Being able to customize a student's academic plan is one of the advantages of home education, so most home educated students take all their courses a la carte, often from a variety of sources. The sequences of a la carte courses we describe are suggestions and recommendations only, and the core and elective courses we list here are available individually, so your student can take any or all of them to suit individual core course needs or to round out an existing program.
The popular Christian approach to "worldview" seminars and curriculums are not serving a generation that has direct access (information and social networking) to other worldviews and to the people that hold them. The traditional Christian approach to "worldviews" has generally been limited to evidential and logical apologetics discussions where Christians engage one another in hearty agreement without really understanding and engaging the other views. Though this approach is reassuring at the time, it is false assurance in the real world, where many Christian kids end up unable to apply their faith to their own lives, let alone offer it to others and defend it against sincere rational attack. Failing to engage other views accurately and respectfully leaves students ill-prepared for when they inevitably encounter the "real thing" outside the Christian classroom or discussion group.
TPS offers Worldview courses designed to meet a variety of needs at every level. For many, taking select courses one at a time will work best, and we list them below. For those who want a thorough curriculum that integrates history, literature, philosophy, and culture into a coherent curriculum, we would first like to draw your attention to Belhaven High Scholars.
Belhaven High Scholars is a two-year curriculum taught by Belhaven University that provides a seamless integration of history, literature, and Bible with a Christian worldview emphasis. This program is a thorough study of western civilization and worldviews, fulfilling 24 transferable college credits in history, literature, composition, philosophy, culture, and worldview. The program resources include media and resources developed by Belhaven's expert professors and staff. Students sharpen their biblical worldview as they study and critique the belief system of each culture while addressing inherent philosophical, political, and ethical issues. This unique approach teaches students the value of a Christian worldview for shaping a prosperous and healthy society, and helps students mature their own personal worldview based on the Bible. More information on Belhaven High Scholars...
Suggested Worldview courses or integrated programs This sequence allows a student to take all of the courses before graduation. Suggested grade levels and prior courses are generally not prerequisites, except for TPS Classical and Belhaven High Scholars.
The Potter's School has a coherent and comprehensive Grammar, Literature and Writing program. We will take your student from elementary grammar and writing, through literature analysis and essay writing in all genres and all levels, to polished top university level writing. Homeschool writing curriculums are plentiful, but even the best of them cover only the lower two-thirds of the TPS English program. To gain true excellence in writing, most students need a variety of gifted experienced live teachers to provide individual instruction and feedback. TPS offers you the best curriculum taught by experts at every level.
TPS Literature is not just book discussions and essays. We offer Literature at every level, and integrate significant Composition (essay writing) instruction into every Literature course. Furthermore, our Literature courses analyze not just books, but media of all types, including novels, movies, blogs, videos, and more.
Suggested Grammar, Composition and Literature Sequence
All of our English courses also teach analysis (Literature and other Media) and Composition. All of our early English courses teach Grammar.
Academic English as Foreign Language. Often students whose first language is not English desire to prepare for a national English exam, the TOEFL, or a high school or college program taught in English (e.g., a U.S. university, or an international university program, or even high school diploma from an English-speaking school). The Potter's School offers an English as a Foreign Language series of courses, taught by culturally sensitive teachers experienced with both EFL and academic English instruction. These courses are designed to take a student from conversational English to whatever goal he sets: national English exam, TOEFL, or even academic English proficiency sufficient to participate in mainstream academic courses (math, science, social studies, etc.) taught in English. More information...
Why take Math from TPS?
TPS teaches conceptual math. We teach inductive problem-solving, which for many students is more valuable than the math itself. Why is this important? Here are two perspectives: World Magazine article | TPS article.
TPS teaches math from a biblical worldview, as something created by God (here is an article, for those who are philosophically inclined).
TPS teaches math in two tracks, so we have math for diligent students of varying abilities.
Math and Physical Science oriented students can take the Honors track, to thoroughly prepare for Calculus and for college majors in Math, Physical Sciences, or Engineering.
Students who don't need or want the Honors Math take the Standard track, to prepare for Humanities or Social Science majors.
Students can switch tracks if they change their goals or interests.
TPS teaches math in a coherent sequence, from Elementary through College.
Every course prepares you thoroughly for the next course.
Grade 4 through College Calculus 1 and 2 (6 college credits).
College credit options for all majors: Quantitive Reasoning (3 credits) and College Algebra (3 credits) for Humanities majors (every college requires one or the other); Statistics (3 credits) for Social Science majors; Precalculus/Trigonometry (3 credits) and Calculus 1 and 2 (6 credits) for Math, Physical Science, and Engineering majors.
TPS Math courses feature not only highly-qualified teachers and hand-picked textbooks, but also rich on-line resources for self-study and extra help.
We choose each text based on content (scope, sequence, and rigor), not on publisher or politics.
Students studying Math at home generally want more than just a textbook. Many of our Math courses include integrated on-line resources (the same ones used by colleges).
