Veritas In Academia

Serving homeschoolers through Catholic tutors.

VIA Class Descriptions for Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

Younger Students



Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 1 (ages 3-6)

Tutor: Terese Weber

Course Description: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a multi-year Montessori-based Catholic faith formation program where children can grow in their relationship with God through a deep engagement in Scripture and liturgy. CGS is based on the belief that God and the child are already in relationship. Our work as adults is to provide a place for the child and God to come together and grow. This place or atrium is a specially prepared room where children can come to know Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The atrium is prepared with materials that children work with as a way of meditating upon the essentials of our faith found in Scripture and in liturgy.



A Children's House (ages 3-6)

Tutor: Terese Weber

Course Description: The Montessori Children’s House is a mixed age environment specifically designed to help children between the ages of 3 to 6 years to develop at their own pace, choosing their own activities from the Montessori materials which are displayed in an ordered and accessible way. Children work individually, or in groups, with hands-on activities which are designed to help them develop physically, socially and intellectually. Each activity is complete in itself and also prepares for later activities so that the children move from one activity to the next. Children develop the ability to concentrate, work on eye-hand coordination, discover order, and develop independence.



Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 2 (ages 6-9)

Tutor: Terese Weber

Course Description: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level Two is a multi-year Montessori-based Catholic Faith Formation program for children ages 6-9 years old. The True Vine is at the heart of this level, whereas, the Good Shepherd was at the heart of the Level I atrium. At this level children continue to grow in their relationship with God by looking at Sacred History, moral formation, sacramental preparation, Eucharist, the Incarnation, and the Paschal Mystery. The atrium is a specially prepared room where children can come to know Jesus, the True Vine. The atrium is prepared with materials that children work with as a way of meditating upon the essentials of our faith found in Scripture and in liturgy.



A Children's House 2 (6-9 year olds)

Tutor: Terese Weber

Course Description: The Montessori Elementary One class is a mixed age environment specifically designed to help children between the ages of 6 to 9 years. The Montessori elementary child enters a prepared learning environment that continues to be based on the use of concrete Montessori materials and learning through experience and discovery. The elementary program offers a continuum built on the preschool experience.



FFL Explore

Tutor: Shelly Westrich and middle/high school age VIA robotics students

Course Description: First Lego League (FLL) Explore is a robotics program designed for kids ages 6-10. Teams work together to discover how science and technology impact the world around them. Teams work with LEGO elements to build a motorized model and create a Show Me poster related to their research of the yearly theme. Families will be asked to split the cost of the program and pieces. Please sign up if interested. Final cost will be determined before the class starts based on the number of students. Final cost may go up or down, but current fee is a good faith estimate.. For more information contact Shelly Westrich at swestrich3@comcast.net



Irish Dance

Tutor: Teresa Richards
Course Description: Learn the basics of Irish dance the the basics of moving around in a dance choreography. No dance experience required.



Little Artists

Tutor: Julie Leighton

Course Description: Come and explore the JOY of art!
We will have fun creating art with crayons, paints, clay and more.
Children ages 3-6 and 6-9 are welcome.
$10. fee for the cost of supplies.

Elementary



Exploring Geography and World Cultures

Tutor: Whitney Anderson

Course Description: Geography and World Cultures
We’ll explore Earth’s fascinating countries, people, and civilizations in this comprehensive survey of geography and geo-political history. Through in-depth profiles, students will learn the geography, climate, history, government, map, and more for all 50 states (plus Washington D.C. and US territories) as well as 200+ countries. This class will also train students in key geography skills, including map reading, terminology, resource interpretation, and more. Highlights include:
  • Trying authentic foods from Indian samosas to Argentinian empanadas
  • Experiencing art and music from historic and modern civilizations
  • Getting hands-on map-reading and navigation experience
  • Access to essential resources and tools
  • Research and presentation experience

Course materials: Tutor will contact prior to the start of the semester.



