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PA Homeschoolers AP Online
Test Preparation Classes for 2013-2014—Will be open for registration on February 28th, 2013!

Registration will open for the 2013-2014 school year by the end of February 2013—we will then have everything updated and ‘ready for registering’ — and we should have a new website ‘look’ then too! This will be our 18th 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. We hope your family will find courses here that meet your goals for the coming school year. All of our courses are full-year courses, and all start in early fall.

PA Homeschoolers Online will again offer a wide range of Advanced Placement (AP) test preparation classes for homeschooled high school students from all across the country for the 2013-2014 school year. It looks now like all of our current teachers will continue with their excellent courses from last year— and feel welcome right now to email any teachers directly to let them know of your interest in their course and to ask any questions you might have.

 All of our course descriptions will be updated by the end of February—right now we still have up *this* year’s course descriptions, and these will still give you a good sense of what to expect. Each description will specify the application procedure required for that particular class—this will vary for each course.  Once the teacher has verified to the family that a student is accepted to a class, the family can then 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 on the student, family, and course/teacher chosen, including your choice of student and parent password). We will continue to offer an Early Bird Tuition Fee—this discount only applies until June 30, 2013… after that the fee goes to the regular tuition fee.

If families need to consider a tuition payment plan option, here is our procedure:  the family mails in a *packet* of checks, totaling the whole tuition fee (early bird fee applies if payment is mailed before July 1, 2013) — one check should be dated for the current date, and the rest can be postdated over the following several months, with no check dated later than December 15, 2013. There is a $10 handling fee per course added when payments are made, to be included with the first check to be deposited.  We plan to have a PDF form you can print out and use to make sure we have all the needed info.

These classes, as in the past, will only be available to homeschooled students – full-time public and private ‘brick and mortar’ school students, as well as Pennsylvania public cyber-charter school students, are not eligible to participate. We fully realize that a growing number of homeschool students may take part-time coursework at a local public or private school or college, or have oversight from a homeschool program such as Mother of Divine Grace School, Clonlara School, or a private school set up to help homeschoolers (this option is often used in California).

Who recommends our courses? Many college admissions consultants working with bright homeschool students, such as Jeannette Webb of Aiming Higher and Denise Boiko, author of Homeschooled and Headed for College , regularly recommend our AP Online classes. Our classes are also often discussed frequently on high school at home email lists and online forums— and the parents and students involved are the best ‘promoters’ of our classes! Probably the best way to see what others have thought of our courses is to be sure to read the student reviews after each course description. 

We also encourage you right now to check out our Pennsylvania Homeschoolers website, as our 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 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. Bonnie Gonzalez relates how her AP Psychology students truly formed a caring community last year, showing real compassion for one another. You’ll learn more about some of the special projects students complete in AP courses, giving you a better sense of what to expect, as in Meghan Paher’s article giving a simulated diary of an AP European History student, or in Dianne Settino’s simulated journal of an AP Art Studio: Drawing student (completed with photos of actual artwork!), or in Susan Gilleran’s ‘Day in the Life of an AP Calculus Student’. You’ll read how Maya Inspektor’s AP English Language students have won a dazzling number of $1000 scholarships through the National Peace Essay Contest, a research project the class completes each year. Ray Leven shares about learning AP Spanish online, Daniel Burns tells about the benefits his strong AP US History students have gained by serving the next year as Teaching Assistants (TA’s), and Carole Matheny’s relates how a past AP Statistics student was encouraged to take part in the national Statistics Competition—winning first place awards last year! Many more articles will be coming this spring and summer—keep taking a look! 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 most weeks!

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. Many students form positive friendships that last beyond their high school at home years—and at least a few students have opted to be college roommates after learning together in AP Online! And even past students share their thoughts on our PA Homeschoolers website--  Andrew Min of New Jersey (and now a sophomore at Princeton, along with another of our AP Online alumni!) reflects on the long-term value of taking our AP Online classes, and homeschool 12th grader Marisa Chow (heading to Princeton next year to join her AP scholar brother Evan!) of California writes about homeschoolers and socialization, mentioning the positive role our AP Online classes have played in developing a wonderful network of friends all across the nation, and even around the world.

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 given in May each year-- all while still in high school…or in high school at home!

Many homeschool students seeking academic scholarships also find the AP program a real help, as AP exam scores give a concrete way for universities and scholarship programs 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.

All of our AP test preparation classes are authorized through the College Board Audit process— our teachers each have their syllabus approved by experienced course reviewers, meeting all College Board AP guidelines for course coverage. PA Homeschoolers AP Online now also sends out official transcripts verifying AP course completion and course grades—we can send these on to colleges, NCAA, the military academies, or scholarship programs as requested by the family, for a $5 fee (AP Transcript Request Form can be found on the sidebar).

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. 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. For some classes you need to email the teacher for an application form – check each course description for details. 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 so your student has time to be fully ready for next fall.

Some popular classes offer several sections—for instance, we have three different teachers leading sections of AP US History. You need to choose one section—each teacher leads their class for the full school year, and each teacher has developed unique learning activities and approaches, and use varied resources. Similarly, we have four different teachers for both AP English Language and AP English Literature—each has developed their own syllabus and booklist and activities—your job is to choose the particular section that seems to best meet your teen’s learning style. You child will have one teacher—not all four!

In our AP online 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 usually 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.

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 more than one class, unless they’ve already had good experiences with handling online classes and have strong time management skills.

Many of our AP teachers will be presenting a session about their classes at the July 12, 2013 High School at Home Conference sponsored by PHAA (PA Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency) giving you a chance to meet the teachers. Several teachers will also give sessions related to their course content, which would be helpful to families looking to prepare students for future AP level work. 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!

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 )