It all started with some flashcards.
Behind the mission that drives us…
Our boys are all grown up now, but many moons ago when we were just starting to educate them, our friend, R.C. Sproul, referred us to Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson. We were inspired to begin educating our children classically, eventually leading us to start two classical Christian schools, create a publishing company, and ultimately an online classical Christian academy. But back then, all we knew was that we’d discovered a better way to educate.
As we learned more, we were convinced that we wanted to teach history chronologically, integrating biblically recorded history with events not recorded in Scripture. We wanted our boys (and now your children as well) to know the relationship between what they study in “history books” and what they read in the Bible.
We realized we needed a new tool to effectively and memorably teach the timeline of history—one that we could share with other, like-minded parents and educators to help them as well. Thus, the Veritas Press History and Bible Flashcards were born. Along with the flashcards, we also produced teacher’s manuals with worksheets, games, maps, and more. Our goal was to make everything “user-friendly” for even the newest of homeschooling parents or school teachers. People responded to the flashcards with a great deal of enthusiasm. They wanted to know how to apply a classical Christian approach to other subjects as well. What began as two parents working to provide the best education for their children grew into a mission to equip other, like-minded parents and teachers with the curriculum, tools, and services to provide the best information for their kids as well.
At the time it felt crazy, but we printed up the first Veritas Press catalog and filled our garage with books. It quickly became necessary to bring in a bunch of extra phone lines—there were customer service folks in every part of our home! Originally, we provided our History and Bible Flashcards, along with the best of other curriculum we could find. Along the way, when we saw a need, we developed more curriculum. We created our Phonics Museum reading program filled with fine art and good books, as well as writing literature comprehension guides for many classic works.
As our boys got older, we developed curriculum for the upper grades, eventually publishing six volumes of Omnibus. In these books not only did we integrate Bible and History, but also added the Great Books. We could have stopped there. But the more we talked with parents who were using our materials, the more we discovered tools and services we could provide to help them educate their children more effectively. We launched online classes to lighten the load for these parents and to offer expert instruction in courses where they might feel they are lacking. That grew quickly from a few classes to a full offering of online courses through our Veritas Press Scholars Academy, where families can choose to enroll in our fully accredited diploma program or just register for courses with which they need help.
Taking advantage of developing technologies, we decided to make our history flashcards come to life and increase their effectiveness by creating our self-paced history courses. Not only has the self-paced, online format been highly engaging and educational for children, but parents have been delighted by their convenience and how much their kids WANT to do their course work.
As we’ve continued to develop products to fill in the gaps, we have begun to revisit each level of our curriculum and create more that will help grow young hearts and minds. We have recently introduced new History, Bible, and Geography materials.
We begin with an introduction to history for kindergarten and first grade These adorable books (featuring Bede, a yarn-and-googlie-eyed timeline) teach basic concepts of history that prepare children for the flashcards that are introduced in the second grade.
Our expanded Legends & Leagues geography program consists of five storybooks and workbooks. The first serves as a geography foundation for younger students, while the four recently released ones (South, East, North, and West) are designed to be used in any order by grammar school students. By following the order in which they appear in this catalog, children are presented with the information in an order that coordinates best with the history flashcards.
Finally, Pages of History: Secrets of the Ancients, written by Veritas Press Scholars Academy Headmaster, Bruce Etter and our daughter-in-law, Lexi Detweiler. Through this powerful, novelized approach to history, two boys travel from Creation through the Reformation, learning about God’s work in every age. Our new History Transition Guides (volume 1 to be available in August 2013, volume 2 later in the year) will have sections devoted to both Pages of History volumes.
As we look back, we are so thankful to God for the path He set us on so many years ago. It has been exciting to go beyond recovering the Lost Tools to creating new tools to improve educational effectiveness and help our parents and teachers impact young hearts and minds. We’re thrilled to see a growing number of families and educators join in our mission, and we’re excited to see what God has in store for all of us as we continue to work together.