Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

Millennials tend to disregard the state of our nation in either apathy or cynicism, and it's easy to become caught up in that mindset.  This class showed that there truly is no government set up for representation and equality like ours and that is something that we should never take for granted. 

AP Class Reviews

AP U.S. Government and Politics taught by Daniel Burns

by Students and Parents

Highly Recommend! posted by Annabella Chow on May 22 2021 at 04:11:37

I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to take the AP gov exam. I thought this course prepared me well for the AP exam. I did not spend too much time -- usually 3-5 hours per week (sometimes a little more). I particularly enjoyed the group projects and the book. The book Mr. Burns had us read is super interactive and fun because there were videos and checkpoint questions to make sure that we were reading and understanding. This was by far one of my favorite course material from any class in High School. This course did enhance my interest in US government and politics. In the past, I had literally no understanding on how the American government works and I came out from this course with a lot of knowledge.

Mr. Burns was very responsive and kind. I enjoyed communicating with him. I did not have too much communications with other students because this was an asynchrounous course and the optional weekly classes conflicted with another class of mine. However, we were still able to discuss and debate political ideas and topics through the discussion forum. That, I thought, was very fun. :)

Incredible AP US Government and Politics Class posted by Abigail Mohn on May 19 2021 at 21:26:31

I took this course my sophomore year of high school, which also happened to be my first year homeschooling. I was a bit skeptical about taking a solely online class, since I'd never done that before, but AP US Government and Politics was an incredible class to take. The course sufficiently prepared me for the AP exam, with quality education all throughout the year to learn the information and great review materials as the exam approached. I would say I put about 5 hours per week into the course. My favorite assignments and objects of study were the court cases, which required a FIHRR for each assigned case. This required me to describe the facts, issue, holding, reasoning and rule of each case, and I found it very interesting. Before taking this course, I knew a bit about US Government and Politics, but I wasn't very interested in current events or government actions in general. This course enhanced my interest in the subject, and now I keep up with current events in politics and have more of an opinion on political matters. 

I would recommend this course to a high-school student willing to work hard. You don't have to have a particular interest in politics to take this class; the course will develop an interest in you. I would definitely recommend this course, you won't regret it. 

AP Gov Review posted by Sophie Zuckman on June 17 2020 at 20:32:52

This was a great class. I felt completely prepared for the AP exam, despite the challenging circumstances. Normally, I'd average between 5 and 7 hours a week of work. This included taking notes and various other assignments. I felt like the assignments where Mr. Burns would go into detail about how to write a successful FRQ and similar projects were very beneficial to my understanding of the questions. After coming out of this course, I've been able to apply a lot of what I've learned into the real world while watching the news, and hearing about Supreme Court cases. Absolutely anyone can excel in this course with some elbow grease. Speaking from personal experience as someone who is severely Dyslexic, I was able to make my way through this course without too many issues (with the help of some Youtube videos:) ). However, someone who enjoys a reading heavy course will probably have a more pleasant experience than someone who detests it. Though I consider myself the ladder, I had a really positive experience in this class.

Excellent AP Government and Politics Class posted by Joshua Schiller on May 24 2020 at 18:52:14

This course made me feel completely prepared for the AP exam. Despite the drastic changes to the structure and content of the exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I still felt confident and ready to perform well. Mr. Burns made changes accordingly to be compatible with the new 2020 exam and made sure everything was accounted for in terms of review. While taking the AP exam, I was able to fully answer all parts of the questions, which will hopefully result in a 5 when scores are released.

Over the course of the school year I generally put in an hour a day into this course, though there were some weeks where I put in more time or less time than others. In preparation for the AP exam, I generally reviewed course material two to three hours per day. 

One of my favorite assignments were the FIHRR's (Facts-Issue-Holding-Reasoning-Ruling). These assignments, distributed throughout the course, helped me immensely in breaking down and understanding the required Supreme Court cases. I would later use my completed versions of these assignments to study and review the cases in preparation for the AP exam.

The course definitely enhanced my interest in the subject. Prior to the class, I was mostly unaware of U.S Government and Politics. Taking this course has sparked an interest for myself in the government and the legislative process. It has also made me more eager to stay up-to-date in the happenings of politics.

Yes, I did find communications with other students to be interesting and valuable. Having other students to communicate with over the course has been very helpful to ask questions or bounce around ideas. Additionally, the group project assignments went very smoothly with no significant hiccups.

The sort of student that would do well in this course is one who enjoys critical thinking and analysis or has an interest in government or politics. Coming into the course I didn't have a particular interest in government or politics. After taking the class I had developed an interest for the subject. I would 100% recommend this course to other students. You will definitely appreciate taking it!

Excellent Class posted by Madison Tomaso on May 12 2020 at 20:26:05

posted by Rebekah Che on May 11 2020 at 23:26:58

Despite the dramatic last-minute changes that were made to the AP exam this year, I felt very, very ready when exam day came. Mr. Burns prepared us well throughout the school year and in the weeks leading up to the exam he provided us with a lot of great review resources (including the live sessions) which really guided me in my exam preparation. As someone who usually has breakdowns before AP exams, I was honestly surprised by how calm I felt going into this one, and I’m confident that I scored a 4 or higher.

