Monday, May 28, 2007

The Teaching Company

When I asked for a good intellectual challenge for Sarah I was told of The Teaching Company. I (and my group of kids) to a look at it and everyone seemed to find a course they wanted!
We've settled on : A History of European Art, Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt (Martin is a Rembrandt worshiper!), World of Byzantium, Vikings (Katherine's request), Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies (Lisa will not miss anything Shakespeare) and High School Level-Chemistry.
Thank goodness our homeschool group like the sound of it and were willing to pitch in with the money!


Miranda said...

Holy toledo, that's a lot of courses, and a lot of money! We have only bought one course each of the past three years, and only when they come on sale (if you wait, most courses come on sale for 70% off once per year, in cycles). On the other hand, if you have a homeschool group with money to spend, why not ride the wave of enthusiasm?! How wonderful!

Allison said...

Yeah, that's a lot of money. We could never do it with out the homeschool group. We probably won't even use them much during the summer, but come winter we'll all be mighty glad to have them.

Miranda said...

If you don't mind me asking, how is the homeschooling group administered organizationally? Do you contribute 'dues,' or fund-raise? How are decisions about purchases made, and about priorizing use by different families? I'd love to have something similar in our neck of the woods, but I see all sorts of potential issues, like disparities in number of children, in income levels, in style of use of resources and so on.

Allison said...

I don't mind at all.
Most of us are unschoolers but there are a few who follow school at home, classical and Waldorf paths.
There are no dues and fund raising isn't usually a priority.
Whenever someone wants to by a resource that they think would be usable for other families they ask to see if anyone is interested. If people are, then the money is split among those people.
When someone first joins the group they fill out a form with information like # of kids, income level, homeschool style ect...
Then depending on your #of kids and income per year you pay x percent per resource you like.
1 child and a large income =pay lots of money.
Lots of kids and small income(that's us)=pay not so much money.

Hope that some what explains it.

Miranda said...

Thanks for the explanation. The couple of times sharing resources has come up here it's been difficult to see what would be fair. We are the only hs family here that makes a good, or even halfway decent, income. Plus there really aren't any other homeschooling families around whose kids have academic interests similar to my kids. I can't think of a single other homeschooling kid in our neck of the woods who would give the time of day to a Teaching Company CD. We're currently sharing a rototiller with another homeschooling family (we paid for it, they're going to try to throw in some money when they have it, which could be years), but that's about as far as common interests go! Income disparities here can be as high as ten-fold, too. So I guess what would work best for us is what we're already doing -- our family buys stuff and lends it out to other families if their kids are interested.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering, the courses sound complicated. Will your young kids be able to understand.

Allison said...

It is my firm belief that if someone sets their mind to it they can do anything.
My kids have shown me to be right. My kids have been labeled to be anywhere from some what gifted to very gifted. I still do not think this is the only reason they are able to do what they can. Children have a natural eagerness to learn. Schools often seem to get ride of this but it can return.
I think that if they want to Martin, Katherine and everyone else will be able to complete these courses.

maplehouse said...

Fellow Teaching Company addicts can join my Yahoo groups and phpbb forums:

Some of my new Yahoo groups:

Teaching Company forum:

Robert Hazen's "Origins of Life" forum

Doug van Orsow