Take Online Summer Courses with Cicero

Are you a high schooler prepping for an AP?

Or a tween about to start high school?

Or any learner looking for an intellectual adventure with an inspiring mentor?

Our summer seminars are for you.

All seminars can be one-to-one with a teacher-mentor; and many are for pods of 3-4 learners who want to learn together (and share costs).

Summer seminars for teens

“The idea behind our summer seminars is to give teens space to explore their passions, experiment, and challenge themselves.”

- Cicero

Our Seminars

AP English Summer Reading Club

Our AP English Summer Reading Club is for students who will be taking the AP English Literature course next fall, and preparing for the exam next spring. With the help of our trained AP teacher and coach, this summer reading club provides a supportive and collaborative environment where students can get a jump on the required reading ahead of the class. The  program is also designed to be relaxed, engaging, and enjoyable—the way summer reading should be. Together with your coach you’ll explore narrative themes, do some textual analysis, and begin to connect with the AP reading list in a deep way, in order to prepare for the class. By the end of the course students will feel more confident and be better equipped to analyze texts, write persuasively, and participate in group discussions – skills that are valuable not just in the AP English course, but also in college and beyond. Our goal is to not only prepare you for AP English, but also to start your new academic year with confidence and a love of literature.
  • This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students.
  • Duration: 4-8 weeks

Let's Break AI

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, it’s crucial for students to make informed decisions about the use of AI. As educators it’s our responsibility to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate this complex field. While some may be hesitant to embrace AI, it’s important to acknowledge that it’s already a pervasive part of our lives.

Rather than trying to prevent students from using AI, we believe that it’s more productive to teach them how to use it. There is a vibrant tradition in technology of hacking or trying to break something in order to understand it; and that’s the approach we’ll take in this summer course. Over 4 weeks, together with a computer engineer from MIT, we’ll try our damndest to break an AI chatbot, and along the way explore its potential uses and misuses.

Our approach is one of empowerment, not fear. We want our students to be confident in their ability to work with AI, and to understand the potential risks and benefits of doing so. With the guidance of our experienced learning coach, students will emerge from the course with a better understanding of AI and the tools they need to make informed decisions about its use.

  • This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students.

Hot Sauce & Fermentation

In this summer course, we’ll learn how to make amazing hot sauce with a hot sauce impresario who produces and sells hot sauce in his local farmer’s market. Along the way we’ll learn about the art of fermentation, different pepper varieties, and even what happens in our bodies when we encounter hot foods. We’ll also get a primer on farmer’s market entrepreneurship. This is a hands-on course that will take place over a four-week period.
  • This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students.
  • Duration: 4 weeks

Spanish Conversation

The true mark of fluency in another language is one’s ability to speak it. The aim of this summer course is to provide a space for regular practice to develop a student’s conversational ability. Done either one-to-one with a teacher, or in a small learning pod setting of 3-4 students, we’ll meet once or twice weekly over the course of four weeks to spend an hour over conversation in Spanish with a high school Spanish teacher and translator.
  • This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students.
  • Duration: four weeks

Prototyping

In this summer course students will learn how to build a prototype of an idea. Working with an experienced engineer we’ll turn your big idea into a workable prototype. Students will learn the basics of design thinking, working at scale, and the key principles of building a design prototype. This will be a hands-on course and will provide students with practical experience in developing and testing new ideas. And don’t worry too much about materials; Your mentor will guide you through the process using easy-to-find materials. 

This course is designed for young builders and engineers who want to hone their skills and test out their big ideas. By the end of the course, the goal is to equip students with both the physical and emotional tools necessary to navigate the challenges of the prototyping process.

