Educating the heart, mind, and soul in the Catholic tradition with online classes

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Time Change and Savings: High School Latin

High School Latin will be offered in the evenings next school year (scroll down for details). We have had a number of requests for evening courses, particularly from our oversees students. While this change was due to an unforeseen change in the instructor's schedule we hope (and pray) that it will be a positive change that is helpful to many students.

Additionally, this course will continue at the early enrollment price. Only $175 per semester for Latin I and II and $185 for Latin III/IV. This is a fantastic price, especially for such a fantastic program!

As always, please email us or leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments.

(click on course title to register)

Notes: This is a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two starting in January. Registration is limited to 20 students only.
Class dates: Thursdays, September 12 to December 12, 2013. No class October 31 or November 28.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, 5:00 Pacific)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 10th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Latin or foreign language
Fee: $175
Instructor: Emily Henry, MA
Course description: High School students new to Latin will be introduced to all verb and noun forms and will translate famous Latin anecdotes as well as passages from Wheelock (plus other material supplemented by the instructor). English grammar will be emphasized in addition to discussing Roman history.
Course outline: We will be covering the first twenty chapters in Wheelock (one chapter per week, approximately ten chapters per semester). We will have four class periods in particular that will be dedicated to review, implementation, etc. There will also be a number of quizzes and two final exams (one per semester
Course materials: Wheelock's 6th or 7th Edition.
Homework: Students will translate practice sentences, phrases, and passages provided in Wheelock and the Wheelock handbook (supplemented by the teacher). Students will need to be prepared to dedicate one hour a day to homework assignments and studying forms/vocabulary. The instructor grades the homework.

(click on course title to register)

Notes: This is a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two starting in January. Registration is limited to 20 students only.
Class dates: Wednesdays, September 11 to December 11, 2013. No class October 30 or November 27.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, 5:00 Pacific)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: One year of Latin, 1-20 in Wheelock's, or equivalent.
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester of Latin or foreign language
Fee: $175
Instructor: Emily Henry, MA
Course description: Latin II will advance each student toward a more challenging, but rewarding, study of Latin grammar, syntax, and history. Students will learn how to further implement their skills through study, translation, and composition. They will become proficient in both English and Latin grammar. We will also discuss Roman history.
Course outline: We will be covering chapters 20 to the end in Wheelock (one chapter per week; approx.. 10 chapters per semester). We will have four class periods in particular that will focus on review, implementation, etc. There will also be a number of quizzes and two final exams (one per semester).
Course materials: Wheelock's 6th or 7th Edition.
Homework: Students will translate practice sentences, phrases, and passages provided in Wheelock and the Wheelock handbook (supplemented by the teacher). Students will also translate selections from the Latin Vulgate and the Mass. Students will need to be prepared to dedicate one hour a day to homework assignments and studying forms/vocabulary. The instructor grades the homework.


(click on course title to register)

Notes: This is a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two starting in January. 
Registration is limited to 10 students only. 

Class dates: Tuesdays, September 10 to December 10, 2013. No class October 29 or November 26.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, 5:00 Pacific)
Duration: I hour
Prerequisite: Two to three years of Latin, has completed the Wheelock's textbook (Unlimited Access!), or equivalent. Email us athomeschoolconnections@gmail.com if you’re unsure if your student meets the equivalent.  
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Latin or Foreign Language
Fee: $185
Instructor: Emily Henry
Course description: This course is an advanced study of Latin for students who enjoy the language, have covered all the basic grammatical concepts, and are still eager for more! We will focus primarily on translation, with a few grammatical pointers/mini-lessons as needed. We will work through portions of Vergil's Aeneid, translating the original epic poem from Latin into English. Students will be required to prepare a certain number of lines for each class. We will cover our translations together, discuss the grammar and syntax, etc. We will also explore other ancient authors such as Augustine and will translate portions of the Latin Mass together. This class may be used as an AP Latin course and will prepare students for college level Latin.
Course materials: Pharr's Aeneid (click on title for ordering information)
Homework: Students will spend 1-2 hours per day (depending on proficiency in Latin) on translations. This course will cover portions of Vergil's Aeneid, the Latin Mass, and St. Augustine. Students will gain practice with both ancient, Church, and Medieval Latin. There will be two exams. All homework graded by the instructor.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Homeschooling High School with Dante and the Divine Comedy

Just as Virgil lead Dante through the Inferno, Dr. Henry Russell will lead you through one of the greatest poem ever written. Perhaps, the greatest. Walk with Dr. Russell as we all discover together the beauty of Dante's work and the Catholic meaning found within it's pages. In the Fall of 2013 we will read and discuss the Inferno for 12 weeks. In the Spring of 2014 we will examine the Purgatory. In Fall of 2014 we will finish Paradise. I hope you'll join us!

