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Monday, November 29, 2010

High School Theology: Who Am I?

Update: This live course has concluded and is available now 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: Catholic Homeschooling

What is Christian Anthropology? It sounds lofty and looks great on a high school transcript for college admissions, but can be simply put as the study of the human person in relationship to God.

Theologian Monica Ashour will be delving deep into Christian Anthropology next semester for Homeschool Connections. This is an excellent course for any mature high school student (11th to 12th grade). It will lay out a foundation for the rest of their lives.

Christian Anthropology; Who Am I?
(to register, please click on title)

Instructor: Miss Ashour, MTS; M Hum
Class dates: Tuesdays, March 8 to April 26, 2011
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $100 for entire 8-week course.
Prerequisite: None.
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th. Note that this course will touch on sensitive subjects, particularly in Class Seven. Parents are always welcome to sit in on classes or review recordings.
High school credit: 1/2 semester credit in theology

Course Rationale: The student will study the foundational aspects of Christian Anthropology (the Catholic vision of what it means to be human). With this understanding, the student in this course will be challenged to apply such principles to being “in the world, not of the world,” with a critical mind of recognizing distortions regarding the human person that the world holds. Furthermore, the student will delve deeply into Trinitarian and Soteriological (how we are saved) theology in that we are made in the image and likeness of the Trinitarian God and in that Jesus’ death on the Cross gives the highest and deepest revelation of what it means to be human.
Course Goal: The student, through his/her embracing of this theological perspective, will be invited to grow in his/her humanity to become “St. Me,” the person he/she was made to be and whom he/she co-creates with God.

Homework: Weekly Quizzes, Major Project, & Final Exam: To be graded by parents. (Answer key provided.)

Course Reading:

The reading will assist the student in delving into a deep understanding of the human person, along with its application to the moral life and spirituality.

1. The Bible—Gen 1-3; Rom 3:21-8:39;
2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph #’s 249-421;
3. The Documents of Vatican II—Gaudium et Spes, especially Part I;
4. Redemptor Hominis (Pope John Paul’s 1st encyclical)
5. Pope Benedict’s address at Regensburg: ZE06091209 - 2006-09-12 Permalink:;
6. The Weight of Glory and “Man or Rabbit”, both by CS Lewis.

Optional: Not required, but for those who want more of a challenge and more credit earned:
CS Lewis’ The Abolition of Man;
Thomas Howard’s Chance or the Dance;
J. Budziszewski’s What We Can’t Not Know (Part I);
Dr. Joyce Little’s The Catholic Church and the Culture War (esp. the part about egalitarianism).

Course outline:

Class 1
Logistics of class/expectations/optional homework
Foundational Introduction to Theology
-- Difference between catechesis and theology
-- Trinitarian Theology: God Himself; What He has done for us.
-- Christology: Christianity's Goal; Christology from above/from below; High Pt of Revelation; Christ's Mystical Body
Anthropology (Study of Man (man and woman)
-- 3 Types of Freedom
-- 3 Ways People Approach God (2 wrong, 1 right)
-- Circumincession/Perichoresis-Our Home!
Foundational Introduction to Theology
-- The Trinity in our Lives-God is immutable: St. Thomas; God is love: Fr. Von Balthasar, Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict
-- Trinitarian Theology: Self-emptying (kenosis) in ad intra; Self-emptying in ad extra (what God has done-Jesus died for us)
Class 2
Anthropology-Study of Man; Solitude for Communion
-- Since in God's inner being, the Three Persons are kenotic, then we are to be kenotic; it is human nature to give the gift of self (nothing other than LOVE).
-- Theology of the Body: Self-understanding, self-possession, to determine our lives.
-- Humans are first receptive in relation to parents who symbolize God; we are to return that gift.
-- We are sons/daughters in the Son through baptism; we are divinized.
-- "Abstandikeit" others: let others be themselves.
-- Human Nature-Beginning and End; Origin and Telos
-- Relativism (opposite of human nature)-The worst evil of our time, says Pope Benedict; Self-contradictory statements
-- Sentimentality and Egalitarianism, two offshoots of relativism.
Class 3
Anthropology-The Goal of Kenosis for Union and Communion with God, within ourselves, others, and creation. Proper understanding of salvation.
-- Funnel Analogy-Salvation only within the Church, understood properly, not universalistic
-- Marriage as primordial sacrament to point to our union with Christ
-- Church's view of reality
-- 4 Fold communion
-- To sin is not being human!
-- God loves us freely, fully, faithfully, and fruitfully.
-- To be human is to LOVE! Kenosis.
-- Pelagianism (earning salvation)-wrong; Once saved, always saved-wrong; Through grace (God's own life and love in ad intra) working in love-RIGHT!
-- Solo Scriptura-wrong; solo fides-wrong; solo gratia-right, understood properly, working in love.
Class 4
Anthropology -The Sacramental View of Reality
-- All-Male Priesthood
-- Masculinity and Femininity and the "language of the body" (Pope John Paul's Sacramental view of reality-TOB)
-- Descartes Dualism-split of body and soul and TOB's reintegration
-- Objective Truth and Subjective Reality
-- Work on Marian Receptivity to be human (receive, not grasp)
-- Diagram of Mass in our Lives (The Source and Summit of our Faith)
-- Diagram of 4 Dimensions of Every Sacrament
-- Heart of the World Diagram-To love (to be human) is only possible when we love with Christ's Sacred Heart.
Class 5
Anthropology-Nominalism's Role in our Understanding of the Human Person/William of Ockham
-- The Wrong understanding of God's freedom in relation to Man's Freedom
-- Pope Benedict's Lecture at Regensburg, Germany September 10
-- Competitive Causality
Class 6
Anthropology-"Man's Conquest over Nature"-Francis Bacon's Influence on Modernity
-- Human Limits-when good/when not
-- Technology-when good/when not/when to question/making us more human? "escaping the body"?
-- Noise vs.Silence
-- Affirmative living - Dr. Conrad Baars; attention as the most precious gift of humans to another
-- Pope Benedict: "We give the other himself/herself"
Class 7
Anthropology-Tough Questions and Loving Responses, all based on Anthropology
-- Homosexuality
-- In Vitro Fertilization
-- Contraception
-- Cohabitation
Class 8
Anthropology-Summation of Entire Course
-- Review for Final Exam
-- Mariology-True Anthropology!

