Educating the heart, mind, and soul in the Catholic tradition with online classes

Faith ~ Excellence ~ Passion

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Early Registration Discount About to Expire

If you're like me and always looking for a way to save money then today is a good day to enroll your high school student in our online courses. You can save $10 to $25 per course by registering before the end of Thursday (December 31). So, if you register for 4 courses that could add up to as much as $100 savings!!!

For links to individual courses and registration, please visit the Homeschool Connections Upcoming Courses page.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I received the following email this morning. It's emails like this that make Homeschool Connections all worthwhile!
I hope that all of you organizing and running these Homeschool Connections online classes realize what an absolutely wonderful service you have provided participating families. You have given us so many terrific options to enhance our homeschool high school classes. I only wish my two older children would have been able to take part in them. I will certainly use them with all my younger children when they are the right age. I am so grateful to you for setting these up. They have made a huge difference in Anna's schooling and she is even considering an English literature major in college because she has enjoyed the classes so much.
Have a Blessed and Beautiful Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

High School Introduction to Logic

Update: This live course has concluded and is will be available 03/24/10 as a recorded course through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows.To subscribe or learn more: Adult and High School Online Classes


Logic: Introduction to Formal Logic
(Click on title and then scroll down to register)

Session dates
: Wednesdays, January 13 to February 24, 2010. This is a six-week course. There will be no class on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17th.
Starting time: 10:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (9:00 am Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Professor: Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.

Course Description: The emphasis on feelings and de-emphasis on proper, logical thinking has left many Americans prey to advertisers and demagogues. A training in logic can help a reader or listener see the truth and falsehood of statements made on the editorial page or on talk radio shows, so he can make proper judgments about important matters. This six-week course establishes the rudiments of formal logic—the construction and detection of valid syllogism and formal and informal fallacies. The emphasis will be on examples taken from popular media. This course is for 9th through 12th grades.

Textbook: Traditional Logic: Introduction to Formal Logic by Martin Cothran (Memoria Press). The Answer Key should also be purchased if you would like to continue the book after the course is finished. We will not complete the entire book in our 6 weeks together but you will be given the tools necessary to finish it on your own for full high school credit for one semester.

Homework:
Logic exercises each week. Final assignment to analyze a paragraph taken from a source for logic. Dr. Gotcher will grade assignments and give a final letter grade for the course.

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone. If you do not own a headset, you can find them for a reasonable price at Radio Shack or Amazon.

Course Access:
All Homeschool Connections courses are recorded and available to registered students for up to six months.

Course fee: This course is regularly $120 for the entire 6 weeks. Early registration discount: $25 off if registered by Dec. 31, 2009

Week-by-week outline:
Class 1: Terms
Class 2: Propositions
Class 3: Propositions
Class 4: Propositions
Class 5: Syllogism
Class 6: Syllogism

Misc: Dr. Jean Rioux's course Philosophy: Paradoxes and Fallacies is the perfect follow up to this course.

Professor's Biography: Dr. Robert F. Gotcher most recently served as Associate Professor of Systematic Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Kathy, are raising their seven children in Franklin, Wisconsin. Dr. Gotcher has been actively involved in the home schooling of his children, especially in the junior high and high school years. He has taught Latin, literature, physics, astronomy, and religion to homeschooled students. He has a special devotion to the classical trivium of grammar, logic and rhetoric, especially as they pertain to the written arts.

Dr. Gotcher graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 with a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies. He received his M.A. in Theology of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 1991 and his Ph.D. from Marquette University in 2002. In his adult life he has done everything from volunteering with the poor in Appalachia, to religious education and youth ministry, to desktop publishing and computer related responsibilities at a law firm. At the seminary he taught introduction to theology, the doctrine of God, one and three, theological anthropology (creation, sin, redemption, grace, four last things), life principles, and human sexuality and has given public presentations on Vatican II, the encyclicals of the pope, social justice, life issues, human sexuality and the theology of the body. His publications focus on family issues, lay spirituality and issues related to the Second Vatican Council. He is involved in the secular Franciscan order, home schooling, and pro-life activities in the Milwaukee area and nationally.

Logic: Introduction to Formal Logic
(Click on title and then scroll down to register)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

High School Literature: G. K. Chesterton

Update: This live course has concluded and is now available as a recorded course through our Unlimited Access  Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows. To subscribe or learn more: Middle and High School Online Classes

Literature: Chesterton; Man of Letters
(Click on title and then scroll down to register)

Class dates: Wednesdays, February 3 to March 17, 2010 (no class on Ash Wed., Feb. 17)
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 PM Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Professor: Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.

Course Description: G.K. Chesterton, a convert to Christianity, then to Catholicism, is one of the most popular Christian writers of the Twentieth Century. He wrote theology, social commentary, literary criticism, fantasy fiction, poetry, and mysteries. He was a major influence on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In this six-week course we will discuss in seminar style some of the major works of Chesterton taken from several genres, including, for instance, The Everlasting Man or Orthodoxy, the biography of St. Francis, a Fr. Brown mystery or two, Lepanto, and The Man Who Was Thursday. This course is appropriate for juniors and seniors in high school.

Week-by-week outline:
Class 1: Murder Mysteries; Fr. Brown, “The Blue Cross.”
Class 2: Narrative poetry; “Ballad of the White Horse.”
Class 3: Social commentary; The Outline of Sanity, select chapters.
Class 4: History/Biography/Hagiography; St. Francis of Assisi.
Class 5: Philosoophy and Theology; Orthodoxy, Chapter Six.
Class 6: Fiction; The Man Who Was Thursday.

