with Lab

Chemistry is the study of matter through observation and experimentation. In this course, students get a rigorous hands-on introduction to the tools, terms, and practices of the study of chemistry. The course syllabus includes 36 engaging and thought-provoking lessons, affording students a chance to read, write, and reflect on chemistry principles and their real-world applications. The course features 32 laboratory activities, ranging from simple calculations and graphs to full-featured experiments with solutions, gases, and electrochemical cells. These activities employ standard household items, while more specialized tools and substances are included in the Oak Meadow Lab Kit.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Chemistry Syllabus
Oak Meadow Chemistry Lab Kit
Chemistry (Prentice Hall)
The Joy of Chemistry (Prometheus Book)

Biology with Lab

This introductory biology course helps students build success in science. The text is friendly and accessible, with abundant photos and technical illustrations. The 50 labs and activities included in the course develop a range of important science skills in data collection, modeling, and exploration. necessary materials can be found in the Oak Meadow Biology Lab Kit.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Biology Syllabus
Oak Meadow Biology Lab Kit
Biology (Holt)

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.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Environmental Science Coursebook
Environmental Science: Your World, Your Turn, Pearson
A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold

Calculus II

This one-semester, one-half-credit Oak Meadow course is a continuation of the full-year Calculus I course. It picks up where Calculus I ended and completes the final 1/3 of the Saxon textbook, Calculus with Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry. Together, the Oak Meadow Calculus I and Calculus II courses cover the topics on the AP Calculus BC syllabus. Prerequisite: Calculus I

Note: Calculus I and II require the same textbook. Calculus I covers lessons 1 through 25; Calculus II continues with lesson 26 through 38.

Course Materials

Saxon Calculus, includes test packet and answer key
Solutions Manual sold separately (note: included with enrollment)

Note: The Saxon textbook is used for both Calculus I and II.

Calculus I

Calculus I focuses on all the topics normally covered in an Advanced Placement AB-level calculus program. The text begins with a thorough review of those mathematical concepts and skills required for calculus. In the early problem sets, students practice setting up word problems they will later encounter as calculus problems. The problem sets contain multiple-choice and conceptually-oriented problems similar to those found on the AP Calculus examination. Whenever possible, students are provided an intuitive introduction to concepts prior to a rigorous examination of them. Proofs are provided for all important theorems. Prerequisite: Advanced Math

Note: In this Oak Meadow full-year, one-credit course, you will complete the first 2/3 of the textbook. There are 25 lessons in this course. Each Oak Meadow lesson covers four lessons in the textbook and includes four problem sets for practice.

Course Materials

Saxon Calculus, includes test packet and answer key
Solutions Manual sold separately (note: included with enrollment)

Note: The Saxon textbook is used for both Calculus I and II.

Advanced Mathematics

Advanced Mathematics prepares students for the study of mathematics at the college level through a presentation of standard pre-calculus topics, including substantial new material on discrete mathematics and data analysis. Prerequisite: Algebra II

Course Materials

Saxon Advanced Mathematics, includes test packet and answer key
Solutions Manual sold separately.

Algebra II

In Algebra II, students integrate topics from Algebra I and Geometry, and they begin the study of trigonometry. The course provides opportunities for continued practice of the fundamental concepts of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry to enable students to develop a foundation for the study of Advanced Mathematics. Prerequisite: Geometry and Algebra I

Course Materials

Saxon Algebra II, includes test packet and answer key
Solutions Manual sold separately

Math Connections

Math Connections is a problem-solving course focused on topics and applications relevant to life in today’s world. Every lesson includes mental math activities, journaling, textbook readings, and practice problems. Activities requiring critical thinking and the application of math skills are also part of each lesson. The course looks at math connections to art, science, history, philosophy, and more, and introduces people who have been influential the field of mathematics. Lesson topics include set theory, number theory, personal finance, measurement, probability, statistics, and logic. Prerequisite: Algebra I and Geometry

Course Materials

Math Connections coursebook
Math For Your World (Pearson 2016)


This geometry course introduces students to the basic theorems of Euclidean plane geometry and their applications, and it explores both plane and solid geometric figures. Students learn how to prove theorems by the axiomatic method and to use these theorems in solving a variety of problems. They also learn how to accomplish a variety of geometric constructions. Prerequisite: Algebra I.

Course Materials

Saxon Geometry, includes test packet and answer key
Solutions Manual included

Algebra I

This introductory Algebra course covers the following skills:

  • 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

Course Materials

Saxon Algebra I, includes test packet and answer key
Solutions Manual sold separately


Pre-Algebra can be taken as a precursor to Algebra I. The course is a combination of a full pre-algebra course and an introduction to geometry and discrete mathematics. Some topics covered include prime and composite numbers, fractions and decimals, the order of operations, coordinates, exponents, square roots, ratios, algebraic phrases, probability, the Pythagorean Theorem, and more.

