Frequently Asked Questions - Click on the links below
Is my child ready for Athena’s Advanced Academy?
Although parental participation is essential at Athena’s Advanced Academy, it is important that the child be able to fully participate in class. Children should know how to: •Use the computer and the Internet. (Parental assistance is required if your child has emerging computer and typing skills.) •Use a microphone to communicate verbally. This is especially important during the weekly webinars. (A headset is recommended.) •Work at a quick pace (e.g. complete a year-long curriculum within a 16-week semester). Athena’s Advanced Academy classes are appropriate for learners new to the online classroom experience, as well as the seasoned online learner.
Are there age requirements at Athena's?
At Athena's Advanced Academy, we understand that gifted children learn and mature at different rates. Except for classes geared specifically for teens, our classes do not have age requirements. Rather, each course has a minimum ability requirement that allows parents to select the most appropriate courses for their children. Some classes tend to attract certain age groups. The age groups will be noted on the class description page when applicable.
How do I prove my child is gifted?
We feel parents are the best assessors of their children’s abilities. We require only that children meet the prerequisites for each course and have a desire to learn.
What is the parent’s role?
Parental participation is highly encouraged at Athena's Advanced Academy. We view the instruction of your child to be collaboration between you as the parent-instructor, your child, and the Athena's Advanced Academy educator-guide. We encourage parents and students to make the class their own and parents to document their child’s learning according to their educational plan. Assisting your with technical requirements, weekly assignments, and classroom participation will help to ensure that your child gets the most out of each class. Many assignments require Internet access, and we believe that this is best done under parental supervision. Athena's Advanced Academy is not responsible for inappropriate content that your child may access on the Internet.
What is the educator’s role?
The educator’s role is to inspire, excite, and engage students through the learning process. We view the instruction of your child as collaboration between Athena's Advanced Academy educator-guide, you as the homeschooling parent-instructor, and your child.
What is the student’s role?
We want our students to be excited about learning, especially at Athena’s. We encourage students to take ownership of their learning with the guidance of the educator-guide and the parent-instructor. We love hearing their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. We ask students to keep their minds open, communicate politely, stretch their minds, and have fun!
What about documentation at Athena's?
Athena's Advanced Academy is an independent provider of online courses. Parents are responsible for their child’s school record and for documenting courses taken to fit with their child’s learning plan. Upon request, Athena's Advanced Academy will assist you in creating grade reports or documentation for your child.
What support do you offer to adults and adult learners?
We feel strongly about creating a community to educate gifted learners. Because of this passion, we are moving into the area of support for adults. This support will include seminars and workshops for parents of gifted children, homeschooling parents, and gifted adults.
What time does the live webinar take place?
Live webinars begin at the top of the hour. Most webinars are 50 minutes in length. The live webinar schedule may be found on the webinar schedule webpage. All times listed for the webinars are in the Pacific Time Zone. You may want to check webinar compatibility with your local time zone at http://www.thetimenow.com/
. Please remember the Pacific Time Zone observes Daylight Saving Time.
What are the educators’ qualifications?
Who are the Junior Instructors?
Is Athena's Advanced Academy affiliated with any religion?
Athena's Advanced Academy courses are entirely secular and we welcome students of all faiths and of none into every class. Occasionally, religion will be discussed as it pertains to the subject being covered, but only from a secular viewpoint.
What is your position on online etiquette?
At Athena’s Advanced Academy, we are focused on building a respectful, kind, and friendly community of gifted learners. It is extremely important for everyone to communicate in a polite way. *Cyber-bullying and spamming are prohibited. We reserve the right to remove or withdraw a student exhibiting such behavior from a webinar or class. No refund will be given to students removed for inappropriate behavior.
CURRICULUM, MATERIALS, AND COURSES
What materials must I purchase?
Each class and workshop requires different materials. A list of the required materials for each class is located on our Class Description webpage. Many literature books may be found at the library. Others are consumable and must be purchased for each student. Please refer to individual course descriptions
to view the required materials for each class.
What are the course learning options?
Athena's courses include the Synchronous, Asynchronous, and Independent Learning Options. To learn more, please visit our Learning Options webpage
Is participation in the live webinars required for the Synchronous Learning Option?
Live webinars are held each week to increase interaction between students and instructors, build enthusiasm for learning, and allow for questions about challenging concepts. If your child must miss a webinar, please have him/her review the recorded session to get the most out of the class. In most cases, webinars begin on the hour and last 50 minutes. During the webinars, students are encouraged to participate verbally using their microphones and via the chat-room in the webinar. Many classes, such as Philosophy, rely on verbal participation. Students enrolled in these courses must be able to participate verbally in the online group discussion.
