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

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Creative Writing Classes: The Short Story (Why??)

Writing short stories isn't an exercise just for grade school children. There is a lot to be learned in a short story writing course at the high school or college level.

Writing good short stories is an intellectual exercise that results in better writing overall. It forces the author to be a concise writer who makes every sentence, every word have meaning and deliver a punch.

A novel can meander and take it's time setting a scene. It will likely give you backstory, build suspense slowly, and stretch out the climax. A short story, on the other hand, needs to begin as close to the climax as is possible. Backstory is nothing but distraction so is left to the reader's imagination. A good short story typically drives readers toward sudden, unexpected revelations. It enlivens the reader's emotions and yet it does it with few words.

Learning to write good short stories trains the mind not only in writing, but in other forms of communication. It teaches students how to grab the attention of their audience and make a strong point in a short amount of time.

If you would like your homeschooled student to learn these important skills, Homeschool Connections is offering a 4-week course starting April 14th that will provide just what you need: Fiction Writing: Writing the Short Story. To register, visit HSC Registration (click on Summer 2016 Semester and Search).

Here are the course details:

Fiction Writing: Writing the Short Story *New
This course only accepts 15 students.
Fiction Writing: Writing the Short Story will be offered again in the Spring 2017 semester.
Series description: There are eight courses in the Write Your Own Fiction Book Series. Students can jump into the series at any time. Students can also take The Hero’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers and Screenwriting at the same time as the series courses.
Total Classes: 4
Class dates:
Thursday's, April 14 to May 5, 2016 
Starting time: 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central; 8:30 Mountain; 7:30 Pacific)
Duration 50 minutes
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade
Suggested credit: 1/3 semester Creative Writing or English. Add other writing or literature courses for a full semester credit.
Fee:  $99 for all 4 classes. ($119 after April 6)
Erin Brown Conroy, MA, MFA
Course description: Have you ever wanted to write (and publish) a short story? This course will cover just that -- how to write a dynamic, publishable short story -- including fleshing out ideas for your short stories, the similarities and differences between short stories and full-length book writing, and marketing your short stories to publications.
Course outline:
Class 1: Defining short stories: micro fiction, flash fiction, short stories, novelettes, and novellas
Class 2: Characteristics of dynamic, saleable short stories
Class 3: Brainstorming, outlining, and forming your short story
Class 4: Short story markets and sales

Course materials: All course materials will be provided.

Homework: Estimated one to three hours of homework outside of class time per class, depending on the student’s ability. 

NOTES: Registration closes April 6th. It can be reopened upon request (if the course is not full) for a $20 late-registration fee.
This course will be available as a recorded, independent-learning course in July through our Unlimited Access program.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Online Writing Homeschool Program

Aquinas Writing Advantage is a complete writing program for middle and high school students:
  • All the writing classes you need, from middle through high school, beginner through advanced.
  • Courses that are complete, progressive, and thorough.
  • All of the writing skills needed—foundations, development, advanced, creative, and business writing.
  • Leaves no gaps in your student’s writing skills.
  • Fully prepares your student for college and the workplace.
  • Advances and increases writing skills faster than a grade-based program through its skills-based format, allowing you to pick and choose exactly what you need.
For the 2016/2017 school year, we are adding a number of brand new live, interactive courses:
  • Middle School Essential Writing 3: Punctuation and Grammar II 
  • Middle School Essential Writing 4: Sentences and Paragraphs II
  • Middle School Simplified Writing 3: Writing the Excellent Essay
  • Middle School Simplified Writing 4: Writing Form and Style
  • High School Simplified Writing 2:The 5-Paragraph Essay and Beyond
  • High School Writing Essentials 5: Punctuation and Grammar II
  • High School Writing Essentials 6: Essay Writing Practicum
  • Business Writing
  • Journalism
  • Screenwriting
To learn about Aquinas Writing Advantage and all it offers you and your homeschool please visit the webpage at Homeschool Connections:

To meet Erin Brown Conroy, creator and designer of the Aquinas Writing Advantage program:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Open House: Catholic Online Classes

UPDATE: We have a new Open House registration page. It's super easy to sign up. (Make sure your email address is typed in correctly so you receive the link to the Open House.)

Please join us for a open house webinar for Homeschool Connections. You can choose from several dates.  You are invited to come meet Erin Brown Conroy, master teacher, to listen to a short presentation and ask questions about Homeschool Connections.  Please share with other families who may benefit from Catholic homeschooling classes online.

To sign up for an Open House click on the following link: Homeschool Connections Registration Page

You can choose from one of the following dates:
Monday, March 21
Monday, April 18
Tuesday, May 10
Tuesday, June 21
Monday, July 11
or Monday, August 1

All sessions meet at 8:00 PM Eastern (7:00 Central; 6:00 Mountain; 5:00 Pacific)