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

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thomistic Philosophy: Independent Learning

Thomism? Thomistic Philosophy? Natural Theology? Sounds awful lofty doesn't it? Surely too heady for a high school student!

We invite you to think again as you read these comments from our Thomistic Philosophy students from the Fall 2012 semester ...
  • "To me, Thomas Aquinas always seemed like a very advanced kind of theology. Only scholars ever read him. I was surprised to find how readable he was, and how simple many of his teachings were. The content was so informative." 
  • "I have gone from a person who was ignorant of Thomistic Philosophy to a junior Thomist." 
  • "Mr. Palmer explained Aquinas very clearly. He used lots of examples and pictures to reinforce points, and it made the material seem relevant to the modern world." 
  • "The Summa Theologica seemed boring to me before and now I have a much better understanding of it and I think I will read the Summa just for fun now." 
  • "I love the Summa now and the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas." 
  • "The homework was very hard but it made me think differently about things in a wonderful way. Mr. Palmer, in my opinion, is a genius when it comes to explaining Thomas and the Summa." 
  • "The homework for this class was very good. Mr. Palmer was enthusiastic and knowledgable. He made things easy to understand, and he was a great teacher!" 
  • "If I didn't have a good grasp of something, it was sure to come out when I did the homework. It forced me to really understand the material so I could summarize it." 
  • "I would like you to make Mr. Palmer do several more follow-up classes. He is a great teacher and this has been my favorite class I have ever taken." 
  • "Thank you Mr. Palmer and HSC!"
Have we convinced you that philosophy can indeed be accessible to teens? Even enjoyable? If so, here is the good news ... Mr. Palmer's course on Thomistic Philosophy will be available as a recorded course through our Unlimited Access! service starting in January. To sign up click here: Unlimited Access!

More good news! If you prefer live, interactive courses Dr. Rioux is teaching Philosophy of God starting in January. Click here to register or learn more: Natural Theology; Philosophy of God

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Latin Classes Starting Next Month

Homeschool Connections currently offers 4 levels of Latin. For beginners in middle school, we offer Latin 1/2, For our high school students, we offer Latin I, II, and III. Please click below to visit our course pages for registration and information links:  

Middle School Live/Interactive Spring 2013 Courses

High School Live/Interactive Spring 2013 Courses

Note: Students are welcomed to join us midyear even though these are two-part courses. Please feel free to drop us an email at homeschoolconnections@gmail.com to make sure your student's progress is in line with the course schedule.

We also offer recorded classes for independent learning.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The First Amendment High School Online Classes

With the recent HHS Mandate and other assaults on our fundamental rights as Americans, this course comes at the perfect time. It is vital for our high school students to understand the American Constitution. Taught by a lawyer who has a real love for American history and the Constitution, this course will prepare your student as a citizen. Mrs. Stanley is a vibrant instructor who brings a joy of learning and an excitement of her subject matter to the classroom.

(click on the course title to register)

Class dates: Thursdays, January 17 to March 7, 2013
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 1 pm Eastern
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: Basic understanding of American government
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th
Suggested high school credit: 2/3 semester
Fee: $120.00
Instructor: Alison Stanley, J.D.
Course description: This class will explore why the First Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights and what freedoms it protects. Landmark Supreme Court cases interpreting the First Amendment will be studied to help flesh out the meaning of this critical freedom. Also, during this class, we will debate the constitutionality of the HHS Mandate.
Course materials: Instructor will provide free materials on a weekly basis.
Homework: This class will not have a significant amount of homework. Prior to each class, the student may be required to read an abridged Supreme Court opinion and answer a few questions.

Instructor's biography: Alison 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. Mrs. Stanley teaches law and American history for Homeschool Connections.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone, which can be found as cheap as $12.
Misc: Mrs. Stanley will be available via email or phone 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 the course title to register)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

English Literature and Composition: Online Classes

This is an upper level English course with writing and literature that will prepare students for college.

(click on course title to register)


Prerequisite: Experience writing formal essays, ability to read 20-25 pages per night, some high school theology
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester
Fee: $165 for all 11 classes
Duration: 1 hour
Course description: What is the capacity for good and for evil in the human heart? Are some people more prone to evil than others? This course is not for the faint of heart but for the sincerely curious, openly inquisitive, and eagerly industrious. In this class we will read works which plummet the depths of the human heart and from our discussions we will think carefully about the capacity of the virtue and vice within it. We will look at what some of the best literature has discovered in terms of free will and its difficulties. We will begin with the catechism and some short readings by Aristotle and Augustine to look toward a definition of evil and then work our way through Iago in Othello, Kurtz from Heart of Darkness, Mr. Hyde, Ralph and Jack in Lord of the Flies, and some of O'Connor's humorous but wicked villains in order to explore the twisted sinews of the heart, but also to contrast the hopeful characters which arise in all these works as antidotes to the villain. How does evil come about in a person? What choices give way to it? How is it endured? How is it avoided? These questions will be explored through study question activities, weekly lectures and small written responses (one 12 sentence paragraph-which will be taught throughout the course) as well as three papers devoted to a particular theme within these works. Though the paragraphs will be given some feedback, the three major papers will be used as their major grades for the course.

