Art Play Learn

Bowie, MD Area Secular Homeschool Tutorial!

Welcome!

Our tutorial is dedicated to building a community of homeschoolers who are interested in an education process that takes place in a neutral environment. People of all backgrounds and belief systems are welcome as long as we can all respect each other's right to be different.

Art Play Learn uses teaching strategies that are student-centered and active. Our programs are designed to foster a creative environment and encourage self-motivated learning. Programs include small and large group work and most are integrated in some way. These techniques provide a new perspective on core skills while delivering experiences in physical education, visual art education, music education, theater education and more. Students of differing academic levels can work cooperatively so that all students are benefitting from the process in their own way.

Due to our struggles with COVID, we have restructured our homeschool tutorial offerings for the fall. All of the offerings will be available as live, online courses. If it becomes possible for students local to Bowie, MD to meet safely, we will offer the opportunity to come to in-person classes to anyone who is comfortable and will continue to teach the same courses online as well to include anyone who is not local or who is not comfortable. Just before everything shut down officially, we expereimented with this model and feel confident that it will work well.

Whether via computer or in-person, we hope you'll join us!      Classes start the week of September 14th.

Offerings

Pre-Kindergarten Playtime
(Fall 2020 taught online)
Absolute Beginners! For little ones who are just getting started.
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Minimum Skills: ​                          
NONE  
                                                 
Price for 12 classes 
$150
Wednesdays, 10:00-10:30 & 11:00 -11:30
Suggested age range: 3-5
Taught by Amber Ba'th, Pre-K Teacher and Arts Integrator
Pre-Kindergarten Playtime will incorporate the best stuff from Ms. Amber's popular Interactive Drama Storytime, Music & Movement and Storytime and Dance Party drop-in classes into a curriculum that will get your child familiar with letter names and basic sounds, numbers up to 10, names and basic characteristic of shapes, names of colors and more. They will develop some social skills in the framework of live, online learning. Registered students will get priority reservations and discounts on socially distanced in-person events to do crafts and physical activities together outside our learning center. 
Emerging Academics
(Online w/ possibility of blended learning)
My first tutorial. For those still getting used to being away from home and those who need to build basic skills.
 Minimum Skills: 
  • Knows names and basic sounds of all letters
  • Knows the difference between a number and a letter
  • Can count to 10
Price for 12 classes: $220
Thursdays, 10-10:40am & 11:00- 11:40am
Suggested age range: 5-6
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Master Teacher
Our Emerging Academics class will include literacy skills, math thinking, scientific thinking, social and emotional skills, art and free play. We use songs, games, and hands-on activities to build basic academic skills in a warm, fun environment. Some American Sign Language, and Spanish will be incorporated.
Word Play
Words have both parts and functions. This class will focus on pulling apart the words to discover the ingredients that make up words and discover how words work together as ingredients to express thoughts. We will use games, puzzles and small group work to gain a visceral understanding of the way English works. Learn things like:
  • How to recognize spelling patterns and apply them to future writing
  • How to apply spelling patterns to reading new words
  • How to figure out what part of speech a word is functioning as within a sentence
  • How to think critically about language and problem solve
Don't miss this opportunity to learn skills linguists use to understand language and to apply to learning other languages effortlessly and efficiently.
Beyond Basics
For students who are ready to build on their basic skills.
Minimum Skills:
  • Can decode 3-letter words
  • Can write 3-letter words and use creative spelling to sound out longer, more complex words
  • Can add and subtract to 10
Price for 12 classes: $300
TBD 3, 40minute sessions
Recommended age range: 5-8
This series of online classes will include Word Play (English Mechanics), Moving Math, and Science/Social Studies.  All of the classes use games, small group work, movement, and/or art. 
Sophisticated Studies
For students who are ready to work with less coaching from the instructor.
 