  • This course is executed one-to-one.
  • Duration: Up to You

Anthropology of Me

Want to learn about your roots? Want to know what your connection is to the land you live on? Want to make connections between the world your ancestors lived in and the world you live in now? What lessons can you learn from the past? How can this apply to (y)our present and future? This course is a deep dive into you, your family, and your relationship to the land you live (and travel) on. Part history, part political science, part anthropology and all self-discovery.  We’ll begin with a DNA test (optional). Then, while we wait for the results, we’ll do some basic genealogy and family research, building a family tree, and then extending this work to look at your community and the land you inhabit. We’ll build a personal and political timeline, consider the legacy of our ancestors, and start crafting an anthropological narrative of ourselves. Somewhere along the way we’ll get our DNA results, which will add additional data to our research, and we’ll learn some core social science skills about how to incorporate new data into a narrative.
  • This course is executed one-to-one.
  • Duration/Cadence: 4-6 weeks, 2x weekly

Ecosystem in a Jar

In this summer course we’ll build our own self-contained ecosystem with a trained biologist. Along the way we’ll explore some of the building blocks of life on earth, including the nitrogen and carbon cycles. We’ll use close-to-hand materials to build our ecosystem in a jar, and then monitor changes over a two week period, learning how observational biologists track changes in a system over time. By the end of the course, students will have gained a solid understanding of the importance of ecosystems and their role in sustaining the planet, as well as a basic knowledge of the earth’s cycles. This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students. Duration: 2 weeks, 4x weekly
  • This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students.
  • Duration/Cadence: 3 weeks, 3x weekly

Meditation Workshop

Meditation has shown to have a positive impact on executive functioning in students and can improve working memory, attention control, and cognitive flexibility. In this one-to-one workshop with a trained meditation facilitator you will explore a variety of meditation practices and techniques, and learn how meditation can play a valuable role in day-to-day life. This course can also be part of setting up an AM/PM self-care practice which would be meditation-centered but also focus on some of the executive functions that will help set up students to do their best once classes resume properly in the fall. 
  • This course is executed one-to-one.
  • Duration/Cadence: 3 weeks, 2x weekly

Hobby Deep Dive

Bring your favorite hobby or project to a four week one-on-one deep dive with an educator who can help you explore your passions and hobbies and take them to new heights. This summer course is designed for students who feel that their school year may be over-programmed and doesn’t leave enough time for them to pursue their passion. Maybe it’s knitting, or learning how to bake, or planting a garden, or building a robot, or writing a novel. The exact topic doesn’t matter. In this course we’ll pair you with a teacher/coach/mentor who can help you structure your learning and go deeper into your project than you’ve ever gone before. Think of them as your cheerleader, goal setter, and co-organizer.
  • This course is executed one-to-one.
  • Duration: Up to You

Writing Workshop

In this low-stress writing workshop you will work with a trained writing teacher either one-to-one or in a learning pod of 3-4 peers to hone and improve your writing chops.  Whether you’re a rising senior focused on your college essay or an 8th grader looking to explore scriptwriting, poetry, or essay writing, this summer workshop is tailored to your needs and focused on making you a better and more confident writer.
  • This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students.
  • Duration/Cadence: 2 weeks, 3x weekly

Blogging Workshop

This summer we will be running our Blogging for Teens course with former worldschooler and travel blogger Hannah Miller for a learning pod of up to 4 students.

Over the course of four weeks budding writers will learn how to launch a blog, how to write for their audience, how to market and grow their audience, and other aspects of blogging.

This is a fun way for teens to explore their voice, learn some technical skills, and build place to publish their ideas.

  • This course can be done one-to-one or in a learning pod of max four students.
  • Duration/Cadence: varies

AP Lit Summer Reading

Let's Break AI

Hot Sauce Seminar

Spanish Conversation

Prototyping Seminar

Anthropology of Me Seminar

Ecosystem in a Jar

Meditation Workshop

Hobby Deep Dive

Writing Workshop

Blogging Workshop

Thank You

Check your email for a welcome message. After that we’ll generally send new content—ideas about homeschooling, latest research on alternative school methods, and announcements of new courses, teachers, and programs here at Cicero—every 7-10 days.

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