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Saturday, April 14, 2012

American Heritage School–Home and Distance Elementary Courses - Review

American Heritage School

American Heritage School is an LDS based private school that was established in 1970.  They aim to strengthen the faith of it’s students by helping them see the hand of God in all subjects.  It includes grades K-12.  Recently, they have started to branch out into the homeschool and distance learning communities in the Elementary Years (they already have play higher grade curriculums for distance learning), and I was fortunate enough to be able to preview their Kindergarten Science and Art classes.  I wanted to share with you my thoughts about them, as it may be something that you are looking for.

These courses are not ‘online’ per say, they are taught primarily by the parent.  A teacher is available for assistance, should the need arises.  The coursework is online in a slideshow format (similar to powerpoint) but uses Java, make sure whichever device you plan to use with this software is Java compatible (my ereader Android device, was not).   But you can also order a written text for an extra fee (of about $15), this text comes spiral bound, in black and white, and is basically just the print off of the slides online.   It is worth the money if you prefer to have a hard copy (though I do wish it was in color or that they had a pdf option).

The SCIENCE curriculum covers a wide range of science material, very appropriate for kindergarten.  You cover the basics of biology/life science, chemistry, earth science, astronomy and physics.  No other supplies are included in the course fee, but a list of necessary supplies is included, many of which are common household items, other suggested items have links provided of where to purchase (ie. a Butterfly Kit from InsectLore).  Each lesson includes a scripture from one of the four standard works for memorization, a lab activity, and some lessons include other suggested reading material.  It’s a very comprehensive Kindergarten program, in my professional and home schooling opinion.  It would be especially great for someone who is not very confident in science, and wants a program that is laid out for them, or for someone who wants a bit more accountability.  It’s also great for someone who is looking for a Christian based science program, but would prefer the program to be based on LDS beliefs/scripture. 

The science program also includes use of a science notebook, to store the labs and other work they do for the course.  There is a great blog post HERE about the notebooks and how to use them. 

The ART curriculum is seasonally based (so the monthly projects correspond with the seasons/holidays of that month), this could prove difficult if you do not run on a normal school year, but could easily be adapted to fit your schedule.  This program too uses a notebook system.  It also incorporates math, with a monthly calendar project.  Like the science program, no other materials are provided, but a list of suggested supplies is included.  Art lessons include scripture and cover basic art techniques like mixing colors, and various forms of art, such as paint, cut and glue paper projects, clay and art appreciation/history.

You can see an example of one of the art history lessons HERE

I think the art program is well rounded, including a wide variety of projects, I love that it includes art history/appreciation.  This would be a great program for someone not sure what do with Art, someone who may not be very artistic themselves, or someone who just wants a little more guidance or LDS influence in their art program.

If you’d like more information on the Homeschool and Distance Learning Program from American Heritage visit their website.  They do not have a large selection of courses at the Elementary Level at this point, but there are some, and hopefully more to come! 

Originally posted at Latter-day Homeschooling Blog on 4/13/12

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