Openingby Marlin Detweiler

Feature Article April Fools by Molly Fox

Educational Helpsby Laurie Detweiler

Free Offer




April 2010




Once again our feature article comes from one of our customers/students. Enjoy learning about the history of and practical applications of April Fool’s Day. By being selected, Molly is the winner of our April Fool’s Writing Contest. Congratulations, Molly.

I also want to alert you to the first announcement below of additional Self-Paced courses. We are very excited about them. Check them out, and you’ll quickly see why.


Feature Article


April Fools


April Fool’s Day is held on April 1st of each year. It started in France when King Charles the IX changed the calendar in 1564. Because March 21st – April 1st had been the original New Year’s celebration date, some French traditionalists chose to continue to celebrate it then. They were called “April fools.” The holiday then grew into a day when pranks are played on family members and friends. In France, they call those who are tricked an “April fish,” and in Scotland they call them an “April gowk.”


There are hundreds of jokes to play on April Fool’s Day. It is more fun, however, if you can think of your own prank to play on a friend instead of using someone else’s. However, sometimes it is hard to think of one yourself, especially if you have been using one every year. Here are some ideas that you may find useful.


A classic joke is to change the clocks. For example, you could set them one hour ahead of the actual time when nobody is looking and watch everyone’s distressed faces and exclamations of “Where did the time go!” Make sure if you do this that you change every clock, not just one, or your trick may be found out immediately. Also, don’t set the clocks too far ahead or the suspicious ones who know it is April Fool’s Day will know what you did!


Another option is to switch the salt and sugar. This is very risky, though, and is not necessarily recommended. However, if you don’t intend to eat whatever dessert the cook of your family makes out of salt, it may not be that bad of an idea.


My father has been the victim of many food tricks. Probably the funniest prank we have ever played was when we put red food coloring into my father’s glass of water and told him it was cranberry juice. The look on his face was tremendously hilarious! Once we were performing a science experiment where we put salt on cucumbers. My father did not know anything unusual was on them and walked into the kitchen and ate some of them. “What in the world is wrong with these cucumbers?” he asked. “What did you do to them?” We thought that was funny, but we were slightly upset that he had eaten our science experiment. Another time we made gingerbread Christmas ornaments out of applesauce and cinnamon. Dad came in and tried to eat one, but he said he had to spit it out. “I thought they were cookies,” he explained. By now I do not think he will trust us on April Fool’s Day if we try to give him anything edible.


Try editing some pictures. For example, put a friend on the roof of the house, give your brother a fluffy wig, or give your little sister glasses. Make an impossible scene, like you sitting on the White House or flying in the sky.


One trick my siblings and I played several years ago was to hide when our dad came home, leaving a sign on the door reading “Gone to Iraq. Will be back at 4:00 a.m.” Unfortunately, he never saw the sign.


Have you ever seen a quarter glued to the road in bubblegum? When I first saw one, it looked easy to get at, but I soon found that it was impossible. Try sticking money to the road outside your house. Count how many people try to rescue it!


There are plenty more pranks you can play on April Fool’s Day, so get ideas and change or combine them into the best joke ever! Just make sure that you never re-use tricks on the same people.


Whatever you do, think before you act. Remember never to do something to someone that you would not want them to do to you. Do not do something that you think is funny that they will not laugh over. Before you play a prank on someone, think to yourself, “Would my friend really want me to do this to them, or would it make them sad or embarrass them?” Think about other people’s feelings. Put yourself in their place. And if you do trick them, don’t make fun of them and laugh at them for a long time. Sure, a little is okay, but if you go on and on about how dumb they looked and how funny it was and how they sure were stupid, you may hurt their feelings. It is better not to make someone laugh than it is to risk hurting them. Also, make sure you don’t do anything dangerous. For example, don’t start any fires or make any explosions. Don’t give anybody a heart attack.


April Fool’s Day is designed to make people laugh, not cry, so be considerate. But do not hesitate to play a friendly joke and have a good time.


Molly Fox


Molly is a 13-year-old eighth grader living with her family in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Educational Helps


As our online classes at Veritas Press Scholars Academy have continued to grow, more and more people are asking whether their child needs to be proficient in typing in order to take classes. The answer to that is generally, “yes.”


As some of you may know, I am still rather old fashioned when it comes to the computer. I still like to write with a pen and paper in my hand but have come to the realization that it is a waste of time to write it out on paper and then type my writings into a Word document. I watch my children and am amazed at what they can do with a laptop and a few hours. What used to take several people more than a couple days can now be accomplished in hours.


