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Using CLAA Videos with Homeschool Students

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Dear friends,

This year, I have begun publishing tutorial videos for students in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy.  I intend to produce hundreds, if not thousands of videos, to help students progress comfortably through every course in the classical Catholic curriculum. These videos will be embedded directly in online lessons for easy access, and will also be posted on the CLAA Videos page in order from most recent to oldest.  Checking in on that page allows you to see what videos are being published day by day.

As I publish these videos, I’d like to make a few suggestions for how students should use them.

First, it is very important to note that when a homeschool parent assigns a student to watch one of these videos, this should be counted as “time with an instructor” for the purpose of calculating high school credits in all subjects.  If a students watches two 30 minute videos on Aristotle’s Categories, that counts as one hour of instructional time for Classical Reasoning.  The same is true of all other subjects.  Homeschool parents should make diligent use of these videos as a source of instruction in subjects they (the parents) are likely not able to instruct students in.

Second, the videos are intended to guide students through their first reading of a lesson, as described in the article “How to Study for Mastery“.  The first reading of lessons, especially in the classical Catholic curriculum, is the most difficult step in studying.  For most lessons, I lead students through the entire reading assigned to them, allowing them to listen and hear the reading, which is easier than working through the text on their own.  Simple helps like hearing words pronounced correctly, hearing the readings read with expression, etc., makes this first reading much easier for them.

Third, in the lesson videos, I help the students to to reflect on past lessons and on lessons from other courses they should be studying that help them to understand and appreciate the readings.  This allows me to show students how the entire curriculum works together as they move forward.  This is one of the chief benefits of studying with an experienced teacher, and can prove very helpful in the long run.  Students may review videos as often as they wish, and will understand more and more as they do so, moving through the curriculum.

Fourth, lesson videos will greatly assist students in completing written assessments.  They will allow students to study lessons with much greater understanding and complete written assessments correctly the first time, avoiding the need for revisions, which cost them valuable time.

Fifth, lesson videos help students learn what I would teach them and allow us to begin a conversation that follows up these videos.  I am willing to assist students in every way I can–especially older students who wish to advance in classical studies–and having students begin with these videos helps us to avoid time-wasting, unnecessary contacts and allows me to use my time to move forward with students on issues not covered in the videos.

Sixth, lesson videos allow me to model the life of a classicist, studying and teaching the classical liberal arts and philosophy, which is a model Catholic students need to see.  Few can envision the work that a classicist does and videos allow me to show them, which may inspire them to pursue the contemplative life.  This is one of the chief goals of classical Catholic education and should be of homeschooling as well.  Catholic students with good spirits need to be encouraged and videos will help with this.

I am working to produce videos for courses that I judge to be most difficult for students to work through independently.  I am also focusing on upper level courses as these are available only in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy and should be our focus.  If there are any courses you would like me to give attention to, please let me know.

If you have any questions about the videos, please contact me.

God bless your studies,
William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy

P.S.  I will produce lesson videos for students with all the time and energy I have.  Your financial support of the Academy, through enrollments and donations, allows me to concentrate on this instruction.  The less I need to concern myself with the business side of the Academy, the more I can attend to instruction, videos, assignment grading, student support, etc.. Thank you.