Language Arts

Tutor: Julia Johnson

Course Description: This language arts class is created for grades three through six. We will read energetic, age appropriate literature to spark writing quality sentences and paragraphs. We will focus on the writing process and introduce aspects of Andrew Pudewa’s Institute for Excellence in Writing. Students will also enjoy journaling, Caught’ya Grammar, Daily Oral Language, Grammar Ball and Mad Libs.
Course materials: Course Materials: Each student needs a student copy of Catholic Heritage Curricula, Level D, Language of God (some of you already own this workbook from 2019-20). Please bring a new notebook, folder and pencil.



Art

Tutor: Julie Leighton

Course Description: We will learn about the different forms of art; their history and origin.
We will learn the techniques to create our own works of art using each of these forms. Fall and Spring semesters can be taken independently of each other.



Conversational Spanish

Tutor: Ana Grace Plotts

Course Description: Learn to speak Spanish the way all people learn their native language - by using it. We will discuss, listen, celebrate, play and eat our way through the Spanish language. We will immerse ourselves in the faith, culture, and daily life of the Hispanic people. In addition to in-class participation, there will be outside time required for specific online tools, and outside speaking/hearing opportunities.
Supplies Needed: Students will need access to a computer at home to use Duolingo 10-15 minutes per day. Post-it Notes (5-90 sheet pads of 5 different colors) and lined paper in a three ring binder or a folder.

Irish Dance

Tutor: Teresa Richards
Course Description: All ages welcome.

Grades 6th-9th



Language Arts with IEW

Tutor: Julia Johnson

Course Description: Creating amazing essays and stories that astound this teacher, students write using the IEW process. Free writing and journaling create variety in our language expression, as well. Literature choices are exceptional as we read aloud and enjoy the quiet of book reading. Daily Oral Language, “grammar solving,” thoughtful discussion, and games, add amusement to our Tuesdays as we find our voices in the lost art of writing.

Course materials: Coming soon

Grades 7th-12th



Biology

Tutor: Whitney Anderson

Course Description: In this college-prep survey of biology, we’ll dive into the complex, living world around us. Students gain a strong background in the scientific method, as well as the vocabulary and classifications of the biological systems. Through labs, students will learn the properties of experiments, field studies, microscopy, and dissection. This course covers:
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular & molecular biology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology

Course materials: TBD



Acting

Tutor: Amy Bittner

Course Description: This class is intended to provide young actors with an overview of the concepts of acting, the basic techniques of acting, and a brief look into dramatic literature. We will look at physical form, vocal techniques, and creating a character, as well as some beginner information about the world of Theatre. During this course students will investigate voice, movement, text, improvisation, and performance with the goal of improved performance skills and theatrical understanding.



Faith and Reason

Tutor: Jenna Leighton

Course Description: As Catholics, we know the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God but how often are we panged with guilt for not knowing the Bible as well as we ought? St. Jerome convicts us when he says, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”. But the attempt to simply read the Good Book from cover to cover proves difficult. This course will strive to reveal Scripture as the epic love story in which God reveals Himself to us gradually and in stages. Using Dr. Bergsma’s Bible Basics for Catholics as companion to our reading of the Good Book, students will use simple images to learn and memorize the story of Scripture.
This class will cover the Church’s teaching on Scripture, the major covenants throughout Salvation History, the key figures and themes, the prefigurements of Christ contained in the Old Testament, and the fulfillment of those prefigurements in the New. This class is designed for middle-school learners, however, high-school learners are very welcome and will certainly benefit as well.

Supplies Needed Fall Semester: Bible Basics for Catholics by Dr. John Bergsma; The Bible (Students should have their own for class they can mark as desired . Preferable translation: NABRE or RSVCE2 or another Catholic translation)

Supplies Needed Spring Semester: TBD



Catholic Inspired Art (Three class options)

Tutor: Julie Leighton

      Basic Drawing: This class is for the student with little or no drawing experience. It is also for the student who has had previous drawing classes but wants to gain more confidence in his/her skill.
Supplies needed: 14” x 17” pad of sketch paper (Quality drawing paper for final drawings will be provided by tutor)
Set of drawing pencils
Blending Stumps (a variety of sizes)
Gum Eraser (also called “Art Gum”)
Rubber Eraser (also called “pink pearl”)
Kneaded Rubber Eraser (recommended brand: Generals)

      Amazing Colored Pencil: Come experience the beauty of color! Colored pencil is an amazing versatile medium. Students will learn the techniques needed to create painting-like works of art.
Supplies needed: 9” x 12” table of colored pencil paper (Recommend: Strathmore)
Koh-I-Noor Woodless colored pencils (24 count set)
Colorless blender. Most are sold in packages of two. (option to purchase a single from tutor)
Bottle of baby oil (generic)
Box of cotton swabs (generic)
Prerequisites:Basic Drawing or equivalant, basic drawing skills.