Minimum Skills: 
  • Can decode words with vowel teams such as 'ea', 'ou', and silent 'e'
  • Can add and subtract numbers in the hundreds and higher
Price for 12 classes: $300
TBD, 3, 45-minute classes
Recommended age range: 8-10
This class will include Word Play (English Mechanics), Math Games, and Science/Social Studies. The classes will use games, small-group work, student-designed projects, movement and art.
Pre-teens Place
A place for pre-teens to extend their skills in a fun, collaborative environment.
(Online with possibility of blended learning)
 
Minimum Skills: 
  • Can read and write fluently
  • Can use all basic math functions
Price for 12 classes: $300
Tuesdays,10:00-10:50 & 11:00-11:50
Recommended age range: 10-12
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz & Dana Parker
This class will include Story Building (Creative Writing) and Grammar. The classes will use games, small-group work, student-designed projects, movement and art.

Join us for fun, small group classes in a positive environment.

Current Events

The African American Experience

Taught by Dana Parker

Minimum Required Skills

No experience needed

Price for 12 classes: $110

Wednesdays, 1:00-1:45

recommended age range  7- 12

In this class, we will gain an understanding of the experience of African Americans in America. We will cover the extraordinary contributions, the struggles of respect, racism and human rights, and the economic impact on the African American community. Gain an understanding of why the Black Lives Matter movement is in place and how you can be part of the solution. Everybody is welcome!

Foreign Languages

Spanish

Our Spanish classes are now taught by native speakers.

Beginner Spanish

Minimum Required Skills

No experience needed! 

Price for 12 classes: $150

Fridays, 10:00-10:55

recommended age range: 10-14

Students will learn basic Spanish skills such as introducing themselves and others, talking about how many (up to 10) and descriptions, such as colors.

 

Spanish 2

Minimum Required Skills

  •  Ask and answer simple questions about names, dates and times

  • Use numbers up to 10

  • Use describing words such as colors with appropriate agreement for gender and number

  • Conjugate some verbs in present tense

Price for 12 classes: $150 (Enrichment)

                                    $180 (Credit)

Fridays, 11:00-11:55

recommended age range: Teens

Students will learn how to conjugate verbs in preterite and imperfect tenses, practice using more describing words with agreement, expand vocabulary and become fluent in using numbers 11-100.

Spanish 3

Minimum Required Skills

  •  Conjugate verbs in present, preterite, present progressive and imperfect tenses

  • Use describing words with appropriate agreement for gender and number

  • Use numbers up to 100

Price for 12 classes: $220 (Enrichment)

                                    $250 (Credit)

Mondays, 9:30-11:00 

recommended age range: Teens

Students will work on using advanced language skills such as complex sentences, expanded vocabulary and conditional, future and perfect tenses to increase fluency in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. 

Japanese 
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Creator of seven 5-star levels of Japanese on a popular distance learning platform
Absolute Beginner Japanese
Minimum Required Skills
No experience needed!
 
Price for 12 classes: $220 (Elective)
                                    $250 (Credit)
Wednesdays, 10-11:25
recommended age range: teens
Students will learn to speak, understand, read and write Japanese. Material will include introducing oneself, asking information seeking questions and yes/no questions, and numbers from 0-9,999. Students will learn Romaji and Hiragana.
Intermediate Japanese
Minimum Required Skills
  • Read and write using Hiragana
  • Have some experience with Katakana
  • Be able to make, read and write in kanji numbers up to 9,999
  • Understand how to use the counters for age, money, months, days of the month, and time
  • Know how to ask basic information seeking questions and yes/no questions for like/dislike, wellness, dates, days of the week, times, and adverbs
  • Change verbs between the infinitive (~u form) and the neutral (~masu form) in the unfinished tense
 
Price for 12 classes: $220 (Elective)
                                    $250 (Credit)
Thursdays, 4:00-5:30
recommended age range: teens
Students will learn additional basic kanji, how to use describing words, new vocabulary for things and verbs and how to talk about family relationships.
Arts

Visual & Fine Arts

Graphic Arts

Minimum Required Skills

None

Price for 12 classes: $150

Wednesday, 11:00-12:00

recommended age range: 10-12

Taught by Dana Parker

Learn the basic principles of design including pattern, contrast, emphasis, balance, scale, harmony, and movement. Students will learn to discover their own personal design style while understanding type/font styles and color, Students will learn how to create a portfolio and have projects they can add to it.