Can students move through the courses with live webinars at their own pace?
Our courses with live webinars proceed on a fixed timeline. Students with time constraints may follow the pace of the class and watch the recorded webinar instead of attending live. Students may choose to move at a slower pace than the rest of the class. If there is a class you are interested in that is not being offered when desired, please email us
Do you have self-paced courses?
Yes, our self-paced classes include tutorial recordings and may be started at any time. Students may move through the material at their own pace. If there is a self-paced class you are looking for, please email us. If there is a class you are interested in that is not being offered when desired, please email us
What is the Chat feature at Athena's?
Athena’s Advanced Academy’s Chat feature allows students the opportunity confer with each other on course projects. Parents should be aware students will be able to log into the course Chat room at any or specific times. While all Chat transcripts are recorded and viewed regularly by instructors regularly, there will not always be instructor supervision during the Chat sessions. The secure Chat feature is only accessible to the students and instructor of the course.
Will we have access to the classroom at Athena’s after the course is complete?
Yes, students have access to their classroom through the semester following the course. Fall semester courses remain available through spring semester. Spring semester courses remain available through summer. Year-long courses remain open through summer. Summer courses only remain open through the summer months.
What kinds of activities and assignments will my child complete?
All classes include both real-time and asynchronous discussions each week. In the classroom, students will find “required,” “highly suggested,” and “optional” activities. Students may view online videos, complete interactive activities and quizzes on the web, and use Web 2.0 tools to synthesize new information and creatively express learned ideas.
What kind of work load can my child expect for each course?
Families of gifted children have different educational wants and needs. Some families want their child to only attend live webinars, others want their child to complete only a few assignments, while others desire as much information as possible be available for their child to explore. At Athena’s, we offer the opportunity to make the classes fit each family’s educational plan. Therefore, students will find “required,” “highly suggested,” and “optional” activities and assignments in the classroom. Students and parents should work together to determine how much work students should complete each week.
How much writing will my child be doing?
At Athena's Advanced Academy, we understand students often have emerging writing and typing skills. We encourage students to grow in these areas. Therefore, we offer activities that are meant to challenge, not overwhelm. Our classes focus on appreciating elements of effective writing across subject areas. Although students may use written discussion forums to share ideas with classmates, formal writing assignments are not required except in formal writing classes. We encourage parents and students to make the class their own to fit with their child’s learning plan.
What feedback is provided to my child?
Athena's Advanced Academy assists parents in evaluating their child's performance. Parents can log in to Athena’s with their child's username to view the work that has been completed. As well, parents are encouraged to email the instructor when questions about performance arise. The homeschooling parent will provide their child with a formal grade if desired. The teacher/instructor at Athena's acts as a guide and moderator in every class. Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars, while asynchronous assignments are designed to promote interaction between students. The instructor will intervene in student discussions when additional clarification or correction is required.
How do I enroll and pay course fees?
What is your refund policy?
Course fees are 90% refundable if a refund request is submitted to Dr. Kirsten at Kirsten@AthenasAcademy.com at least two weeks (14 days) prior to the start of the first course webinar. After that date, course fees are 50% refundable if a refund request is submitted during the first two weeks (14 days) of class. After the second week of class/before the third webinar, no refunds are given for any reason. **Please see note below regarding refunds and charter school vouchers.
Would you consider accepting vouchers from our charter school?
Athena's currently accepts vouchers from several schools and programs. •Although many of these schools require fingerprinting, we are no longer accepting requests from schools or educational entities requiring fingerprinting or insurance at this time. •Special arrangements must be made to use vouchers for year-long classes. Please email Dr. Kirsten if you would like to include a year-long course. •School vouchers are not accepted for AP courses unless the organization agrees to pay all fees before the start of the course. Parents must make arrangements with the organization before contacting us to go through the voucher process. *Refunds are not given for courses paid for via a voucher. A $15.00 fee will be automatically added to the order if paying with a voucher to cover the paperwork and purchase order process.
What are the technical requirements for Athena's Advanced Academy courses?
Do you use webcams during your webinars?
We only use audio and text-chat during our webinars to keep the focus on the content of the lesson.
Must students have an email address?
Profiles at Athena’s require unique email addresses. We encourage students to get their own email addresses and check email frequently. Often parents set up an email account that is linked to their own, to provide parental control (e.g. Gmail).