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Topic: The Teaching Company -- The Great Courses -- any experience?

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Subject: The Teaching Company -- The Great Courses -- any experience?
Date Posted: 7/23/2009 1:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2008
Posts: 52
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I just received a catalog from The Teaching Company.  They offer DVDs of courses taught by supposedly fabulous teachers and professors.  It looks interesting.  Here's their website:  www.tryteach12.com 

Has anyone had any experience with these courses?

Date Posted: 7/23/2009 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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Yes, we love them.  I recommend seeing which ones are available at your public library (and HS'ing library if you have one) and watching them to see if you like them.  I don't buy any our library has - only the ones they don't have.  We have three - Chemistry, Physics, American History.  They also have CD versions of some courses.

Never pay full price, and make sure to get on their email list.  They frequently send out sale notifications, free shipping codes, coupons, etc.

Also, if you do get a course, consider purchasing the transcript book and/or the workbook.

Some professors are loved more than others.  These are talked about quite frequently on some of my forums.  But liking a lecturer is sometimes a personal choice.  One I might like might drive you nuts ;-).

They have an incredible return policy if you get something that just doesn't work for you or your students.

JC



Last Edited on: 2/13/10 5:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/25/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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We have a number of these and think they are great.  I agree about trying your library first, I think Netflix has some, too, if you happen to have an account with them.

 But liking a lecturer is sometimes a personal choice.  One I might like might drive you nuts ;-).

Too true!  One of my kids' favorite is someone I couldn't take for very long.  One that insterests me a lot, the kids think he is a snore, lol.

Date Posted: 7/28/2009 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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My friends who HS  high school use them and praise them. They ONLY buy on sale. And we have several local libraries who we can borrow the materials from, thus saving money even more. When my kids are in high school I am sure we'll use them. Check your local libraries.

I would also suggest recording with a DVR or VHS, the weekend shows from BookTV on CSPAN. The author lectures are great, of wide variety of nonfiction topics and if interested our students or we can choose to go on to read the book they wrote. Many of those lectures are also free for viewing online for anyone who prefers that to TV.

Date Posted: 7/28/2009 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/29/2008
Posts: 52
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Thanks for the insights!

Date Posted: 7/30/2009 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 91
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yes, they are wonderful!

Stephanie

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2006
Posts: 88
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I've been using these for 4 years now.  The company is very up front with the sale policy, that they rotate everything through sale pricing throughout the year.  As an e-mail suscriber, I also get notices about 4 times a year that EVERYTHING IS ON SALE for one or two days.  Even the catalogs are a wealth of intriquing material to read, so I keep several where I also have Reader's Digest!

The website for The Teaching Company has user reviews for all the courses, giving the potential purchaser the facets another user likes or not.  I recommend reading these before ordering.

While I may not agree with everything every lecturer has said (giving a launch pad for family discussion), my family has found these to be a great addition to our coursework.  Even when older student was watching, the younger one "tagged along" on the coursework, giving him enough coverage to make his turn at the material even easier.  I did utilize the outline and questions that each professor has written plus written quizzes myself to prevent the student from becoming simply a passive listener. 

Some of our top favorites:

All the Shakespeare courses by Peter Saccio.  When my younger student looks at me after listening to a lecture on Richard II and says, "Mom, we've got to see this play!" I know the lecture was effective.  I'll be getting the one Shakespeare course by a different lecturer later this year.

Foundations of Western Civ-We have watched these 3 times, the last time just for fun, but what a fun marathon it was.  They are not glitzy like the Simon Schama's History of Briton or Sister Wendy's art series, but we learned more that we thought we would.

High School geometry and chemistry provided clear instruction to go along with the BJU geometry and Apologia chemistry we were already using. 

Younger student's favorite course, after the Peter Saccio's Shakespeare ones, is Literature of the Imaginative Mind, which he was drawn to because of the SciFi books.  He learned so much more, though.  We did not read all the selections simply because some of the books are too dark to fill our minds with, but we found other gems while acquiring terms to describe some of the strange modern literature in relationship to our religous viewpoint.  This series provoked great family dinner discussions on world views.

Hope this helps anyone who is straddling the fence.

Adrianne

Date Posted: 9/5/2009 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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You guys have gotten me curious. I'm going to check out the website now.

Thanks!

Date Posted: 9/5/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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I've been browsing the site trying to find a place to order a catalog. Can anyone direct me with a link?

Thanks.

Jenn S. - ,
Subject: Teaching Company DVDs
Date Posted: 9/5/2009 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9
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Our family has purchased 3 DVDs from them. They are wonderful and have an amazing selection.  We recommend them!  it's www.theteachingcompany.com

Subject: teaching company
Date Posted: 2/13/2010 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2009
Posts: 1
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There courses are quite good, though a bit expensive. Get them on sale.

Subject: sales
Date Posted: 2/13/2010 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I typically get a sale email every weekend (including this one), and sometimes shipping offers.  Our public library has several titles.

Edited to add:

Here's the code for this weekend's sale, good until Sun, 2/14 (end of day), good online or by phone - priority code 42724



Last Edited on: 2/13/10 5:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/15/2010 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2007
Posts: 589
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Thanks for the sharing the site. We just started homeschooling our 7th grader and some of the courses look like they'd really interest him.

Subject: American History and Geometry available
Date Posted: 3/14/2010 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 405
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I have the American History and the Geometry for sale on Homeschoolclassifieds.com. They are the VHS tapes but I am selling them cheap. check it out. You can PM me as well and I can get the info to you.

Subject: teaching company/great courses
Date Posted: 4/7/2010 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2010
Posts: 1
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I have to agree with all the recommendations listed here so far! These courses are fantastic - we have quite a few of the math and science courses, all bought on sale. Our library carries a number of the courses on history, philosophy, and music, too. They are all worth viewing, IMO.

Subject: TC
Date Posted: 5/6/2010 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2006
Posts: 91
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WONDERFUL....

Date Posted: 5/12/2010 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2006
Posts: 88
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My HS junior is still turning on a history lecture every time he sits down in front of the TV to eat.  Being a teenage boy, he eats frequently!  I'm planning for at least 40 hours of "eating time" for the next 6 months. 

Date Posted: 5/19/2010 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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A friend switched this year to using Aleks.com for math and when extra help is needed they use the Teaching Company basic math DVDs. The boy is in grade 7 and doing math on that level. I didn't realize Teaching Company had anything that could be used for middle school. Mostly I hear high schoolers or adults using these.

 

The company markets heavily to the over 60 years old demographic, emphasizing continued learning (in retirement years I guess). I know as my parents get those catalogs and sample DVDs!

 

Since these are various professors some will click with the viewer and some may not. You can't judge the whole company if you disliked one professor's lecture style. Head's up. :)

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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There's only high school level Basic Math.  Perhaps your friend is using Teaching Textbooks?

A few weeks ago, TC had a sale on four courses - $10 each.  I purchased two of them.  I'm hoping they run it again.  It was on the 12-lecture courses, but still was $30 cheaper than the normal sale.

I see a lot of the Great Courseslisted at HomeschoolClassifieds.com