Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On With the Early Middle Ages

I love the The Teaching Company audio courses. I've learned a lot over the years on subjects ranging from philosophy to science fiction literature. They're generally engaging and informative and always leave me curious and unsatisfied which in my books is good thing because I'll then go on to pursue a subject on my own. Since Catherine is doing the Middle Ages in history this year I though I'd cross my fingers and have her listen to a lecture from The Early Middle Ages course. These are college lever lectures so I wasn't sure what she'd think but hey, it's worth a try, right?

She loved it. She didn't stop at one lecture but went on to listen to three and only stopped because the battery in my MP3 player died. She went from Diocletian (who was nasty to the Christian folk but I like anyway) to Constantine to Julian the Apostate. I quized her when she was finished and she'd not just understood the main message of the lectures but came away with a lot of extra bits of information; "Oh yes, Julian, him and his beard," (accompanied by a grin and an eyeroll). When I asked if she'd like to listen to the whole course her answer was an enthusiastic yes.

Whoo hoo! This simplifies history greatly. It gives me a really in-depth resource to use as a spine and gives her practice in listening to and eventually, taking notes from, a lecture.

I'll still be assigning lots of extra reading and she's got another biographical report, this one on Constantine, due by the end of the week but it's fantastic to find one more way for her to approach and be engaged with the material.


JJ Ross said...

We love 'em too. :)

I even enjoy the Teaching Company catalogs that arrive every other week or so. Reading the extensive course descriptions as window shopping, sort of, is exciting for free and educational in itself (for mom anyway, never mind the kids.)

Dawn said...


I think my favorite was one done on the Pharoahs of Egypt. The information was fascinating but the professor was a hoot because his passion came through so clearly.