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

Faith ~ Excellence ~ Passion

Friday, January 27, 2012

Recorded Webinar: Fiction Writing with Regina Doman

Regina Doman's webinar last night went wonderfully. Regina truly blessed us with her God-given gifts!

It's not to late for you to take part in the webinar. Though you can't participate live, you can watch and listen to the recording of the event. Just click here:


This is a great webinar for any adult or high school student who loves to write fiction stories!!!

To view or download the accompanying handouts click here: Scribd

To check out our fiction writing classes click here: Write Your Own Fiction Book Series

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recorded Webinar: What Every High School Student Needs to Know to Succeed in Writing

E. B. Conroy's live webinar Monday went wonderfully. What a blessing to have such a gifted writing professor to spend time with us and share her tips and experience!

To download or watch the recorded webinar (free of charge and available 24/7) please click here: Simplified Writing: What Every High School Student Needs to Know to Succeed. Share this link with other homeschoolers looking for writing help.

This is a very informative webinar that is filled a lot of practical advice that you can implement into your homeschool TODAY. I suspect that it is one that parents will watch again and again.

If you'd like to learn about other great upcoming free webinars please click here: Refresh! Midwinter Homeschool Conference.

If you'd like to learn about Professor Conroy's upcoming courses (writing and test prep), please click here: Homeschool Connections Courses.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recorded Webinar: Finding Levity in Your Homeschool

Nancy Carpentier Brown's webinar last night went wonderfully. It was such a joy to spend the evening with Nancy. As a gift to the attendees, Nancy is offering a discount on two of her e-books. PLUS, Hillside Education offered a FREE giveaway. These deals were not just for the live attendees but also for those of you who watch the recorded webinar in the upcoming days.  Here's all the scoop:

To watch the recorded webinar (free of charge and available 24/7) please click here:
Finding Levity in Your Homeschool: A Chestertonian Principle

Nancy is offering two of her e-books for only $4.99 each. That discount is good for one week and ends Tuesday, January 24, 2012. Click here:
A Study Guide for G. K. Chesterton's Francis of Assisi
The Blue Cross Study Edition

Hillside Education is offering a FREE giveaway. This is only good until tomorrow -- Thursday, January 19, 2012 at midnight Pacific. To enter the giveaway, simply send an email to sales@hillsideeducation.com. Put "Free Hillside Books" in the subject bar.

Thank you Nancy! And thank you Hillside!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Free Webinar: Engaging the Culture as a Family

UPDATE: The date for this webinar has changed. Alicia's talk will take place Tuesday, February 28, 2012.

Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference
(click on webinar title to register)

I have had the honor of knowing Alicia Van Hecke for a good number of years. She is a pioneer in the Catholic homeschooling movement and has worked tirelessly to help her fellow homeschoolers. Her website Love 2 Learn is one of my favorite resources. Alicia's previous webinar Choosing Worthwhile Homeschool Materials was quite popular so I wouldn't wait too long to register for this one. I hope to see you there!

Date: Monday, February 20, 2012
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Presenter: Alicia VanHecke


Webinar description: As Catholic homeschool parents we are called to live out our witness before our children first; and then, as a family, live it out before the world. Mrs. Van Hecke will share her thoughts on forming children’s imaginations, providing optimal socialization, and inculcating a desire to serve, all through the lens of the Catholic faith and with an emphasis on teaching specific virtues. As a homeschooling mother herself, Mrs. Van Hecke shares her experience, humor, and natural eloquence in this presentation.

As with all of our webinars this is a live interactive event, so bring your questions and comments.

Presenter biography: Alicia Van Hecke is a homeschool graduate and the founder and editor of Love2learn.net, a popular online resource guide for Catholic homeschoolers. After attending a Catholic elementary school, she was homeschooled for highschool went on to receive her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College. She has experience teaching Math, History, Literature, Religion, Latin and Music and moderates a Junior Classical League Club for homeschooled teens. She and her husband, John, homeschool their five younger children (the oldest is in college) near Milwaukee Wisconsin. The whole family is heavily involved in their local parish where they all sing and John and Alicia are involved in the marriage preparation ministry. Her writings have appeared on numerous websites, as well as in Mater et Magistra Magazine, The Catholic Homeschool Companion [Sophia Institute Press] and in a long-running daily feature on Relevant Radio.

Note: Attendance is limited. If it fills up, you will be placed on a wait list. All webinars are recorded and made available for free viewing within 24 hours.


Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference
(click on webinar title to register)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Free Webinars: Preparing Your Homeschooler for College



Katherine O'Brien of Celtic College Consultants will be hosting a series of free webinars designed to help you prepare your children for college enrollment. She'll be tackling the FAFSA, the ACT and SAT tests, and more. Here are the three talks we've scheduled with descriptions and links to register:

(click on webinar title to register)

Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Presenter: Katherine O'Brien
Webinar description: Eighty percent of FAFSA forms are still filled with errors, according the the Department of Education. How can you file correctly? I'll identify the most common errors, and teach you how to avoid them. After all, the sooner your financial aid application is in, the more money your chosen school(s) will have available to award you!

Join us for this informative session to get the most $$$ for your student's education!


(click on webinar title to register)

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Presenter: Katherine O'Brien
Webinar description: In this webinar, we will explore the PSAT and PLAN tests and why (or why not) your student(s) should take them. We will also discuss the ACT and SAT and their similarities and differences. Lastly, we will explore the various methods of preparing for the tests, and which types of students do best with each method.

(click on webinar title to register)

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Presenter: Katherine O'Brien
Webinar description: Research has shown that children decide whether they will go to college before they are ten years old. What factors shape that desire in children? This webinar will discuss how we and prepare our children to be lifelong learners and successful college students. It will also briefly discuss a few financial considerations so we can support our college applicants when the time comes.

Presenter biography: Since 2004, Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS has been serving families all over the US as they prepare their children and their finances for college. A holistic planner, Katherine combines college selection, student preparation, financial aid, and alternative funding strategies to help each student and family achieve college success.

Katherine earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an MA in Catholic Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is the mother of six children, ranging from 7 to 17. She is in her 13th year of homeschooling. She is a Boy Scout leader and serves at her parish as well.

Note: Attendance is limited. If it fills up, you will be placed on a wait list. All webinars are recorded and made available for free viewing within 24 hours.

(click above for these and other awesome webinars -- all free!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free Webinar: The Liturgical Year and Your Home

Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference
(click on the webinar title to register)

This webinar has the added benefit of a free drawing. Two attendees  will win a beautiful Catholic Daily Planner from Family-Centered. I personally use these planners and LOVE them. Thank you Michele.

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Presenter: Michele Quigley

Webinar description: Learn why the Church year should be an integral part of our lives and what steps you can take to organize your home and time in a way that flows organically into the Church's liturgical seasons. Michele will share tips on time management and organization and how to make it all work with the liturgical year not against it. PLUS, all attendees will be entered into a drawing and two will win a free 2012 Catholic Daily Planner of their choice. This unique liturgical and appointment planner is a great resource for managing your time and living your faith!

Presenter's biography: Michele Quigley is a devoted wife and mother of 10 children. She is the creator of the popular Catholic Daily Planner and co-creator of the Mater Amabilis online curriculum. Michele and her family run Family-Centered™.com from their home. Michele blogs at http://family-centered.com/living and http://inhousejournal.net

Note: Attendance is limited. If it fills up, you will be placed on a wait list. All webinars are recorded and made available for free viewing within 24 hours.

Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Writing Courses

Registration for our current Simplified Writing for Middle School has filled up. Because we have a number of parents on the wait list, we've added a second course. It will take place on the same days as the original course but at Noon Eastern instead of 2:00 pm Eastern.

Also note that we offer Simplified Writing for High School and Writing for College. Both of those courses are close to filling up as well, so if you're interested you should enroll today. We will not be offering those two again until next school year.

We do still have plenty of room in the fiction writing series. Those are excellent 4-week courses that can be taken alone or as a group.

Here are links for detailed information on the Spring Semester Writing Courses:
Fiction Writing Series (middle and high school)
Writing for College (college preparatory: 11th and 12th grade)
Simplified Writing for High School (9th to 11th grade)
Simplified Writing for Middle School (6th to 8th grade)

Also note that we are planning on adding a basic middle school grammar and punctuation course starting in April. Keep an eye on the website or blog for the announcement. Or drop us an email at homeschoolconnections@gmail.com

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Free Webinar: Is Our Faith a Fairy Tale?

Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference
(click on webinar title to register)


I've had the pleasure of spending time with Andrew and his wife Regina over the years and I am thrilled to announce Andrew's upcoming webinar for Homeschool Connections's Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference. Andrew brings to us a joy and love for all things Catholic as well as for great literature and fairy tales. I pray you'll be able to join us for what is sure to be an uplifting and informative talk, either live or on recording.