Course Materials

Saxon Algebra ½, includes test packet and answer key
Solutions Manual sold separately

Social Justice: Navigating Cultural Competence in the 21st Century

Social Justice: Navigating Cultural Competence in the 21st Century, is an 18-week discussion course for enrolled students only. Students will engage with multimedia ranging from videos, social media, articles, graphics, and many other tools to explore and discuss a range of social justice issues. Students will also explore and discuss the historical and modern perspective while connecting the intersections of race, class, gender, culture, religion, and many other challenging issues erupting in the U.S. and the world today. Students will also be exposed to unique illustrations and connections to social justice through art, the discussion of “place,” and other subtopics. This 0.5 credit course is synchronous and students are required to log on at a specified time once each week.

Why take this course?

  • Strengthen your critical thinking, questioning skills, and self-reflection while engaging with your peers and using other tools like social media.
  • Experience in a safe space to engage and “practice” discussion about tough issues.
  • Expand and gain global perspective on tough issues regarding economics, politics, and social rights.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Social Justice online presentation

Media Literacy: Critical Analysis of Media and Culture

Media Literacy is about learning how to critically engage and make sense of the media all around us. In addition to introducing students to the history and use of media, this course will help develop analytical tools that students can use to examine media content, intent, context, and subtext.

Media literacy, or media education, is also a global movement to make better, more critical, sense of the media. We will be focusing on what and how we learn from the media: How and why do media texts target young people? How do media fit into our lives? How do media shape our perceptions in regard to race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, and education? As students explore how the media operates in society, they will gain the tools of media literacy, allowing them to make more informed choices as an active audience.

Finally, media literacy is about social activism—it is inherently an activist method of study. When we study our media critically, we are compelled to make change. That change may be within ourselves, as our personal viewing, reading, and listening habits may change once we begin paying closer attention to media. Or it may be within our family and community, fueled by our discussions with family and friends. Or the change may be within the context of the wider world as we support media that carries a proactive message and boycott media that spreads negative, overly violent, or otherwise harmful messages. By learning to be critical scholars, students can develop a sense of objectivity about media and become more active audiences and independent thinkers. Note: Internet access is required for this course.

Course Materials

Media Literacy Coursebook
Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences, by David Croteau & William Hoynes
Various films accessed online from Media Education Foundation


This experiential psychology course is designed to help students become more aware of themselves as unique individuals. Using their own experiences as a guide, students are encouraged to be scientists in the process of exploring themselves and their place in the universe as they examine such topics as love, beauty, joy, spontaneity, and self-actualization. The following books are included with this course.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Psychology Syllabus
1984, by George Orwell

The Modern Middle East

Modern Middle East is an introduction to the history, religious life, and politics of the Middle East. Focusing on the region’s confrontation with the West since napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, students will learn how European colonialism introduced modern and secular ideas into the Middle East, creating tensions with traditional patterns of belief and culture. Students will explore how the intrusive actions of Western colonizers caused the region’s political affairs to become weak and unstable. The course also looks at the conflicts between Israel and its regional neighbors, the role of Islamic revivalist movements, and the impact of oil.

Course Materials

The Modern Middle East Syllabus
The Middle East Today (Routledge, 2009)
Midaq Alley (Anchor Books, 1995)

Religions of the World

Religions of the World takes a comparative approach and explores the rich diversity of religious life, beginning with defining religion according to its role and purpose in human life. Within a cultural and historical context, students will explore a variety of human religious responses, including symbol, sacred text, myth, belief, and rituals. Students will study the broad range of religious expressions from across the globe, from indigenous traditions to the world’s major religions. Comparative essays and reflective writing guide students to synthesize course material and their own unique perspectives.

Course Materials

Religions of the World Syllabus
Living Religions, 11th ed. (Prentice Hall, 2017)

U.S. Government

The U.S. Government course is based upon the premise that analyzing current information is essential to an effective citizenry. It asks students to research, compare, contrast, and think critically about government-related issues. Students learn the ideals behind the American system of government and the mechanics of its operation in preparation for taking their places as independent thinking citizens of the nation. The following books are included with this course.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow U.S. Government Syllabus
Democracy in Action (Glencoe)

A Sense of Place: The Geography of Global Change

In this full year project-based world geography course, for enrolled students only, students will learn and utilize geography skills and perspectives to explore vital real-world challenges related to our use and reliance upon natural, cultural, and economic resources. Students will gain a broad understanding of the world in which we live and the many forces that are shaping how we and our world will change in the near future.

