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Great Courses experiences, recommendations


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I got on their mailing list as it was recommended somewhere in WTM. (It used to be called The Teaching Company or was it Learning Company?) Anyway, usually their stuff seems ridiculously expensive, but sometimes some is on sale. I am wondering if any of you hive people have used the Great Courses DVD's or CD's either for your children or for your own learning, and if so, if you have any to particularly recommend either pro or con, or any other helpful experience about these.


Thank you.

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I've just started listening to a few Great Courses. I'll say this, the regular prices are insane, but they are ALWAYS having a sale on something. Don't get caught up in the "only 12/24/whatever hours" sales... there will be another chance! That said, it's well worth it to pick some up with a sale, especially if you can find a coupon code (just check retailmenot.com if you don't have one from your own mailer/emails, that's what I do). I've managed to get all of Vandiver's stuff, plus three other courses, and I didn't pay more than $35 for any of them in the audio download format.


I was told Elizabeth Vandiver was awesome, and from what I've heard of her course on Homer's Odyssey so far, I have to agree. I also started the first few lectures in Classic Novels: Meeting the Challenge of Great Literature by Arnold Weinstein and am enjoying it. I'll be taking a break on those and starting the American Revolution series soon, in preparation for a 6-week unit study I'll be doing with DS.

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We have lots of courses.

First of all: NEVER buy at the regular price. Every course goes on sale at least once a year, to deep discounts, 70% off.

The courses are college level and thus might be suitable for older children, but not young ones.

Our favorites are:

everything by Elizabeth Vandiver.

We have the Iliad, the Odyssey, The Aeneid, Greek tragedy, Classical Mythology. These we used for Ancients in 9th grade with DD.


We also liked:

Philipp Daileader: the Early Middle Ages, The High Middle Ages, the Late Middle Ages. Used them for Medieval in 10th grade.


Good, but not quite as entertaining:

Kenneth Bartlett: The Italian Renaissance. used it for Renaissance in 10th grade.


To supplement literature, we have used parts of the Divine Comedy lectures (OK) and parts of Peter Saccio's Shakespeare: The Word and the Actions (good).


We really really like Robert Greenberg's How to listen to and understand Great Music for music appreciation.


We have started listening to the particle physics lecture and are not impressed (but that could be because we are physicists).


Out of all the courses we have, there was only one epic fail:

Cardulla High School Chemistry. Remedial level, no demonstrations, incredibly boring.

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