Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Veritas Self-Paced: One Year on

I meant to post this earlier but life has been busy. Having someone come home from hospital takes time and life takes precedence over blogging!

Anyway, writing about Veritas Self-Paced: One Year on is a must.

Veritas Self-Paced history is an on-line 32 week course. There are five different courses:

  • Old Testament and Ancient Eygpt
  • New Testament, Greece and Rome
  • Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation
  • Explorers to 1815
  • 1815 to present
Last year, I had the opportunity to review New Testament, Greece and Rome  though the Schoolhouse Review Crew. We carried on using this and finished in early May.
By this time, we were quite sure that we wanted to carry on with another Self-Paced history course so I purchased Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation in a sale which allowed me to set the start date up to the end of August. I selected the beginning of June. Well, we missed our Self-Paced history slot and happily restarted this month.

How we use the course. Our mornings tend to run in much the same way: Bible, English (reading, phonics, writing, handwriting, grammar) and maths with a short break between English and maths. At the end of maths, the younger two children and I sit down to watch the Veritas Self-Paced. It is a bit of a reward, both for them and me. The lessons usually last between 30 and 50 minutes. Each week has a different historical theme, for example, the Minoans or the Barbarians and the Vikings. There are four lessons on each theme and the fifth lesson is a test. 

Some lessons have optional literature set, at two different levels: grades 2-3 (years 3-4) and grades 4-6 (years 5-7). We read some of the literature for the New Testament, Greece and Rome course and found that it is a helpful adjunct so have collected rather more of the literature for the latest course. This week, we have been reading Margaret Hodge's adaptation of St George and the Dragon.

It is really necessary to use the course, most days as the on-line access only lasts a year and there are 160 lessons. It is quite easy to do the test and an ordinary lesson in a day so using Self-Paced history four days a week would also work well. We often did this, particularly, if we had a trip out in the week.

Beyond buying the course and the history cards that go with it, the actual course takes virtually no parent time. Of course, if the literature is done as a read aloud that will take time but is optional. I love having something that I don't have to prepare.

The course can be watched by more than one child but only one child can take the tests and has their scores recorded. The youngest age recommended is second grade (year 3).

Pros:
  • High quality Christian course.
  • The children love the course.
  • We have all learned so much.
  • Multi-sensory.
  • Includes historical geography.
  • Supporting literature.
Cons:
  • The spelling can be difficult. Younger Daughter finds spelling difficult so we have an agreement that I will help her with the spelling. If your child can spell plebeian or cornucopia then they will manage fine but a struggling speller may need support.
  • The history cards for New Testament, Greece and Rome contained three with pictures of the Lord Jesus. The history song also shows these cards. 
We have decided to add some extras to this year's programme with some visits, a scrapbook and some art and music. It has been lovely to see how the courses have fired the children's imaginations and love for history. Recommended.

Disclaimer: I was provided with New Testament,Greece and Rome for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review nor to provide a second review after a year. I purchased Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation for the use of my family. The opinions are mine and those of my children.

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