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 pedagogically 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. She is also a gifted speaker for the The Theology of the Body Evangelization Team.

-- The October 24, 2010 Our Sunday Visitor lists Monica Ashour as one of the top 10 speakers in the nation: Although Ashour, who co-founded the Texas-based Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, speaks to adults as well as teens, there are few speakers as experienced and gifted as Ashour at reaching young Catholics

-- Published in, September 10, 2010, How to Reach Teens
-- Consultant for Theology of the Body for Teens-Middle School Edition, to be released by Ascension Press in March 2011
-- Published chapter in Set Free to Love, Servant Books
-- Author, The Theology of the Body and Social Networking, to be released by Ascension Press in 2011
-- Author, Children's Books Series based on the Theology of the Body, to be released by Ascension Press in 2011

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.

Miss Ashour 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.
Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping services.

(to register, please click on title)

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Should We Offer for High School History?

Our high school history instructor Mr. Campbell is already working on developing his history offerings for the 2011/2012 school year. He's also considering teaching a geography course. Since we're still in the development stage nothing is set in stone yet. This is where you come in. You get to have a say in what we offer.

Please visit this survey and fill it out: History Offerings 2011/2012. It only takes 1 minute.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Featured: Philosophy; Fallacies and Paradoxes

We currently have 37 recorded courses available through our Subscription Service and we are adding more each month. We are featuring a different recorded course each week to help you learn more about our offerings.

Philosophy: Fallacies and Paradoxes

Total classes: 6
Duration: approx. 75 minutes each
Professor: Jean Rioux, Ph.D.

Course description: This six-class course is devoted to learning about, and identifying, examples of flawed reasoning. Analyzing paradoxes, and their solutions, helps us better to understand the nature of human reasoning itself, and how best to assure that we arrive at the truth (and not falsity) through its use.

Week-by-week outline:
Class One: Linguistic Fallacies and Formal Non-Linguistic Fallacies (theory)
Class Two: Linguistic Fallacies and Formal Non-Linguistic Fallacies (application)
Class Three: Formal Non-Linguistic Fallacies and Material Non-Linguistic Fallacies (theory)
Class Four: Formal Non-Linguistic Fallacies and Material Non-Linguistic Fallacies (application)
Class Five: Logical Paradoxes (examples)
Class Six: Logical Paradoxes (resolutions and implications)

The "theory" classes would be devoted to laying out what fallacies there are and why they are fallacies; the "application" classes would consist of going over lots of examples, and asking students to classify the fallacies on the basis of distinctions already made.

Homework: There is no written homework for this course. However, there is assigned reading.

Course materials: The text is provided free of charge by Dr. Rioux.

High school credit: This course is worth 1/2 semester credit. Dr. Gotcher's course Introduction to Logic (also recorded) is the perfect companion to this course and the two together would make up a full semester credit.

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 twenty-three 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 twenty years.

Course Access:
Available 24/7 for as long as you are a subscriber so you may learn at your own pace on your own time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frances Chesterton and Homeschooling

NOTE: The live webinar went fantastic. If you missed it, you may watch the recording of the event here: Francis Chesterton and Homeschooling.

Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 pm, Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Presenter: Nancy Brown

Frances Chesterton, wife of noted British author Gilbert Keith Chesterton, was very interested in the education of children, and was a published author on the subject.

In this talk, we'll discuss the life of Frances Chesterton, her interest in the education of children, and find out what she has to teach us about the home education of our own children, as well as about being wives and makers of hearth and home.

Presenter's biography:
Nancy Carpentier Brown is the blogmistress, podcaster, Facebook and Twitter commander for the American Chesterton Society, as well as a columnist for their publication Gilbert Magazine. She is on the editorial board of mater et magistra. Brown is the adapter of The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton, as well as the upcoming Father Brown Reader 2: More Stories from Chesterton. In August, 2010, she gave a talk at the 29th annual conference of the American Chesterton Society at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, MD titled "Frances: The Woman Who Was Chesterton."