Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

Throughout the course, Mrs. Smith always held a high standard -- she wanted all of us to do well on the exam. But whenever we had a hard time, she was always encouraging and understanding.

AP Class Reviews

Scientific Practice and Writing taught by Dr. Jack Kernion

by Students and Parents

INCREDIBLE AP Physics Courses posted by Kaeleigh D on July 10 2019 at 17:33:04

Taking on two AP physics courses in one year may seem like a very daunting task, but Mr. Kernion has set up these classes in a way that makes the learning straightforward, fun, and engaging. Throughout the year, I was always 100% confident that Mr. Kernion was teaching us everything we would need to know for the AP exam, and I was continually amazed at how much time and effort he was willing to put into the course. Along with recording all of the lectures and video labs ( that included AMAZING visuals to help us retain the information ), Mr. Kernion always answered all of my questions ( and I had a lot ) thoroughly and in a timely manor. He also set up a detailed schedule for us to review all of the material before the AP exam which was very helpful in keeping on track at a time of the year when it is easy to get burned out. I felt very prepared walking into both the AP Physics 1 and the AP physics 2 exams!

I probably put in an average of 6 to 7 hours a day. You should expect to have to put in a lot of time for review at the end of the year too.

I really liked some of the labs that we did, especially at the beginning of the year. Even though the recording of information sometimes took a while, I found that after I was finished the lab, an often very difficult concept had been burned into my memory, making it all worth while. I also really liked the unit on Nuclear and Atomic Physics. 

This is an incredible class, and I would absolutely recommend taking it! You definitely have to be willing to put in the time and ask questions, but if you love to learn, I'm sure you will thrive! Mr. Kernion is an amazing teacher, and he will help you out in any way to make sure that you understand the concepts. I can definitely say that I'm glad I took this course! 

Mr. Kernion was one of the best teachers I've had, and his class among my favorites. posted by Owen Johnson on June 17 2019 at 16:03:17

I thought I had a pretty good understanding of physics before I started this class. Thankfully, I had a lot to learn, and Mr. Kernion was an amazing teacher to learn from. His live classes were very helpful, allowing my classmates and myself to ask any questions about the material, while he explained and clairified all the more challenging concepts and problems from the previous and upcoming units. The class had a very good structure and pace, allowing us to learn all we needed before the AP exam. The pre-recorded videos on his website were all very informative, yet still being concise. I did put in more time for the class than I had done in previous classes I did at home, but everything made very good sense when I put in the work and used the resources Mr. Kernion made avaliable to us, such as the videos, live sessions, class discussion forum, study groups, and email. All in all, I would highly reccomend Mr. Kernion's AP Physics 1 class to any physics loving student!!

Perseverance, determination, and grit does pay off! posted by Katie on May 25 2019 at 03:04:32

I didn't understand all of what the word physics meant when I began this course last year. Now, I often find myself wondering what the force that is acting on a falling pinecone outside my window, or how fast the car I'm riding in is accelerating, among many other things!

This class was by far the hardest and most challenging feat that I have ever undertaken, as a student and person. I really struggled in the beginning of the year, and I deeply appreciated Mr. Kernion's kind and helpful support as I persevered through the material. Physics didn't begin to 'click' for me until about a third of the way through Unit 4, which came around for me in about December. Because I was having such difficulty understanding the material, I was behind for most of the first semester, and had to work my way back to where the rest of the class was. It was super tough for me to spend 3-4 hours a day trying to figure out concepts that weren't always clear to me, but I can say now that it was all worth it! This class instructed me so much about kinematics, Newton's Laws, conservation, momentum, waves, electricity, and much more, but it also taught me things like perseverance, grit, and not giving up when the odds seem to be all against you. Mr. Kernion suggested a tutor to help me, and that was one of the best things that came of this course! Because of her, physics became something that I no longer dreaded, but something I often looked forward to.

I would recommend this course to any hardworking student who has a love of learning, diligence to understand advanced concepts, and perseverance to push through adversity. Coming from a student who went from a D to an A over the course of the year, this class is worth it, and I am forever grateful for Mr. Kernion's kindness and support this year! My classmates and tutor were also amazing, and what I have learned from this class will last me for the rest of my life.

Incredible learning experience posted by Serene on May 15 2019 at 19:56:36

Yes! I would recommend putting in a lot of time during the review period, which is in April. But the review came super easily because Mr. Kernion did an amazing job emphasizing the key concepts throughout the year.

I think around 6-9 hours per week. The labs are the most time consuming (~1.5-2 hours each), next to the unit exams (which is expected).

