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Art Play Learn

Bowie, MD Area Secular Homeschool Tutorial!


Our tutorial is dedicated to building a community of homeschoolers in and around Bowie, MD 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.

Our parent volunteer policy has changed. Please click on the button near the bottom of the page for details.

Emerging Academics
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
  • Is potty trained
Tuesdays, 9:00am-12:00pm
Suggested age range: 3-6
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Master Teacher
Our Emerging Academics class used to be called PreK-Kindergarten Educational Playtime. It is a 3-hour, drop off program that 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.
Our next session
starts the week of January 6, 2020!
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
Thursdays, 9:30am - 12:30pm
Recommended age range: 5-8
This class is a 3-hour, drop-off program that will include Word Play (English Mechanics), Social Studies, and Science. We will embed math thinking, music appreciation, foreign languages and social and emotional skills in the above main topics. All of the classes use games, small group work, movement, and/or art. 

Word Play

Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Master Teacher

Reading and writing skills can be broken down to simple problem solving and presented in a systematic format. Linguists break down languages into these building blocks and use them to acquire new languages effectively and efficiently. This class uses games, puzzles and blocks (literally) to create an environment in which students can discover the basic elements of written language for themselves. Learn things like:

  • intermediate to advanced phonics, leading to increased spelling capabilities

  • names and characteristics for categories of grammatical functions and which words fit in each one

  • how to apply spelling patterns to decoding new words

  • how to use basic punctuation.

This class turns what can often be a boring topic into a series of fun activities that promote social interaction.

Social Studies

Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Master Teacher

This class will dig into different occupations, the skills they use day-to-day, and the kinds of qualifications necessary to be able to pursue a career in that Industry. Students will get to practice doing basic research, asking questions, and creating their own art project that expresses their understanding of each occupation. Guests will visit the classes to give students the opportunity to meet people doing each job. Learn things like:

  • How to ask relevant questions

  • How different personal strengths can be applied to a career path

  • How academic skills apply to the real world

This class gives students opportunities to encounter information about the world they live in with an immersive, self-motivated learning process.


Teacher: Dana Parker, Electrical Engineer

What's more exciting than discovering how the physical world works? Not much. This class will use hands-on experiments using objects many students will find around their houses to learn about the basics of the scientific method. Learn things like:

  • How to ask questions

  • How to make educated guesses based on what you already know

  • How to make objective observations, such as various kinds of measurements

  • How to keep organized documentation of observations

  • How to compare your observations to your guesses 

  • How to communicated your findings to others

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about physics, chemistry and (potentially) biology by working with your peers to make discoveries.

Sophisticated Studies
For students who don't want to be in the "baby class" and 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 numbers in the hundreds and higher
Wednesdays, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Recommended age range: 8-10
This class is a 3-hour, drop-off program that will include Word Play (English Mechanics), a Social Studies- Non-fiction Writing integration, and Science. We will embed math thinking, music appreciation, foreign languages and social and emotional skills in the above topics. The classes will use games, small-group work, student-designed projects, movement and art.
Word Play
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Master Teacher
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.
Social Studies
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Master Teacher
This exciting class will focus on learning about various world cultures. Students will be put in the driver's seat of the learning process as interviewers of guests who can talk from first hand experience about countries outside of the United States. Learn things like:
  • How to talk respectfully about cultural differences
  • Ask relevant questions to elicit details necessary to gain a deeper understanding of a topic
  • Where other countries are in relation to the United States
  • Differences in how people live daily life based of their environment
  • Words in different languages spoken around the world
Join us for a self-motivated learning experience that will strengthen social and emotional skills while learning about the world we live in.


Taught by Dana Parker, Electrical Engineer

An engineer is someone who solves problems, and problem-solving is at the heart of all technology. In this exciting STEM class, students dive into the world of engineering and learn how to invent their own technologies. Learn things like:


  • How to build and use an inventors box

  • How to create simple circuits

  • How to think like a programmer

  • How to do simple coding that relates to most languages (C, C++, Java, Python, etc.)

