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 for Homeschoolers

Class Descriptions

American History through Jazz & Blues

Listen to any music today – from Jay Z to Iggy Azalea – and chances are you will hear the influence of Jazz & Blues as it can be heard everywhere and has imprinted itself on the pages of history.This class will dive into this most American of musical genres and explore its connection to American history. 

 From Jim Crow to the Harlem renaissance, World Wars and the civil rights movement to today, Jazz and Blues have been the soundtrack to the history of the United States of America.  With a combination of in class listening sessions and live performances we will follow that journey and find how music and society not only complement but influence one another. 

 No previous knowledge of jazz or music theory is required.

This class will be led by Daniel Barnidge. He is a working composer and graduate of New School and Mannes Conservatory. Daniel has been teaching music and music history for over 10 years.


Without any prior experience in programming, students in this course explore the capabilities of HTML, CSS and Processing programming langue and software and through fun, interactive and relatable exercises, learn basic programming skills. Student learn to build their own websites and video games, and other impressive projects.


Both challenging AND fun, these chess classes are for all levels of students who are interested in chess  -  from those just being introduced to the game to serious competitors looking to sharpen skills for tournament competition - and everyone in between!

Each class will begin with a chess puzzle or problem solving lesson followed by time for games with other students and the teacher, and sometimes team-chess games will be incorporated as well. These classes will both emphasize formative skills in an engaging, fun environment as well as invite motivated, experienced students to learn together.  

Beginners learn:
-rules of chess and fundamental concepts such as check, checkmate and
stalemate and their continuous practice
-how to properly play the crucial first moves of a game
-elementary tactics such as fork and pin
-elementary endgames such as king and pawn versus king
-special moves such as castling, pawn promotion and en passant
-how to attack and checkmate the opponent's king by studying common
checkmating patterns
-and much more!

Intermediate/Advance students will enhance their development of openings, middle game, and end game, including learning:

-advanced tactics with all kinds of discovered attacks
-discovered checks and double checks
-how to checkmate the lonely king with two bishops
-more about basic endgame strategies such as the opposition
-advanced tactics of skewer, x-ray attack, back-rank weakness,
decoy, deflection and removing the defender
-a larger repertoire of the checkmating mating patterns
-how to checkmate in two moves puzzles to improve their visualization
and calculation skills
-checkmate in three moves
-and much more!

Sword Play and Games!

Like a physical game of chess!  Like a strategic game of tag!

Entertaining and enthralling, fencing provides a unique mix of physical, intellectual and emotional activity that is open to all ages, levels, shapes and sizes!

Fencing enhances overall development as it simultaneously channels student's energy, enhances coordination, equilibrium and agility, raises student’s consciousness of his or her own body/spatial awareness, self discipline, cognition, and is loads of fun! 

Teachers are fencing masters that herald from prestigious academies with the New York City area, most are award winning, some national champions, and all have years of teaching and/or coaching experience.

Descriptive Writing for TEENS 

How can you write one page about eating a cupcake?
What about a paragraph on a painting?
How do you describe your favorite song for a music blog?

We experience the world through our senses. Whether it’s sight, taste, smell, touch or hearing, we absorb and perceive our surroundings using our five senses. In this class we will learn how to  precisely and comprehensively express what we perceive using the written word.

We will use shared experiences (including field trips to bakeries, markets, galleries, etc) to write thoughtful, descriptive essays that will make students better writers but will also leave them looking at the world differently.

We study some of the great philosophers of different civilizations and learn how they approached the idea of ethics.  We discuss such notions as right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate behavior, life rules, moral codes and the freedom of choice.  Discussions will not draw conclusions but instead will  challenge students to think and
question - Are there universal moral principles that are right for all
persons at all times? What does it mean to realize your potential? Can
all persons be happy? Is there such a thing as universal "right" and "wrong"?  Is cheating ever o.k.?  Is it ever o.k. to lie? etc.

Students will learn the logic and strategy involved in taking the pro
and con of various subject matter, and gain confidence and
effectiveness in their ability to defend their beliefs.  Class will
include the study of some of the great debates of history.  A hopeful
offshoot of this course will be to create a Homeschool Debate Team
that will become involved in team debate competitions.