Course materials: Dr. Gotcher will provide links to all of the needed reading free online. Or, you can borrow the books from the library.

Optional homework: Dr. Gotcher will provide weekly quizzes with answer keys for parents to grade.

High school credit: This course is worth 1/2 semester credit. For a full semester credit you can add Dr. Gotcher's course Tolkien and Fairy Stories.

Equipment requirements:
Because this is a discussion course, students are not only required to have high-speed internet but also a headset with microphone. If you do not own a headset, you can find them for a reasonable price locally or at Amazon.

Course access:
All Homeschool Connections courses are recorded and available to registered students for up to six months.

Course fee: This course is regularly $90 for the entire 6 weeks. Early registration discount: $15 off if registered by Dec. 31, 2009 ($75)

Professor's biography:
Dr. Robert F. Gotcher most recently served as Associate Professor of Systematic Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Kathy, are raising their seven children in Franklin, Wisconsin. Dr. Gotcher has been actively involved in the home schooling of his children, especially in the junior high and high school years. He has taught Latin, literature, physics, astronomy, and religion to homeschooled students. He has a special devotion to the classical trivium of grammar, logic and rhetoric, especially as they pertain to the written arts.

Dr. Gotcher graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 with a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies. He received his M.A. in Theology of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 1991 and his Ph.D. from Marquette University in 2002. In his adult life he has done everything from volunteering with the poor in Appalachia, to religious education and youth ministry, to desktop publishing and computer related responsibilities at a law firm. At the seminary he taught introduction to theology, the doctrine of God, one and three, theological anthropology (creation, sin, redemption, grace, four last things), life principles, and human sexuality and has given public presentations on Vatican II, the encyclicals of the pope, social justice, life issues, human sexuality and the theology of the body. His publications focus on family issues, lay spirituality and issues related to the Second Vatican Council. He is involved in the secular Franciscan order, home schooling, and pro-life activities in the Milwaukee area and nationally.

Dr. Gotcher blogs at Classic Catholic and Love2Learn

Literature: Chesterton; Man of Letters
(Click on title and then scroll down to register)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Economics Reading List: High School

This is a supplemental reading list to accompany our Economics course. You may choose 1 or 2 books (depending on their length and difficulty) and write a report for your parent in order to get a full semester credit for Economics.

Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell
A Stanford professor, Sowell writes a clear and concise explanation of economics for the layman. Follow up with Economics in One Lesson.

Economics in One Easy Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt
Short readable chapters. The "one lesson" is taught in chapter one. The remaining chapters contain stories to back up the lesson.

The Math Behind Wall Street: How the Market Works and How to Make it Work for You by Nicholas Teebagy
Outlines the concepts behind the stock market and explains the terminology. Gives you the basics.

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek
There are many books about Hayek's economics but this is his most accessible book for a high school student. It's a critique of Europe's (particularly England's) shift to socialism after World War II.

The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers by Robert Heilbroner
Biographies of economists. Also introduces basic concepts.

The Motley Fool Guide to Investing for Teens: Eight Steps to Having More Money than Your Parents Ever Dreamed of by David and Tom Gardner with Selena Maranjian
Teens learn investment strategies to prepare for their financial future.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Benedictine College in Kansas


College Month is almost at an end. I know, it's sad, but we'll do it again next year. In the meantime, join us for our final free webinar and let's go out with bang. Our final College Month free webinar will be with Benedictine College.

I've had the privilege to work with two of Benedictine's professors who teach for Homeschool Connections and have been quite impressed. Benedictine wasn't on my radar before meeting Dr. Jean Rioux (philosophy) and Dr. David Harris (economics). However, Benedictine is definitely on the Wittmann short list of colleges now, especially since learning that they're starting a nursing school.

I hope you all will join me in learning more about Benedictine College. Here's all the information you need. (Just click on the title below to register.)

Session date: Thursday, December 10, 2009
Starting time: 8:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Presenters: Father Brendan Rolling, Joe Wurtz, and Peter Helgelsen
Description: Fr. Brendan Rolling, Director of Mission and Ministry, Joe Wurtz, Dean of Students, and Pete Helgesen, Dean of Enrollment Management will host a webinar to introduce you and your family to the mission of Benedictine College. We hope you are able to join us!

Monday, November 23, 2009

How Grandparents Can Help with College Funding

Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS of Celtic Consulting has presented a couple of free webinars for Homeschool Connections in the past and she is a treasure trove of information when it comes to information regarding planning for college funding.

This particular free webinar will deal specifically with how grandparents and others can help a family with college funding. Make sure to invite anone who would like to know more in this area. I'm looking forward to it myself.

Please click on the title below to register:


Session date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Starting time: 8:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Presenter: Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS
Fee: FREE

Description:
We want to share our love and our values with our grandchildren. How can we best make gifts to our kids and grandkids to support the grandchildrens’ college educations? There are ways grandparents can exercise their generosity which can interfere with the child’s eligibility for financial aid. There are better strategies to reduce one’s estate in favor of one’s grandchildren. This workshop will cover the basics of those strategies thus enabling grandparents to get the most bang for their bucks.

Presenter's biography:
Katherine is an eleven year homeschool veteran with six children. She earned her BS Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an MA Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She founded Celtic College Consultants in 2004 and has been helping students and their families make their college dreams come true without breaking their banks. Katherine holds the Certified College Planning Specialist designation from the NICCP. NICCP advisors are professionals with extensive training and continuing education in college financial planning. She also belongs to the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling. She has expertise both in admissions and college funding.