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Tuesdays, September 17 to December 10, 2013
Total classes: 12 Starting time: 10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: The ability to read and enjoy the book.
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Classical Literature
Fee: $120 if you register on or before August 1, 2013. $140 after Aug. 1st.
Course description: Dante Alighieri is the only “secular” author in praise of whom a Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church has written an encyclical letter. His Holiness Benedict XV’s “In Praeclara Summorum” of 1921 rightly says, “We admire in him not only supreme height of genius but also the immensity of the subject which holy religion put to his hand. If his genius was refined by meditation and long study of the great classics it was tempered even more gloriously, as We have said, by the writings of the Doctors and the Fathers which gave him the wings on which to rise to a higher atmosphere than that of restricted nature.” Simply interpreted, Dante is the greatest author of the greatest book on the greatest subject of any ever written by a man not known by the Church to be directly inspired by God.
     Dante teaches us what it might mean to be a Catholic in every element of our thought and culture. His work is not only sublimely beautiful, but filled with the most important truths. He was a complete Catholic in an age of political and heretical turmoils, but an age blessed with the influence--mediate or immediate--of towering saints like Bernard, Francis, Dominic, and Thomas Aquinas. His Divine Comedy intends to teach us how to harmonize the demands of Church and State, community and individual, authority and conscience, divine and natural knowledge, intellect and emotion. The Comedy provides a vision of eternity in order to teach man how to live in time, in his brief excursus before forever. The Inferno provides the greatest examination of our conscience as we come to see our own affinities to the souls who have chosen Hell. The Purgatory shows us how to turn our intellects and emotions toward the good. Finally the Paradiso helps liberate our emotions and our souls toward the beautiful and good. No one can lay claim to liberal arts education until he has made a serious beginning on understanding The Divine Comedy. Again, as Benedict XV wrote, “The more profit you draw from study of him the higher will be your culture, irradiated by the splendours of truth, and the stronger and more spontaneous your devotion to the Catholic Faith."
Course materials: We will use the Dorothy Sayers edition (click for ordering information) or ISBN number 9780140440065.
Homework: One to one and one-half hours per week. Weekly Quiz, Midterm, and Final. Answer keys provided for parental or self grading.


(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Tuesdays, January 21 to April 29, 2014
Total classes: 12 Starting time: 10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: The ability to read and enjoy the book. Recommended, but not required: Inferno (Hell) by Dante offered Fall 2013 (see above).  
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Classical Literature
Fee: $120 if you register on or before Nov. 1, 2013. $140 after Nov. 1st.
Course description: Dante Alighieri is the only “secular” author in praise of whom a Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church has written an encyclical letter. His Holiness Benedict XV’s “In Praeclara Summorum” of 1921 rightly says, “We admire in him not only supreme height of genius but also the immensity of the subject which holy religion put to his hand. If his genius was refined by meditation and long study of the great classics it was tempered even more gloriously, as We have said, by the writings of the Doctors and the Fathers which gave him the wings on which to rise to a higher atmosphere than that of restricted nature.” Simply interpreted, Dante is the greatest author of the greatest book on the greatest subject of any ever written by a man not known by the Church to be directly inspired by God.
     Dante teaches us what it might mean to be a Catholic in every element of our thought and culture. His work is not only sublimely beautiful, but filled with the most important truths. He was a complete Catholic in an age of political and heretical turmoils, but an age blessed with the influence--mediate or immediate--of towering saints like Bernard, Francis, Dominic, and Thomas Aquinas. His Divine Comedy intends to teach us how to harmonize the demands of Church and State, community and individual, authority and conscience, divine and natural knowledge, intellect and emotion. The Comedy provides a vision of eternity in order to teach man how to live in time, in his brief excursus before forever. The Inferno provides the greatest examination of our conscience as we come to see our own affinities to the souls who have chosen Hell. The Purgatory shows us how to turn our intellects and emotions toward the good. Finally the Paradiso helps liberate our emotions and our souls toward the beautiful and good. No one can lay claim to liberal arts education until he has made a serious beginning on understanding The Divine Comedy. Again, as Benedict XV wrote, “The more profit you draw from study of him the higher will be your culture, irradiated by the splendours of truth, and the stronger and more spontaneous your devotion to the Catholic Faith.”
Course materials: We will use the Dorothy Sayers edition (click for ordering information). The ISBN number is 0140440461.
Homework: One to one and one-half hours per week. Weekly Quiz, Midterm, and Final. Answer keys provided for parental or self grading.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Free Webinars for Catholic Homeschool Parents

ADDENDUM: We've added more speakers!!!

I was shopping yesterday and found Back-to-School aisles already taking up significant space in the store. Back to school?!

Well, we're thinking about back to school here at Homeschool Connections too. We're putting together a series of free parent webinars to give you a leg up in September. We'll be focusing on special needs and hope to help parents in many different areas.

We are still scheduling speakers and pulling together information. Below are the webinars we have opened for registration so far.