This a course will challenge the way each student thinks about the
world they live in and their role in creating the world of their
future. It will help them develop tools, skill sets and a life
philosophy that will greatly improve their outlook on life and their
participation in it.  The class will greatly enhance the student's ability to learn. It will help students develop skills and tools that will empower them to challenge themselves to expand their thirst for knowledge, and empower them to face life’s challenges with confidence and a positive self-awareness.

This class enhances student's critical thinking, and effectiveness
through exercises that explore:
-Conflict Resolution (such as confronting someone spreading rumors about you),
-Negotiation (situations like you are going to an event and you want
to stay later than your parent(s) have given you. Or, you are out with your friends. The group is trying to decide what to do next. You have an idea and you want to convince the group to go along with it)
-Communication (for example, you want to tell your friend about
his/her negative behavior and encourage him/her to change)
-and much more...

Students will learn to conquer their fear and improve their
self-esteem. Students will learn through writing speeches for various
occasions and speaking their own words before the group. They will
also present some of the greatest speeches of our time

This course is a combination of Building Blocks and Debate. Two
courses offered to students 12+

The Artful Art of Thought and Talk is designed for students 8 -12
years of age. The goal of this course is to give students a foundation for effective communication
and the fundamentals of critical thinking.  Students will be introduced to the subject through role play, group
discussions and guided talk.  Some areas of focus will be:

How to resolve conflict.
How to express themselves
How to think about the world around us
How other people and cultures view every day issues
How to manage time
How to negotiate

The skills students will learn during this course will enable them to
be more self-confident, self aware and
curious about their day-to-day life and their interactions with
others. It will also improve their self-confidence.



A year long survey of general science divided into 3-8 week units

An interdisciplinary unit study of Natural and Applied Sciences that will both explore the major branches of science including Physical Sciences (physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, etc) and Life Sciences (biology, botany, genetics, etc), as well as methods for gaining, practical applications of, and technological advances in scientific knowledge.


Through the process of investigating topical questions about how stuff works, where stuff comes from, or how we can interact with it, students will engage the scientific method while developing a fundamental knowledge for obtaining evidence to prove hypotheses as they are guided in daily hands-on entertaining and fun experiments.

Particular focus will be placed on current events (such as exploring the effects of the oil spill, and the environment), thermodynamics, crystals, solutions and emulsions, slime, goo and polymers, the elements, gyroscopes, inertia, electricity, fossils, plate movements, tectonic motion, geothermal activity, volcanism, gardening, dissection, microscope work including how to use coverstrips, making  slides, chemical stains, and etc.

DISCOVERING PROOF: Scientific Method and Lab Science in Everyday Use

The proof is in the science! 
Through the process of investigating everyday questions we all have about how stuff works, where stuff comes from, or how we can interact with it, students will be guided in hands-on entertaining and fun experiments while developing a fundamental knowledge for obtaining evidence to prove hypotheses.  In other words - scientific inquiry through implementation of the scientific method.

As well as developing skills for defining the steps of the scientific method - recognizing a problem,  forming a hypothesis,  designing an experiment,  testing the hypothesis and drawing conclusions - students will learn to apply scientific principles to a variety of situations, circumstances, or problems, and also explore how to use creative and deductive thinking to explain common experiences.

In addition to creating and analyzing our own hypotheses and experiments, we will also compare our research with the popular Discovery Channel show, Mythbusters, which will show the Scientific Method put to more extravagant, and often very funny, use.  

REPORT, INVESTIGATE, OR INVENT: Science Fair Project Class 

Get Ready to Display in May! Whether you need help with display/presentation, getting a project started, or with keeping your project on track, this class will provide a fun way to practice science while enjoying the science project experience!  

tudents can bring their project ideas, or get help choosing a topic
 - from aeronautics to zoology - and be supported as they brainstorm questions to test, develop hypotheses, experiment, gather data, and report results.  Students will ponder, tinker, measure, observe, make mistakes, try new things, and get the most out of the science process.  

