We're nuts about history around here, and have been thoroughly enjoying learning about Ancient History this year. When Veritas Press gave us the Opportunity to review their Self-Paced History, I wasn't sure what my girls would think of it. In the past, even really awesome curriculum hasn't given them enough detail for their liking . . . If we were going to review it, the obvious choice was Veritas Press: Self-Paced History: New Testament, Greece and Rome since we had just started learning about Greece in our own history. So I had them go through the sample session to see what they thought. They liked it, but were abit nervous about all the spelling and maps, but in the end, we decided to give it a try! I'm SOOO glad we did, they are LOVING LOVING LOVING it!!!
Veritas Press offers curriculum and classes for a classical Christian Education. Their Self-Paced History courses each consiste of 160 online, interactive video "classes", that use interactive video, games, talking statues (at least in Greece), etc to help children in grades 2-6 learn about the time period and memorize names, dates and places (they also get to learn to spell a bunch of those names and places!). If you do one session per day, 5 days a week, this course will take 32 weeks, and that's how it's designed. However, as the name suggests, it can be done at a different pace. I'm anticipating the we will be done with this curriculum in approximately half the time, because so far my girls canNOT get enough and seem to be averaging 10 lessons per week.
In addition one year of access to the online program, we also received the New Testament, Greece and Rome Flashcards, which go with the online program.
I have to admit, since we received this curriculum while my husband was in the hospital having heart surgery, I don't have much memory of the actual process I went through to set up our account, but obviously it was straight-forward enough that I could do it on auto-pilot. Once I had everything set up, I showed Ashlyn and Lexie how to use it, and turned them loose with it.
The course assigns grades based on how the student does on their first time through a lesson, so if you want accurate grades, you will need a separate account for each student, however the FAQs say that, as long as the parent doesn't care about maintaining records of grades, multiple children can use the same account. Since we don't "do grades" anyway, that's the option we chose.
The "narrators" of the program are a Greek "brother and sister" who take the students around Greece and Rome, showing them things, telling them things, and introducing them to various Greek gods, goddesses and heros (who, amusingly, are their statues, but can "talk" and help to explain things along the way). One feature I love is that they show the student maps, and quiz them on those maps, so that the students get a feel for where various things took place. This is an area I've struggled with, since I don't usually have a good historical atlas handy when we are reading a book. Mixed in with the narration, and quizzes, are "just for fun" games, such as "whack-a-wolf" which my children seem to love (personally, I've never been a fan of "video games" and that hasn't changed LOL).
Grades 2-3 and Grades 4-6. Not surprisingly, my girls insisted that we use the books. When I login to the program as a parent, I can access a list of the books needed, so I'm able to check the library, and used book store/sites to find the books we need, and make sure I always have the next one they'll need.
As I mentioned above, my girls have been going through this program more quickly than "suggested". They LOVE it and will happily do 3 or more lesson in a sitting if they have time. So far, they haven't found that they need the flashcards much. The information on the flashcards is also shown as a part of the video, but then later in the video they are told to review the flashcard information (from the physical flashcard) before taking a quiz or test. For the most part, having watched the video, and followed everything, they find they already know the information and don't need to review it on the flashcard. However, they recently got to a quiz that asked them to give the dates of a whole bunch of Old Testament Prophets. They didn't do so well on that one without having "studied". I definitely feel that, while we haven't used the flashcards much, they are important to have in order to get the most out of this course. I've also seen them randomly pull the flashcards out to check other facts as they discuss the time period with each other.
A 1 year subscription for one student (or multiple students if you don't care about the grades), is $199. The accompanying flashcards are 19.95.
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Other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed the self-paced history time period of their choice, or Self-Paced Omnibus I, for older children. To see their reviews, click the banner below:
All prices and information are accurate at time of posting.