Friday, November 20, 2009

American Government Reading List

Democracy, Government & Citizenship
Supplemental Reading List

This list includes everything from the classic pieces like The Federalist and Common Sense to modern studies of power and government. The contemporary pieces may not be free of various ideological biases of the authors, but they represent the types of works often studied in secular academic institutions and still have value, despite occasional biases.

Be forewarned that some of these books are THICK and intellectual. I’m recommending the book on Thomas More as a study in true statesmanship, character and faith. There are interesting pieces on Presidents Roosevelt, Johnson and Nixon. There are innumerable books on Lincoln, don’t even know where to start in recommending something on him.

The following selections list title, author and a reference page from the homeschooling book For the Love of Literature by Maureen Wittmann. These are books you will likely have to find at your public library (or through inter-library loan).

The Magna Carta, James Daugherty, p. 139
St. Thomas More of London, Elizabeth Ince, p. 150
Paul Revere & the World He Lived In, Ester Forbes, p. 184
Common Sense, Thomas Paine, p. 185
Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson, (from the Constitution & Democracy Series)
David N. Mayer, p. 186
The Federalist, Hamilton, Madison, Jay, p. 186
Democracy in America, Alexis deTocqueville, p. 180 (I quoted this one in class - a classic!!)
The Roosevelt Myth, John T. Flynn, p. 202
Hiroshima, John Hersey, p. 127 (the moral implications of war & nuclear weapons)
The Power Broker, Robert Caro, p. 208 (a study in corruption and power)
The Path to Power, Robert Caro, p. 207 (about LBJ)

Additional Contemporary or Academic Works (try your library or Amazon)

All the President’s Men, Woodward & Bernstein (about Nixon)
*The Brethren (1979), & The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (2005), Bob Woodward
The Tempting of America, Robert Bork
+Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do & Why They Do It, James Q. Wilson
The Broken Branch, Thomas Mann & Norman Ornstein

*These are inside looks at the U.S. Supreme Court by investigative reporters… interesting
+James Q. Wilson is a preeminent political scientist, this is academic stuff.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

St. Mary's Student Center at Texas A&M University

UPDATE: The live event was great. You can watch the recording click here: St. Mary's Student Center at A&M Texas


Catholic College Month continues!

Meet St. Mary's Student Center at Texas A&M University

Session date: Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Starting time: 4:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (3:00 pm, Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Presenter: Marcel Lejune

Description:
Please join us to learn about St. Mary's Catholic Center - the largest Catholic campus ministry in the country and generally regarded as one of the best, if not the best.

Firmly planted in faith and proximity to Texas A&M University deep in the heart of Texas, St. Mary's Student Center is a wonderful place for Catholics to grow in their faith while attending a public university. Evidence by multiple vocations a year St. Mary's Student Center is vibrantly active community.


Gig 'em and God bless!

Presenter's biography: Marcel LeJeune is the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at St. Mary's. He oversees the Pastoral Team and the Catholic Center ministries and programs. He holds a Master of Theological Studies, specializing in Pastoral Theology, from Ave Maria University and a Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University '95.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Homeschool Children with Dyslexia

UPDATE: We all had a lovely time at the live event. If you missed it, you can still view the recording and gain a boatload of information on how to homeschool dyslexic children. The recorded webinar is free of course.

Homeschool Connections is excited to present Maureen Wittmann's upcoming webinar on how to teach children with dyslexia. We are able to bring this webinar to you at no charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors Ecce Homo Press and Franciscan University.

To register, please click on the title below:


Session date: Thursday, November 19, 2009
Starting time: 8:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Presenters: Maureen Wittmann

Description:
This is the first in the God's Wildflowers series.

In this free webinar Maureen will share the story of her oldest son, now 20-years old. Told by public school officials that her severely dyslexic son would never read beyond the 4th grade level, she took matters in her own hands.

Learn how a 10-year old, struggling to learn to read, grew up to get straight A's in college.

Maureen will not only share her personal story but the methods she used to teach her son.

The phrase God's Wildflowers refers to learning disabled children. The name is a reflection of the beauty these children bring to our lives.

Presenter's biography:
Maureen Wittmann is married to Rob and is a homeschooling mother of 7 children who have always been homeschooled. She has a houseful of God's Wildflowers and is grateful for the opportunity to mother them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

mater et magistra: Catholic Homeschooling Magazine

Homeschool Connections is able to bring webinars to you free thanks to the help of our sponsors. One sponsor is mater et magistra magazine. They've even given away free subscriptions to our viewers in the past!

If you're not familiar with mater et magistra, it is THE Catholic homeschooling magazine and it is terrific. Margot Davidson of Hillside Education is the publisher and she's employed some terrific artists and writers to bring us one of the most beautiful magazines I've ever seen. It's coffee-table beautiful. But don't leave it on the table too long as the articles are informative and uplifting. From how-to, text reviews, unit studies and more, I always learn something new even though I've been homeschooling for 15 years.

Thank you Margot for your sponsorship and thank you for a wonderful magazine!

If you would like to subscribe just go to: Catholic homeschool magazine. It's well worth the subscription fee to get in the mail every quarter!

Please keep mater et magistra, as well as her publisher, writers, and artists, in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Catholic History Online Course: High School, Part 2

Update: This live course has concluded and is now available as a recorded course through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows.To subscribe or learn more: Adult and High School Catholic Online Classes

History: The Age of the Religious Wars (1560-1648)

(Click on title to register)
This is the second of a two-part series which can be taken together or separately.


