Of all the reviews I have done this year for the Schoolhouse Review Crew, this is my most favorite so far. I have been so excited to have been given the opportunity to review the Veritas Press Self-Paced History Program: Explorers to 1815 by Veritas Press and I am excited to tell you all about it too! The Veritas Press catalog is one of those staple homeschooling catalogs I use when it comes time to order homeschool stuff every year. In fact, I keep the catalog throughout the year because they have such great book recommendations! (shhhhh. Don't tell.) Needless to say, I have often oogled, stared longingly, pined for, and (yes) coveted the chance for my children to get their hands (and heads) on their history program.
And now they have! YAY!
(And now I am faced with a conundrum- because I don't think they'll ever want to go back.)
The Veritas Press Self-Paced History Program is a comprehensive, chronological online history curriculum that spans the ages in five different courses:
- Old Testament and Ancient Egypt -
- New Testament, Greece and Rome -
- Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation -
- Explorers to 1815 -
- 1815 to Present -
The course we were given access to was the Self-Paced History: Explorers to 1815. It went along so well with all we learned in history this year! This program (along with all the other self-paced history courses) offers 160 lessons covering 32 important historic events along with the people, areas and traditions that formed them. These topics are covered in an incredibly engaging way~ giving children a perfect mixture of child-friendly games and silliness coupled with the authentic documents, journals and readings of deep and mature thought. An interactive treasure hunt in which your correct/incorrect answers either sink or sail the ship you are on is sandwiched between two journal entries from Christopher Columbus' real sea-faring journals. Silliness- Maturity. Perfect.
Veritas Press is a classical educational model which focuses on memorization of information within the Grammar stage so this curriculum encourages memorization of dates and times, people and places to create those mental 'pegs' for later conceptualization. The Grammar stage is the youngest stage of educational development so this program is geared for grades 2 through 6. Two dressed up actors teach history alongside a talking totem pole named Ickahabi and then the information is reinforced into memory with clever games, songs and puzzles. I believe the repetition of the concepts through different medium really helps cement the ideas into memory. And there is a memory song sung within every lesson that works their way through the Memory Cards.
Oh! I forgot to mention the memory cards!
The corresponding Veritas Press Explorers to 1815 flashcards are large, glossy memory cards that cover all 32 historical events/people within the online teaching program. Beautiful works of art or maps grace the front while important dates, short summaries and extra resource lists can be found on the back.
We finished homeschooling "officially" for the year a few weeks ago. When I suggested my children keep working throughout the summer on History there were actual CHEERS. (I kid you not.) They are so excited to do history each day they practically beg! They have genuine disappointment on their faces when I tell them it has to wait until chores, after breakfast, whatever-it-has-to-wait-until. Summer is such a busy time for the Mama (me!) what with gardening, canning, and the other bazillion things that pull me in a million directions. But I am not at all concerned about doing history throughout the summer because, as opposed to our normal history program that has me reading for hours to them, I am not needed at all to do their lessons. This frees me up to do all my summer chores with much less FRAZZLE (ifyouknowwhatImean).
If only all areas of home education could be so simple for the Mama and so eagerly anticipated by the children!