Veritas Press uses a memorization model for events and dates, but they make it fun by using interesting characters, animation, and an oddly-catchy song. The Greece and Rome program teaches 32 important events from the Minoan Culture of 2200 B.C. to the End of the Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D. The cards list more resources if you want to get more indepth with a time period. The program alone is entertaining and educational, but you could also use the cards to expand each event into a unit study.
Obviously, being self-paced, there is plenty of time to spend as much as needed on each lesson and event. There are five lessons within each “culture” or time frame. We did one lesson each day. Each lesson includes the memory song, in which one of the characters sings her way through the 32 events. Jack was several events in before he realized, “Oh! The song lists all the stuff in order!” So you may consider pointing out the purpose of the song to your child before you start so they understand what they’re listening to.
For the most part, Jack liked the program. Well, really he liked the lessons. The characters were entertaining, and he thought it was funny that when something popped up on the screen, the character didn’t like “holding” the “sign/poster/block”. The talking statues were great, too, and it’s not just characters dully reciting facts and dates. I particularly enjoyed the conversation with the gold “death mask”.
“Who was your father?”
“A gold brick.”
Maybe you had to be there, but it was quite funny.
He was confused or frustrated by a few things, though. When labyrinths are first introduced, students are told that a labyrinth and a maze are not the same thing, yet later in the lesson, they are used interchangeably. He got frustrated because every time the labyrinth review section came up, it used the same questions. Even in a later unit, it asked the same questions. I suppose this is an effective reminder technique so students don’t forget material from earlier units, but for some it is frustrating and tedious.
The “burning ship” reviews weren’t much better. Knowing the answers didn’t help him with aiming issues, and it was hard from what I could see. Sometimes he would be pointed at one ship, but the arrow would hit another. He eventually got through it in the allotted time, but it was frustrating to him.
I just asked him if there was anything else he wanted to say, “The song did get kind of annoying after a while.”
This is a Christian program, but it does talk about mythology. Perseus and his adventures with Medusa, for instance. I am leery of history programs or books that only stress Christian history and leave out or alter important events, but I was happy with the balance of this program.
How to get it
New Testament, Greece and Rome SP – $199 for one full year of access
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