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

Faith ~ Excellence ~ Passion

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Homeschool Connections First Place i-Learn Awards for Best Online Academy

If You Want Your Homeschool Student to Learn from the Experts, Get What Parents All Over the US and World are Discovering,

And Save Lots of Money, Too…

Let Us Introduce You & Your Family to the First-Place Winner…
Hi, We’re Walter and Maureen –
And if you’re looking for the #1 online courses that received the top rating from thousands of homeschoolers who just finished voting for their favorites – look no further!
We’re so pleased to announce that Homeschool Connections was awarded First Place in the 2019 Practical Homeschooling i-Learn Awards for Online Academies.

"As I type this, I feel so joyful when I recall what a blessing it has been to have had access Homeschool Connections over the years! Your group has been a tremendously valuable resource for me as a teacher, and for my children in their studies."  ~ Jennifer D. (parent)

And that’s not all...Homeschool Connections was also awarded First Place for High School Core Curriculum and Second Place for Middle School Core Curriculum. In fact, this is the fourth year in a row that Homeschool Connections placed high in the i-Learn Awards – because, honestly, parents get excited about excellence and like to tell others about it.

"I am referring everyone to Homeschool Connections – the instructors are excellent! I am learning along with them. Makes me want to go back to school!"  ~ Rachel M. (parent)

So why do so many fellow homeschoolers find us to be a comfortable, convenient way to add a wealth of courses to their students’ education?

Here’s why: Excellent choice, top-tier experts, and crazy-good savings.

With over 400 “Unlimited Access” recorded online courses in all learning areas to choose from, teens learn with top-tier world experts – professionals (such as a NASA engineer and best-selling authors and speakers) and university-level professors (the best in the field). And these courses are here for you at the super affordable price of only $30 a month for all 400+ recorded courses.
You read that right – Unlimited Access to 400+ full courses is only $30 a month!

“Thank you so much for Homeschool Connections! There just isn't anything else like it. I'm always excited to see what new courses will be offered next!”  ~ Alison (high school student)
“I really look forward to the days I have classes with you!!! I love Homeschool Connections!! Thank you! I LOVE taking classes here!”  ~ Hannah (middle school student)

And if you want your student to learn in a LIVE online class with others, then choose from the nearly-200 LIVE courses meeting weekly online in the fall, spring, and summer semesters – again, in all key subject areas like math, science, writing, history, literature, and more. You can get one course or sculpt an entire schedule for your teen – you get to choose what works best for your family.

Because we believe that you, parents, are the best judge of your teen’s strengths and weaknesses – and you’re able to skillfully put together learning that exactly meets your teen’s needs – we trust that if you get an abundance of amazing choices for your teen, you’ll choose well. Here’s the page where you can look at the choices:

It’s important to know that we’re a faith-based Catholic company and students come from all over the nation and world to learn together here. Faith-filled families enjoy learning from the experts – because it’s easy to find the courses that are a perfect fit and learn in a safe, intelligent space that honors Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and is faithful to the Magisterium.

“We want to send a huge thank you to the wonderful staff and exceptional teachers my daughter was blessed to have guided her for the better part of the last three years at Homeschool Connections. Your class topics and content was a true Godsend for us!  Thank you for the gap you all filled so abundantly in my daughter's educational and spiritual growth!”  ~ Sarah B. (parent)
“We are a non-Catholic family using Homeschool Connections and chose HSC because I wanted my children to have a good Christian-centered on-line program…This program fits well into our Christian beliefs and my teens really enjoy the recorded courses!”  ~ Tonya H. (parent)

This is all about supporting you and your homeschooling. So we have dozens of free gifts for you at the website – including free recordings of webinars, materials downloads, and more. To start you off, here’s a free homeschool planner – simply click on this link to get it ...

Finally, if you ever have a question about a specific course, how Unlimited Access or a LIVE course works, or anything else to help your family and your teen, we’re here for you. You can get direct answers right away by emailing -- or call us toll free at 1-888-372-4757 and speak with someone directly.

Getting what you need is easy, and we’re here to help. God bless you and your homeschooling, and we hope to see you soon!



Walter Crawford & Maureen Wittmann
Homeschool Connections

Friday, August 2, 2019

This School Year’s Golden Secret to Success

This School Year’s Golden Secret to Success

Jenny Bales

Is there one simple mom-to-mom secret that can make this homeschooling year the best one yet? Absolutely! But it may not be what you think… 

The pencils are sharpened. The maps are hung. The books are clean and all in a row.

Our plans are written (or, at least, outlined as much as can be, here at the beginning of the school year).

Our resolutions are strong.
This will be the year we finally teach poetry.
This will be the year we don’t lose our patience during math.
This will be the year we are consistent with Catechism lessons, so we can enjoy rich conversations around the dinner table about religion.
Our intentions are golden!