Two of our courses -- Math Fundamentals 6 and Pre-Algebra -- use an *adaptive* learning system that customizes to each student, to individually address weak areas and lead every student to mastery of the necessary concepts. Nearly 100% of the students in TPS Pre-Algebra matriculate fully prepared for Algebra.
TPS offers a range of summer math preparation and review courses, to help new or struggling students ensure they are ready for the next school year.
For students coming into TPS Math from other programs, or for those students who want a stronger foundation for their next TPS Math course, we have summer math courses to prepare for each of our full-year math courses.
Many students need strengthening in Algebra skills, prior to taking Geometry, Algebra 2, or Chemistry, so we offer a TPS Summer Algebra Review that is ideal for this.
Suggested Math Sequences
Here is a diagram showing suggested math tracks for (1) students preparing for a math or science degree; (2) students preparing for a Social Science degree (Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Business, Nursing, etc.); (3) students preparing for a Humanities or Liberal Arts degree.
All of our math courses are available in a dedicated two-day format. We also offer a one-day-per-week option for some of our upper level math classes.
What do you need to consider when planning your science curriculum and choosing your science courses? What do colleges expect?
Most college admission processes require at least two years of a laboratory science in high school. Since Biology has no prerequisite, most students take Biology as one required science. Beyond that comes Chemistry (which requires a solid Algebra foundation), and then possibly Physics (which requires knowledge at least through basic Trig functions). Life Science and Physical Science are both great courses that help prepare junior high students for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
We offer science courses that combine thorough academic rigor and uncompromising biblical worldview.
Content. We bring you a more complete course, using other texts and materials to supplement the basic text. We stand firmly on a biblical worldview, but we include content to cover various perspectives thoroughly enough that students won't be surprised when they encounter knowledgeable and persuasive adherents of other perspectives and worldviews.
Labs and Lab Reports. One of the areas of science where homeschoolers are least prepared for college is experience with labs and formal lab reports. We design our courses to prepare a student for formal lab reports in college, through a progression of teaching and examples, evaluated drafts, and final reports that systematically increases student proficiency throughout the course.
Suggested Science Sequence Here is a diagram showing suggested science tracks for (1) students preparing for a Math/Science degree or medical degree or certification; (2) students preparing for a Humanities or Liberal Arts degree.
History, Government, Civics, Social Studies, and Social Sciences
The Potter's School teaches history from neither a secular revisionist nor a Christian revisionist approach. Rather, we study the people, events, ideologies, and movements as part of God's sovereign plan for individuals, peoples, and nations, worked through believers and unbelievers. We emphasize study of original source materials and often use secular texts, but we analyze all ideas, events and movements from a biblical worldview. Our History program is coherent and thorough, and a student who takes it start to finish will have unparalleled preparation for college and career. However, none of the courses are required as prerequisites for the others, and students can generally take them selectively and in any order.
Most college admission processes require two years of a foreign language in high school. Some colleges require that the language be a living spoken language, and others do not have that restriction. You should check with colleges you may be interested in, to understand their specific requirements.
The Potter's School offers the most academically thorough on-line live interactive foreign language courses available anywhere, and we are continually adding to our offerings. TPS currently offers French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.
Many of our language courses have optional Conversations Supplements, where your student can increase familiarity, fluency, and cultural awareness.
In many of our language courses (French, Spanish, German, Latin) we offer a Year 1A and Year 1B version, allowing the beginning student to take the first year of the language over two years, in a more relaxed pace to lay a more thorough foundation. Year 1A and Year 1B together fulfill the requirement for one year of a HS language, so students who take them can then go to Year 2 of that language. This is ideal for starting the language in grade 7, 8 or 9, because there is still plenty of time to complete Year 2 prior to college.
The Potter's School wants all its students to develop in their relationships with God, and in their academic and devotional Bible study skills. We offer our Bible courses at low cost and time requirements, to make them accessible to as many students as possible. It is our goal to help TPS students build, refine and apply Bible study skills throughout high school, in the midst of other studies.
Our Bible classes are academically and spiritually rich, and suitable for teens, parents or both. They include courses covering Bible background (history, culture), theology and doctrine, and biblical languages. They may generally be taken at any appropriate grade level, individually or in sequence. We have suggested some common sequences below.
We are also pleased to feature a new series of Logos Studies, each of which studies a particular book of the Bible while also teaching how to study the Bible, academically and devotionally. These courses are very low work over one semester for only $100, to make them accessible to busy students and families on a tight budget.
Suggested Bible Sequence This sequence allows a student to take all of the courses before graduation. Suggested grade levels and prior courses are generally not prerequisites.
TPS offers a solid (and growing) series of Music courses. These are all top-notch theory and practice courses, taught by talented experts. They may be taken in any sequence, and some are offered in alternating years.
Suggested Digital Graphics Art Sequence The Potter's School has a Digital Graphics Art program taught by a professional Graphics Artist for students who are pre-professional graphics artists or for talented enthusiastic hobbyists. Our art courses not only teach skills and help students build their portfolios, but they help students worship and reflect their Creator through creative Art.