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Friday, November 21, 2014

Creative Writing: Poetry

This is a great course that will help your high school student be a better writer and have a greater appreciation for beautiful poetry, as well as lift his or her heart up to God.

(click on course title to register)

Note: Only 20 students accepted in this course.
Class dates: Mondays, January 5 to April 20, 2015. No class Feb. 16 or April 5.
Total classes: 14
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Poetry or Literature/ Creative Writing
Fee:  $210 for all 14 classes.
Instructor: Sally Thomas
Course description: An introduction to the craft of poetry writing, including examination of traditional English verse forms and free verse, and experimentation with rhetorical techniques. Though this is a writing-intensive class, students will also be immersed in the reading of poetry. Through their experiences in examining how poems work and putting their observations into practice, students will prepare themselves for the challenge of college by developing heightened sensitivity as close readers and a greater command of rhetoric in their own writing, whether poetry or prose.
Course outline:
Class 1: Introduction
Class 2: Verse Systems
Class 3: Accentual Meters
Class 4: Syllabic Verse
Class 5: Forms in Free Verse
Class 6: Ode Forms
Class 7: Quantitative Verse
Class 8: Repetitive Structures
Class 9: Comical Schemes
Class 10: Rhetorical Schemes
Class 11: Variation and Mimesis
Class 12: More About Rhyming
Class 13: Uncommon Schemes
Class 14: Poetry Festival
Course materials: Rhyme’sReason, John Hollander.
Homework: At least one chapter in Hollander each week, plus additional poetry readings, provided by the instructor. One poetry-writing exercise per week.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Why Should I Learn Punctuation and Grammar?

A 2-year project in the making, Homeschool Connections will be releasing it's new eBook Why Should I Learn This? next month (December 2014). A $9.95 value, the eBook will initially be offered for free.

If you'd like a preview, you can download a sample chapter by clicking here: Free Homeschool eBook. You can also sign up to receive notification when the entire eBook is ready.

The sample chapter is Why Should I Learn Punctuation and Grammar? by Erin Brown Conroy, MA, MFA. A terrific chapter to read whether you have grade school or high school children.

Why Should I Learn This? is a compilation of essays written by over 30 authors:
Joseph Pearce; Gary Michuta; Mike Aquilina; Alicia VanHecke; Christian Ohnimus; Ana Braga-Henebry, MA; Alison Stanley, JD; Ed L. Rivet II, MPA; Joan Stromberg; Phillip Campbell III; Allison Gingras, MEd; Emily Henry; Irma Luz Schmitt, MEd; Suchi Myjak, MS; Mary Ellen Barrett; Nancy Carpentier Brown; Henry Russell, PhD; Dayspring Brock, MHum; Cay Gibson; Jean Hoeft, MA; Mary Gildersleeve; Carol Reynolds, PhD; Michele Quigley; Margot Davidson, MEd; Erin Brown Conroy, MA, MFA; Robert Gotcher, PhD; Jean Rioux, PhD; Dave Palmer, MTS; Mary Daly; Matthew Watkins, MS; MacBeth Derham; Monica Ashour, MTS, MHum; Lisa Mladinich; Maureen Wittmann.

Subjects included:
Economics; Geography; The Constitution; Government, Elections, and Politics; Using Historical Fiction; Christian Historiography; Medieval History; American Sign Language; Latin; Spanish; Computer Skills; Critical Reading and Thinking Skills; Organizational Skills; G. K. Chesterton; Classical Literature; Modern Literature; Using Picture Books; Shakespeare; Tolkien; Algebra; Arts and Crafts; Music History; Using a Charlotte Mason Education; Using Montessori; Organizational Skills; Phonemics; Using the Trivium; Philosophy; Formal Logic; Thomistic Philosophy; Astronomy; Environmental Science; Science and its Relationship to Faith and Reason; Geology; Nature Studies; All Theology through The Theology of the Body; Apologetics; the Early Church Fathers; Heresies; Theology of the Body; Communications; Fiction Writing; Punctuation and Grammar; Rhetoric and Writing.
More information to come as we near the publication date ... 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Reading List: Math and Living Literature

"I hate math!!!" Have you ever heard this from one of your children? Perhaps it was you yourself who you heard screeching in frustration. We want to introduce you to a new idea -- Math Appreciation. Yes, really, "appreciation".

