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

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thank you Emmanuel Books!

Homeschool Connections is able to bring free webinars to Catholic and homeschooling parents thanks to our sponsors. They help us pay the bills so we can bring quality information where it is needed. We are most grateful for that, especially considering the economic hardships that so many are experiencing at this time.

One of our sponsors is Emmanuel Books. If you are not familiar with this company, then you really should check out their Catholic homeschooling catalog online. I've been ordering educational materials from them for over a decade. Not only do they offer great products but have wonderful customer service. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to partner with Emmanuel Books.

The next time you place an order with Emmanuel, please let them know how much you appreciate their sponsorship so that we may continue to bring free webinars to you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Online Literature Classes

Our Fall 2009 literature courses:

Update: These live courses have all concluded and all are now available as recorded courses 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

Friday, July 24, 2009

Meet and Greet the Economics Professor

ADDENDUM: The Meet and Greet webinar went wonderfully well. If you missed it and would like to watch the recording at your leisure, just go to: Economics 101 -- Meet and Greet the Professor.

Come and meet our economics professor! Sit in on a sample class, play with the technology, see Dr. Harris in action, and learn what we have planned for the upcoming year for high school economics.

Dr. David Harris, economics professor at Benedictine College, will be teaching an introductory economics course for high school students. I am particularly excited about this course as Dr. Harris will be bringing in papal encyclicals on social justice to the last 2 classes of the course. I don't know of any other course like this for high school students.

Both you and your children are invited to join Dr. Harris on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 for Economics: Meet and Greet the Professor.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Online Classes: Advantages

Advantages of Homeschool Connections online courses:
  • No driving; saving time and gas
  • No need to pack lunch.
  • You can stay in your pajamas.
  • Parents can attend classes alongside you.
  • No need to organize carpooling.
  • You can participate in class even when on vacation.
  • Classes are recorded and available to review for 6 months.
  • Instant feedback from your instructor.
  • The technology is fun -- video, chat, and more.
  • Documents can be printed or downloaded from your computer.
  • Access to the best instructors and professors from around the United States.
  • Gain friends from all over the country and the world.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Evening Online Classes for Catholic High School Students

Here at Homeschool Connections we are sensitive to the needs of our students and their families. So, we have completed a variety polls over the past months. One thing we've discovered is that teens would like evening classes. How could we not comply with their request?

Here are three evening classes for the 2009 fall semester:
All will be taught by Robert Gotcher, Ph.D. Dr. Gotcher has been teaching summer school classes for Homeschool Connections which have been going great. We're very excited to have Dr. Gotcher teaching for us again in the fall!

(Click on the links above to learn more about the courses. Scroll down to register.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Theology 101: Meet and Greet the Instructor

Addendum: The Theology 101 went wonderfully. You can watch the free recorded webinar at your convenience HERE.

The meet and greet webinar with Dr. Rioux was fantastic. So, we've decided to continue with the series and will have a similar free webinar with the famed Monica Ashour. Come join us and learn a little bit about Catholic theology while also learning what to expect when enrolling in a Homeschool Connections course. There'll be opportunity aplenty to try out the technology as well as ask Miss Ashour lots of questions about her course and her background.

Theology 101: Meet and Greet the Instructor
This is a free webinar for parents and teens to introduce them to theology and to the three fall 2009 courses: Christian Anthropology, Moral Theology, and

Monica Ashour will introduce us to the study of theology and why it is important to us and our high school students.

Agenda:
--Overview of course content and homework.
--Introduction to theology and the structure necessary to build sound theological arguments.
--Q&A from parents and students.

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.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Homeschooling High School Theology

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

Homeschool Connections is thrilled to announce a series of theology courses for the fall. The first offering is Christian Anthropology. These courses can be taken individually or concurrently.

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: Christian Anthropology
Course Description

“The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe, and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life; and when they had fallen in Adam, he did not abandon them, but at all times held out to them the means of salvation, bestowed in consideration of Christ, the Redeemer, ‘who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature…’” (Lumen Gentium 2). As such, all humans who live according to their nature and elevated in Christ Jesus will find fulfillment and joy in life. This course seeks, then, to identify and explain aspects of human nature to which the human person is to submit so as to live the fullness of life in true freedom, for “man fully alive is the glory of God” (St. Irenaeus).

Goal: Each student, challenged and emboldened to think deeply, will receive skills to meet the challenges of living “in the world but not of the world.”

Session 1: God and man made in His image: Trinitarian Theology; Christian Anthropology based on Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body, “the most suitable education about man” (Pope John Paul II); preternatural gifts, the Fall, soteriology (redemption).

