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

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Traditional Logic Online Classes (Catholic)

(click on course title for registration page)

Class dates: Fridays, January 6 to March 30, 2012. No class February 24 (midterm).
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 10:00 am Eastern (9:00 am Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $190 if you register on or before November 1, 2011. $225 after Nov. 1 for all 12 classes.
Instructor: Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Logic
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.
Course outline:
Class 1 to 2: Terms
Class 4 to 7: Propositions
Class 8 to 11: Syllogisms
Class 12: Practical applications and review
Course materials: Traditional Logic: Introduction to Formal Logic by Martin Cothran (Memoria Press).
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.


Instructor'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 homeschooling 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.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.

Misc:
Dr. Gotcher 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. 

(click on course title for registration page)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Middle School History: The Civil War

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: January 10 to March 20, 2012
Total classes: 10
Starting time: 11:30 am Eastern (10:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 6th to 8th grade
Fee: $120 if you register on or before November 1, 2011. $140 after Nov. 1st for all 10 classes
Course description: This course will explore the political, economic and legal issues that existed during the Civil War years, including federalism, slavery, the Dred Scott decision, the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettsyburg Address. Key figures and major battles will be discussed and life as a soldier will be investigated. Moreover, there will be a brief look at the Reconstruction period. Any pertinent Catholic statements on the War will be introduced.
Course Outline:
Week 1: The Political and Economic Landscape Prior to the First Shot of the War
Week 2: Succession of Southern States, the Election of President Lincoln and Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus
Week 3: Battles of Fort Sumter and Manassas (First Bull Run)
Week 4: Ulysses S. Grant
Week 5: Emancipation Proclamation and Catholic Position
Week 6: Chancelorsville and Vicksburgh
Week 7: Life of a Civil War Soldier
Week 8: Gettsyburgh and the Gettysburgh Address
Week 9: Atlanta and the March to the Sea
Week 10: Reconstruction
Homework: Short written essays, reading assignments and final.
Instructor's biography: Mrs. Stanley has a B.A. from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Michigan. She loves to study history, especially how it pertains to legal and political issues of today. Mrs. Stanley is a mother of five children, all who have been homeschooled at some point.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.

Misc:
Mrs. Stanley 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.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Online Classes: Write Your Own Fiction Book Series

UPDATE: Meet the Instructor: Click Here

We are very excited to announce our new fiction writing program for middle and high school students. This is a wonderful series of courses for students who love to write and create their own stories. By the end of the series, the student has all the tools needed to complete and publish their own novel!

The program consists of six mini-courses of four weeks each. The courses can be taken in any order. Students are invited to begin with the first course in February, 2012 or join us later as we continuously offer the six courses over the upcoming years.

The current schedule:
February 2012: Plot and Structure
March 2012: Description and Setting
September 2012: Characters and Dialogue
October 2012: Theme, Style and Point of View
February 2013: Conflict and Creating the Breakout
March 2013: What it Takes to be a Published Author; Marketing, the Book Proposal and More
April 2013: Plot and Structure

If there is a strong demand for the courses, we will move the schedule up and offer much more each semester. 

Below are course descriptions for the first two mini courses scheduled for the spring semester. Register early to save up to $30:

(click on course title to enroll)

One of six mini-courses in the Write Your Own Fiction Book Series. NOTE: Courses in this series can be taken in any order.
Class dates: Thursdays, Feb. 2 to February 23, 2012
Total classes: 4
Starting time: 2:00 pm Eastern (1:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: none
Suggested grade level: 8th to 12th grade
Suggested credit: 1/3 semester (three courses in the Write Your Fiction Book Series equals one semester credit)
Fee: $75 if you register on or before November 1, 2011; $90 after Nov. 1 for all 4 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy, MA (E.B. Conroy)
Course description: This course teaches key components of writing a gripping plot for fiction books of any genre. Designed for writing fiction for middle grade, young adult, and adult plots, the course covers great openings (the opening line, hook, drop into action, and inciting incident); development (doors of no return, peaks, and the rising plot line); creating tension and intrigue; and the climax and finish.
Series description: There are a total six parts to the Write Your Own Fiction Book Series. We will continue the series in the fall and into next spring and start all over again. Students can jump into the series at any time. Once you have completed all 6 mini-courses, you can have a completed book!
Course outline:
Class 1: Great openings—the opening line, hook, drop into action, and inciting incident
Class 2: Developing your plot—doors of no return, peaks, and the rising plot line
Class 3: Creating tension and intrigue—tricks, tips, and “the plant”
Class 4: Great endings—creating a strong climax and finish
Course materials: All materials are provided FREE via the instructor.
Homework: Weekly writing assignments, with direct feedback from Professor Brown Conroy, with an estimated five hours per week for homework, outside of class time that includes reading, writing, and responding to feedback.


