Disclaimer: I received a copy of this curriculum in exchange for an honest review.
History was one of those subjects that I intended to get to last year & just, well, didn’t. For this coming school year, I had planned to blow through 2 years of history in the winter term. Until I saw the plans & catalog from Veritas Press. And then I prayed that we would get picked for the review that was forthcoming :).
Veritas Press Self-Paced History
For review, our family received Veritas Press Self-Paced History: New Testament, Greece and Rome and New Testament, Greece & Rome Flashcards. The Self-paced history course is a one year, self-paced online history course covering events of the New Testament, Greece & Rome. The history flashcards came with a list of resources for further exploration on a topic as well as the number of times the extra books are used so you can prioritize them and borrow or buy as practical. Veritas Press is a classical, Christian history provider that teaches history in a chronological way.
There are 32 topics, with each topic containing 5 lessons. Each lesson consists of 20-30 “slides” containing a different part of the lesson. There are short videos, geography activities, maps, bible verses, games, a spelling/vocabulary activity, the major points of the history flashcards, and a memory song to remember the major events covered. In addition, there are optional supplemental reading assignments at the end of many lessons. Several lessons have worksheets that are graded as well as a test every 5th lesson. In signing up for the course, you agree that the student will not use notes or the flash cards on the test.
Students are required to be age 7 at the time of enrollment and its intended for grades 2-6. The Veritas Press Self-Paced History: New Testament, Greece and Rome is $199 and the New Testament, Greece & Rome Flashcards are $19.99 at the time of this review.
Likes and Dislikes
Like I mentioned, we totally blew it on history last year even though its my daughters favorite subject. I was pretty excited to get to review this and there were several things I liked about it. First, I like that I am not reading and drilling all of the info. Nor do I have to copy worksheets or other drill work. She would totally hate me. Other than an optional book, which lasts several lessons, i dont have to prep anything. The characters/narrators are a little silly and the statues of Athena and the Trojan Horse as tellers of history are memorable. Since my 6yo is a people person, she is retaining the information quite well, due to the people narrators and the people central to the history being the focus, rather than dates.
As I’m writing this review, the memory song is going through my head. Though my 6 year old generally is NOT a fan of memory songs, she loves that part of this. Go figure! She is a visual learner and so she does well with the visual map work and she likes seeing the information on the screen. It’s much more useful to her than me reading from a book she can’t see.
There are a few cons or other items to note. First, the recommended age is 7 for a reason. Don’t push it. Lil’ Bit was 6.5 but will be doing second grade work this fall. It was a little ugly in the beginning, I’ll be honest. Her first tests & worksheets were all 50% and (way) under. She’s finally getting the hang of it and has been getting 80-90% in subsequent lessons and she still has an F (61%). Since my goal was more exposure than mastery, I’m okay with that, but I do wish I could be emailed the lessons, worksheets & tests to see what she did right & wrong without HER having to print/save them every time. You CAN review the lessons but re-doing the work will not change your scores.
The Minotaur game in the first section literally sent her three year old sister crying from the kitchen and required a sleep buddy for a week. It startled me when I tried to help her–I fared no better. The spelling game was definitely second grade work. It used a lot of advanced phonograms that we hadn’t covered yet due to a gap in the development of our LA curriculum. The ship game was kind of annoying because you had to adjust it just right to hit the right ship and if you just aimed wrong too often, you were sunk. That really frustrated her. The army game (like pong), was a little frustrating, too. Computer skills are necessary and I had trouble with some. She did like the game where you answered questions to buy gear to fix the ship & go home. That was her favorite part, actually.
That being said, she loves this program & when I told her that we were dropping to summer/review school this week, she asked to do history, too. She LOVES the Veritas Press Self-Paced History.
The flashcards were a good resource for my visual learner, too. They have a picture on the front and the main point from the memory song. On the reverse is a summary of the high points as well as several resources for more reading with page numbers. As I mentioned earlier, there was a page with the resources and when used. I haven’t had a chance to figure out which resources I will add, but Lil’ Bit loves this soooooo much that I will get 2 or 3 of them for extra reading when the weather gets colder :).
We love Veritas Press Self-Paced History. For my visual learner who has a strong people focus, its perfect. From an academic standpoint, I love a several things about it. First, I like the timeline approach. It’s why I switched curriculums last year and then decided I didn’t like either especially well. It’s classical, but on a different timetable than most. They have 6 divisions of history for elementary & then repeat them in 7,8, 9 and again in 10, 11, 12, if that makes sense. I like that approach better than dividing history into 4 periods covered 3 times each.
She liked the optional projects (she was stoked about the fresco!) and we both have enjoyed the optional literature extension. She goes through the lessons so quickly that we don’t always get the reading done on schedule. I also think they handle the Greek mythology pieces particularly well. Rather than ignoring it, they explain how Jesus was God and the Greek gods were false. Regularly. Repeatedly. And they also include bible passages in many lessons.
Overall, this is a fabulous resource for visual learners and those with strong people smarts. It’s classical, Christian & timeline-driven. And they didn’t make me crazy with Creationist (capital C) stuff, but that may be because I picked New Testament not Old Testament. I strongly suspect that this will be our history curriculum for this child through elementary and I’m so glad that we had an opportunity to use it!
Go here to read all the Course Reviews for Veritas Press History.