Simply click on the webinar title to register. This is a free service for you. All webinars take place at 8:00 PM Eastern Time (7:00 Central; 6:00 Mountain; 5:00 Pacific)

Monday, August 5, 2013
Myths and Solutions for ADD/ADHD
Presented by Katie Moran

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Homeschooling a Seriously Ill Child
Presented by Joan Stromberg

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Back-to-School Special: Jump Start Your Homeschool with a Slam Bang Success; Practical Tips & Helpful Resources
Presented by Beth Yank

Thursday, August 8, 2013
Complete Mastery Reading: Successfully Teach your Struggling Child to Read
Presented by Erin Brown Conroy

Monday, August 12, 2013
More than Just Survival: Balancing and Enjoying Life while Homeschooling through Challenges
Presented by Erin Brown Conroy

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Homeschooling From the Couch - Chronic Illness Means Adaptation, Not Quitting!
Presented by Rachel Watkins

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Homeschooling with Dyslexia: Triumphs and Struggles
Presented by Rita Munn

Please don't hesitate to leave a comment if you have questions or suggestions. We'll keep you up to date on other webinars as they are scheduled.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Which Latin Course Should My High School Student Take?

Which Latin class should my child take in the fall? Beginning Latin students in middle school should sign up for Middle School Beginning Latin, Part One with Mr. Christopher Zehnder. Part Two is offered in the Spring semester.

Please find listed below what high school students should know before entering a specific Latin class with Mrs. Emily Henry for the 2013/2014 school year. You will also find listed in more detail what students will learn in a given course.

Latin I, Part One (Fall 2013)
What students should know: Students entering Latin I, Part I (first semester) do not need to have any prior experience with the language. This is an introductory course for high school age students (preferably 9th and 10th grade).
What we will cover: In terms of grammar, we will cover the first three noun declensions (including adjectives), first-fourth conjugation verbs (present, imperfect, and future endings). We will also go over the irregular verbs esse and posse.

Latin I, Part Two (Spring 2014)
What students should know: Students entering Latin I, Part II (second semester) should be comfortable with the first three noun declensions, adjective agreement, first-fourth verb conjugations (the present, imperfect, and future tenses), and have a basic grasp of beginner’s vocabulary.
What we will cover: During this semester, we will be covering demonstratives, personal pronouns, perfect active system (perfect, pluperfect, future perfect) for all four verb conjugations, reflexive pronouns, numerals, the relative pronoun, interrogative pronouns, and fourth declension nouns.

Latin II, Part One (Fall 2013)
What students should know: Students entering Latin II, Part I (first semester) should be comfortable with the following grammar concepts: first-fourth declensions (including adjectives), first-fourth conjugation verbs (present, imperfect, future, perfect, plu-perfect, & future perfect tenses), the irregular verbs esse and posse, demonstratives, personal pronouns, reflexive pronouns, numerals, relative pronouns, and interrogative pronouns.
What we will cover: During this semester, we will be covering the passive system of verbs, the different uses of the ablative case, participles, the ablative absolute, the passive periphrastic, infinitives and indirect statements, fifth declension, comparison of adjectives, and the subjunctive mood.

Latin II, Part Two (Spring 2014)
What students should know: Students entering Latin I, Part II (second semester) should have a fairly advanced understanding of Latin grammar being comfortable with all grammar concepts leading up to the subjunctive. If your student has a thorough understanding of all indicative verb tenses (active and passive), all noun declensions (1-5), an understanding of adjectives (regular, comparative, superlative), knows how to use infinitives in indirect speech, is comfortable with participles, then this course is for your student.
What we will cover: In this class, we will thoroughly cover subjunctives and a variety of clauses. We will also practice translation more than we did in Latin I, and Latin II, Part I.

Latin III/IV: College Preparatory Latin (2013/2014)
What students should know: Students entering Latin III/IV should have a thorough understanding of all grammar concepts in Latin. This course is aimed at helping students apply the grammar that they have learned to their translations.
What we will cover: In this class, we will practice translating passages from the Aeneid, Augustine, and the Bible.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Theology for High School Online


Homeschool Connections offers several fantastic high school theology courses, which are currently open for registration. (Unfortunately, our Middle School Apologetics course is already full and closed for registration. The good news is Middle School Apologetics is also available through Unlimited Access.)

Below are details for all or our high school theology courses that are being offered as live, interactive courses for Fall 2013:

(click on course title to register)

Course dates: Thursdays, September 12 to October 31, 2013.
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 5:00 PM Eastern (4:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1/2 semester Theology
Fee: $90 if you register on or before Aug. 1, 2013. $110 after Aug. 1st for all 8 classes.
Instructor: Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
Course description: We participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every week. We know it is a great privilege and a great grace. We’ve read excellent explanations in our religion texts books. But our understanding of an infinite Mystery can never be complete. We can always go deeper. This course uses images from Scripture to deeper our understanding of and appreciation for what we are doing and experiencing when we “go to Mass.”
Course outline:
Class One: Introduction: What is the Liturgy: a summary of the teaching
Class Two: Active participation
Class Three: The Mystery in which we participate
Class Four: The Mass, Temple, and Sacrifice
Class Five: Harvesting of all creation
Class Six: The Wedding Feast of the Lamb
Class Seven: Approaching the Mystery with fear and trembling
Class Eight: What Now?
Course materials: Bible, Missal, teacher’s text.
Homework: Reading, weekly quizzes, final paper graded by the instructor.