Session dates: Mondays, April 12 to May 17, 2010
Total sessions: 6
Starting time: 10:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Presenter: Phillip Campbell

Fee:
This course is regularly $90 for the entire 6 weeks. Early registration discount: $15 off if registered by December 31, 2009

Course description:
Recommended for 11th to 12th grade.

In this second six week course, students will see how the ideologies of Protestantism affected the various nations of Europe politically and how many of the attitudes and assumptions of modernity are rooted in 16th and 17th century developments. Students will also learn how the Church responded to these changes to the traditional order.

(First course in this series: History: Roots of the Revolt (1417-1560)

Course outline:
1) Consolidation of English Protestantism: The anti-Catholic measures of Edward VI and Elizabeth of England and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.

2) The True Reformation: A look at the true Reformation, the so-called "Counter Reformation" of the Church and the Council of Trent.

3) French Wars of Religion: A look at the religious strife in late 16th century France between the Catholics and the Huguenots.

4) The Spanish-English Wars: The dissolution of Anglo-Spanish relations, culminating in the epic and disastrous defeat of the Spanish in 1588; the origin of the "Black Legend" of Spanish cruelty.

5) The Thirty Years' War: The final religious conflict in Europe that raged from 1618 to 1648 and how it changed the political and religious outlook of Europe.

6) The Stalemate: Survey of the state of the revolt in various countries by 1648 and how the mentality of the revolt took root in the development of the American colonies.

Homework:
Homework will consist of readings from primary source documents available online, as well as the completion of a series of mini-essay questions weekly. There are no questions due the first day of class, but students should read the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Western Schism, which is available at the following link(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13539a.htm).

Series description:
The Protestant Revolt: The Rending of Christendom (1417-1648)
High school students will analyze the causes and outcomes of the Protestant Revolt and will get an in depth analysis of the important personalities of the period, coupled with a philosophical explication of their varied ideologies; a Catholic apologetic to Protestant doctrines will be also be present throughout the series. We will begin by looking at the precursors to the Revolt, beginning in the aftermath of the Western Schism, and will end with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 at the end of the last of the religious wars. There will also be an emphasis on the importance of the "Counter Reformation" within the Catholic Church and how it shaped Catholic identity for the succeeding centuries.

High School Credit: 1/2 semester. For a full semester credit in history, precede with Mr. Campbell's History: Roots of the Revolt (1417-1560)

Equipment requirements
:
Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone. Can be found locally or at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002XIX0O/catholictreas-20.

Instructor biography:
Phillip Campbell holds a BA in European History from Ave Maria University and is pursuing graduate studies in education at Madonna University. He is a Youth Director and he also teaches history for a Homeschool Enrichment Program. Mr. Campbell and his wife of eight years homeschool their three children.

Testimonials:
Mr. Campbell is indeed a favorite of my daughter. Thank you for making our history come alive for our children. Because they are learning it so well, maybe they will be the positive change our world is in such need of. God bless you.
- Marti, homeschool mother

Mr. Campbell is terrific and I'm learning so much! I really enjoy the stories he tells about the people involved in historical events. It makes it real to me.
- Margaret, student

Misc.
Mr. Campbell will be available via email in between classes for questions and comments.

Recordings of classes are provided to students within 24 hours and available for 6 months.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catholic History Classes: Homeschool High School, Part 1

Update: This live course has concluded and is now available as a recorded course through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows.To subscribe or learn more: Adult and High School Catholic Online Classes

History: Roots of the Revolt (1417-1560)
(Click on title to register)
This is the first of a two-part series which can be taken together (recommended) or separately.


I am very excited about this 2-part history series. Two of my own children have been tutored by Mr. Campbell and they can't stop singing his praises. He is an engaging instructor, faithful Catholic, and devoted homeschool father. I look forward to sharing his wisdom and talents with the rest of the Catholic homeschool world.

Session dates
: Mondays, February 8 to March 15, 2010
Total sessions: 6
Starting time: 10:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Presenter: Phillip Campbell

Fee:
This course is regularly $90 for the entire 6 weeks. Early registration discount: $15 off if registered by December 31, 2009

Course description:
Recommended for 11th to 12th grade.

This six week course will acquaint students with the pertinent people and ideologies that led directly or indirectly to the outbreak of the Protestant Revolt. Protestant ideas will be contrasted with Catholic theology throughout in order to give the course an apologetic dimension in addition to the historical.

(Part 2 in the series can be found here: History: The Age of the Religious Wars (1560-1648)

Course outline:
1) Christianity & Christendom: A brief review of growth of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages and the establishment of "Christendom" as a united, political expression of a Catholic world view.

2) Origins of the Revolt: A look at several religious and political factors that led to the revolt (the Avignon Papacy, Western Schism, growth of nationalism and the printing press).

3) Martin Luther & Lutheranism: Biographical sketch of Luther, the historical origin of his ideas and Lutheran theology compared to the Church's teachings.

4) Germany on Fire: 1525-1555: A look at how the incendiary writings of Luther led to the Peasant's Revolt of 1525 and ushered in a generation of warfare in Germany.

5) Anglicanism: the via media: The origins of the Anglican schism in the divorce proceedings of Henry VIII and the manner in which the old Faith was eradicated in England.

6) Calvin & Knox: The historical origin and theology of the more "Puritan" elements of Protestantism and their vision of society.

