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Aim Academy 2015-2016 Registration OPEN

megaphone manRegistration is open for 2015–2016 Aim Academy classes. This is our 5th year offering classes aligned with AP®, CLEP®, and SAT®subject area tests. In years two and three, our enrollment grew 40%. Last year, we doubled in enrollment. We expect to do so once again. Our teachers are highly committed and responsive. We use the latest technology to support student learning, and we seriously enjoy working with kids.

We are pleased to have two new highly experienced English teachers joining us this year: Susan Spivey, and Beverly Graybill.  Beverly Graybill and Susan Spivey are veteran homeschool parents and longtime teachers at the local homeschool co-op where I (Debra) taught for 16 years. Both are beloved by their students and parents highly recommend their classes. Mrs. Graybill will head up our English classes for middle school students. And Mrs. Spivey is offering British Literature.

As always, AIM does not charge a registration fee. Tuition does not include texts, but teachers choose (whenever possible) materials that are widely available used. We are up-to-date with changes coming to the SAT in 2016. And we are deeply familiar with the latest versions of equivalency exams (AP or CLEP) so that our students are well prepared to sit for these exams by the end of high school. College credit for high school work—that’s our unique focus here at AIM. We want to help your students maximize their high school efforts, be more than college-ready by the end of 12th grade, and position themselves for academic success and scholarship consideration once they hit campus.

Find out more about Aim classes here.


Aim Academy: Second Semester Registration Is Open

Hi all,

We have nine classes open for second semester enrollment. If you find yourself floundering midyear, several of our teachers have organized their classes so entering midstream is possible. This is also a great way to experience Aim Academy at a reduced price. You can find out more about each course here. And our popular payment plan is available for second semester registrations, too.

1. Introduction to Literature and Academy Writing

2. Creative Writing

3. AP Literature

4. American History

5. World History

6. Spanish 1

7. Spanish 2

8. Intro to Chemistry and Physics

9. SAT Math Prep (winter session)


What Can You Expect from Aim Academy’s New Algebra 1 Class?

ostrich2-585x585This fall I (Kathryn Gomes) am teaching Algebra I for AIM Academy and one of the highlights of the class will feature Drexel University’s Problems of the Week.

Here is a sample of one of the pre-algebra problems…give it a try because doing some math in the middle of summer is good for you (or call over one of your kids and promise them an ice pop if they can get the answer before you.)

Raul and Esteban just started working at their uncle’s farm on the weekends. Their first task was to count the ostriches and llamas. When they reported to their uncle,

Raul said, “I counted 47 heads.” Esteban added, “I counted 122 legs.”

“How many are ostriches? How many are llamas?” asked their uncle.

“It’s getting dark and I promised your mother I’d get you home for dinner. There’s no time to count again. You’ll have to figure out how many ostriches and how many llamas there are from that information when you get home. Can you give me a call after dinner and let me know your answer?”

How did Raul and Esteban figure out how many ostriches and how many llamas there were?

Got your answer?  No giveaways here…you’ll just have to use the information in the problem to check your answer (because it is July and I know we’d all just scroll down to read it.)  But here is the best part.  It is not about getting the answer, but how did you get it?  Did you take a guess?  Make a table?  Write an equation?  Did you spend time trying to draw a llama or wondering why llama is spelled like that?  And if someone else in your family tried it too, did they do it the same way as you?

All of these questions open up the process of problem-solving which is a very personal thing.  Many students get completely stuck on word problems because they are focused on trying to remember how they are “supposed to start” instead of just following their intuition.  In the problem above they might spend 30 minutes trying to decide what x should represent when guess-and-check could get them to the answer with no problems.  Learning how to hone and sharpen your own problem-solving strategies is the real beauty of mathematics.

This Algebra 1 class is aligned with the new redesigned SAT math section. You can find out more here. Register for Kathryn Gomes’ Algebra 1 class here.

Find out more at Kathryn Gomes’ website.



Summertime and the learnin’ is easy…





by Joanna Breault, contributing writer


It’s May! If you’re like me, your mind is already swirling with swimsuit decisions, vacation dates, and daydreams about casting off the bonds of a school schedule. It’s time to stash the workbooks and pull out the sunscreen!