Course outline (subject to minor changes -- will confirm two weeks before the first class):
Week One: Readings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Aristotle, and Augustine
Week Two: Shakespeare’s Othello
Week Thee: Conrad's The Heart of Darkness
Week Four: Conrad's The Heart of Darkness
Week Five: Conrad's The Heart of Darkness
Week Six: Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Week Seven: Golding's Lord of the Flies
Week Eight: Golding's Lord of the Flies
Week Nine: C.S. Lewis, Peter Kreeft
Week Ten: Faulkner short stories
Week Eleven: O’Connor short stories

Course materials: Shakespeare's Othello, Conrad's The Heart of Darkness, Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Golding's Lord of the Flies, variety of short stories by Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor, readings by Aristotle, Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and Peter Kreeft.


(click on course title to register)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ancient Roman History for Middle School

We have added a second middle school history course for the spring semester.

(click on course title to register)

Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade: 6th to 8th grade
Dates: Tuesdays, February 12 to May 7, 2013. No class March 26.
Number of classes: 12
Duration: 45 minutes
Fee: $160 if you register on or before December 1, 2012. $180 after Dec. 1st
Course description: This middle school class will trace the origins and development of the Roman people from their birth as an iron age tribe on the banks of the Tiber to their emergence as a world empire. Besides conventional history, the course will also look at the cultural life of the Romans (religion, art, literature) as well as show how the early Church was born out of the Roman milieu of the first, second and third centuries. Towards the last few weeks, Roman history and Church history fuse together as the world transitions from Rome to the Middle Ages.

Course outline:
Week 1: The Dawn of Rome: An assessment of the Etruscan and Greek cultures and their contribution to Rome, as well as a look at Rome's early history, both historical and mythological, through the time of the Founding of the Republic.
Week 2: The Conquest of Italy: Tracing Rome's path of conquest from its days as a small City-State to its domination of the Italian peninsula.
Week 3: Punic Wars: How Rome's expansion brought it into conflict with the maritime power of Carthage, leading to the greatest conflict of the ancient world: the Punic Wars
Week 4: Dissolution of the Republic: Rome is master of Europe, but her power has corrupted her Republican government and the Republic fails amidst the jealousies and quarrels of rival generals.
Week 5: The Julio-Claudians: Peace is restored under Augustis, the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, who inaugurates one of the most bizarre and memorable ruling dynasties in world history.
Week 6: The Antonines: Synopsis of the century of peace under the 'Five Good Emperors.'
Week 7: Roman Culture, Religion and Society: An in depth study of Roman cultural customs relating to marriage, war, peace, commerce, slavery and much more.
Week 8: Crisis of the Third Century: The near-collapse of the Empire in the third century leaves Rome in a precarious position and ready for thje transformation that will be brought about by Diocletian, the most ambitious emperor since Trajan.
Week 9: The Glory of Constantine: The Great Persecution and subsquent legalization of the Christian Church under Constantine.
Week 10: Church and Empire: The great struggle between Church and Paganism as the Empire slowly becomes Catholic and the barbarians begin to flood in.
Week 11: The End is the Beginning: A look at the tumultuous fifth century, as the western empire crumbles and falls while the east moves out of the Latin sphere permanently.
Week 12: The Roman Contribution: despite the efforts of Justinian, the west is lost forever; yet the imperial ideal will never die, and in Rome's demise the new civil

Course materials: The Romans by Anthony Kamm
Homework: Homework will consist of readings from the text, primary sources provided online, and online quizzes done weekly. Plan on at least 1 to 2 hours per week.

Instructor biography: Phillip Campbell holds a BA in European History from Ave Maria University and a license in Secondary Education through Madonna University (2010) with majors in Social Studies and English. He has a background in youth ministry and currently teaches history for the St. Augustine Homeschool Enrichment Program, as well as Homeschool Connections. Mr. Campbell and his wife of eleven years home school their four children. He is also Mayor of his hometown of Howell, MI. Mr. Campbell teaches history and economics.