Through integrated projects, students will have the opportunity to create learning experiences of their own design, culminating in a student-driven final research project. Instead of a textbook, students will be using a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, current events and professional research, literature and film, and other print and online materials. The course includes extensive work with maps and mapmaking, as well as research, collecting and interpreting data, writing, and reflection. The course materials include the following.


Course Materials

The Geography of Global Change (digital coursebook)
A topographical map of Montana
Collapse by Jared Diamond

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.


Course Materials

World Geography Coursebook
Teacher Manual available

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.

Course Materials

U.S. History Coursebook
Teacher Manual available

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.

Course Materials

World History Coursebook
Teacher Manual available

Word: The Poet’s Voice

This one semester poetry course explores the writing craft needed to produce poems that deserve to be read. Students will study various themes: from nature writing to love poetry; spoken word and environmentally-themed poems; and works focused on capturing and expressing the female perspective. Students create and learn how to edit and revise their own poems and become skilled at analyzing the poetry of others. Various writing exercises allow each student to venture beyond their home to observe the world around them, record their observations, and channel what they see and experience directly into their poems.

Course Materials

Word: The Poet’s Voice Coursebook

Women’s Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction

Women’s Literature focuses on works of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction written by women. We will look at the freedom these genres offer for women writers, discover the values and ideas that inform the stories, and explore themes of identity, gender, race and social justice. Books include works from both YA literature and adult science fiction. Readings may vary, but currently include the following.

Course Materials

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula Le Guin
Dogsbody and Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

British Literature: Heroes, Monsters, Faeries, and Kings

This course presents a selection of works from British literature, spanning from its origins through the 20th century. Beginning with the earliest written work of British Literature, Beowulf, students will read an illustrated translation of this epic poem whose hero becomes a king by defeating a family of dreadful monsters. King Arthur and the Arthurian legends will be explored in The Once and Future King, by T.H. White. The second semester brings a comic confusion of magical creatures—faeries, monsters, kings, and heroes—cavorting in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students then move forward in time to the 19th century to explore the Hero as a child in David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. A study of Victorian poems will be followed by a selection of English short stories, where students will need to look more carefully to discover the magical creatures, heroes, and monsters within. Written assignments include interpretive essays, creative stories, and projects.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow British Literature Syllabus
The Once and Future King, by T. H. White
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare
David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories

World Literature

In our World Literature course, students read the works of contemporary and historical international authors and refine grammar and composition skills through numerous writing assignments. In addition to active reading and critical evaluation of literature, students’ writing instincts are further honed and challenged with a variety of essays (expository, compare/contrast, personal opinion, and interpretive), a biographical research paper, poetry, movie reviews, news articles, an analysis of symbolism and irony, and a one-act play.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow World Literature Syllabus
Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes
The Ramayana
The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka
A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen

American Literature: Natives, Naturalists, Immigrants, and Settlers

This American Literature course explores how the United States developed its shape and character throughout the 19th century by way of the movement called the Westward Expansion. By reading and reflecting on the words, artwork, and novels that contain their stories, we will come closer to the authentic experiences of those who then lived in the United States of America. Students will develop independent projects based on their reading, their experiences, and the history of their family. Readings include the following.

Course Materials

My First Summer in the Sierra, by John Muir
River of Shadows, by Rebecca Solnit
My Antonia, by Willa Cather
The Painted Drum, by Louise Erdrich

American Literature

Through American Literature, students explore the thoughts and feelings of the men and women who helped create and define the unique heritage and culture of the American people. Active reading and critical evaluation is emphasized. Students refine composition and presentation skills by writing essays (expository, interpretive, contrast and compare), magazine columns, travel guides, interviews, editorials, and speeches. Students also explore the works of modern American poets and write a literary research paper. The following books are included with this course.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow American Literature Syllabus
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane
To Be a Slave, by Julius Lester

Literature & Composition II

Literature and Composition II guides students as they continue to develop their writing skills. Student engage in a wide variety of writing assignments, such as compare and contrast essays, archetypal stories, and vignettes. Students read classic novels and poetry, examining story structure, theme, and style. The course emphasizes literary analysis and encourages students to hone their own writing style and voice.

Course Materials

Oak Meadow Literature & Composition II Syllabus
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Anthem, by Ayn Rand

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.

Course Materials

The Hero’s Journey: Literature and Composition Coursebook
The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
House of Light, by Mary Oliver
A Pocket Style Manual, by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers
Write It Right: A Handbook for Student Writers (Oak Meadow Books)
Two blank journals (one for each semester)

Composition: The Art of Expression

Strongly recommended for ninth or tenth graders, this composition course if for enrolled students only. The Art of Expression is designed to help you develop essential skills that will form the basis for your 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 yourself. Through a variety of reading and writing assignments, this course is designed to give you multiple ways of exploring how you come to be the way you are, tools for understanding self and other, and the skills to articulate arguments and viewpoints.