(click on course title to register)

Note: This class is limited to 15 students only.
Course dates: Tuesdays, September 10 to October 29, 2013.
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade.
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester Theology.
Instructor: Gary Michuta
Fee: $100 if you register on or before August 1, 2013. $120 after Aug. 1st for all 8 classes.
Course description: With the election of our new pope, it is more important than ever to be able to explain the papacy to non-Catholics and clear up many of the misunderstanding and misinformation offered on the internet and main stream media. In this class, we will go through the Old Testament background concerning the government of God's People, the New Testament evidence for the primacy of Peter, the papacy, and the often misunderstood teaching of Papal Infallibility. We will also learn how to address and answer many of the most common objections raise against the Papacy from a biblical and a historical perspective.
Course outline:
Class 1: The Old Testament foundation for the Papacy
Class 2: Matthew 16:16-19 - The foundations of the Papacy
Class 3: Examining the New Testament Evidence for the Primacy of Peter and the Papacy
Class 4: The Papacy in History: Historical Evidence for the Primacy of Rome
Class 5: What is Papal Infallibility - Biblical Evidence
Class 6: What is Papal Infallibility - Historical Cases
Class 7: Answering Common Objections
Class 8: Answering Common Objections / Mock Dialogues
Course materials: Recommended (not required): Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church (Modern Apologetics Library) [Ignatius Press, 1999]. Peter: Keeper of the Keys (DVD) [Ignatius Press]. (click on titles for ordering information) Other course materials provided free by the instructor.
Homework: The students will receive a worksheet with 10 to 20 review questions plus short reading assignments.

(click on course title to register)

Note: This course is limited to 15 students only.
Course dates: Wednesdays, September 4 to December 4, 2013. No class Oct. 16 and Nov. 27.
Total classes: 12 Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: Ability to read and understand the encyclical.
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade.
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Theology
Fee: $175 if you register on or before Aug. 1, 2013. $195 if you register after Aug. 1st for all 12 classes.
Instructor: Christopher Zehnder, MA
Course description: A Study of Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the convocation of the Second Vatican Council by designating October 11, 2012-November 24, 2013 as the "Year of Faith." In his Motu Proprio, Porta Fidei, Benedict said the anniversary celebration "would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, 'have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church's Tradition ...'' In this class will do precisely what the popes have asked: we will read and discuss one of Vatican II's central documents: Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Among other matters, we will learn what the council really says about: -- what the Catholic Church is -- who belongs to the Church -- the teaching authority of the Church -- the infallibility of the pope -- the objects of the Church's teaching authority -- the role of bishops and priests in the Church -- the role of the laity -- Mary's place in the Church
Course materials: Pope Paul VI's encyclical Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church). Click on title to find free online.
Homework: Students will read the text of Lumen Gentium over a period of 12 weeks. The teacher will evaluate the students by essay tests given after Week III, Week V, and Week VII. Thereafter, evaluation will be based on student's responses to questions in class.


(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Tuesdays, Sept. 3 to Oct. 22, 2013
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $90 on or before Aug. 1, 2013, $110 after Aug. 1st for entire 8-week course.
Instructor: Monica Ashour, MTS; M Hum
Prerequisite: None.
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester credit Theology
Course description: This overview of Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body will give a “bird’s eye” perspective of the whole of TOB. Far from relegating TOB to the area of sex and sexuality, TOB provides meaningful tools to see one’s life in the context of Jesus’ love for His Church and the life and love of the Blessed Trinity. A special emphasis will be made regarding the vocational call to the priesthood, religious life, and married life, and how both “celibacy for the Kingdom” (JPII’s words) and marriage mirror and inform each other. Caveat: Coursework subject to change based on the discretion of the online instructor’s assessment.
Course outline:
Class 1: Overview of Theology of the Body.
Class 2: Our bodies as a teacher: The “language of the body”
Class 3: Our bodies as a sacrament (JPII)
Class 4: Our bodies: fallenness due to detachment (all sins are due to not “re-reading the truth of the language of the body)
Class 5: Our bodies can experience redemption: Masculinity and Femininity
Class 6: Our bodies at the end of time: spiritualized body, perfect inter-subjectivity, the essence of heaven
Class 7: Our bodies and their “spousal meaning” tell us to discern our call: priesthood, consecrated life, marriage
Class 8: Recapitulation of everything
Course materials: For the first day’s class: please read the required reading from the Bible. 1. Genesis, Chapters 1 to 3 2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 355-682 (Read 47 paragraphs a week) 3. The Documents of Vatican II; Gaudium et Spes, paragraphs 47-62 (2 paragraphs a week) 4. “Letter to Families” (Pope John Paul) (This gives a good TOB outlook in abbreviated form) 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. Additional reading lists provided for students who desire to go deeper into the subject.
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 learn more on their own since we don’t have much time in class.

