Educating the heart, mind, and soul in the Catholic tradition

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Middle School Math Online for Catholic Homeschoolers

We would like to introduce you to our newest instructor, Mrs. Nardozzi. We rarely bring on a new teacher or add a new course this close to the new school year. We only do it when we find an exceptional teacher who can also teach a subject that is seriously needed.

First, allow me to introduce you to Mrs. Nardozzi:



Isn't she wonderful! In fact, this video was shot by one of her students. He can't say enough nice things about her.

While we have a number of great middle school math courses available as recorded, independent-learning classes, we did not have one scheduled for the 2015/2016 school year. So, we've scheduled the following course for you. (Note, our courses are broken into 2 parts -- fall and spring semesters.) Our recorded middle school math courses use Saxon Math books. This live course will be using the Glencoe textbook, which is an excellent text for this age group.

Registration is open. Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration (Click on the semester and Math, then click on Search.)

Course name:  Middle School Math (Glencoe), Part One
Students are expected to sign up for Part Two in the Spring.
Class dates: Tuesdays, September 8 to December 15, 2015
Total classes: 14 live plus 14 pre-recorded
Starting time: 2:30 PM Eastern (1:30 PM Central, 12:30 PM Mountain, 11:30 AM Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes live classes, 25 minutes recorded
Prerequisite: Basic math skills.
Suggested grade level: 6th grade and up
Fee$190 if you register on or before July 15, 2015.  $210 after July 15  
Instructor: Emily Nardozzi, M.Ed.
Course descriptionMiddle School Math covers fractions, decimals, integers, data analysis, algebraic expressions and equations, functions and inequalities, using formulas, and surface area and volume in a way that will be easy to understand and will provide a strong foundation for the coming math courses.  
Course materials Mathematics: Applications and Concepts, Course 1, Student Edition (Glencoe Mathematics), 2006 Edition.  We recommend purchasing the book used as they can be found for as little as 0.99 plus s/h: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0078652537/catholictreas-20 (click on Used). 
Homework: 4-5 lesson per week with 15-20 homework problems per lesson

Course name:  Middle School Math (Glencoe), Part Two
Students are welcomed to join us midyear. Email us to check on prerequisites.
Class datesTuesdays, January 12 to April 26, 2016. No class February 23 for midterm break or March 22 for Easter Break.
Total classes: 14 live plus 14 pre-recorded
Starting time: 2:30 PM Eastern (1:30 PM Central, 12:30 PM Mountain, 11:30 AM Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes live classes, 25 minutes recorded
Prerequisite: Middle School Math (Glencoe), Part One or the equivalent. 
Suggested grade level: 6th grade and up
Fee$190 if you register on or before November 15, 2015. $210 after Nov. 15  
Instructor: Emily Nardozzi, M.Ed.
Course descriptionMiddle School Math covers fractions, decimals, integers, data analysis, algebraic expressions and equations, functions and inequalities, using formulas, and surface area and volume in a way that will be easy to understand and will provide a strong foundation for the coming math courses.  
Course materials Mathematics: Applications and Concepts, Course 1, Student Edition (Glencoe Mathematics), 2006 Edition.  We recommend purchasing the book used as they can be found for as little as 0.99 plus s/h: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0078652537/catholictreas-20 (click on Used). 
Homework: 4-5 lesson per week with 15-20 homework problems per lesson

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Narnia for Young Adults


When most people think of C. S. Lewis's masterpiece The Chronicles of Narnia, they think of young children. What I would like to suggest here is that you give the series to your teens to read. Even if they already read them as youngsters.

I've never enjoyed reading aloud more than when I read the Narnia books to my children. (And I read them many times over.)  There is a lot in Narnia that makes them worthwhile reading for teens and adults. Like Scripture, you get something different from the books when you read them at different stages in your life.

C. S. Lewis was a master at weaving deep theological and philosophical concepts into his children's stories. They are complex on one hand and pure delight on the other hand.