(click on course title to register)

You Too Can Refute Richard Dawkins

Watch and learn how you too can refute Richard Dawkins:

 

To register or learn more please click here:

Philosophy: Natural Theology (Philosophy of God) 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

American Sign Language Online Class

NEW! Our ASL I course this semester has been going splendidly! Next semester, we'll be offering both ASL I and II. Here is all the scoop on ASL I starting in January 2013. I hope you'll be joining us!

Foreign Language 
(click on the course title for registration)

Note: This is a 2-part course. We will be offering ASL II immediately following this course if there is an interest. 
Class dates: Tuesdays, January 15 to March 5, 2013.
Instructor: E. B. Conroy
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 11:00 am Eastern (10:00 am Central)
Duration: 50 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 6th to 12th -- appropriate for ALL beginners!
Fee: $100 if you enroll on or before December 1, 2012. $120.00 after Dec. 1 for all 8 classes.
Course description: This course is a beginning American Sign Language (ASL) course for those who would like a strong foundation in learning to communicate with American Sign Language. Students will learn and practice fingerspelling, identifying and signing words used in everyday life; asking questions; special structure of sentences in ASL; the role of expression (non manual markers) in communication; the foundations of ASL’s history; Deaf culture; and practice words and sentences. IMPORTANT! This course is a video course; it is a requirement that you have a web cam, so that you can interact and sign within the course learning time—with immediate feedback and encouragement.
Course outline:
Class 1: Fingerspelling and Greetings
 Class 2: The Family and Deaf History
Class 3: Around the House and Deaf Culture
Class 4: Numbers and Time
Class 5: Questions
Class 6: Building Vocabulary: Nouns
Class 7: Building Vocabulary: Verbs
Class 8: Conversations
Course materials: A working web cam is required (most newer computers have them built in). Everything else is provided FREE online from Professor Brown Conroy
Homework: Weekly practice of the signs and conversations covered in the course, watching videos of signing, and review within signed conversations during class time.

Foreign Language 
(click on the course title for registration)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Hobbit: Recorded Courses

Just in time for the movie!

Addendum: This is a 6-week course. If you would like to end your classes on December 14th, opening day of the movie, then you should begin on November 9th. (The classes could be accelerated if you've already read the book.)

Coming to a theater near you December 14, 2012








Our live middle school and high school courses on J. R. R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit have come to a completion. They are now available as recorded courses through our Unlimited Access! service.
These six-week courses take students deep into the book. They will begin by learning about Tolkien himself and then explore the beauty and meaning of the story. There is also discussion of the Hobbit movie coming out in December.

Both courses cover the same material, only at the appropriate grade level. Adults wanting to take the classes, should choose the high school course. This is an timeless story to be shared with readers of all ages! If you would like to enjoy the lectures as a family, you can hook your computer to the TV, make popcorn, and watch together.

To learn more about our recorded courses, please visit: Unlimited Access!, email us at info@homeschoolconnections.com, or leave a comment for us below.

Here are the basic details of the courses:

The Hobbit or There and Back Again as Gateway to J.R.R.Tolkien

Total classes: 6
Duration: Middle school - 45 minutes each. High school - 1 hour each.
Prerequisite: Ability to read the book with pleasure at about 3 chapters per week.
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester. Follow with the Lord of the Rings series for a full school year.
Instructor: Henry Russell, Ph.D.
Course description: Tolkien’s The Hobbit was written as a children’s story and retains much of the clarity and light-heartedness of its kind. But Bilbo Baggins’ world is slowly made richer and deeper both by the author’s use of the Catholic elements from the great medieval saga of Beowulf and the background world of Tolkien’s deepest Elvish imaginings. By the end of the novel, Tolkien’s life-long themes of 1) a long-fought history that shapes the needs of every modern day; 2) the need for heroism from simple people; 3) the necessity for constant moral vigilance by those who are destined to lead; 4) the conquest of charity over greed; and 5) the sorrow and beauty created by these first four themes, have penetrated to the heart of the reader. The success of this novel convinced Tolkien and his wise and humane publishers, Allen and Unwin, that the modern world was ready to hear more of the complex moral and supernatural world which Tolkien once thought was of interest mostly to scholars of the ancient like himself.
Course outline:
Class 1: An Unexpected Party—A Short Rest
Class 2: Over Hill and Under Hill—Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
Class 3: Queer Lodgings—Flies and Spiders
Class 4: Barrels out of Bond—On the Doorstep
Class 5: Inside Information—Fire and Water
Class 6: The Gathering of the Clouds—The Last Stage
Course materials: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Homework: One to one and one-half hours per week. Weekly quizzes and final exam. Answer keys provided for parental or self grading.

Recorded courses for an independent learning experience.
24/7 access to more than 80 courses!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rule of Life for Teens

In this upcoming course, high school students will write a Rule of Life for themselves. This is a course that will help teens take their theology lessons and apply them to their everyday lives.

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Thursdays, Jan. 31 to Mar. 21, 2013
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 10:00 am Eastern (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester
Fee: $95 if you register on or before Nov. 1, 2012. $110 if you register after Nov. 1 for all 8 classes.
Instructor: Robert F. Gotcher, Ph.D.
Course description: In our complex and changing world, with its serious cultural challenges, how does a young person structure and organize his life so that he can grow in his relationship with the Lord and be a fruitful apostle? Themes covered include prayer, study, social life, recreation and entertainment, technology, and decision-making. Lecture and discussion.
Course materials: Provided by the instructor.
Homework: Readings. The student will compose a rule of life tailored to his own situation. Ungraded.

(click on course title to register)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Philosophy of God: Online High School Classes

Many people who reject the traditional arguments for the existence and attributes of God have a very poor understanding of them. This is can even be true of many people who support them. Three main questions explored in this course will be: How is it possible to prove the existence of God? Exactly how does St. Thomas argue that God exists? How do God's attributes (unity, perfection, goodness, and so on) follow from these proofs? 

click on course title to register 

Class dates: January 10 to April 11, 2013 (no class on 3/7 nor 3/28)
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 4:00 pm Eastern (3:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: none
Suggested grade level: 12th grade or advanced 11th grader
Suggested high school credit: one full semester
Fee: $160 for all 12 classes
Instructor: Dr. Jean Rioux
Course description: Natural Theology (also called Philosophy of God or Philosophical Theology) is that part of philosophy which addresses what we can know of divine things using unaided reason. Learning what we can of the existence and attributes of God is our primary objective. To do that well, however, we must first acquaint ourselves with the method of natural theology, especially insofar as it differs from that of revealed theology. While the focus of this course is upon coming to know God and His attributes, we will be looking at some arguments against the existence of God (atheism) or against our capacity to know God through reason (agnosticism|fideism). There is a good amount of fairly difficult reading required for this class. Weekly homework will consist of your careful responses to one or two summative essay questions on material covered in a previous class.

Course outline (week by week):
January 10 What is Natural Theology?; Plato, Meno 96d-100b; Summa Theologiae I 1 1 and 8; Summa Contra Gentiles I 1-9
January 17 The Logic of Existence; Aristotle, Posterior Analytics II.1-2; Aristotle, Posterior Analytics I.13
January 24 Ontological Arguments; Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion 2; Gaunilon, Pro Insipiente; René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy V; Summa Theologiae I 2 1; Summa Contra Gentiles I 10-11
January 31 Fideism and the Wager; Blaise Pascal, Pensées III: Of the Necessity of the Wager; Summa Theologiae I 2 2; Summa Contra Gentiles I 12
February 7 Other Forms of Agnosticism | Atheism; David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion 8; Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity 1
February 14 Other Forms of Agnosticism | Atheism (continued);  Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity 1; Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian
February 21 Teleological and Cosmological Arguments, Summa Theologiae I 43 2, Summa Contra Gentiles I 13
February 28 Teleological and Cosmological Arguments (continued); Summa Contra Gentiles I 13; Summa Theologiae I 2 3
March 7 No class today
March 14 Teleological and Cosmological Arguments (continued); Summa Theologiae I 2 3; John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding IV 10; William Paley, Natural Theology 1-2; Michael Behe, Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference
March 21 Teleological and Cosmological Arguments (continued); William Paley, Natural Theology 1-2; Michael Behe, Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference
March 28 No class today
April 4 Understanding God’s Nature and the Divine Attributes; Summa Contra Gentiles I 14-102 (skim readings, selections to be announced)
April 11 Understanding God’s Nature and the Divine Attributes Summa Contra Gentiles I 14-102 (skim readings, selections to be announced) 
Course materials: Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book I: God, University of Notre Dame Press (click on the book title for ordering information). Selected Readings in Natural Theology, provided FREE as a downloadable pdf by the instructor.
Homework: Weekly homework will consist of students' careful responses to one or two summative essay questions on material covered in a previous class. Most of students' out-of-class time will be devoted to a careful reading of the assigned material, but they should expect to spend an hour or so writing up their weekly essays.


click on course title to register 

Instructor's biography: Dr. Jean Rioux is a professor and chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he has taught for 26 years. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, he completed his graduate work in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, earning his M.A. 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 have been designing their own curricula and educating their nine children at home for over 20 years.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.
Misc: Dr. Rioux will be available via email or phone 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 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Theology of the Body for High School Students

Our Theology of the Body for High School Students series continues with Theology of the Body, the Church & the Sacraments starting October 30, 2012.

