Sensational Senses (Fall)

From: $85.00 / month for 3 months

Grades: 4th–8th

Live class: Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST

Course dates: August 26th-October 11th

Price: $225

Instructor: Dr. Karen Joseph


Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Dr. Karen Joseph

Our senses are SENSATIONAL!  They help us collect information about the world around us, as well as about ourselves.  In this 7 week mini-course, we will use lots of hands-on activities, experiments, video, audio and text lessons, fun facts, frequent learning checks, games and more to learn about the five senses.  We will learn about the structure of the eye, and how it works with the brain to help us see.  We will become familiar with the internal and external structures of the ears and nose, and learn how they help us hear, stay balanced and smell things.  We will learn about the many structures throughout the body that help us feel the things we come into contact with.  And we will learn about taste buds, so come to class with an appetite!

Course Structure

A typical Sensational Senses week will include a live class at 11am EST on Wednesday. In this class, we review content from the previous week using review questions and games, and we go over anything for which students need additional support. Although it is always best if students attend the live classes, I will post the recording of the class so that students who can’t attend can watch later. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays focus on new content. Students read the lesson, listen to audio, watch any videos, and do some experiments and activities or watch videos of the experiments and activities. I use a lot of audio and video recordings to help students learn the correct pronunciation of new terms as well as to reinforce content. Most lessons end with a learning check to see how well the student understood the content. Students should try to do as many of the experiments/activities as possible, since science is best learned by doing. Most students report spending about 30 minutes per day on the lessons.

Week 1 – Introduction to the nervous system and the senses

Weeks  2 – Vision:  Structure and function of the eyeball and structures around the eyeball

Week 3 – Sense of Hearing:  Structure and function of the inside and outside of the ear

Week 4- Sense of Smell:  Structure and function of the inside and outside of the nose

Week 5 – Sense of Taste:  Structure and function of the sense organs associated with taste

Week 6 – Sense of Touch:  Structure and function of the sense organs associated with touch

Week 7 – Putting it All Together – Balance, animal senses and how our senses work together

Who should enroll?

This course is for all students in grades 4 – 8 who are curious, like active, hands-on learning, and want to know more about the ways they sense and interact with the world.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

I use “learning checks” at the end of most lessons to assure both the student and the teacher that students understand the concepts presented in the lessons. Many of the learning checks are automatically graded by the computer. For the essay questions and projects, I generally grade every day, sending feedback to the students to help them understand questions they may have missed.


I welcome any and all communication from students and parents. I want to partner with you in your student’s education, so if at any time you have questions or concerns, my virtual door is open.


Required Texts

No book is needed for this course.  Instruction will be provided in lessons that include text, audio and pre-recorded video content and weekly live classes.  Most materials for experiments are things from around the house, but the cost of additional materials will range from $10 – $40.  A weekly materials list will be provided at the beginning of the course.


  1. A.N.

    Dr. Joseph congratulates you when you succeed and helps you to understand when you don’t. Dr. Joseph cares about each of her students and is open to discussions about things we agree or disagree on. Dr Joseph is willing, helpful, and kind-hearted.

  2. S.P.

    Dr. Joseph has helped me improve as a student by asking insightful questions. She asks questions that make you apply what you have just learned to real life situations and her questions make you think through what you have learned. When she teaches she doesn’t just give lectures. Instead she has interesting projects, she explains everything thoroughly, makes connections, and even videotapes herself performing lab experiments. She has opened my eyes to the world of the human body. Through her teaching I’m realizing that the human body is very complex and intricate. This realization has brought me to an appreciation for how our bodies function.

  3. P.S.

    Dr. Joseph is my human anatomy and physiology teacher, and I honestly have to say that it is one of my favorite classes. I have learned so much, and I continue to learn from her lessons each day. Her teaching abilities are great, and the style she uses makes me understand the lesson. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t walk around the house stating “did you know” facts that I learned in her class. She brings a completely new meaning to “you learn something new everyday.” She has made a huge difference in my life. I think the main reason I like this class is because of who she is. Anyone can teach me the exact same lessons. But she makes me want to learn those lessons and want to explore them on my own. You may not want to learn, but I guarantee that Dr. Joseph will teach you in a way that you have not seen before.

  4. T.H.

    Dr. Joseph is one of the better teachers I have had this year. She was very thorough with her lessons and she knows what she’s talking about. She always tries to include humor in her lessons. She’s very responsive to what we have to say or if we have any concerns. She was just an all-around good teacher.

  5. A.G.

    Dr. Joseph always encourages me and tells me what I’m doing well. I started school late and had to make up a lot of work. Because of her encouraging me and always telling me to do my best, I got everything completed and was caught up with my class in less than 2 weeks. She shows us lots of videos that are found online or she will make videos for experiments. She also had us do a lot of creative activities.

  6. K.W.

    Dr. Joseph has made learning such a fun and enjoyable experience for me this year. She uses her creativity to make the lessons more understandable and fun. I am really enjoying her class this year! She makes videos of experiments she’s performed, she uses pictures and diagrams to give us a visual of what she’s teaching, and she is always there and willing to help.

  7. A. K.

    Dr. Joseph has helped me improve as a student by making her lessons very interesting and always being open to questions. She makes science come alive she always encourages me to think. She says questions lead to learning, so I should never stop questioning. When we had a lesson where the book contradicted the popular thought about something, Dr. Joseph went way above and beyond to research this topic and explain to me all the myriad complexities of the issue. It was fascinating. I really appreciated her effort. Not many teachers would have gone so far to satisfy the curiosity of one student.

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Instructor Bio

Dr. Karen Joseph

See Reviews of Dr. Karen Joseph

Dr. Karen Joseph earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic. After working for several years, she began homeschooling her 3 children in 1989.  As a homeschooling mom, she has taught every subject at every grade level, but her favorite subject is science!  She taught science classes, ranging from Middle School Life Science and Earth Science to High School Biology to Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology at a Pennsylvania Public Cyber Charter School for 12 years. She was the recipient of the 2009 Pennsylvania Charter School Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Joseph believes that science should be fun, and she works to create classes that have a strong hands-on component, and that will ignite in her students a passion to know more about the wonderful world they live in.

All classes taught by Dr. Karen Joseph