The Place Network Online is a blended-learning program for students in grades K-12 that delivers curricula and tracks progress online as students develop competency through an intentional learning pathway that uses a place-based approach. When relevant, social studies, science, english, and visual arts, are integrated in a manner that teaches students to better understand and engage in local and global communities. While students will be conducting, assessing, and retrieving curricula online, they will also be interacting in and engaging with the community within which they live.
Place Network Online
Units are developed under the guiding hallmarks of our educational: project-based, experiential and interdisciplinary learning, which promotes a depth of thinking and skills to face the challenges of our world. Students are challenged to develop ideas, analyze content, and make connections.
Through inquiry and design thinking practices, students investigate a topic, plan and create a response to that topic, evaluate, redesign, and ultimately share their work. These projects empower students to engage in their communities and take steps to protect or enhance what they value in it.
“We’ve done a lot of online programs: they are stuffy, dated and dry. Your program is relatable, current, and relevant...It's what our family talks about.”
Owner’s Manual for My Human Brain
The human brain is transformed in adolescence. In this unit, students will explore what the brain has to teach us about the secrets of staying healthy and happy. Explore the driving question: How might we understand our brain to best use it?
My Place, Our Vision
In this unit students will study the various components of their place that make it unique. Explore the driving question: How might we invest in our community to promote engagement, citizenship and pride in our place?
Engineering Our Lives
We live in a highly modified world. In this unit you will examine the complex topic of genetic engineering in your own life and community. Explore the driving question: How might we be more aware of the genetic engineering in our lives?
By the People, For the People
Democracies do not flourish unless citizens like you and me are educated and get involved in our government. Explore the driving question: How might we make our nation even better?
Health, Not Hunger
Take action to make your place less hungry and more healthy and explore the driving question: How might we achieve health, not hunger?
Dive Into Place
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find more hidden facts, treasures, people and spots, that make your place unique. Explore the driving question: How might we engage in our communities?
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Poverty & Wealth
Students will examine poverty, government and private systems to help those in poverty, and strategies to get out of poverty. Explore the driving question: How might we bridge the gap between poverty and wealth in our community?
The very notion of civilization launches this unit on global governments. Explore the driving question: How might we build connections in a global world?
The goal of this unit is to identify the public spaces that we have in our communities, assess what makes them great, and determine how to make them even better. Explore the driving question: How might we work together to improve our community spaces?
The elements of culture are limitless and go WAY beyond race and religion. Explore the driving question: How might we celebrate cultures in our community?
We live in a world connected by global trade. Explore the driving question: How might we make our local economy more circular to get the most from globalization?
Wasting Away: The Story of Trash
What is waste and why should we care? Explore the driving question: How might we improve the state of waste in our community?
“[My son] was so into it that we pressed pause on our other homeschool programs to focus entirely on PNO for the month.”
Finding a good fit is key to the success of the partnership between PNO and potential families. Students must have a learning coach (parent, guardian, tutor) that can help them initially navigate the technology, help with pacing and managing projects. Also, our program is far from the many static and linear “click, drag, watch” online programs for kids. It is geared towards families who want to learn the design thinking process, go through the highs and lows of authentic learning, and persevere through unknown and difficulty, gaining critical skills and self-awareness along the way. We are happily filling a void in the market of online education and serving those who wish to acquire and practice skills for the future.
100% of the students who completed a course have joined us again! These families have solely homeschooled their students, have experienced many programs, and recognize the value of PNO’s approach and aims. This speaks volumes about fit and the need that PNO fills in online education options.
All of our units are self-paced. Some participants immerse in a PNO unit for a month; others supplement their coursework with PNO and complete a unit over multiple months. Students should expect to spend 10-15 hours/week to complete a unit in two months.
Participants pay a monthly fee of $399 for access to our curriculum and services, including instructors who provide guidance, feedback, and office hours via video conference.