Learn to Doodle

Minimum Required Skills

None

Price for 12 classes: $150

Tuesday, 1:00-2:00

Taught by Dana Parker

Do you know the benefits of doodling? A Harvard study has linked doodling with stress relief, problem-solving, and higher concentration. Learn the simple art of doodling and how to achieve organic, original drawings you can be proud of. Learn bubble writing, how to create mini characters (personification), how to think with your hands, and much more! Drawing has never been more fun and rewarding. No previous experience necessary. 

Music

Music

Minimum Required Skills

None

Price for 12 classes: $150

Wednesday, 12:00-1:00

recommended age range: 10-12

Taught by Dana Parker

Do you like making music and writing songs? Learn the basic concepts of rhythm, melody, song structure, and more in this class. Learn how to convert poetry into song lyrics and how to come up with concepts for lyrical content. Learn how to create melodies and harmonies (where appropriate), and learn how to make music for many different genres. Learn about DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and the basics of using them. Skills required are a basic understanding of musical concepts and vocabulary and able to "perform" for classmates.

Why active learning?

Learning happens when your brain decides that the information it has taken in is important enough to keep. Our brains evaluate and throw away multitudes of information all day, every day. Only information that is connected to strong pathways gets retained. The more connections information has to it the stronger the pathway. By engaging all of our senses and using our bodies while we are interacting with the knowledge we want to learn, we create multiple connections to it at once, greatly increasing the chance our brain will recognize it as important and keep it. New research shows that everybody needs to encounter information through all "learning styles" in order to create long term retrieval. Active learning gives us the opportunity not only to see, hear, and touch to create pathways to information but also automatically engages our brains in analyzing and synthesizing it- in other words putting it to use in real world situations. Active learning takes away the question "why do I need to know this?" because students are immersed in the why already.

How we're different

All of our classes put the students to work: creating, solving problems, collaborating and some times even competing (in a friendly way.) There is very little sitting - with the exception of drawing, but even there students are drawing rather than spending time writing or reading about drawing. Our environment is intentionally neutral, meaning that anybody should be able to come into our space, be welcomed, and seen for who they are. We separate academic learning from our religious beliefs so as to welcome people of all faiths and no faith, equally, and we expect everybody to respect each others' right to not have other peoples' religions hoisted upon them. We take the time to establish relationships with our families so that we can provide culturally sensitive programming.

small class sizes

active learning

experienced teachers

developmentally appropriate

student centered

fosters interaction with peers

Don't see the program you're looking for? Send us a request.
If there is enough interest, we'll create one!

FAQs

1. Are there discounts for siblings?

Unfortunately not. We strive to keep our classes as affordable for everybody as possible. That means that we don't have a wide margin that would allow these kinds of discounts, but there are discounts for signing up early and you can choose a payment plan to break it up over time.

2. Do we need to buy special supplies or curricula to participate?

For the most part, no. Everything is included. In order to join live, online class sessions, it is necessary that you have a computer that consistently connects to the internet, a microphone and a camera. You may be asked to provide your student with paper and something to write with.

3. Do I need to stay onsite during class?

Nope.  You are welcome to sit in the lobby and listen to and partially see class but your presence is not required.

4. Are these classes going to meet in-person?

Maybe. All classes are structured to be done live and online, however, we will be keeping flexible to adjust to the ever-changing demands of controlling the spread of COVID in our community. If the opportunity presents itself for us to meet safely in-person, we will. In that situation we will conduct the class as a blended class, online and in-person. Regardless of where you live, we will make sure you will be able to participate. 

5. What if we don't like the class? Can we get our money back?

Once a class begins, it is virtually impossible to replace a student who decides not to continue. We are not able to offer refunds for withdrawals. We have a lot of confidence that these classes will work for the majority of families and students.

6. Where is the tutorial located?

We are located in central Bowie near the corner of 197 and 450. An exact address will be sent to those who register and pay for classes if classes will be meeting in-person.

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