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

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Theology of the Body for High School

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

Catholic author George Weigel describes John Paul II’s Theology of the Body as “one of the boldest reconfigurations of Catholic theology in centuries – a kind of theological time-bomb set to go off, with dramatic consequences, some time in the third millennium of the Church.”

In this 4-week course, Catholic theologian Monica Ashour introduces high school students to Pope John Paul's life-changing work. Parents are welcomed to listen in on class or watch the recordings.

Session dates: Tuesdays, April 13 to May 4, 2010
Total classes: 4
Starting time: 1:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor: Monica Ashour, MTS

Course Rationale:
In order to live the “abundant life” that Jesus said He came to bring us, we need to know who we are, made in God’s image and likeness. A new vision of such anthropology has been given to us by God through the Venerable Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB). A deep, proper study of this work brings with it a renewal of the person who embraces such teachings. The late Holy Father’s biographer, George Wiegel, called it a “time bomb” set to go off sometime after the Pope’s death. Cardinal Angelo Scola remarks that every area of Catholic thought can be undergirded by the Theology of the Body, thus, this course will not only offer an opportunity for ongoing renewal for the student but also a basis to explore other areas of his/her faith with TOB as a foundation.

Course Description:
This 4-course overview of Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body will give a “bird’s eye” perspective of the whole of TOB. Far from relegating TOB to the area of sex and sexuality, TOB provides meaningful tools to see one’s life in the context of Jesus’ love for His Church and the life and love of the Blessed Trinity. Homework and quizzes will be provided but are optional. Recommended for 11th and 12th grade students.

Course fee (USD$): 75.00 for entire 4 weeks

Week-by-week outline:
Week 1: An overview of TOB and its origin and goal. Original man (inclusive sense of the word: male and female). Solitude. This class focuses on the individual, capable of self-mastery in all areas of his/her life. The original plan of God for communion—4-fold communion.

Week 2: Fallen man. The underlying thought of this class is man goes from a Sacramental View of Reality to an abstract view of reality, which causes ruptures between God and man, man within himself, man with others, and man with creation. We will apply this to wrongs such as gossip, lying, stealing, abortion, pornography, etc.

Week 3: Redeemed man. We do not remain hopeless since Christ came to heal the rupture. This class focuses on the Sacramental/Incarnational View of Reality which, if lived in all areas of our lives, brings wholeness, healing, forgiveness (comes from same root words).

Week 4: Eschatological (at end of time) man: Not only do we get to begin to participate in the healing of Christ who brings us into the very life and love of the Blessed Trinity on earth, we are to be divinized and to have a spiritualized body. This amazing vision of Pope John Paul is breathtaking, one that draws the person do desire to immense, profound joy that awaits us in heaven with the Communion of Saints.

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.

Course materials needed by students: None. Everything provided free online or by Miss Ashour.

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet. A headset with microphone is preferred but not required. If you do not own a headset, you can find them at a local computer store or online from Amazon.

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

To register, please click on this link:
Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body

Miss Ashour's previous theology courses are available through our subscription service:
Christian Anthropology
Moral Theology
Social Ethics

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

March for Life Connections

At Homeschool Connections we're all about making connections. Recently, we made one we didn't expect. One that involved two students and the March for Life.

Laura from Eastern Michigan was traveling by bus to Washington, D.C. with her Homeschoolers4Life group for the March for Life. Sam was traveling from Western Michigan. Neither knew the other was heading to DC.

When Laura's bus stopped at a gas station in Ohio, she went inside for a quick minute along with a few others. A teen boy noticing the Homeschoolers4Life T-shirts began chatting with them. He was a homeschooler too. As their converstaion unfolded, he realized they had a connection. "I know who you are! You're Laura! I'm Sam! Sam from Miss Ashour's class! We take Homeschool Connections classes together!"

They had never seen each other before, but they heard each other's voices via their headsets during class. And, now, here they were, meeting face to face on their way to the March for Life.