Session 2: Freedom, conscience, Natural Law, “What We Can’t Not Know” (Dr. Budziszewski), secularist relativism (the “worst evil of our times”-Pope Benedict) brought on by Enlightenment thinkers such as Francis Bacon and his “man’s conquest of nature,” and recognizing such aberrations in the culture.

Session 3: Grace and justification—Catholic and Protestant perspectives, sanctification, Sacramental theology and the Mass, “the source and summit of our lives.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium).

Session 4: Maleness and femaleness, radical femininism, the Church’s teaching regarding homosexuality, egalitarianism, “givenness” (Dr. Joyce Little, The Catholic Church and the Culture War), the theological bases explaining why we have an all-male priesthood.

Fee:
The regular price is $60. However, there is a discount for early registration. Register by July 30, 2009 and receive a discount of $10.

Dates and Time:
This is a four-week course. Classes will begin Tuesday, September 8, 2009 and meet every Tuesday through September 29, 2009. The classes will begin 1:00 PM Eastern Time (noon Central) and are one hour long.

Enrollment Period:
Enrollment is currently open and will close on September 8, 2009 or until the class is filled. Maximum enrollment: 25.

Misc. Details:
Miss Ashour 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/.

Next in the series: Moral Theology


Click here to learn about other homeschool online classes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Homeschooling Medieval Literature

Update: These live courses have concluded and are now available as recorded courses 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

Dr. Henry Russell is scheduled to teach a series of literature courses for the Fall 2009 semester: Medieval Lessons for Modern Catholics. Each course in the series can be taken alone or consecutively.

Dr. Russell taught Beowulf and MacBeth this summer and his students loved it as well as learned a great deal. In fact, the email box is bulging with notes from students:
It was a great class, I loved having Dr. Russell as a teacher-also a huge thank you to Mrs. Wittmann :)

I have never really been interested in literature, but Dr.Russell has really helped me appreciate it a lot more.

It was a great course!

Dr. Russell had very interesting and insightful comments. I enjoyed the class very much.

I enjoyed the class very much! I also liked meeting other kids that might be going to the same college as me.

Excellent explanations and insights.
So, what are the fall classes Dr. Russell will be teaching? I'm so glad you asked because they are fabulous:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- Chivalry, Courtesy and Chastity
Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the most elegant and merry tales of a heroic Catholic age. The fate of Gawain hangs upon his courtesy and his faithfulness to his word, even in the face of the immortal Green Knight who picks up his own head after Gawain has smitten it off. But what does the Green Knight stand for? Why is he so beautiful and happy and yet so fearsome to all? How can he be allowed in King Arthur’s court and in God’s Chapel? And why must the tale begin at Christmas but end on New Year’s Day?

The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer -- Trust God and Tradition
Chaucer was the master at making Catholic nobles laugh at the failings of others until they realized those characters were a bit too much like themselves. This great moralist, like a comic Dante, lets his characters boast and strut until they have convicted themselves out of their own mouths. Let him introduce you to the virtues and vices of his Canterbury Pilgrims and then see how Chaunticleer the Rooster teaches us about predestination and the Church of God. To read Chaucer well is to see how subtly the typological allegory can be constructed.

King Arthur and Christ -- Heroism and Holiness
King Arthur attempts to build the City of God on earth, as we all must. His noble and sinful knights rise far above themselves under his Catholic kingdom’s rule of chivalry. Their fall is also our fall. In Lancelot we will see the crucial role that holiness must play in any heroism, and find that holiness--both personal and of the nation--is the purpose for which heroism is made. Most editions of this tale have been drastically whitewashed by their modernizers to make it a tale of merely cardinal virtues or generic Christian sentiment. Some have gone so far as to warp it into the service of paganism and witchcraft. Yet the greatest knight in the world sees Jesus and ends as a monk.

To learn more, just click on the hyperlinks above. To register for a class, just scroll down and click on the Register button. Homeschool Connections takes Master Card and Visa. If you'd like to pay via check or Paypal please email Maureen Wittmann.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Meet and Greet the Philosophy Professor

ADDENDUM: The Meet and Greet webinar went wonderfully well. If you missed it and would like to watch the recording at your leisure, just go to: Philosophy 101 -- Meet and Greet the Professor.


Come and meet our philosophy professor! Sit in on a sample class, play with the technology, see Dr. Rioux in action, and learn what we have planned for the upcoming year for high school philosophy.

