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

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tips: Using Online Classes for Summer

Top Ten List
Using Unlimited Access for Summer Learning


There are a lot of different ways you can use Homeschool Connections' recorded classes (aka Unlimited Access) to keep learning alive and fun over the summer. Here are ten ideas to get you started.

10. Take school with you.
We've had students take classes from hotel rooms, Grandma's house, the library, the car on the road, and even the beach. Though we don't recommend taking your laptop anywhere near sand! All you need for recorded classes is a power source, internet, and a computer. You should add ear buds or a headset to the list if you need privacy.

9. Plug the computer into the television.
This is a really fun way to learn together as a family. Pick a subject that everyone is interested in learning. It may be The Hobbit or World War II or American Sign Langauge or something completely different. Make some popcorn and watch together. You may need an HDMI cable and a newer TV (Mac users will need a converter). Do what I do and have a teen set it up for you.

8. Pick a time that works best for you.
Recorded classes are available 24/7. You could watch classes first thing in the morning, getting them done early so the rest of the day can be spent outdoors. It you prefer, watch classes during lunch or just before bed in the evening. Pick the time that is going to help you keep up on your work throughout the whole of summer.

7. Audit a course.
Watch a lecture each day and forgo the homework. For example, instead of taking 12 weeks for World History: 12 Inventions that Changed the World, watch the lectures over 12 days. When auditing, pick a subject that is easy for you. (For a course list, click here: Recorded Course Catalog.)

6. Buckle down on tough subjects.
Need help with algebra? Struggled with science last year? If so, buckle down and get to work. Set aside time each and every day (Sundays off!) and stick to the schedule. Complete all of the homework before moving to the next recorded lecture. If you want extra help, sign up for the optional grading support (Instructor Access).

5. Catch up on subjects for September.
Planning on taking Latin II next year but not quite ready? Perhaps illness or something else kept you from finishing Latin I this year. Whether you simply need a refresher or need to make up for lost time, there are a number of "Bootcamps" available in recording (math, Latin, and more).

4. Ask yourself, "What do I love?"
For example, do you get geeked about books? If so, choose a literature course on a book you love. Reread Romeo and Juliet as you watch Professor Pearce's lectures over a couple of weeks. Or Screwtape Letters, or Space Trilogy, or The Man Who Was Thursday. You can choose from over 20 literature courses.

3. Summer is a great time to hone your writing skills
Writing is a key skill for success in all other school subjects. Focusing on writing skills over summer will help you do better in history, literature, and more when fall arrives. Other courses that help you succeed in core subjects include: Note Taking Skills and How to Use Microsoft Word.

2. Keep a schedule and stick to it. 
How many times have we all laid out grand plans, only to forget about them as the excitement wore off? Write out a reasonable schedule on a white board or print it and post it. Program your computer or phone to remind you each day. Do something tangible to keep you on schedule.

1. Keep it simple.
You don't need a complicated schedule to be effective. Pick just one or two subjects. For example, maybe you weren't able to make time for philosophy in the fall and spring, but you know it would help you a lot to learn it and it sounds interesting. Focus just on philosophy courses for summer.

Bonus: Unlimited Access means just that!
You have unlimited access to over 140 courses for your entire family. Yes, it's true! You can't beat the price ($30 per month!!!) and you can't beat the convenience. Middle school, high school, and adult students can easily learn year round with this independent learning program. It can be as easy or as complicated as you want to make it. It's YOUR program.

To learn more about our recorded, online, independent learning classes, click here now:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Summer School Online

Do you want
     ... to give your child a solid foundation to start the school year?
     ... to forgo lots of review in September?
     ... your child to have the skills needed for success?
     ... your child's education to be steeped in Catholic teaching?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, Homeschool Connections wants to help you.

Summer classes are a great way to keep learning alive year round, build foundations for learning, give children self-confidence, and save time on review in September. Homeschool Connections' online classes provide learning with a strong Catholic ethos.

We offer two options for summer classes.

First, we offer recorded, independent learning courses thought our Unlimited Access! service. This service give families unlimited access to over 100 courses that can be taken on your time and at your pace. Everything is provided for you: video lectures, homework, quizzes, support materials, and answer keys. All of this for only $30 per month. Plus, the first 7 days are only $1 so you can try it out without a big commitment. You can keep it as long or as short as you need it. Click here to learn more or sign up:
Unlimited Access!