I lead a local high school book club. A few years ago, the teens asked to spend a year reading C. S. Lewis. We read Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, Space Trilogy, and many others. In the middle of all those lofty books, we reread The Last Battle from the Narnia series. It was received enthusiastically by the students. All had read it as young children and all had found new appreciation (and love) for it as young adults.

For these reasons, I was absolutely thrilled when Professor Joseph Pearce asked if he could teach an online course called Narnia for Young Adults. I gave him an enthusiastic YES! Below are details for the upcoming live course (Fall 2015) and a link to register. Once the course is completed, it will be made available as a recorded course through Unlimited Access.
-- Maureen Wittmann


Narnia for Young Adults: 
The Theology of The Chronicles of Narnia
Registration is open. Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration (Click on fall semester and literature, then click on Search.)
Class dates: Wednesdays, September 23 to October 28, 2015
Total classes: 6
Starting time: This course will be offered twice (on the same day). Choose one of the following times:
1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific) OR
2:30 PM Eastern (1:30 Central; 12:30 Mountain; 11:30 Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: Ability to read and enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester Literature
Fee: $90 if you register on or before June 15, 2015. $105 after June 15 for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Joseph Pearce
Course description: C. S. Lewis claimed that he "smuggled theology" into his fiction "under cover of romance". Professor Pearce will help students discover the deep Christian theology that Lewis successfully "smuggles" into his work.
Course outline
Week 1: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Week 2: The Magician's Nephew
Week 3: The Horse & His Boy / Prince Caspian
Week 4: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Week 5: The Silver Chair
Week 6: The Last Battle
Course materials: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Homework: Students should read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe before the first class. Homework entails daily reading and weekly quizzes.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why Learn Physics?



Top 10 reasons why you should take physics.

10.   Physics Makes You a Problem Solver - When faced with a particular problem, students are taught to systematically identify all factors contributing to the problem and work out how those factors interact in order to solve the problem.
9.     Physics Teaches You to Think Outside the Box of Human Intuition – Many people who have studied physics report it helps them develop critical thinking skills … just talk to Copernicus about that one!
8.     Physics Explains Useful Things – Like How a GPS system works or how to make a car engine run more efficiently.
7.     Physics Helps with the ACT, SAT, MCAT, and LSAT - Data from the American Institute of Physics show that physics majors get among the highest MCAT scores and the highest LSAT scores of all undergraduate majors.
6.     Physics Will Help Prepare You to Get into a Good CollegeIt demands respect from many employers and university administration officers as it provides students with excellent analytical, problem solving, and quantitative skills.
5.     Physics Opens the Door to Many Career Opportunities – The skills learned in Physics class are not limited to only science and engineering but also economics, journalism, urban planning, national defense, and a whole host of other careers.       
4.     Physics Allows You to Express Creativity
3.     Physics Helps You to See the Mind of God in His Created Universe – We can see His creativity, organization, and the order of creation from theories of cosmological beginnings to how it could possibly end.
2.     Physics Makes Things Possible - Without physics there would be no refrigerators, light bulbs, grocery laser scanners, rockets, cars, cell phones, airplanes, fiber optics, DVD players, TV’s, computers, and the list goes on…

1.     Physics is Interesting and Fun! - Perhaps the greatest skill a physics student develops is a sense of wonder about how things work.

If you're looking for high school physics courses online, Homeschool Connections offers two levels of Physics. We offer Conceptual Physics and also Mechanical Physics. Please don't hesitate to email us if you have any questions about the best physics course for you and your homeschool at homeschoolconnections@gmail.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Christian Architecture Overview: Online Classes




When we think of Christian teaching, many of us think of the Scriptures, catechism, writings of the saints, and the teachings of the popes. In our 2015 summer bootcamp "Christian Architecture Through the Ages", Mr. Phillip Campbell will lead students in exploring Christianity's architectural heritage, which has traditionally been one of the main ways the faith is passed from generation to generation.

