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Yesterday, I shared about having your student learn middle ages history with Veritas Press History Omnibus II. And I mentioned how my 10th-grade son was a reviewer for the self-paced course of Omnibus I which covered ancient history. This school year, my 10th-grade son has continued his journeyed with Veritas Press History using Omnibus II (both Primary and Secondary) thanks to a very generous review package. This post will focus on the Secondary self-paced course where the focus is on bringing great literature alive for the student using the Veritas Press Omnibus II self-paced course.
Veritas Press Omnibus II Secondary: What is Covered
The Secondary component of each Omnibus course is meant to complement what the student is learning in the Primary component. Omnibus II Secondary contains 105 engaging lessons, providing a combined balance of history, theology, and literature. Yet, it is a remarkable journey that can be taken on its own.
The instructor extraordinaire for Omnibus II Secondary is Rick Davis. His experience with this material makes him a joy for students to learn from. He leads students from many of the sites throughout Europe where events from the books occurred. Students will hear what the world thinks through street interviews, then be drawn back to Scripture and what God says.
The books read in Omnibus II Secondary ( not including The Bible) are:
- The Hobbit
- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Nine Tailors
- The Dragon and the Raven
- The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Winning His Spurs
- The Two Towers
- Henry V
- Richard III
- The Return of the King
Like the Primary component, the video instruction includes a combination of lecture segments with quick games and quizzes to assess acquisition of the information. The study of A Midsummer Night’s Dream included a complete reading of the play by multiple individuals in a reading style (no costumes or sets.)
Other great books like The Hobbit finds Mr. Davis dressed as a hobbit with scenery flashed on a green screen.
Our Thoughts on Veritas Press Omnibus II Secondary
If you asked my 10th-grade son, he’d say this has been his favorite of the three self-paced courses done with Veritas Press. He attributes it to a few distinct reasons.
First, he really likes the instructor, Mr. Davis, and finds the presentations to be engaging. I couldn’t agree more with him that an excellent teacher presents material in a manner that can be fun while still providing relevant facts. I’ve had my share of good and not so good teachers and those that have a passion for the material they are covering coupled with a pleasant personality tend to stick in my mind. (I can definitely recall with fondness my 10th grade Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Manetta. But, I have almost no recollection of my freshman or senior courses. My teachers might have been fine, but they were no memorable.)
Secondly, this course is not as heavy on the use of interviews like the Primary component that can take upwards of an hour over the course of a lesson. Granted, those interviews are broken down into segments. However, I can hear an audible groan when he is on a particular Omnibus Primary lesson where it seems to ‘drag’ to him. Looking at many of the lessons he’s completed in Omnibus II Secondary, it seems that the segments tend to be shorter and therefore keep the attention span better.
Third, the selection of books in this course are mostly the types of books he enjoys reading. All of my boys love The Hobbit as well as The Lord of The Rings trilogy from J.R.R. Tolkien. Those 4 books are split between the 2 semesters and definitely are what had him agreeing to even give the Secondary portion of Omnibus II a trial. Now, Shakespeare is not something that he’d willingly pull off the shelf. However, Mr. is doing a great job making it more accessible for the students. Also, the few G.A. Henty books were given thumbs up.
This school year, Veritas Press offered ‘forums’ for the different self-paced Omnibus courses. My son was enrolled in the forum class for Omnibus II Secondary. Sadly, we’ve struggled to make the class time which makes the early afternoon class for East coast residents an early morning time for us in Alaska. Live attendance is the most beneficial manner to be a part of the forum with additional lecture and the chance to interact with other students in a controlled environment. All of the sessions have been recorded for later review. The times R has been live
The times R has been live in the forum I have sat in the background observing. The last session included time for a few volunteers to read part of Richard III. This was a great idea on the part of Veritas Press, but must have not been as well received as they hoped as I do not see them on the schedule for next year. What I could see is that Mr. Davis is as engaging and insightful in a live class as he is in the pre-recorded sessions of Omnibus II Secondary.
We both give Omnibus II Secondary two thumbs up for both content and the engaging Mr. Davis’s presentations. Enrollment in Omnibus II Primary is NOT needed and I would say that this self-paced course alongside the requirement of a few written assignments can make a great high school English class.