(click course title to register)

One of six mini-courses in the Write Your Own Fiction Book Series. Note: Courses in this series can be taken in any order.
Class dates: Thursdays, March 8 to March 29, 2012
Total classes: 4
Starting time: 2:00 pm Eastern (1:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: none
Suggested grade level: 8th to 12th grade
Suggested credit: 1/3 semester (three courses in the Write Your Fiction Book series equals one semester credit)
Fee: $75 if you register on or before November 1, 2011. $90 after Nov. 1 for all 4 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy, MA (E.B. Conroy)
Course description: This course teaches key components of using excellent description and crafting a strong and memorable setting for your fiction book. The course covers when a good writer uses description and setting (timing and amount of use); types of description (sensory, metaphor and simile, figures of speech, and literary techniques); principles and techniques of memorable settings; and how to integrate description and setting into plot, structure, and character development.
Series description: There are a total six parts to the Write Your Own Fiction Book Series. We will continue the series in the fall and into next spring and start all over again. Students can jump into the series at any time. Once you have completed all 6 mini-courses, you can have a completed book!
Course outline:
Class 1: Description and Setting: Timing and the Basics of their Use
Class 2: Types of Description—The senses, metaphor and simile, figures of speech, and literary techniques
Class 3: Principles and techniques of memorable settings (including examples to learn by)
Class 4: How to integrate description and setting into plot, structure, and character development
Course materials: All materials are provided FREE via the instructor.
Homework: Weekly writing assignments, with direct feedback from Professor Brown Conroy, with an estimated five hours per week for homework (outside of class time) that includes reading, writing, and responding to feedback.


Professor's biography: Erin Brown Conroy, MA, is the professor of College-Level Writing and Writing and Research for Patrick Henry College (five years) and taught writing at Cornerstone University for seven years. She is the author of several non-fiction books, including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Writing Success, and has designed four college writing courses, including an AP English Language and Composition course for PHC Preparatory Academy online. Professor Brown Conroy also privately coaches ACT English prep live and across the US via Skype and phone conferencing and has spoken at conferences regarding the teaching of writing. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, she is also a fiction writing coach for high school and college students for the last ten years and has judged writing contests. She is also a freelance professional writer and ghostwriter. Professor Brown Conroy also authored True North Reading: The Complete Mastery Reading and Spelling Program, a five-level multisensory learn-to-read program for children ages 3 to 15. Mrs. Brown Conroy lives in Howell, Michigan and is attends Old St. Patrick's Parish. She has been homeschooling for 27 years. Mrs. Brown Conroy loves enjoying her two Australian Labradoodles, playing the Irish wooden flute, and homeschooling five of her 13 children who still live at home.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.

Misc:
Mrs. Brown Conroy 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.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Writing for High School: Online Class

Addendum: Click here to meet the professor for this course: Simplified Writing for High School with Mrs. Conroy


(click on course title to register) 

