Friday, June 27, 2014

TOS Review: Veritas Press

Veritas Press publishes award-winning classical education curriculum. The curriculum is presented by the use of the Trivium method, which consists of three stages of learning; grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric.  The material included within the curriculum is developmentally appropriate and focuses on training students in the truth, beauty, and goodness of the world that God had created.  

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Veritas Press Self-Paced History, which is an online course.  Vertias Press presents history in a chronological timeline, while integrating biblical history with events not recorded in Scripture in order for children to understand the relationship.

There are five self-paced history courses available:

Old Testament and Ancient Egypt

New Testament, Greece and Rome

Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation

Explorers to 1815

1815 to Present

Each of the self-paced history courses consists of 160 class periods and covers 32 important historical events.  Once registered, you are able to choose your start date and will have one year from the start date to complete the course.

Cost: $199 per student for one course.
There is a $100 off discount for additional students.

Recommended Age: 2nd-6th grades with the student being a minimum of 7 years old.

There are samples of each course available to help determine which would be the best fit for your family.

In addition, for each self-paced course, there are supplementary flashcards, $19.95, that are recommended for purchase.


Izzie, 7 years old, will be studying American History in the fall, so I decided that the Explorers to 1815 course would be a great summer enrichment.

We received a 1-year subscription to the Explorers to 1815 course and the supplementary Explorers to 1815 Flashcards.

There are a total of 32 supplementary Explorers to 1815 flashcards.  Each 5" x 8" flashcard is printed on a glossy card-stock for durability. On the front of each flashcard is a full color image and title.  The back contains a brief description about the person/place/event and optional literary resources that are available.

Cost: $19.95


What's included in the Explorers to 1815 course?

-There are a total of 32 important historical events, starting with Prince Henry the Navigator and ending with the Missouri Compromise.

-Each event is covered in 5 lessons of approximately 30-50 minutes in length.  There are a total of 160 lessons.  It is suggested that 1 historical event (5 lessons) should be completed per week, allowing the course to be completed in 32 weeks.  However, since the course is self-paced and the subscription is activated for 52 weeks, it is extremely flexible to fit the schedule of your family.

-Each lesson is taught by interactive people and/or figures.  Izzie found this aspect very entertaining, especially, the talking totem pole!

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

-Throughout the interactive lessons, there are a variety of activities that help the student to memorize names, dates, and places.

 I really liked the repetition of the vocabulary and multiple opportunities to master the concept.  However, Izzie was not able to complete many of the assessments independently.  She needed help reading the words/phrases/sentences.  It would be extremely beneficial for the course to have an optional reading icon for emergent and/or struggling readers.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

On many activities, if there were any incorrect answers, the wrong answers were simply removed and she was able to try again.  When she finally had chosen all the correct answers, there was a positive comment.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

Izzie's favorite interactive activity was clicking and dragging names of places to their correct location on the map.  Again, if she mislabeled a location, it was placed back in the box and she was able to try again.  The curriculum truly focuses on mastering the concept instead of right/wrong answers.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

She also enjoyed playing the Prince Henry the Navigator game.  She guided Prince Henry around, while trying to search for missing pieces of a map.  In order to obtain the piece of the map, she had to answer review questions.  Again, it would have been extremely beneficial for her to have an optional reading icon.  She needed help reading some of the unfamiliar words.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

Izzie's least favorite activity was the spelling activity.  She was given a word, such as "cloister" and had to spell in correctly within a specific time frame.  Izzie is only 7 years old and many of the words were new vocabulary, so she did not know how to spell them.  Honestly, I struggled helping her spell "cloister".  I would suggest having an option to remove the timer.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

At first, Izzie was very excited to work the puzzle activities, but each time she would get too frustrated to complete the puzzle.  She was shown what the puzzle looked like at the beginning, but once she hit the next button, the original image disappeared and she had to complete the puzzle without a visual guide.   For younger students, it would be extremely helpful to have the completed puzzle image on the same slide so that the student can reference the image, while completing the puzzle.    

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

In addition, there were extra informative slides.  Izzie liked the visual of seeing what she had completed.  On this particular slide, once she clicked and completed the activity for each totem pole, the image transformed from black and white to color.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

I really liked the What Else Was Happening? slide, which briefly explained what else was happening in history at the time of the specific historical event being taught.  Again, this particular slide had a visual to differentiate which part had been completed by the headline changing from black to red. 
Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

In addition, there is one worksheet activity in each historical event (5 lessons), which reviewed the information.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

 Lastly, at the end of each historical event there is a test.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course

Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course


What are my final thoughts regarding Veritas Press Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 course? 

1.  I've been searching for a chronological history curriculum that is Christ-centered focused, so this curriculum is a good fit for my family.  In addition, I appreciate that biblical history and events not recorded in Scripture are included on the timeline. 

2.  Since it is a self-paced course online, it is extremely convenient and flexible to meet the needs of my family's schedule. 

3.  The interactive activities were fun and engaging, which helped Izzie memorize the names, dates, and places in a short time period.

4.  The supplementary Explorers to 1815 flashcards are nice to use as a visual timeline.  However, if your budget is tight, I don't think they are necessary. 

5.  I'm debating on whether to purchase the optional Literature Kit.  There are 3 different kits: Level 1 for grades 2-3, Level 2 for grades 4-6, and a combination kit for Levels 1 and 2, which is perfect for a family with multiple children in various grades.  There is a historical fiction reading schedule that corresponds to each lesson, included with the self-paced course.  

6.  My only suggestion for improvement would be to add a reading icon to help emergent and struggling readers.  Otherwise, I would recommend the self-paced course to children who are fluent readers.