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Tuesdays, Oct. 29 to Dec. 17, 2013
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $90 on or before Aug. 1, 2013. $110 after Aug. 1st for entire 8-week course.
Instructor: Monica Ashour, MTS; M Hum
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester credit Theology
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. While the traditional understanding of the Church will be presented, students will see that such teaching, undergirded by Blessed John Paul’s Theology of the Body, becomes one mosaic. For instance, students will see what Pope John Paul means when he says marriage is the “primordial sacrament” and what it means that “redemptive love becomes, in a sense, ‘spousal.’” Students of this course are mystified by the shift in their imagination. They will see, then, why Vatican II’s favorite description of the Church is Body-Bride.
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: 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” (provided FREE by instructor).
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 learn more on their own since we don’t have much time in class.

Homeschool Connections also offers a large variety of recorded, independent-learning courses in all subjects including Theology. Click here to learn more about the recorded courses: Unlimited Access!

Currently Available through Unlimited Access:

Church History; Trinitarian
Christian Anthropology—Who Am I?
Moral Theology—How Shall I Live?
Ecclesiology & Sacramental Theology—How Shall I Glorify God?
Theology of the Body: “The Best Method of Educating Man”
Catholic Spiritual Writers
Introduction to the Bible; Old Testament 
Introduction to the Bible; New Testament
The Trinity
The Mass Explained
Practical Catholic Apologetics for Adults
Middle School Apologetics for Catholics
Apologetics Boot Camp
Defending the Bible in Modern Times
Advanced Catholic Apologetics
What About Mary? Marian Apologetics
Natural Philosophy; Philosophy of God

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Latin Online for Catholic Homeschoolers (7th to 12th Grade)

Homeschool Connections offers a variety of Latin courses, both as live, interactive classes and also as recorded, independent-learning classes.

Our recorded courses are available through our Unlimited Access! service. You take Latin courses using Jenny's Latin, Wheelock, D'ooge.

Our live, interactive courses this school year also use a variety of texts (Lingua Latina, Wheelock, and Pharr's Aeneid). Here is the Fall 2013 schedule:

(click on course title to register)

Note: This is a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two, which starts in January.
Class dates: Thursdays, Sept. 5 to December 5, 2013. No class Oct. 17 or Nov. 28.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: No prerequisite.
Suggested grade level: 7th to 8th grade
Fee: $175 if you register on or before Aug. 1, 2013. $195 after Aug. 1st.
Instructor: Christopher Zehnder
Course description: A beginner's course in Latin. Students will learn the fundamentals of the Latin language and develop the ability to translate Latin texts.
Course materials: Volume One of the Lingua Latina series in paperback. Will be used for both semesters.
Homework: Students will work on translating assigned texts, memorizing the paradigms of Latin grammar, and completing exercise assignments. Since learning a language requires frequent exercise, students should study Latin up to an hour daily on school days.


(click on course title to register)

Notes: This is a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two starting in January. Registration is limited to 20 students only.
Class dates: Thursdays, September 12 to December 12, 2013. No class October 31 or November 28.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 10th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Latin or foreign language
Fee: $175
Instructor: Emily Henry, MA
Course description: High School students new to Latin will be introduced to all verb and noun forms and will translate famous Latin anecdotes as well as passages from Wheelock (plus other material supplemented by the instructor). English grammar will be emphasized in addition to discussing Roman history.
Course outline: We will be covering the first twenty chapters in Wheelock (one chapter per week, approximately ten chapters per semester). We will have four class periods in particular that will be dedicated to review, implementation, etc. There will also be a number of quizzes and two final exams (one per semester
Course materials: Wheelock's 6th or 7th Edition.
Homework: Students will translate practice sentences, phrases, and passages provided in Wheelock and the Wheelock handbook (supplemented by the teacher). Students will need to be prepared to dedicate one hour a day to homework assignments and studying forms/vocabulary. The instructor grades the homework.

