Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TOS Review: Veritas Press~~ Self-paced Omnibus 1 Primary


      For the first time in our 8 years of homeschooling, my youngest son is at a point in his history and Bible studies where he is "caught up" until high school.   We thought this would be the perfect time to to try out something new, like Self-paced Omnibus from Veritas Press.  We started at the beginning, with Omnibus 1 Primary.  Omnibus means "all encompassing" in Latin.  History, Theology and Literature are all taught together.  Omnibus 1 covers Ancient World Literature culminating with the first century.  (Omnibus 2 and 3 continue on into later periods in history.)

The Product (what you get)
     Self-paced Omnibus is an online teaching curriculum. Once purchased, you will have access to the lessons.  The lessons are done in a video format.  Each lessons lasts about 30 minutes.  The lesson is broken up into segments.  Generally a lesson includes:  a teaching time, an interview with an expert, on-location talks, interactive games, quizzes and more. (No lesson is the same thing twice.  This helps keep things interesting.)  Each student will need an Omnibus Student Text.  (You can purchase either the hardback or the e-book version.)  The program will keep track of your child's grade average.  This is very easy to access, simply click "my grades" on the student page.  Once you complete a lesson, then the next lesson is available.  (Thus "self-paced.")
*You will need to purchase the literature books (Like Gilgamesh, Code of Hammurabi, etc.) for the course. These can be purchased separately or from Veritas.  You will also need a Bible.  

The Instructor
     The instructor for the course is Bruce Etter.  He is a very easy to follow and understand teacher.  Mr. Etter is very personable and relates to the students as their teacher and doesn't just lecture.  He is obviously well-versed in this field of study.  Mr. Etter begins and ends each lesson with a review.

$295 for access to the online course.  ($100 sibling discount is available.)
Omnibus Text: $75 (or purchase within 7 days of ordering the course and only pay $50) 
 The e-book is $37.50.  Literature books that go along with the course can be purchased from Veritas as part of a kit.  The kit without the ebook is: $137.63; with the ebook is $151.32
A teacher answer CD is available for $30.  (Gives all answers to the questions in the Omnibus Text.  It also includes the Omnibus Text.)
Age Range
7th-9th grade
(Minimum of age 12 on the day you begin the course work.)

How Omnibus 1 Primary worked in our Homeschool:
     I sat and did the first 2 books (Genesis and Exodus) of the course with my son.  We watched the videos together and read the Omnibus text together.  My son read the reading assignments in Genesis and Exodus on his own. (I am still trying to catch up with him on my Genesis and Exodus reading.  Let me tell you, this course will make you want to dig in deeper to God's word!)
     This curriculum involves sitting in front of a computer and listening.  At times this can be a bit tough for a 13- year-old boy, but I was amazed at how much information he remembered.  A lot of reading is also required.  In a 5 day period, a student is expected to read the entire book of Genesis or Exodus, for example.  This may seem daunting to some...but it is also doable!  (What an inspiration it was for me to see my son read that much of God's word in one sitting without complaining!)  There will be reading assignments both for the Omnibus Text and the piece of literarture that is being studied. The videos and the reading assignments work together as layers of learning, which helps to both review and solidify ideas and facts.
     Within minutes of beginning this curriculum, I felt as if I was in a first year seminary class.  I was so  impressed with things my son (and I) were learning.  My husband (a seminary graduate) had the same response.  Topics like covenant theology, differing views on creation, freewill vs. predestination are all talked about during the first two books.  It was all explained in such a way that my son was able to keep up and understand the concepts. The course work is not too overwhelming, but the concepts are much "deeper" than I had expected.
     It is important to note that Veritas Press is a Christian curriculum that follows the classical teaching model.  Even though my children have never gone by a classical model, it has always intrigued me.  I found it to not be a problem to jump right in and not feel like we had missed something.  The Bible teaching is wonderful, though a bit more reformed than we are.  This really is not a problem, though, as the instructor is very even handed and generous in his openness to discuss other biblical viewpoints.

What I didn't like as much:
  • During much of the videos there is music playing.  This was distracting at times.
  •  A few questions that my son got incorrect on the online quizzes, I was unsure why they were incorrect.  I wish there was some short explanation at the end of the online quiz.
A few notes: 
  • A high-speed internet is very important to run the videos.  
  • I consider art appreciation/education  to also be part of this curriculum.  For example, my son and I really enjoyed the lesson on the art in the Sistine Chapel during the study of Genesis.
  • The guests speakers are top notch!  Professors, a rabbi, experts...
  • Veritas Press has excellent customer service.  Twice I have had to call for help. (Once my video was "stuck" and once I just had a question.)  Both times, I was speaking with someone right away and my question or problem was answered/fixed within less than a minute.

There's more to learn about Veritas Press!  Check out my fellow TOS Review Crew bloggers and what they had to say:
Click to read Crew Reviews


Melinda Speece said...

I've thought quite a bit about Omnibus for the kids when 7th grade rolls around. I've looked at the text and supplementary texts, but I never considered the on-line course. It is interesting to read your comments!

Letha P said...

I of course thought of my classical homeschooler friends when I received this! The online course was great...but we would have enjoyed it more on a laptop on the couch instead of sitting at the computer desk. :)

mm said...

Can this be completed without the CD? This is my first year homeschooling a Jr in highschool. We are NOT using a Christian private school, on the contrary, we are using a public charter to homeschool but a friend suggested I look into this curriculum to add a "religious studies" class. I see it as just incorporating the Bible into her day. The program is pricey but I'm looking at eBay and the like to purchase some material. I see that people have the textbook w/o the CD and I'm wondering if it can be done without the CD? I see this is an old site but hopefully I can find the answer...

Anonymous said...

ok i am a 7th grader and heres my review
this is much easier without online classes,
also you don't need the cd,
the program is excellent but there is both male and female nudity (which my mother put stickers over,
but it is art and all history courses have it.
i hope this is helpful