A simple example of this would be planning a trip. If we decided to drive from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to Dallas, Texas, we now simply go to Google Maps or Mapquest, type in the beginning and ending addresses, print out the results, and hop in the car. Of course, a GPS makes even this step unnecessary. When I was a child the alternative was to lay out physical maps and draw a line or even hop in the family car and drive over to the AAA office, waiting in line behind others doing the same thing.


So what does this mean to classical Christian education? It means if we are to take back culture, we have to keep up with the times. Our children need to learn to type and type well. (I’m not saying by this that they don’t need to learn and practice handwriting.) The computer is an incredible tool for education, particularly at home. Imagine what your day would be like without the Internet. What used to take me days to research, I can now do in a few hours. When we first started Veritas Press, Marlin and I spent days at the Library of Congress doing research for the history cards. Now I can do almost all of it from my desk at home. I can even do some of it in the car on a “smart” phone (while Marlin’s driving, of course).


So how young should your children be to learn formal typing? I would say instruction should begin around age 10. Before that there are plenty of games that help them learn the keyboard in a less structured way. And keep in mind it’s pretty hard to learn the keys before you can even identify your letters.


Below is a list of typing programs that we have either used or that have received good reviews. I am sure there are others, but I hope this helps.


Ages 6 – 10

Disney’s Adventure in Typing With Timon and Pumbaa

Jump Start Typing


Ages 11 and beyond

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing

Typing Instructor


A free online typing game


Laurie Detweiler



Free Offers


Free Shipping in April
YAHOO!! FREE SHIPPING on all U.S. orders placed in April, 2010. When you place your order, simply ask for the April Shipping Special. Be encouraged to place orders in April, a slower month, and not wait until the busy summer months. Note, too, that price increases occur May 1. If you place your order on our web site, simply enter item number FS0410 on the Express Order page and click Add to Order. We will deduct the shipping amount from your order manually before we ship.





Q. Do you have samples of your materials that I could view before I purchase?

A. Certainly, and we are increasing the number of samples all the time. For instance, take a look at several sample lesson plans, listen to a music sample from the Old Testament Ancient Egypt history song, or peek at the OTAE teacher’s manual. We also have a short video showing you how to use the history or Bible cards with your children. Keep checking the website as more samples are being added all the time.


Q.  My child has begun reading but is not proficient. Should I get the Phonics Museum Grade One Kit or the complete Kindergarten and First Grade Combo Kit?

A.  It really depends on the age of the child. If this is an older child, and the child is reading short vowel words, then they can begin the first grade portion. If this is a five- or six-year-old, we recommend taking them through the entire program in order to ensure that you do not miss anything and because they need to learn to form their letters. The safest approach is to go through the whole program (K & 1), speeding through portions they’ve already mastered. That way you will be assured there will not be gaping holes in their learning.


Please submit any questions you’d like answered here to





More Self-Paced Courses Coming This Fall

This new area of self-paced courses has hit the market and our office by storm. Words cannot easily express how good the feedback has been and how excited we are with the quality of the learning. We now believe this is the very best way for students to grasp and master the material. Click here to read what customers have said. Registration is now open as follows:


Course1                                                            Available         Cost

Old Testament and Ancient Egypt History     Now                $250

New Testament, Greece and Rome                 9/7/10                        $2002

Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation    9/7/10                        $2002

Explorers to 1815                                            10/1/10          $2002

1815 to the Present                                         TBD                Not Available3


1 Click on the course title to register.

2 This special price of $200 is a prepublication price available only for April registrations.

3 We expect this course to be available by Sep. 2011. However, it’s possible we could have it for January, 2011 if there is enough interest. If you would like it in January let us know with a note to


Update on Live Online Classes

Now’s the time to check out the live online class options. We already have as many registrations for next year as are currently taking courses this year, and classes don’t start for another five months! Many sections are even filled with waiting lists. Click here to learn more.


Two NEW Live Classes

Memory Period and History Survey and Transition have been added to the growing list of live online class offerings.


Memory Period

While memory work is one of the most important aspects of the grammar school years and of classical Christian education, it appears to be one of the most difficult things to work into a homeschooling day. Students will learn the Veritas Press history and Bible timelines, Latin chants, math facts, grammar jingles, and much more.


History Survey and Transition

A crash course for children who haven’t yet gotten a basic timeline of history and for those who would benefit from a transition class from the grammar school program to the rigors of Omnibus. Using the Veritas Press history cards, students will gain a historical timeline overview from Creation to the present and use historical fiction to aid in the connections of these events to related ideas.