(click on course title to register)

Notes: This is a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two starting in January. Registration is limited to 20 students only.
Class dates: Wednesdays, September 11 to December 11, 2013. No class October 30 or November 27.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: One year of Latin, 1-20 in Wheelock's, or equivalent.
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester of Latin or foreign language
Fee: $175
Instructor: Emily Henry, MA
Course description: Latin II will advance each student toward a more challenging, but rewarding, study of Latin grammar, syntax, and history. Students will learn how to further implement their skills through study, translation, and composition. They will become proficient in both English and Latin grammar. We will also discuss Roman history.
Course outline: We will be covering chapters 20 to the end in Wheelock (one chapter per week; approx.. 10 chapters per semester). We will have four class periods in particular that will focus on review, implementation, etc. There will also be a number of quizzes and two final exams (one per semester).
Course materials: Wheelock's 6th or 7th Edition.
Homework: Students will translate practice sentences, phrases, and passages provided in Wheelock and the Wheelock handbook (supplemented by the teacher). Students will also translate selections from the Latin Vulgate and the Mass. Students will need to be prepared to dedicate one hour a day to homework assignments and studying forms/vocabulary. The instructor grades the homework.


(click on course title to register)

Notes: This is a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two starting in January. 
Registration is limited to 10 students only. 

Class dates: Tuesdays, September 10 to December 10, 2013. No class October 29 or November 26.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 12:30 PM Eastern (11:30 Central)
Duration: I hour
Prerequisite: Two to three years of Latin, has completed the Wheelock's textbook (Unlimited Access!), or equivalent. Email us athomeschoolconnections@gmail.com if you’re unsure if your student meets the equivalent.  
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Latin or Foreign Language
Fee: $185
Instructor: Emily Henry
Course description: This course is an advanced study of Latin for students who enjoy the language, have covered all the basic grammatical concepts, and are still eager for more! We will focus primarily on translation, with a few grammatical pointers/mini-lessons as needed. We will work through portions of Vergil's Aeneid, translating the original epic poem from Latin into English. Students will be required to prepare a certain number of lines for each class. We will cover our translations together, discuss the grammar and syntax, etc. We will also explore other ancient authors such as Augustine and will translate portions of the Latin Mass together. This class may be used as an AP Latin course and will prepare students for college level Latin.
Course materials: Pharr's Aeneid (click on title for ordering information)
Homework: Students will spend 1-2 hours per day (depending on proficiency in Latin) on translations. This course will cover portions of Vergil's Aeneid, the Latin Mass, and St. Augustine. Students will gain practice with both ancient, Church, and Medieval Latin. There will be two exams. All homework graded by the instructor.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

History Classes Online for Fall

Homeschool Connections has a great selection of history courses for middle and high school students. Below you'll find details for all of the live, interactive courses currently open for registration.

Also note that we have much more available through Unlimited Access (recorded, independent-learning courses) from Ancient Rome to Modern American. You can learn more here: Catholic Homeschool Online Classes.

Now for the Fall 2013 live, interactive courses ...


(click on course title to register)
UPDATE: This course is full and closed for registration. All other history courses for Fall 2013 are still open for registration (see below).
Notes: Registration for this course is limited to 20 students.
This course will be followed in the Spring with History (Middle School) World War II; Allies vs. Axis. 
 Class dates: Tuesdays, September 24 to November 26, 2013 
Total classes: 10 
Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central) 
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None 
Suggested grade level: 6th to 8th grade 
Fee: $140 if you register on or before August 1, 2013. $160 if you register after Aug. 1st for all 10 classes. 
Instructor: Alison Stanley, JD 
Course description: World War One was known at the time as the Great War. It was the War to End All Wars. However, little was won and much was lost. We will explore the events leading up the World War I, famous generals and battles and any relevant legal issues that arose in America during this time period. 
Course materials: Provided free online or by the instructor. 
Homework: Original sources and legal documents will be reviewed, as well as short videos watched and analyzed. All homework graded by the instructor.

(click on course title to register)

Note: This is Part One of a 2-part course. Students are expected to register for Part Two in the spring.
Class dates: Mondays, September 9 to December 2, 2013. No class October 21st 
Total classes: 12 
Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central) 
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None 
Suggested grade level: 8th  to 10th grade 
Suggesting high school credit: 1 full semester 
Fee: $160 if you register on or before August 1, 2013. $180 after Aug. 1st for all 12 classes.
Instructor: Christopher Zehnder, MA 
Course description: This course examines how the Modern World --- our world --- came to be. It looks at the revolutionary ideas that created, first in Europe and then the entire world, an understanding of man and his relationship to God, the Church, and the state that was in many respects radically different from the understanding of these things that prevailed in the Middle Ages. Ideas influence deeds, and thus the course examines historical events, showing how they flowed from the struggle between those who held to traditional conceptions and those who embraced the new ideas. Events influence ideas, and thus we study how the events of history helped modify and develop both the new ideas and the traditional vision of the world. The course is divided into two parts. Part I (first semester) begins with the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries and concludes with the attempt, steered by Prince Klemens von Metternich, to reestablish the ancient regime after the fall of Napoleon's empire. Part II (second semester) continues the story, beginning with a study of Romanticism and concluding with Vatican II and the post-conciliar world.
Course materials: The text for the course (both Part One and Part Two) is Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World, published by and available from http://www.catholictextbookproject.com/ 
Homework: Students will read assigned portions of the text. Lectures will focus on those events and ideas that are the keys for understanding the historical periods under consideration. The teacher will evaluate the students by essay tests given after Week III, Week V, and Week VII. Thereafter, evaluation will be based on student's responses to questions in class.

