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

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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!