Some of our teachers began teaching online — not as a stopgap amid pandemic shutdowns — in the mid-1990s. Our faculty now includes some of our former students who, after four years of college and often advanced degrees, still consider our approach to classical education as rewarding and productive as any they know. Some online education may be a fill-in until something better comes along. Ours is not.
“Scholars Online offers more rigorous, more intellectually honest, better rounded, and more socially stimulating education than any of the universities I have attended as student or taught at as faculty.”
John Esposito, PhD
Study for mastery.
Not for grades.
Yes, we will give you a grade if you want or need one. But our goal is for the student — at whatever level — to achieve real mastery of the subject. Some of the students leaving Scholars Online for college classes have a level of mastery on a par with students entering graduate study in their fields. This obviously will give the student a strong push ahead in college — but more importantly a real grasp of the material for its own sake.
“These folks are amazing. The depth of reading, historical background, and knowledge they possess and impart to their students lasts a lifetime. If you’re a homeschooling parent or considering it, Dr. M’s literature classes are truly college-preparatory.”
Learn for life.
Not for school.
Our academic track record clearly shows that our students are prepared to continue with and excel in their studies. But more importantly, they are prepared to live an informed life dedicated to the search for truth. We welcome adults to our program; many have found that it gives them what their college experience has not.
“I can’t begin to share all that our kids have learned from Scholars Online....yes, they have learned to balance a full work load and manage their time wisely. They have learned to make notecards and study in new, efficient ways. They have learned to meet rigorous deadlines. More importantly, their professors are teaching them to think....REALLY think. They are learning to respectfully discuss opposing viewpoints, they are grappling with ideas that point to a higher purpose.”
Explore our course offerings for summer 2023 and fall 2024. We're adding new courses weekly.
Enrollment is now open for 2023 summer and 2023-2024 academic year sessions.
2023-2024 Summer and Academic Year Courses
Government Courses for 2023-2024
United States Government: the Constitution
Grades 11 and up
This course covers the history, content, and application of the US Constitution to political events. Students explore its historical background the problems its authors struggled to address. After examining the provisions of the Constitution used to establish the three branches of the US government, students study how individuals have interpreted and applied the Constitution to different events.
Experience Homer the way the Greeks did! Students read selections from Homer's Odyssey and gain facility in reading Greek as well as an appreciation for epic poetry and forms, the genius of Homer's story-telling, and the origin of themes used by subsequent writes from Vergil to Tolkien.
History, literature, and even current events require an understanding of political and physical geography. This short course covers the fundamentals of geography in all its branches, along with the discipline of mapmaking, and helps students gain familiarity with their world in a whirlwind tour of the seven continents. Students will be asked to share their favorite spot in a final presentation.
New students, and first or second year Latin students who need to master or review fundamentals work one-on-one in live sessions with a dedicated Latin instructor to identify issues and gain skill in reading and understanding Latin prose. Chat times are arranged with the teacher to meet student needs.
Students who want to learn Latin, starting at any level, but need to proceed at their own pace can work with our tutor, who will help them to build the skills they need to read Caesar, Cicero, and Augustine in the author's language.
Students who have mastered the basics of Latin syntax and grammar now reap the rewards of their previous studies by reading excerpts from legends, history, and even some of Cicero. Selections are chosen to help students develop fluency in reading ancient Latin. Live chats provide students with personalized feedback and discussion of literary forms and the historical context of the selections.
This course guides students through prose passages from Caesar’s stirring De Bello Gallico and the unsurpassed poetry of Vergil’s Aeneid (passages meet AP preparation requirements). Live chat sessions help students address individual issues, understand the background and historical context of the selections, and appreciate the subtlety of poetic and rhetorical forms.
Even young readers can learn to recogniuze that the way a story is told can influence how the reader understands it. Using short stories and tales, the instructor leads students in live discussions to help them learn how to recognize story structure and plot, the way narratives develop, and how characters are portrayed.
