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

Faith ~ Excellence ~ Passion

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Prayer for Students: St. Thomas Aquinas

This is a wonderful prayer to begin the school day with ...


Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.

I ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Homeschool Planning for Next School Year

The new 2012/2013 course catalog is at the website and ready for you to download. This course catalog includes details on both our live and recorded courses.

You'll find biographies of all our instructors in addition to course information on more than 50 live, interactive courses for Catholic homeschooling families as well as a listing of our more than 70 recorded courses. We also include information on how our program works in the catalog.

CLICK NOW: Homeschool Connections 2012/2013 Course Catalog.

Please don't hesitate to email us at info@homeschoolconnections.com with any questions not answered by the catalog. Or leave us a comment below. We also love hearing your suggestions. If there is a course or service you'd like to see us offer to you, please let us know.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

FAQ: Summer Classes for Catholic Students

Homeschool Connections offers two options for summer learning. 1) Live, interactive classes and 2) Recorded classes (Unlimited Access!). Following is a question we received about using Unlimited Access! over summer.

Q: I'm considering using Unlimited Access! over the summer. What are the advantages and how do we get the most out of it.

A: As homeschoolers we all know that education takes place all the time. Summer is a great time for learning with vacations, summer camps, and more. We can also continue scheduled lessons, although on a more casual basis.

Advantages include:

  • Keeping lessons fresh to save time on review in September
  • Create a vibrant learning environment
  • Give students a head start in new subjects
  • Encourage a joy and desire to learn new things

Tips for using Unlimited Access! over the summer:

  • Keep it simple. You can forgo homework and focus strictly on lectures
  • Answer keys are supplied with most courses if you decide to do the homework and tests
  • Try plugging your computer into the TV so the whole family can watch classes together
  • Because classes are recorded, you can take them in the morning before summer activities or in the evening to wind down after summer fun
  • Class times are totally flexible and up to you
  • We recommend choosing shorter courses of 4 to 6 lectures for summer
  • Summer is a great time for life skills classes such as job search skills, test prep, and finances for teens.
  • Literature and history courses are popular in the summer
  • Look for "summer camps". These are courses designed specifically to prepare students over the summer for upcoming fall classes (including math and Latin)
  • You can take classes anyplace you can find an internet connection -- hotels, libraries, and more

If you have questions about Homeschool Connections, please leave us a comment below or drop us an email at info@homeschoolconnections.com.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Catholic Homeschooling Literature

Next school year is looking amazing! Our offerings for literature alone are reason for excitement. Lots of great teachers and courses, from Joseph Pearce to Henry Russell, from The Hobbit to Hamlet, from middle school to Advanced Placement. We have it all right here at Homeschool Connections. And, as if that wasn't enough, we also have more than 20 recorded literature courses!

Here is the schedule for the 2012/2013 live literature courses. Below that is the list of recorded courses available to Unlimited Access! students. Enjoy perusing all the possibilities!

Oh, wait, first, there are two courses still open for enrollment this semester (click on title):
The Redemptive Comedy of Flannery O'Connor (American Classics Series) with Henry Russell, Ph.D. starting March 13, 2012 (next week!)
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare with Prof. Joseph Pearce starting April 11, 2012

And for the 2012/2013 school year ...
Fall 2012
Advanced Placement: Literature and Composition; What Good is a Good Story, Part One with Laurie Gill, MA
The Heroic in Arthurian Literature (Middle School) with Dayspring Brock, MA
The Hobbit or There and Back Again as Gateway to J.R.R.Tolkien with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with Henry Russell, Ph.D.

