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

Faith ~ Excellence ~ Passion

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How To Make the Pro-Life Case

John Jansen's webinar Making the Case for Life went fantastic. He really gave all of us the tools we need to go out into the world and defend the unborn. How many times have we all been confronted in the work place, at family gatherings, even at church with comments such as:
  • I'm personally opposed to abortion but I have no right to tell someone else what to do with her body.
  • Pro-lifers only care about babies in the womb. They don't care once they're born.
  • What about rape or incest?
  • If you make abortion illegal women will die from back alley abortions
  • Don't like abortion, then don't have one!
And so on. This free webinar will help approach these people and their objections with charity as well as wisdom:
  • Tips for Effective Communication
  • How to Explain Our Pro-Life Beliefs
  • Looking to the Holy Spirit
  • Speak the Truth with Love
  • Attitude
  • Know your facts
  • Understanding the other person's point of view
And more.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free Webinar: Insights From a NASA Engineer

Addendum: The live webinar was fantastic! To view the recording go HERE.

This is going to be one awesome webinar!

Webinar Description:
One Small Step for Parents, One Giant Leap for Homeschool Kids: Insights from a NASA Engineer

For over 50 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has inspired generations of people. Domenico Ruggiero is one of those inspired individuals. He will seek to convey some of the same enthusiasm and interest in science-related topics he has carried within himself since childhood. He will also share some of his experiences of working for NASA’s space programs and what children can do to increase their chances for a similar career path. Parents will take away from this webinar a greater appreciation for a variety of NASA-related topics that they can share with their children in an effort to further their interests in science fields of study.

Presenter's Biography:
Domenico Ruggiero, age 32, and his wife are the parents of two young boys with, God-willing, more blessings to come. Domenico is employed at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida where he has worked for most of his professional career. He presently serves the NASA Constellation Program as a Systems Engineer for Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to this role, he served the Space Shuttle Program as a Orbiter Structures Engineer for United Space Alliance. Although his childhood passion has always been aviation and space, working for NASA has contributed to his expanded science interests.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Online College Degrees

Online college degrees were once considered to be iffy at best, right up there with mail-order degrees. With major advancements in technology (such as we use at Homeschool Connections) that is all changing. Dramatically.

Jack Welch, retired CEO of General Electric, is investing his time and money in online education. Mr. Welch sees the future. He also sees the present. Between the flailing economy and the baby bust, universities are struggling financially. Why not take bankrupt colleges and give them new life online?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Online Course: Economics

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: Online Catholic Courses



I have more exciting news for you all as I pull together the fall courses. Another Benedictine professor will be teaching a course for Homeschool Connections. Dr. Harris is wonderful, young associate professor with a love for economics as well as a love for the Catholic Church. This beautiful combination provides for an exciting and educational experience for his students.

The course is Principles of Economics and Catholic Perspectives. The regular price is $160 and there is a discount for early registration. Register by by August 10 and the price is only $135.

Course Description:
This course is intended to introduce students to fundamental concepts of economics. We will develop the use of economic reasoning to answer basic economic questions in a rational manner. It also aims to provide a thorough understanding of many economic concepts, including marginal analysis, demand and supply, and market equilibrium analysis. The class is intended to assist students in using critical thinking to solve problems. A series of applications will often accompany the course material. In addition, the class will include a brief review of Catholic Social Teaching and its role within the economic realm.

Course Outline:
Session 1: Introduction and marginal analysis
Session 2: Market demand analysis
Session 3: Market supply analysis
Session 4: Market equilibrium
Session 5: The market system and the role of government
Session 6: Utility and consumer behavior
Session 7: Catholic Social Teaching
Session 8: Catholic Social Teaching

Dates and Time:
This is a eight-week course. Classes will begin Tuesday, September 08, 2009 and meet every Tuesday through October 27, 2009. The time will begin 3:00 PM Eastern Time and end at 4:15 PM.

