Class Descriptions for 2018-2019

The age ranges are suggestions.

Please choose your child’s classes based on their academic abilities.

Email tutors on our Staff Page if you have any questions about placement.

Classes are contingent on meeting minimum required students.

 

ART

 

Hands-On Art History (4 – 5 yrs, K – 2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade, 6th – 12th grade) Monday, Tutor: Jennifer Richardson

This course will take a hands-on approach to studying the history of art. Each week we will introduce a new period or movement of art. The students will learn about major artists and masterpieces while trying out a few of the major characteristics themselves. The emphasis will be on understanding and using the concepts unique to each week instead of making highly finished artwork or projects to take home.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (6th – 12th grade) Monday, Tutor: Jennifer Richardson

This will be a skill-building class based on the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. Each week will challenge the students to see the world as an artist and translate what they see with their eyes to paper and pencil. With the aid of Edwards’ text we will complete unexpected exercises to help the students step away from preconceived drawing habits and move towards a deep artistic skill set. (I discovered this book in my teens and it is still one of the most life changing artistic experiences I have ever had.)

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

Creative Explorations (4 – 5 yrs) Friday, Tutor: Allison Jarrett

In this course, kids will draw, paint, sculpt, glue, & create to their hearts content! The focus of this class is on exploration of materials, including paint, paper, clay, oil pastels, recyclables, plaster, yarn, fabric, and more.  Each week, projects and lessons will feature different materials and contemporary artists, and students will have the opportunity to experiment, collaborate, and express themselves in a fun and supportive environment.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

Art as Expression (K – 2nd grade & 3rd – 5th grade) Friday, Tutor: Allison Jarrett

In this course, students will focus on creative expression through visual art. Using contemporary artwork made by living artists as a springboard for ideas and techniques, students will experiment with visually communicating their ideas, stories, feelings, and more. Projects will explore a wide variety of techniques and materials, including traditional approaches like painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage, as well as non-traditional materials like fabric, found or recycled objects, and more. Above all, students will be encouraged to take risks, challenge their creativity, and have fun!

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

Art & The Creative Process (6th – 12th grade) Friday, Tutor: Allison Jarrett

This course aims to create an appreciation for visual art while developing more advanced skills, techniques, and concepts that students can apply to both art-making and to their understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.  Students will learn to observe their world closely, manipulate materials to create and communicate, and problem-solve through the creative process.  We will work with a wide variety of materials, both traditional (pencil, paint, clay, paper, marker) and non-traditional (fabric, found/recycled materials, digital). Students will also study contemporary art to gain inspiration, experiment with techniques, and explore ideas.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

 

MANDARIN

Intro to Mandarin (multi-grade) Monday, Tutor: Mia Hartley

This class is an engaging, proficiency-oriented Mandarin for beginners. We will aim to give students a foundation for world language study while introducing basic phases. We will sharpen speaking and listening skills in order to familiarize students with the notion that thoughts can be expressed in another language as well as help students develop an appreciation of Chinese societies and customs. Topics will include numbers, introductions, colors, animals, days and months.

Prerequisite:  Must be able to read and write in English.

Student Supplies: TBD

 

Mandarin: Level 1 (multi-grade) Monday, Tutor: Mia Hartley

Engaging, proficiency-oriented Mandarin for students who have completed Intro to Mandarin or an at-home equivalent. Mandarin 1 students will learn more about conversational phrases and will expand on vocabulary basic. In Mandarin 1 we will also continue to help students develop an appreciation of Chinese societies and customs.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Mandarin or at-home course equivalent. Must be able to read and write in English

Student Supplies: TBD

 

SPANISH

Introduction to Spanish (multi-grade) Friday, Tutor: Lela Gregory

Students will learn basic greetings, colors, numbers, the names of family members, how to ask for directions and give descriptions, vocabulary related to daily living including seasons, months of the year, days of the week, and telling time.  We will also get basic information about holidays and some customs which are significant in countries where Spanish is the predominant language.

Prerequisite: Must be able to read and write in English.

Student Supplies: TBD

 

Spanish: Level 1 (multi-grade) Friday, Tutor: Lela Gregory  

Spanish 1 students will learn more about speaking with others, including conjugation of present, past and future tense verbs.  We will expand vocabulary such that students are able to converse more thoroughly, and will be able to maintain light conversation, with some depth. Our look into more aspects of culture will include food preparations, music development and changes, as well as prominent musicians, and a look at some significant developments of Spanish speaking peoples which have contributed to the world at large.  

