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View Full Version : Opinions wanted for math/physics class offering



inmom
11-18-2012, 04:42 PM
Some background: I am a former physics and math teacher (10 years) and current tutor (14 years) in the same subjects. Now that my kids are older and more self-directed, I'm thinking of offering a high school level math or physics class to homeschoolers in my area. We have local co-ops, but either the focus is not one of regular class meetings or are highly religious in nature [ie. statement of faith].


What I am envisioning would consist of 3 hours a week (3x for 1 hour or 2x for 1.5 hours) with assignments, tests, and labs for physics. I would evaluate those and assign grades. I would choose texts that could be found at Abe Books or half.com to keep prices down. Class size would be 8 or fewer students.

My questions are:

1) Would YOUR family be interested in something like this if it were available?

2) What would you be willing to pay for a year course?

3) Has anyone else done this and have any advice?

Thanks is advance!

Carol

dbmamaz
11-18-2012, 04:52 PM
I dont want to outsource academics (PE and art, sure lol) but SO many parents want to outsource these 'hard' classes, I cant imagine you wont be able to find interested families. I actually paid something around 250 for a 12-week bio dissection class - which i felt was high, but i really did NOT want to do dissection. I did not feel it was entirely worth it, but i dont regret doing it. hope that helps some . ..

dragonfly
11-18-2012, 05:29 PM
1. Yes, probably.

2. That depends a bit--Would it be considered a full class, and would you be offering some kind of grades or transcript at the end--something that could go into a portfolio and would look good to colleges? If so, then I'd probably consider up to around 300-400 per year (that's about what places like Keystone charge per course). If it were a supplemental course to whatever the kids are already doing at home, then maybe half that, just because I would probably have purchased a home course too. Also, are materials included, or would you expect students to purchase some supplies?

3. Not I, sorry.

Wish I lived closer to you!

inmom
11-18-2012, 05:38 PM
2. That depends a bit--Would it be considered a full class, and would you be offering some kind of grades or transcript at the end--something that could go into a portfolio and would look good to colleges? .... Also, are materials included, or would you expect students to purchase some supplies?

It would be a full course--September to late May. I could make an end-of-course document that showed homework (lab) grades, test grades, overall grades. Attached could be a course description, including texts used.

Text would be the student's cost. However, using Abe Books, for example, can allow one to purchase slightly older editions for $5 or less. (After all, algebra in 2005 is the same algebra as in 2012!) The physics materials would be provided by me. I would probably charge slightly more (~$30/kid) for that course to cover equipment and lab handouts printing cost.

Thanks for the input so far!

dbmamaz
11-18-2012, 06:12 PM
you can also check out ck12 flexbooks to see if there is a free book there you can use - you can even customize the books and share them with your students

farrarwilliams
11-18-2012, 06:39 PM
We're not at that stage yet, but down the road, yes, I would.

One suggestion I have would be to start out by offering it as a two half year courses - I think a lot of people would be more willing to try it out that way and you could build up a reputation.

inmom
11-18-2012, 07:32 PM
you can also check out ck12 flexbooks to see if there is a free book there you can use - you can even customize the books and share them with your students


Thanks. I had forgetten about ck12...lost in all the other bookmarks on my laptop!

WindSong
11-19-2012, 09:58 AM
Yes, I would definitely be interested in this kind of opportunity! There is nothing like this available where I live, so I have no experience with this. It does seem to me that two 1.5 hour classes would allow more time for students to engage with the topic, especially during a lab. But I guess that depends more on the students' availability. I would be willing to pay about $400 for the year.

This sounds fantastic, Carol! Good luck!

CatInTheSun
11-19-2012, 11:43 AM
You might consider setting up the course as a set of units (maybe, maybe half-term in length (so 5-9 weeks in length) focussed on discrete topics like electromagnetism, Newtons Laws. It might be easier to attract people starting out to try out a subject with less financial/time commitment. Also, if a topic has lots of interest, you could add an extra "section" to the class (if you were interested). You might be able to list the classes in the local community offerings at the rec center, which would give it a lot more exposure as well. Of course, might end up drawing some kids struggling in the ps system wanting/needing another view on the topics (which could be good or bad, depending on what you want).

I guess it depends on how many students you feel you have lined up right now from your tutoring, local demand, and what it takes to make it worthwhile for you. Best of luck!

hockeymom
11-19-2012, 01:41 PM
I would definitely be interested, when we get to the middle/high school levels. I like Farrar's suggestion of offering semester long courses instead of yearly, if possible. I would think that offering a formal transcript for the course would also be attractive to many homeschoolers and for those who need/want the added assurance.

Good luck to you!