Join fellow enthusiasts in lively discussions of Tolkien's skill in world-building, use of language, and theology of subcreation, and learn how Tolkien's own life and work as philologist shaped Middle-earth.
The Thought Plickens: Learning to Think Critically
Grades 6 and up
Students in junior high are ready to develop close reading and critical thinking skills necessary for high school and college literature courses. Acting as literary detectives, students learn to identify plot themes, character development, narrative structure, and critical background information by reading children's classics from Little Women to Enders' Game.
Students gain an appreciation for the variety of literary genres by reading plays, poetry, and short works from around the world and from ancient Greece to modern Japan. Live discussion of each reading helps each student develop awareness of the craft of storytelling and practice using the tools of literary analysis.
Our students tell us this is their favorite literature course. This unique survey introduces students to the literature of ancient and medieval times and to both familiar and alien stories that shaped classical education. Live chat sessions provide the historical context of each reading and help the student identify recurring themes of heroism, mercy, and integrity.
Students encounter the classic works of English literature from the earliest survivals to the twentieth century, reading poetry, prose, and drama. Live discussion and teacher feedback help them realize how how themes, ideas, and techniques changed and developed along with the language itself.
Students exame the rich, varied, and occasionally quirky textures of American literature from colonial times to the late twentieth century. Live discussions with the teacher and the reflections of fellow students reveal the many strands of American literature, and help students gain critical awareness of how literature has shaped and still shapes our culture.
Our Senior English course is possibly the toughest literature course you'll ever take ...and one that will really prepare you for college. Students read and discuss themes, styles, and structions in a variety of challenging works including poetry, short stories, novels, and drama. Thirty written assignments stretch capacities and challenge assumptions, helping students grow and mature.
Students develop a logical system of thought by studying Euclidean and modern geometry using a variety of tools, including the traditional compass and straight-edge, origami, and modern computer graphics. Live chat sessions, hands-on demonstrations, and individual feedback from the teacher help students truly master the principles of geometry basic to advanced algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
Algebra II builds on concepts developed in Algebra I and geometry. Students investigate algebraic concepts and processes, then tackle formulas and symbolic representations employed in linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, and rational and irrational functions. Students meet three times weekly for live chat, hands-on demonstrations, and personal feedback from the instructor.
Students learn to integrate rigorous real world mathematical scenarios with technology as they study variables, complex wave patterns, and logistic functions using different tools. This course is designed to thoroughly ground students in the skills needed for further mathematical studies, including the challenge of calculus.
Logical reasoning is a fundamental skill for civil discourse and analysis of opposing views. Students study the philosophical questions raised as they examine the principles and methods of logical reasoning, and learn to distinguish between valid and invalid arguments and apply their discoveries to sophisticated reasoning challenges posed by the instructor and by recent Supreme Court opinions.
The Symposium is one of a series of Plato's dialogues that investigate the nature of an abstract idea, in this case, love in its many forms. Participants join in weekly live discussions on the background, philosophical tradition, and current implications of Plato's ideas.
Introduction to Programming with Scratch (Summer Course)
Grades 7 and up
Students of any age can learn the fundamentals concepts of programming, including conditional statements, loops, functions, and more, by designing their own animations and games in this hands-on course based on MIT's SCRATCH. During live chat sessions, the instructor guides students to develop short programs. Students share and review (and play) each other's games on the MIT platform.
Fundamental principles of modern science are explained as part of a human endeavor to understand the universe. Students learn scientific methods with hands-on labs and discover how we developed our theories on weather, astronomy, motion, plants and animals, engineering, human anatomy and physiology, and physics in this survey of scientific discoveries from ancient times to 1700.
Continuing the study of modern science as a human endeavor, students learn how scientists since 1600 developed explanations of chemical reactions, development of life on earth, atomic structure, relativity, electricity and magnetism, energy, genetics, ecology, and modern cosmology, master scientific methods with hands-on labs, and gain analytical skills to evaluate scientific claims.