Prerequisites: Introduction to Spanish or at-home course equivalent. Must be able to read and write in English.

Student Supplies: TBD

 

MUSIC

 

Classical Kids (4 – 5 yrs) Friday, Tutor: Sarah Summar, Ph.D.

Your child will have fun engaging in imaginative play that fosters a love of great classical works such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, The Planets by Holst, and Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Each week, students will explore a new orchestra instrument, sing songs that are chock full of musical knowledge, and learn about the elements of music through listening games and group piano exercises. The class will encourage creativity and cooperation while developing the aural skills needed to learn a musical instrument.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

Music Makers: Level 1 (6 + yrs) Friday, Tutor: Sarah Summar, Ph.D.

This class will develop creative musicianship skills and give students the knowledge and confidence to improvise rhythms and melodies and even to compose their own music! Students will learn how musicians throughout history have manipulated sound, melody, and rhythm to express themselves through music. We will also complete a series of group projects that allow us to explore these same musical aspects. No previous musical experience is required, just a willingness to listen, try new things, and have fun singing, drumming and making cool sounds!

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: Pencil and a folder with pockets

 

Music Makers: Level 2 ( 7 + yrs) Friday, Tutor: Sarah Summar, Ph.D.

In the same spirit as Music Makers I, this class develops note reading and creative musicianship skills. In Music Makers 2, there is a greater emphasis on performance skills and students will get even more opportunities to discover their own musical voice through song-writing, improvisation, and composition projects. The course is never taught the same way twice because the interests and abilities of enrolled students play a big part in the designing of lessons and assignments. The primary goal of the course is to give students a fundamental understanding of the harmonic structures that are the basis for almost all classical and popular music from Thomas Tallis (16th century) to Taylor Swift.

Prerequisites: Music Makers 1, private instrument lesson, or equivalent.

Student Supplies: Pencil and a folder with pockets. Students who are proficient in an instrument will on occasion be asked to bring it to class.

 

Chamber Music (2nd – 5th grade) Friday, Tutor: Sarah Summar, Ph.D.

Teamwork, creative problem solving, giving and receiving constructive criticism; these are just a few of the invaluable lessons your young musician will gain from rehearsing and performing in a small ensemble under the guidance of an experienced performer. Students will be assigned to an ensemble of 2 to 6 players based on age, instrument, and ability level. All acoustic instruments (including piano) are welcome. Each ensemble will learn 2-5 pieces during the semester while developing their abilities in the areas of: note-reading, leading and following, dynamic control, and expression. Auditions for the purpose of determining appropriate repertoire for each ensemble will be scheduled prior to the first day of classes.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed at least one year of private instrumental instruction or equivalent; preliminary audition prior to first class

Student Supplies: Acoustic Instrument, folding music stand.

 

Chamber Music (6th – 12th grade) Friday, Tutor: Sarah Summar, Ph.D.

Teamwork, creative problem solving, giving and receiving constructive criticism; these are just a few of the invaluable lessons your young musician will gain from rehearsing and performing in a small ensemble under the guidance of an experienced performer. Students will be assigned to an ensemble of 2 to 6 players based on age, instrument, and ability level. All acoustic instruments (including piano) are welcome. Each ensemble will learn 2-5 pieces during the semester while developing their abilities in the areas of: note-reading, leading and following, dynamic control, and expression. Auditions for the purpose of determining appropriate repertoire for each ensemble will be scheduled prior to the first day of classes.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed at least one year of private instrumental instruction or equivalent; preliminary audition prior to first class

Student Supplies: Acoustic Instrument,  folding music stand.

 

Private String or Piano Lessons ( 5 + yrs ) Monday, Tutor: Sarah Summar, Ph.D.

Students will develop instrumental technique and music reading skills at a pace that suits their age as well as their personal interests and strengths. Not your grandma’s piano lessons, MHS music students learn to improvise and compose on their instruments as a way to express themselves and to reinforce lessons in technique and music theory. Includes 28 weeks of 30 minute private lessons.

Please email Alexine directly at murfreesborohomeschoolers@yahoo.com to register for private lessone.