That is a great connection!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Santa Clara Design: Web Design

Among all the other exciting happenings at Homeschool Connections this week, we're updating the website. It's still a work in progress but it's shaping up very nicely. We've enlisted the help of Lauren Gulde from Santa Clara Design. She designed the website's look and is in the process of addressing all the little things that us nonprofessionals miss. So, if you're looking for a great web designer who has a good eye for detail, don't hesitate to contact Santa Clara Design. Thank you Lauren!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chesterton Resources and Free Books Online

One thing we try to do at Homeschool Connections is keep prices low for our families. For our upcoming Chesterton course, instead of asking our students to purchase 6 separate books, we did a little web surfing and found all six books online for free.

If you'd like to read Chesterton online for free too, here are some links for you:

The Literature Page
G. K. Chesterton's Works on the Web
Librivox (audio books)
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Gutenberg Project

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seton's Having a Sale

Got this in my email box. I like sales and I like free shipping!

FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $25.00 and more
Offer valid through Sunday, January 24th, 2010
Enter coupon code: FREESHIP

Help with Math? Need a Great Book? Help with English?
Interactive Math
Interactive Math Software
D.I.V.E. and Saxon Teacher
Elementary Fiction
Bethlehem Books
Bethlehem Books
Language Arts
Better Sentence Structure Through Diagramming
Better Sentence Structure . . .

Spectrum Math Test Prep
Saxon Manipulative Kit, K-4
Much More . . .
SALE Saint Biographies
Vision Saint Biographies
Windeatt Saint Biographies
Reading Workbooks
Writing Skills (Grades 3 -12)
Writing Step by Step

You might also be interested in these . . .
Pre Kindergarten Activities
Pre-K Activities
Mr. Wizard's World
Mr. Wizard
Dictionaries for All Grades!
Book Reports
Novels for Book Reports
High School Novels

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Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm EST

Satisfaction Guaranteed: If you are not satisfied with a product, simply return it in like-new condition with a copy of your invoice within 45 days of purchase for a full refund. Opened software cannot be returned.

Offer for Orders shipped to U.S. Addresses Only

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Writing Research Papers: High School Online Classes

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

Is your high school child ready to write in college? If not and you'd like some help in preparing him for higher education, this is the course for you. Learn straight from a college professor who knows exactly what is expected of college students.

Session dates
: Thursdays, April 8 to May 13, 2010
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 1:00 pm, Eastern (Noon Central)
Class length: 1 hour
Professor: Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
Course fee: $120 for all 6 classes plus all homework is graded by Dr. Gotcher

Course Description:
What are the characteristics of excellent writing in the eyes of college professors? This course will use the rhetorical arts to help turn competent writing into impressive writing. What are the essential components of an excellent piece of nonfiction writing? How does one write a compelling introduction and conclusion? How does one argue effectively for one’s position? What are important mistakes to avoid? The course will work with previous writing samples of the students, as well as composition exercises, culminating in the writing of a short argumentative essay. Juniors and seniors.

Course materials needed by students: None. Everything provided free online or by Dr. Gotcher.

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet. A headset with microphone is strongly recommended. If you do not own a headset, you can find them at a local computer store or online from Amazon.

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

Week-by-week outline:
Class 1: Characteristics of a well-written college level research paper.
Class 2: Basic outline of a paper: introductory paragraph(s), body, and conclusion. Special focus on thesis and "hook."
Class 3: Argumentation in the body of the paper. There are three types of appeal in classic rhetoric, ethos, pathos, and logos. Also focus on logos or rational argumentation. Plus anticipating objections
Class 4: Review of samples for thesis, hook, and argumentation. Discussion about the syllogism, major premise, minor premise, and conclusion.
Class 5: Review of templates for four types of writing: Expository essay, textual analysis, argumentative research paper, and book review. Remembering that the "thesis" is the same as the conclusion of a syllogism. A look at the use of definitions in the major and the minor of a complex argument.
Class 6: In this final session we will review practical suggestions about formatting and editing. We will also discuss how to use the work of others and how to avoid plagiarism.

