Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Drive Thru History Adventures - A Review

Hey everyone, fasten your seat belts, because have I got the coolest review to share with you from Drive Thru History Adventures ! Our family received a free subscription from this online history website, and we've been delving into the riches of the Bible through the material presented by the creator of this curriculum, Dave Stotts. Now, I don't know about you, but the subject of history is not always the most popular topic in our household. Oh, I love it, as does my 12 year old, but my 13 year old? Oh, my word. The sighs, the eye rolls, the...drama. Little did I know that as we began our journey through Bible history presented with this resource, all negative attitudes (or at least most of them) would turn around.

So, what are Drive Thru History Adventures , anyway? The short answer is, it's the most entertaining, interesting, and engaging history curriculum available today!  (I don't know how short that actually was) Now, I know that you probably want a little more information than that, so here we go.
As I referenced above, it was Dave Stotts who created these "Adventures", as he calls them. He has spent a large amount of time traveling the world, and putting together material with a biblical worldview, with the intention of capturing the attention of the current generation, and getting them excited for history.
There are three online courses available - Bible History (18 weeks), American History (12 weeks), and Ancient History (12 weeks). Over the years, I've seen many courses make the claim of being versatile. In the case of this homeschool video series , it really is true. The lessons work for a wide range of ages. While written for 12 years and up, children as young as 5 benefit from the videos and questions alone, and teens can take advantage of the many extra articles, readings, and more to go a little deeper.

So that's a general overview, now I want to share about the course that  my daughters and I have been working through over the past month - Bible History!

"C'mon, girls, let's start the online history adventures ," I called out to my daughters. The youngest ran to the table, where the computer sat, the first lesson queued up, ready to go. The oldest moved at a slightly slower pace. We all sat, three in a row, in anticipation. The first exciting strains of music played, and we were off! I cast a few sidelong glances at my oldest, attempting to interpret her facial expression. Dave Stotts appeared, cracking jokes, and introduced his faithful Jeep, named Steve McQueen. As my girls giggled, I knew this was going to be a great fit for us. Approximately a month later, that's still the case. And I'll get into that more shortly. But first, the Bible History overview.

The Bible History courses begin by setting the scene for who Jesus was, what Jewish culture and Roman cultures were like way back then, where we see references to Jesus throughout the pre-New Testament times, and all about King Herod. The lessons are laid out in a beautifully organized way. They are divided into 18 weeks, or episodes. Each episode can be divided into one week's worth of course work. The video, which is about a half an hour long, comes first. What a great way to begin the week! Seeing where biblical accounts took place has added a rich dimension to my own knowledge of the Bible. It adds a new context when you can see what the actual buildings and cities look like, like putting pieces of a puzzle together. Also, besides being an excellent teacher in the videos, Dave Stotts is simply hilarious! Learning is a lot more fun with the addition of laughter! But having said that, he gives Scripture its due reverence. Even my 12 year old noted that during the episodes that taught of Jesus' trial, and crucifixion, the tone was somber and respectful.

If your kids are younger, your week can end with the videos. For the older students, there is a lot more that can be used. Included in each episode are paintings relating to the theme, works of art, summaries of the lesson, downloadable worksheets with answer keys that have discussion questions. Scripture readings, as you would expect, are a huge part of the reading material. Drive Thru History Adventures have made it so easy for students, as they include a Scripture reading tool in each lesson, so you're ready to go if your Bible doesn't happen to be handy. Beyond all of this, there are additional articles that relate to the material being presented in a particular week. For the first couple of weeks, topics  include the historical impact of Jesus, and Roman coins relating to the Gospels. There is plenty to learn each week!

By the time you have finished this Bible course, you will have worked through the first half of the New Testament. Along the way, you will have also learned about archeology, geography, apologetics, art, and oh yes, history. There's also more good news, as there are more Bible adventures to come! 2018 should see new lessons from Acts to Revelation. I cannot wait!

For the purpose of this review, we worked a little faster through much of the lessons, in order to be able to sample it from beginning to end. So, while we've been using this program for about a month, we've watched most of the videos, completed pretty much all of the discussion questions, and read a lot of the New Testament. We've read some, but not all of the articles. We'll be going back over all of these a bit more slowly now. In spite of a faster pace, my daughters have enjoyed the ride. I haven't had one complaint about history since we started. My youngest said just yesterday, "Mom, we never have to worry about another history program again. We can do this!" I have to say, yep, I agree.

After all of this, there couldn't possibly be more, right? Well, hold on, because there is another cool addition - Adventures TV!  This is an app you can download on your smart phone, so you can access Drive Thru History Adventures anywhere! It has all of your courses on it, as well as a few fun extras- Dave's Adventures, where he shares a couple of minutes of history about a particular  holiday or event. There are "side roads", where you can learn about miscellaneous topics- even yes, the history of cheese, lol. There are behind the scenes videos, and if you thought Dave was funny before, check out the blooper reel! All of these may be streamed onto your TV, or you can do what we typically do, take it along for those long car rides, and make the time pass faster!

After reading all of this, you're probably not surprised to hear that we absolutely love this subscription! In a culture that has no shortage of mind numbing video games, apps, and videos, it's a huge blessing to have access to a program that yes, teaches, but does it in a fun, modern, engaging way that appeals to all ages. We've had some great history curriculum, but nothing like this.
Dave Stotts, you won over my history resistant 13 year old. She usually has few words to say about a subject, but in her words, "It's great, he's hilarious." That is high praise coming from her. When I see her running over to watch a new video that he's uploaded, and devouring it, let's just say, I'm thrilled! I'm very grateful for this resource!

There are a lot of programs, curriculums, and resources that I like a lot, but this gets top billing. I really hope that you'll investigate this, and actually, this is the perfect time to take a look, because Drive Thru History Adventures offers a free 7 day trial! If you decide you love it like we do, subscriptions are available for annual memberships - $124.99/year , or $12.99/month. With the annual membership, you'll also receive a free DVD set of The Gospels series (for U.S. and Canada residents only). And for all of you that are readers of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine , they're also offering a 20% discount to Drive Thru History Adventures . So get yourself over to these sites, and get started!

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Read more Crew reviews here .

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