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Veritas Press History vs. SOTW


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#1 mhg

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 09:24 PM

I'm trying to decide between Veritas Press History vs. SOTW for early elementary. My son is K now, so I'm thinking about next year and early elementary.

Any input appreciated:bigear:.

#2 plain jane

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:15 PM

What I did was use SOTW but purchased (or simply used) a great number of the books from the VP catalog on the side.

I wasn't a big fan of VP's history programs because they are so very workbook-y. I know a lot of people are pleased with them, but they're not what I wanted in a history program.

That said, the kids and I have really enjoyed their book selections and I do own most of them. :o Some of our most favorite books have come from the VP catalog.

If you're interested and haven't already, you can see all the VP history books on googlebooks. Here's the link to the first one.

Edited by plain jane, 13 September 2011 - 10:18 PM.


#3 OhElizabeth

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:47 PM

That's funny, we've used VP happily for years and years, and my dd is about as UN-workbooky as you can get. The key is to skip the workbooks. ;)

No I'm just laughing here, not mean that harshly or anything. VP is one of those things that can be what you want it to be. Does it call to you? Or conversely, does your child *like* SOTW? Not all children do. My dd loves history, so VP for us was this great framework to plug tons and tons of books and whatnot into. Now she's going back and doing the online classes, and she LOVES them. I wouldn't fiddle with the online classes till AT LEAST 2nd. My dd did MARR in 6th and adored it. She's doing NTGR this month during the free trial and wants to do the other two years of their online american this year for 7th. So let it be what you want. It can be the first time through, the 2nd time through, online, you teaching, any way you like it. We also have a fabulous VP_Elementary yahoo group btw.

With my ds, who is almost 10 years younger and is thus my 2nd time through, I have Konos to do during the early years (age 4, 5, and 6 probably). I'm doing BFIAR and preschooling stuff with him now, so that will be a good step up in a year or two. Then I haven't looked at the Konos guides (which at got at a sale, hurray!) enough to know what all they'll cover, just know about the character emphasis. Anyways, I want to cycle through american using a couple nice spines (Rainbow Book of American History by Daugherty, Eggleston, etc.) and also read through CHOW. That will probably get me through 2nd. So then in 3rd I'd start him into VP's sequence. If I teach it myself, I'll double up OTAE and NTGR. But honestly, now that I'm seeing how INCREDIBLY good the online NTGR class is, I don't know why I'd bother. History is my supreme weak point, and it just doesn't make sense for me to struggle with something they do so incredibly well.

I think it's just a matter of preference, not really something you'll regret either way. They've been doing free trials in the fall, and once you try it you'd have a good sense of whether you want to do the online history or not. The main thing to me is to take advantage of the next couple years, if you're thinking VP, and use this time to survey american and your local history, do local fieldtrips, survey geography, etc. There's this temptation to rush into VP's sequence because SOTW can be started so young. If you're going to do the online, I wouldn't. I did start my dd in OTAE early, but she was ready to do the reading and writing and I was teaching her myself. I don't think I would have done the online at that age, just me.

#4 happyhomemaker

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 10:52 PM

We do SOTW and then use VP cards for memory help along with the song CDs. The songs are over the top, but the kids like them and reqlly remember the info I tried VP alone one year and it seemed so dry to me. We did love the literature suggestions though and still use some of those as well. SOTW does a better job of making history interesting, imo. My ds is in 1st and we are doing SOTW2 and he loves it.

#5 malbanese

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 05:08 AM

We have been using VP for two years now and my kids love it. It is the first subject they want to do each day. But this is because they take the online self-paced classes. I love it because it is one less class for me to prepare for and they do a really good job (I enjoy watching along with them). Each time period has characters that relate the stories to the kids and they sprinkle in lots of questions to make sure the kids were paying attention (kind of like narrating back what they just heard). They have little spelling and word unscramble screens, classic art that you click on and it becomes a jigsaw puzzle that they have to drop and drag the pieces back into place and lots of games interspersed where the kids have to answer the questions first to either get more time, or more armies, or more "lives" depending on what the game is. They also review a previous event each week as well and there is map work too. We also read most of the suggested historical literature selections and do a timeline book (by homeschooling in the woods). There is a Veritas Press Yahoo Group that is pretty active if you want to get a feel for it before you decide. I suggest a reliable, high-speed internet connection if you do the self-paced classes!