      Open Studio: This class will be held at the same time and in the same classroom as the Drawing Basics class. This class is for the student who has had prior art experience and would like to continue developing their skills. Students will use this time to work independently on individual projects of their choice. Tutor will be available to provide help and guidance.



Faith, Science & Apologetics

Tutor: Jenni Fuchs

Course Description: Students will learn why there is credible evidence for our faith and how science and faith are NOT opposed. Most of the material presented is based on work by Fr Robert Spitzer SJ, Ph.D. with the Magis Center and CredibleCatholic.com. Topics may include:
   · Can science disprove God?
   · Is there any evidence for a Creator in the universe?
   · Is the universe random and meaningless?
   · Does the Bible conflict with science?
   · Does the Bible conflict with evolution?
   · Is there medical evidence of a soul?
   · Why would an all-loving God allow suffering?
   · Could the complexity of life and DNA come about without divine intervention?



Irish Dance

Tutor: Teresa Richards

Course Description: Learn the basics of Irish dance the the basics of moving around in a dance choreography. No dance experience required.



Logic

Tutor: Jacob Nelson

See important scheduling note

Course Description: In a culture that operates so much on emotion, we will explore the underpinnings of forming logical arguments, as well as how to combat arguments that are irrational.
Supplies needed: Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft



Math Tutoring - Any level through Pre-calc

Tutor: Robin LaFond

Course Description: Will provided help scheduling out students year and/or keep the student on track with where they should be with their assignments. Will also assign and check tests. Aid in weekly instruction as needed. This will be similar to what was provided last school year, but a little less formal. There will not necessarily be prepared lessons. Instruction only as needed.



High School Literature, Drama

Tutor: Amy Bittner

See important scheduling note

Course Description: This class presents a study of foundational plays, theatrical styles, and famous productions throughout theatre history. We will dive into Greek Classics, Medieval Theatre, Elizabethan Drama, Farce, Classicism, Realism, Naturalism, Modern works, and the Theatre of the Absurd. Students will also learn Aristotle’s six elements of drama, the principles of dramatic structure, and how to read a play for production.

Required Materials: Once there is a quorm of students the tutor will send out a survey to see which books the students have already read so as to avoid as many duplicates as possible.



Life Science Survey

Tutor: Whitney Anderson

Course Description: Ever wondered how science affects you? In this class, you’ll find out how much science affects your everyday life! We’ll survey botany, meteorology, chemistry, human biology, zoology, paleontology, cellular biology, and more. Through hands-on lab experiments and engaging readings, videos, and games, students will also learn critical thinking skills and the scientific method.
  • Grow a crystal snowflake
  • Build a water filter
  • See what foods grow mold the fastest
  • Find out why some liquids are “heavier” than others
  • Make a seed sprout

Course materials: TBD



Love of Writing

Tutor: John Leighton

Course Description: People and God communicate in many ways, some mystical and some banal. But the most ordinary of these ways is language. Language, however, is a double-edged sword that need be wielded carefully. How often have we uttered something uncharitable, only to immediately regret and long to corral the echoes of our words. Wielded well, language communicates goodness, beauty and truth, or parries another sword that denies these attributes of holiness. This writing class will attempt to impart to the student the following abilities: i) to know the metrics of good writing, and to discriminate between the good and bad; and ii) to learn how easy it is to write, so easy that writer's block is banished to its proper abode in the hinterland of fantasy.