Registration is open. Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration Page (choose the summer semester and click on Search).

Christian Architecture through the Ages
Class dates: Monday through Thursday, July 13, 14, 15, and 16.
Total classes: 4
Starting time: 4:00 PM Eastern (3:00 Central; 2:00 Mountain; 1:00 Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 7th to 12th grade.
Suggested high school credit: 1/3 semester World History
Fee: $65 for all 4 classes.
Instructor: Phillip Campbell
Course description: This course will acquaint students with the basic components of Christian ecclesiastical architecture, beginning with the basilicas of the late patristic era and moving through the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic.
Course outline: Day 1: Late patristic basilicas, Day 2: Romanesque and Gothic, Day 3: Renaissance and Baroque elements, Day 4: Revivalism and the Modern Descent
Course materials: Provided free by the instructor.
Homework: Minimal amount of reading; test at the end of the week with suggestions for further reading.


We hope to see you in class!

Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration Page (choose the summer semester and click on Search).


Friday, June 26, 2015

Homeschool Online History Classes


As always, Homeschool Connections is offering lots of great history courses next semester. Below I'll give you all the little details for each course. In a nutshell, here are the fall history courses:
  • The French Revolution: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death” with Mrs. Stanley (6th to 8th grade)
  • The Rise and Fall of the Missions of Alta California with Mr. Zehnder (7th grade and up)
  • History: Making of the Modern World: Light to the Nations II with Mr. Zehnder (8th to 10th grade)
  • The History of Latin America with Mr. Campbell (11th and 12th grade)
Registration is open. The Early Enrollment Price ends July 15th some courses are starting to fill up, so don't wait too long! Click here: Homeschool Connections Registration Page (choose the semester and click on Search).



The French Revolution: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death”
This course is limited to 20 students.
Class dates: Wednesdays, September 23 to November 25, 2015.
Total classes: 10
Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 6th to 8th grade
Fee: $150 if you register on or before July 15, 2015. $170 after July 15 for all 10 classes.
Instructor: Alison Stanley, JD
Course Description: In 1789, a three-part revolution began in France due to grave inequality between the three classes (“Estates”), the distressed financial condition of the French government and the widespread dissemination of Enlightenment ideals. The rebellion was radical and violent, leading to the abolition of the monarchy and execution of King Louis XVI. Although the monarchy returned to this country, the French Revolution drastically altered Europe forever by abolishing feudalism and promoting the principles of equality and natural right.
Course materials: All course materials will be supplied free by the instructor.
Homework: Homework is approximately 30 minutes a week consisting of original reading from the time period, as well as educational videos. A final project also will be assigned which will be presented at the last class. Moreover, a final exam will be given.

The Rise and Fall of the Missions of Alta California, Part One
Note: This is Part One of a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two in the spring.
Class dates: Mondays, September 14 to December 7, 2015. No class October 26 for midterm break.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 7th grade and up
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester American History
Fee: $175 if you register on or before July 15, 2015. $195 after July 15th for all 12 classes.
Instructor: Christopher Zehnder, MA
Course description: This course will tell the story of the mission system that Fray Junípero Serra established in California, the various struggles he and his successors faced in bringing Christ and civilization to the primitive peoples of California and the opposition they faced from both Spanish and California officials. It is a dramatic story that includes many dramatic events: Indian rebellion, heroic sacrifice, and martyrdom. It is a tragic story, too, for it tells of the promise of the mission system and how it was ultimately destroyed.
Course materials: Instructor will provide texts (primary source and otherwise) in PDF format to students.
Homework: Weekly reading. Lectures will focus on those events and ideas that are the keys for understanding the historical periods under consideration. The teacher will evaluate the students by essay tests given after Week III, Week V, and Week VII. Thereafter, evaluation will be based on student's responses to questions in class.