Homework:
Homework will consist of readings from primary source documents available online, as well as the completion of a series of mini-essay questions weekly. There are no questions due the first day of class, but students should read the Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Western Schism, which is available at the following link(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13539a.htm).

Series description:
The Protestant Revolt: The Rending of Christendom (1417-1648)
High school students will analyze the causes and outcomes of the Protestant Revolt and will get an in depth analysis of the important personalities of the period, coupled with a philosophical explication of their varied ideologies; a Catholic apologetic to Protestant doctrines will be also be present throughout the series. We will begin by looking at the precursors to the Revolt, beginning in the aftermath of the Western Schism, and will end with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 at the end of the last of the religious wars. There will also be an emphasis on the importance of the "Counter Reformation" within the Catholic Church and how it shaped Catholic identity for the succeeding centuries.

High School Credit: 1/2 semester. For a full semester credit in history, follow up with Mr. Campbell's History: The Age of Religious Wars (1560-1648)

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone. Can be found locally or at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002XIX0O/catholictreas-20.

Testimonials:
"Mr. Campbell is indeed a favorite of my daughter. Thank you for making our history come alive for our children. Because they are learning it so well, maybe they will be the positive change our world is in such need of. God bless you."
- Marti, homeschool mother

"Mr. Campbell is terrific and I'm learning so much! I really enjoy the stories he tells about the people involved in historical events. It makes it real to me."
- Margaret, student

Misc.
Mr. Campbell will be available via email in between classes for questions and comments.

Recordings of classes are provided to students within 24 hours and available for 6 months.

History: Roots of the Revolt (1417-1560)
(Click on title to register)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Catholic Homeschool Theology Classes for High School

Update: This live course has concluded and is will be available 02/16/10 as a recorded course through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows.To subscribe or learn more: Adult and High School Online Classes

Theology 101: Social Ethics
(Click on title to register)

Session dates: Tuesdays, January 12 to February 2, 2010
Total sessions: 4
Starting time: 1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (12 noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Presenters: Monica Ashour

Fee: This four week course is regularly $75.
Early registration discount is $15 until December 31, 2009.

Course rationale:
“…[B]y reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in the temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. …There they are called by God that, being led by the spirit to the Gospel, they may contribute to the sanctification of the world, as from within like leaven, by fulfilling their own particular duties” (Lumen Gentium 31). Such a statement undergirds the teaching of this course as we seek to know the proper role of the faithful Catholic in the secular sphere.

Course goal: Each student, comprehending his/her exalted role in society, will acknowledge and begin to live out his/her role as a Catholic in the world.

Course outline:
Session 1: Dignitatis Humanae; “Reverse Clericalism” (Russell Shaw); the role of the laity (Gaudium et Spes); voting and political action; Just War Theory, capital punishment.

Session 2: “The fundamental option for the poor” (its correct and incorrect usage); Liberation Theology (and Pope Benedict’s critique); the fall of communism and its revival in other forms; private property, capitalism.

Session 3: The attack on the Church; media bias; Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and other organizations; the Catholic Moment Theory (Cardinal Stafford); the American Project.

Session 4: Vocations: The Universal Call to Holiness; the Priesthood, Marriage, and Religious Life; discernment (Fr. Michael Scanlon’s 5 C’s), public and person prayer, spirituality.

Instructor's biography:
Having had 20 years of experience in the classroom, 3 years of experience working at St. Mary's Catholic Church at Texas A&M University as one of the Campus Ministers, and Master Degrees in Humanities and Theological Studies from the University of Dallas, Monica Ashour comes to us with a breadth and depth of vision that will solidify and electrify high school students. Orthodox, passionate, and pedogogically adept, Miss Ashour reaches youth especially in the areas of Christian Anthropology, Moral Theology, and Social Ethics. Her former students come to her often with gratitude in preparing them for the various experiences that they faced in college.

Here is a direct quotation from one of her former students who was a junior at the time of writing: "Miss Ashour, I wanted to thank you for preparing me in class for Shakespeare in Italy. I got so much more out of Rome because of my education (you!) prepared me for the wealth of culture and religion it offers. All I have learned in your class about Catholicism and truth made The Vatican and the major basilicas come alive for me." --Mary M.

Theology 101: Social Ethics
(Click on title to register)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Online Literature Classes: The Aenied

Update: This live course has concluded and is available now as a recorded course through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows. To subscribe or learn more:Adult and High School Catholic Online Classes



Session dates:
Tuesdays, March 16, 2010 to April 27, 2010. There will be no class Easter week.
Total sessions: 7
Starting time: 10:00 am, Eastern Time (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Professor: Henry Russell, Ph.D.

Fee: This course is regularly $140 for the entire 7 weeks. Early registration discount: $25 off if registered by Dec. 31, 2009

Course description:
When we visit Washington D.C. the great buildings are not imitations of Greek but of Roman architecture. Our country was founded not as a democracy but as a Republic. George Washington was called “The Father of His Country.” Each of these three facts, and many more, are due to the enduring and world-wide influence of Virgil’s Aeneid.

In a Rome weakened by wealth and pleasure, then shattered by civil war, only to unite under an emperor, Virgil celebrated the subordination of individual ambition and pleasure to pietas—a triune duty to God, to the nation built under God’s will, and to the future of the family. Building on the brilliance of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, as well as Platonic philosophy, Virgil expanded the quest from the restoration of the family and one’s individual relation to God to the restoration of the whole nation and its relation to heavenly power. This was the original conception of our nation which our Founding Fathers honored in so many ways, and which we are in great peril as we now forget.