Coloring Contest Winners

With personal flair, great imagination, and an obvious enthusiasm, many young artists entered our Great Masters coloring contest. It is always difficult to pick winners, and we are grateful for the many submissions. Yet we like to recognize achievement, and these children emerged as the winners. They have each won a $50 gift certificate.


Ages 3 to 5      Owen Michael Whiting, age 5

Ages 6 to 9      Acacia Strawser, age 7

Ages 10-12      Aubrey Hart, age 12, and Hope Salmon, age 12 (co-winners, both will receive $50 gift certificates)


Enjoy viewing the winners' entries here.


Open House and Warehouse Shopping at Veritas Press

We customarily have a very large presence (10 booths) at CHAP, the homeschool fair in Harrisburg, Pa., over Mother’s Day weekend. The cost of doing so has gotten so high we are trying something different. YOU CAN COME TO US! On May 7th and 8th we welcome you to browse our warehouse. It will be great fun. Look for more detail in the May epistula and by a separate email announcement. Come join the party and enjoy:

●    Continental breakfast and snacks throughout both days on us

●    Giveaways

●    Workshops on

- History/Bible

            - Omnibus

            - VPSA

●    Your own personal shopper

●    Scheduled lesson plan help

●    Taking your books with you (no shipping charge)


Veritas Press Teacher Training and In-A-Week Courses

Don't miss our teacher training and “In-A-Week” courses which are planned for this summer. Last year we offered these online only. The feedback was very good, and we plan the same for this year. Our teacher training conference is scheduled for July 28–30, 2010. Look for an announcement and the opening of registration for it in the next couple weeks.


We also plan to again offer intense training in what have come to be called “In-A-Week” classes. These classes are also geared to teachers, and we expect to have them for Latin and several Omnibus classes—all taught online by outstanding teachers with considerable expertise in the material. What better way to prepare yourself to teach these courses or just learn the material for your own edification? Please be encouraged to join us for these great opportunities. Register for In-A-Week courses here.


Latin In-A-Week                     July 19-23        Joanna Hensley

Latin In-A-Week                     July 26-30        Joanna Hensley

Omnibus I In-A-Week                        June 21-25       Bruce Etter

Omnibus I In-A-Week                        July 12-16        Bruce Etter

Omnibus II In-A-Week           June 7-11         Graham Dennis

Omnibus III In-A-Week         June 21-25       Graham Dennis

Teacher Training                     July 28-30        Various speakers


Meet Dave Heinaman, Our Latest Addition

I (Marlin) have the pleasure of introducing our newest addition at Veritas Press. His name is David Heinaman, and he serves as the Business Manager for Veritas Press Scholars Academy. I first met Dave when he was a student teacher for 7th grade math—my 7th grade math. He ended up being hired full-time by the high school I attended, and I had another class with him in high school math. It has been great to reconnect with him, but even better, he brings an incredible wealth of experience in both education and technology, not to mention a deep Christian faith. Welcome, Dave!


Veritas Press Scholars Academy Diploma Program

Are you looking for your child to go to college? Do you desire accountability and assistance in knowing that each year your students are accomplishing what they need to? We now offer yearly certification services culminating in a high school diploma. There are four different diploma levels, each addressing the varying levels of a student’s abilities and circumstances. Year-by-year certification services ensure you are on track for your objectives, meeting an outside standard, and, in many cases, satisfying state requirements. We’ve even made provision for qualifying courses completed elsewhere or using other curricula. For more information, click here.


18th Annual ACCS Conference

The Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) national conference will be held June 17-19, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina. It is designed to provide the principles of a classical and Christian education and practical instruction in a broad range of subjects. Plenary sessions will feature Os Guinness, George Grant, Matt Whitling, and Douglas Wilson. Practical workshops will teach the implementation of classical Christian education. Marlin and Laurie Detweiler are scheduled to attend and speak, as well. Click here for more information or contact the ACCS office at (208) 882-6101.


Future Job Openings with Veritas Press Scholars Academy

Online Teachers—We are hiring now for next year! Don't wait if you are interested. With the rapid growth of our online courses, we continue to seek more teachers for the future. Experienced teachers can work from home, the beach, or anywhere high-speed internet is available. Send résumé to


Interesting Facts about Veritas Press

In March we asked, “In 2009 what was the most ordered item published by Veritas Press?” The answer was the Old Testament Ancient Egypt History Cards. Lisa Stevenson of Fraser, Mich., was the first to answer correctly and received a $25 gift certificate. We thought we’d try another fun question. The first person to email the correct answer to will again receive a $25 gift certificate. Here’s the question:


What is Marlin Detweiler's highest game score bowled in Wii bowling?



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