But hold on a minute—let’s not lose the precious ground we’ve gained. We have worked hard to make our homes a place where learning happens. Let’s not undo the good we’ve done. Here are five simple ways to make summertime rich in learning and rest.


First of all, learn to spot and nurture intellectual appetite. If you’re the kind who follows a structured curriculum without taking many detours, this may be an adjustment—but it’ll be fun and fruitful once you start, I promise.


It begins like this:

“I wonder how long it would take to fly an airplane to the sun…”

“Hey Mom, look at this tadpole I found!”

“Can I build a fort?”

“Do you think we’ll see a shark at the beach?”


These kinds of kid-comments are easy to foul off or answer quickly when there are math problems waiting. But during the summer months, rabbit trails turn into the important journeys.


Instead of giving a one-word answer, try starting with “what a great question!” Your enthusiasm conveys that curiosity is a worthy pursuit. Then, offer to google the quandary together. Hit the library or your own bookshelves. Find a video on YouTube. Casually throw out follow-up questions or ideas.


Make sure you don’t take over or make it feel like school. Come alongside to affirm your child’s interest, and enjoy the journey as a co-adventurer.


This hunting down of information, making connections, diving into related topics—this is the stuff of true intellectual engagement. If summertime is marked by the thrill of independent discovery, that means young minds are continuing to grow and develop.


Secondly, let them be bored. 


Yes, you read that right. Don’t underestimate the value of giving children big swaths of time in which to be bored—and then find things to learn and do. It has been said that boredom is intellectual appetite; don’t satiate that appetite with a constant stream of activities, lessons, and media.


Many parents are buying into the idea that rigorous education should continue throughout the summer and that every moment should be structured. But no differentiation during summer months gives diminishing returns—kind of like only doing sit-ups, day after day. Doing something new—but equally cognitively valuable—is like cross-training.


No, letting kids be bored is not for the faint of heart—but we mothers are of strong stock, aren’t we? Tell them “I’m bored” will result in a chore assignment. Period. It’s crazy how fast they become un-bored.


Next, make sure reading is a big piece of the summertime pie. Use summer to build a foundation of “reading as a pleasurable activity,” if it isn’t already.


Allow more latitude in their reading diet than you would during the school year. Let them binge on Hardy Boys or The Magic Tree House series without worrying about whether Charlotte Mason would consider it twaddle. If your kid prefers magazine or newspaper articles, procure age-appropriate journals and make them available. If there are certain books you’d like to see them explore, be sneaky and leave them on the coffee or breakfast table. You never know what will be thumbed through over a bowl of cereal or on a rainy day.


Math is an area where it’s good to maintain some basic ground. But this can be done easily through games—card games, strategy games, and anything where players have to keep track of scores (Rummy, Spades, Scrabble, etc). Review fractions and measurement by cooking or baking together. Quiz the kids on their times tables or addition facts during road trips. There are also oodles of websites with free math games (check out and to start). You don’t need to be militaristic about math review; just keep it on the radar and make sure you hit it from time to time.


Finally, just say no to electronic babysitting. Believe me, I know it’s tempting. They all sit so quietly and get along so well when riveted by something on a screen. But overindulging in media is a downward spiral. It retards cognitive development, reduces interest in mentally stimulating tasks, and stands in as a paltry substitute for truly enriching activities.


If you’ve gotten into a habit of keeping the kids occupied with computer games or movies, there will be howls of protest when you pull the plug. But they’ll adjust, and the dividends are worth it. Provide some art supplies or send them outside. Invite some friends over or plan a family activity. Yes, we all need downtime, but keep the screen time in check, using books and games as the go-to quiet time occupation.


Instead of banishing learning along with formal schooling, make intellectual growth a family companion this summer. It may be your best yet.

Want to Know More About Aim Academy? Check Out This Video.

We recorded the recent Aim Academy informational. Here it is:

Aim Academy Informational


Thanks to our science teacher, Mrs. Dincher for editing this. Both Mrs. Dincher and Mrs. Adkins (our French teacher) show attendees around their class websites–which is a good overview of how all teachers use Canvas, our learning management system. And Debra Bell gives an overview of the webinar tool all teachers use for live classes.