I also purchase the SOTW on CD and we listen to those in the car since it covers some events that VP doesn't.

#6 sncstraub

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 03:24 PM

We tried VP history for a year (or rather, part of the year), and ds really didn't care for it. Granted, we were doing OTAE, and he felt like he was already so familiar with all of the Bible stories that dominated the first few months. He wanted something new and interesting. I guess I could have tweaked it and skipped some things, etc. But we just went with SOTW instead and he's much happier. Frankly, I am too.

I also purchase the SOTW on CD and we listen to those in the car since it covers some events that VP doesn't.


I also wasn't crazy about the fact that eastern history is virtually ignored by VP, at least in the early years (I haven't seen the later years).

But we LOVE the VP books! The boys' favorites have been VP selections. So we are super-happy using SOTW with a lot of the VP recommended books.

#7 mhg

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 03:43 PM

thanks to all. Lots of good ideas here.

#8 OhElizabeth

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 05:51 PM

Some people who want to cover the other cultures will do those as extra weeks at the end of the school year or during the summer. Or listen to SOTW in the car. You can also hit the history when you cover the countries for geography. In any case, with only 32 weeks of the online history, you definitely have room to tack that on the end if it is an issue for you.

#9 Mom0012

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 08:25 PM

If I had a first grader and those were the two programs I was considering, AND I could afford it, I would use VP's self-paced history lessons. Those look so wonderful to me and I know my son would have love, love, loved them. Then, I would buy the SOTW audiobooks if they were not available at my library and let him listen to them in the car or while he was playing legos.

We actually wound up using SL, which has been great, along with the SOTW audiobooks, but every since those VP courses came out, I've wished we had the time to use them too.

Lisa

#10 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:18 AM

... but every since those VP courses came out, I've wished we had the time to use them too.

Lisa


Well it's sort of insane, but if you sign up for the free one month trial and REALLY BOOK IT, you can actually get the entire thing done in that amount of time. Each card takes about 2 1/2 hours or a little less, and there are 32 cards. So that's 32 cards in 30 days. Or one card a day, miss some, two cards at the end while you rush to get done. Ask us how we know. :lol:

But seriously, if you have a month to give, that would be one way to get it in and then go back to your regular thing. Or plan on signing up right away when they announce it next August and start your regular stuff in September.

#11 chepyl

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:24 AM

We do SOTW as out main history study, but we are using the VP cards to memorize a history timeline (as listed by CC for Foundations). My son is loving all of history. We have a lot of fun with it.

#12 Paisley Hedgehog

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:19 AM

nm

#13 G5052

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:40 AM

We also read most of the suggested historical literature selections and do a timeline book (by homeschooling in the woods).


So is the literature and timeline scheduled in, or do you have to put that in yourselves?

One of mine is doing the live Explorers to 1815 class now and we're very happy with that, but I need something without the time constraints for next year. I'd like to continue the timeline and literature.

#14 Mom0012

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 07:08 AM

Well it's sort of insane, but if you sign up for the free one month trial and REALLY BOOK IT, you can actually get the entire thing done in that amount of time. Each card takes about 2 1/2 hours or a little less, and there are 32 cards. So that's 32 cards in 30 days. Or one card a day, miss some, two cards at the end while you rush to get done. Ask us how we know. :lol:

But seriously, if you have a month to give, that would be one way to get it in and then go back to your regular thing. Or plan on signing up right away when they announce it next August and start your regular stuff in September.


