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How do you use The Teaching Company's materials?

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I just got a catalog out of the mailbox from the Teaching Company. I always drool over the catalog but have never been able to afford anything even at 70% off!


I understand that the library has several titles. Also, I still have some birthday money left.


What comes in the package? Only the lectures? Isn't there a reading list included? Textbook recommendations?


What do you "grade"? Do you make up your own tests and assignments?


Does only watching the DVDs cover enough to give a credit based on # of lectures or # of hours?


I know lots of home school family use these materials. But exactly HOW? and How do you assign credit?


Thanks a ton!


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We were going to use them to supplement.

Our first try (Italian Renaissance) did not work out because we found it incredibly boring -but we had planned to use them in addition to reading, research projects and writing.

I would not assign credit for simply watching a set number of hours of video - because you can watch something and not learn anything. I would always require my student to do some actual work (for us more project based than tests/quizzes, but this is our preference).

The packages come with an outline booklet; you get an email with web resources after you order. You can buy transcripts of the lectures, they cost extra, about $35 - not worth it IMO, because then I could just go and buy and read a book.

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As regentrude says, they are not stand alone courses. I think of them as I did college lectures -- attendance in and of itself was not enough to pass the class. You can either make the lectures the meat of the course and assign readings to go along with the topics, or you can use it as a supplement, and watch only particular lectures as the topics come up. I've done it both ways. I've yet to use the recommended readings or suggested discussion topics that come with the lecture outlines.


We used the biology class last year (Biology: The Science of Life). I had my ds watch the lectures in order and arranged his textbook readings and projects/labs by the lecture topics. He watched about 3 lectures per week, which usually covered a single text book chapter. It made for a very complete biology course -- AP worthy.


I've used the lectures from Western Literary Canon in Context to supplement the literature we read and to fill in some gaps for literature that we simply won't get to in the high school years. It's a great series for picking and choosing lectues as is the Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition.


We used Dr. Vandiver's Iliad lectures along with our reading of the Iliad. It was great to have an expert lecturing on the book -- it enhanced our knowledge and helped deepen our discussions. My ds wrote a lengthy essay for his grade.


I think the lectures are a great way to introduce not taking to a high schooler. The trick is not to get too comfy on the couch and watch the lectures passively as you would a regular tv show! It can be all too easy to do, especially when watching a lecture just after lunch!

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I used the Philosophy of Mind course for a half-credit for my 9th grader last year. It had 24 half-hour lectures on dvd and a booklet that listed suggested readings. I was typically able to find about 3/4 of the suggested readings. Other times I found other materials on the same topic. There were several questions after each reading list that were perfect for journaling.


With the lectures, the suggested readings, additional readings, and journal, I figured it was worth a half-credit. My dd certainly put in at least 90 hours for it. She LOVED it.

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It depends on the course. For physics, it is a supplement. We have a text and workbook which will be the main part. For Earth science, the lectures and my discussion with them was the major part of the course but we supplemented with field studies. For a music course, it was again the main part of the course but supplemented with actual performances we attended. For history, my dd used it as a review. My son used history tapes as a main part of his learning (many tape series) and then did readings too but the tapes were the primary source. I assigned some papers and also made some tests.

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We are using them to supplement TOG Y2 D, using the schedule from the yahoo group. I verbally review the questions listed after with my DD.


I plan to do the new Our Night Sky with all the kids this fall. It will be an education for the whole family.


I also have a few I watch for my own education, to help me teach future subjects, I can see having my DC watch some of them in the future.

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We're using the WWII lecture series this semester along with Uncle Eric's text and guide book which includes many activities/questions/essays to choose from. There's even a final exam. In addition to this, I will assign some non-fiction books to read such as Flyboys (nothing to do with the movie by the same name). We'll also be watching some high quality documentaries such as World at War. Lastly, my son will write a short research paper on a topic of his choice.


We'll be using the Tao to Mao Chinese history series next semester but haven't fleshed out the details yet.



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