Today's Wisdom

Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Veritas Press Self-Paced History

Veritas Press Review

I have shared here before that I have a hate/love relationship with the subject of history.  When I was in school, I hated it. I did what I could to pass and get through but retained nothing!  Since beginning our homeschool journey, my relationship with history has changed so dramatically and I give all the credit to great homeschool History curriculum!  
Veritas Press Review
Veritas Press has come up with with another great twist to history in a course called Self-Paced History.  I had the opportunity to review the time period of Veritas Press Self-Paced History: Explorers to 1815 and the Explorers To 1815 flashcards that are used with the program.

There are 5 self-paced history courses available:

Veritas Press Self-Paced History: Explorers to 1815 is an interactive online course that takes you through the different historical time periods chronologically and uses the classical approach of many different types of memorization aids.  The price for a year of online study is $199 per student.  You can add siblings for $100 off.  If the quiz results are not important to you, you can have each additional child go through the course independently but only the first quiz results will be recorded. There is an option to print out the results of the quizzes as they are taken so you can keep a record that way too.  You can also have the children do the course together but it will but only have one student's name on there.  The students could take turns answering the questions.  It really just depends on what you want to do!

It is recommended for Grammar stage students in 2nd-6th grades with a minimum age requirement of 7 years of age at the first day of class.  

During this course, you will cover 32 historical events from Explorers to 1815.  Each event has 5 lessons for a total of 160 lessons.  Each lesson lasts from 30-50 minutes depending upon the student.  The lessons are designed to be used each day of the week covering an event per week over a period of 32 weeks.  However, you are given an entire year to complete the course.  This allows you great flexibility to fit the course into your own homeschool schedule.  We chose to stick with our normal schedule of 3-4 lessons per week and still should finish in plenty of time before the year is up.

This course can be completed by the student independently and is entirely self paced.  I had Sarah, my 5th grader, take the course and I enjoyed watching the lessons with her.  

You will be taken on a journey through history by characters dressed in the time period.  Our time period characters were James, Abigail, and a totem pole named Ikuhabe.  They carry you through colorful backgrounds and make you feel like you are right back in history with them.  We found ourselves laughing out loud often which attracted other family members to join in on our journey.  

As you navigate through the course with your tour guides, you are given activities to complete through out the tour. Some are graded quizzes and some are just to help you retain what you are learning.  Activities include filling in maps for geography lessons, comprehension questions, spelling exercises, vocabulary, timeline dates, and so many more. 

There are a few hands on projects disbursed through out the course as well.  These can be downloaded in PDF format.

Here is a beginning geography lesson.  As you learn more, the activities become harder as well including all you have learned so far.

Below is a sample question/answer screen.

Here is a spelling activity.

The course also uses the Explorers To 1815 Flashcards. The cards sell here for $19.95.  It goes through the dates and information given on the cards and you are quizzed on that information as well. Each event lesson covers the memory work song that goes along with the flashcards - another classical approach to memorization. Most of the interactive worksheet questions will come from the flashcards.

As you navigate through each course, you will continue to be asked questions about previous lessons to make certain that all information that is being taught is retained.  The course works so effectively!  The different approaches to learning really cater to different learning styles and help the information stick.

An optional resource available with the course is scheduled reading plans for different level historical fiction books.  The books used for Level 1 are found in Level 1 Kit and usually for 2nd and 3rd grades.  Level 2 books are found in the Level 2 Kit and usually for 4th-6th grades. There is also a Combined Kit available if you have children in both age ranges.  

Since this is an online course, you will need to test your computer's compatibility and you can do that here.  You can also watch sample lessons of the different time periods available.

Overall, we love this program!  It is a unique approach to learning history and I could see it freeing up time for many homeschool teachers because it teaches and automatically grades as well!  I could see the price being an issue for us if we did not combine students but I think this could easily be used for 7th and 8th graders as well.  They may find the characters a little hokey depending on your student's personality but Stephen (my 8th grader) enjoyed joining in with us as well.

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  1. Thank you for the recommendation!!

  2. A great review! Thanks for sharing. We reviewed 1815 to Present and loved it just as much.

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