For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Veritas Press Self-Paced History - TOS Review

Veritas Press is a long lasting Christian classical homeschool curriculum company. They have served the homeschool communities for a long time.
For the past few weeks, we have been privileged to be reviewing one of their latest products: Self-Paced History.

The Self-Paced History curriculum is an online interactive history program. It consists of 160 lessons per course per year, each covering about 32 important historical events. The full program is chronological and is divided into 5 periods:

Old Testament and Ancient Egypt 
New Testament, Greece and Rome 
Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation 
Explorers to 1815 

1815 to Present 
These courses are best suited to kids in the grammar stage, that is grade 2-6.

Tuition for each course year is $199, with a discount of $100 for each additional student. You have a full year to complete the course.

Because Self-Paced History is an online program, you will need a computer with internet access. You can find more info on computer requirements on their Q&A page. I used it on our Windows 8 laptop.

The way the course works is that on your first lesson you have a tutorial taking you step by step to show you how the different functions work and what to expect. Each major events is covered through 5 lessons lasting 30 to 40 minutes each, the last lesson being a graded quiz.  You also get review questions throughout and at the end of each lessons. The lessons are taught through interactive slides.

Each topic has corresponding flashcards that sum up the main points to be learned and memorized. The points are taught in the lessons, and reviewed throughout the lessons. Just before the quiz, the students are encouraged to review the cards on their own.

The flashcards cost $19.95.

There is also a corresponding literature component, consisting of reading through books (easily found at the library), but this is completely optional and we did not do it.

Our opinion:

My oldest is a history lover, not so with my youngest. When the opportunity came up to try a new History program I jumped on it to see if that would get my youngest going in our History studies. Since this year we were studying modern time, I picked the Veritas Press Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present, which we used with the set of flashcards that Veritas Press sent us as well.

I have to admit that even though he is not a fan of History he enjoyed going through the course. I had him work on this 4 times a day and he enthusiastically did it first thing in the morning. The characters teaching the lessons are engaging and funny. They are really good at captivating the attention of the kids while giving them the facts. The lessons are packed-full with stories, interactive games such as puzzles and matching, to name a couple.

What I like about it was the inclusion of geography. It included not only the study of historical places but also geographical concepts and terms such as hemisphere. It covers a lot of map work teaching them where to find specific countries, cities, continents, lakes, and mountains.

Other aspects I liked:
  • The program is completely independent. I did not have to sit with my son at all during his History lessons. He did not even call me for anything.
  • Clear directions and explanations of concepts are given.
  • Lots of definitions are covered.
  • Real life characters in engaging settings teach the lessons.
  • The flashcards are numbered and they are read on the screen during the lessons.
  • The games are very engaging.
  • Self-assessing and correcting. The student is given immediate feedback on the questions, tests and quizzes, and he is given the option of reviewing the answers as well.
In this particular period, they had to study the presidents. This was done incrementally and they consistently reviewed previous presidents.

There is a big emphasis on memorization and retention of facts through constant review and tests. Also, to that end, they have a song that the students are to memorize by the end of the course, through the consistent playing of it at each lessons. At first my son was not too keen on it (nor I), but as we kept hearing it every lessons it, started to grow on us.

There is also a big emphasis on dates and chronology. A lot of the activities consist of placing events in their proper order. The historical figures are studied in details.

Some of the things Joho learned:
  • The Monroe Doctrine
  • Traveling on the Erie Canal
  • Jacksonian Democracy
  • The Cotton Gin
  • Simon Bolivar
  • Slave Trade
  • Abolitionist
  • The Great Lakes
My oldest who is a history lover wanted to be present at every lessons as he also enjoyed the way the lesson was presented (even though he knew a lot of it already).

The only two things to warn you of are the strong American emphasis (at least in the 1815-Present course), and the sound being a bit low.

My youngest's comment about Self-Paced History: "The history is very very fun. We get to play games. The only thing I did not like was the stuff we had to spell!!!"

And there you have it a wonderful History program that would most likely appeal to a lot of students no matter their learning style. It does fit the auditory, visual and even the kinesthetic learner because of all the interactions and games.

Make sure to check it out!

Click to read Crew Reviews

No comments:

Homeschool Copywork Membership Sign-Up
Write Through the Bible
Main business logo--medium