History/Humanities Class Descriptions

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Psychology (AP, Honors, or On-Level)

Quarter 1, 2, 3, 4: Starts on September 7, 2018

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 115 min

Instructor: Natalie Di Vietri

Grade Range: 9th-12th

Prerequisites:

Why do we dream? What happens to your brain when you are in love? Why do all babies like peek-a-boo? The course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings. Students are exposed to psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the sub fields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students will be challenged to think like a psychologist as they analyze research and design future experiments.
This is a year-long, multi-level high school course. It will cover the fourteen major content areas covered on the College Board s AP Psychology Exam including: history and approaches, research methods, biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, cognition, motivation and emotion, developmental psychology, personality, testing and individual differences, abnormal behavior, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology.
The class offers a substantive, full-credit experience and will be a mixture of lecture, discussion, group work, and short videos. There is some mature content discussed in this course, especially as it pertains to abnormal psychology. Also, there is a section on sexual motivation, including homosexuality, that needs to be covered for the AP test. These topics will be discussed in a purely scientific manner, and students need to be prepared to have a respectful discussion about these subjects.

The course is offered at three levels, which meet together: Advanced Placement (AP), Honors, and On-Level. Students can pick their desired workload. Students can always do more if they would like, but at any level they are expected to keep up with weekly readings and homework which will prepare them for in-class discussions, assignments, and projects. All students must be prepared to read about 30 pages of college level text per week and should expect to spend 4-5 hours outside of class for reading and homework, regardless of level. All levels use materials written at a college level, but the amount and type of homework varies. A brief summer assignment will be due in August for those who wish to take the AP level, and successful completion is a prerequisite take the course at the AP level.
All students will register online for the same course. Students must indicate which level they want to study by e-mail by August 15. Once the course has begun, students may move down a level (from AP to honors, or from honors to on-level) at any time. However, once classes have started, students may not "bump up" a level. This is a year-long class that meets on Fridays for two hours and will have an additional online component. All assessments, essays, and projects will be submitted online so that class time can be maximized.
Students will be asked to purchase or rent the select class textbook: Myers Psychology for the AP, 2nd Edition, (ISBN #978-1464113079). The fee to take the AP exam in May 2019 is not included; each family will be responsible for scheduling and paying for their student's AP exam.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $1199.00

Battle Strategy & Dioramas: Revolutionary War, Battles of Lexington and Concord

Quarter 1: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 1:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Taliesin Knol

Grade Range: 5th-8th

Prerequisites:

This quarter will focus on the first battles of the American War of Independence, Lexington and Concord from the shots heard round the world to the unlikely match-up of an untrained militia of colonial farmers against the professional soldiers and statesmen of the great British Empire s army.
Students will engage in a hands-on 3D battle strategy game using the military dioramas that they make! Using artistic model-making techniques, hand tools, and historical maps, students will each form a 12 X 18 shaped, foam diorama with landscape elements (hills, valleys, rivers, ridges, vegetation, fences, etc) to represent a scene of a famous historical engagement. Students will each receive 1:72 scale miniature soldiers to populate their scene. Once individual projects are constructed, students will combine their dioramas alongside those of their classmates to approximate the larger battlefield terrain. Students will spend the remainder of the quarter learning about the tactics and outcomes of the military engagement while playing a table-top strategy game. Student strategists will use a simplified version of the Fire and Fury historical war gaming rule system for moving troops and equipment. Along with their classmates, students will see how this battle progressed and test different outcome scenarios that might have occurred with different battlefield choices. The instructor will use maps and visual presentations to explain the historical background and circumstances leading up to the specific battle.
Course documents, such as period maps, game rules and all other instructional media will be available via a Google Drive link which will be emailed to parents. There is a $25.00 materials fee payable to the instructor on the first day of class. Topics in this year s series include: Revolutionary War, Battles of Lexington and Concord (1st quarter), Revolutionary War, Yorktown (2nd quarter), Civil War, Gettysburg (3rd quarter), and Civil War, The Siege of Petersburg (4th quarter).