But we worry, too.
Will I be able to help my son catch up in writing?
Will my daughter find the friends she so desperately wants?
Will some life-changing event, like another pregnancy or a severe illness in the family, knock us all off course?
The answer is…yes, no, I don’t know…and—most importantly—this: It doesn’t matter.

Here’s what matters.

It matters that even when those sharp pencils are thrown in frustration, and even when our daughter sobs that her best friend betrays her, we love our children.

It matters that even when they grow independent and distant, we are still there for our teens in their hopes and heartaches.

It matters that even when our kids find life (and us) unfair, we listen and we guide.

Because homeschooling is love in action.

That’s why it’s so hard. It’s not ultimately about reading and writing. It’s about people.

Homeschooling is about doing the best we can to lead our beloved children to become who God created them to be. It includes science and math, yes. But those people—those children created in the image of God with futures full of hope—are what each and every day is all about.

As mothers, we love our children with passion and ferocity. We want the very best for them, and we do our best to prepare them for it. But in reality, only God knows what’s best for each and every child, and our plans may or may not be His plans.

So how do we recognize and follow His plans?


Expectations, Meet Reality (When Reality Hits)

If you’ve been homeschooling a while, you know that after two, four, six, eight weeks, the pencils are dull (and you can’t find the pencil sharpener). The morning sickness is all day long. And the mountains of laundry are taller than your husband.

Our plans often don’t match reality in any given moment.
When I began homeschooling, that truth was devastating. I didn’t know what in the world to do when the plan got interrupted. So I was exasperated… all the time, on a daily basis.

When this oh-so-common reality shock hits, how do we avoid getting off track?

It’s about expectations.

To go into a new school year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is perfectly fine, really wonderful, and absolutely needed. What we want to be careful of—you, me, and every homeschooler out there—is to enter the year with realistic expectations that will neither frustrate us when plans don’t go our way, nor set the bar so low that we fail to guide our children to their full potential.

There’s a secret. It’s in the expectations.

The Expectation Dichotomy (And How to Solve It)

Expectations are wrapped in strange dichotomies.

Elizabeth George, best-selling author and Christian speaker, says, “Expectations destroy our peace of mind.” That seems to suggest that if we want to be at peace, we should never expect or plan anything.

But Sam Walton of Walmart and Sam’s Club fame says, “High expectations are the key to everything.” That makes it sound as if nothing will ever be accomplished, without expecting the very best all the time.

Who do we believe?

Perhaps, if we rephrase these quotes, we’ll find the truth:

Elizabeth’s wisdom retold might be, “Unrealistic expectations destroy our peace of mind.” When our expectations are unreasonable, we do set ourselves up for repeated disappointment.

Sam’s words re-imagined might be, “Appropriate expectations are the key to everything.” When our plans consider the strengths and struggles of each person in our family, we succeed.

So they’re both right.

What to Expect (The Key to Success!)

Make expectations real.

Expect the baby will get sick and not sleep.
Expect the teenager will sulk and do sloppy work.
Expect you will fall behind on the laundry and that “must do” thing that’s bugging you.

And this:
Expect that you will often—if not constantly—doubt if you are “doing enough” to homeschool these children and raise them right.
And then. Take a breath.

Expect that God has got your back. Because He does.

Expect you will snuggle that baby all day and all night—thus teaching your older children how important the vulnerable are (and how essential caffeine can be).

Expect you will hear that story read to you one painfully choppy word at a time over and over and over – until your blossoming reader’s face glows with confidence.

Expect you will sit down next to that sulky teenager—and (once again) encourage the teen to glorify God with his or her best work.

Expect to tweak the plan and the schedule… and tweak... and tweak… and tweak it again… adjusting it to the needs of your family as you go.

The best days happen when we surrender our plans to the Lord and ask Him to guide us and help us respond to the needs of our children with love.

Because if you focus on loving the living, breathing people in front of you, made in the image of God, you will find meaning in the mundane. You will find peace amidst the chaos. And you will find God in every moment — because that’s the secret.

When we prioritize the person over the plan, everyone learns.  Some days will be messier than others. Some days we will be more virtuous than others.

And that’s okay.

Let’s sharpen our pencils, line up our books, and smile. Because we know the golden secret to success:  Healthy expectations lead us to Love Itself.

This is the year of learning Love.

Listen and watch Jenny's online webinar, Planning with the Saints Holy Wisdom for Your Homeschool Year. It's a simple click-and-get link to watch any time.

Jenny Bales is a Catholic homeschooling mom who is passionate about encouraging and connecting mothers through their homeschooling journeys. She and her husband live in North Texas with their four children who have been homeschooled all their lives. Her homeschool philosophy is "whatever works" with a smattering of literature-based learning, Charlotte Mason, and Classical elements. Jenny loves hot tea, sweet tea, dark chocolate, red wine, college football, and mystery novels—and can’t resist an opportunity to coordinate a conference, retreat, co-op, book study, social group, and or moms’ night out. Jenny loves to reflect on all aspects of Catholic homeschooling through the lens of our incredible Catholic faith. You can find Jenny and her work at