Enrollment Period:
Enrollment is currently open and will close on September 3, 2009. This will provide students time to learn about the educational software Moodle and the instructor time to provide a syllabus and welcome letter.


Materials:
Microeconomics by McConnell and Brue, 15th edition (ISBN 0072340371)
This is an older edition that is fairly cheap bought used and easy to locate online.
We'll also use one or two papal encyclicals toward the end of class, most notably Centesimus Annus by Pope John Paul II. Encyclicals can be found online for free.

Homework:
Homework will be assigned and graded. However Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping. It is up to the parent to record the grade in their child's transcript.

Professor's Biography:
Dr. Harris is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Benedictine College in 1997, he earned his M.S. from Iowa State University in 1999 and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008.

His areas of research interest Catholic Social Teaching, the history of economic thought, and social economics. After spending time as a full-time volunteer working with the poor and under served population of Milwaukee, he taught personal finance classes before coming to Benedictine.

He and his wife, Jackie, live in Atchison with their three children, Helen, Clare, and Luke.

Misc. Details:
Dr. Harris will be available via email in between classes to answer questions and take comments.

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

Equipment Requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet. A headset with microphone is required. You can find them reasonably price at Amazon.

To check your connection with the online classes visit: http://www.webex.com/lp/jointest/.

Registration:
Go to: Principles of Economics and Catholic Perspectives. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Register button and then follow the instructions. We take Visa and Master Card. If you prefer to pay by check, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to email Maureen Wittmann.

In doing our polling, a lot of students asked for an economics course. In fact, here in Michigan and several other states a semester of economics is required for graduation. So, I suggest enrolling early in case the course fills up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Homeschool Science: Cohesion and Adhesion


Update: Kris' webinar went great! You can watch and listen to the recorded webinar at: Science at Home: Adhesion & Cohesion. Make sure to click on the video and chat icons at the top right to get the full effect.


Kris Correira's second free webinar in her At-Home Science series is scheduled and ready for you to register. And it's a pretty exciting subject too:
Cohesion, adhesion, surface tension, capillary action--this webinar will explore them all through a variety of experiments put together with whatever I can manage to find around the house.

Homeschool Connections is able to bring these webinars to you free of charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.
So who is this Kris Correira you ask? Oh my, how could you not know Kris! Well, here's your opportunity to meet a lovely as well as dedicated homeschool mom:
Kris Correira is a homeschooling mom to 3 boys. She works part time as a physician assistant in an busy emergency department and a paramedic instructor at a community college; she is also a volunteer science teacher for her local homeschool co-op. She has inspired a love of science in her children through lots of hands-on learning and science books without any textbook or curriculum. See what experiments she has for fun hands-on science homeschooling.
Kris also has a great blog you really should check out: Science At Home.

Homeschool Connections is able to bring this webinar to you for free thanks to our oh-so-generous sponsors:
Emmanuel Books

Love 2 Learn

Make sure to visit their websites and thank them for their sponsorship.
I look forward to see ya'all on Tuesday, June 30th at 8:30 PM Eastern time. And, hey, bring the kids. We had fun at Kris' last webinar watching the live static experiments so I'm looking forward to seeing what cool experiments Kris does for my family on cohesion and adhesion.

Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

Alicia VanHecke's webinar last week was great. She used Catholic teaching to guide us through the process of how to choose worthwhile curriculum for our homeschools. I loved it -- it was one of the best webinars yet!

If you'd like to watch a recording of the event just go to: Choosing Worthwhile Homeschool Curriculum. Scroll down and click on View. Once the recording comes up, make sure to look for the chat and video icons in the top right hand corner. Click on those to get the full effect.

And it's FREE!!!

Oh, yes, I should let you know that we are able to bring these webinars to you free thanks to our very generous sponsors:
Love2Learn
Emmanuel Books
Please make sure to visit their websites and thank them for bringing this valuable resource to you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Free Webinar: Pro-Life Apologetics

Addendum: The live webinar went great! You can watch and listen to the recorded event HERE.

