Friday, February 19, 2016

7 Ways to Succeed in Online Classes

Rolling Acres School has provided a nice write up on 7 ways to succeed in online classes ~ A great resource from one of the leading online academies in Catholic homeschool education! Not only are some practical tips offered, but helpful resources by way of linked articles and discussions also. Here is the gist of their pointers:

Best Practices
The students and families who flourish in online schooling all seem to display a basic set of attributes and skills.  It is very helpful to consider these as you make decisions about whether or not to try online schooling and our program, in particular.  Here are the essential attributes of the successful family. 

First, these families have developed a studious home environment, there is an appropriate degree of quiet and order. Second, these families maintain discipline regarding academics ~ the work gets done and deadlines are met. Parents maintain oversight during all online activity. Third, successful families take full advantage of the services provided, especially tutoring.  In addition, they maintain good communication with the instructors, ask good questions, and seek help when needed. Fourth, these families support the mission of the teachers and the school. They are excited about the program precisely for being what it is and push the students to conform to what is being asked of them.  Fifth, these families insure that the students and parents know how to use the technology required.  Students need to know how to operate their computers, type, trouble shoot issues with headsets, use word processing software, and so forth.  Because of the limits on the type of oversight the instructors provide, it is essential that parents try online schooling with their eyes wide open to its limits and benefits.

In Summary,

  1. Create a Studious Environment
  2. Maintain Academic Discipline
  3. Oversight of Internet Use and Study
  4. Take Advantage of all services
  5. Keep Communication open
  6. Buy-in to the Mission of the School
  7. Master the Technology
For more helpful resources on online schooling and classes, please visit THIS SITE

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dinner with Socrates, No. 5 at the Bosconian Review ~ What the Hell?

Reading:“The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi

We have all heard of Dante, but many fewer of us have actually read him, and we are often surprised by the high praise of those who have delved deeply into his Comedia.  T. S. Elliot famously remarked that “Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them. There is no third.”  The reasons that any reader may find Dante great are many—his grand vision, unique poetic form, vivid imagery, and theological depth are mentioned by some.  In any case, we should make room in our summer reading for Dante, if we have not encountered him yet.

Top 10 Ways to be a Successful Homeschool Co-op Director

Over the years we have been consulting co-op directors who are using the Schola Rosa: Co-op & Home Curriculum and most of the time our consultations deal with community-building and Christian solidarity and not with the curriculum at all.

One of our directors recently asked: "What kind of person makes a good director?"

We have often joked that if you have an organized saint around, pick her! This would of course be ideal.

But, seriously, what is there to do when you can't identify a saint? What kind of person should run the co-op? How should he or she act while doing so? Here are some pointers to offer.

  1. Be Organized - in everything.
  2. Keep a planner and keep it up-to-date.
  3. Don't forget to respond to people when they contact you.
  4. Don't forget to bring things when asked.
  5. Care about the people in your group --- REALLY! 
  6. Sacrifice your time and energy to make it work.
  7. Bring people together to talk about differences.
  8. Don't share complaints, gossip, or slander with anyone.
  9. Share only positive comments and stories with people in your group.
  10. Don't be afraid to tell people your group isn't for them. Not everything is for everybody.  
It has been a positive experience for directors who have followed these pointers

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dinner with Socrates, No. 4 at the Bosconian Review ~ Is Your Imagination Fantastic?


“The Fantastic Imagination” by George MacDonald


Many of us are introduced to George MacDonald by C. S. Lewis, who found in him a spiritual teacher, as well as, in considering his literary achievements, a master myth maker.  For more on just what Lewis says of MacDonald you should read his introduction to the man and his work, found in the anthology of MacDonald’s work that Lewis edited.  For those of us whose Christian imaginings have been touched by Lewis, learning about someone who may have inspired him in a similar way is intriguing and exciting.

In the excerpt that we are reading, MacDonald is himself expounding upon the very particular type of reaction that he hopes his fantastical writing will illicit in the reader.  In a nutshell he is making an attempt to explain and, to some degree, defend what it is that a good fantasy story does.

Our discussion questions will touch on themes like the value and purpose of imagination in the divine economy and the educational value of fantastic stories.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"On Virtue in Education" by T.M. Meyer

"Moral formation is an essential component of academic education.  This may be a shock to some, most likely due to the modern divorce between academics and religion; however, the best education takes into consideration both the intellectual and the moral development of students.  Typically when we think of academia, the courses of study first come to our mind—biology, algebra, history, etc.  We do not consciously associate moral formation with these subjects, and we definitely do not think that it is necessary for success, but the opposite is true.  Progress in academics is impossible without moral formation.  To be the best biologist—or the best historian, mathematician, etc.—one must be excellent in moral and academic virtue.  Indeed, we can all agree that the best biologist excels in the virtue of discipline, since he has trained himself by a severe rule of order to achieve advanced degrees, to do research, and so on.  Is this not moral excellence?  Such a question must be considered."

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dinner with Socrates, No. 3 at the Bosconian Review ~ What's Your Purpose, Kid?


The Aesop for Children, with Pictures by Milo Winters Rand McNally, 1919.


Like Homer, very little is known about Aesop.  The historian Herodotus mentions that “Aesop the fable-writer” was a slave of a Samian, who was supposed to have won his freedom and taken up a position as adviser to kings, travelling in the role of an ambassador until his death.  Aesop, famously, wrote fables.  

Fables are folksy, moral stories that teach a lesson; they are one of the oldest types of recorded story.  Aesop’s stories probably come from a very long oral tradition of folk tales stretching out long before Aesop himself came on the scene.  Interestingly, fables emerge in written form in several places all over the world at about the same time in history, the seventh century.

The discussion questions for this reading focus on the particular lesson of the fable we read.  This “Dinner” is accessible to younger kids than those prior to it, but the questions are weighty enough for the mellowed philosopher, as well.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016-2017 Online Catholic Classes Now Enrolling

Rolling Acres School Online Academy is Now Enrolling for the 2016-2017 Academic Year!

Find out more at

Other Online Class Options Available at:

*Please let us know if we have missed a program or school, and we will update the post right away.
  • Angelicum Academy - A Great Books program. Full curriculum for Grades N-12.
  • Catholic Schools K-12 Virtual - An online school working with its local parish to help local parishioners with home education. Full curriculum for Grades K-12.
  • Classical Liberal Arts Academy - Small, online school that offers a curriculum for grades K-12. Classical approach.
  • Homeschool Connections - A service that works to connect homeschoolers with the experts. Offers a recorded lecture archive through subscription and Live courses.
  • Regina Coeli Academy - An online school that offers a complete curriculum for grades K-12. Large faculty and variety of courses.
  • The Rolling Acres School - An online, one-room schoolhouse run by a husband and wife. Offers enrichment courses for history, literature, and philosophy as well as foreign language courses.
  • Mother of Divine Grace offers an online component to their program, but you do have to be enrolled in their curriculum.
It would be great to hear what others think of these schools in the comments below!