8:30AM, 9AM, 9:30AM, 10AM, 11AM available as of 3/21/18.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: Music books (TBD by instrument and level)

 


PERSONAL FINANCE

Personal Finance (8th – 12th grades) Monday, Tutor: Marvin Berry JR.

Personal Finance is the science of managing money, including all financial decisions for an individual or household. This course offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge and have the tools to make educated financial decisions now and in the future. We will accomplish this with a fun curriculum and open dialogue that gives students a deeper understanding of money management and help them be financially responsible. The course will cover topics such as budgeting, banking, credit, investing, insurance, taxes and E-commerce.

Prerequisites:  None

Student Supplies: TBD

PRESCHOOL

Preschool/PreK Enrichment (4 – 5 yrs) Friday, Tutor: Jessica Nelson

Through themed-based curriculum and play we will work on letters, numbers, shapes and motor skills. Topics will include friends, farms, seasons, community helpers, transportation, oceans and more! We will read books, sing songs, and explore the world around us all the while setting the foundation for life-long learning. The syllabus for this class can easily be expanded on to cover activities at home for the whole school year!

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

PUBLIC SPEAKING

 

Public Speaking & Debate (9th-12th grade) Friday, Tutor: Jessica Nelson

Public speaking is an important life skill. This course will develop and improve public speaking, argumentative, and critical thinking skills in communication settings. We will study various elements of communication and evaluate noteworthy speeches. Students will learn how to research, compose, practice and deliver speeches, and participate in in class debates. Techniques will be taught develop listening skills, control speech anxiety, use vocal delivery skills, improve articulation and non-verbal communication. There are no prerequisites for Public Speaking. Students will have to complete work at home for class each week.

Prerequisites: None but work will be assigned to complete at home

Student Supplies: Pen/pencil, folder or binder, notebook, visual aids and notecards for speeches as needed.

 

READING

 

Reading Class (K – 2nd grade) Monday, Tutor: Jamie Dickerson

This course is designed to teach and enhance beginning reading skills through a fun and hands on teaching approach. Literary stations, group reading time, phonetic games, and an introduction to a new phonetic skill will build confidence within your young reader. Learning to read is a combination of listening, speaking, and comprehending the material. Beginning reader books that progress each student at a reasonable, yet; steady pace will be used within the classroom. The saying, “Practice Makes Perfect” is essential in reading, therefore; students will bring home their book to read to their parent(s) nightly. Learning to read is opening a door to a lifetime of adventure and endless learning possibilities! Words are just words until you know how to read and that is when they become an adventure!

Prerequisites: Recognition of alphabet.

Student Supplies: TBD

 


SCIENCE

 

Astronomy (5th-7th grade) Friday, Tutor: Lindsay Bowman

This course will take a hands-on approach to studying astronomy. Each week we will discuss an important topic, ranging from The Big Bang Theory to moon phases and tides. The students will learn about major scientific theories and findings in the research portion of the class on Mondays, while creatively exploring these topics in a hands-on way through projects and experiments at the end of the week.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: 1 3-ring binder, pencils/erasers, various art supplies (crayons or colored pencils preferred), safety scissors, glue stick

 

Chemistry (9th-12th grade) Monday & Friday, Tutor: Lindsay Bowman

In this high school course, students will use research-based information to experiment with chemical bonds, mixture, and reaction. The informative segment of the class will require extensive research and study about how and why chemicals react, and the hands-on, in-class segment will put that research to use. Each week students will discover new information about chemical reactions, bonds, and mixtures and collaboratively run experiments in a safely monitored environment.

Prerequisites: High School Biology is preferred, but not required

Student Supplies: 1 3-ring binder, pencils and erasers

 

Earth and Space Science 1 (K-2nd grade) Friday, Tutor: Lindsay Bowman

In this course, students will focus on hands-on projects about the world and our universe. Special emphasis will be put on the components of our solar system.  Using knowledge and research from the previous week, each class will have a themed activity, art project, or science experiment that connects what the students have studied with an age-appropriate exploration of scientific theory. These activities will teach students to think outside the box – and have fun! – while giving them the scientific knowledge they need.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: 1 3-ring binder, pencils/erasers, colored pencils

 