Some months ago, John Jansen of Generations for Life traveled to Lansing and gave a great presentation for our high school club Homeschoolers 4 Life. He taught the teens how to present the pro-life position in a way that is both charitable and convincing to pro-choice advocates. The teens loved it. The parents loved it.

I am so excited to announce that John will now be taking that same presentation to teens and parents across the country via an online seminar (webinar). You can attend the webinar for free through Homeschool Connections on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 8:30 PM Eastern time.

If you have not yet experienced a webinar, you've got to give it a try. You'll be able to hear and see John live as well as his presentation. You'll also be able to communicate with him and other attendees via an organized chat. It's much like attending a live conference only you'll be in the comfort of your own home. No gas tank to fill, no parking space to find and you don't even have to dress up! So simple, yet so rewarding.

John's talk is titled: Making the Case for Life:
Have you ever been in a conversation about abortion and found yourself struggling to defend your pro-life beliefs?

"Making the Case for Life" looks at the most common arguments used by abortion advocates use and explains how to respond from a pro-life point of view.

This presentation is geared toward teenagers and adults.

This webinar is brought to you at no charge thanks to the sponsorship of Generations for Life and Pro-life Action League.

Online Course: Philosophy

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

I am so very excited to announce that Dr. Jean Rioux, professor and chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College, will be teaching a course for Homeschool Connections. This is wonderful news for homeschooled students and parents!

The course is What Do Philosophers Do and How Do They Do It? The regular price is $160 and there is a discount for early registration. Register by by August 10 and the price is only $135.

Course Description:
Aristotle famously said, "all men by nature desire to know". For over 2600 years philosophers have grappled with life's profound questions. Seeking answers, they left their conclusions behind, along with the arguments supporting them. In this course we will be studying some of the better-known philosophical arguments in light of the issues they have addressed. From the allegory of the cave to the 5 ways of St. Thomas Aquinas to Pascal's wager, these arguments can serve as a brief introduction to the life and work of philosophers to anyone who would like to discover more about the "examined life".

Dates and Time:
This is a eight-week course. Classes will begin Thursday, September 10, 2009 and meet every Thursday through November 5, 2009. There will be no class on October 15. The time will begin 3:00 PM Eastern Time and end at 4:15 PM.

Enrollment Period:
Enrollment is currently open and will close on September 5, 2009. This will provide students time to learn about the educational software Moodle and the instructor time to provide a syllabus and welcome letter.

Course Outline:
The selections we'll read are:
Class 1: Plato's "allegory of the cave", from the Republic
Class 2: Aristotle on happiness and moral virtue, from the Nicomachean Ethics
Session 3: St. Augustine on choosing evil, from the Confessions
Class 4: St. Anselm of Canterbury's and René Descartes' "ontological" arguments, from the Proslogion and the Meditations, respectively
Class 5: René Descartes on how I may know of my own existence, from the Meditations
Class 6: Blaise Pascal on the "wager" argument, from the Pensées
Class 7: St. Thomas Aquinas on the possibility of proving God's existence, from the Summa Theologiae
Class 8: St. Thomas Aquinas' "five ways", from the Summa Theologiae

Course Materials:
Reading materials will be provided at no additional charge in the form of a pdf file. References to the readings made during the course will be to this version. Students are expected to read the short selections (about 2 pages, on avg.) carefully before each session.

Homework:
Apart the reading for an upcoming session, students are expected to respond to a few questions from the previous one. The questions will be made available following each session, and responses will be due before the start of the next session (or within the week following the final session). Homework will be graded. However we do not provide record keeping. Iit is up to the parent to record the grade in their child's transcript.

Professor's Biography:
Dr. Rioux is a professor and chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he has taught for 23 years.

A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, he completed his graduate work in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, earning the M.A. in 1984 and the Ph.D. in 1990.