All steps will be peer reviewed in class to assure that the Scientific Method can prove or sol
ve students' conclusions.  Each student who wants to will have an opportunity to display for the class, and awards will be presented by the teacher.  Of course, another great opportunity to display will be at
the NYCHEA Science Fair in May!

How to become a Successful Writer in College

This class will teach students how to write analytical, argument-driven essays that will “wow” their college professors! We will start by learning the basics. How do you strategize when writing an essay? What are the key components? What’s the difference between analysis and opinion? From there we will learn about structure.
What is your argument? What’s the most convincing way to present your argument? Students will learn how to prepare an outline and a thesis and present their evidence effectively. Once students have mastered the basics, they will use excerpts from literary and historical sources to craft strong essays that are incisive, thoughtful and powerful.

MATH: Test Prep, Tutoring and/of  for FUN!
Incorporating the Multi-Modality
philosophy of teaching mathematics through cross-conversations of the same concept, the class will address different ways students learn -  pictures for visual learners, hands-on for tactile
learners etc. -  in order to help each student discover and enhance their own best methods for approaching tests and equations.

Here's the teacher's animated video that illustrates this philosophy:



Photography is a fascinating art form, a fun hobby and a useful life skill. In this class, teens will explore both the art and technique ofphotography, viewing the work of photographers from different eras while we learn basic camera skills including exposure, composition, lighting and focus. We’ll have two class outings to captivating parks and gardens in the vicinity of The ROC, then return to the classroom to view and discuss our photographs. We’ll cover how best to upload and store photographs, and how to manipulate color, contrast, sharpness and framing on the computer. We’ll discuss the most effective ways to display photos on the web and in social media. We’ll learn to make stunning prints of our photographs, and how to mat, hang and prepare an exhibition as the class will culminate in a photoshow at The ROC to which family and friends will be invited.

Each student should bring to every class a DSLR or compact camera, or at minimum an iPhone or good quality camera phone.

ENCHANTED GATHERINGS: Nature Inspired Story, Song, Crafts and Movement for 
AGES 3-6

Enchanted Gatherings is a magical, Waldorf-inspired time for young children to enjoy some very special, nature-imbued and imagination-infused activities including poems and fingerplays, fairy tales and songs, dancing and drama (with the children taking part in creating different characters), and nature-inspired arts-and-crafts. Even more  exciting, the hour-long weekly gathering will be lead by a fantstic and frolicsome Elf! (yes, an elf!)

The class will celebrate seasons, festivals, and nature in a world of elves, fairies, forest children and gnomes. Arts and crafts will draw from nature for inspiration and will incorporate natural materials as well. We also expect some special guests from fairyland to visit the class from time to time (but that's a secret for the children!).

Each class will have a definite structure and order to it beginning with a circle time, but our hope is to be expansive and joyful and embrace giggles and excitement.

Literature Survey & Writing Technique

An integrated exploration of literature and writing in which students will be exposed to major forms of several different genres and styles.  In the first half of each 90 minute class, we will dissect a piece of classical or contemporary literature (short story, play, novel, essay, poetry, journal, biography, folklore, mythology, report, paper, etc) and analyze the language and literary concepts inherent in particular genres, and individual styles, as well as examine commonalities found throughout various styles, techniques and themes. Works by Shakespeare, Moliere, Orwell, Sandburg, Twain, Salinger, Seuss, Silverstein, Dahl, Riordan, Rowling, (Tolkien for older kids), L’Eangle and the like will be prominently featured.


Throughout the course there will also be opportunities to “perform” excerpts, and/or launch productions in class, which is the best way to retain, embody, comprehend and bring literature to life. 


In the second half of this class students will use critical reading skills honed/employed in the first half to decipher specific writing techniques used by famous authors for modeling as they produce their own original works. Students will be guided through the writing process from idea to the page, as needed, to effectively adhere to the rules of a specific genre being discussed, while simultaneously finding their own voices and harnessing their own styles.