The Chemical History of the Candle (Summer Course)
Grades 8 and up
Investigate the nature of flame, the composition of wax, the generation of gases, and the methods of science in this summer course based on Michael Faraday's ground-breaking 1861 lectures for children. Students perform the experiments Faraday used in his demonstrations and share their results, developing lab skills and learning how to analyze data and explain their observations clearly.
Starting with the fundamental concepts of living matter, students learn the principles of microbiology, genetics, evolution and diversity, physiology, anatomy, and ecology. Concepts are reinforced by hands-on lab work, discussion, and exams to prepare students for standardized tests and college-level courses in life sciences and medicine.
Using a college-level text, Astronomy describes the tools astronomers use to explore the universe, then provides a survey of our solar system, nearby stars, the Milky Way galaxy, and our universe. Live chats on current discoveries are supplemented with observation labs. This is a science option for students not yet ready for chemistry or physics, or seniors looking for one more science course.
This course covers the methods of chemical analysis and the models of atomic structure and electron configurations used to explain chemical reactions. Students participate live chat classes, complete weekly exercises, view demonstration videos, and perform hands-on labs to gain problem-solving skills in a range of applications and prepare for both standardized exams and college-level work.
Using mathematical, dimensional, and graphical analysis, students explore the fundamental concepts of classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics and master scientific methods with hands-on labs. Weekly exercises give students the opportunity to apply concepts to diverse situations and gain problem-solving skills for standard exams and college-level courses.
Sometimes we learn best when we play. In the Cursus Scriptorum course, students receive writing challenges and advance through increasingly difficult assignments as they gain skills. Students starting at any level can measure progress as they receive rankings based on the Roman Cursus Honorum.
This short but comprehensive summer course covers the basics of grammar and syntax focussing on those areas that plague writers the most: sentence structure, punctuation, noun-verb agreement, pronoun references, and misuse of similar terms. Students learn to improve their writing for all subjects with brief written exercises, class discussion, and personalized feedback.
In this course (taught continuously for over two decades), students develop their creative writing skills by telling the same story seven times in seven different formats, from very short narratives to newspaper articles. Teacher feedback and peer reviews help each student grow both as a writer, critic, and lover of literature.
How to Become a Precocious Student (Summer Course)
Grades 6 and up
Students at any level need to consciously develop study skills that help them learn and retain subject matter. This summer course covers making friends with the textbook, taking notes, deciphering graphs, memorizing facts, and studying for exams, as well as managing time and developing disciplined habits.
$50 credit awarded on completion toward fall full-year course.
Students develop a disciplined approach to writing the research paper, and learn how to bring imagination and analysis to bear on their chosen area to produce a complete research project. The course covers identifying and refining a feasible research topic; collecting, evaluating, and organizing material; keeping and citing bibliographic information, and writing to a standard research format.
We believe that everyone needs to learn how to participate in civil discourse to contribute fully to their communities. Students taking this summer course develop their ability to state and defend their positions clearly, with teacher feedback and peer reviews to help them grow as thoughtful, persuasive writers, addressing opposing points of view with attention to the truth and with charity.
Students learn to write clear, precise, convincing prose to meet both academic expectations and real-life situations. Instructor-led discussion guides them to identify and correct their own issues with grammar or syntax. Peer review exercises help them develop the ability to read their own work critically and revise it, and to provide constructive criticism to others with charity.
We believe that civil discourse is fundamental to the life of every community. This course offers students a chance to develop skills necessary to participate in discussions even when the topic is controversial, and to present their ideas clearly but with charity that invites attention and promotes the development of cooperation needed to address difficult issues. Students of all ages are welcome.
Add students to your account. (Adults are welcome!)
Select the courses you want for each student, explain each student's readiness and preparation for the course, and request enrollment from the instructor.
If you have questions about whether a course is right for you, you can contact any of our teachers by clicking on their names in course listings or on the Community Teachers Page, or consult with the advisors listed on our Support Page .
Scholars Online is fully accredited through the Middle States Accreditation Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.