Our Program

We serve homeschool students ages 4 to 16 through five divisions:

  • Explorers (ages 4/5)
  • Elementary (ages 5 to 11)
  • Junior Division Prep (ages 11/12)
  • Junior Division (ages 12 to 14)
  • High School (ages 14 and up).

Parents have the option of enrolling children in morning classes for one, two, or three days per week.  Students must reach the minimum age for the class on or before August 31.

Morning Courses:  The Big Picture

See all our Morning Courses in a glance.

Explorers:  4/5 Year Olds

Inspired by Charlotte Mason, the British educator and philosopher, this class emphasizes Mason’s two main goals for early education:  good habits and good ideas.  Our young Deerstreamers learn and practice the good habits of students:  following classroom procedures, showing consideration for classmates and teachers, listening and contributing, helping take care of the classroom, and taking turns—all this in a warm environment where these skills are modeled and taught.  They are presented with a feast of good ideas:  Scripture, prayer, and poetry, the enjoyment of living books, nature study, open-ended materials, art and music, and plenty of free play.   It’s an atmosphere of joyous learning and discovery and connection with one another, while quietly laying the groundwork for academic skills to come. Explorers meets on Monday and Wednesday mornings.  Students can sign up for one or both mornings.

Elementary Program:  5-11 Year Olds

On Monday mornings, our elementary students have the opportunity to experience “Hands-On History!”  History, culture, and geography will come alive as students engage in activities and projects incorporating art, music, dramatizations, literature, Scripture, and mapwork, too!

Offered on Wednesday mornings, Elementary Division science classes are built around a thoughtfully sequenced science curriculum with a rich sampling of Life, Earth, and Physical science topics. Our approach to learning is both hands-on and interdisciplinary. Science is examined and taught through a range of activities and projects featuring art, music, poetry, nature studies, Scripture, and literature―all of which reinforce key scientific concepts.  On Thursday mornings, we offer a second section of our Science classes to 5-9 year olds.

On Thursday morning, we offer a writing class to 9-11-year-olds. In this lively and interactive course, students will engage in the writing process with their peers.  They’ll strengthen their writing mechanics, learn some helpful organizational strategies, and become good editors.   Through writing creative and nonfiction pieces, students will practice expressing their ideas with confidence through writing.

Junior Division Prep :  11/12 Year Olds

For our Junior Division Prep students, Monday morning classes feature instruction in Junior Division Prep. Building upon writing fundamentals, students are taught to organize and express their thoughts in well-developed paragraphs with introductions and conclusions. Literature with an Eastern Cultures focus, beginning literary analysis, and lively class discussions round out the Junior Division Prep language arts course.

On Wednesday mornings,  Junior Division Prep students study Life Science.  Through labs and activities in class and independent study at home, 11/12 year olds embark on a more focused academic approach to science while still retaining the joy and hands-on nature of Deerstream’s courses.

Junior Division:  12-14 year olds

Junior Division students also study English on Monday mornings.  Featuring literature from 1700 on, both American and world, this course encourages students to continue their growth as astute readers of great literature.  They also take the next step as thoughtful writers, focusing on developing a clear writer’s voice and writing for a variety of purposes.

On Wednesday mornings in 2022-23, Junior Division students will study Physical Science.  This course serves as an introduction to both chemistry and physics.  Students will gain a greater appreciation for the world God has made as they examine that which cannot be seen easily, and they will grow as curious and responsible students.

Math Courses:  11 and up

PreAlgebra  (ages 11 and up), Thursdays, 9:15-12:15; Optional Zoom on Tuesdays, 9-10 AM

 The aim of PreAlgebra is to solidify the math skills gained in the elementary years and provide students with an excellent foundation for upper-level math.  Through teaching, practice, challenge, and creative math application, students will grow in basic skills and develop a growth-oriented mindset about math.  The Art of Problem Solving  PreAlgebra curriculum deviates from traditional approaches to math in that emphasizes the development of math concepts over just getting the right answer.  Students who are accustomed to lots of repetition of exercises will be challenged by the problem-based approach, but the joy of the “Aha!” moments and a deeper understanding of math are well worth the effort.

Algebra 1 (ages 12 and up), Thursdays, 9:15-12:15;  Optional Zoom on Tuesdays, 10-11 AM

Algebra 1 is the foundation of higher-level math.  From the Saxon Algebra curriculum, “Students will develop the understanding they need to resolve more complex problems and functions with this step-by-step course. Covers topics including signed numbers, exponents, and roots; absolute value; equations and inequalities; scientific notation; unit conversions; polynomials; graphs; factoring; quadratic equations; direct and inverse variations; exponential growth; statistics; and probability.”  Algebra 1 is a high school-level course.  Students will be expected to complete homework throughout the week and will be graded.

High School:  14 and up, 9th and 10th graders

On Mondays, Deerstream offers English for 9th and 10th grade students.  The aim of this course is to help students learn to read great literature with insight and to write about it with clarity, organization, and style.  Students will spend significant time outside of class on reading and writing assignments and will come together for excellent instruction and stimulating conversation.

On Wednesday mornings, we offer high school science geared for 9th and 10th graders (and the occasional 11th grader) alternating years between biology and chemistry.  In 2022-23, we are offering Biology, giving students an excellent foundation through this rigorous, college-preparatory course.  Class sessions will be devoted to lectures and labs, while weekly assignments will guide students through the study of chemistry.  Tests, quizzes, and lab reports will be assigned.

On Thursday mornings, we offer World History for high schoolers. World History is designed to be a historical study of societies, nations, economies, events, and cultures of the many regions of the world, providing historical background for each area and details inclusive of change over time, historical impact, religion, diplomacy, culture practices and beliefs, and economic, political, and social institutions. The course is intended to examine the historical development of the world and global issues and patterns since the Early River Valley Civilizations. The course also explores underlying themes of power and authority; change and continuity; human-environment interaction; globalization; cultural diffusion; and individual and group identity.  Incorporating Christian faith into the study of world history, students will look for evidence of God’s fingerprints across time and throughout cultures.  They’ll consider how His people, given the lessons of history, might conduct themselves faithfully in the future.

Afternoon Programs

Our program also features an array of afternoon class options: Café and Play gives students an opportunity to socialize as they enjoy lunch with other Deerstream friends while afternoon enrichment classes offer students myriad hands-on learning opportunities. Our afternoon course listing changes each semester; learn more about our current afternoon enrichment classes.

Learn More

Engaging minds, connecting hearts

We’d love to share with you what makes our program so special.