Feature Article – Remembering and Moving Forward by Marlin Detweiler
Educational Helps – by Laurie Detweiler and Ned Bustard
Well, we’re not proud of
the fact that we’re late in getting this issue out (it was due out Monday), but
you should know that it was for good reason. You see, my dog died, the kids
have the flu, I broke my typing finger and . . . OK, the truth. The truth is we
wanted to announce the Veritas Press Scholars Program, a program that we intend
adding numerous aspects to over the coming years but presently includes two
very significant services—a complete set of lesson plans and a broad range of
online course offerings. Read on and enjoy. And don’t forget to look at the
Free Offers. We’ve got
Remembering and Moving Forward
It is hard to believe that with the upcoming catalog we will have been in business 10 years. We still remember the beginning and sometimes laugh out loud at some of the decisions we made. The first catalog was mailed to 32,000 folks. You may have been one of them. We thought, well, OK, we’ll run the business out of our home on one phone line with call waiting. When the catalog began reaching its destinations, we were, in a word, overwhelmed. I still remember taking orders only to be interrupted as many as a dozen times by the beep of a call on our only phone line. I hope you don’t remember that.
The remainder of that summer was a blur. We had five more telephone lines installed. People worked from the basement, the dining room, the family room, the kitchen and a small bedroom that we had turned into a small library. They took telephone orders on paper, gave them to me, and I input them into the one computer we had, printed them and took them to the garage, which had become the warehouse. From to , sometimes later, we processed orders and packed books. Our garage faced our neighbor’s garage. He could see what was happening. He wasn’t happy. At least I had the good sense to hire his daughter. Yet after the summer ended he, in the most polite terms he could muster after having put up with our unanticipated bonanza, came over and asked if we’d be moving the business out of our house. When I assured him we would and made good on my promise in fairly short order, he was quite relieved.
My in-laws were very kind. Seeing the delightful yet enormous problem that had arisen, they came up from Florida to help. They drove kids, helped keep house, cook, etc. to free Laurie and me so we could steer this out-of-control ship with more hands on deck.
Barely surviving that first summer, things did calm down in the fall, and we were able to make better arrangements for the next year. People like Carl Petticoffer, Ginny Walls and many others have since organized the operation and made it run so smoothly, I can’t believe it sometimes. Thanks guys.
And if you were one of those first summer customers, I have two things to say: thank you and I’m sorry.
Laurie and I continue to enjoy what we do very much. Even as I write, tears well up thinking about how good God has been to allow me to work with my wife doing something I love, having it be tied to the education of my own children and frequently hearing from folks around the country (in fact, the world) express their gratitude. Actually, we are the ones who should be grateful. And we are.
Yet we know there is more that can be done. Over the past several months we have put out feelers and surveys to determine what would seem the best means to help you, our customers, even further. Two ideas came through loud and clear. Providing more guidance for yearly, weekly and even daily planning and, for older students, online classes—particularly in more difficult disciplines. These two ideas are part of the new Veritas Press Scholars program.
So, here’s the plan, and we can’t tell you how excited we are.
This past year we offered two classes in Omnibus I Primary Books. They filled up, and the feedback has been such a blessing. We are very grateful. So for the 2007–2008 school year, Veritas Press Scholars Online is offering a whole host of online classes. Some of the classes are already full or near full. Many were just posted on our web site. You can check out the offerings from our home page (www.veritaspress.com).
And we are well into the development of lesson plans for kindergarten through sixth grade that can be customized for homeschools and schools wanting to use books and curriculum we recommend. In fact, we plan to ship them around August 1st. Our goal is to do as much planning and preparation work for you as possible, so you are free to teach and be assisted in your teaching. The program is ideal for mothers (and fathers) who want to teach their children at home, for teachers—trained or not—who want to spend their time teaching rather than planning and for folks who want maximum integration of the material across disciplines.