The class will cover and/or review fundamentals of grammar (sentence structure, point of view, parts of speech, vocabulary, word etymology, etc.), and tools and techniques for poetry and creative writing (such as how to generate ideas, character & plot development, imagery, metaphor, simile, symbolism, foreshadowing, arks and adding dimension, etc), including strategies for writing reports, essays and papers (note taking, organizing ideas, prioritizing position points, making outlines, and etc.) 


This course will be a great motivator for students who hate writing, as well as benefit those who love writing and want to get better, and everyone in between.

Teen Film Class

This year the film class will review some key points of Film Noir and to discuss the progression of comedy from the beginning of film till the present.  Participants will be asked to consider what makes each film a comedy, what was seen as comedic in the time period and discuss if and how the notion of humor has changed over the decades.  After viewing each film, we will discuss it together each week.  Participants will be encouraged to write what they think about each film on their own time, but will not be required to write for the class and sharing their work is optional although welcomed.  All films will be either rated G, PG, PG-13 or an unrated film before the rating system. A full list of films  and topics to discuss can be provided if necessary.


School of ROC(K) and Science

An exploration of music through history, appreciation, and theory. Students will be exposed to several different genres and styles of music (from Classical to Medieval to Pop, from Asia to the Americas) and study various musical aspects/ elements such as composition, historical and cultural meanings, acoustics (science of sound), composers and artists, mechanics of instruments including voice, then use all this knowledge in the “Making a band” and “Making a Music Video" part of the unit.


The goal is to produce 2 or 3 quality Making the Band/Making the Music Video pieces over the course of the school year in which there will be roles for every participant including lights, sound, costumes, set, camera, cinematography, editor, director, artists, musicians, dancers, storyboard, script as well as musicians, singers and dancers.

Improv fun & games  

Using practical and professional acting techniques, Teacher Tom will guide students in an exploration of communication and self-expression.  These classes will be focused on heightening each student's awareness as well as how to tap into the pretending/imaginative side they all have.  Human beings have made far greater use of tools than any other species, and by learning how to make greater use one's own humanity - through seeing beyond themselves and their own perspective - students learn how to be better humans.

Acting class designed for performance in everyday life,
rather than just for performance on a stage...

"This class is not designed to teach children to be actors" (Although caution: this may happen :). "In my opinion, there are already too many actors in the world (myself included), but not enough open-minded people. This class will challenge self-centered youthfulness and perhaps be the key to stopping your children from fighting you or even their siblings.  No guarantees… except for the fun we will have!"      
-- Teacher Tom

Each class will start with physical and vocal warm-ups (very basic and funny).  Some classes will focus on acting techniques, some will feature explorations of nature, biology and psychology, and then we each will perform various daily activities such as Story Day, Mask Day, Silence Day, Super Hero Day and/or Pretend We Are Our Parents Day.  All classes will contain silliness, fun and laughter.
Kids coming together to make movies
The Studio and Acting Center will be led by Leo Lion, a child film-maker, who is eager to share his Movie-Mastering knowledge with the new generation of young Movie-Makers.

The MovieMaster Movie Studio and Acting Center will be working on the group project, in which all of the Movie Studio participants will come together and create a large professional movie production. All participants will choose what they want to work on most in this production, and everyone will have their own part in the creation of the

Serious, but FUN...
Our instructor will use a rapid-approach method for learning this difficult and rewarding language.  He said that this is far and away the best way to learn Latin, and has seen great success with the use of this method.


Initially, the emphasis will be on how language works in general, and specifically how English works.  Latin is then grafted onto these English structures.  Once comfort is achieved with the grammatical foundation, the students will transition into the La tin textbooks, and one other immersive approach book.  This text is entirely in Latin which allows the student to immediately start puzzling out the language, hearing how it sounds and breaking down the wall of incomprehension.

Course will include readings from plays in Latin, and making vocal recordings in Latin.

These chemistry classes serve as a foundation; as well, both it, and the teacher can function as support for students aspiring to take chemistry Regent's.  It is a lab class where there will be hands-on activity and/or experimentation at every class meeting, sometimes as the focus of the lesson, other times as an introductory or supplemental activity.