Elizabeth, I actually did sign up for the one-month trial wondering if that would be possible. Unfortunately, my kids watched the first OTAE lesson earlier this week and didn't want to watch anymore because they felt it was too babyish with the talking sphynx. My son is in 6th grade now. I showed him the samples when this program first came out a few years ago and he was very interested, but now he has outgrown it. I didn't realize how much time had gone by since I'd shown him the samples. Too bad I didn't think to do the 30-day trial earlier.

Lisa

#15 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 09:52 AM

Lisa, did you sign them *all* up? I took the sign-up to mean they would let each child have a different course if you wanted. They can tell what you've done. I'd just call them or email Brian Keith back, tell him what happened, tell him people are telling you your older would LOVE a different course and would he please, please switch you over to something else. I'll bet he would. :)

#16 JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:59 AM

Keep in mind one of the biggest differences is pacing. By following the SOTW cycle you will do three 4 year runs through history chronologically by the time you finish high school. With VP you have a 5 year first run through and then two 3 year runs.

#17 warneral

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:09 AM

Just out of curiosity while it is being discussed. If I had 2 children doing the same course (age level and time period), would it be possible to sign up for one child instead of adding 125 for the second child?

#18 Mom0012

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:10 AM

Lisa, did you sign them *all* up? I took the sign-up to mean they would let each child have a different course if you wanted. They can tell what you've done. I'd just call them or email Brian Keith back, tell him what happened, tell him people are telling you your older would LOVE a different course and would he please, please switch you over to something else. I'll bet he would. :)


Thanks, Elizabeth! I may do this.

Lisa

#19 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:15 AM

Keep in mind one of the biggest differences is pacing. By following the SOTW cycle you will do three 4 year runs through history chronologically by the time you finish high school. With VP you have a 5 year first run through and then two 3 year runs.


Some people combine the VP elementary sequence, especially OTAE and NTGR, to get it to 4 years. You can really do anything you want. It's pretty flexible.

#20 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:20 AM

Just out of curiosity while it is being discussed. If I had 2 children doing the same course (age level and time period), would it be possible to sign up for one child instead of adding 125 for the second child?


You can go check, but I *think* they stipulate that the fee is access for *one* child, not a family. They give a huge break for multiple courses (half off the 2nd and following), so that puts it more within reach. The nice thing about signing them up separately is the computer is keeping track of where they are, the scores, a final grade, etc. So it would be messy on your end (you wouldn't know where each child was if they were on different cards), and it would be entirely obvious to them on their end that someone was using the course twice. They can see everything you've done and their system keeps the scores. So if you run through the entire course twice, it will be obvious. If you think one will watch and one will play and do the typing, well let's just say the watching child won't be happy with that. There are tons of games, interactive quizzes, stopping points to make sure they're awake, etc. You want each child to be able to DO the course and not just be passive.

That's actually what makes the course so great, that it is SO interactive. So nope, even though it's expensive, you want to sign them up individually. It will be $250 for the first course and 1/2 price ($125) for the additional. They'll also do the multi-child discount as multi-course for a single child.

#21 ByGrace3

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:27 AM

Some people combine the VP elementary sequence, especially OTAE and NTGR, to get it to 4 years. You can really do anything you want. It's pretty flexible.


Just wondering, I am considering VP down the road (perhaps either self paced or on our own)... would SOTW 1 (with lots of the VP lit thrown in) set us up ok for VP medieval/middle ages? I like the 4 year cycle, but I do like a lot of VP. I have so many VP questions, but don't want to hijack the OP! (however, if you are a VP expert and wouldn't mind answering questions ;) feel free to pm me!) :)

#22 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:32 AM

Just wondering, I am considering VP down the road (perhaps either self paced or on our own)... would SOTW 1 (with lots of the VP lit thrown in) set us up ok for VP medieval/middle ages? I like the 4 year cycle, but I do like a lot of VP. I have so many VP questions, but don't want to hijack the OP! (however, if you are a VP expert and wouldn't mind answering questions ;) feel free to pm me!) :)


So have you read "The Magnificent Obsession" or seen the movie? Just wondered from your blog title. Good movie. :)

On the VP, I will tell you that many people find SOTW2 easier to implement than MARR. Some people are very intrepid and pull it off. Some people use the Scholars lessons that script it all out for you. For *me* it didn't work. I was pregnant at the time and it basically turned into my final attempt to teach history. So *if* you end up liking SOTW1, my *guess* is you're going to keep right on going into SOTW2.