The labs were always meaningful, and I loved learning from them and seeing physics concepts come to life.

Yes! It was really hard for me at the start of the year as I was not used to thinking in 3D (I struggled with inclines and even the difference between velocity and acceleration), but the course got easier as the year went on and I was able to pick up concepts faster.

I loved the "construct a experiment" and "describe an activity in physics terms" activities. Those really made me think and most students participated too. The Discussion board isn't the most active, but if you do ask a question it will certainly get answered promptly and completely either by Mr. Kernion or a fellow student. 

I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a solid introduction to physics! You must be willing to take on a challenge and grapple with unfamiliar concepts. That is how real learning is done! Mr. Kernion is an attentive and encouraging physics teacher who shared his extensive physics knowledge and I had a wonderful year of learning in his class!

An Amazing Teacher and a Career-Impacting Class posted by Josiah Brinson on May 13 2019 at 14:39:20

Having just completed Mr. Kernion's AP Physics I Full-Year course, I can sincerely say that it is the most amazing online course I have ever taken (and I've been taking online for six years). This entire year I have felt the strong and constant support of Mr. Kernion. He really does care for the education and well-being of his students, and he strives to help them succeed. He is also very quick to respond to emails and provides thorough and clear responses. I would highly recommend him as a teacher for his character and communication alone.

His course structure is also very helpful. He has divided the Physics I course into 7 units, and in each one, students watch presentations given by Mr. Kernion about a wide variety of topics, do virtual and hands-on labs, write scientific arguments, and take quizzes and tests. The presentations in particular are truly remarkable, and they accomplish so much more than a textbook ever could. I find Mr. Kernion's presentation approach to teaching concepts to be far more effective than if the material came from a textbook. Mr. Kernion also strongly emphasizes the Big Ideas (fundamental ideas that encapsulate all the material taught in the course) and he taught me how to approach complex problems. Due to all of this, I felt very, very confident about the AP exam.

If you're a student considering taking this course, you'll need to consider several things. First of all, this course will require you to work hard. I probably spent 8-10 hours per week on average doing homework and taking quizzes and tests. Mr. Kernion provides a pacing guide with a suggested amount of work for each day. You'll need to be dilligent and motivated in order to stay on pace. The course also takes perseverance. Many of these Physics problems can be quite challenging. But if you're willing to put in the effort, you will do perectly fine, and you will learn so, so much in the process. Mr. Kernion provides clear solutions to all the problems, and he's always ready to answer any questions you might have. When I took this course, I was able to get into a routine very quickly, and since everything is laid out in the pacing guides, the course work is very predictable.

Whether you are interested in Physics, or whether you have no idea if you like it or not, or whether you strongly dislike it, this course will absolutely make an impact on you if you take advantage of all the opportunities provided to you. I consider Mr. Kernion as a personal mentor, and I have loved this past year so much that I am self-teaching myself AP Physics 2 over 12 weeks this summer using his pre-recorded presentations, labs, and tests. I'm also taking Physics C Mechanics and E&M with him this fall. I hope to continue my studies in Physics in college an am strongly considering a career in Physics or Engineering.

I do hope you consider taking a class from Mr. Kernion. You will not regret it.

Best. Physics. Ever. (AP Physics 1) posted by Sandra Brickell on May 11 2019 at 22:13:45

This was a superb course.  It was an excellent fit for my son, who is very hands-on in his approach to learning, but who also likes to understand the theory behind his hands-on work.  By the end of the course he was making off-hand comments about the physics behind various everyday phenomena;  it was clear he had learned to "think in physics" the way one might learn to think in a new language.  Though he was somewhat interested in physics before he took the course, I think his interest was greatly enhanced by the practical, hands-on activities, and I was pleasantly surprised that he plans to take AP Physics 2 next year.  Things I particularly appreciated:

My son hadn't taken a previous physics course but still did well.  He is very strong in math, enjoys problem-solving, and is willing to work hard, and I think this helped as the course is quite demanding.  

Many thanks to Mr. Kernion and his staff.  This was a great blessing for my son.


A great course with great teacher! posted by Sean Lim on June 10 2018 at 16:00:39

The AP Physics exams are known to be amongst the most challenging of AP exams. This course is naturally challenging as well. But it is also extremely thorough, interesting, and can be unexpectedly enjoyable. Mr Kernion explains difficult concepts with great clarity in his presentations, and also includes helpful and engaging visuals in his slides. Also the many virtual labs and labs help students to understand the concepts in a more "hands-on" way. Mr Kernion is also always ready to answer physics questions, and he answers thoroughly and promptly. All in all, a great course to take for any students planning to take the AP Physics 1 and 2 exams!

Physics 2 posted by Indra Alagar on May 31 2018 at 16:24:51

I learned so much in Mr. Kernion's AP Physics 2 course! I found many of the topics challenging at first but very intriguing and applicable to the real-world. Although this course was definitely my hardest class this school year, I am very grateful I took it. Mr. K is an excellent lecturer, and he really explains the topics very thoroughly in a step-by-step fashion. I recommend viewing the lecture once to take it all in, and then going back to take notes. Also, for studying for tests and quizzes, I highly recommend going back to the lectures and pausing right after the practice problem is shown, in order to solve it by yourself. 

It may be helpful for students to have taken a chemistry course beforehand, because many of the concepts in the Thermodynamics and Nuclear Physics units deal with chemistry concepts. 

My favorite unit was Unit 2, Magnetism. Ironically, I also found this unit to be the most challenging! Concepts such as "Torque on a Loop," "Motion of a Charged Particle in a B-Field," and "Magnetic Force on a Current-Carrying Conductor" personally took me a lot of time to understand, especially with all the visuospatial skills involved. Howeover, I found learning these concepts to be very rewarding once they "clicked." 

I appreciated the emphasis on problem-solving in this course, as well as the knowledge I gained about the history of physics from the context of various physicists' experiments. 

Overall I felt very prepared for the AP Exam, especially because of the realistic FRQ assignments after final exam in each unit. A hardworking, driven, and curious student would succeed in this course. 

AP Physics 1 posted by Meghna Gaddam on May 27 2018 at 02:51:52

The class structure is great and you will learn a lot! The lectures are thorough, every activity really helps re-emphasize concepts, and I felt very prepared for the AP exam. A student who is organized, hard working, and has the patience to learn difficults concepts will do very well. Mr.Kernion is a great teacher, and I couldn't have asked to learn physics a better way!

Physics 1 full year posted by Daniel Coile on May 26 2018 at 23:51:09

This class was great. I enjoyed the assignments, and I thought they were helpful for the AP exam.  The schedule was difficult, but the deadlines were easy to make (at the end of each unit there's a deadline for all the work to be submitted by, which is a week after the schedule suggests, so it's pretty easy to stay on task). I worked around 6 to 10 hours a week on this class, but in retrospect, I did not finish every one of the labs, although I completed most, and made sure I conceptualy understood the few I missed. I thought the class did the best job with the first several units about kinematics and newton's laws, but the other units were still great, I just felt like I ended up understanding kinematics and newton's laws the strongest after the class. Overall, this was a great year, and I would reccomend this class for anyone interested in Physics and, of course, is willing to work hard. 

Excellent Physics 1 & 2 Class! posted by Kyle Fang on May 24 2018 at 06:52:31

Students learn by reading the textbook and watching videos made by Mr. Kernion. Mr. Kernion is a great teacher who understands all the important things students need to know for the AP exams. In his videos, he utilizes many graphs, drawings, labs, and pictures to help explain difficult concepts.

The class is very organized, and the website instructions are very easy to follow. You learn each concept, complete some virtual activities, and practice questions provided by Mr. Kernion and from the textbook. I also appreciate the live sessions Mr. Kernion provides every other week. Even though the time conflicted with my math class, I was able to watch the recordings. Mr. Kernion is also very responsive to our questions and understanding when I occasionally need an extension. I enjoyed taking the class and learned a lot about Physics!



AP Physics 1 Review from a Grateful Student posted by Trevor A. Babb on May 14 2018 at 23:41:35

This course is very detailed and thorough, explaining each topic and its nuances.  I was a little concerned that I would not do well on the AP exam, but once I started taking it, I realized how well this course prepared me.  The questions Mr. Kernion asks us to answer are more difficult than the questions that appear on the AP exam.  There was not a single question on the AP exam that I could not confidently answer or at least make an educated guess on.

In order to complete this course, I spent approximately six hours weekly to fully cover the material.  This course has enhanced my interest in physics and I intend to take a harder physics course next year.  I would recommend this course to anyone willing to put the effort in.

