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

Faith ~ Excellence ~ Passion

Friday, February 26, 2010

Huckleberry Finn for Middle 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


Drum roll please ... Our first ever course designed just for middle school students is here!

(click here and scroll down to register)

Class dates: Saturdays, September 11 to October 16, 2010
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 11:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time (10:00 am Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Instructor: Dayspring Brock

Course Description:
In his lecture notes concerning his most profound work, "Huckleberry Finn," Mark Twain says that "a sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience." One of the most beloved American novels written, this story of a young Odyssean wanderer discovers friendship and loyalty through the the runaway slave, Jim, and discovers a profound lesson in trusting in the worth of a another human being over and against the societal prejudice of the time. Though the work can often be taught as a study on American racism, this course will mostly focus on themes of friendship, loyalty, and the value of the human heart. Students at this age enjoy the masterful plot of this story and will be thoroughly challenged through it's reading and lectures. Vocabulary and grammar will be reading based and the paper written will cover a particular theme of the work. The first three lectures will cover the work and the final three lectures will concern the writing.

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

Misc:
Miss Brock 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.

Fee: This course is regularly $80 for the entire 6-week course. Early Registration Discount of $10 off before June 1, 2010.

Course Outline:
Session One - Introduction to Huckleberry Finn and the American Novel (please have read Ch. 1-5 for the first session)
Session Two – (Ch. 6-20); Vocabulary due
Session Three – (Ch. 21-35)
Session Four – (Ch. 36-End); Character map due; Writing about a theme
Session Five – Lecture; Editing the rough draft
Session Six - Lecture; Final paper

Homework:
Miss Brock will provide vocabulary, reading quizzes, essay assignment and instructions, and a Final Exam. Answer keys will be provided for parents to grade.

Course text:
We will use the Penguin Classic of Huckleberry Finn
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics; Deluxe edition (Oct. 27, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0143105949
You are free to use any edition, but for better ease of reading along with the teacher, the student would be best served if the page numbers correspond with the teacher’s edition.


Instructor's biography:
Dayspring Brock has been teaching in private schools since 2004 in the Dallas area. She grew up a Dallasite. Her undergraduate degree is in history and philosophy from Dallas Baptist University and she holds a Masters of Humanities in Literature from the University of Dallas. Dayspring is a current candidate to enter the Catholic Church (an Anglican rite church) and can’t wait to take her first Eucharist at Easter. She has a passion for books, current events, films, fashion, pop culture, coffee, and music. She loves Junior High Students and the opportunities to show how reading and writing can open up a whole new dimension to a student.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Middle School Online Classes

One of the big requests we've been getting at Homeschool Connections is for the creation of middle school courses. We're in the process at this very moment of pulling together several middle school courses for the Fall 2010 semester. I should have an announcement of the first offering for you by tomorrow!

Friday, February 19, 2010

High School Philosophy

Update: This live course has concluded and is will be available 05/11/10 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

Philosophy: Fallacies and Paradoxes
To register, click above.

Class dates: Tuesdays, March 23 to April 27, 2010
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 3:00 pm, Eastern (2:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Professor: Jean Rioux, Ph.D.
Fee: $90

Course description: This six-session class will be devoted to learning about, and identifying, examples of flawed reasoning. One sort of logical mistake, the fallacy, can arise on account of the subject matter about which one reasons (language-based, or linguistic, fallacies), or through being inattentive to the structure (or form) of one's reasoning (non-linguistic, or formal, fallacies). There is also a class of logical error called paradoxes, in which reason finds itself trapped between two, apparently sound, but incompatible lines of reasoning; something is wrong here, but what, exactly? 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 will be no written homework for this course. However, there will be assigned reading. Dr. Rioux will be available via email in between classes for questions and comments.

Course materials: The text will be 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 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.

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

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Classical Literature for High School: Online Classes

Update: This live course has concluded and is will be available 05/11/10 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

Literature: Virgil’s Aeneid: The Founding of Nations in the Will of God

Session dates:
Tuesdays, March 16, 2010 to April 27, 2010. There will be no class Easter week.
Total sessions: 7
Starting time: 10:00 am, Eastern Time (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Professor: Henry Russell, Ph.D.

