Favorite Resources: Great Courses High School History DVDs

Ready, Set, Go! Less than two weeks ago, I decided to go back to school for my Masters degree. An online program, my first class began yesterday. “What was I thinking?!?” has become my new mantra. I’m excited but nervous. Can I do it? Will I ever sleep again? One course every five weeks and ten courses to complete in one whirlwind year. But, if all goes well, one year from now I will (hopefully) have a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University. If anyone’s interested in joining me (there’s a new group every five weeks), let me know! Not only would it be awesome to have a friend in the program but we both would get $2000 off tuition.

NHEAnyways … last week at our parent homeschool meeting (nearhim.com), parents shared some of their favorite resources in language arts, math, science, homeschool blogs, organization, and time management. One thing was clear, we are blessed with an amazing amount of choices to teach our children.

Now that my children are grown, I have sold or given away most of our homeschool books but I thought I’d share a few of the resources that I couldn’t bear to part with along with some websites that I have found helpful along the way.

One of my favorite high school resources is from The Great Courses (thegreatcourses.com), also known as The Teaching Company. Before I share, PLEASE don’t ever pay full price for this curriculum. They regularly rotate what is available through their 70% off sale. OK. Now, that we have that out of the way … I LOVE Professor Linwood Thompson’s high school history DVDs. For me, they are keepers!

Professor Linwood Thompson

High School Level—World History: The Fertile Crescent to The American Revolution
High School Level—Early American History: Native Americans through the Forty-Niners

See history through the eyes of someone who lived it. Thompson teaches every lesson as a character from the time he is covering in period costume. I wasn’t able to find a sample on YouTube, but you can see an interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p_zw0WThvo

There are comprehension and essay questions for each video. One caveat – there were a few comprehension questions that were not answered in the videos. I used these for the World History courses I taught at our homeschool co-op. They aren’t designed to be a complete history program but they are a great supplement. Thompson does a great job at helping students see how major events tie together.

If you’re like me and like to have a second opinion, check out Cathy Duffy’s Review.

These may not be for everyone—I had one student who did not enjoy them—but the vast majority of people find them educational and entertaining. Several students and parents commented that family members sat and watched the videos with the student taking my class. If you have seen these or decide to purchase them, I would love your feedback. Post your comments below!

Have a great week!

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