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Great Books Academy: any experience?

lavender

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#1 lavender

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:59 AM

Hello Everyone,

I have been looking at the online great books program from the Great Books Academy and their sister program, the Angelicum Academy (I guess it's the Catholic branch of GBA). From what I've seen on their websites, they seem similar to VP's Omnibus program, except GBA starts at 9th grade instead of 7th. I have read the threads here about all the positive experiences with Omnibus, and I was wondering if anyone out there has used GBA's or Angelicum's program? Any info is greatly appreciated!

BTW: this would be for my dd entering 7th grade, who loves literature. We also happen to be Catholic.:001_smile:

#2 lavender

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 07:12 PM

anyone? :bigear:

#3 lavender

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 09:23 AM

:lurk5:

#4 Faithr

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:38 AM

I know of someone (on line, not in real life) whose dd did Great Books all through high school and went onto college and majored in classics. They loved it. I know several people IRL who love the Socratic discussions from Angelicum Academy. And I know of one young lady who got college credit for classes via Angelicum. But that is as much as I know. I hear they are very flexible and helpful over the phone if you need to customize the curriculum. I bought the study guides from Angelicum some years ago for Ancient Greeks. They are very homemade looking and seemingly simple but I found they were much meatier than I first supposed once we started using them. I keep looking at Angelicum but there are several programs they use that just wouldn't work for us so I never pursue it further. The folks I know who used the Socratic Discussions raved about them!

#5 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

I have used GBA. The Socratic discussions are wonderful. I was not impressed with their grading of the written assignments. There were no comments through the paper, etc. Just a sentence at the end and a grade.

#6 4wildberrys

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:40 PM

My experience with purchasing selected lesson plans from Angelicum Academy is that they are riddled with mistakes! Pages that don't match up, repeats---and it took FOREVER to receive what I did order. And the book selections were very age inappropriate for what I ordered---Music elective and the Philosophy. The Music is a college level book thrown at 7th and 8th graders with the lessons that don't match the book and simply assigning pages to read, workbook to do----with no instructions on how to use all the various CD/DVD products that came with it. It took forever to get an email message back. And even longer to get the updated lesson plans for a program that the book changed----and they still sold me the old lesson plans that didn't match up! Maybe they have improved--I notice the website is updated. But my experience has been less than satisfactory. I'm not planning on ordering anything more from them in the future. :glare:

#7 dymphna57

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 04:25 PM

That was just too tempting! :D

I have used the program with high schoolers for at least six years. I chose the program because I wanted to give my home educated children the chance to experience a Socratic style education. I have found that the online classes really have stimulated my sons ( not something really expected) to study the Great Books. They not only study before classes but often continue discussing the readings after the classes. I love their study guides as they are synopsis and lots of great questions. There are at least two papers each semester and an one on one oral exam. We did the college credit during one rich year;) and have often wished we could do it again. The answers to the 10-20 essay questions were all returned promptly with lots of notations and comments.
I was speaking with someone today who noticed that my boys really do have a love for this that seems out of harmony with their general get out of writing mentality. In fact they really started to agonize over not being able to write or use rhetoric in the online great books discussion forum. It isn't about writing a paper to get a grade it is trying to express their opinion in a logical and persuasive way.
I like the music and art books that they throw at them at seventh and eighth grade. We amble through them for two years and maybe beyond. They are well written and we probably havent checked the lesson plans.
I like the heavy literature in the elementary grades and the use of the National Geographic with the history books. We kind of spread out here too by using any book on the topic in the lesson plans. For instance if it is Greek History we might not just stick to the books recommended but head over to the Kingfisher Encylopedia.
I think they do a good job with having classes with the younger grades to discuss short readings as it helps to instill the idea that your brain is there to use while you study. The price was more than we could afford especially after we raised up enough teenagers willing to discuss the same readings with their younger siblings for free. I like the philosophy and logic books even though, again we never seem to check the lesson plan.
We got papers back full of comments and no grades. I usually get results in a few days. i admit that isn't enough for most people. I have had no troubles with the book store.
PM me if you can stand any more of my ramblings.

#8 4wildberrys

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 06:55 PM

Well, my dd IS using the Music program for 7th this year---it's a college level book! And now that she is loving it, she wants to finish up the program next year. I notice that they are updating ALL of their lesson plans for ease of use and to follow the newer editions of books-great! So I probably will now order when the newer plans come out.

Have you used the Critical Thinking books/plans? They now have samples of the Great Books guides and those look GREAT! Wow---but are there answers to go along with it? I am really undecided about Great Books. It sound wonderful, but my kids are really enjoying Sonlight. Now if those Study Guides have answers---then I just might sneak in a few Great Books to read and discuss! :D

#9 AngelBee

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:54 PM

:lurk5:


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