Feature Article Gas Prices are Up by Marlin Detweiler

Educational Helps by Carylee Gressman

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July 2008



Feature Article


Gas Prices Are Up


On weekday mornings my routine includes going into the basement to exercise. I alternate between the treadmill and lifting weights. I’ve never enjoyed working out but have become fairly consistent at doing it for a number of reasons that motivate me to endure the pain in inflicts. I find the treadmill particularly mind-numbing. That is why we’ve installed a television. I generally watch a 30-minute cycle of CNN Headline News and finish my time with Fox and Friends. For several months now there has been one consistent headline virtually every day—“Gas Prices have Gone Up Again.” I am old enough to remember gas at 28¢ a gallon and still remember the fear that gas might quickly escalate—which it did—to $1.00 a gallon. Ah, the good old days.


Our household currently has six drivers. The monthly gas bill is almost as much as our first mortgage payment early in our marriage. I expect you have your own horror stories. And it certainly appears higher prices are still ahead. It should be quite clear to all of us that something is very wrong. During the crisis of the Carter Administration, one fear was that the world was running out of fuel. Today we hear the same thing. We also hear that world demand has increased due to the development of China and India. I expect the real reason is that the opportunity to increase the price exists, so sellers, at whatever place in the supply chain, are taking advantage. Wish you owned ExxonMobil stock?


So, here we are with our national economy and personal budgets in a shambles. The political scene offers “change” and “hope” of a very costly sort. Yet, our Uncle Sam and the wealth he promises to share is in fact offering us our money, which has been run through the shrink cycle called inflation and given back to us. We will not be the better for it.


Does this rant seem a bit depressing and jaded? Things really aren’t this bad, are they? Well, yes they are and no, they are not.


I remember a sermon story about a very old janitor sitting and reading his Bible as he was approached by his pastor who was walking by. The pastor asked him what he was reading. “Revelation” was the reply. “What does it say?” asked the pastor. The old janitor, lacking the seminary training of his questioner, was not bashful in the least as he responded, “It says we’re gonna win.”


Now that’s some good news. The news gets even better. Not only are we going to win, but He intends to use us to that end. There aren’t many examples in history where God simply does it all Himself. He typically uses His people. The future will likely be no different. We should expect that He will use us to accomplish His purposes.


History is replete with examples of Christians inventing things, discovering things, and nurturing things that have made life healthier, longer and more enjoyable—all by the grace and provision of God.


I would love to see a study documenting the correlation between the Christian faith and its followers and the invention and advancement of things we hold dear. I expect we would be amazed.


Classically educated children offer that hope today. Whether it be figuring out renewable, cost-effective sources of energy or helping to develop a political arena that honors the Triune God of the Bible, I expect godly, well-educated children of today will become solution-providers of tomorrow. In fact, it’s already happening.


Marlin Detweiler



Educational Helps


As parents and teachers we should have a desire to instill in our students a love for history. “But wait a minute,” you might be thinking, “Math, English, and science already take up so much of our time. Is it really important to spend so much time on history? Besides, what if I, as the teacher, don’t have a love for history?” My answer is that I have been there. When I was a student I thought that history was old and boring. When we were young we spent years learning about our community and country. In high school we memorized names and dates for tests and then forgot them. It wasn’t until I was a home schooling mother teaching history chronologically to my own children that I finally saw that history was so important.


We can learn so much from the past. Teach your students how God created the earth, and then show them how He had His hand in every part of history from Egypt, to Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages, to the forming of our country, to now. Your students will learn about the mistakes people made throughout history and how not to make them again. They will also learn that God has been faithful throughout time. You see, when you teach history chronologically, even young children start to see the big picture.


History is more than just names and dates. It is about the lives that real people lived. I’ll never forget the time we went to Lexington and Concord. As we stepped onto Lexington Green I made everyone stop. “It all started here,” I said. “Men fought and died for our freedom right where we are standing.” Now not all of us get the chance to actually “live” history, but when you read good quality historical fiction to your children while you study history, you can make it come alive for them. When you sing songs about the history, practice copy work and, yes, even draw things related to the history that you are studying, then it is more likely to stay with them.


As you can already tell, I now love history. What you might not know is that I have a very active household. I have a toddler getting into things, two children learning how to read, two boys always wanting to blow things up (science, of course) and two learning biology and algebra. Every time I sit down to read history to my children, I have seven busy minds and bodies that seem to have a hard time focusing on what I am reading. I also have a very hard time fitting things like art into our schedule. So I decided that my children could practice their drawing while they listened to their history. With their hands busy, their minds seemed to focus on listening better.