(click on course title to register)

Note: This course will be followed in the Spring with History (Middle School) The Glory of Ancient Greece.
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Class dates: Thursdays, September 12 to December 12, 2013. No classes October 31st nor Nov. 28th.
Total classes: 12 
Starting time: 4:30 PM Eastern (3:30 Central) 
Duration: 45 minutes
Prerequisite: None 
Suggested grade level: 7th to 8th 
Fee: $175 if your register on or before August 1, 2013. $195 after Aug. 1st for all 12 classes
Instructor: Phillip Campbell 
Course description: This foundational course in world history will introduce students to the world's first great civilizations. Focus will be on Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Persia, but we will also briefly visit ancient Anatolia, Assyria, India and Palestine. Students will learn about the material culture, political history, intellectual life, religious customs and contributions of each society to the advancement of civilization. In addition, ancient religions will be critically examined in their negative elements as perversions of natural law and in their positive elements as preparatio evangeli, preparations for the Gospel. 
Course materials: The Pharoahs of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne, available online here, as well as The Usborne Book of the Ancient World, also available online here, probably for a cent. Primary documents provided online free by the instructor.
Homework: Weekly quizzes, weekly readings, with an essay-style Final Exam. All homework graded by the instructor. Estimated commitment: 2-3 hours per week.

(click on course title to register)


Note: This course will be followed in the Spring with History (High School) The Glory of Ancient Greece.
Class dates: Wednesdays, September 11 to December 11, 2013. No classes October 30th nor Nov. 27th. 
Total classes: 12 
Starting time: 4:30 PM Eastern (3:30 Central) 
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None. Recommended but not required: Foundations of Christian Historiography and Archaeological Survey of the Old and New Testaments (currently available as recorded courses through Unlimited Access.) 
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th  grade 
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester
Fee: $175 if you register on or before August 1, 2013. $195 after Aug. 1st  for all 12 classes 
Instructor: Phillip Campbell 
Course description: This foundational course in world history will introduce students to the world's first great civilizations. Focus will be on Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Persia, but we will also briefly visit ancient Anatolia, Assyria, India and Palestine. Students will learn about the material culture, political history, intellectual life, religious customs and contributions of each society to the advancement of civilization. In addition, ancient religions will be critically examined in their negative elements as perversions of natural law and in their positive elements as preparatio evangeli, preparations for the Gospel. 
Course materials: The Anvil of Civilization by Leonard Cottrell, available on Amazon here. Most copies are less than $1.00. Additional primary source documents provided online free by the instructor.
Homework: Weekly quizzes, weekly readings, with an essay-style Final Exam. All homework graded by the instructor. Estimated commitment: 2-3 hours per week.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Win a Free Year of Unlimited Access to Catholic Online Classes

UPDATE: We have a winner. Congratulations to Kim from New Carlisle, Ohio. Thank you everyone for entering. We're planning to host more contests in the future. We'll keep you up to date here, on the website, Twitter, and Facebook.




We're having a contest! You can win One Free Year of Unlimited Access, a $330 value!!!  That's twelve months of 125-plus Catholic courses for you and your entire family. These are recorded, independent-learning classes. You can learn more about this amazing service by clicking here: Homeschool Connections Unlimited Access.

To enter the contest, just follow the widget below. You can enter every day for additional chances. Contest ends Monday, July 22, 2013 at midnight.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you already have Unlimited Access, you can still enter. We'll simply extend your service for one year free of charge! Or, you can give it to a friend.

Homeschool Connections also offers Live, Interactive Catholic classes. Registration is open for the 2013/2014 school year, but classes are already beginning to fill up so don't wait to check them out! Here is the link to the website: Catholic Online Classes.

God bless you and yours!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tolkien and High School Literature

Fairy Stories; The Hobbit; Lord of the Rings. These are words that bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike.

Please join us this school year as we delve into J. R. R. Tolkien and his amazing stories. The following courses with Professor Joseph Pearce and Dr. Robert Gotcher are currently open for registration:

(click on course title to register)

Note: This course is limited to 12 students.
Class dates: Tuesdays, September 10 to October 15, 2013.
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 2:00 PM Eastern (1:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: Ability to read and enjoy the works.
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester Literature
Fee: $70 if you register on or before Aug. 1, 2013. $80 after Aug. 1st for all 6 classes.
Instructor: Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
Course description: We will discuss five of J.R.R. Tolkien’s short stories in light of his essay “On Fairy-Stories.”
Course outline:
Week One: Tolkien and Fairy Stories
Week Two: Smith of Wootton Major
Week Three: Roverandom
Week Four: Farmer Giles of Ham
Week Five: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
Week Six: Leaf by Niggle
Course materials: On Fairy-Stories (Available free online); Tales from the Perilous Realm by J.R. R. Tolkien; Roverandom, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Homework: Reading the stories. Fill out a literary worksheet on each book. Write your own fantasy story, graded by the instructor.