Specializing in the thought of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Rioux has published textbooks in logic and natural philosophy, as well as articles on the philosophy of mathematics in the Thomist and the Aquinas Review.

He came to Benedictine with a love for the study of primary texts, as well as a keen interest in what computers might bring to that study. His contributions to the philosophical life of Benedictine College range from Great Books Sequences in philosophy and theology to 3D software for students of logic. He and his wife, Maria, raise their nine children in a farmhouse in rural Kansas. They have been designing their own curricula and educating their children at home for over 20 years.

Misc. Details:
Dr. Rioux will be available via email in between classes to answer questions and take comments.

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

Equipment Requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet. A headset with microphone is required. You can find them reasonably price at Amazon.

To check your connection with the online classes visit: http://www.webex.com/lp/jointest/.

Registration:
Go to: What Philosophers Do and How They Do It. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Register button and then follow the instructions. We take Visa and Master Card. If you prefer to pay by check, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to email Maureen Wittmann.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Choosing Worthwhile Materials for your Homeschool

Update: You may watch the recording of this excellent webinar at Choosing Worthwhile Materials.

Alicia Van Hecke of Love2Learn fame is giving a free webinar on choosing curriculum on Wednesday. There are still a few seats left, so if you're available that evening head on over there to register. If you're busy during that time (8:30 PM Eastern), it's okay as all live webinars are recorded so you'll be able to watch it after the fact. Either way, Alicia will share with you loads of wonderful ideas, tips, and wisdom.

We are able to bring this webinar to you for free thanks to the generosity of Emmanuel Books. Please visit their website and let them know you appreciate their sponsorship of Homeschool Connections webinars.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Online Course: American Government

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


Here at Homeschool Connections we're getting the fall schedule on the calendar. First up is our course Democracy, Government & Citizenship.

Here's the rest of the scoop:

Course Description:
American government has been called the most radical experiment in self-governing in human history based on its unique system of democracy and citizen involvement. Learn how the fundamental elements of American government are supposed to work, how they actually work, and the role and responsibility each citizen has in our government and our future."

Instructor's Biography:
Ed Rivet has a B.S. in Pre-Law and Public Policy and a Master's in Public Administration both from Michigan State University. He served three years as a legislative aide in the Michigan House of Representatives. For 21 years Ed has served as the Right to Life of Michigan's Legislative Director. He has written and helped enact dozens of laws, including the nation's first complete ban on human cloning, and banning assisted suicide in the face of the assault on human life by Jack Kevorkian and Geoffrey Fieger. Ed was the director of the state of Michigan's largest all-volunteer citizen petition drive which also was the state's most accurate petition drive ever, 97.3% valid signatures. Ed has done countless media interviews, appearing in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, plus live interviews on CNN and Good Morning America.

Price: $135

Dates and Time:

This is a nine-week course. Classes will begin Friday, September , 2009 and meet every Friday through November 6, 2009. The time will begin 12:00 PM Eastern Time and end at 1:15 PM.

Enrollment Period:
Enrollment is currently open and will close on September 6, 2009. This will provide students time to learn about the educational software Moodle and the instructor time to provide a syllabus and welcome letter.

Misc. Details:
All coursework will be provided by the instructor or available online for free. Homework and research projects will be given and graded. (Though Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping services.) Mr. Rivet will be available via email in between classes to answer questions and take comments.

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

Comments from Mr. Rivet's Past Students:
"The class was fantastic! I really enjoyed it!"

"Thanks for teaching this class ... I really enjoyed it and I felt like it gave me a better understanding of my government."

"I loved this class!"

"NICE JOB!!!!! I really enjoyed the class and I am thankful I did it. The course gave me a basic yet essential understanding of how our government works that I never had before. Thanks a bunch!"

To Register, go to: Democracy, Government, and Citizenship. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Register button and then follow the instructions. We take Visa and Master Card. If you prefer to pay by check, please don't hesitate to email me.