Second, we offer live, interactive courses. Students meet with their teacher in real time online on a scheduled day and time. Students interact live with the instructor and their fellow students. The three live courses offered for Summer 2013 are:

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Monday through Thursday, July 8 to July 11, 2013
Total classes: 4
Starting time: 4:30 pm Eastern
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade, but all enthusiastic high school students are welcomed.
Fee: $50 for all four classes (course materials included)
Instructor: Mr. Phillip Campbell
Course description: Introduction to the Church's social teaching on man, economy and the state, studying the benefits and pitfalls of the modern economy through the lens of Catholic Tradition.
Course outline:
Day 1: Catholic teaching on man and our duties to society and our neighbor
Day 2: Synopsis of the teachings in the Catholic Social Enyclicals
Day 3: Belloc and Chesteron
Day 4: Modern efforts at implementing the Church's social teaching
Course materials: Provided free online by instructor
Homework: Light reading, plus a comprehensive exam at the conclusion of the week.

(click on course title for registration page)

Class dates: August 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 13, 2013
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central)
Duration: 45 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 6th to 8th grade
Fee: $75 for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy
Course description: This is an essential writing course for all middle school students to make sure that your student has strong middle school writing foundations in place. Give your middle school student exactly what’s needed for writing well-crafted sentences and paragraphs—including the absolute “must-have” knowledge and practice for the use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and prepositional phrases, and compound sentence structures, as well as capitalization, end punctuation, and the use of quoted material. Even if your student has learned the composition of a sentence and paragraph before (in elementary materials), the approach for this class is to use middle school vocabulary and structures that are more complex. Help your child finally master the details that are holding him or her back from writing well. Sentence constructions are designed to prepare your student for upper level middle school writing.
Course outline:
Class 1: Nouns, verbs, and capitalization in sentences
Class 2: Adjectives, adverbs, and end punctuation in sentences
Class 3: Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and compound sentence structures
Class 4: Using quotes in dialogue and academic writing
Class 5: Transitions and connectives in sentences
Class 6: Putting it all together: Transitions and linear sentences in paragraph writing
Course materials: Word 2007 or later version. eBook: Simplified Writing Foundations: Sentences and Paragraphs for Middle School Students by EB Conroy. Students may purchase the ebook on Amazon (plus download the Kindle app for free to use on any computer, iPad, iPod, or smart phone).
Homework: Approximately 45 minutes to one hour per day, reading and completing coursework.

(click on course title for registration page)
Class dates: August 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 13, 2013
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 11:45 AM Eastern (10:45 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 11th grade
Fee: $75 for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy
Course description: This is an essential writing course for all high school students, to make sure that your student has critical high school writing foundations in place. Give your high school student exactly what’s needed for writing well-crafted sentences and paragraphs—including the absolute “must-have” knowledge, review, and practice for the use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and prepositional phrases, and compound sentence structures, as well as transitions and connectives, the use of quoted material, summary, and paraphrase. Even if your student has learned foundational concepts before, the approach in his class is to use high school vocabulary and structures that are more complex and needed for upper-level writing. From mastering the details that are holding your student back from writing well to providing much-needed practice, help your student perfect the essential tools for high school writing.
Course outline:
Class 1: Using strong nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in well-constructed sentences
Class 2: Capitalization, punctuation, and using quotation marks in dialogue and academic writing; prepositions and prepositional phrases
Class 3: Linear writing, transitions, and connectives in sentences and paragraphs
Class 4: Writing with summary and paraphrase
Class 5: Answering essay questions: structure, form, and content I
Class 6: Answering essay questions: structure, form, and content 2
Course materials: Word 2007 or later version. eBook: Simplified Writing Essentials for High School Students by EB Conroy. Students may purchase the ebook on Amazon (plus download the Kindle app for free to use on any computer, iPad, iPod, or smart phone) after June 2013.
Homework: Approximately one hour per day, reading and completing coursework.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Summer Writing Classes

Homeschool Connections is offering two summer writing courses, one for middle school and one for high school. These courses will help your students get the basics and be prepared for the school year. We want your child to be successful and our writing courses are a great step in that direction. See below for details and links to register.