  • How to break big problems into small problems

  • Simple robotics

  • Electrical engineering principles


This class will teach students how to think critically and solve simple problems, and then relate them to larger problems. Students also learn about the process of problem-solving and how it relates to inventing new technologies. With hands-on activities and a look at several engineering careers, this class stimulates a love of creativity merged with technology.

Pre-teens Talk
Minimum Skills:
  • Can read and write fluently
  • Can add, subtract, multiply and divide integers
Recommended age range: 10-12
Mondays, 9:30 am- 11:00 am
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Master Teacher, Professional Actor & Video Producer
This class is 90-minute drop-off program. It is a TV production integration where students will design a non-fiction talk show, research topics, write questions, serve as topic experts, design graphics, write theme songs, and create videos. Students have the choice of being on-camera or production crew. There is something for every personality and comfort level. Videos will be shared with parents at the conclusion of the course and, if possible, along the way. Topics can range from science-based, social studies-based, or reporting on books, art, music and more. For planning purposes, you will be asked to declare your topic area (science, social studies, art etc) upon enrollment. It is your choice whether you choose the area for your student or you allow them to choose. The sessions may be taught by more than one teacher, depending on the topics chosen by the enrolled students. For example, if we are doing research on Marine Life, we may bring in a Marine Biologist to guide the exploration but if we are reporting on visual art, a professional artist may assist us. *** This class may require you to bring a laptop.
Teen Classes
All Teen classes are drop-off classes. Strategies include games, small group work, music, role playing and more. 
Recommended age range: 12-18
Beginner Japanese (for credit/elective)
Thursdays: 4:00-5:30 pm
Taught by Meredith Kaunitz, Creator of seven 5-star levels of Japanese on a popular distance learning platform
This is the follow up from Absolute Beginner Japanese. To be successful in this class, students should have taken Absolute Beginner Japanese or should:
  • know how to read and write romaji,
  • have studied hiragana,
  • know how to ask and answer basic questions using 'desu'
  • and count to 999.
The class will continue to develop conversation skills, add grammatical patterns and vocabulary, and will begin studying katakana. This student-centered class uses games, songs, role play and small group work to acquire language skills effectively and efficiently. Students should expect to spend about 1 hour per week practicing outside of class, especially if they are taking the class for credit.
Electives and Life Skills
"After-school" Beginner Spanish 
Recommended age range: 5-10
Wednesdays 4:00-4:45 pm
Taught by Dana Parker
This class uses games, music and movement-based activities to build your child's Spanish conversation skills. 
Pre/early-teen Beginner Spanish
Recommended age range: 11-13
Wednesdays 5:00pm-5:45pm
Taught by Dana Parker
This class uses games, music and movement-based activities to build your older child's Spanish conversation skills. Students' levels will be assessed and matched so your student does not have to be an "absolute beginner."
Kiddie Fit
Recommended age range:  3-5
Thursdays 1:30-2:30
Taught by Candise Jordan, Certified SDTS Self Defense Instructor and Personal Trainer
This fun-filled class brings fitness to a whole new level. Using balls, hoops, chutes and more, children will get a heart healthy workout in a stress-free class. Kids will build self-confidence, socialization, coordination, balance, language and cognitive development.
Safe Kids
Recommended age range: 5-12
Thursdays 3:00-3:45
Taught by Candise Jordan, Certified SDTS Self Defense Instructor and Personal Trainer

SAFE Kids is a fun and interactive Self Defense course for children 5-12 years old. The goal is to teach them about safety while empowering them, NOT scaring them. They will learn through games and practice sessions including situational awareness, stranger danger, inappropriate touch, bullying, effective striking, vehicle abductions, kidnapping defenses, 911 drills and more.

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


8 Week Mini-Semester

Special Subject Class

Japanese, Spanish, Safe Kiddies, Kiddie Fit, Pre-teens Talk, Emerging Academics



 3- hour, 3 subject

Beyond Basics, Sophisticated Studies


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!


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. Certain classes may require you to bring equipment and will note that in the class description.

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. Can we participate if we do not live in Bowie?


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.