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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