Earth and Space Science 2 (3rd-5th grade) Friday, Tutor: Lindsay Bowman

In this course, students will focus on hands-on projects about the world and our universe. Special emphasis will be put on the components of our solar system.   Using knowledge and research from the previous week, each class will have a themed activity, art project, or science experiment that connects what the students have studied with an age-appropriate exploration of scientific theory. These activities will teach students to think outside the box – and have fun! – while giving them the scientific knowledge they need.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: 1 3-ring binder, pencils/erasers, colored pencils

 

Geology (8th-12th grade) Monday, Tutor: Jim  Watson

Geology is the study of the physical earth and all the processes that change the topography and to a lesser extent the actions of the interior. This course is almost exactly what Geology 101 would be in just about every college but it is taught over an entire school year instead of a semester. There will be a few field studies to local sites and one or two state sites to develop an understanding of the unique geology of Tennessee. There will also be labs on map reading, plate tectonics, and rocks and minerals.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: Text “Earth by Tarbuck and Lutgens” (These can be found for $5-6.00 on the web by looking up used textbooks)

 

Marine Science (8th-12th grade) Monday, Tutor: Jim Watson

Marine Science is the study of the world’s oceans and all the major physical, biological, chemical processes that occur and how they affect humans and how humans affect  those processes. There will be a number of field studies, classroom student presentations, readings, and labs. We will not use a textbook with the instruction coming from classroom, field, student presentations, instructor activities. We will also investigate current topics that affect not only our oceans but the entire planet.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

Physics 1 (5th-7th grade) Monday & Friday, Tutor: Lindsay Bowman

Physics 1 creatively introduces the principles of matter and mass.  Each week will challenge the students’ intellectual and creative abilities by combining historical research with building skills. Experiments will incorporate research of Newton’s Laws, sound waves, electricity, and more while incorporating the ever-important scientific method. You’ll see your child’s curiosity grow as he or she studies, builds, explores, and discovers in new and challenging ways.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: 1 3-ring binder, pencils/erasers, colored pencils

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

Elementary Social Studies: History Close to Home (2nd-4th grade) Monday, Tutor: Amber Douglas

Join me as we explore how to “do History” by looking at history close to home – our personal* and local histories. In this class students will engage in historical thinking by working with a variety of information sources such as maps, photographs, objects, documents, places, etc. Extension activities will be provided with options such as hands-on projects, writing projects, reading/viewing suggestions, and field trips.

(*Contingency plans can be made at the request of parents for sensitive issues regarding personal history.)

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: 3-ring binder or folder, paper, pencils/eraser, colored pencils, scissors, glue stick

 

Middle school Social Studies: World History and Geography: Prehistory-the Fall of Rome (5th-7th grade) Monday, Tutor: Amber Douglas

This class will survey world history and provide practice in historical thinking skills. We will explore different aspects of world history through hands on projects, writing, interactive activities, and engaging various media sources. Please note that the class will include discussion of human belief systems but from a historical perspective. Extension activities will be provided with options such as hands-on projects, writing, reading/viewing suggestions (including from our core text) and comprehension questions, culminating projects (1/semester), and field trips.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: 3-ring binder or folder, paper, pencils/eraser, colored pencils, scissors, glue stick

 

High School Social Studies: United States Government and Civics (8th-12th grade) Monday, Tutor: Amber Douglas

During the fall semester, join me in a participatory study of the foundations of our country’s government and the rights and duties of its citizens. Extension activities will be provided to not only reinforce learning in class but also to provide further opportunities for students to earn hours toward the half credit graduation requirement for United States Government and Civics. In our second semester we will dig further into US Government and Civics through the lens of history. This class will survey US history from its founding to present day. We will examine primary and secondary sources to inform our understanding of political and social movements behind the development of our country. Extension activities each semester may include field trips, volunteer opportunities, hands on projects, writing assignments, reading and viewing suggestions with comprehension questions, and a culminating project.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: 3-ring binder or folder, paper, pencils/eraser, colored pencils, scissors, glue stick

 

STUDY SKILLS

 

Study Skills Course with ACT prep tools (6th – 12th grade) Friday, Tutor: Lela Gregory

Study Skills at large, for life, do encompass some of the techniques used in ACT prep, but there are other tools for which the test environment does not allow. These tools are invaluable in life. We will be learning each of the tools, how to use them, and how to recognize when one is better to use than another. They are simple, powerful, and can assist a person to learn what he/she desires to learn in any subject area. We will be applying these tools to any subject of study which is presenting a challenge through the semester, so as to experience real examples of how they work.