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $143.00

Dynamic Dioramas: Sumerian Settlement

Quarter 1: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 2:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Taliesin Knol

Grade Range: 2nd-4th

Prerequisites:

Travel back to the ancient Middle East and learn about the very first civilizations ever to exist! Discover the first major cities of Ur and Uruk, the first written language in Cuneiform, and the first story every written, The Epic of Gilgamesh.
Each student will create an individual diorama of an ancient Sumerian Settlement city. Students will craft and hand-shape their scene on a 10" x 12" foam board using artistic, model-making techniques. They will customize their dioramas with landscape elements, waterways, structures of the time, and paint. Once individual projects are constructed, students will populate them with 1:72 miniature figures and combine their dioramas alongside those of their classmates to create a larger terrain. Students will then compete in a history-based survival strategy game. This will reinforce lessons about the culture, agriculture, warfare, and politics of the time.
Each student will have at least one board and set of miniatures to take home with them. Course documents such as maps, game rules and all other instructional media will be available via a Google Drive link which will be emailed to parents. There is a $15.00 materials fee payable to the instructor on the first day of class. Future topics in this series include Ancient Greece, The Iliad & Odyssey (2nd quarter), Roman Republic, Hannibal & The Punic Wars (3rd quarter), and Ancient China and The Three Kingdoms (4th quarter).

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $143.00

Get to Know Government: The US Constitution

Quarter 1: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Jen DesRoches

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites:

Does the President have the power to declare war? Can the Supreme Court make laws? What if we want to change a part of the Constitution? Students will use their best detective skills to examine the US Constitution. Using an inquiry-based approach, middle school students will be given leading questions to investigate in the Constitution and other founding documents. The class will look at the Articles of Confederation, and discover why that document was not working for the young nation. They will debate the Federalist and Anti-Federalist issues of the day, and will learn how James Madison borrowed part of Virginia s state constitution to help frame the new US Constitution. Students will delve into the US Constitution to understand its Preamble, Articles, and Amendments. Find out what powers and restrictions are actually listed in the Constitution and how many times it has been revised. Students will learn what amendments have been proposed but failed to be adopted, and what others may be on the horizon. Being Constitution detectives will set students up for future topics in this series: You Have the (Bill of) Rights! (second quarter); Three Branches (third quarter); and State/Local (fourth quarter).

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $141.00

Hands on History: Island Nations- Japan

Quarter 1: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 3:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Kouthar Muttardy

Grade Range: 3rd-5th

Prerequisites:

Discover the island culture of ancient Japan, and its contributions to the modern world in this vibrant hands-on history class! Learn about the cultural development and traditions of Japan (such as homes, architecture, clothing, food, transportation, and beliefs) through weekly projects. Students will make Japanese paper fans, samurai swords, carp streamers, noh masks, origami, painted rice paper scrolls, and sushi as they learn about life in ancient Japan! Students will learn about the lasting influence of Japanese culture and inventions on the world. The class will also sample the oral traditions and literature of the period through read-alouds of fables and folklore.
Students will be excited by history when approached through this engaging, multi-disciplinary exploration of historical connections and integrated concepts rather than memorizing dates and disconnected facts! There is a $15.00 per student material and supply fee payable to the instructor on the first day of class. Topics in this year s class series include: Japan (first quarter), Polynesia (second quarter), Indonesia (third quarter), and Australia (fourth quarter).

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $135.00

Modeling the Great Conquests: Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire 1227-1241

Quarter 1: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 3:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Taliesin Knol

Grade Range: 5th-8th

Prerequisites:

The Mongol hordes spread out like a plague across Asia, killing an estimated 25-50% of the populations that dared stand in their way. This quarter will examine the Great Khan himself, and the Mongol empire he left behind that stretched from the Pacific Coast all the way to Europe s borders.
Using artistic model-making techniques, hand tools, and historical maps, students will create a 12 X 18 diorama board, and populate it with 1:72 scale invading armies and their adversaries for historical re-enactments. Once individual projects are constructed, students will combine their dioramas alongside those of their classmates to approximate a larger battlefield terrain. Students will spend the remainder of the quarter learning about the tactics and outcomes of the conquest while playing a table-top strategy game. Student strategists will use a simplified version of the Fire and Fury historical war gaming rule system for moving troops and siege equipment. Along with their classmates, students will see how battles progressed and test different scenarios that might have occurred with different battlefield choices.
Course documents, such as period maps, game rules and all other instructional media will be available via a Google Drive link which will be emailed to parents. There is a $25.00 materials fee payable to the instructor on the first day of class. Topics in this year s series include: Genghis Khan (1st quarter), Alexander Nevsky, Russia's Hero (2nd quarter), Edward the Black Prince & Henry V, The 100 Years War (3rd quarter), and French King Charles VIII, The Italian Wars (4th quarter).