Spring 2012
Advanced Placement: Literature and Composition; What Good is a Good Story, Part Two with Laurie Gill, MA
English Literature and the Question of Evil with Dayspring Brock, MA
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with Henry Russell, Ph.D.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare with Prof. Joseph Pearce

Unlimited Access! (Recorded Courses)
Middle School:
Mark Twain; Friends, Fiends, and Freedom in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Myth in Drama
The Heroic in Arthurian Literature
High School
The Aeneid by Virgil: The Founding of Nations in the Will of God
Beowulf and Christ
The Canterbury Tales (Medieval Lessons for Modern Catholics Series)
Chesterton; Man of Letters (Modern Catholics Series)
Fairy Stories & Tolkien (Modern Catholic Classics Series)
Homer’s Odyssey: The Soul of Pre-Socratic Wisdom
The Iliad: Glory and the Will of God
King Arthur and Christ (Medieval Lessons for Modern Catholics Series)
MacBeth by William Shakespeare (Catholic Shakespeare Series)
The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (Modern Catholic Classics Series)
The Scarlet Letter & Nathaniel Hawthorne (American Classics Series)
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Modern Catholic Classics Series)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Medieval Lessons for Modern Catholics Series)
Sophocles and Tragedy
The Space Trilogy of C. S. Lewis (Modern Catholic Classics Series)
Death Comes for the Archbishop (American Classics Series), Available April, 2012
Redemptive Comedy of Flannery O’Connor (American Classics Series) - available May 2012
Romeo and Juliet (Catholic Shakespeare Series) - available June, 2012

To learn how to sign up for the recorded courses, click now: Unlimited Access!

Please don't hesitate to leave a comment here or email us at homeschoolconnections@gmail.com if you have any questions or suggestions. We LOVE hearing from you!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Online Writing Courses

Many of us homeschoolers struggle with the subject of writing. It's a difficult subject to teach and to grade, especially in the upper grades.

In response to that need, we are in the midst of creating an entire program around the subject of writing. We think of it as Writing Connections. We're connecting you with the best instructors and resources. We're connecting you with grading and commentary on your student's writing to help you be a success in your homeschool.

Here are the courses that are still opened for registration this semester, as well as courses scheduled for the Summer and the Fall semesters. We will be adding the Spring 2013 semester in the upcoming days.

Spring 2012
(click on course title now to learn more or register)
Writing: Description and Setting; Write Your Own Fiction Book Series (Mar. 8 to Mar. 19)
Essential Punctuation & Grammar, for Middle School Students (Apr. 16 to May 21)
Essential Punctuation & Grammar, for High School Students (Apr. 16 to May 21)

Summer 2012
(click on course title now to learn more or register)
Professional Writing: Creating Attractive and Effective Professional Correspondence (June 4 to June 7)
Microsoft WORD for Students: Fundamental Skills for Success (Aug. 6 to Aug. 9)
ACT English and Writing Test Prep (Aug. 13 to Aug. 14)

Fall 2012
(click on course title now to learn more or register)
Writing: Characters and Dialogue; Write Your Own Book Fiction Writing Series (Sept. 6 to Sept. 27)
Writing: Advanced High School Writing; Rhetoric, Figures of Speech, Essays, & Papers (Sept. 5 to Nov. 7)
Writing: Conflict and Creating the Breakout Novel; Write Your Own Fiction Book Series (Oct. 4 to Oct. 25)
Writing: Simplified Writing for Middle School Students; Your All-Encompassing Foundational Middle School Writing Course (Oct. 22 to Nov. 7)
Writing: Simplified Writing for High School Students; Your All-Encompassing Foundational Middle School Writing Course (Oct. 22 to Dec. 10)
Writing: Theme, Style, and Point of View; Write Your Own Fiction Book Series (Nov 8 to Dec. 6)
NOTE: More to be added soon, including Essential Punctuation and Grammar for both middle and high school.

Spring 2013
Spring 2013 courses will be scheduled in the upcoming days. We will continue the Write Your Own Fiction Book series and add Rhetoric as well as Advanced Middle School Writing. And more. Keep an eye out here on the blog (classes listed in the sidebar), Facebook, or the website for updates.

I am really looking forward to the next school year!