Here’s how to use DVD lectures with discussion for powerful high school learning.
How to Use DVD Lectures with Discussion for Powerful High School Learning
Homeschooling in high school requires tackling some subjects that can be intimidating. It’s nice to have some digital resources. Here’s how we used DVDs from Great Courses.
This year our co-op class is using some DVD lecture curriculum resources that are really providing a powerful educational experience.
Here’s what we’ve found works really well:
* Use meaty material.
We’re studying Fitness Physiology and Nutrition, and the DVD’s we’re using from thegreatcourses.com contain college-level lecture material. We decided that if we were going to pay for expert teaching, we would like for it to be at a level that’s somewhat above what we would typically find for high school students.
* Only use the pieces of the material that are a good fit.
We aren’t trying to watch every single lecture. There are some lessons on exercise or nutrition during pregnancy, or practical exercise physiology for specific muscle groups that seem like they are more than we have time for. It’s our curriculum — it’s okay for us to pick and choose the lessons from which our students will most benefit.
* Take your time.
We use the PAUSE button constantly. Stopping to talk about the lecture material, to replay something we missed that was cool but confusing, to share anecdotal information that helps the students grab hold of the material is what makes the learning so great using a DVD format. Sometimes a 30-minute lecture takes us an hour or more. If that means we don’t get through every lesson in the package this year, so what? The kids are taking the time to really grasp what we present.
* Go easy on follow-up homework.
Listening to a lecture AND discussing it is a learning-packed experience. We are trying to be careful to avoid anything that feels like busy-work associated with these subjects. If there’s a follow-up that would really reinforce what they’ve learned, we do it! We spent hours working through a personal fitness evaluation for each co-op member after our first two lectures at the beginning of the year. We’ve had students researching and evaluating the nutritional content of various foods they eat, and analyzing their prepare and recover strategies for workouts. But we haven’t assigned a lot of worksheets or “write about what you heard” papers.
* Make an event out of the lecture time.
Telling your kid, “Ok, go watch one of your lectures,” is not very exciting. He or she is likely to zone out if it’s not a day that the material is beckoning! By using DVD lectures in a co-op, the kids look forward to their social time together as well as the subject matter. Co-op is fun because we:
- have lunch together
- laugh together
- hold each other accountable with updates on how our personal goals for greater health and fitness are progressing
Check out our Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode on Digital Learning Options for more good ideas.
Also, check out our interview with Melissa Perkins at Blue Star Virtual Academy as she discusses one way to handle online courses.