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $143.00

Where in the World? Physical Geography

Quarter 1: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Christine Keen

Grade Range: 5th-8th

Prerequisites:

Geography is our window into understanding the world around us. It helps us make sense of history and economics, peoples and culture, politics and current events. The focus of this class will be on physical geography: the longest rivers, driest deserts, tallest mountains, and other landforms that shape our planet and the way we use it. Where were yesterday's earthquakes? What is the biggest lake in the world, and why is it getting bigger? Where do two rivers of different colors run side by side without mixing for nearly 4 miles? Each week will feature a variety of hands-on activities, games, and at-home assignments designed to enrich students understanding of both U.S. and world geography. Prior geographic knowledge is welcome but not assumed. Students must be able to read at or above grade level and be prepared to complete several brief projects at home to present during class time. This class will help prepare students for the National Geographic Bee and, more importantly, give them the geographic knowledge to be more informed citizens of their world. Topics in this year s class series include: Physical Geography (1st quarter), Destinations (2nd quarter), Human Geography (3rd quarter), and BioGeography (4th quarter). This class was previously taught in September 2017.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $150.00

3D History: WWII Beyond the Blitzkreig

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 7, 2018

Class Time: 1:00 pm      Duration: 115 min

Instructor: Taliesin Knol

Grade Range: 7th-12th

Prerequisites:

Why read about key military battles on maps or in books when you can learn about them hands-on, in three dimensions, using historical miniature gaming? In 3D History, pivotal engagements come alive for new and experienced students, as they navigate a table-top terrain, deploy hundreds of miniature soldiers, ships, and tanks... all while playing a military strategy game. Each student will have the opportunity to fight a battle from both sides, allowing them to test various strategies, try multiple scenarios, predict different outcomes, and rewrite history- an effective way to gain a deeper understanding of what actually happened and why!

In the summer of 1941 Nazi Germany seemed unbeatable. The Wehrmacht had made seemingly short work of almost all of mainland Europe and now, with Operation Barbarossa, turned its sights on Soviet Russia. Attempting to do what Napoleon could not, Hitler expected to repeat the successes of the invasion of France, only to find that he had bitten off more than his army could chew. At the gates of Moscow and in the streets of Stalingrad the lighting war would find itself frozen, then ground down into nothingness by the enormity of its failure. What had been the most impressive campaign in modern military history would instead turn into the biggest and bloodiest blunder in history.

This semester will study the early success, and ultimate failure of Germany s invasion, looking at the tactics, technology and economics behind this near total war, where the price of failure was nothing less than threat of extinction. The following semester will complete the study of the Eastern Front, from Kursk to Berlin. Course documents including period maps, photographs and recreations will be made available through a class Google Drive link emailed to parents (and students who provide their email address), as well as a class YouTube playlist for any videos watched in class or assigned as homework.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $319.00

3D History: WWII Beyond the Blitzkreig

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 7, 2018

Class Time: 3:00 pm      Duration: 115 min

Instructor: Taliesin Knol

Grade Range: 7th-12th

Prerequisites:

Why read about key military battles on maps or in books when you can learn about them hands-on, in three dimensions, using historical miniature gaming? In 3D History, pivotal engagements come alive for new and experienced students, as they navigate a table-top terrain, deploy hundreds of miniature soldiers, ships, and tanks... all while playing a military strategy game. Each student will have the opportunity to fight a battle from both sides, allowing them to test various strategies, try multiple scenarios, predict different outcomes, and rewrite history- an effective way to gain a deeper understanding of what actually happened and why!

In the summer of 1941 Nazi Germany seemed unbeatable. The Wehrmacht had made seemingly short work of almost all of mainland Europe and now, with Operation Barbarossa, turned its sights on Soviet Russia. Attempting to do what Napoleon could not, Hitler expected to repeat the successes of the invasion of France, only to find that he had bitten off more than his army could chew. At the gates of Moscow and in the streets of Stalingrad the lighting war would find itself frozen, then ground down into nothingness by the enormity of its failure. What had been the most impressive campaign in modern military history would instead turn into the biggest and bloodiest blunder in history.