Date: Thursday, February 2, 2012
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Presenter: Andrew Schmiedicke
Webinar description: What do the spells and enchantments, princesses and princes, witches and wonders of fairy land have to do with our Christian Faith? Why did G.K. Chesterton believe so strongly in both? This talk playfully explores the possibilities of Chesterton's apparently puzzling perspective.

Presenter's biography: Andrew is a devoted Catholic husband, father, editor, small business owner, and homesteader. As the editor of his wife's books, Regina Doman Schmiedicke calls him "the secret of my success." He and his brother Mike and business partner Matthew own and operate Veraprise, a web development company which hosts all of Regina's websites. In 1999, he and Regina produced and directed an audio drama of The Shadow of the Bear, which won the Sonic Society's 2009 award for "Best Audio Drama Show". Together with Regina, he edits fiction for Sophia Institute Press, and helps to raise and homeschool seven of their eight children at Shirefeld, their homestead in Virginia where they raise chickens, rabbits, sheep, llamas, and pigs, while providing a good home for their three cats and dog.

You can learn more about Andrew, Regina and their work at Fairy Tale Novels.


Note: Attendance is limited. If it fills up, you will be placed on a wait list. All webinars are recorded and made available for free viewing within 24 hours.


Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference
(click on webinar title to register)

Free Webinar: Regina Doman on Fiction Writing

ADDENDUM: The live webinar was absolutely wonderful! You can watch and listen to a recording of the event by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/ReginaTalkFiction


Refresh! Midwinter Virtual Conference
(click on webinar title to register)

Regina Doman is a favorite author among teens, mine included. Her books accomplish exactly what fiction is supposed to accomplish ... the exploration of the soul -- not just the fictional characters's but our own soul. It is enjoyable, it is savored, and yet it is also uplifting and good for us.

Therefore, I am very excited to tell you that Regina is scheduled to present a free webinar to you and me on fiction writing. In our evening together we will explore the very basic questions of plot and character development. I pray that this webinar will help you and your children expand your love for reading and writing.

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Starting time: 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (7:00 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Presenter: Regina Doman

Webinar description: Which come first, the character or the plot? This classic conundrum was solved by the playwright Lajos Egri, and is the method still employed by Hollywood screenwriters today. With an overview of both story structure and character building, this talk particularly explores the overlooked component that Egri used to tie both together in a satisfying whole.

Presenter's biography: Regina Doman is a Catholic wife, mother, author and editor. Currently she works for Sophia Institute Press as the editor of their fiction line, whose recent offering is Rachel's Contrition, a #1 Best Seller in Amazon's Women's Fiction category, and winner of the 2011 Catholic Arts and Letters Award for best adult fiction. As an author, she has written the Fairy Tale Novels, a series of books for teens and adults that places fairy tales in modern settings with Christian themes interwoven. The fifth book in that series, Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves, won the 2011 Catholic Arts and Letters Award for best young adult fiction. Her only picture book Angel in the Waters has sold over 100,000 copies. Regina and her husband Andrew live in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley where they homeschool seven of their eight children. To the question, “How do you manage to get it all done?” Regina responds, “What makes you think I get it all done?”

Visit Regina at her website by clicking here: Regina Doman

Note: Attendance is limited. If it fills up, you will be placed on a wait list. All webinars are recorded and made available for free viewing within 24 hours.

ADDENDUM: The live webinar was absolutely wonderful! You can watch and listen to a recording of the event by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/ReginaTalkFiction

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spanish Classes Starting January 12th

Our Spanish I course is set up as a two part course for the school year. Part One started in September and Part Two will start in January. New students are welcomed to join us midyear next week. This is a great way to enhance your homeschool if you find that you need some help this semester in Spanish.


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.

Registration link:
Spanish I

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Algebra I and Pre-Algebra Classes Starting Soon

Our Math courses are set up as two part for the school year. Part One starting in September and Part Two starting in January. New students are welcomed to join us midyear in January. This is a great way to enhance your homeschool if you find that you need some help this semester in Math.


We will begin the semester with the following chapters:
Saxon Algebra 1/2 Chapter 61
Saxon Algebra 1 Chapter 71

Registration links:
Pre-Algebra
Algebra I



Please feel free to drop us an email at homeschoolconnections@gmail.com with any questions.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Latin Classes Begin January 13th

Our Latin courses are set up as two part for the school year. Part One starting in September and Part Two starting in January. New students are welcomed to join us midyear in January. This is a great way to enhance your homeschool if you find that you need some help this semester in Latin.


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. 


Registration links:
Latin 1/2 (Middle School) -- Jenney's First Year Latin
Latin I (High School) -- Wheelock Latin
Latin II (High School) -- Wheelock Latin