I can’t limit the impact this course had on me to the AP exam alone, however. More importantly in the long run than the exam, through taking this class I have become a much more civically informed citizen. If I had not taken this class, I would be like so many other young people who are politically disaffected, never vote, have no idea about how the government works, and so on. As it is, a fraction of my summer goals center around politics; they include volunteering with a campaign (if the virus allows! maybe I’ll volunteer with a virtual campaign if not...), sending a letter to my representative in Congress in support of a bill, listening to Senate proceedings/Supreme Court oral debates, and convincing my parents to vote in a local election. :) I’m determined not to take for granted my ability as an American citizen to make a difference in politics.

My favorite assignment in this course was definitely the civic engagement project. For this project, I built a survey analyzing the media usage of over 80 respondents in correlation with their political party affiliation. I ended up creating a 25-page presentation of my results; not only did I have a ton of fun with it, but it gave me the opportunity to deeply explore a particular aspect of the course that I was especially interested in (the media). I still use the results of my research in debates with friends and family!

I also loved the team projects, which we had a handful of throughout the year. I enjoyed working with and learning from my classmates. For one project my team and I created a video about the Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In another project we researched and analyzed the impact that a state voter ID law had on voter turnout, and created a presentation to display our results. Although these projects were time-consuming, they were definitely highlights of the class for me.

Fabulous course and my student's favorite teacher posted by Johanna Santer on May 11 2020 at 20:38:46

From a parent's perspective this course and teacher are everything you love about home schooling. The student's are highly engaged with each other, the material, and the teacher. I can't tell you the number of conversations started at the table, and the depth of knowledge he brought to our discussions as a result of his learning. Mr. Burns is an incredibly dedicated teacher, looking to bring out the best in all of his students, and works around learning differences with ease and understanding. My son is not able to test well and struggles with exams. in fact due to past disappointment in exam scores he wasn't planning to take the test at all. With Mr. Burns' encouragement, he was very well prepared for this [curtailed] exam, and had no trouble finding plenty to write about. Mr. Burns sees the person in his students, and doesn't expect each to be carbon copies of each other, or himself. He brings a wonderful, compassionate, and real world approach to teaching. So much so, my son has signed up for a third year of his coursework, in a subject he is not very interested in [Macroeconomics!], because he knows Mr. Burns will bring it alive. I see him as a tutorial type teacher, and wish he lived down the road, and could pop around for more discussions and a cup of tea. He was always very approachable in communications with me as a parent.

A Parent's Take on AP U.S. Govt. & Politics posted by Terri A. on May 22 2019 at 11:20:27

U.S. Govt. & Politics was my son’s first AP course as well as his first online course. He enrolled during his first year as a high school student, so there were a lot of firsts with this class!

As a parent, I feel that both the class materials and the instructor did a good job of preparing my son for the AP exam at the end of the year. I know he was keen to have discussions about various related issues in current events and that he felt they did not quite take off as he had hoped, but that depends in large part on the participation of others. I appreciated the discussions that did take place as they helped provide a different perspective to issues which is important when debating government matters. Likewise, it is so important that this subject is taught from a strong Constitutional perspective. This is especially prudent in the current political climate.

I particularly appreciated Mr. Burns’ prompt responses whenever I contacted him myself with questions or concerns. He also seemed to spread the evaluation of the students’ work over various criteria so that there were many opportunities to balance out strengths and weaknesses.

I would highly recommend this course to others and would only add that parents should be proactive in encouraging their students to engage in the discussions in order to get the most benefit from this subject.

posted by Isabelle Alessi on May 16 2019 at 13:41:09

This AP U.S. Government and Politics provides all the materials and techniques to prepare students for the exam.  The course load varied from 5-7 hours a week for me.  The online book was one of the best ones I have come across in my online schooling.  The font, new articles, real life examples, graphics, questions throughout the chapter, and polls enhanced my learning and made each chapter interesting.  Mr. Burns encouraged group interaction and creativity, and the group projects were a lot of work but also fun.  For example, my group made a video about polls for one of the assignments.  For all of the major Supreme Court cases, students had to write out the FIHRRS (Facts, Issue, Holding, Reasoning, Rule) pertaining to the case.  I enjoyed reading the Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents.  This course made government more interesting and important to me.  It made me aware that I should be praying more for our politicians; they have stressful jobs.  

This course requires a motived student.  Everything is usually due on Wednesday evening, so you need to make sure you do not wait to get everything done.  Internet access is key not only to access course materials but also to access the book.  Make sure you attend the weekly meetings with Mr. Burns: they are really helpful!

Learned a lot, was very prepared. posted by Sasha on May 11 2019 at 15:58:51

This was one of my favorite classes. I learned a ton and felt super prepared for the exam. The tests and quizzes mimicked the ap test style which I think helps to get used to the format early on. The soomo learning book is interactive and really helpful! Make sure to take notes for each section to keep up with the course work and attend the live sessions for review! They are really helpful. 

AP Government review posted by Sutton on May 11 2019 at 14:56:10

I really enjoyed this course. At the beginning I felt a little overwhelmed with it all because had never done any course related to the Government. As the course progressed I felt more and more confident with the work I was doing. The course really did help with the AP Exam. I would typically put an hour or so in every day on this course (case specific). I have a new interest in the Government. I would recommend this course to others!

The AP US government and politics experience posted by Connor Appelboom on May 11 2019 at 02:20:10

If you have interest in law and politics (specifically American law and politic), you found your best online choice. This class focuses on the US constitution and major Supreme Court cases to create an understanding of how American government functions and what its defining laws are. The course can at times be rigorous, but if you have any interest in becoming a lawyer or more importantly a politician, this course is a must! 8/10. 

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