General Guidelines for Lessons

  • Lessons should have no more than 20 minutes of adult ‘lecture’ time.
  • Lessons should use Socratic discussion and problem solving time amongst the children themselves. Adults are expected to ask challenging questions that lead children to deeper thinking and discussion amongst the children.
  • Lessons should include hands on learning time whenever appropriate.
  • Lessons should include games and movement time whenever appropriate as long as it does not interfere with learning time. This means careful curriculum planning before a session starts.
  • Group lead will maintain a communication notebook for each child that documents what is being studied, how the child is interacting with the group, and any behavior issues as necessary.
  • Group lead will maintain a work binder for each student that remains at Three Rivers until the child leaves the group.
  • No homework is assigned in general, though children may be asked to come up with written ideas or thoughts on any given lesson. Children can continue to study subjects at home as parents see fit.
  • You are in charge of your child’s education. I am only offering lessons/tutoring to add to what you are doing at home. This is NOT a school, this is a homeschool cooperative, which gives the children an opportunity to learn and play with other children in order to develop social and learning skills in a group setting, and to be able to experience learning with other adults.
  • If you are leading a lesson, some learning materials can be reimbursed with receipts/proof of purchase. Please fill in a reimbursement form, provided by me, for any materials before purchase, and before the lesson starts.
  • All parent led classes must be fully planned out for the length of the lesson being considered, and pre-approved by the group lead. Lessons need to follow the time frames on the general lesson schedule (one hour per day, 2 to 4 days a week). I also need a copy of the full curriculum in case you or your child is ill and you are unable to attend on a given day, and I need to sub last minute. Please do not sign up to teach a lesson if you know you will not be able to teach for duration of the lesson you have planned. For more details on how to plan a lesson, please see the ‘Policies & Goals’ page or contact the group lead.


Please feel free to offer ideas on subjects or topics you do not see listed below. Please write a one paragraph written description of something you would like to teach whether it’s listed below, or something of your own design. Please keep in mind we also take the children’s ideas and desires into consideration.


  • Botany
  • Biology / Cells
  • Astronomy / Weather
  • Anatomy
  • Table of Elements (Chemistry)
  • Khan Academy (Ecology and Biology)


  • Units of Measurement
  • General Subjects
  • Math Games
  • Khan Academy (required)

Language Arts

  • Writing – sentence, paragraph, and paper structure and types of writing
  • Grammar
  • Latin
  • Shakespeare
  • Poetry
  • Spelling
  • Reading – book reviews/discussion and book reports (in other subjects as well) – emphasis on classical literature.

History/Geography – Ethnically diverse and truth based

  • Geography of the United States and all other countries
  • Study of historical events; local, state, country, and world
  • Study of current events; local, state, country, and world
  • Political systems and how they work


  • Art – theater, puppetry, fine art, crafts, land art, drawing, knitting (emphasis on environmentally friendly practices)
  • Music – as we can secure a teacher for theory and instruments as desired (music lesson fees are in addition to Three Rivers fees). Would love to start a ‘rock band’ if there is enough interest.
  • Cooking
  • Outdoor Skills and Nature Education
  • Physical Education – games and outdoor play

Field Trips

  • Field trips will include the following: local parks and beaches, recreational facilities (like ice skating or Sky Zone), museums and historical sites around the area, and learning facilities (like Chesapeake Biological Lab).
  • Some field trips will focus on community service and volunteer activities.
  • Trips will be decided on ahead of time, with input from children and parents, and will be posted as ‘events’ on our ‘Three Rivers Field Trips’ Facebook page.
  • We do not meet on non-field trip Fridays per the weekly schedule.
  • Field trip fees are separate from, and not included in, the general membership fee for Three Rivers.
  • Field trips might be scheduled for other week days as needed, not just on Fridays. For example, Sotterly, St. Mary’s City, and Mount Vernon generally have homeschool days that do not fall on Fridays.
  • Children are not required to attend field trips. Non-members are welcome to join the field trips.

End of the Month

  • The last two days of each month are wind up days. We will review and organize everything we learned during that month on the second to last day, and the morning of the last day will be ‘gum chewing, note passing’ time, and in the afternoon we enjoy a group party and games. The party will include a potluck lunch so all families can bring a dish to share, and we will celebrate any birthdays that happened that month.