Class dates: Wednesdays, February 1 to March 28, 2012 (no class Feb. 22).
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 2:00 pm Eastern (1:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: Basic middle school writing skills.
Suggested grade level: 9th to 11th grade.
Suggested credit: 2/3 semester. Parents can assign the completion of an additional writing assignment, for a total of one semester credit for the course
Fee: $150 if you register on or before November 1, 2011. $180 after Nov. 1 for all 8 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy, MA (E.B. Conroy)
Course description: This course is designed to give the teen skills that make writing strong and clear, lacking nothing—able to articulate ideas well in writing for all high-school level work. Students will learn how to perfect strong sentences and paragraphs; learn nine basic forms of rhetoric; focus on linear academic writing for a purpose; practice transitions and connectives, parallelism, paraphrasing, and summary; review punctuation as it influences excellence in writing (comma, semicolon, colon, and dash use); recognizing and correcting common grammar struggles; understand the characteristics of an effective introduction, body, and conclusion; learn prewriting, drafting, and editing skills; and practice sculpting a piece of writing with direction that receives specific feedback from the instructor.
Course outline:
Class 1: Audience, purpose, and word choice
Class 2: Perfecting strong sentence and paragraph construction
Class 3: Nine forms of rhetoric (and what they have to do with great writing)
Class 4: Linear writing for a purpose: more strong sentences and paragraphs
Class 5: How to effectively use transitions/connectives and parallelism
Class 6: Punctuation and excellent writing: the comma, colon, semicolon, and dash; conquering common grammar struggles
Class 7: The introduction, body, and conclusion; prewriting for success
Class 8: Drafting for success; editing and polishing your writing
Course materials: Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success, by E.B. Conroy (available online for a special $12 student price); additional materials provided FREE from the instructor
Homework: Students will have weekly writing assignments and direct feedback from Professor Brown Conroy, with an estimated five hours per week for homework (outside of class time) that includes reading, writing, and responding to feedback.

Professor's biography: Erin Brown Conroy, MA, is the professor of College-Level Writing and Writing and Research for Patrick Henry College (five years) and taught writing at Cornerstone University for seven years. She is the author of several non-fiction books, including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Writing Success, and has designed four college writing courses, including an AP English Language and Composition course for PHC Preparatory Academy online. Professor Brown Conroy also privately coaches ACT English prep live and across the US via Skype and phone conferencing and has spoken at conferences regarding the teaching of writing. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, she is also a fiction writing coach for high school and college students for the last ten years and has judged writing contests. She is also a freelance professional writer and ghostwriter. Professor Brown Conroy also authored True North Reading: The Complete Mastery Reading and Spelling Program, a five-level multisensory learn-to-read program for children ages 3 to 15. Mrs. Brown Conroy lives in Howell, Michigan and attends Old St. Patrick's Parish. She has been homeschooling for 27 years. Mrs. Brown Conroy loves enjoying her two Australian Labradoodles, playing the Irish wooden flute, and homeschooling five of her 13 children who still live at home.


(click on course title to register) 


Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.

Misc:
Mrs. Brown Conroy 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.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Writing for Middle School: Online Class

UPDATE: Due to the popularity of this course, we have added a second Simplified Writing for Middle School course. The new course takes place on the same dates, except at Noon Eastern. Click now to register for the Noon Eastern course: Simplified Writing for Middle School Noon Eastern.


YOUTUBE: Meet the instructor: Click Here

Simplified Writing for Middle School: Your All-Encompassing Foundational Middle School Writing Course 
(click on course title to register for the 2:00 pm Eastern course)

Class dates: Mondays, January 30 to March 19, 2012
Total classes: 8
Starting time: Mondays, 2:00 pm Eastern (1:00 pm Central)
Duration: 45 minutes
Prerequisite: none
Suggested grade level: 6-8
Suggested credit: 2/3 semester
Fee: $150 if you register on or before November 1, 2011; $180 after Nov. 1 for all 8 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy, MA (E.B. Conroy)
Course description: This course is designed as a first writing course, to introduce students in middle school to the skills and habits that create a strong and clear writing foundation for high school writing from a Christian worldview. Students will learn how to write effective sentences and paragraphs, including the use of topic sentences, linear writing, and transitions; the purposes of writing, including expression, informing, and persuading; the effect of audience on writing; how to sculpt a piece of writing with direction, including the characteristics of an effective introduction, body, and conclusion; and practice writing with specific feedback from the instructor that leads to an increase in skill through rewriting.
Course outline:
Class 1: Writing for a purpose and audience: the “why” of writing
Class 2: Great word choice: how to choose the “right” word
Class 2: Strong sentences: how to write a great sentence
Class 3: Clear paragraphs: what makes a great paragraph
Class 4: Clear paragraphs: linear writing that makes sense to the reader
Class 5: Writing with direction: great introductions and the hook
Class 6: Writing with direction: great introductions and the thesis
Class 7: Writing with direction: the body (of your paper) and how to make it “shapely”
Class 8: Writing with direction: the conclusion
Course materials: Everything is provided FREE online from Professor Brown Conroy
Homework: Weekly writing assignments, with direct feedback from Professor Brown Conroy, with an estimated three to four hours per week for homework, outside of class time.

