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What to expect from my online course-- a letter from our AP US Government & Politics online teacher
Rachel Califf, 8/25/2010

Rachel Califf has been leading AP US Government with PA Homeschoolers AP Online for many years-- and earlier she was a PHAA homeschool high schooler who took part as a student in many of our classes online! She is a graduate of Grove City College, and a mother of three little ones. This article should be of interest to all families involved in having their students taking any online class-- the points Rachel brings up fit for many situations.

For eleven years, I’ve taught AP United States Government and Politics online through PA Homeschoolers. My greatest challenge and my greatest joy is encouraging students to engage with their peers in discussions about current events and political ideas that can be controversial in nature and inspire very emotional responses, particularly among teenagers who see the world as very black and white and who have yet to hone their diplomatic approach. It can be a challenge sometimes to teach students to be civil in their discourse.

Each year, I hope and pray that my students emerge from the course with more than just good grades. I pray that they will have grown in understanding and knowledge, in integrity and in maturity, and in stewardship over their God-given skills and gifts. That, in the years to come, they would go out into the world and impact it for good.

Toward these ends, and for the sake of class cohesion and success, I post a message to our class site outlining my expectations for the year. I’m sharing several excerpts from that message for the benefit of parents and students who are considering or have enrolled in an online class this fall. You will get a sense of both the broader sweep of my expectations and hopes for students and the day-to-day skills that help students succeed in the online and distance learning environment, as well as the developing of relationship between an online teacher and student. I hope that you will find this glimpse into online education an edifying one!


My dear Students!

I want us to have a successful year together and I have found that clear communication is the first key to that outcome. So, in the interests of a successful year, and transparency, there are some things that you should know about me and about the upcoming class. I believe these will help you to form accurate expectations and to understand what I expect of you in return.


Comments: 7

Carnegie Museum of Art Homeschool Classes for Fall 2010!
Juliet Pusateri , 8/24/2010

Hello Fellow Homeschool Partners and Educators!

I want to share our program offerings at Carnegie Museum of Art for homeschool students during the fall semester, 2010. You may register online through our website at cmoa.org, or by calling Program Registration at 412-622-3288. The program information is listed below. Please pass it along to anyone who may be interested.   

Carnegie Museum of Art is located at:
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
Thank you,

Juliet Pusateri
Lead Educator, Children's and Family Programs

4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA  15213

Creative classes taught by artist educators develop artistic skills and an eye for art.
All materials are included. Call 412.622.3288 to register. Read on for more details on each class offered....


Comments: 6

How To Be Mentally Healthy Despite Being a Young Adult-- PHAA commencement address, Western PA Ceremony, June 24, 2010
Dr. Joseph Strayhorn, 8/23/2010

Dr. Joseph Strayhorn, a wonderful homeschooling father from the greater Pittsburgh region, was our Western PA PHAA Graduation Ceremony commencement speaker. Unfortunately, the sound system at the lovely Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead PA was not working effectively that evening, and I know that many of you attending missed Joe's wise words-- and we also felt his important message would be helpful to a broader audience, especially in this season of homeschool grads heading off to college or the work world. Joe is a psychiatrist who is very interested in mental health research and especially focused on discovering ways to help young people learn about gaining sound psychological skills. He has also developed an innovative daily phone tutoring program to help at risk children gain both academic skills and new tools to tackle life's challenges in positive ways. His daughter Jillian graduated through PHAA from homeschooling this year, and will begin her freshman year at Cornell University, and his daughter Emily will continue on with high school homeschooling in the family's new home in Ithaca NY. I've had the honor of serving as their homeschooling evaluator during their many years in Pennsylvania, and wish them all the best in their new home.-- Susan Richman, PA Homeschoolers Editor


Congratulations to you graduates, and congratulations to your parent-teachers. I’m greatly honored to be able to address you on this happy occasion. 

            Many of you are headed now to college; all of you are headed to young adulthood. The stage of life you’re entering can be a thrilling and very happy time. But like all other stages of life, it has its threats to mental health. This address is entitled how to be mentally healthy despite being a young adult.

According to a recent (American College Health Association) survey, 43% of college students reported that at some time in the academic year they had felt so depressed that it was difficult to function. 10% had seriously considered suicide! About 2%, one out of fifty, had actually attempted suicide! Suicide is the second most frequent cause of death among college students, second only to accidents.

According to another survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 31% of college students met criteria for alcohol abuse. Moreover, there were about 1.3 million yearly alcohol-related injuries or assaults among college students, out of a denominator of about 17 million college students. Alcohol related accidental deaths are even more prevalent among college students than are suicides. 

For  those young adults who do not go to college, the suicide rates are even higher than for those attending college. The chance that serious mental health issues will affect one of your peers, if they don’t affect you yourself, is very high.

For most young adults, there are four challenges to mental health that I have time to talk about. These are: disrupted sleep rhythms, an alcohol promoting culture, difficult work environments; and the disruption of social support systems. Let’s discuss these one by one....


Comments: 4

Still room in some of our Advanced Placement online preparation courses! Sign up now!
Susan Richman, 8/22/2010

Many of our Advanced Placement (AP) online preparation courses are now filled-- but quite a few still do have room. These online interactive classes help strong high school students be well-prepared for May 2011 Advanced Placement exams-- and we can enroll homeschool students from all over the nation (and even homeschoolers living abroad!).

Here are the classes that still have a few last spots open for the coming school year....


Comments: 14

Our Fall Testing Schedule is now up online-- ready for you to register!
Susan Richman, 8/4/2010

We now have our annual PA Homeschoolers Fall Testing Schedule up online here on our site-- just click the link above and you'll get to all the info. We hope we can serve you with this comfortable way to meet this testing requirement. My husband Howard and I have years and years of experience testing groups of homeschoolers in PA, and testing days run smoothly and we make every effort to run a professional day where parents and children feel very welcome. 

Remember, homeschoolers in 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade need to take an achievement test from the list established by the PA Dept of Education-- the TerraNova test that we use in our testing service is indeed on this list, and our Fall Testing meets all testing requirements for the year. No need for testing in the spring if you take part in our Fall Testing days.

Also do check out some of the past articles....


Comments: 34


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