Alright guys- it’s that time again. Time for me to wax poetic about a curriculum I totally love. The funny thing about this one is that I resisted trying it for so many years. I tend to think I know if I will “like” something, and for some odd reason I wrote this one off. Excuse me now as I eat some crow.
(To-do list for today: Eat crow, wax poetic, hit post. In that order)
Anyways- on to the review. Meet Veritas Press, and their self-paced history program.
Our family has purchased Self-Paced programs from Veritas Press twice in the past. Bug, my oldest, has taken Explorers to 1815, and the 1815-Present courses. This course, Old Testament and Ancient Egypt, has been Doodle’s first experience with online learning.
I was a little nervous to stick him in front of the computer for school. Many of you know he’s my “alphabet soup” boy, and we are constantly trying to find programs that work with his particular learning needs. I wasn’t sure how he would do with sitting still and paying attention to his lessons, so I instructed Bug to be his “buddy” during his lessons and sit with him in case he needed help or got stuck on any of the activities.
Once again, I totally underestimated my child and the program. Doodle is almost eight, and is a second grader, which is the target age for the first course in the self-paced history sequence. The program is set up in such a way to make learning fun and easy for an elementary school student.
Doodle LOVES this program. He sits down at the computer, logs himself in, and is good to go. Each lesson takes him 40 minutes or so to complete. What makes this program special is that it is fully animated. He isn’t required to sit down and read text- the program comes alive, and tells him the stories that make history interesting.
The program has characters who explain what happened, make jokes, and dig deeper into the why and how of the stories we all know. In this level, bible stories from the old testament are fit into the timeline with ancient Egypt, and are taught hand in hand with ancient history.
The lessons are distinctly protestant, so as with all religious curriculum programs, sample the content to be sure it will fit your family’s needs. This program is difficult to adapt to a secular homeschool (you can’t skip around in the lessons or skip the ones that don’t fit your needs). I discuss the lessons with the kids to be sure the takeaways from the lessons fit with our worldview.
For these lessons, your child will need a deck of timeline cards, which include an image, the important dates from the lessons, and an overview of what is happening at that point in history. During the lesson, he’ll listen to the characters explain the story, look at maps and images, play games, complete activities (such as matching people to bios, labeling maps, arranging events on timelines), and sing along with the history song.
The song is probably my most loved, and most hated part of the program. It is so catchy- and tends to get stuck in my head. I find myself singing along as Doodle is completing his lesson. I love that he is able to memorize historical events in the order that they happened in a painless way. Learning history chronologically is something I never did as a child, and it’s fascinating to me to see my children put events in order and come to their own conclusions about why things happened the way they did.
I truly love this program. I am such a history junkie, and want my kids to love it as much as I do. Veritas Press has found a way to create the same love of history in my children, and they have freed me to focus on hands-on activities, baking projects, art projects and all the fun extras I wouldn’t have time for if I was teaching history all on my own. The kids can complete their lessons independently, come back to me with a solid understanding of the events and concepts, and then use the extra time to explore their interests deeper.
If you are looking for a subject you can “outsource” without loosing quality, look no further than Veritas Press self-paced courses. I know Doodle will be completing all five of the elementary programs in the next few years!
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I received this program free of charge in exchange for an honest review.