We opted to use the Thinkwell Government Course online with Mr. A last year and I will go that route with Mr. B this year for the bulk of his government credit. This is an online course that can be done independently. Lecture, notes, and follow up tests are all done online and Thinkwell calculates scores and keeps track of where your child is in the course. The Thinkwell website says that this course is equivalent to a one semester college American Government course. You can view the Table of Contents and more details on the Thinkwell website.
I know that my normal method of offering a high school course is much more in-depth and this was probably the most un-Charlotte Mason thing we did all year but it really was a course we just wanted to get through quickly and with as little fuss as possible. Thinkwell served a purpose.
- No preparation on my part or my son’s. He could fire up the website and work independently.
- I did not purchase the printed notes but we did end up printing them out on our own and putting them into a big binder. I knew we would use them twice so I didn’t mind investing the paper and ink.
- I printed the Table of Contents and each day Mr. A would mark the date next to each section he finished.
- I would keep track of his quiz and test scores on Homeschool Tracker which was an easy task by looking at the student records on Thinkwell.
- Mr. A didn’t mind any of the instructors for the course. He told me that he thought they did a good job of keeping the course moving along and they gave just enough information to get the points across.
- Mr. A many times would pause the video and have me come over and listen to sections that he found interesting and then we would talk about them.
- Mr. A worked one hour a day (occasionally a little longer) and it took him about 12 weeks to finish the entire course.
- I purchased my course through Homeschool Buyers Co-Op for a reduced price and I felt that the money was well spent. We had covered quite a bit of government throughout our Tapestry of Grace studies and this course capped off the experience very well.
Here is a video clip on YouTube which is an excerpt from one of the Thinkwell videos:
This gives you a little taste of what the course is like and how they approach the material. There are a lot of references to Supreme Court decisions and current events.
As far as price and value, it must be noted that you buy a subscription to a particular Thinkwell course and it lasts a year. One student will be able to use the course and take the tests. I honestly wish there was a “second student discount” so I could just reset the course and let Mr. B take it this year. The Homeschool Buyers Co-Op has a complete FAQ section for Thinkwell. I waited until there was a group buy and I paid $68.75 for the course. You can purchase the course and wait to start the subscription until you are ready. It does not start the minute you purchase the course which is helpful in planning.
Sometimes you encounter a subject that you know is valuable but you have no expertise or experience and Thinkwell is a great option for those of us who want to cover the material with as little fuss as possible. I decided it was a good taste of what a college lecture class would be like for Mr. A.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom