Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Horizons Family CoOp Voyager Class Options for Fall 2011

Voyager Classes
(ages 9-early teen)

1st Hour - Choose 1

1A. Public Speaking                                                                         
Instructor: Brenda Gilardone
 There’s nothing to fear in this class - Kids will gain experience in an encouraging and comfortable atmosphere among friends.  Students will prepare speeches on assigned subjects and will be able to improve presentation skills by watching videos of themselves speaking.  Homework would be researching and preparing a short talk. 
Class Size Limit: 12

1B.  World Cultures Potpourri                                                                 
Instructor: Karen Ashor
 We'll learn folk songs, dances, stories and art from various cultures around the world (Hawaii, China, Russia, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Africa, India, Brazil are possibilities).  During each class time, we'll focus on a culture and participate in one or a combination of the above activities.
Class Size Limit: 12

1C. Service – This option is open to students 12 years and older to assist in one of the younger classes or nursery during this hour.

2nd Hour - Choose 1

2A. Great Composer Appreciation                                                  
Instructor: Tiffany Sheldon
 Students will learn about different famous composers of the ages including Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Mozart, Chopin, Francis Scott Key, and contemporaries like John Williams.  Students will explore a brief history of their life and will learn to recognize at least one of their famous works.
Class Size Limit: 12

2B. Hebrew: Alef-Biet (Alphabet)                                        
Instructor: Virginia Nakiah-Burnes
 This class offers younger kids a unique opportunity by teaching them to pronounce and write the Hebrew alphabet.  Students should have basic writing skills in English and practice at home is recommended.  Parents are welcome to audit so long as there is space available.
Class Size Limit: 12+

2C. Service – This option is open to students 12 years and older to assist in one of the younger classes or nursery during this hour.

Announcing the NEW Children's Choir - Sign-up NOW!

Pine Grove Baptist Church Children’s Choir

Meeting Thursdays 2:00-3:00
Beginning September 8, 2011
Weekly meetings continuing into mid December

The Children’s Choir is designed to be a fun learning experience for homeschooled children in grades 3-8.  The music will be primarily Christian in focus with two-part harmony.  All children participating in the choir will be required to attend performances (TBA but will likely consist of the Fine Arts Festival in November, Pine Grove’s Evening of Music in December, and perhaps as special music for a service or two).

About the Teacher…
Gayla Shabram has been the Choir Director of Pine Grove Baptist Church for 20 years, played piano and sang for worship teams for the past 8 years, and she has enjoyed working with kids as an AWANA leader for many years.  She looks upon this teaching experience as an extension of her ministry at PGBC, and is looking forward to working with your children.

Prerequisites:  The desire to sing!
Class Fee: FREE

Sign-ups open NOW.  Just contact Diane Smith at with the name and age of your child and parent contact information.

**Potential for a High School Vocal Ensemble and other musical performance opportunities in the future, depending on schedules.  Watch for updates and let me know regarding your family’s interest.

Horizons High Presents in Fall 2011: Biblical Hebrew Level B

High School Hebrew - Beginning Biblical Level B*
Instructor: Nakiah Burnes   (

Ages 13+   (or younger with instructor permission)
Tuesdays, September 6 – October 25   (8 Weekly Meetings)
2:00-3:00 p.m.

*Intermediate Level Course to follow

Class Description:  During this 8 week course, students will learn to pronounce and write biblical Hebrew, and to read and translate basic sentences.  No required text or prerequisites.  Syllabus is as follows:

Week 1 – Introductions and alef through yud; first 10 letters
Week 2 – Kaph through Tav; learn the remaining letters
Week 3 – Review Alef beit
Week 4 – Quiz; New Vocabulary
Week 5 – Vocabulary Continued
Week 6 – Vocabulary Review; Introduction to basic grammar
Week 7 – Vocabulary Test; basic grammar instruction and review
Week 8 – Bible verse translation class project

Homework will be assigned every week and will contribute to overall grade

EXPECTATIONS:  Students are expected to: arrive on time with the materials supplied to them at the first class, work diligently and respectfully with others, participate in class, study at home as assigned, and have fun.
BUDDY SYSTEM: As with learning any language, the best way is by learning with another human being. Partners or groups of three should coordinate to study together outside of class on another day, at least one hour per week.

*FREE TUITION OPPORTUNITY:*  The instructor will swap up to 2 student tuitions for childcare of her two small children during class time (church nursery available)

Tuition Fee: $45 base price per student for 6-10 students
(discount will be applied with increased enrollment so TELL A FRIEND!)

Class Size Limit: 6-20 (minimum of 6 paying students required in order for class to move ahead)
Graded: A, B, C, D, F
Required supplies: Black/Blue pen and pack of colored pencils (not markers); all other materials included

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Classes Can Be Expected Through the Horizons Family CoOp?

Because this program relies on the gifts of participating parents, every semester offers a unique assortment of options. You may not be able to count of the same classes each semester, but there is always something new and exciting, offered by someone who has a passion for the subject.  However, popular subjects tend to be offered frequently and teachers like to take advantage of current events with specialized classes (for example, a class in American Government around election time).

Activities for our youngest groups (Sprouts 2-3’s and Scouts 4-6’s) typically involve age-appropriate songs, indoor or outdoor games, stories, crafts, and sometimes experiments. Our Explorers (6-9 yrs) enjoy 2 separate hours with a different unit study each hour. For example, it could be art or outdoor games 1st hour and a more focused academic unit study 2nd hour (like the Continents or Famous Explorers, for example). The Voyagers (9-early teen) get to CHOOSE from a minimum of 2 class options each hour. Subjects have included Photography, Cooking, General Science, the Civil War, Ancient Civilizations, Public Speaking, Guitar, Drama, American Government, AND MORE! There’s no end to what could be available.

Will Horizons Classes Fulfill Subject Requirements for the School Year?

Yes and no. The Family CoOp involves only 8 class meetings per semester and serves mainly as enrichment in support of material covered at home. Children receive an introduction to a variety of study topics and experience in a small group setting.

On the other hand, Horizons High classes address the more specific needs and requirements of older students. They are designed and presented by knowledgeable teachers with a particular curriculum requirement or elective in mind. Grades or an evaluation of the student is often provided by the instructor or can be determined by the parent.

How Does the CoOp Work?

Homeschoolers are very resourceful people and they are quite good at networking and collaborating. A co-op is one popular way that homeschoolers have found to successful joined forces with other families to present a certain subjects.  Usually, it involves a few families meeting regularly in their homes and sharing teaching responsibilities. It’s a wonderful way to get kids involved in some group activities and social time, and for parents to share the load.

The Horizons Family CoOp is the same thing only on a larger scale. In this case, many families come together to offer many subjects to a variety of ages. One parent from each family is required to contribute to the co-op in some way. This could be anything from nursery helper, assistant to a particular class, lead teacher, or parents’ lounge hostess. Each parent serves for only 1 hour during each 2-hour bi-weekly meetings. The other hour is spent enjoying valuable fellowship and relaxation time in the lounge with a cup of coffee (or tea) and some finger foods.

What Does it Cost to Participate in Horizons?

The Family CoOp utilizes the gifts of parents, so minimal fees are collected. There is a $10/family registration fee to help cover administrative and facilities costs. Then, a tuition of $25 per student (3 years and older) per semester. A family is only required to pay for up to 3 students - there is no charge for more children beyond the three. So, it’s never more than $75 per semester per family! A 10% discount is given to families who pay for the entire year in advance. Your tuition helps provide supplies for all age groups and there are rarely any additional costs (sometimes a teacher may ask students to bring a notebook from home).

The Horizons High classes are more intensive and instructors often charge a fee for their time and/or supplies. This fee varies based on the type of class, number of meetings, and supplies need - past classes have ranged from $35 to $50 per student and often include a sibling discount. Students may or may not be required to purchase (or borrow) a text or other book. All potential costs are disclosed ahead of time in the class description.

Horizons General Enrichment classes can be free or require an instructor/supply fee as well, so fees vary.  In the past they've ranged from free to $65 and often include a sibling discount. Facilities fees are handled by the instructor and may be built into the class fees, so the $10 registration fee does not apply. Additional materials are rarely required but will be disclosed ahead of time in the class descriptions.

What's the Difference Between the Family CoOp, Horizons High, and General Enrichment Classes?

The Horizons Family CoOp meets bi-weekly for eight 2-hour meetings each semester. A CoOp means that everyone contributes in some way - from nursery help to classroom aid to lead teacher.  And, this helps to keep the the "home" in homeschool, keeping families connected.  Parents volunteer to plan classes and activities for kids from preschool through Jr. High, serving for one of the hours and enjoying a time of support and fellowship during the other.  Parent participation allows for costs to be kept low, and, because of the unique experiences of each person, class options are rather ecclectic and beyond the typical. How about Music Appreciation with Great Composers? Or, International Cooking?  The best teachers are those who have an interest and passion for the subject they are teaching.

Horizons High classes are offered as more traditional classes by a single instructor for Jr. High and High School students. It is a drop off program and no parent participation is required (unless requested by the teacher). Subjects target the requirements of the upper grades and have included Introduction to Public Speaking and Literature Analysis.  Classes meet weekly or bi-weekly, as needed, and often include homework, tests, grading and/or evaluation of some sort.

Horizons General Enrichment classes are usually offered by a single teacher to a variety of ages. and they do not require parent participation. These classes vary and have included art classes and youth choir. They can meet weekly or bi-weekly, for a few weeks or an entire semester.  General Enrichment Classes can be offered during summer as well.  Therefore, these general enrichment classes can be attended by children outside of the homeschooling community.

How Is Horizons Different From Other Homeschool and Indpendent Study Programs?

These days, there are a great number of academic opportunities for homeschooling through various Independent Study and Charter programs. So, why choose Horizons Homeschool Ministry?

Well, we recognize that there are as many approaches to homeschooling as there are people who take that journey.  Horizons tries to address many different needs for many different people in three different ways: The Family Co-op, Horizons High Classes, and General Enrichment Classes. In all options, God is the head.

The Horizons Homeschool Ministry does not provide, require, or advocate any particular curriculum or approach. We do not offer any recordkeeping services, evaluation or testing. How families choose to home school and what materials they choose to use at home is completely in the hands of parents.

What we offer goes beyond basic academics - we minister to hearts as well as minds.  We recognize that Christ is included every aspect of life, including education. And, the benefits of fellowship experienced by kids AND parents in the Family Co-op has been absolutely priceless, giving families much needed support and encouragement on this challenging path.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

Is Horizons Like a Traditional School?

Well, we do offer an opportunity for students to work in a group with an instructor who is not their parent. In some cases, they may get to carry a lunchbox or a backpack. However, that is where the similarities end.

Horizons does not strive to imitate a school experience. Instead, Horizons programs like the Family Co-op assist families as they transition out of the traditional school mindset and into the homeschooling lifestyle. This happens quite naturally as seasoned veterans come alongside rookies, sharing their hard-earned wisdom, offering curriculum advice, and modeling strategies for a dealing with a multi-age learning environment.

Homeschooling parents AND kids are in need of support and encouragement. Here, children experience a safe, Christ-centered, parent supervised social environment where they can connect and build life-long friendships.