Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Veritas Bible

My kids fell in love with Veritas Press when Jake studied and completed the entire Self-Paced History course for the Old Testament and Ancient Egypt a couple years ago. When the opportunity came to review for the company again, I jumped at the chance. But what's even better than reviewing for a company that you love? Being able to include the whole family! Last time, the other kids were disappointed that the self-paced course was only for Jake. It seemed like so much fun and they asked many times to use it too. This time though, we received a one-year family subscription to, meaning I'd have no sad little faces to look at. Everyone could participate!

Veritas Press was created by Marlin and Laurie Detweiler as a way to give their own children a classical education. After their curricula worked so well for their family, they wanted to make it available to other like-minded parents, as well. Since then, the company has grown to offer full curriculum, a publishing company, an online classical Christian academy, and two classical Christian schools. currently offers 3 courses:
  • Genesis to Joshua
  • Judges to Kings
  • The Gospels
Each course teaches 32 events that happened during the period. Each event is broken into 4 lessons, making 128 total lessons for each course.

The events are taught using a timeline. This format is beneficial since it helps the students to visually see the stories in the order they took place. Understanding the time frame is a good way to learn the history of the Bible.

The lessons are taught through videos. People in time-period costumes along with animated characters tell stories as they complete tasks in their every-day life. Woven throughout the videos are names, dates, cities, significant events, and more that pertain to the Biblical events.

Just like the self-paced courses, a memory song is sung nearly every lesson to teach the events. Each tune is different, yet they are equally catchy. I often get the songs stuck in my head, too! What amazes me about these songs is that they truly teach the kids the events, not just the names, but also dates or Scripture references for some. For instance, they learned 1446 B.C. the parting of the Red Sea, Zacharias learns of John's birth in 4 B.C., Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2, and more. 

There are also games for review and tests at the end of each event.

Since we have a family subscription, the kids can log onto the site and easily login to their own account by clicking on their avatars. From there, they can choose which course they want and maneuver through the lessons. The events are shown on a map with a stop for the different events.

I gave the kids the choice of which course they wanted to study. Two kids picked Genesis through Joshua, so they are learning about 32 major events taking place from Creation through Joshua's Last Words. The third child decided on The Gospels, so his learning starts with Zacharias Learns of John's Birth and ends with The Ascension.

As the students progress through the lessons, more of the map is made visible. Plants grow, animals move across the screen, rain pours from clouds, people walk, etc.. The kids like showing me specific parts of the stories that are acted out on the map, like when Abel falls down from Cain's blow and blood pools around him and when the Red Sea swallows up the Egyptians and the men sink in the water. The animation is not graphic or disturbing at all, but shows the event as simply as possible. 

We school four days a week and I require the kids to complete one Bible lesson per day. However, the kids love so much that they ask to use it 5-6 days a week, often first thing in the morning even before our official school start time, and work through multiple lessons. They're using it so much, in fact, that they range from 31%-69% completion. Remember, each course contains enough lessons to last an entire school year, and one of my kids has finished nearly 3/4 of it in 6-weeks time. Saying they like this program is putting it mildly. Even more impressive is that they are retaining the knowledge! For one thing, they have to pass the tests before they can move to the next event. Even aside from that though, they can still answer questions about it and relate the stories weeks later.

The kids usually watch each others lessons too. I'll often find all of them huddled around the computer and participating. It's so fun that even my 4-year-old asked for his own account. He does need help with the tests, but he loves watching the videos and playing the games.
This is a little of what the kids have to say about the program:

"I like all the games and I like learning new stories I never heard of. 
I like the people in the videos too."

"I love it! I like the memory song and that I'm learning more. I love the games!"

"Critter Catch (game) is fun.That's my favorite." 
My only issue is that all the Scripture reading throughout is from a different version than we use. Most of the time it is not an issue as far as the lessons go, but there are times we pull out our own Bible to read from ourselves. is a fantastic program. Not only do the kids beg to do it every day (no joke), they're also learning and remembering important facts from the Bible and are gaining a better understanding of the events. We highly recommend Veritas Press.

You can connect with Veritas Press on the following social media sites:

You can read more reviews of or the Self-Paced Bible course on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.
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