Dante, the greatest of all poets, chose Virgil as his heaven-sent fictional guide, not merely through Hell but Purgatory as well, signaling the seeds of vast Christian wisdom which he found.

Course outline:
Mar. 16 - Background of The Aeneid
Rewriting The Odyssey
Mar. 23 - Bks. I and II The Wrath and the Promise of Heaven; Pietas When All Seems Lost
Mar. 30 - Books III and IV False Starts and the Perils of Passion
Apr. 13 - Books V and VI Uniting the Living, the Dead and those yet Unborn
Rewriting The Iliad
Apr. 20 - Books VII and VIII Selfish War; Selfless Allies; and God’s View of Time
Apr. 27 - Books IX and X The Glory and the Slaughter (“It is well that war should be so terrible, else men might grow too fond of it” —Gen. Robert E. Lee)
May 4 - Books XI and XII Can the shedding of Civil Blood Ever Cease

Misc:
Dr. Russell will provide quizzes, essay topics, and a Midterm and Final Exam to be graded by the parent. He will use Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of the Aeneid. You are free to use any translation you like, but you should have one with line numbers or it will be almost impossible to follow along with frequent references to the author’s words.

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone. If you do not own a headset, you can find them for a reasonable price at Amazon.

Course Access:
All Homeschool Connections courses are recorded and available to registered students for up to six months.

Professor's Biography:
Dr. Henry Russell is Headmaster of the St. Augustine's Homeschool Enrichment Program founded with his wife Crystal. The program began in Fall 2005 with 20 students in two living rooms and now tutors more than 70 students. He is also the President of the SS Peter and Paul Educational Foundation, dedicated to founding an orthodox Catholic Liberal Arts college in southeast Michigan.

A graduate of Princeton and South Caroline (M.S.), Dr. Russell completed his graduate work at Louisiana State University.

Formerly the Chairman of Ave Maria College's Department of Literature, he has also been a professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Wake Forest University. He is a founding faculty member of the St. Robert Southwell Creative Writing Workshop held in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Dr. Russell's works include The Catholic Shakespeare Audio Series. He was the Associate Editor of The Formalist from 1990-2004 and his writings have been published in various journals. He was honored to edit Dr. Alice von Hildebrand's groundbreaking volume, The Privilege of Being a Woman.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Online High School Literature: The Odyssey

Update: This live course has concluded and is available as a recorded course through our Unlimted Access! service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows.To subscribe or learn more: Adult and High School Online Classes

Literature: Homer’s Odyssey: The Soul of Pre-Socratic Wisdom

Dr. Henry Russell's literature courses have proven to be very popular with both students and parents:
“I have never really been interested in literature, but Dr.Russel has really helped me appreciate it allot more.”
“I enjoyed the class! Dr. Russell is great!”

"Thank you so much for the opportunity for Catholic homeschooled students to be exposed to those Catholic teachers who have a knowledge and love for the Truth. Dr. Russell's class this morning (I was listening alongside my son) was beautiful music to my ears!"
For the Spring 2010 semester, Dr. Russell will be teaching Homer and Virgil, spending 7 weeks each on the Odyssey and the Aeneid. Today we'll feature Homer's Odyssey and tomorrow will be Virgil's Aeneid.

Click on the title below to register:


Session dates: Tuesdays, January 19 to March 2, 2010
Total sessions: 7
Starting time: 10:00 am, Eastern Standard Time (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Professor: Henry Russell, Ph.D.
Fee:
This course is regularly $140 for the entire 7 weeks.
Early registration discount: $25 off if registered by December 31, 2009

Course description:
It is easy, and incorrect, to remember Homer’s Odyssey as a voyage story of great and bizarre adventures. It is instead the quest to restore the broken family and restore relations with the God(s) which have been broken by human fault. The great wanderings fill only three to six books out of twenty-four. The other eighteen are devoted to the restoration of human order in the family and the kingdom. It takes Odysseus the same twelve chapters to get from the shore of his island Ithaka into full possession of his house in peace as it takes to get him home to Ithaka on his ten-year long quest. It is these beautiful chapters on human relations, as well as the wonders of Odysseus’ purgation through his quest, that make the epic a primary book of wisdom for all times and cultures.

Seven-class schedule:
Jan. 19 - Introduction to the Epics
Jan. 26 - Bks 1-4 The World Whose Fathers Have Been Absent
Feb. 2 - Bks. 5-8 The Glory of Marital Love amid Many Temptations
Feb. 9 - Bks. 9-12 Odysseus’ Tragic Flaw and Great Wanderings (Going down to the dead)
Feb. 16 - Bks.13-16 Finding Home as a Strange Land
Mar. 2 - Bks. 17-20 Restraint of Self and Testing of Others
Mar. 9 - Bks. 21-24 Justice and Restoration of the Family and Kingdom

Homework:
Dr. Russell will provide quizzes, essay topics, and a Midterm and Final Exam. Answer keys will be provided for parents to grade. Note: Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping or transcripts.

Course materials:
Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of the Odyssey. You are free to use any translation you like, but you should have one with line numbers or it will be almost impossible to follow along with frequent references to the author’s words.

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone. If you do not own a headset, you can find them for a reasonable price at Amazon.

Professor's biography:
Dr. Henry Russell is Headmaster of the St. Augustine's Homeschool Enrichment Program founded with his wife Crystal. The program began in Fall 2005 with 20 students in two living rooms and now tutors more than 70 students. He is also the President of the SS Peter and Paul Educational Foundation, dedicated to founding an orthodox Catholic Liberal Arts college in southeast Michigan.