This semester will study the early success, and ultimate failure of Germany s invasion, looking at the tactics, technology and economics behind this near total war, where the price of failure was nothing less than threat of extinction. The following semester will complete the study of the Eastern Front, from Kursk to Berlin. Course documents including period maps, photographs and recreations will be made available through a class Google Drive link emailed to parents (and students who provide their email address), as well as a class YouTube playlist for any videos watched in class or assigned as homework.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $285.00

Ancient Justice: Crime and Punishment in Medieval Times

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 7, 2018

Class Time: 12:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Taliesin Knol

Grade Range: 9th-12th

Prerequisites:

This class will explore the judicial processes of Europe following the collapse of Rome. From witch trials and Viking blood feuds, then back again to the real barbarians, Europe s early lawyers! Real historical cases will be studied and trial parts assigned to students who will be expected to debate from the perspective of Royal Courts, Church Ordeals, or a Viking assembly creatively called a Thing. The class will serve as the jury and, if necessary, select period-appropriate verdicts and explain how they arrived at their decisions, while striving for period accuracy. Second semester will move to codified Renaissance legal systems, leading up to the direct Ancestor to American legal Traditions, Common Law.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $285.00

Civics Critic: Constitutional Queries

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 7, 2018

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Kouthar Muttardy

Grade Range: 7th-10th

Prerequisites:

Civics Critics will explore specific queries related to the US constitution through guided inquiry and evidence-based analysis. These topics are posed as a series of thought-provoking questions that students will research, debate, discuss, and form opinions about. First semester will examine three big questions: The Ideals of the Declaration: Which is the Most Important? How Did the Constitution Guard Against Tyranny? Should Schools Be Allowed to Limit Students Online Speech?

Civics Critic is an interactive, multi-disciplinary examination of some of the key issues in American Government using sources from The DBQ Project. DBQs, or document based questions, are derived from AP History exams and help develop high school level critical thinking skills. Students will review an array of primary sources such as letters, journal entries, inventories, ship's manifestos, newspaper articles, period maps, and court documents along with selected secondary sources like excerpts, charts, and graphs. Students will be guided through analyzing the documents, interpreting the data, drawing inferences, and forming conclusions. In some historical scenarios, the class will consider conflicting perspectives and be able to defend and debate multiple sides of a key issue. To demonstrate comprehension and a deeper understanding of the class themes, students will use factual findings to develop structured, evidence-based essays. Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week on homework, investigation, or reading for this class. Topics in this year s class series include: Constitutional Queries (first semester) and Current Controversies (second semester). Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component, or partial, credit in civics, government, or history for purposes of a high school transcript.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $245.00

American History Illuminated: Manifest Destiny

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 9:30 am      Duration: 145 min

Instructor: Hugh Gardner

Grade Range: 7th-12th

Prerequisites:

Students will be immersed in detail and fully engaged in this intensive history course led by well- known homeschool instructor and historian Hugh Gardner. This history class is unlike other high school American history courses. Instead of learning a sequential set of names, dates, and battles, students will learn how to analyze and interpret history. Much like a college seminar, this approach to American History incorporates historiography (the history of the history.) Mr. Gardner does not teach a narrow view from a single textbook or static set of prepared notes. Instead, he presents the back story and multiple interpretations for the "why" questions in American history. Class discussion considers interpretations from a wide array of scholars and is updated as new sources are published. Rather than running through a timeline of outcomes, students will evaluate contributing factors (the "how" questions) and will learn about the personalities, prejudices, and biases of the people involved ("who").

First semester will begin with the War of 1812 and its test of the new republic. The group will examine slavery in America, from Jamestown to the rebellion of Nat Turner. In addition, the class will study how prevailing beliefs and movements such as westward expansion, manifest destiny, and nativism. The saga of Texas and the Mexican-American War will be investigated in-depth, as these not only are essential for study of the Civil War, but are extremely relevant to current political and economic debate. The class will discuss the effects on the political, social, economic, and religious climate as well as influences on the arts, science, literature, and warfare. This is no ordinary history class as Mr. Gardner surrounds the students with vivid posters, maps, charts, primary sources, and artifacts to supplement his story-telling style. Students will be able to examine and handle period pieces such as antique and replica weapons and military accoutrements of the era while learning how these tools helped shape the battlefields and turning points in history. With an emphasis on primary sources, students will scrutinize historical atlases and original writings, all in a fun and interactive setting. Just for fun, students earn historical trading cards for class participation. Registration for the second semester, covering the rise of Lincoln, the complete Civil War, and the aftermath will take place separately in late fall 2018.

This class meets for 2.5 hours, one time per week on Wednesdays. Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours outside of class each week completing assigned reading. Students will be asked to purchase books for class (approximately $30-$40). For those families who want to investigate the course themes at a deeper level, an optional reading list will be furnished. Based on the format and rich content of this class, homeschool families could count two semesters of this series as a full credit in American History for purposes of a high school transcript.