Based on consistent investigations of matter, chemical reactions, and the role of energy in those reactions, the class content will regard a wide array of chemistry topics including matter and change with separation of mixtures, and density experiments, atomic structure including subatomic and isotopes, periodic trends of ionization, electronegativity, atomic radius as well as bonding (ionic, covalent, metallic, nomenclature), organic and nuclear chemistry, and more.

No prerequisites required.  All materials are included

THE SOLAR SYSTEM: Introduction to Astronomy
This class will be about the universe and everything in it!  

From the planets and objects more close to home in our solar system, and stars in our galaxy, to the most distant galaxies that scientists have discovered. 

The nature of astronomical objects will be investigated as well as the physical processes that govern their formation, progression and interactions. We will explore history of theories in the the field, as well as most recent and interesting ideas in astronomy including the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. 

The purpose of this class is to teach the students about the universe and to encourage scientific thought and analytical thinking.  No previous knowledge about astronomy or mathematics required.  All materials are included.

It is never too early to teach children the basic principles of the way things work.  This course will introduce concepts of physics through the exploration of simple machines: levers, pulleys, wheels, and axles, as well as simple and complex gearing, and then add the concept of motorization.  Physics lessons will be followed by building each mechanism with a 9-volt motor which enables students to bring their projects to life. Through the building of realistic motorized models, students develop a strong understanding of mechanical principles.
Students will be applying simple-machine concepts by building models of real-world devices such as a folding lawn chair, drawbridge, conveyor belt, turnstile, crane, race car, and more.  
More advanced Simple Machine students can be introduced to the Lego Mindstorms NXT system, and guided through building and programming tasks and challenges.

Class, Club or Competition Team
With a wide selection of robots, everyone, even those who have taken this class before will be able to explore new aspects of, and enjoy new experiences with robot building.  
Building with these kits is the perfect way to introduce young children to screwdriver usage,
visualizing directions, problem solving, and basic mechanics.  For older kids, building with these kits offers the age/ability appropriate challenges with complicated constructing and various modes of robotic locomotion, and sensing.  
Mindstorms students will be provided with various challenges of building and programming to complete missions.  
Each class will include Weekly Robot Talk, Robot Building, Missions, Challenges, Games and Playtime with robots.  

for AGES 4 - 8

Friends and Fun, learning and playing together...
Our time will be one of cooperative learning that combine fun lessons, activities, free play and outdoor time for a well rounded experience.  Each meeting will include exploration of a wide variety of materials and activities with the goal of learning while having fun with friends for an extended time on a consistent weekly basis.

Examples of experiences include "writer's workshops," read alouds and sing alongs to delve into language arts; fun experiments, cooking, drawing, and tumbling on mats to probe scientific and mathematical concepts;  dance breaks, calisthenics, games and obstacle courses to expand motor and physical skills; circle time, show & tell, music, and painting to support and explore abstract concepts such as ethics, kindness, sharing,...........and much more.

Playschool ROC will be led by an enthusiastic and experienced teacher who's role will be that of a thoughtful and caring guide on the students' experiential journeys.

The ROC's Family CO-OP:
Parent run 2 day/week Co-op
for AGES 5-7

This group gives our kids a chance to play and learn regularly with the same group of friends in a big, beautiful, and familiar space. Scheduled on 10 week terms, the co-op emphasises full family participation, a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, including playground and field trip time, with a balance of parent guided activities (like hands-on science lessons, math games, arts & crafts, circle time, etc.) and free play (like trains or building with blocks, etc.).  We also have lunch time, often using one of The ROC's two wonderful kitchens to prepare some of our food together, and then we set a table and eat together.

JAPANESE, Beginner/Intermediate
This class will focus on conversation and daily life: introductions, household/everyday objects, going around town, pets and family life, hobbies, meals, addresses, and so on. 

Written Japanese will be introduced, and students will also learn fundamental vocabulary, grammar, as well as study the hiragana and katakana. verb forms, conjugate adjectives, and more.