That said, the online self-paced MARR is AMAZING, absolutely amazing, and way easier than trying to teach it yourself.

What you're really hitting on is the first round of DECISIONS. You're going to have lots of these ugly things, and you're deciding between two good things, not one good and one bad. I usually try to spread them all out, pray over them, and then chose the one that's right. I also, and this is just me, have made decisions that were sort of gut decisions if that makes sense, decisions where I knew I would REGRET if I didn't go a certain way. It wasn't necessarily an empirical or obvious thing guiding me but just this vague sense of what I'd regret if I didn't do. It's good to listen to that small voice.

Ps. Don't forget about the awesome VP_Elementary yahoo group! :)

#23 ByGrace3

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:43 AM

So have you read "The Magnificent Obsession" or seen the movie? Just wondered from your blog title. Good movie. :)


Nope :lol: completely unrelated!

On the VP, I will tell you that many people find SOTW2 easier to implement than MARR. Some people are very intrepid and pull it off. Some people use the Scholars lessons that script it all out for you. For *me* it didn't work. I was pregnant at the time and it basically turned into my final attempt to teach history. So *if* you end up liking SOTW1, my *guess* is you're going to keep right on going into SOTW2.

That said, the online self-paced MARR is AMAZING, absolutely amazing, and way easier than trying to teach it yourself.

What you're really hitting on is the first round of DECISIONS. You're going to have lots of these ugly things, and you're deciding between two good things, not one good and one bad. I usually try to spread them all out, pray over them, and then chose the one that's right. I also, and this is just me, have made decisions that were sort of gut decisions if that makes sense, decisions where I knew I would REGRET if I didn't go a certain way. It wasn't necessarily an empirical or obvious thing guiding me but just this vague sense of what I'd regret if I didn't do. It's good to listen to that small voice.

Ps. Don't forget about the awesome VP_Elementary yahoo group! :)


Yes, decisions, decisions! The thing is, we are not LOVING SOTW. I am committed to it for now, and I am trying a few things to possibly make it better for us. However, this means we are not married to it for next year. DD likes the maps, coloring pages, and the readings are going well (mix of SOTW suggestions, TOG, VP, and SL), and the projects, just not seeing any retention at all from SOTW... I will say that going slower, asking more questions in between the reading may be helping (only started that this week) and we are adding the lapbook someone recently posted about. Hopefully that will be a fun help as well!

#24 warneral

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:11 PM

Thank you, it sounds like a great program :)

#25 OhElizabeth

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:48 PM

Nicole, this is just me, but if my 6 yo wasn't enjoying SOTW, wasn't retaining, wasn't getting into it, and it was only September, I'd feel free to dump it and move on. Maybe the lapbooks will help. My dd was so pencil phobic at that age, we just did the bare minimum amount of writing for history, lol. CHOW is terrific at that age and has a workbook with outlines that they just fill in, one word at a time.

For us what was amazing about doing the VP history when she was so young is that it gave us an excuse to buy so many BOOKS. It got her seriously hooked on reading and history. I absolutely think a 6 yo should be ENGAGED with what he's doing and that you should CHANGE if he's not. And that doesn't have to cost a lot of money to get there. I'd shake it up. Have you thought about using only the TOC from your SOTW and doing the activities from the AG but skipping all the actual reading? Seriously! Do the activities, do some read aloud and interesting historical fiction and accessible reading (Time Traveler, etc.) and totally skip the actual text of SOTW! My dd *hates* SWB's writing style. Not every child likes it you know. 6 is *not* the age to say buckle down and do it anyway. It's the age to have FUN. Please have fun. Please dump what isn't working. Create drudgery later. Honest. :)

#26 ByGrace3

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:15 PM

Nicole, this is just me, but if my 6 yo wasn't enjoying SOTW, wasn't retaining, wasn't getting into it, and it was only September, I'd feel free to dump it and move on. Maybe the lapbooks will help. My dd was so pencil phobic at that age, we just did the bare minimum amount of writing for history, lol. CHOW is terrific at that age and has a workbook with outlines that they just fill in, one word at a time.