10 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $371.00

History Investigators: Ancient Western Civilizations

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 2:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Kouthar Muttardy

Grade Range: 7th-10th

Prerequisites:

History Investigators will examine formative events in Western Civilization through guided inquiry and evidence-based analysis. These topics are posed as a series of thought-provoking questions that students will research, debate, discuss, and form opinions about. First semester will examine three big questions: Citizenship in Athens vs. Rome: Which Was the Better System? How Great Was Alexander the Great? And, Why Did Christianity Take Hold in the Ancient World?

History Investigators is an interactive, multi-disciplinary examination of some of most significant events in ancient history using sources from The DBQ Project. DBQs, or document based questions, are derived from AP History exams and help develop high school level critical thinking skills. Students will review an array of primary sources such as letters, journal entries, inventories, ship's manifestos, newspaper articles, period maps, and court documents along with selected secondary sources like excerpts, charts, and graphs. Students will be guided through analyzing the documents, interpreting the data, drawing inferences, and forming conclusions. In some historical scenarios, the class will consider conflicting perspectives and be able to defend and debate multiple sides of a key issue. To demonstrate comprehension and a deeper understanding of the class themes, students will use factual findings to develop structured, evidence-based essays. Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week on homework, investigation, or reading for this class. Topics in this year s class series include: Ancient Western Civilizations (first semester) and Ancient Eastern Civilizations (second quarter). Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component, or partial, credit in history for purposes of a high school transcript.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $245.00

Philosophically Speaking

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 12, 2018

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Christine Keen

Grade Range: 9th-12th

Prerequisites:

Philosophy is not about finding life's answers. It's about considering life's questions. This discussion-based class, for high school students, will introduce the vocabulary of philosophy and explore some of philosophy's greatest hits, weaving together the work of specific philosophers (classic and modern) with thought experiments and real-life examples. From Plato's cave and Pascal's wager to John Rawls's veil of ignorance and John Searle's Chinese room, this practical philosophy class will provide a context for students to think more deeply about the choices and experiences of their everyday lives. Because of the nature of the assignments, excellent reading skills (high school+ level) and the maturity to participate in thoughtful discussion are a must. Homeschool families may elect to count this course as a component, or partial, credit in elective humanities for purposes of a high school transcript.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $279.00

It s the Law! Introduction to Law and the U.S. Legal System (3 day seminar)

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on October 22, 2018

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 240 min

Instructor: Fred Lederer (William & Mary)

Grade Range: 1, 2

Prerequisites:

It s the Law! is a highly interactive seminar that introduces high school students to the US legal system. This is a key topic in American Government for any homeschooled teen. The seminar is presented by William & Mary Law School Chancellor Professor of Law Fred Lederer who also serves as the Director of William & Mary s Center for Legal and Court Technology. This seminar was the core component of William & Mary Law School s introductory week for new law students for 26 years. It is mandatory for current W&M Public Policy masters degree students. This fall, Professor Lederer will bring his creative, thought-provoking seminar to homeschooled students in northern Virginia!

Law is not a simple topic. Determining what a legal rule is requires considering the meaning of a constitutional provision, statute, or regulation in the context of court decisions interpreting that provision. This seminar provides students with the means to both understand and apply this procedure. In doing so, it covers many Virginia SOL requirements for high school US Government.

The seminar has three parts:

In Part One, students will be able to answer, What is Law? after a series of team challenges and engaging exercises centered around an unexpected new settlement in a made-up land where there are no laws and no lawyers. Using Socratic dialog, Professor Lederer will guide students through creation of a new legal system for their fledgling colony. Students will have to define and refine the laws of their new land when its system is put to the test in a series of imaginary crimes. By the end of the entertaining Part One, students will understand what law is, how it works, and the function of courts in making and interpreting law.

In Part Two, students will learn how to read and deeply analyze a series of old New York court cases to better understand how law is made by courts in the real world. This challenging exercise will require students to read and evaluate six court cases in preparation for class. At the end of the classroom discussion of these cases, students will be treated as new lawyers and given a legal problem to solve for the last session using their new knowledge and skills. Students will be asked to write a short memorandum of law, similar to that done by law students.

In Part Three, the group will review the assigned case so students can better understand how lawyers and judges answer legal questions. The emphasis will be on the process and understanding that legal problems often do not have a single solution. By the end of the seminar, students will be able to understand that statements like, That s the law are simplistic and usually misleading. Students will be well prepared to understand contemporary legal events and to better comprehend the importance of law in American society.

This seminar meets on three Monday afternoons: October 22, October 29, and November 12 from 11:00 am 3:00 pm at Compass in Oakton. The text for the class is provided by the instructor and loaned for the 3-part program.

12 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $499.00

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