Connect with Veritas Press:

Facebook –

Twitter --

Pinterest –

Google+ --

Be sure to check out what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with Veritas Press.

Click for more reviews photo clickformorereviews600x160_zpsc2cf0855.png

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mola Art

The girls and I have been traveling around the world.  The latest country that we visited was Panama.  The girls learned about mola art.  A mola is part of the traditional costume of a Kuna woman.  The Kuna women will use two mola panels to create their blouses.  Over the years, they have taken the mola panels and created many different uses for them, such as framed art, pillows, place mats,wall hangings, or quilting projects.  

Image from Wikipedia

Recently, they have begun to depict flowers, sea animals, and birds onto the molas, instead of just geometric designs.  The girls and a few of their friends created their own interpretation of mola art by using the outline of an animal and geometric designs. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Fun...

Mac's two favorite things...painting and shaving cream!  

Summer Fun!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TOS Review:

My family was given the opportunity to review by Learning Wrap-Ups. is an online math and reading supplement designed for grades K-5.  It is correlated to the Common Core requirements.  

We received a full online family subscription.  The annual cost is $59.99 for 5 students with access to all levels of reading and math. is currently offering a 20% discount to homeschooling families. The coupon code is "HomeSchool".


What's included in

Once logged on, your student will have the option to choose either Math or Reading by clicking on the top tabs.  There are 6 levels for math, including a Basic Level and Levels 1-5.  Each math level consists of 6 different topics, each having 12 learning palette cards to complete.  There are 4 levels for reading, including a Basic Level and Levels 1-3.  Each reading level has 5 different topics, with 12 learning palette cards to complete.  With math and reading, that's a total of 7,20 questions!

By checking out the demo, you will be able to see all the topics in each level and a sample of the learning palette cards.

In addition, this short video highlights the uses and benefits of


How did we incorporate into our homeschool?

Mac, 5 years old, focused mainly on the math portion during the review period.   She began with the Basic Level with the first topic, Numeration Step 1-Matching and Early Numbers.  She started with Card 1 and worked her way through the remaining learning palette cards.  Once a learning palette card is completed, the circle changes to green., Math-Basic Level
Every card is set up basically the same way.  There is a circular palette in the center, which contains the questions.  On the left hand side, there are 12 color coded disks (6 solid and 6 hollow) that are used to indicate the correct answer by clicking and dragging each disk to the correct spot on the learning palette.

 On Card 1, Mac was asked to match the color coded disks to the correct paint color.  As you can notice, the card is divided in half, with the hollow disks being used on top and the solid disks being used on the bottom.  After clicking and dragging several of the color disks, she got frustrated with the process.  I ended up controlling the mouse, while she would just point to the correct spot., Math-Basic Level, Concept 1-Card 1

I really like the self-check aspect of the program.  At any time during the clicking and dragging, your student can check his/her answers and change the incorrect ones.  Unfortunately, Mac was not able to use the program independently.  However, she still enjoyed seeing the little green checks to indicate that her responses were correct., Math-Basic Level, Concept 1-Card 1, Self-Checking

When the learning palette card is completed, a small box appears with an evaluation indicating completion time and number of correct answers., Math-Basic Level, Concept 1-Card 1, Evaluation

Mac found the palette cards that were divided in half or in quarters the easiest to understand.  In the Basic Level on Card 8, she was asked to sequence the events in each quarter., Math-Basic Level, Concept 1-Card 8

 However, the cards that were divided into more parts were much more complicated to understand.  In the Basic Level on Card 4, she was asked to determine which set had more and which had less., Math-Basic Level, Concept 1-Card 4

Izzie, 7 years old, focused only on the reading portion during the review period.  She began at Level 1 and worked her way through each topic, by completing the 12 learning palette cards.  She was able to work independently throughout the program. 

In Level 1 on Concept 1-Reading Comprehension, Card 1, Izzie was asked to complete the sentences with the correct word.  She was able to read each sentence and choose the correct word, but struggled with matching the correct color disk to the correct word.  There were several times that she would mix up the solid and hollow color disks.  Thankfully, she was able to correct her mistakes by using the self-checking option.  However, this meant her evaluation time was longer than she liked.  She was very obsessed with the time on her evaluation.  I don't think including the completion time is necessary or it would be nice to have the option to remove it., Reading-Level 1, Concept 1-Card 1

Izzie preferred the learning palettes that had all the questions in the center, instead of being divided in a specific way.  In Level 1, Concept 2-Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives, Card 2, she was asked to differentiate between singular and plural nouns., Reading-Level 1, Concept 2-Card 2

 In addition, the parent can view and print off progress reports.  This would be very beneficial to include in a portfolio, if needed., Progress Report

What are my final thoughts about

1.  I really like that the family subscription includes all levels of math and reading.  It's a nice way to supplement and differentiate all students in the family.

2.  It's extremely convenient that each student in the family has his/her own account; therefore, he/she can work at his/her own pace.

3.  The program is user-friendly and most children are able to work independently.  Younger children may need help with the clicking and dragging of the mouse, but can still answer the questions.   

4.  It's great that there is immediate self-correction, which allows the students to understand and correct errors and evaluate their own progress.

5.  Parents can easily check their students' progress by looking over the progress reports.  If a child needs more practice, they can complete the section, again.


Connect with Learning Wrap-Ups!



Be sure to check out what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with by Learning Wrap-Ups. 

Click for more reviews photo clickformorereviews600x160_zpsc2cf0855.png

Crew Disclaimer
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...