AP Physics 1 posted by Megan Kolbe on July 14 2017 at 15:47:01

THroughout this course, Mr. Kernion provided a variety of homework assignments, lab activities, and assessments to help each student learn in his or her own way.  I felt compeltely prepared for each quiz and test and was able to enjoy the rigorous course as well.  Expect to spend around 90 minutes per day (on average, depepnding on the day's work) working on the course material.  After taking this course, I am interested in physics and excited to further my understanding of the subject.

posted by Leo B on June 12 2017 at 13:23:12

Parent's review

Mr Kernion's course was very good and my son felt well prepared for the AP exam. As other students have reported, the actual exam is less challenging than the work covered by Mr Kernion. That is a good thing to remember as you go through the course. I suggest getting a practice book and lookng through it as you go; it should give you confidence that you have mastered what is needed.

The hours varied. Initially trying to do all the practice problems in the text book took hours and hours in addition to the course work. We eventually realized that a few questions of each type is enough. The course work took 6 to 12 hours a week. Usually it was the lab sessions that could take up a lot of time. My son is an athelete, and often needed to work ahead to clear time for his travel schedule. This course was excellent from that point of view. The work is all there ready to do, so you can make the timing work for you. 

I'd say the labs were pretty good.  I acted as a lab partner and I don't think my son missed out at all on being in standard high school class. It is impressive how the principles of physics can be illustrated so well with (mostly) basic household materials. 

This was my son's first physics course. He found the it challenging and sometimes grueling, but when he revisited the material during the review period, it all seemed much more straight forward and things he had struggled with first time around were no problem at all. By exam day, he had a kind of "I've got this" attitude to Physics 1 and he will be continuing with Mr Kernion this coming year.

 Athletic commitments meant that joining any study groups wasn't really practical.

We would definitley recommend this course.

Aside from accomodating athletic commitments, my son has dyslexia and a couple of related issues, so as a homeschool parent, I needed quite a bit of advice.   I felt we had Mr Kernion's wholehearted support making Physics 1 work for us. Mr Kernion was also very responsive to frequent questions from my son about the course material. He seemed so willing to help, we never felt reluctant to ask. 


AP Physics 1 Review posted by Stephen Wolf on May 15 2017 at 13:54:59

This course did a really good job focusing on the material for the AP exam and preparing me for success on the exam.  Personally, I wish there would have been more review during the school year, because I was really rusty on the earlier units when it came time for AP Exam review in April.  

I spent a good 15-16 hours a week on AP Physics.  This was probably the one class that took up most of my time every week.  It's not necessarily that the material is hard to understand, but that there is just so much material to cover.  However, what material we did cover, we covered thoroughly and Mr. Kernion helped us to understand it really well.  

A student who is willing to spend a lot of time on this course really trying to understand the material will do very well.  I would certainly recommend this course to anyone who is thinking about Physics because I know that Mr. Kernion does a great job teaching it.  

AP Physics 1 is Well Worth the FdcosŤ! posted by Kendall M. on May 14 2017 at 21:45:28

I had a wonderful experience taking AP Physics 1 with Mr. Kernion this past year. Mr. Kernion is an expert at explaining physics concepts in a clear and engaging way, and his detailed presentations, coupled with an arsenal of example problems, made understanding each topic straightforward and incredibly fun. I tended to spend an average of about three hours per day and fifteen hours per week studying for this course (though a good majority of that time I spent furiously copying notes while the presentations were paused, since few people are slower writers than me). Since the work for this class is due in large chunks, I highly recommend this class particularly to students comfortable with managing their own pace. After preparing with this course’s rigorously engaging curriculum over the past year, I felt thoroughly confident going into the AP exam that I’d already seen and worked through almost every possibly type of AP question more than once.

This was my first time ever enrolling in a physics course, and it was within the first week of taking Mr. Kernion's class that I decided I loved the field; physics is such a cool science in that it combines conceptual mathematics and real world applications in the most fascinating way, as I’ve recently discovered. Mr. Kernion is an exceptional teacher, and I am so grateful to have received such a compelling introduction to the world of physics.

AP Physics 1 Full Year Course posted by Maia Machiela on May 14 2017 at 02:10:58

This was definitely a challenging course for me, so if you're looking for an easy A, this is not the class for you. But, if you're willing to put in the work, I think you would enjoy it. Overrall, I probably spent around 9-12 hours a week on this class—sometimes more depending on the concepts. As to the presentation of material, Mr. Kernion does a great job of teaching the material and giving you so many and varied opportunities for practice. Due to this, I felt prepared going into the AP Exam. Mr. Kernion had actually suggested participating in a peer-to-peer study group and I ended up leading one of the groups which I found extremely helpful because I was able to talk about the topics with people at the same learning level as me.

