What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Review!! Roman Roads Media~ Old Western Culture

When the Schoolhouse Review Crew revealed to its' crew that Roman Roads Media was a company that we would be reviewing for, I was absolutely thrilled.  The way it works, you see, is the Review Crew says something like "Would you be interested in reviewing this?  If so- how interested on a scale of 1-5?  And if you were chosen to review it, which product would you most like to review?"  And then THEY decide who they want to review it.  Well, you know I chose THE VERY MOST INTERESTED PERSON IN THE WORLD when asked of my interest level and I may or may not have added quite a few  strategically placed asterisks *******.  And then, I may have also begged in the comment box to please choose me.  The only problem was that, while I have been oogling these products on my own time for quite a while now, many are meant for an older student, an education level we haven't quite "aged into" yet.  I did the only thing that could be done- I explained why *I* could (and would love to) be the student and that foundation would help me in the classical training of my own children at this point and in the future.  I am happy to report that my pleading paid off- I was not given the whole program, but was granted a taste testing, if you will, into the Roman Roads Media video course called Old Western Culture: The Greeks.  I was sent one of the four units within that video series called The Philosophers: The Works of Plato and Aristotle.  And I got to be the student!

Roman Roads Media Review

What is Old Western Culture?

Old Western Culture is a DVD video course that is "a Christian Approach to the Great Books".  It is a literature curriculum that studies the "Great Books" of the time while working within a classical and Christian framework to reveal both the greatness and the shortcomings of the ideas that, for centuries, shaped the Western civilization.

The video series contains four courses to be completed within four years:

Year 1: The Greeks
Year 2: The Romans
Year 3: Christendom
Year 4: The Moderns

Within Year 1 : The Greeks, there are four separate DVD's that cover the major attributes of the Greeks:

The GREEKS: The Epics
The GREEKS: Drama and Lyrics
The GREEKS: The Histories
The GREEKS: The Philosophers (The one I received to review)

The GREEKS: The Philosophers DVD has 12 video lessons, all approximately 30 minutes long, in which Wesley Callihan (a very talented and knowledgeable lecturer) engages the listener and brings to life what can sometimes be very difficult to understand (at least for me) works of literature.  He makes difficult topics seem not only attainable but enjoyable.  And more importantly, Mr. Callihan helps us to discern properly the good from the dribble of an ungodly culture.  Whether or not it is a good idea or a bad idea, these ideas helped to shape the civilization that we now know and to properly understand our own civilization, we must understand where it came from.  Mr. Callihan is passionate about the Great Books but it is His passion for Christ that gives me great confidence in the education he provides.

At the end of each lecture, Mr. Callihan gives a new reading assignment.  The Philosophers covers the works of Plato and Aristotle and so I have read (and will continue to read) from Plato: The Apology, The Crito and Phaedo, The Phaedrus, and The Republic .  Also, from Aristotle:  Metaphysics,  Ethics and Poetics.  The last lecture of the series will be on the Lessons of Greek Philosophy.

Roman Roads Media Review

Included in the DVD, I was given the Guide to the Art~ a beautiful booklet printed with famous works of art that depicts the literature classics within the lesson.  Since I was given just a part of the whole product, I did not receive the accompanying student workbook and answer key or an A and B exam with teacher guide and answer key for each unit which you would receive with your purchase.  I was easily about to find all the texts online and accessible for free.

You can purchase the complete set of The Greeks (all 4 units) in two different formats: The complete set of DVD's for $224 or 1 full year of digital streaming for $199.  Both formats include the videos, a guide to the art, student workbooks answer keys and exams in PDF format. You can choose to purchase printed student workbooks for each unit for $12 each.  If you wish to purchase one of the DVD sets, you can buy them individually for $56 each.

This video course is intended for 8th grade students but, being an adament believer that education never ends and having grown up in a public school system myself (far from any classics or "Great Books"), I have to tell you, it is keeping me on my toes, even as an adult!  As I have oogled the products that Roman Roads Media offers in the past, I have often thought "When the time comes, I will absolutely be purchasing this."  Having been given the opportunity to see what a great educational tool this is, even for ADULTS, I am changing my plans.  I will be saving up for this soon- so that I can stretch and further my own education.

 It is just that great.

Roman Roads Media has quite a few other really great products being reviewed (including Grammar of Poetry and Economics for Everybody by R.C.Sproul Jr.!!) right now- to check out the other reviews~ click the banner!

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