CLEP: Information on Testing for College Freshman English Composition

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.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Homeschool Record Keeping Solutions

Homeschool Connections does not provide transcripts or record keeping services. Families who use home study programs usually contact their counselor to receive credit for our courses. Families who design their own curriculum simply add our courses to their own homeschool transcript.

If you are just beginning and need some help with record keeping, a great place to start is Donna Young's Homeschool Printables and Resources website. Donna provides every homeschool form imaginable for free even though it's practically a fulltime job for her. Personally, I use her transcript forms which have been accepted by my teens' college choices no problem.

Another resource is Homeschool Tracker. This is a software program that helps you with planning as well as record keeping. There is the Basic edition which is free and probably has most of what you need. There is also a Homeschool Tracker PLUS edition which has all the bells and whistles for just $49. If you'd like to try out the Plus edition first, there is a 30-day trial for $5.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Drum roll please. Our winner is Diane M. Congratulations Diane! Diane will receive a one-year subscription to our recorded classes. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Contest: Free One Year of Recorded Courses

To celebrate our new subscription service we're having a contest! Leave a comment on the fan page in the next 48 hours and you can win a free 1-year subscription to our recorded courses. If you're not already a fan, that's easily fixed. Just scroll down and the link to join is near the end in the sidebar.

This subscription service is great for all families with middle to high school age kids. Try it for 7 days at $1! You can then keep it for only $30/mo or cancel w/ no obligation. Terrific way to supplement your child's education at your pace, on your schedule, and in the comfort of your own home!

We will announce the winner here and on the fan page at 10 PM Eastern time Saturday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Upcoming Courses

Live Courses: Spring 2010
  • Marketing: Jesus and Main Street with Derek Prentice
  • History: Roots of the Revolt (1417-1560) with Phillip Campbell
  • History: The Age of the Religious Wars (1560-1648) with Phillip Campbell
  • Life Skills: Career Search Skills with Derek Prentice
  • Literature: Chesterton; Man of Letters with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
  • Literature: Homer's Odyssey: The Soul of Pre-Socratic Wisdom with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
  • Literature: Virgil's Aeneid: The Founding of Nations in the Will of God with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
  • Logic: Introduction to Logic with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
  • Philosophy: Fallacies and Paradoxes with Jean Rioux, Ph.D.
  • Science: Immunity: In Sickness and in Health with Kris Correira, PA
  • Science: Blood: In Sickness and in Health with Kris Correira, PA
  • Theology: Social Ethics with Monica Ashour, MTS

Click here to learn more and to begin the registration process

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fequently Asked Questions: Subscription Service


What grade level are your courses geared for?
Currently we offer high school courses, though we've had middle school students register and do very well. We plan to offer middle school courses next school year.

Is it better to take a live or recorded course?
Live courses are generally better as you are able to interact with the instructor firsthand during class and via email in between. However, it may not be possible to fit a live class into your schedule. Recorded courses can be taken on your own time, at your own pace.

What do I get with my subscription?
You get unlimited access to most of Homeschool Connection's past courses. This includes recordings of the classes and supporting materials such as essay topics, quizzes, answer keys, etc.

How do I apply credit to my high school student's transcript?
Each course will have a notation about how much credit can be given.

Why would I want my child to take a recorded course?
Our courses are an opportunity to learn from the best of the best. Our instructors are college professors or working professional who know and love their subject matter.

My children are too young, but I'd love to take these courses myself! Is that possible?
While the live courses would not be available to you, you may take part in the subscription service. The recorded courses are very enriching for young and old alike!

My children are enrolled in a home study program, how do they take your classes?
If you're using our courses as a supplement then you don't need to do anything special. If you'd like your home study program to give you credit for the course, then simply call your counselor to work out details.