For us what was amazing about doing the VP history when she was so young is that it gave us an excuse to buy so many BOOKS. It got her seriously hooked on reading and history. I absolutely think a 6 yo should be ENGAGED with what he's doing and that you should CHANGE if he's not. And that doesn't have to cost a lot of money to get there. I'd shake it up. Have you thought about using only the TOC from your SOTW and doing the activities from the AG but skipping all the actual reading? Seriously! Do the activities, do some read aloud and interesting historical fiction and accessible reading (Time Traveler, etc.) and totally skip the actual text of SOTW! My dd *hates* SWB's writing style. Not every child likes it you know. 6 is *not* the age to say buckle down and do it anyway. It's the age to have FUN. Please have fun. Please dump what isn't working. Create drudgery later. Honest. :)


not sure why I didn't see this before. Thanks for the input! Yes, we definitely want to enjoy this, no drudgery wanted! ;) I think I will give it another few weeks to see if it gets any better and if it doesn't, we will move on. I guess I just am not sure at all what we would move on to. I do like the idea of just following the TOC, however, I might want to take a more unit approach (the jumping around is killing me, I want to just camp and follow the culture through):tongue_smilie: SL, VP, TOG, agh! :lol:

#27 OhElizabeth

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:22 PM

not sure why I didn't see this before. Thanks for the input! Yes, we definitely want to enjoy this, no drudgery wanted! ;) I think I will give it another few weeks to see if it gets any better and if it doesn't, we will move on. I guess I just am not sure at all what we would move on to. I do like the idea of just following the TOC, however, I might want to take a more unit approach (the jumping around is killing me, I want to just camp and follow the culture through):tongue_smilie: SL, VP, TOG, agh! :lol:


Then why don't you do geography with Galloping the Globe and read the sections of SOTW when they apply to the countries you're covering? :)

Or rearrange the book and cover it by culture. It's ok to chop and hack things up and do it your own way.

To find responses to your threads, you need to click "control panel."

#28 Heather in VA

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:38 PM

Honestly if I had a 1st grader I wouldn't do either VP or SOTW. I am currently using both but I have come to appreciate VPs recommendation to wait until 2nd grade to start the formal history study. I would spend 1st grade getting tons of books from the library on all kinds of people and events from all time periods. Usborne has a great series with books on historical figures (remember you can do artists and composers here too - VP has a great set of books about them). The step-up books are a great intro too if your student reads. Just introduce the idea of history and spark an interest in things of the past. Concentrate formal time on the three Rs. Then start in 2nd. We use both VP self-paced and SOTW. Since VP does ancients in two years and SOTW required a bit more maturity for my visual learner (VP is fantastic for her) we did OT/AE in 2nd without SOTW and this year we are doing NT/GR with SOTW letting the Egypt portion at the beginning serve as a good review. I have no doubt that by 6th grade she will have an excellent foundation of world history if we continue in this path. We use Omnibus so starting a 2nd cycle in 7th works perfectly for us.

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#29 ScoutTN

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 09:52 PM

We use both! :)

I have a 1st grader and we are enjoying SOTW 1 very much. History is definitely her favorite subject! We also have the VP cards (OTAE and NTGR) and CDs. We are all learning the songs in the car! We include the cards as they fit in the SOTW sequence. There is a website that has the order all laid out.

I was worried that the combo might be confusing or overwhelmong, but so far it is great.
I love SOTW because the style is so engaging, the AG has load of great helps, and because it covers the whole world.

I like VP for the emphasis on Biblical history and Western civilization and for their great book selections!


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