Professor's biography: Erin Brown Conroy, MA, is the professor of College-Level Writing and Writing and Research for Patrick Henry College (five years) and taught writing at Cornerstone University for seven years. She is the author of several non-fiction books, including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Writing Success, and has designed four college writing courses, including an AP English Language and Composition course for PHC Preparatory Academy online. Professor Brown Conroy also privately coaches ACT English prep live and across the US via Skype and phone conferencing and has spoken at conferences regarding the teaching of writing. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, she is also a fiction writing coach for high school and college students for the last ten years and has judged writing contests. She is also a freelance professional writer and ghostwriter. Professor Brown Conroy also authored True North Reading: The Complete Mastery Reading and Spelling Program, a five-level multisensory learn-to-read program for children ages 3 to 15. Mrs. Brown Conroy lives in Howell, Michigan and attends Old St. Patrick's Parish. She has been homeschooling for 27 years. Mrs. Brown Conroy loves enjoying her two Australian Labradoodles, playing the Irish wooden flute, and homeschooling five of her 13 children who still live at home.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.

Misc:
Mrs. Brown Conroy 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.



(click on course title to register)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Course Catalog Changes

We are busy updating the current Course Catalog to reflect changes and additions since last spring. We hope to have it available at the website by the end of the week. In the meantime, here are the changes:

The following courses have been closed:
Ancient Greek (We will add Latin III in 2012/2013. We are also developing an AP Latin to be approved by the College Board)
Middle School History: The Dust Bowl
Introduction to Biology (Will be offered as a full-year course in 2012/2013)

The following courses have been added to the spring semester:
Middle School History: The Civil War
Writing for Middle School
Writing for High School
Fictional Writing

The new courses will be featured here at the blog over this week. They will be opened for registration by Monday morning.

Monday, September 5, 2011

American Government for Homeschoolers

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: Middle and High School Catholic Online Classes

Advanced American Government will be starting a week later than originally scheduled.  So, if you'd like to join us, there is still time. While it is recommended that students take Mr. Rivet's introductory government course first, it is not required. Any student with a basic understanding of government and has a desire to learn and work can handle this course. They may have to go back and fill in a detail or two to help make sense of a few things, but much of the material stands alone. So, Government I is not critical to doing well. We hope to see at noon Eastern on Friday, September 16th!

And now, introducing Mr. Rivet, our government instructor. (Make sure to watch to the end for a good laugh!)



Note: This is a FREE course. We only ask that you come to class with the same commitment you would come with if you had to pay the regular $140 fee.

To learn more: Advanced American Government for Catholic Homeschoolers

To register: Advanced American Government with Mr. Rivet

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Computer People Love Homeschool Connections

Our very own Phillip Campbell (History and Economics instructor) created this video. Thank you, Mr. Campbell!

Friday, September 2, 2011

High School Science: Anatomy & Physiology

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Wednesdays, September 7 to November 30, 2011. No class Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving).
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 12:30 pm Eastern (11:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Fee: $160 if you register on or before August 1, 2011. $185 after Aug. 1 for all 12 classes. (Note: Enrollment is limited. We will open up a waiting list if it fills.)
Instructor: Kris Correira, PA-C, MHP
Course description: Your heart beats around 100,000 times, and your lungs take 18,000 breaths in a day.  How do these amazing organs work?  Learn about the beauty and precision of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems as only God could design.  We will also look at some of the more common diseases that can afflict these systems.
Course outline:
Heart Anatomy
Controlling the Heartbeat
Blood Vessels
Circulation
Cardiovascular Diseases
Airway Anatomy
The Journey of a Breath of Air
pH and Hemoglobin
Controlling Breathing
Pulmonary Diseases
Course materials: A FREE pdf textbook will be provided as well as links to online resources.
Homework: The course will consist of 10 lectures, a midterm, and a final exam.  Homework will be assigned throughout the semester.  Students will take a quiz each week before the lecture starts. Graded by the instructor.