PA Homeschoolers Online
Test Preparation Classes

PA Homeschoolers Online is again offer a wide range of Advanced Placement (AP) test preparation classes for homeschooled high school students from all across the country for the 2010-2011 school year. We plan to have the same classes available and add non-calculus AP Physics B (Mr. Jeff Lanctot), AP Studio: 2-D Design (Dianne Settino and Linus Meldrum, a husband-and-wife team), and possibly AP Latin:Virgil. Note: We are right now working with a possible new AP Biology teacher, and will hopefully be ready to make a positive announcement on this within 2 weeks. We are also welcoming several new teachers leading classes that we’ve been offering—Mrs. Kate Walker will lead our 3rd section of AP English Language, Meghan Bishop Paher will lead a 2nd section of AP European History, and Melissa Spangenberg will lead AP Music Theory (interestingly, all of these three new teachers are homeschool grads themselves!).

All of our course descriptions have been updated—and once accepted to a class, you can now pay tuition either online at or by sending a check to PA Homeschoolers AP Online, 105 Richman LN, Kittanning PA 16201-5737 (being sure to include all needed info).  

These classes, as in the past, will only be available to homeschooled students. (Public and private ‘brick and mortar’ school students, as well as cyber-charter school students, are not eligible to participate.) Our classes have been given an excellent review by Mary Pride's Practical Homeschooling magazine. Our classes are often discussed on high school at home email lists and online forums.  

We also encourage you right now to check out our Pennsylvania Homeschoolers website (see link on top left), as our new fully online magazine there is regularly featuring articles about our AP online classes. You’ll hear from parents whose teens have taken part in a wide range of AP classes, and see what benefits these families have found. Our teachers will share ideas on how to tell if your teen is ready for this level of work—and what to do at home to bring them up to speed. Many of our teachers will also write about their own work related to their field—such as Dr. Gary Welton (AP Psychology) writing about his recent research on homeschoolers’ socialization opportunities. You’ll learn more about some of the special projects students complete in AP courses, giving you a better sense of what to expect. There are also regular articles on other topics related to the high school years at home—learning about college admissions, scholarships, academic and arts contests, community service ideas, changing family life as our kids grow up, and much more.   Check in regularly—a new article goes up almost each weekday!

Perhaps one of the best aspects of our classes is that in the many years that we have offered AP Online, we have developed a community of homeschool student scholars who bring to each class the positive ways of interacting that they have learned in previous classes. It’s not unusual for students to take one AP Online class in 10th grade (and we’ve had some very bright 9th graders also), and then take more in 11th and more in 12th grade— first checking with their new PA Homeschoolers AP Online friends so that they can plan to be in class together once more.

This will be our 15th year of offering AP test preparation classes online to homeschoolers all over the country (and even homeschoolers living abroad). You do not have to live in Pennsylvania to take part!

To get a better idea on what the Advanced Placement program is all about, do check out the excellent College Board website, as this will give you full background on each exam and what is expected in an AP preparation class. The basic idea is that this exam program enables students to bypass ‘intro’ college classes and earn college credit by passing standardized exams-- all while still in high school…or in high school at home!

All of our AP test preparation classes are authorized through the College Board Audit process—for full info on this, see Susan Richman’s article on the AP Audit Process from Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Issue #98. PA Homeschoolers AP Online now also sends out official transcripts on AP course completion for all students who both complete the course and take the actual AP exam.

When students pass College Board Advanced Placement exams, given each May in public and private high schools, they can earn college credit or advanced standing at many colleges, and opt out of intro classes. Many homeschool students seeking academic scholarships also find the AP program a real help, as AP exam scores give a concrete way for others to gauge strong academic preparation. AP classes are all designed to be much tougher than typical high school classes- more reading, more study time, and more dedication will be required. Colleges recognize this.

To learn about a particular class, click on the class name on the sidebar—and be sure to check out the ‘CLASS REVIEWS’, linked at the bottom of each course description. This will let you know what past students have felt about their experience in the class, and you’ll also gain a stronger sense of what the class will involve. To register for a specific class, you need to email a message to the teacher directly, requesting any further info for students and an application form. A number of classes have a direct link to their application form right with their course description—and a few simply will ask you to pay your tuition fee without the need for an application or selection process, if you have the listed pre-requisites. Some classes may have suggested or required summer readings or activities to complete to help students be well-prepared and ready to go-- so it is wise to sign up early.

And in our classes, there is often the added bonus of more interaction with fellow students and with your online teacher. As families vary on how much interactivity they are seeking in an online course, our teachers have rated their classes on a 1-3 scale of student-to-student and teacher-to-student interactivity, with 3 being the highest level of interactivity—this will help you choose the class that will best meet your goals.

Once the teacher accepts your student in an AP test preparation class, you can pay tuition and purchase selected test-preparation class materials using the sidebar link to ‘ENTER STORE’. AP test preparation classes do cost more than many traditional high school distance classes- this is because much more is involved, for both the teachers and the students. Our tuition fees are still much lower than most AP Online courses—and for many of our AP Online test-prep classes, we are one of the very few sources available for homeschoolers. Also when you compare the tuition for one of our classes to taking the related college course, you’ll see what a good investment PA Homeschoolers AP Online is for you. Many of our teachers are again offering discounted ‘early bird’ tuition fees through the end of June 2010.

If a student signs up for too many AP classes at a time, especially if this is a first experience with AP level work, you could be asking for trouble. Students with especially busy work or extracurricular schedules are also urged to think carefully about taking on more than one class, unless they’ve already had good experiences with handling online classes.

Many of the AP teachers will be presenting in a session about their classes at the July 16, 2010 High School at Home Conference sponsored by PHAA (PA Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency) giving you a chance to meet the teachers. There will also be a student-panel session about AP classes at the conference. So come and learn more about the scope and format of the classes!

Note: These classes are open only to homeschooled students. Students enrolled fulltime in a public or private ‘brick-and-mortar’ school, or a public cyber charter school, are not eligible.

Got some questions, comments, or ideas?

Susan Richman, PA Homeschoolers AP Online Coordinator
105 Richman LN
Kittanning PA 16201-5737

(Click here to read a report of the success of these classes from the Winter 2005 issue of the PA Homeschoolers newsletter )