If you signed your child up for piano lessons, would you sit her down to learn piano without first ever hearing beautiful music? Would you give your child a canvas and oil paints without first viewing beautiful art? We are suggesting you do the same for math.

Before introducing your child to complicated math lessons, build an appreciation. One way to do this is through living literature. Yes, there is a thing such as math lit -- real books as opposed to textbooks. We are not saying textbooks are not important. They do have their place. However, it's vitally important that they be approached with a love of learning if they are to have significant success.

Below is a math reading list from Homeschool Connections math instructor Jean Hoeft, MA. These are Jean's favorites. If this list whets your appetite, scroll to the end for other math lit resources. Trust us, give it a try. You may just end up saying, "I love math!!!"
Maureen Wittmann

Mrs. Hoeft's Top-20 List: Math Lit for All Ages

Grade School

Math Curse by Jon Scieszka 
How Much Is a Million? by David M. Schwartz

Grapes Of Math by Greg Tang

Middle School

Fantasia Mathematica edited by Clifton Fadiman

A Gebra Named Al: A Novel by Wendy Isdell

TheNumber Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

ThePhantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Book of Numbers by John Horton Conway and Richard K. Guy

High School to Adult

More math lit lists for you ...

For the Love of Literature: Teaching Core Subjects through Literature by Maureen Wittmann

MacBeth's Opinion

Living Math

Bonus: A Great Math YouTube Channel (Fun!)

Numberphile: You'll see numbers a little differently after taking advantage of these videos. As always, with anything online, preview first.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Win Unlimited Access to Online Classes for Catholic Families!

TAN Books is hosting a contest! WIN 4 free months of Unlimited Access to online courses for Catholic families from  Three winners and you can enter everyday! To enter, scroll down and follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. That's it. Then, share with all your friends and family to get extra entries.

Not just for homeschoolers, is an online Catholic curriculum provider.

Whether you're a middle school student looking to improve your writing skills, a high school student interested in learning the Catholic perspective in history, a college-bound student in need of ACT or SAT test prep, or an adult thirsting for a deeper understanding of Catholic theology, Homeschool Connections has the course for you. 

You can learn online, at your pace, on your schedule, anytime of day or anytime during the year. For just $30 a month, your entire immediate family will have Unlimited Access to 150-plus courses from Theology to History, from Math to Science, from Writing to Philosophy, and so much more. You can try it out for 7 days for only $1!!! 

Improve your grades, expand your mind, and raise your heart to God. Visit to learn more. 

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Thank you TAN Books for sponsoring this contest and for all you do in publishing great Catholic books!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Raffle: Free Unlimited Access to Online Classes!

TAN Books is hosting a contest: 3 lucky winners will receive a free semester (4 months!!!) of Unlimited Access. Yes, the best deal in Catholic homeschooling -- Unlimited Access to over 150 online courses for your entire family (mom, dad, kids!). These are recorded, independent-learning, easy-to-use courses covering all school subjects.

So, here's how you enter to win ... follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. That's it. Then, share with all your friends and family to get free entries. Plus, you can come back everyday for extra entries.

If you already subscribe to Unlimited Access, that's okay -- we'll give you 4 extra months if you win. So, if you want to sign up for Unlimited Access today, go ahead and get started today learning in a dynamic way with the best instructors in the country.

Good luck everyone!!!

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Thank you TAN Books for hosting this contest and for all you do to help Catholic families!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers

Due to requests from parents, we have added a Spring Latin I, Part One course starting in January. To register, please click here: Homeschool Connections Registration.

Here are the course details:
Latin I (Wheelock), Part One
Class dates: Mondays,
January 5 to March 30, 2015. No class Feb. 17.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 11:00 am Eastern (10:00 Central; 9:00 Mountain; 8:00 Pacific)
Duration: 1 hour
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: High school
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester Latin or foreign language
Fee: $175 for all 12 weeks.
Instructor: Emily Henry
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 ten chapters in Wheelock. We will have two class periods in particular that will be dedicated to review, implementation, etc. There will also be a number of quizzes and a final exam.
Course materials: Wheelock's 6th or 7th Edition. It is mandatory that students have a functioning headset with a microphone.
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.

 Email us with any questions at