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Wednesdays, October 30 to December 11, 2013. No class November 27
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 2:00 PM Eastern (1:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: The ability to read and enjoy the book.
Suggested grade level: 8th to 10th grade
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester Literature
Fee: $90 if you register on or before Aug. 1, 2013. $110 if you register after Aug. 1st for all 6 classes. 
Course description: Professor Pearce unlocks, in two six-week courses, the Catholic meaning of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (see the spring semester for LOTR).
Course outline:
Class 1: Bilbo as Everyman. Introducing the author J. R. R. Tolkien, a lifelong practicing Catholic. Tolkien’s Catholic philosophy of creativity. Bilbo Baggins as an Everyman figure who holds up a mirror to the reader.
Class 2: Home-Loving Hobbits, Deadly Dragons and Clever Orcs. Following Bilbo from the Shire to the Misty Mountains. The danger of creature comforts. The necessity of adventure. The demonic nature of dragons. The wisdom of wizards and elves. The wicked cleverness of orcs.
Class 3: Gollum, the Ring and the Power of “Luck”. The role of Gollum and the Ring in The Hobbit versus their role in The Lord of the Rings. The role of “luck” in the riddling game between Bilbo and Gollum. The euphemistic use of “luck”. The relationship between luck and the freedom of choice. Providence and free will.
Class 4: Bilbo’s Ring and the Return of the King. The Franciscan spirit of Radagast and Beorn. Gandalf flies the nest. Bilbo comes of age. The return of the King in The Hobbit versus the return of the King in The Lord of the Rings. Thorin versus Aragorn.
Class 5: Dragon Sickness. The sun as a signifier of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence. “Above all shadows rides the sun.” The wickedness of Smaug. The contagiousness of dragon sickness. The dragon sickness as a prefigurement of the power of the Ring.
Class 6: The Death and Resurrection of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo’s return home. The wisdom of the elves. Bilbo’s “death” and resurrection and its overarching significance.
Course materials: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Recommended (not required) is Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit by Professor Joseph Pearce.
Homework: Reading, weekly quizzes, and test. Graded by the instructor.

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Wednesdays, January 8 to February 12, 2014.
Total classes: 6
Starting time: 2:00 PM Eastern (1:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: The ability to read and enjoy the books.
Suggested grade level: 8th to 10th grade
Suggested high school credit: ½ semester Literature
Fee: $90 if you register on or before Nov. 1, 2013. $110 if you register after Nov. 1st for all 6 classes.
Course description: Professor Pearce unlocks, in two six-week courses, the Catholic meaning of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (see the fall semester for The Hobbit).
Course outline:
Week 1: A Fundamentally Catholic Work. Tolkien’s disclosure that The Lord of the Rings is “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work”. His belief that his Catholicism is the most important and the most significant ingredient of The Lord of the Rings. The Christian metadrama is unlocked by the significance of the One Ring and the date on which it is destroyed.
Week 2: The Darkening of the Ring. The transition of the significance of the Ring from its relatively harmless role in The Hobbit. The enigmatic Tom Bombadil as a Biblical signifier. The Council of Elrond.
Week 3: The Dark Powers. A discussion of the evil forces at work in The Lord of the Rings: Melkor; Sauron; Saruman; Wormtongue; Shelob; Balrgos; Orcs.
Week 4: Everyman Figures. A discussion of the Everyman figures: hobbits; Boromir; Faramir; Gollum.
Week 5: Christ figures. A discussion of Christ figures: Gandalf; Aragorn
Week 6: Death, Immortality and the Triumph of Grace. Tolkien on the allegorical significance of Power in The Lord of the Rings. His insistence that the work is an allegory of Death and Immortality. The significance of the elves. Galadriel and the Long Defeat. Death as a mystical “gift”. Gollum and the triumph of grace on Mount Doom.
Course materials: Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Should be completed by Week 2.
Homework: Reading, weekly quizzes, and test. Graded by the instructor.


Other live, interactive literature courses offered for the 2013/2014 school year (click on titles for more information):

Dante's Inferno with Dr. Henry Russell
Dantes' Purgatorio with Dr. Henry Russell
Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis with Dr. Robert Gotcher


We also offer Tolkien as recorded, independent learning courses through Unlimited Access (click here):
All of these are taught by Dr. Henry Russell and delve very deep into each of the books, spending 6 to 8 weeks on each:

The Hobbit for Middle School 
The Hobbit for High School
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for Middle School 
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for High School 
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers for Middle School 
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers for High School 
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for Middle School 
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 

Homeschool Connections offers more than 25 live or recorded literature courses for middle and high school.