I will be completely honest and tell you that I seriously considered dropping the class at the beginning of the year (around mid-October) but when I emailed Mr. Kernion about it, he encouraged me and provided support that ultimately made me decide to stick with the class. I'm so glad I did. Throughout the year, I felt completely comfortable asking Mr. Kernion anything pertaining to the class and he always responded in an easy-to-understand manner.  Mr. Kernion is passionate about teaching students and if you prove that you care and are willing to work, he will go above and beyond to make sure you understand the material. Overrall, I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I learned a lot which will definitely help me in college. 

AP Physics 1 Review posted by Arvinder Oswal on May 13 2017 at 20:57:28

The AP1 course was an introductory Physics course for my son as he had done some Physical Science earlier. This course thoroughly prepared my son for the AP Physics 1 exam. In fact, my son remarked that the review material for the class was harder than the actual exam.

My son generally worked for 2 hours every day (Mon-Fri). He liked most of the labs and the multiple choice questions. Younger students sometimes need to work harder at the FRQs. My son has always liked the Sciences. He now loves Physics and will continue on to AP Physics 2 in the near future.

I would recommend this course for students who are self driven as the course requires effective time management of deadlines. Also, the FRQs require a good understanding of the concepts behind the Physics.

In summary, Prof Kernion is an outstanding instructor. His response to our email questions was always less than a few minutes. He enjoys teaching and this is evident from the energy he brings to the bi-weekly, live group sessions.


AP Physics 1 Review posted by Megan K. on May 03 2017 at 13:39:42

This course was well structured and made it easy for me to gain an understanding of the concepts.  Adequate time was spent on each topic, and I feel the course was taught at a challenging but not oerwhelming pace.  Mr. Kernion's presentations are detailed and clear, and the virtual activities give visual representations of the concepts that are very helpful.  Any student who is willing to devote time to practice and extra practice will do well in this course, as I feel that the key to fully understanding the material is repetition.  Mr. Kernion is a wonderful and patient teacher and I feel his class helped prepare me for college level science courses.

Testimomials from former students. posted by Jack Kernion on February 18 2016 at 11:54:28

Since this is my first year on the faculty of PA Homeschoolers, I thought I might post a few testimonials from former students.

"Mr. Kernion is truly an amazing physics instructor! He makes usually difficult concepts seem very straightforward with many examples and practice problems."
-Former student, Lily Z., Harvard University

"Mr. Kernion promotes a deep comprehension of the subject material through his incredibly detailed lessons. His teachings gave me a genuine appreciation of physics as well as fives on both AP Physics C tests! He is a master teacher whose passion for physics has helped his students succeed on the AP tests for over a decade.
-Former student, Nick S., University of Pittsburgh

"Many physics instructors lose the big picture by getting tangled up in calculations, but Mr. Kernion maintains his focus on the important aspects that make physics so essential. I was lucky enough to have Mr. Kernion as a teacher, and his website conveys the same enthusiasm and insight that he brought to the classroom every day. The road to physics success is never totally frictionless, yet Physics Prep is an ideal way to undertake the journey."
-Former student, Tommy M., Yale University

"This course is a detailed and engaging instruction that provides the methodology for answering any AP Physics test question. Because of Mr. Kernion's extensive knowledge of physics and superb grasp on language and technology, the class left me with a deep, long-lasting understanding of the big ideas in physics so that no cramming was necessary to be successful on the AP test and that stayed with me in college classes."
Former student, Katie S., Penn State Honors

"We had Mr. Kernion for AP Physics C our senior year, and we can't imagine a better teacher! He made difficult concepts easy to understand with his clear explanations and interesting analogies. The way he organizes his lectures makes it so easy to take good notes that are easy to review during test time. What's also really nice is that Mr. Kernion has a genuine passion for physics, and he always manages to transfer that enthusiasm to his students. Tests are very fair, and his course prepared us very well for both the AP test and college physics courses. We were very lucky to have a physics teacher like Mr. Kernion!"
-Former students, Anjali P., CalTech and Carol W.,The University of Pennsylvania

"Mr. Kernion's ability to present difficult concepts in an accessible way gave me a very solid foundation in physics over my two years in his classes. He is able to instill deep understanding of topics through clear explanation, contextual information, and abundant examples. A large portion of the credit for my three AP 5's goes to Mr. Kernion's class."
Former student, Michael M., from Carnegie Mellon University

I really think that this course will be able to help a lot of students prepare for the AP Physics exams, whether they use it as the primary source for the course or as a supplement to traditional schooling.
-Former student, Mike B., from Penn State Honors


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