A graduate of Princeton and South Caroline (M.S.), Dr. Russell completed his graduate work at Louisiana State University.

Formerly the Chairman of Ave Maria College's Department of Literature, he has also been a professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Wake Forest University. He is a founding faculty member of the St. Robert Southwell Creative Writing Workshop held in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Dr. Russell's works include The Catholic Shakespeare Audio Series. He was the Associate Editor of The Formalist from 1990-2004 and his writings have been published in various journals. He was honored to edit Dr. Alice von Hildebrand's groundbreaking volume, The Privilege of Being a Woman.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Meet University of St. Thomas

If you visit UST's website, you'll find a webpage deicated just for homeschoolers. I'm told they are a very homeschool-friendly university. Perhaps that is partly due to the fact that Dominic Aquila, UST vice president for Academic Affairs, and his wife, Diane, are the proud parents of 11 home-schooled children.(Read about their family.) Dr. Aquila will be joining us next week, along with Arthur Ortiz, to fill us all in on what we want to know about the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

This webinar, like all of our webinars, will be a very interactive experience where you can ask all the questions you like of Dr. Aquila and Mr. Ortiz. I hope you all will be joining me at this informative event.

To register, simply click on the title below then scroll down to fill in the registration blanks.


Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Time: 8:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (7:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour

About UST:
The excellence of University of St. Thomas’ programs continue to hinge on one-to-one engagement between faculty and students and the academic leadership of our faculty. Our students are well prepared to go out into the world to take their place as leaders of faith and character. We will continue to grow, to promote academic excellence, and to enhance our service to our community until we take our place among the best universities in the world.

So come and learn more about us!

Presenters' Biographies:
Arthur Ortiz is the Associate Director of Admissions for UST and has been in college admissions for 10 years. Arthur has given presentation at state and national higher education conferences regarding the value of recruiting home school students. A cradle Catholic, Arthur also oversees the Adult Catechism program at his parish - Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.

Dr. Dominic A. Aquila was named Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs on Dec. 1, 2008. He most recently served as Dean of Arts and Sciences from July, 2007 to the present. He brings to the University of St. Thomas 26 years of experience in public and private higher education. Among the institutions he has served are The Rochester Institute of Technology, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Empire State College of the State University of New York, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ave Maria College and the University of Saint Francis (Fort Wayne, Indiana). Dr. Aquila took his Bachelors Degree in Music from The Juilliard School, the MBA from New York University, and his Doctorate in History from the University of Rochester and the University of South Africa. Before his career in higher education, Dr. Aquila performed as a percussionist with the New York City Opera, the American Ballet Theatre, the American Symphony Orchestra, the New York and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestras and a number of Broadway shows. He also managed the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Garth Fagan’s Dance Theatre. In June 2007 he received the Spes Nostra Award for service to Catholic Education from the National Association for Private and Independent Catholic Schools. Dr. Aquila and his wife, Diane, are parents of 11 children.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Meet University of Dallas

We are midway through Catholic College Month here at Homeschool Connections. Yay! We have been having a blast bringing America's best Catholic colleges to your living rooms. Next up is University of Dallas and I'm pretty excited about this one. I have a friend who has sent a number of her children to U of D and she can't rave enough about the university so I'm looking forward to learning more straight from their admissions officials.

To register for this free event, simply click on the webinar title below and scroll down to registration form. I look forward to seeing you all there!


Date: Monday, November 9, 2009
Time: 7:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (6:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

About U of D:
University of Dallas was founded to preserve the Western and Catholic Intellectual Traditions through an intense dialogue of faith and reason. Founders Donald and Louise Cowan nurtured a Great Books curriculum with rigorous inquiry becoming nationally recognized for its commitment to authentic liberal arts and highly ranked sciences and business. UD is true to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, informed by the Cistercians and Dominicans, and has a 40 year tradition of studying in Rome. One of a few with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and the most NM Finalists per capita of any Catholic school for four years. Veritatem, Justitiam Diligite.

Presenter's Biography:
Drew Johnson is an alumnus (’08) of the University of Dallas with a B.A. in Psychology and concentrations in Theology and Spanish. Raised near Billings, Montana, he attended public and Catholic schools. He converted during high school and was active in UD’s campus ministry. Drew works with all homeschoolers and the Northern Great Plains and Rockies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spring 2010 Online Homeschool Classes

Update: These live courses have concluded and are available now as a recorded courses through our Unlimited Access! Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows. To subscribe or learn more, click here now: Catholic Homeschooling

There are still a few more to be scheduled in the upcoming days, but here are most of our courses for the spring. Please note that there is an early registration discount until Jan. 1, 2010. Click on the title to learn the details or to register:

Government: Democracy, Government, and Citizenship
Theology 101: Social Ethics
Science: Blood In Sickness and In Health
History: Roots of the Revolt (1417-1560)
History: Age of the Religious Wars (1560-1648)
Marketing: Jesus and Main Street Marketing
Literature: Homer’s Odyssey: The Soul of Pre-Socratic Wisdom
Literature: Virgil’s Aeneid: The Founding of Nations in the Will of God
Philosophy: Fallacies and Paradoxes


Saturday, October 31, 2009

TAC ... Again!

Thomas Aquinas College's meet and greet webinar went fantastic and we're going to do it again!