This course will prepare you for life and college by focusing on writing prose, for fiction follows non-fiction. Great fiction communicates truth, and thus is only as good as the underlying reality. To identify the metrics of good prose, one must be exposed to great writers. And so we will be reading many of the great writers of our language, as well as employing the following resources: i) "Excellence in Writing;" and ii) "Elements of Style." We will also expose ourselves to bad writing so as to obtain the skill of avoiding such drivel. Finally, we will meditate on the wonder of our God, so that our souls excite in the Good, the Beautiful, and the True. A soul in ecstasy cannot help but attempt to communicate itself.

Prerequisites: Student should have a command of basic grammar and be able to write a complete paragraph.



Spanish I & II

Tutor: Karyn Schneider

Course Description: Learn to speak and understand Spanish the way all people learn their native language - by using it!

We will discuss, listen, play and eat our way through the Spanish language immersing ourselves in the faith, culture, and daily life of the Hispanic people. Each level will be using two books. For level one the first will walk us through the Spanish language, starting with "Hola!". This will allow advanced students to polish their skills and students that are new to Spanish will have all of the tools they need to succeed. Beginner students should also be aware that we will move fairly quickly through some of the first chapters of this book. However, beginners will also receive extra support during class time. The second text, Read & Think Spanish, is a fun filled collection of short articles in Spanish about traditions, geography, music, etc! This text makes these articles easy to read with vocabulary aids on each page! Advanced students will work out of this text more than the beginners, but it is suitable and will be fun for both. The texts have additional resourses that can be accessed through their app for families that find this supplemental material helpful.

In addition to in-class participation, there will be outside time required for specific homework assignments, online tools, and outside speaking/hearing opportunities.

Spanish I course materials:
    Read & Think Spanish, Premium Third Edition
    Practice Makes Perfect Basic Spanish, Second Edition: Beginner (about $13 on Amazon)

Spanish II course materials:
    Read & Think Spanish, Premium Third Edition
    Practice Makes Perfect Basic Spanish, Second Edition: Intermediate (https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Makes-Perfect-Intermediate-Spanish/dp/1260121690/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=mcgraw+hill+intermediate&qid=1589206877&sr=8-6)

Returning in 2021!

United States History

Tutor: Dr. Chuck Chalberg
Editorial comment from the VIA administration: Dr. "Chuck" Chalberg is a treasure. If you want more than checking a box for your MN High School graduation U.S. History requirement, this is the place for you. Dr. Chalberg is a national treasure. Your students will not just learn what happened in U.S. History, but why! What were people thinking? Why things worked, and others failed. Don't miss a chance to expose your student to this great opportunity to expand their ability to learn how to think. Dr. Chalberg's 30 years of teaching history at Normandale and around the country as Teddy Roosevelt, G.K. Chesterton, Rickey Branch, make the discussions in the class truly come alive.
Course Description: American History from the Age of Exploration to the Civil War and Reconstruction. The heart of the course will focus on 1) the road to the American Revolution, the revolutionary era itself and its aftermath and consequences; 2) the road to the Civil War, the war itself, and the aftermath and consequences.
Supplies needed: A Land of Hope by Wilfred McClay

Physics

Tutor: John Leighton

Returning in 2022

Public Speaking

Tutor:
Course Description: (no prerequisite) It doesn’t matter what occupation or endeavor God calls us to in this life, speaking in front of others isinevitable. The sooner students can learn public speaking skills, the more comfortable they will become. This class will train students to prepare and deliver a variety of speeches including but not limited to: Self-Introduction, Narrative, Descriptive, Demonstrative, and Persuasive. The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Speech Boot Camp program will be used as a backbone and includes a bit of videolearning during class, along with provided handouts. Each student will prepare a notebook in whichhandouts and notes will be placed (this will serve as a good reference for the future). This class is sure toengage students not only in the physical aspects of speaking in front of others, but also in the mental and spiritual preparation needed for effective speaking. To the students: in the words of St. Padre Pio, “Pray, hope and don’t worry.” Rest assured, this class will be most enjoyable!

"Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus, you will better know when to speak and when to besilent." -Saint Ignatius

Required Materials: Three ring binder.
All instructional materials will be provided by the tutor.