You can jump into this series anytime, so no worries if you didn't take the course from September.. There is no prerequisite. We would love for you to join this great group of Catholic homeschooling students. Monica Ashour is the kind of teacher who can bring understanding to the most complicated theological truths. The students love her, partly due to her gift of for that reason, but also because they can see her joy for her subject matter -- Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body!


(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Tuesdays, Oct. 30 to Dec. 18, 2012
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $90 for entire 8-week course.
Instructor: Monica Ashour, MTS; M Hum
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th
High school credit: ½ semester credit or full semester with extra reading
Course description: The students in this course will study the nature of the Church, that is, how She is in the “nature of a sacrament” (Lumen Gentium), along with all of her other aspects from the perspective of Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body. We will examine the thoughts of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who has written extensively on the Church and on the Liturgy.
Course outline:
Class 1: Course expectations and overview
Class 2: The source of Revelation
Class 3: The Marks of the Church
Class 4: Recapitulate ecclesiology
Class 5: The Sacraments
Class 6: The role of the Holy Spirit
Class 7: The Mass and liturgy
Class 8: Recapitulation of everything
Course materials (All can be found FREE online -- links will be provided to students):
1. The Bible—The Institution of the Last Supper in all 3 synoptic Gospels and John’s Washing of the Feet; all of the book of Ephesians; Hebrews 5-13
2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
3. The Documents of Vatican II, especially Sacrosanctum Concilium and Lumen Gentium
4. Ecclesia de Eucharistia (Pope John Paul’s encyclical on the Eucharist and Its relationship to the Church—Read 6 paragraphs a week)
5. The short essay “The Weight of Glory” in the longer collection with the same name: The Weight of Glory and short essay “Man or Rabbit”, both by CS Lewis.
6. Fr. Godfrey Diekmann’s “Two Approaches to Understanding the Sacraments”
Homework: Weekly quizzes, a major project, & final exam: Answer keys provided for parental or self grading. A minimum of 30 minutes a day suggested for study, reading, quizzes, project, and final Note that the pressure is not great, as rarely is there discussion over the reading assignments. Rather, Miss Ashour gives the reading list to help the students find good resources and to promote exploring their faith on their own as they grow into adulthood.
Note: Please email homeschoolconnections@gmail.com for a complete syllabus.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Advanced Catholic Apologetics for High School

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Wednesdays, Jan. 23 to Apr. 10, 2013. No class Feb. 13 and Mar. 27.
Total classes: 10
Starting time: 10:00 am Eastern (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Prerequisite: Defending the Bible in the Modern World, Introduction to Apologetics, Apologetics Boot Camp, OR equivalent.
Suggested grade level: 9th to 11th
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester with extra reading.
Fee: $140 if you register on or before Nov. 1, 2012. $160 after Nov. 1 for all 10 classes
Instructor: Gary Michuta
Course description: Learn how the Protestant Reformation happened in Europe and England, the major divisions within Protestantism, what are their major objections to Catholicism and how to answer them.
Course outline:
Class 1: Martin Luther and the birth of Protestantism in Germany
Class 2: Justification by Faith Alone, Purgatory (objections, answers, mock dialog)
Class 3: The Birth of Reformed Protestantism (Calvin, Zwingli)
Class 4: Real Presence in the Eucharist / Sacrifice of the Mass / Priesthood (objections, answers)
Class 5: Radical Reformation (Anabaptists / Baptists)
Class 6: Baptism, Confession (objections, answers, mock dialog)
Class 7: The English "Reformation" (Anglican / Episcopalians)
Class 8: Papacy and Apostolic Succession (objections, answers)
Class 9: Non-denominationalism, restoration movements, and mega-churches
Class 10: How to Share and Defend Your Faith Without Making Enemies

Course materials: All reading provided FREE by Mr. Michuta. For those who want to delve deeper into the subject, Mr. Michuta recommends: The Gospel According to James McCarthy by Gary Michuta [Grotto Press] and Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating [Ignatius Press].
Homework: Weekly quizzes graded by the instructor.
Note: Mr. Michuta will also teach Making Sense of Mary: Biblical Background for Marian Apologetics  in the spring semester.


