Thankfully, I've found a company that produces excellent quality online materials that match her leaning style -- Veritas Press. For the past two years, she's worked through their Self-Paced American History courses and now has a fabulous grasp of U.S. History. Recently, we've been exploring their Bible materials with a one-year family subscription to VeritasBible.com. Our VeritasBible.com subscription allows us to access three different Bible courses -- Genesis to Joshua, Judges to Kings, or The Gospels.
Lauren chose to start at the beginning and work through the thirty-two lessons in the Genesis to Joshua course. Each lesson has four separate parts so it will take her quite a while to get through this material. The first three parts of a lesson teach new material and the fourth part is a short quiz covering all the material studied up to that point. The instructional days take roughly half an hour to complete, but the quiz day is much shorter.
The primary method of instruction is short video clips (no more than 3-4 minutes long) with Asher, Abigail, a cat named Teb, and a pesky fly named Tizzy. Lauren says she likes Teb because he's funny.
During these short video clips, Asher and Abigail introduce facts from the Bible and talk about them briefly. The material they introduce is reinforced by additional activities that the student completes.
I particularly like the way that these lessons include both facts from the scripture and the scripture itself. It's not just hearing Bible stories; it's studying scripture.
Throughout the lessons, the narrators will go back and give the student opportunities to show what they've learned through interactive questions or games. Sometimes they review material from earlier in that particular lesson and sometimes they review material from lessons studied earlier in the course.
Switching presentation styles throughout the lesson helps keep Lauren's attention. Her mind would wander off if she needed to watch lengthy videos, but the ones on VeritasBible are all short and to-the-point. The interactive questions also keep her focused on the material. She has retained so much knowledge from these lessons because of the way that she is constantly reviewing what she's learned. For instance, she doesn't have a chance to forget what happened on the days of creation because she's asked to use that knowledge frequently, even now that she's moved on to other lessons in the course.
Lauren's favorite part of the Veritas Press courses is the catchy songs used to help the students remember the chronological facts that they are studying. This song covers all the people and events from creation to Joshua's last words -- Cain and Abel, Noah, Abram, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, the Tabernacle, Battle of Jericho, and many more. Some of the events in the song are paired with dates or scripture references so that those details can be remembered, too.
I know from past experience with the Veritas Press History courses that singing this song over and over through the course will firmly cement the information in all of our minds. (My oldest daughter and I can still sing some of the early American History facts from the song we heard while Lauren did that course two years ago.)
A family subscription to VeritasBible.com allows multiple students to work through the materials at their own pace. At any time, they can jump around between the three courses (Genesis to Joshua, Judges to Kings, or the Gospels). They do, however, have to work through each course in chronological order. Unlike the Self-Paced courses we've used from Veritas Press before, the VeritasBible.com courses do not track grades for the student. The student has the option to print the quiz results if needed for record keeping purposes.
We've been big fans of Veritas Press since Lauren used one of their Self-Paced History programs in third grade (see our earlier review). They balance solid facts with a fun learning style and then include enough review that she retains what she learns. It's a perfect combination! VeritasBible.com is another great program with all the things I love about their Self-Paced classes and the flexibility to have multiple students in a family studying different parts of the Bible.
VeritasBible offers a 14 day free trial (no credit card required) if you'd like to try the program yourself!
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