History: Making of the Modern World: Light to the Nations II, Part One
Please note: Light to the Nations I is NOT necessary to take Light to the Nations II.
This is Part One of a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two in the spring.
Class dates: Mondays, September 14 to December 7, 2015. No class October 26 for midterm break.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 2:30 PM Eastern (1:30 Central; 12:30 Mountain; 11:30 Pacific)
Duration: 75 minutes (1 hour 15 minutes)
Prerequisite: None 
Suggested grade level: 8th to 10th grade
Suggesting high school credit: 1 full semester World History
Fee: $175 if you register on or before July 15, 2015. $195 after July 15th for all 12 classes.
Instructor: Christopher Zehnder, MA
Course description: This course examines how the Modern World – our world – came to be. It looks at the revolutionary ideas that created, first in Europe and then the entire world, an understanding of man and his relationship to God, the Church, and the state that was in many respects radically different from the understanding of these things that prevailed in the Middle Ages. Ideas influence deeds, and thus the course examines historical events, showing how they flowed from the struggle between those who held to traditional conceptions and those who embraced the new ideas. Events influence ideas, and thus we study how the events of history helped modify and develop both the new ideas and the traditional vision of the world. The course is divided into two parts. Part I (first semester) begins with the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries and concludes with the attempt, steered by Prince Klemens von Metternich, to reestablish the ancient regime after the fall of Napoleon's empire. Part II (second semester) continues the story, beginning with a study of Romanticism and concluding with Vatican II and the post-conciliar world. 
Course materials: The text for the course (both Part One and Part Two) is Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World, published by and available from http://www.catholictextbookproject.com/
Homework: Students will read assigned portions of the text. Lectures will focus on those events and ideas that are the keys for understanding the historical periods under consideration. The teacher will evaluate the students by essay tests given after Week III, Week V, and Week VII. Thereafter, evaluation will be based on student's responses to questions in class.

The History of Latin America
Class dates: Mondays, September 14 to December 14, 2015. No classes Nov. 2 for Midterm Break.
Total classes: 13
Starting time: 4:30 PM Eastern (3:30 Central; 2:30 Mountain; 1:30 Pacific)
Duration: 55 minutes
Prerequisite: None, Introduction to Christian Historiography and Modern European History recommended (both available through Unlimited Access).
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade; 9th and 10th grade students with above average reading and comprehension skills.
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester World History or American History
Fee: $200 if you register on or before July 15, 2015. $220 after July 15th for all 13 classes.
Instructor: Mr. Phillip Campbell
Course description: Americans routinely hear about problems all over the globe, but seldom do we have the historical hindsight to understand the origin of these conflicts. In "The History of Latin America", students will survey of the history and culture of Central and South America, from the Spanish and Portuguese colonial period through the age of the revolutions and into the region's troubled modern period. Focus will be on South and Central America but will also touch on the Caribbean with an emphasis on illustrating how the region's past relates to its modern character.
Course outline:
Week 1: Geography: Introduction to the geography of south and central America
Week 2: Pre-Columbian Peoples: Cultures of south and central America prior to Columbus
Week 3: First Contact: Initial contacts with the Europeans and the Conquest 
Week 4: Brazil: The calamitous history of South America's largest nation
Week 5: The Caribbean: Culture and history of the Caribbean islands
Week 6: The Catholic Church: The role of the Church in creating the culture of Latin America
Week 7: Culture and Society: Distinctive cultural characteristics of Latin America
Week 8: New Spain: The creation of Mexico
Week 9: The Age of Liberty: Revolution rocks Latin America throughout the 19th century
Week 10: Banana Republics: Latin America and U.S. influence in the early 20th century
Week 11: The Strong Men: Pinochet, Peron, and the Latin American dictatorships
Week 12: The Spectre of Communism: Latin America's experiment with socialism and communism
Week 13: Unresolved Issues: Contemporary problems in Latin America
Course materials: Provided free by instructor.

Homework: Five hours per week, including attending the live class, watching recordings, completing reading assignments, online quizzes, and occasional short answer or mini-essay questions.