Instructor's biography: Gary Michuta is the author of Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: Did the Catholic Church Add Books to the Bible? and How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Keeping Your Kids Catholic. Mr. Michuta's newest book Making Sense of Mary is due for release in a few months. Mr. Michuta was also the co-host of the radio show Hands on Apologetics Live. He is a frequent guest on various Catholic radio and television shows, and he also worked as an uncredited consultant for Steve Ray’s Footsteps of God video series. Since 2003, Mr. Michuta has developed apologetic material for the Eastern Church Re-Evangelization Commission (E.C.R.C) to aid the Chaldean Catholic Dioceses. Gary currently offers classes on Apologetics to Catholic parishes around the country.


(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: Mr. Michuta will be available via email or phone 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.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

High School Apologetics: Marian Theology

NOTE: This live, interactive course is completed. HOWEVER, it is now available as a recorded course through Unlimited Access. Click here now to learn more: Unlimited Access to Catholic Homeschooling Online Courses (Independent Learning).

(click on course title to register) 

Total classes: 10
Starting time: 10 am Eastern Time (9:00 am Central)
Dates: Jan. 17 to Mar. 21
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 semester credit with extra reading
Fee: $120
Instructor: Gary Michuta
Course description: Making Sense of Mary is not your average apologetics class. Instead of memorizing proof-texts, we are going to uncover how Scripture and the early Christians understood Mary’s role in God’s perfect plan of redemption beginning in Genesis with Adam, Eve, and the Serpent and tracing the prophetic echoes of that event all the way to the Book of Revelation. We’ll see why Mary plays such an important and indispensible role in God’s plan. How the Kingdom of David sheds light on Mary’s mission both on earth and in Heaven. How being members of the Body of Christ affects our relationship to Mary and finally what the “Woman clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12 tells us about Mary and our battle against the Evil One. The class will be based on Gary Michuta’s upcoming book, Making Sense of Mary.
Course outline:
Class 1: The Temptation and Fall of Adam and Eve
Class 2: Mary’s Role in God’s Perfect Plan of Salvation
Class 3: The First Gospel
Class 4: Old Testament Prophecies about Mary
Class 5: Mary: The Queen mother of the Kingdom
Class 6: One Christ: Head and Body
Class 7: Daughter Zion
Class 8: The Woman of Revelation 12
Class 9: Apologetics
Class 10: Who were the “brothers of the Lord”?


Course materials: Making Sense of Mary by Gary Michuta (Grotto Press)
Homework: Weekly reading assignments.
Special note: Mr. Michuta will also teach Advanced Apologetics in the spring semester.

Instructor's biography: Gary Michuta is the author of Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: Did the Catholic Church Add Books to the Bible? and How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Keeping Your Kids Catholic. Mr. Michuta's newest book is Making Sense of Mary Mr. Michuta was also the co-host of the radio show Hands on Apologetics Live. He is a frequent guest on various Catholic radio and television shows, and he also worked as an uncredited consultant for Steve Ray’s Footsteps of God video series. Since 2003, Mr. Michuta has developed apologetic material for the Eastern Church Re-Evangelization Commission (E.C.R.C) to aid the Chaldean Catholic Dioceses. Gary currently offers classes on Apologetics to Catholic parishes around the country.

(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: Mr. Michuta will be available via email or phone 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.

Other theology courses offered by Homeschool Connections for the spring 2013 semester (click on course titles to learn more):
Advanced Catholic Apologetics with Gary Michuta
Theology of the Body; How Shall I Live (Moral Theology) with Monica Ashour
Natural Theology: Philosophy of God with Dr. Jean Rioux

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Discount on Online Classes!!!

We all love saving money!!! If you register on or before November 1st for the spring semester, you can save $10 to $30 per course at Homeschool Connections.

Early enrollment helps us and our instructors plan for the semester. And it help you save $$$.

There are no special codes to remember or hoops to jump through. Just go to the register and sign up today. The discounted price is automatic. (Prices go up on November 2nd).

See you in class in January!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Online Classes: Latin 1/2, I, II, and III

Homeschool Connections currently offers 4 levels of Latin. For beginners in middle school, we offer Latin 1/2, For our high school students, we offer Latin I, II, and III. Please visit our course pages for registration and information links:

