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Introductory Physics

Introductory Physics is excellent preparation for future studies in Chemistry and Biology. This is more than a physical science course because of its math component. Students use algebra concepts to solve problems; this allows for real-world application of the algebra skills they have been learning and a rewarding understanding of the importance of mathematics. Students will master unit conversions and metric system prefixes as well as foundational topics in physics. (Note: this is not a vector-based physics class. This higher-level skill is saved for upper-level physics). The text also brings in historical figures and important events that have shaped the field of physics. Topics covered in Introductory Physics include: the nature of scientific knowledge, velocity, acceleration, Newton’s Laws of motion, energy, momentum, atoms, matter and substances, heat and temperature, pressure and buoyancy, waves, sound and light, introduction to electricity, DC circuits, fields and magnetism, and geometric optics.

Introductory Physics will be taught in a mastery fashion, following John Mays Learn-Master-Retain model. The goal of this approach is to end the course with student mastery of a list of standard problems essential for success in higher-level courses. This method of instruction and study brings an end to the Cram-Pass-Forget cycle, typical in most courses taught today. More information about this approach can be found in the course syllabus.

There will be at 5 experiments to accompany this course and full lab reports will be written. Students are expected to read the text before coming to class. Class time will consist of discussion of readings, answering questions, solving problems together, and conducting experiments. Assessments will consist of weekly quizzes made of essay questions and computations. These will always be cumulative in content.

Prerequisites: Concurrent Enrollment in Algebra 1 or completion of Algebra 1.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

Jamie Terral has been teaching math and science in variety of settings including private Christiaan education, online tutoring, community college, and homeschool for the past 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Education from Concordia University Texas. She currently lives with her husband and four children in North Texas. Her husband serves as the pastor of Faith Lutheran Church and together they homeschool their children. Her journey in homeschooling has lead to the discovery of Classical Christian education and the nurturing of restful learning.
Jamie strives to engage her students in the learning process by making her classes enjoyable and creative. When not in the classroom or teaching her own children, Jamie enjoys studying nutrition, growing food, paddle boarding and getting her Vitamin D outside in God’s creation.

Marv Retzer, Chemistry Instructor, began teaching in 1977. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Grace College, a Master of Arts degree in Christian School Administration from Grace Theological Seminary and completed EdD (ABD) studies at Ball State University in Educational Leadership with a Curriculum cognate. Mr. Retzer began his undergrad studies in medical research before switching to Elementary Education and, with his extensive Math and Science background, has taught MS-HS Math and Science classes for over 20+ years in addition to work in administration. Mr. Retzer’s personal scientific “love” is for Chemistry and he was privileged to receive a summer Eisenhower Fellowship in the 1980’s to study Microscale Chemistry at MIT in Boston. “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3 ESV) Mr. Retzer’s goal is for all students to see the majesty and power of God in creation through the study of Science.

Paul Laywell has four decades of teaching experience and has taught everything from seventh-grade Earth science to Advanced Placement Biology and Chemistry. After teaching in the public schools for sixteen-years, he transitioned to Christian, classical schools and, for the past eighteen years, has served as the science department head at Covenant Christian Academy in Colleyville, Texas where he also teaches physics and Advanced Placement Chemistry.

Paul endeavors to integrate a robust science curriculum with the history, philosophy and theology befitting a classical curriculum. Lessons often include attention-grabbing demonstrations and are routinely spiced with humor.

In addition to his secondary teaching positions, Paul has also taught in an adjunct capacity at both Tarrant County College and Dallas Baptist University.

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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