Are your instructors Catholic?
Yes, all of our instructors are loyal to the Magisterium. Your child will not only benefit academically but also spiritually.

My oldest is no longer homeschooled but attends a public school. Can she take part in the subscription service?
Most certainly. This is a terrific opportunity to supplement her school studies with Catholic instructors in the evening or during the summer.

Are you an accredited school?
No, we are not and we do not provide record keeping. However, some of our live courses do provide graded homework.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Service for Homeschoolers!

We are so very proud and excited to share our good news with you. As of today, you now have access to a wonderful array of Homeschool Connections past courses. Our live courses have become so popular that we receive many requests to provide the recordings to the Catholic homeschooling community. You speak and we listen.

For only $1 you can try out our new subscription service for 7 days. You'll have unlimited access to past courses, including 100+ hours of online recordings and 50+ supporting documents (tests, answer keys, etc.). If you find the service isn't for you, then simply unsubscribe before the trial period ends. If you find the subscription service is just what you need for your homeschool, then it's only $30 per month. There is no commitment. You can subscribe for as long or as little as you need.

Homeschool Connections is not a home study school but instead provides individual online courses to help Catholic homeschool parents supplement what they are already doing. Our families use a variety of of homeschool methods: Seton, MODG, Kolbe, eclectic, classical, unschooling, etc.

To subscribe or to view a list of recorded courses currently available, please see below. As live courses are completed, we will add them to your subscription service. Also below is a listing of live courses that are currently open for enrollment where your student has the opportunity to interact firsthand with our outstanding instructors and their fellow students.

Recorded Courses Currently Available:

  • Economics: Principles of Economics and Catholic Perspectives with David Harris, Ph.D.
  • Government: American Government, Democracy, and Citizenship with Ed Rivet
  • Literature: Beowulf and Christ with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
  • Literature: The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer -- Trust God and Tradition with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
  • Literature: The Catholic Shakespeare -- MacBeth with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
  • Literature: King Arthur and Christ -- Heroism and Holiness with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
  • Literature: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- Chivalry, Courtesy and Chastity with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
  • Literature: Tolkien and Fairy Stories with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
  • Science: Blood: In Sickness and In Health with Kris Correira, PA
  • Theology: Catholic Spiritual Writers with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
  • Theology: Christian Anthropology with Monica Ashour, MTS
  • Theology: The Mass Explained with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
  • Theology: Moral Theology with Monica Ashour, MTS
  • Writing: College Preparatory Writing with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
  • Career Search Skills: Beacon of Light in a Dark Economy (adult course) with Derek Prentice

Click here to subscribe
Subscription includes a 7-day trial period for $1. After the trial you will be charged $30 each month unless you cancel. This is made easy for you with a click of a button at the website.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

High School Science: Immune System

Update: This live course has concluded and is will be available after 03/11/10 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

If you're looking for a terrific high school science course for you child look no farther. This is an opportunity to learn from a physician's assistant who also teaches paramedics and all from the comfort of your own home.

My own teen daughter is already enrolled in this course. She loves everything anatomy & physiology so I'm pretty excited to have Kris teaching for Homeschool Connections.

To register, please click on the link below:

Dates: Thursdays, January 7 to February 11, 2010
Time: 3:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (2:00 pm Central)
Class length: 1 hour
Instructor: Kris Correira, PA

Course description: The immune system is actually several systems working together to protect the body. In this course students will learn about the overall structure of the lymphatic system, the inflammatory response, and the immune response, including compliment, antibodies, and T cells. You won't get sick of this course!

Course fee: $90.00 for entire 6-week course

Homework: Homework will consist of answering a series of questions relating to what will be covered the following week. Lectures 2 through 6 will have a quiz at the start of class.

Instructor's biography: Kris Correira is a homeschooling mother of three 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 homeschool co-op. She has inspired a love of science in her children through lots of hands-on learning and science books without textbooks or curricula.