Darby Kennedy

Darby Kennedy is in her 9th year homeschooling her two kids, ages 12 and 15. In her pre-homeschooling life, she graduated with a BA in History, Political Science, and Secondary Education from Birmingham-Southern College, and an MA in American Studies from the University of Alabama. After college, she taught high school Government and Economics, and in graduate school developed a short session class on courtship in American History. Other pre-homeschooling activities included 6 years working at the Smithsonian Institution in development and protocol, lots of volunteer jobs, and several years of mentoring college women in leadership skills. When it comes to studying history, culture, politics, and government, Darby thinks one of the most important things to figure out is the “so what.” While dates and names are important, it is equally necessary to understand events and people in context. When not homeschooling, she enjoys quilting, hiking, being with her family, and bird watching.

MEMBERS: To register for Darby’s class(es), contact darbymkennedy@gmail.com. Not a member yet? Click here to get started!


Themes in World History

Target Ages: 15+

Min/Max Students: 4/9

Class Times: Tuesday 11:30 – 1:55 (lunch break in between)

Class Dates:  Sept. 3 – May 12 (31 weeks)

Cost:  $500 (first semester: $225.00 with 20% deposit required to hold space in class; second semester: $275.00 with 20% due before end of 1st semester). Payments plans accepted.

Description: The study of the development of civilizations around the world has never been more important than it is today. An understanding of how economics, commerce, politics, religion, and culture have developed and intersected worldwide is key to navigating the future. This class will look at the history of world civilization with an emphasis on major themes across time periods. Because it is truly impossible to cover all world events in depth in only 2 semesters, this class will be a survey with an emphasis on big ideas, connections, and trends. Ideally, students will learn to see connections made in the past in ways that apply to the present and the future. 
Sources that will inform our study include Peter Frankopan’s "The Silk Roads: A New History of the World", Crash Course World History, Stanford History Education Group’s “Think Like A Historian,” UCLA’s “World History for Us All” integrated history curriculum, and more.
This class can be used to fulfill the high school requirement for a social studies unit focused on World Studies, and can be counted for 1 Carnegie unit on a high school transcript. This class pairs with Kelly Elmore's "World Literature and Philosophy: Foundational Texts"

Materials: Textbook TBD (may not be one); internet access at home; notebook for class

Homework: Students are expected to do all assigned reading (or viewing) in advance of class and come to class prepared to contribute and discuss. They will need to read and view for content and comprehension. Any reading material will also be available by audio, or through the use of a voice-to-text reader. Students can expect 2-3 hours of homework each week.

Human Geography

Target Ages: High School

Min/Max Students: 4/12

Class Times: Thursday 11:30 – 1:55 (lunch break in between)

Class Dates:  Sept. 5 – May 14 (31 weeks)

Cost:  $500 (first semester: $225.00 with 20% deposit required to hold space in class; second semester: $275.00 with 20% due before end of 1st semester). Payments plans accepted.

Description: Human Geography (also known as Cultural Geography) examines how culture around the world is related to the spaces and places where they originate, and how those cultures travel as humans move across various areas. This includes studying population and migration, political organization of space, agriculture and rural land use, urban space use, and industrialization. Using text, maps, online viewing, class discussion, and case studies, this class will examine cultures and how they relate to and impact the world around them. We will also (hopefully) get to do some work with Global Information Systems (GIS) and population data.
This class can be used to fulfill the high school requirement for a social studies unit focused on World Studies, and can be counted for 1 Carnegie unit on a high school transcript. This class pairs with Kelly Elmore's "High School Literature: Place and Culture."

Materials: Students will need to purchase a textbook (TBD) which will be available on Amazon, and will need to have internet access at home. A notebook for class is necessary.

Homework: Students are expected to do all assigned reading (or viewing) in advance of class and come to class prepared to contribute and discuss. They will need to read and view for content and comprehension. Most reading material will also be available by audio, or through the use of a voice-to-text reader. Students can expect 2-3 hours of homework each week. 

Think Like A Geographer

Target Ages: Middle School

Min/Max Students: 4/8

Class Times: Thursday 2:00 – 2:55

Class Dates:  Sept. 5 – Dec. 12 (14 weeks)

Cost:  $155

Description: What does it mean to “read” a map? What, exactly, is a map? A big part of geography is about asking questions, and maps can tell us much more than directions. Why do those people live there? How are those two areas connected? Why did those borders change? Why was that map created? In this topic-based class, students will learn about and apply geographic skills to find answers to all sorts of questions.

Materials: Students will need a notebook for class, and will need to have (occasionally) an internet-enabled device in class.

Homework: There will be a small amount of reading homework each week that students can complete in the way that works best for them. Learning differences will be accommodated.

Think Like A Historian  

Target Ages: Middle School

Min/Max Students: 4/8

Class Times: Thursday 2:00 – 2:55

Class Dates:  Jan. 9 – May 14 (17 weeks)

Cost:  $185

Description: What questions do we ask of the past? What? When? Where? Why? Who?  Why do the answers to those questions matter? How do we decide what is important? How do we evaluate the evidence? All of these questions make up the work of a historian. This class will use a topic-based approach to help students use the tools that all historians use to make sense of the past and the present.

Materials: Students will need a notebook for class, and will need to have (occasionally) an internet-enabled device in class.

Homework: There will be a small amount of reading homework each week that students can complete in the way that works best for them. Learning differences will be accommodated.

Diversity, Equality, Social Justice, and Film 

Target Ages: mature Middle School, High School

Min/Max Students: 4/10

Class Times: Tuesday 10:30 – 11:25

Class Dates:  Sept. 3 – May 12 (31 weeks)

Cost:  $250

Description: In this class, we will examine issues of diversity, equality, and social justice using a variety of films: feature films, short films, documentaries, and more. Homework will include watching films in advance of class, some writing or reading to acquire background information, and preparation for class discussion. Students are expected to come to class prepared to participate and to listen and engage respectfully. Maybe we'll even make a movie of our own by the end of the class.

This class is appropriate for mature middle school and high school students. By its very nature, the discussion of diversity and social justice can be emotional. There may be subjects addressed in the films we watch that may be difficult for some learners. It is important that everyone involved work to keep an open mind

Materials:  Ability to watch movies at home.

Homework: Students will be expected to watch movies at home and complete limited reading and writing to prepare for class discussion.

Priscila Benson