This is where our series of books, Draw and Write Through History comes in. It makes sense to combine subjects like art and history whenever you can like Veritas Press recommends. They become a great complement to the Veritas Press history and Bible curriculum. It makes the art more meaningful and the history more memorable. In the Draw and Write Through History series, a little character named Professor Doodle will take your students on a time traveling adventure that will help bring history to life. Each book has step-by-step instructions on how to draw things from history. Biblical history is included whenever applicable. After each how-to drawing section is a page of cursive handwriting copy work related to the history. This allows the students to practice their handwriting and remember important information about history at the same time. Your student will draw plants, dinosaurs, and people when learning about Creation. He will draw pyramids, the sphinx and a sarcophagus when studying Egypt. We even include biblical figures like Moses and David and legends like the Trojan horse. All of that is just in book 1: Creation Through Jonah. We also show how to draw the coliseum, a Greek soldier, a gladiator, Alexander the Great’s horse, the Great Wall of China and more in book 2: Greece and Rome. In book 3: The Vikings, The Middle Ages, and The Renaissance learn how to draw a castle, knight, catapult, princess, dragon, falcon, Robin Hood and more. Book 4 will be available by spring 2009 and will cover mostly American history.


We created these books to help you, the teacher, to foster the love for history in your students. Remember, we can learn so much from history. Let’s make it alive and exciting for our students.


Click here to download a sample of the Trojan horse.


Carylee Gressman


Carylee is the homeschooling mother of seven and the author of the Draw and Write Through History series.


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Draw and Write Through History: Creation Through Jonah

Draw and Write Through History: Greece and Rome

Draw and Write Through History: The Vikings, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance


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Q. I have read about the Veritas Press Scholars Online courses. How do they work?

A. Each course meets twice a week, 32 times per semester, 64 times in a year for a total of 96 hours of live online instruction. Everyone has a microphone and the teacher has the ability to mute and unmute students so they can talk and be heard by all. Another avenue of communication is the chat box. Everyone in the room has the ability to send text chat to the class for all to see. The large portion of the screen is the applications portion. The teacher has the ability to use a whiteboard for several purposes including power point, notes, maps, and Word documents. The teacher also has the ability to bring web sites onto the whiteboard. Teachers send a quarterly communiqué to parents, giving them an update on the student’s progress and mentioning any areas for improvement. Students take a first semester final exam in January and a second semester final in May.



Q. I have children in 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th grades. We have been using the Veritas Press history, and now I want to start Omnibus, but I really don’t want to teach two histories. Any suggestions?

A. There are a few different ways to handle this. First of all, I do believe you should have your 7th grader begin Omnibus. So then the question comes, what is the best way to accomplish this? If he does Omnibus I, you could do New Testament Greece and Rome with the younger children, if you have not already. That way you would be studying the same time period. If I were in this situation, I would probably teach the younger children their history cards and enroll the older child in the online classes. This way he can have the discussions he needs, and I can focus on the younger children.


Please submit any questions you’d like answered here to




Veritas Press Teacher Training Conferences

The teacher training conferences we are hosting are right around the corner.


You can enjoy one here in Lancaster with all local flavor of things like shoo-fly pie, and also one online. Voddie Baucham, author of Family Driven Faith, will be the featured speaker at the 2008 Teacher Training Conference July 21–23 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Or you can attend our online-only teacher training conference on August 6–8 which will feature Joel Belz, Douglas Wilson and Oliver North as keynote speakers.


We’ve added a couple new ways to attend the Online Conference in August. Are you a school that wants to set up some classrooms with computers and projectors to allow your teachers and parents to attend online as a group? We now offer a site license option that provides four logins to your organization for $800. We require only that your attendees be affiliated with your school or organization.


Another option is for those who want to attend the Lancaster event in July but also hate to miss our plenary speakers for the Online Conference. If you sign up for the Lancaster Conference, you may access the Online Plenary sessions in August for $50. See the online registration page for both of these new options.


We are also offering Latin-in-a-Week, Omnibus I-In-A-Week and Omnibus II-In-A-Week July 21–25th. Some of the In-A-Week courses are also offered online on different dates as well. The teacher training conferences link above provides helpful information for the In-A-Week classes, too.


Veritas Press Scholars Online Classes

Registration for online classes continues at a healthy clip. Many classes have filled. Thankfully, in many instances we’ve been able to add another when needed. Please take a moment to click the link above to learn more.


Job Openings in Lancaster, Pa., and Online

Online TeachersVeritas Press Scholars Online continues to have teacher openings for the 2008–2009 school year. We are also interested in hearing from you if you are interested in discussing subsequent years, even if you can’t teach this coming year. Experienced teachers can work from home, the beach, or anywhere high-speed internet is available. Send resume to


Customer Service, First Phone – Here is a great chance to join the fun at Veritas Press. We have a great fulltime job available that we call “First Phone.” Imagine being able to help all those moms, dads and schools to make their curriculum choices for the year. Duties include customer service, answering customer emails, processing orders, and of course, being the first to answer the telephone when customers call. Send resume to



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