Middle School Fall 2012 Courses

High School Fall 2012 Courses

Advanced Writing for Middle School: Online Homeschool Classes

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Wednesdays, Sept. 19 to Nov. 7, 2012
Total classes: 8
Starting time: Noon Eastern (11:00 am Central)
Duration: 45 minutes
Prerequisite: Simplified Writing for Middle School or permission. Please email homeschoolconnections@gmail.com for the placement test if you did not take Simplified Writing with Homeschool Connections.
Suggested grade level: 6th to 8th
Fee: $180 for all 8 classes (No additional fees for materials as they are included.)
Enrollment Limit: Due to the advanced nature of the feedback, only 12 students are admitted to the course.
Instructor: E .B. Conroy, MA
Course description: This is a writing course for middle school students who have taken the Simplified Writing for Middle School course and want to put the foundational writing skills into critical practice, with specific feedback and coaching regarding how your student's writing can improve. Students will craft an essay and a short paper during the course. Attention will be given to writing with a Christian worldview.
Course outline:
Class 1: Writing structure and skill: practicing the introduction, hook, and thesis
Class 2: Writing structure and skill: practicing outlines and the conclusion/concluding statements
Class 3: Writing an essay: rough drafts
Class 4: Writing a paper: five types of papers & practicing the introduction, hook, and thesis
Class 5: Writing a paper: practicing outlines and concluding statements; revising an essay
Class 6: Writing a paper: rough drafts; editing an essay
Class 7: Revising a paper
Class 8: Editing and formatting final papers
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 (depending on the student's individual processing, creating, and writing speed).

(click on course title to register)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Literature: The Hobbit; There and Back Again

We are very, very happy to announce a third Hobbit course!!! Below are all of the wonderful details. The first class starts soon, so sign up today ...

(click on title for registration)

Class dates: Thursdays, Sept. 13 to Oct. 18, 2012
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 11:30 am Eastern (10:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: Ability to read the book with pleasure at about 3 chapters per week.
Suggested grade level: 8th to 12th grade.
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester. Follow with Fellowship of the Rings for a full semester.
Fee: $100 for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Henry Russell, Ph.D.
Course description: Tolkien’s The Hobbit was written as a children’s story and retains much of the clarity and light-heartedness of its kind. But Bilbo Baggins’ world is slowly made richer and deeper both by the author’s use of the Catholic elements from the great medieval saga of Beowulf and the background world of Tolkien’s deepest Elvish imaginings. By the end of the novel, Tolkien’s life-long themes of 1) a long-fought history that shapes the needs of every modern day; 2) the need for heroism from simple people; 3) the necessity for constant moral vigilance by those who are destined to lead; 4) the conquest of charity over greed; and 5) the sorrow and beauty created by these first four themes, have penetrated to the heart of the reader. The success of this novel convinced Tolkien and his wise and humane publishers, Allen and Unwin, that the modern world was ready to hear more of the complex moral and supernatural world which Tolkien once thought was of interest mostly to scholars of the ancient like himself. We will both discuss the book and welcome comments about the new movie coming out in December.
Course outline:
Class 1: An Unexpected Party—A Short Rest
Class 2: Over Hill and Under Hill—Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
Class 3: Queer Lodgings—Flies and Spiders
Class 4: Barrels out of Bond—On the Doorstep
Class 5: Inside Information—Fire and Water
Class 6: The Gathering of the Clouds—The Last Stage
Course materialsThe Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
Homework: One to one and one-half hours per week. Weekly Quiz, Midterm, and Final. Answer keys provided for parental or self grading.

Instructor 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 available from Kolbe Academy. 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.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.
Misc:
Dr. Russell 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 title for registration)

Monday, August 27, 2012

High School: American Elections: Democracy in Action

I have great news to share! Due to popular demand, we've opened up a second American Elections course on Mondays. You can now choose to take it on Fridays or Mondays -- whichever one best fits your homeschool schedule.

Here are all the details for the Monday course:


GOVERNMENT: AMERICAN ELECTIONS; DEMOCRACY IN ACTION 

(click on course title for registration information)

Class dates: Monday, Oct. 8 to Nov. 12, 2012.
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 4:00 pm Eastern (3:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of American government.
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th
Suggested high school credit: 1/2 semester Government (For additional credit, see our other government courses -- both live and recorded.)
Fee: $90 for all 6 classes.  
Instructor: Ed Rivet, MPA
Course description: This 6-week course will explore the "ins and outs" of the American electoral process, with a special emphasis on the upcoming presidential election. We'll begin class 5 weeks prior to the November election, with our last class a wrap up, just 3 days after we've elected a new president. (Well... hopefully we won't have a repeat of the year 2000 "hanging chad" debacle.) Along with weekly lectures, there will be some interactive features during the class time. Perhaps we'll have a little "prognostication" contest on the outcome of certain elections.
Course outline:
Week 1: Elections: Overview of Constitution & Laws
Week 2: Comparisons: Local v. State v. National Elections; Partisan v. Nonpartisan; Jungle Primaries; U.S. System v. other countries
Week 3: The Electoral College - Should It Stay or Should It Go?
Week 4: Anatomy of Campaigns: Operations, PACs & Super PACs, Polls & Pundits
Week 5: How Issues, Incidents & Outside Events Affect Campaigns
Week 6: Post-election Analysis - What drove the results? How accurately did we foresee the results? What are the implications of the results?
Course materials: Provided free by the instructor or online.
Homework: Students will have a variety of "home"work assignments – reading, research, some essays, etc. Students are going to be STRONGLY encouraged to volunteer at least a couple hours of their time to any candidate or issue campaign of their choice during the 6-week period. Essays graded by the instructor. 

