The Veritas Bible Self-Paced Courses provide comprehensive Bible curriculum that students can use independently on a computer or device with a high-speed internet connection. The courses are suitable for students who are able to read well enough to function independently up through about sixth grade. The curriculum is presented in five course modules, arranged according to sections of the Bible, and each module should take about one school year to complete.
The curriculum ties in with the five sets of Bible flashcards that are also published by Veritas Press, but the flashcard information is also included within the course. While having the physical cards for study is very useful, it isn’t absolutely required. The courses play the memory song that goes with each set of flashcards periodically, but you might want to have the separate audio CDs (that comes bundled with the flashcards) for children to listen to more frequently.
The Bible flashcards are arranged chronologically, and the Veritas Bible Curriculum follows that same timeline, placing biblical events within the larger context of world history. Each module covers 32 major events, the same 32 events covered by each set of flashcards. At the time of this review, three of five modules are available. The modules are:
- Genesis to Joshua (available)
- Judges to Kings (available)
- Chronicles to Malachi and Job (in development)
- The Gospels (available)
- Acts to Revelation (in development)
As far as I can tell, and from what the publisher tells me, the curriculum should be suitable for a broad Christian audience. Most likely any denominational differences will show up the fifth module, but that remains to be seen.
The curriculum includes lesson presentation by actors in full costume with authentic looking backdrops. Actors portray characters living at the times of the books of the Bible for each module. Humorous interaction and the occasional animated character mix with the teaching to keep children’s interest. Activities and reviews are interjected frequently, and each lesson segment concludes with a quiz. Quizzes draw questions only from information that appears on the Bible flashcards, so students can review the cards in preparation for each quiz.
Lots of review is built into the course through quizzes and activities. The format of the activities varies. Timelines are used to present key events in chronological order. Sometimes students will click and drag items into the proper order. In some instances, students click on items within an activity to learn more about each one. Even with similar types of activities, the graphics are different.
The program works sequentially through all elements of each lesson. Many segments will not allow the student to proceed until they have completed all of the activities, or at least clicked on elements of the activities. Quizzes very effectively keep students accountable and discourage them from just clicking through without processing the information.
A lot of work went into creating this sophisticated curriculum. I don’t know of any other Bible curriculum that comes close to this in terms of production values, comprehensive content, educational effectiveness, and appeal to students.
There are two options for purchasing each module. Both are streamed over the internet. The big difference between the two options is that the more expensive option tracks students’ grades for activities and quizzes while VeritasBible.com does not. Students can print out quiz results, but the program does not retain them. In VeritasBible.com, students can redo activities and retake quizzes if they wish. In both formats, the program keeps track of where each student is within a module so that each time they login they are taken to the correct starting point. The course that tracks and reports allows only one student to be signed in, and it costs $179 a year. The VeritasBible.com option can be purchased for one student or for the family, by the month or for the year. One year for a single student is only $99 and for the entire family the cost is $199, making it a better buy for most situations. However, families who need to track and record all student work might still prefer the $179 version. A fourteen-day free trial period at VeritasBible.com allows you to really try out the full version of the program before buying.