Wednesday 2 July 2014

Veritas Press - Self Paced Hisory {Review}

I have had a love affair with history since high school.  As much as I enjoyed history in high school I really did not grasp the full scope of history as we learned it in a disjointed manner.  One of the things I have really loved about our home education journey has been discovering the joy of learning history chronologically.  Oh my did history come alive once we started learning history as it happened.  Recently Veritas Press blessed Sir N and I with a year long access to the Self-Paced History: Old Testament and Ancient Egypt. Every day he begs me to do Veritas history. It's become our all time favourite resource. Today he begged me to do a lesson before bed time!

Grab a cuppa and let us take you on a tour of this excellent resource for your homeschool.

What we received

How we used it
Once we were signed up Veritas sent us a detailed welcome letter along with an excellent set up tutorial with step by step instructions. I have a teachers log in and Sir N has his own log in.

Teacher log in features
  •  As the teacher I can log in and see a summary of what my students have been doing. The log in page shows the student, his course and over all grade for the year. Once I select a student it takes me to the above page.
  • The top has a bar shows the overall progress my student has made on the course.  The green indicates the correct answers and the yellow indicates questions he has missed. 
  • A completed lesson is indicated in blue highlight along with a tick. I can click on any completed lesson and view the complete lesson without it altering his progress.
  • Upcoming lessons remain locked until the student completes the current class.
  • The center column is a record of his assignments.  There are two types of assignments: worksheets and tests. 
    Once a concept has been taught in a lesson (s) there is a Worksheet which is a test of the subject matter.  Once the test has been submitted you can not go back and retake in order to change your grade.  The worksheet marks however do not alter your overall grade for the year.
    Every fifth lesson is a test.  This test is also a once off.  Once it is submitted your grade is recorded and contributes to the over all grade for the year as indicated by the progress bar at the top of the page.
  • The third column contains four documents. (Supply list, Card samples, Level 1 and Level 2 recommended reading)
Student page
This page is almost identical to the parent page.  Once logged in the student can choose to resume their lesson or click into their course and choose wether to repeat a lesson, resume a partially completed lesson or start on their next lesson.  They can see when the next worksheet will be coming up as indicated in the center colum.  They can see their over all progress and current grade in the top bar.

Each days lesson launches in it's own window.  This week we are on lesson 32.  Lessons are presented in a slide format.
This window contains a number of features
  • Top left - name of the course OTAE (Old Testament Ancient Egypt) and the lesson number.
  • Top right - table of contents and any available downloads for that lesson are in the attachments.
  • Bottom left - Slide number indicator.  Here you can see the total number of slides in the lesson and the progression numbers.
  • Center bottom - here you can see the slide loading and the progress player.
  • Bottom right - standard rewind, play or jump to next buttons.
There is a full tutorial on how to drive the program when the students first log in and they can not access their class work until that is completed.  The tutor fully explains each aspect of how the program is presented and what is required of the students in order to progress.  It is completely interactive and a lot of fun.

Lessons contain

  • So far we have had three main teachers.  Hadassah, the Great Sphinx and Simeon.  
  • Every day the students practice the memory song which helps them to remember the chronological order of things.
  • Teaching is done interactively.  Sometimes the next slide auto loads and sometimes the student needs to do an activity to show that they have grasped the concept in order to unlock the next slide.  At other times they might need to click next in order to access the following slide.
  • There are games each day with revision questions for the days lesson.
  • Some of the games cover all the main time line information covered.
  • No two games are the same.  The graphics are excellent.
  • Some of the games are time sensitive and I had to help with reading the answers available and helping Sir N click on the ones he wanted in order to beat the clock.  A couple of times I had to retake the game a couple of times as I did not succeed.
  • The purpose of every game is revision of what has been taught in order to bring about mastery.
Sometimes the answers in the multiple choice questions are really funny.  At other times they keep you on your toes and you need to carefully read them as they are so similarly worded you might get them wrong if you don't take your time.

Even today's colour and print slide had questions pop up in order to continue and colour in the next portion of the graphic.

  • Once a topic is completed a medallion is placed on a map indicating completion of the topic. 
  • There is a fully interactive time line containing the graphics identical to the memory cards on it.
  • A time line card is added to the time line upon completion of that specific cards lesson.  

  • Every fifth lesson is a test.  If you choose to do one lesson a day the test would be taken every Friday. 
  • As a parent I was required to agree to supervising this as a closed book test.  No notes or time line cards are to be used in order to take this test. 
  • All tests are done via multiple choice.
  • Upon submission the test is immediately marked and the score is given.
  • You are then given the option of looking over the test and printing it.
  • Once you close a test it can not be retrieved in order to look over and is not available for the parent to look over in the teachers section. This is the only thing I would love to see changed in the program.  It would be really good to be able to go in on the parent log in and look over a test to see how my student  responded to each question and helpful to me as I would know what they needed to review for future lessons and tests.
  • If a student answers a question incorrectly it is highlighted in red.
  • The middle column shows the correct answers for each question and the right hand column shows you the student submitted answers. 
Exploring history with the flash cards.

  • There are a total of 32 flashcards in the pack
  • They are printed in colour on card stock and plastic coated.
  • Each card measures 12.5 cm x 20 cm (5" x 8") 
  • They are in chronological order. Each card has a number on the reverse so you know where in the deck the card goes as well as where in time order the event took place.
  • Each card is marked with a line at the top in order for you to know which one is biblical history (purple) and which one is general history.  Each series is represented by a different colour.
  • Each card is illustrated with a famous painting a picture relating to the specific time period in history. There is a reference note below each picture.
  • On the front you will find the title of the event. When applicable a scriptural reference is also added. 
  • On the reverse of the card you will find the name and reference refered to on the card and a summary of the event 
  • The bottom square contains a list of resources to expand your students learning opportunity of the event. (Bible, Greenleaf Guide, Children's Illustrated bible, Child's story bible, Journey Through the bible, Streams of Civilization, Time Traveler and Kingfisher History Encyclopedia to name a few) 
  • They are excellent for review.
  • A good hands on time line tool.

  • Old Testament and Ancient Egypt Self Paced History $199.00 for the first student. This fee gives you one year of access to the program.
  • Veritas Press is currently offering a sibling discount of $100.00
  • Old Testament & Ancient Egypt Flashcards $19.95
  • MP3 Old Testament & Ancient Egypt Memory Song $6.95 (view a sample)
** Prices are current at time of review and can change at any given time at discretion of the company.  Please double check the price before placing your purchase.
There are a total of 5 streams in the Self Paced History classes
  1. Old Testament and Ancient Egypt
  2. New Testament, Greece and Rome
  3. Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation
  4. Explorers to1815
  5. 1815-Present 
 Hardware and Software Requirements
  • Web browser (Mozilla, IE 10 Chrome or Safari)
  • It runs on Windows Vista, XP, 7 or 8
  • For a Mac you need the following OS 10.6 or 10.7.4 or  10.8
  • Adobe Flash 10.3 or higher
  • Good internet connection. 
Recommended Age Range
  • Veritas recommend a minimum age of seven on the first day of class. The course has been designed with 2nd - 6th graders in mind.
Find out more

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What we thought
I don't know who is enjoying history more this year Sir N or myself!  We are both learning so much together. Although this is my third time through history chronologically I have learned so much more with Veritas that I am looking forward to doing the next four years of Self Paced history classes with them.
Every now and then Sir N will say "Oh I didn't know that !"  

This program has superseded my every expectation and has been the highlight of our homeschool year!


Restoring Our Culture for Christ ... 
One young heart and mind at a time! 

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