How Classes Work
Learn more about how SEA Online Classes work and how to choose a class that will be a great fit for your family.
Philosophy and Approach
We believe that education works best when it is adaptable to individual learners’ needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning, and homeschooling families are adept at shifting their approach to fit individual learning needs and change over time as their learners grow.
We want to craft educational opportunities that enhance and supplement what families are already doing. With that in mind, we have crafted online classes in a variety of formats and lengths so that families can find options that work for them.
Every person teaching with SEA Online Classes recognizes the value of collaboration. As teachers, we believe that learning from one another, sharing experiences, and connecting our ideas are all ways to create stronger pedagogical approaches. We learn from one another.
That’s the same kind of collaborative spirit we want to bring into our relationship with families. We aim to work alongside parents/guardians and learners. Many of our classes offer collaborative input from learners to design their own goals and create their own projects to meet them.
We don’t know what the end product for many of our classes will be because we invite learners to bring their own creativity, passions, and needs into the mix. Instead, we work alongside families to make choices that will take learners where they need to go with the scaffolded support they need to get there.
Our model is one of collaboration and mentorship.
Format and Technical Information
We recognize that there is a wide range of needs when it comes to online classes, so we offer our classes in the following formats:
- Live- Scheduled interaction and feedback with some live sessions
- Guided– Scheduled interaction and feedback with no live sessions
- Online Self-Paced– Materials and instruction delivered interactively online with no live meetings or feedback
- PDF Download Self-Paced– Materials and instruction for delivery with no live meetings or feedback
- Personalized Feedback Add-Ons– Opportunities to make an option more robust with optional feedback components
Check the course descriptions of individual offerings to see what format is available.
We offer our courses on a trimester basis, but there are courses of all different lengths within these three blocks. The exact start and end dates as well as open enrollment periods are announced before each trimeter, but they generally run as follows:
Knowing when new classes will be announced and having a clear enrollment period helps families plan ahead for their studies. However, we also know that flexibility is key as needs change and interests are sparked, so enrollment happens throughout each period with both short- and long-term classes on offer.
Each class has its own unique requirements, and the materials are listed in advance so that families can be aware of them before enrollment.
In general, students attending any live sessions will have the best experience if they have access to a computer with reliable internet, a webcam, and a microphone. Many classes will take place over Zoom (which will require a free download). A PDF reader and a way to write and save assignments (such as Microsoft Word or Google Drive) will be necessary for many classes with feedback and assignment options.
Additional requirements may include books, lab materials, or craft materials.
Individual teachers are responsible for creating and communicating their own refund policies. Most teachers offer refunds early in the class experience if families find the class will not work for them.
We recommend trying out shorter classes with individual instructors to get a sense of their style and class organization to ensure that it is a good fit for your family.
Busy schedules can be hard to navigate, and we know that some missed sessions are likely. In general, teachers design classes so that there are both live and asynchronous components, which gives learners the chance to stay connected to the material even when they miss a live session.
Teachers often provide recordings summarizing missed sessions. Individual teachers have the option to address missed sessions in the way that best meets the class goals. These may include a make-up session, an individual meeting, or a shared recording.
Once a class has been listed, we do our very best to ensure that it will happen as planned. However, low enrollment or teacher emergencies may mean that an individual meeting or an entire class may get cancelled.
If an entire class is cancelled, families will receive a full refund.
If a single live session of a class is cancelled, individual teachers will work with families to find the best possible solution. These may include a make-up session, individual meetings, or a shared recorded summary.
One of the hardest things about online class experiences can be the uncertainty about how an individual learner will do in the class. Since our philosophy is one of collaboration, we encourage parents/guardians and learners to reach out to instructors if they are struggling with the material.
Our approach encourages finding adaptations that allow learners to get the most they can out of the class, and that might mean adapting goals to better meet individual needs.
In our experience, it is very rare that a learner would need to be removed from a class. Individual teachers can set their own behavioral expectations and policies, so questions about particular issues should be addressed with them.
In general, teachers are encouraged to explore all possible solutions before removing a learner from class. Addressing disruptive behavioral issues could include individual meetings with learners and/or their parents/guardians, adapting the class plan to help address the issue, or creating alternative participation options that better fit learner needs.
Removal from class should be a last resort. If it occurs, individual teacher’s policies on refunds are in effect.
All teachers who offer classes with SEA Online Classes are expected to adhere to some safety guidelines. These include the following:
- Addressing parent/guardian concerns about bullying or inappropriate comments in actionable ways.
- Managing classroom behavior in a way that allows all learners to participate effectively.
- Communicating any behavioral concerns with parents/guardians in a timely manner.
- Maintaining privacy of learner’s personal information.
- Using learner’s preferred name and pronouns.
- Putting content information on class descriptions that identifies topics that may be sensitive in nature.
- Not allowing participants in classrooms who are not registered through SEA Online Classes (with the exception of guest lecturers).
- Remaining present during class time.
- Communicating that learners need parent/guardian permission to share personal communication information