Continuing Japanese for those who took the first class or have been studying on their own.  AGES 12+.  We will finish learning all the hiragana and katakana.  Again, focusing on conversation and useful topics, we will master the verb forms, conjugate adjectives, and add to vocabulary.  No new text is necessary. 2-3 hours homework/week.

Karen Keys has a bachelor's degree in international relations focusing on East Asia.  She lived and studied at Japanese University (ICU) for over a year and taught English at a business school.  Karen's teaching emphasizes social and group activities and variety in the classes' activities, as well as rigor.

AGES 12+
Many of our ideas about art and the artist were developed in the 1800s and continue to affect our views today. This class will examine music, art, and literature to illustrate the most important ideas of the period. We'll touch on the tail end of the previous Classical period for comparison. We will listen to excerpts from the well-known repertoire (Haydn, Beethoven, Schumann etc.),  read poetry and a novel of the period (probably Frankenstein), and I hope to organize a trip to the Metropolitan. This class will emphasize how to perceive the important ideas of time as they appear in various art forms, rather than memorizing names and dates. I will do some lecture but this class is heavily conversational and interactive. Other than reading, I don't plan to assign homework. If the students can enjoy themselves, enjoy some of these arts, and remember a few key ideas, then my goals for the class will be fulfilled.

I am a classically trained pianist and teacher. In addition to teaching private lessons, I have taught music appreciation to Homeschooling classes and to adults. Due to my background, music will be a large part of the class, but I love integrating multiple senses and ways of being in order to engage students and help them fully absorb key ideas. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

I love to help kids get excited about math and use it as another
language to describe their world. In these classes, we'll develop and
build on important, age-appropriate math concepts (number sense,
geometry, pre-algebra and statistics) through games, manipulatives, and other hands-on investigations. I'll also share some math history and culture.

Younger students will practice those crucial addition and subtraction facts by literally skipping on the number line, discover shapes and patterns in 2D and 3D, play with time and money, and more. We'll use pattern and attribute blocks, base-ten sets, Cuisenaire rods, and a lot of other fun stuff.

Older kids will talk about Really Big Numbers, build multiplication
skills with egg cartons, use geometric tools like compasses and protractors to examine angles and circles, pour and measure to find volume and area, and mull over probability while munching M & Ms.

Activities will be adjusted for a range of math familiarity, and we'll include time for individual, partner, and group learning experiences. Enjoy the rest of the summer - I'll be counting the days until math classes begin!

Fun and Games with Math
Basic arithmetic concepts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) are practiced and put to use in enjoyable applications, or in other words, using math for fun and games!

In this interdisciplinary class students will be able to explore questions such as: What are the odds that it will rain tomorrow or that a truck will be the next vehicle to pass?  Can geometry really help me shoot pool? What are my actual chances of winning the lottery? Connect 4?  Checkers?  Poker?  What is the math behind voting and becoming President?  
Is there a way to mathematically beat the banker in Deal
or No Deal?........

A multilevel math class in which Teacher Steven brings a wide range of material to each class, in which students can work on material designed specifically for them at a pace that is comfortable for them.  The course combines elements of arithmetic and geometry for the younger students, andvwill introduce elements of algebra (together with arithmetic and geometry) for suitably advanced students.Visual and/or physical methods will be used  to introduce concepts and calculations, and  worksheets -- these are often of a pictorial nature -- will be completed during class.In addition to the indivualized instruction received in each class, it is of great importance to Steven that  the class be fun for the each and every student.

Jewelry Making and Sewing classes
A series of classes in which students will study and enjoy hands-on experience of fashion, clothing, and accessory construction and design.  Many aspects of making clothing and accessories will be explored including measuring and fit, pattern, fabrics, tailoring, and conception of garment, combinations of line, proportion, color and texture.  Fieldtrips to fabric stores and/or the Garment Districts, plus the production of a fancy but fun fashion show are also goals.

Your own working sewing machine and experience with the sewing machine is required.  There is secure storage for each student to leave their machine for the duration of the session if they do not want to transport it back and forth to class each week. (There are also some machines already on-site that can be shared, but it is recommended each individual have their own).