Fee: This course is regularly $140 for the entire 7 weeks.

Course description:
When we visit Washington D.C. the great buildings are not imitations of Greek but of Roman architecture. Our country was founded not as a democracy but as a Republic. George Washington was called “The Father of His Country.” Each of these three facts, and many more, are due to the enduring and world-wide influence of Virgil’s Aeneid.

In a Rome weakened by wealth and pleasure, then shattered by civil war, only to unite under an emperor, Virgil celebrated the subordination of individual ambition and pleasure to pietas—a triune duty to God, to the nation built under God’s will, and to the future of the family. Building on the brilliance of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, as well as Platonic philosophy, Virgil expanded the quest from the restoration of the family and one’s individual relation to God to the restoration of the whole nation and its relation to heavenly power. This was the original conception of our nation which our Founding Fathers honored in so many ways, and which we are in great peril as we now forget.

Dante, the greatest of all poets, chose Virgil as his heaven-sent fictional guide, not merely through Hell but Purgatory as well, signaling the seeds of vast Christian wisdom which he found.

Course outline:
Mar. 16 - Background of The Aeneid
Rewriting The Odyssey
Mar. 23 - Bks. I and II The Wrath and the Promise of Heaven; Pietas When All Seems Lost
Mar. 30 - Books III and IV False Starts and the Perils of Passion
April 6 - NO Class
Apr. 13 - Books V and VI Uniting the Living, the Dead and those yet Unborn
Rewriting The Iliad
Apr. 20 - Books VII and VIII Selfish War; Selfless Allies; and God’s View of Time
Apr. 27 - Books IX and X The Glory and the Slaughter (“It is well that war should be so terrible, else men might grow too fond of it” —Gen. Robert E. Lee)
May 4 - Books XI and XII Can the shedding of Civil Blood Ever Cease

Misc:
Dr. Russell will provide quizzes, essay topics, and a Midterm and Final Exam to be graded by the parent. He will use Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of the Aeneid. You are free to use any translation you like, but you should have one with line numbers or it will be almost impossible to follow along with frequent references to the author’s words.

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

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

Professor's Biography:
Dr. Henry Russell is Headmaster of the St. Augustine's Homeschool Enrichment Program founded with his wife Crystal. The program began in Fall 2005 with 20 students in two living rooms and now tutors more than 70 students. He is also the President of the SS Peter and Paul Educational Foundation, dedicated to founding an orthodox Catholic Liberal Arts college in southeast Michigan.

A graduate of Princeton and South Caroline (M.S.), Dr. Russell completed his graduate work at Louisiana State University.

Formerly the Chairman of Ave Maria College's Department of Literature, he has also been a professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Wake Forest University. He is a founding faculty member of the St. Robert Southwell Creative Writing Workshop held in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Dr. Russell's works include The Catholic Shakespeare Audio Series. He was the Associate Editor of The Formalist from 1990-2004 and his writings have been published in various journals. He was honored to edit Dr. Alice von Hildebrand's groundbreaking volume, The Privilege of Being a Woman.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Become a Facebook Fan and Win a Book


Join the Homeschool Connections Fan Page, leave a comment, and you could win one of three copies of For the Love of Literature: Teaching Core Subjects with Literature by Maureen Wittmann. Contest ends Friday at 7 PM Eastern.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homeschool High School US Government

Update: This live course has concluded and is is currently 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: Adult and High School Online Classes

Mr. Rivet's introductory government course has been our most popular. The students even started a Mr. Rivet Fan Club on Facebook. We get a lot of Seton and MODG students in this course as it helps meet their requirements for U.S. Government. We're really excited to be able to offer it again and will start next week.

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, February 12, 2010 and meet every Friday through April 16, 2010 (No class on Good Friday). The time will begin 12:00 PM Eastern Time and end at 1:15 PM.

Enrollment Period:
Enrollment is currently open.

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 highly 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.