Prepping for the ACT is (at least, it can be) fun! Really! It’s like an involved board game in which you first learn how the game works – the goal and the rules of the game, and the challenges. Then, as you become comfortable working within those rules, toward that goal, you develop strategy. For students who are preparing for the ACT, we will also get a thorough grasp of the game, including practice using the types of questions included on the ACT, until the student is confident with his/her ability to apply those tools.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

THEATER

 

Creative Dramatics (K – 2nd grade) Friday, Tutor: Abbey Anchanattu

This course offers and opportunity for younger students to get acquainted with the theatrical world. Through numerous games and activities your student will explore the wonder of their imagination, learn essential tools to the actors trade, re-imagine scenes from favorite stories, invent their own characters and develop storytelling, pantomime, and movement skills. Reading and memorizing is not required for this class.

Prerequisites: None

Student Supplies: None

 

Theater 1 (2nd – 5th grade) Friday, Tutor: Abbey Anchanattu

This course offers an opportunity for younger students to be introduced to the stage and the world of theater. We learn theatre basics such as stage presence, physical awareness, ensemble building and much more! We will produce a short play that allows students to use their imagination. Ultimately, we will learn how to express ourselves in a safe and interesting way! Performance themes will be announced at the start of each semester. Performance themes may include popular literature, traditional children’s stories and theater performances, fairy tales, and/or original scripts!

Prerequisites: Must be a fluent reader with the ability to memorize a script.

Student Supplies: Students must wear closed-toed, secure shoes for every class. Students must bring a PENCIL to every class. Once students have received scripts, they must bring their scripts to every class. Parents may be asked to supply a costume for the showcase.

 

Theater 2 (6th-12th grade) Friday, Tutor: Abbey Anchanattu

This course offers an opportunity for older students to experience what is it like to be in a stage production. We will be using an already existing script to perform a ten-minute play. If time allows, students will have an opportunity to learn a monologue. The students will memorize lines, learn stage movement, and learn how a production comes together. This class will provide a fun experience for those students interested in what theater is really like, and it will provide a secondary lesson of the discipline and hard-work that goes into making a stage production a success. Performance themes may include popular literature, traditional children’s stories and theater performances, fairy tales, and/or original scripts!

Prerequisites: Theatre experience or a willingness to learn at advanced pace.

Student Supplies: Students must wear closed-toed, secure shoes for every class. Students must bring a PENCIL to every class. Once students have received scripts, they must bring their scripts to every class. Parents may be asked to supply a costume for the showcase.


WRITING

 

Creative Writing (3rd-5th grade) Monday, Tutor: Lindsay Bowman

Does your child love to tell stories? Do you notice him or her playing creatively – inventing scripts and settings while interacting with others? The Creative Writing course is here to put that passion on paper! Students have the opportunity to get their creative juices flowing with a fun and thought-provoking class. Beginning with an elementary understanding of what creative thought is (and how to express it), your child will experiment with several different writing styles to learn how to draw from both imagination and personal experience to write amazing stories. This class will incorporate everything from group storytelling to personal composition. While not focused heavily on handwriting, this class is a great opportunity to practice the art of neat lettering, as well as being a faster and more effective handwriter. Most importantly, they will have a blast!

Prerequisites: Some handwriting and/or typing ability

Student Supplies: 1 3-ring binder, 1 composition book, pencils/erasers

 


Creative Writing
(5th – 7th GradeMonday, Tutor: Lindsay Bowman

If your child is interested in telling stories, writing plays, reading novels, etc., the Creative Writing course is a great fit! Students will be challenged to push their creative limits further than ever before. Beginning with a basic lesson on how to organize thought and feeling, your child will experiment with several different writing styles and learn how best to convey his/her opinions in clear, concise, and creative ways. This class will incorporate group play-writing, conflict/resolution story telling, fantasy, poetry, and more! It is my hope that through this class, your child will bridge the gap between emotional needs and creating an outlet for his/her response to those needs. Sure to be fun and challenging! You don’t want to miss it.

Prerequisites: Handwriting proficiency, 4th Grade Language Arts proficiency (at minimum), some typing ability encouraged but not required

Student Supplies: 1 3-ring binder, 1 composition book, pencils/erasers