Instructor 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. For 23 years Mr. Rivet 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. Mr. Rivet 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.

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


GOVERNMENT: AMERICAN ELECTIONS; DEMOCRACY IN ACTION 

(click on course title for registration information)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apologetics Reading List: Defending the Bible

Gary Michuta provides the materials for all of his Catholic apologetics courses free of charge. We have found that students love the topic of apologetics and hunger for more reading material. For this reason. Mr. Michuta always provides an optional reading list for students who want to continue to learn after class time has finished.

Here is the Recommended Reading List for Apologetics: Defending the Bible in Modern Times. Click on the title for ordering or download information:

Classes 1-2 
Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: The Untold Story of the Lost Books of the Protestant Bible, Gary Michuta (order from: Grotto Press).
Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church, Rev. Henry Graham (FREE download) 

Classes 3-4
Is the New Testament Reliable? Paul Barnett, IVP.
Evidence for Our Faith, Fr. Joseph Cavanaugh, University of Notre Dame Press, 1959 (out of print).

Classes 5-6
Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation), Vatican II (FREE download)

Classes 7-8 
100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scripture, David Armstrong (Catholic Answers)
By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition, Mark Shea (Our Sunday Visitor).

Class 9 
Divino Afflante Spiritu, Pope Pius XII (FREE download)

High School Apologetics: Defending the Bible in Modern Times

We, at Homeschool Connections, feel very blessed to have the best instructors come to us. Gary Michuta's life's work has been Catholic apologetics, traveling the country, appearing on EWTN and Catholic radio, and writing books. He is as engaging with teens as he is knowledgable in his field. It is indeed a great blessing to have the opportunity to offer this course to the Catholic homeschooling community.

Photo compliments of
www.publicdomainpictures.net

click on course title to register

Class dates: Wednesdays, Sept. 12 to Nov. 14, 2012
Total classes: 10 Starting time: 10:00 am Eastern (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 8th to 10th
Suggested high school credit: 1 semester credit with extra reading
Fee: $140 for all 10 classes
Instructor: Gary Michuta
Course description: Learn how the Bible came to be (OT and NT canons), how to explain and defend Sacred Tradition, and why the Bible Alone (Sola Scriptura) is unbiblical and unworkable.
Course outline:
Class 1: How do we know which books belong in the Old Testament?
Class 2: Why are Jewish and Protestant Bibles missing seven Old Testament books?
Class 3: How did the New Testament form?
Class 4: Can we trust the New Testament? Is the New Testament authentic and reliable?
Class 5: What is Sacred Tradition? Can we trust it
Class 6: Answering Objections: Are there "lost books" of the Bible? Can tradition err?
Class 7: Does the Bible teach that it alone is our sole rule of Faith?
Class 8: What does the Bible teach regarding its proper interpreter?
Class 9: Answering Objections: Are there errors in Scripture? Why are there so many translations?
Class 10: How to answer commonly attacked Scripture (e.g., Creation in Gen. 1, Noah's flood, etc.).
Course materials: Provided free by the instructor. An additional reading list is offered for students who want to expand on the course lessons here: Apologetics Reading List.
Homework: Weekly quizzes graded by the instructor.
Note: Mr. Michuta will be continuing with apologetics in the spring. Advanced Catholic Apologetics starts in January.

Instructor biography: Gary Michuta is the author of Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: Did the Catholic Church Add Books to the Bible? Gary’s latest book is How to Wolf-Proof Your Kids: A Practical Guide to Keeping Your Kids Catholic. This book gives Catholic parents and educators valuable insights into the deceptive tactics used by anti-Catholics and concrete suggestions on how to combat these methods. Mr. Michuta was also the co-host of the radio show Hands on Apologetics Live. He is a frequent guest on various Catholic radio and television shows, and he also worked as an uncredited consultant for Steve Ray’s Footsteps of God video series. Since 2003, Mr. Michuta has developed apologetic material for the Eastern Church Re-Evangelization Commission (E.C.R.C) to aid the Chaldean Catholic Dioceses. Gary currently offers classes on Apologetics to Catholic parishes around the country.

Equipment requirements: Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.
Misc: Mr. Michuta will be available via email and phone 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