Our writers are teachers who are highly experienced and familiar with our material. They really know how to “pack it in.” We’re frequently asked, “How do you fit all that you do into one day?” Integration is the answer. When a writing assignment is called for, and you can use content from the history, Bible or literature being studied, you will turn two lessons into, say, one and a half lessons. We will also tell you when you can cut or combine certain lessons. No more need to figure out complex curricula on your own. In the lesson plans we do it for you. Another important aspect included in the lesson plans is an effort to consistently help students make connections between biblical events and non-biblically recorded history. Children need to know their Bibles in the context of the world in which we live.
The lesson plans are scripted and flexible. They will give you the words to say, if you prefer, or the ideas to use and adapt to your own style. And maybe best of all for those teaching multiple children at home, they will allow you to teach some disciplines in a combined way, avoiding working over the head of the younger students and not challenging the older ones. For how it works, call us or go to our home page and follow the link.
These last 10 years have been such a blessing. As we move forward with additional services, we can’t thank you enough for the expressions of gratitude that flood our mail, email and telephone lines. When we started we hoped in some way to contribute to the faithful and rigorous educating and raising of precious covenant children—your and ours. Our goals remain the same, and we are excited to add these new tools to the repertoire.
As I sit here writing, it is dark and gloomy with rain coming down. It is hard to believe that Easter is just a few days away. Attached you will find an activity for Easter Egg Painting that is a little different from your normal dying of eggs. In years past, before an artist could go down to their local art supply store and purchase paint, they had to make their own. Find out how to do this and have some Easter fun in the process. Click here to access our download page. Then click on the Easter Egg Painting link under Free Helps. Happy Easter!
The free offers this month are bigger and better than ever as we celebrate 10 very enjoyable years.
Free Shipping in April
One Free Year of Books and Lesson Plans in the New Veritas Press Scholars Program
As you read in the feature article above, we have introduced the Veritas Press Scholars Program, with one aspect being a complete selection of books and curricular materials with lesson plans to accompany them. If this program is for you, you’ll want to sign up now, because in addition to free shipping, you will be entered to win the entire year free up to $1,000. That’s right; to share our excitement about this new program, we are giving away one entire year for one student randomly picked from every customer who orders this program in April. The winner will be contacted during the first week of May and will be refunded the cost, if applicable.
Two Free Registration Fees for Online Classes
If you register for a Veritas Press Scholars Online class during April, you will be included in a drawing for a free registration valued at $50. Winners will have already paid for the registration, so the prize will be in the form of a refund of the cost.
Q. HELP! My eight-year-old son hates to read. It is becoming a discipline issue every day. Do you have any suggestions?
Help is on the way. Two of our four sons really did not like reading, and two loved to read. In fact, one reads Shakespeare for pleasure. We have had different levels of success with both of the boys who did not like to read. First let me say, there are some things to do, but don’t despair: some children who don’t like to read as youngsters mature and realize that it is an important part of life. Second, you need to answer the question, Are there any learning disabilities like dyslexia that are causing it to be so difficult that they give up? If the answer is no, then you need to capture their imagination, because my guess is, the dirt in the back yard already has. One of my sons who did not like to read loved bugs. I found every easy reader on bugs that I could get my hands on. Then I let him go in the backyard and “dig” for all the bugs he was reading about. We also started a bug collection, pinning the dead bugs to a board and classifying them. Soon he started to like to read. The other suggestion would be to turn this dislike into a “cool” father-son outing. Have your husband take him to your local library or book store and select some special boy books with dad. You might even want to make a stop for lunch on the way home. Most of all, don’t give up. Kids are different and respond to different approaches.
Q. This is not really a question, but more of a suggestion for other homeschoolers and teachers. After homeschooling for seven years, I found myself struggling with some of my methods for classical Christian education. I looked over on my bookshelf and saw Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson. I decided to reread this, hoping it would motivate me like it had the first time. It did! Now I have decided to reread it every year. Hope this helps other people.
a great suggestion. At
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Dr. Leland Ryken will be the featured
speaker at the 2007 Teacher Training Conference July 18–20 in
Those who choose to take advantage of this foundational learning opportunity will leave invigorated with clear tools, methods and plans to teach and administer a classical Christian education in their school or homeschool. We will also be offering Latin-in-a-Week July 16–20th. Look for a brochure shortly if you:
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