The mail brought something besides bills today – that is always a great thing! I have to admit that I still head to the mailbox each day humming the mail jingle from Blue’s Clues:[youtube_sc url=” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1wUirNlR0U”]
The first best thing in my mail was a copy of Margaret Rose Realy’s new book, A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac, and Jeannie Ewing & Eileen Benthel’s Navigating Deep Waters: Meditatiosn for Caregivers. I am eager and excited to dive into both in the coming weeks!!
The second mail excitement was a catalog from “The Great Courses: The World’s Greatest Professors at Your Fingertips.” This is the first I have heard of this company and their wonderful offering of diverse courses. In my many years of homeschooling, one would have suspected this to information to find me somehow; alas, it did not – I guess now I can take advantage of the learning opportunity for myself! The courses on the website ranged in price from $24.95 (sale price) to over $200; however, the catalog was filled with 80%-off offers, with classes averaging $39.95, for new customers. These bargain prices were good until April 2nd, and all prices included access to their new free streaming (*see App description below) for all audio courses and most video courses.
The Great Courses partners with National Geographic, The Culinary Institute of America, and the Smithsonian, along with some of the (according to their brochure) world’s top professors to offer some very exciting classes without any homework or exams (*that is the best sales pitch ever, if you ask me — I love learning but dislike studying and taking exams). As I perused the catalog I saw courses offered from professors at Duke, Notre Dame, Colby, Tulane and more. From investing to photography, Fun with Mental Math to The Lost Art of Crafting Sentences, there seems to be (as the old cliché goes), something for everyone.
Each course comes with a free guidebook which includes (though varies per course):
- Course synopsis
- Supporting photos, graphs, charts and illustrations
- Tips and Tricks
- Suggested Readings
- Questions to Consider
The Great Courses program additionally offers an app for both iOs and Android to help you not only manage your courses, but also provide you flexibility of viewing them. The App allows you to access your digital library (free streaming), download the accompanying guidebook, learn more about the course and the professor teaching it, and access both the audio (and if applicable video) of your course lectures.
Not sure which one I will try, or if I will add to my last remaining homeschooler’s curriculum, but I am excited to search through this sale catalog and the comprehensive website to find all the possibilities for me to rediscover “the joy of learning.”
Copyright 2015 Allison Gingras