Dr. Jean Rioux, chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College, will be teaching an introductory philosophy course for high school students. If there is a good response to this offering, he has a whole series planned.

Both you and your children are invited to join Dr. Rioux on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 for Philosophy 101: Meet and Greet the Professor.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Online Class for Homeschool Science

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

Kris Correira, PA is going to be teaching a 6-week online class called Blood in Sickness and in Health that is about blood physiology and pathophysiology. This is an awesome opportunity for high school students to learn directly from a physician's assistant who also teaches paramedics at community college.

Kris is planning a whole physiology series, so this is only beginning. This course is very inexpensive at only $75 for 6 weeks plus graded homework.

Course Description:
You won't faint at the sight of blood in this virtual class! We'll explore what blood is and does, how it is made, how it clots, and blood typing. We'll also look at how blood is tested in a medical laboratory, what the results are when a person is healthy and how it changes in illness. Each student will present their own research into a specific blood disorder of his or her choosing.

This course is designed for high school students. If your student is younger than high school age and would like to participate please contact homeschoolconnections@gmail.com.

Fee: $75.

Registration:
Go to Science: Blood in Sickness and In Health. 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.

Materials Needed:
The course includes a blood typing and microscope lab for which you will need to order supplies. Ordering information will be provided and will cost around $20.

All other materials will be made available free online.

Dates and Time:
This is a six-week course. Classes will begin Friday, September 18, 2009 and meet every Friday through October 23, 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 11, 2009. This will provide students time to learn about the educational software Moodle and the instructor time to provide a syllabus and welcome letter.

Homework:
1) Read the material listed each week.
2) Two labs, one where the students determine their blood types one week and another where they examine slides another week.
3) They will give a final paper and presentation.

Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping. It is up to the parent to record the grade in their child's transcript.

Misc. Details:
Mrs. Corriera 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/.

Instructor's Biography:
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.

Registration:
Go to: Science: Blood in Sickness and In Health. 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.


Click here to learn about other homeschool online classes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Homeschool Plan for Upcoming School Year

Have you been putting off planning for the upcoming school year? Is it on you're to-do list? Have you already done the footwork but having doubts? Well. Jenny Bales has graciously offered to help us all with this task that some of us love and others of us loathe.

Jenny's homeschool group holds a Day of Reflection for moms in preparation for planning the next school year. They developed a self-evaluation survey for the mothers to complete with questions covering personal spirituality, successes and struggles from this year, and goals for the next year.

Now Jenny is bringing that experience to the entire Catholic homeschool community via two free webinars. These are ones well worth your time. Make sure to mark the date on your planner so you don't miss it.

Prayerfully Reflecting on Last Year
(ADDENDUM: The live event was fabulous! I could not believe all the positive responses. I've corrected the link above to take you to the recorded event.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
8:30 PM Eastern (7:30 Central)
Here is a chance to really step back from the busy-ness of family life and pause to reflect on the previous academic year's highs and lows. The focus will be to take some time to ponder our personal spiritual growth and our successes and challenges from the past year of homeschooling with a goal to prayerfully discern what, if anything, needs to change for next year. Participants will be provided with a thorough self-evaluation survey at the close of the webinar to complete on their own time, which has been an inspiring process for all who have done it, so far! This webinar is part one of a two part series, continuing with Prayerfully Planning for Next Year on July 15 but one can be attended without the other, if desired.

Prayerfully Planning for Next Year
(ADDENDUM: The live event was fabulous! I could not believe all the positive responses. I've corrected the link above to take you to the recorded event.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
8:30 PM Eastern (7:30 Central)
Regardless of what stage of planning for next year moms have completed, this will be an opportunity to consider our plans in light of God's will through prayerful discernment. Having evaluated the previous academic year in the webinar Prayerfully Reflecting on Last Year on July 7, our goals for this discussion will be asking the Lord for guidance in choosing materials and preparing lessons for next year and setting some goals for ourselves, our family, and each individual child that truly reflect our priorities. This webinar is part two of a two part series but one can be attended without the other, if desired.

Presenter's Biography
Jenny is a richly blessed homeschooling mother of two children, so far, a daughter entering second grade and a son entering pre-Kindergarten. Previously a middle school and high school English/Language Arts teacher, youth retreat director, and strategic planning consultant (among other things), her enthusiasm for and experience with personal and curriculum planning has been a great asset to her own homeschooling way of life. She cannot wait to share with you the process she developed with her local homeschooling group to evaluate each homeschooling year and make plans for the next year all focusing on God's will for our families and raising holy children in Christ-centered homes!