Please come join us and learn about one of the leaders of Catholic higher education:

Just click on the title below to register:


Session date: Monday, October 26, 2009
Starting time: 8:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time
Cost: FREE
Duration:
1 hour
Presenters: Jon Daly and Greg Becher

Description:
Jon Daly, Director of Admission, will introduce the College’s program of genuine Catholic liberal education where “Great Books” replace textbooks and seminar discussions replace lectures. He will also explain how College faculty lead small seminar discussions on seminal works across the disciplines—science, math, language, music, literature, philosophy and theology—and address student life, alumni careers and questions which arise as the presentation pro ceeds!

Greg Becher, Director of Financial Aid, will also participate in the webinar and will introduce and explain the College’s generous and well-ranked financial aid program.

No college ranking system can offer the full measure of an institution, however, each can help to introduce aspects of an institution. Among others, Thomas Aquinas College has regularly earned high praise from many and varied sources including The Princeton Review (where it earned the “Best Value” ranking in both 2009 and 2010), U.S. News & World Report, the Cardinal Newman Society and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. You are invited to read these and other reviews on our website, www.thomasaquinas.edu.

Agenda:
"A sweeping tour of the greatest and most influential works of Western Civilization." (--National Review).

Please join us for a live presentation and discussion of Thomas Aquinas College’s unique program of Catholic liberal education. The College’s Admissions Director, Jon Daly will explain Thomas Aquinas College’s “great books” curriculum and Socratic teaching method, and provide information about student life outside the classrooms. Greg Becher, the College’s Financial Aid Director will describe the College’s generous and well-ranked financial aid program. Thomas Aquinas College is ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the "Top 50" academic programs in the country, and is one of only 13 schools in the country to be named to The Princeton Review’s "Financial Aid Honor Roll." It is truly a “best buy.” Students at Thomas Aquinas College engage firsthand a curriculum made up entirely of the “great books” — the seminal works upon which Western civilization is founded. The students discuss these great works in daily seminars led by members of the teaching faculty. These conversations encourage independence of thought in students and aid them in developing a capacity for critical judgment. Complementing this stimulating and rigorous intellectual life are ample opportunities for recreation. The College is bordered by the Los Padres National Forest — students are just minutes from hiking, camping, and myriad other outdoor recreational activities. The College also has basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and a baseball and soccer field. Intramural and pick-up games are daily events. The campus itself has a beautiful forested area with walking trails, ponds, and meadows to help students relax after classes. Outings to the many museums, plays, concerts, and baseball games in nearby Santa Barbara and Los Angeles are scheduled regularly, and the Pacific Ocean is only 25 minutes from the campus.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meet Ave Maria University

Ave Maria University is on schedule for this Thursday. Join us to learn more about this orthodox Catholic university in beautiful Florida where they built a town around Ave Maria.

Please click on the title below to register:


Session date: Thursday, October 29, 2009
Starting time: 7:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (6:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: FREE
Presenter: Jason Fabaz

Description:
Come learn more about Ave Maria, a classical liberal arts university in the Catholic tradition in beautiful SW Florida. 10 priests on campus, 3 Daily Masses, daily Confessions, Perpetual Adoration Chapel, Traditional Latin Mass 3 days per week, avg. class size is 17 students, student/faculty ratio: 10:1 92% of faculty has Ph.D. or terminal degree. 10 majors in the classical liberal arts; 3 pre-profession programs: pre-med, pre-law & a certificate of business. 11 athletic teams competing in the NAIA. Over 35 student clubs & organizations.

From the presenter:
I’d love for you to come visit the campus, call or email anytime! Jason Fabaz Assistant Director of Admissions Ave Maria University 5050 Ave Maria Blvd. Ave Maria, FL 34142 239-280-2480 direct line 239-450-1440 cell phone 239-280-2559 fax 1-877-AVE-UNIV (283-8648) http://www.avemaria.edu/ jason.fabaz@avemaria.edu

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet Wyoming Catholic

UPDATE: The webinar went fantastic! To view the recording of the event just go to Meet Wyoming Catholic College.

This is a busy week for Catholic College Month and I hope you're all up to it. You have the opportunity to meet three great Catholic colleges. Tonight is TAC, Thursday is Ave Maria, and sandwiched in between is Wyoming Catholic College.

If you've not yet heard of Wyoming Catholic, or just haven't explored deeply it as a possibility, I strongly encourage you to join us Wednesday evening. This is your opportunity to speak, listen, and learn.

Just click on the title below to register:


Session date: Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Starting time: 8:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (7:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cost: FREE
Presenter: Mario Coccia

Description:
Learn about Wyoming Catholic College! Wyoming Catholic College is a four-year coeducational Catholic college whose primary educational objective is to offer a traditional liberal arts education that schools the whole person in all three dimensions—mind, body, and spirit. We accomplish this by immersing our students in the beauty of the outdoors, by introducing them to the wisdom of Western tradition and thought as found in the Great Books and Good Books of the past millennia, and by making the best of the Catholic spiritual heritage part of the rhythm of daily life in our close College community. Students graduate with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts.

This unique combination of educational spheres results in graduates who know there is truth and how to seek it, know how to think clearly and express their thoughts eloquently, know how to learn and expect to find delight in learning throughout their lives, and know how to attain a great measure of happiness by a moral life led in relationship with God.

Presenter's Biography:
After working many years in healthcare marketing in NY and NJ, Mario Coccia moved with my family to Austria to pursue advanced degrees in theology and was appointed Assistant Dean of that school. Mario joined WCC in 2007 and live in Wyoming with my wife and 5 children while completing a doctorate in theology.