(click on course title for registration page)

Class dates: August 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 13, 2013
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central)
Duration: 45 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 6th to 8th grade
Fee: $75 for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy
Course description: This is an essential writing course for all middle school students to make sure that your student has strong middle school writing foundations in place. Give your middle school student exactly what’s needed for writing well-crafted sentences and paragraphs—including the absolute “must-have” knowledge and practice for the use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and prepositional phrases, and compound sentence structures, as well as capitalization, end punctuation, and the use of quoted material. Even if your student has learned the composition of a sentence and paragraph before (in elementary materials), the approach for this class is to use middle school vocabulary and structures that are more complex. Help your child finally master the details that are holding him or her back from writing well. Sentence constructions are designed to prepare your student for upper level middle school writing.
Course outline:
Class 1: Nouns, verbs, and capitalization in sentences
Class 2: Adjectives, adverbs, and end punctuation in sentences
Class 3: Prepositions, prepositional phrases, and compound sentence structures
Class 4: Using quotes in dialogue and academic writing
Class 5: Transitions and connectives in sentences
Class 6: Putting it all together: Transitions and linear sentences in paragraph writing
Course materials: Word 2007 or later version. eBook: Simplified Writing Foundations: Sentences and Paragraphs for Middle School Students by EB Conroy. Students may purchase the ebook on Amazon (plus download the Kindle app for free to use on any computer, iPad, iPod, or smart phone).
Homework: Approximately 45 minutes to one hour per day, reading and completing coursework.

(click on course title for registration page)

Class dates: August 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 13, 2013
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 11:45 AM Eastern (10:45 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 11th grade
Fee: $75 for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Erin Brown Conroy
Course description: This is an essential writing course for all high school students, to make sure that your student has critical high school writing foundations in place. Give your high school student exactly what’s needed for writing well-crafted sentences and paragraphs—including the absolute “must-have” knowledge, review, and practice for the use of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and prepositional phrases, and compound sentence structures, as well as transitions and connectives, the use of quoted material, summary, and paraphrase. Even if your student has learned foundational concepts before, the approach in his class is to use high school vocabulary and structures that are more complex and needed for upper-level writing. From mastering the details that are holding your student back from writing well to providing much-needed practice, help your student perfect the essential tools for high school writing.
Course outline:
Class 1: Using strong nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in well-constructed sentences
Class 2: Capitalization, punctuation, and using quotation marks in dialogue and academic writing; prepositions and prepositional phrases
Class 3: Linear writing, transitions, and connectives in sentences and paragraphs
Class 4: Writing with summary and paraphrase
Class 5: Answering essay questions: structure, form, and content I
Class 6: Answering essay questions: structure, form, and content 2
Course materials: Word 2007 or later version. eBook: Simplified Writing Essentials for High School Students by EB Conroy. Students may purchase the ebook on Amazon (plus download the Kindle app for free to use on any computer, iPad, iPod, or smart phone) after June 2013.
Homework: Approximately one hour per day, reading and completing coursework.

Instructor biography: Mrs. Conroy designed and taught writing and research as a professor for Patrick Henry College's Distance Learning program for six years, taught writing and leadership courses at Cornerstone University's Professional and Graduate Studies Division for seven years, and has been the course designer/Master Teacher for Patrick Henry College Prep Academy’s AP English Language and Composition courses for three years. She is an author of several non-fiction books, including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Writing Success. Professor Brown Conroy also speaks at conferences on the teaching of writing and is completing her Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Genre Fiction. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators and the American Christian Fiction Writers, she is also a fiction writing coach for high school and college students, has judged writing contests, and has been a freelance professional writer and ghostwriter for over 15 years. Professor Brown Conroy also authored True North Reading: The Complete Mastery Reading and Spelling Program, a five-level multisensory learn-to-read program for children ages 3 to 15 and has been homeschooling for 28 years. Mrs. Conroy enjoys walks with her dogs, playing the wooden flute, and homeschooling four of her 13 children who still live at home.


Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live, and interactive. Students are required to have a computer, high-speed internet, and a headset with microphone, which can be found as cheap as $12.
Misc:
Professor Brown Conroy 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.


NOTE: Students wishing to prepare for the 2013/2014 School Year can also take advantage of our Unlimited Access! program. These are recorded courses that can be taken at your own pace on your own schedule. Unlimited Access! is an independent-learning program that gives your whole family unlimited access to over 125 courses, including several designed for summer learning.