10 Ways to Use an Omnibus Textbook
One of our joys at Veritas Press has been the creation of our Great Books curriculum known as the Omnibus. Omnibus is one of those terms that seems familiar to many but may not be understood. The Omni hotel chain and a whole host of businesses using the term omni can be found by using Google.
The term omni comes from the Latin omnis and simply means all.
Omnibus builds on this definition and is understood to mean “a volume containing several novels or other items previously published separately.” That’s not exactly what we did or how we use the term. We think of it a bit more as “all-encompassing.”
It is all encompassing in this respect: it seeks to teach the student how to think about everything through a biblical worldview or as Johann Kepler, a 17th century scientist said, “Thinking God's thoughts after Him.”
Like all curriculum we publish we have produced the Omnibus with an eye on great versatility. During the creative process we always have an ideal way to use it in mind but we recognize that it is important for schools and homeschoolers to be able to use it in many ways to fit their needs.
One of our editors provided us a categorized list of various groups of the books studied using the Omnibus. It may spark ideas for you on other beneficial ways to use the program.
But, before we go there, we must realize that these are big, heavy books. So, we’ve developed another list that you might enjoy (thanks to our students who have taken Omnibus in an online class):
10 Alternate Ways to use an Omnibus Textbook
For those who noticed the list was 11 and not 10, just realize that the Omnibus has little to do with math.
There are six Omnibus texts intended for use from 7th – 12th grades. Omnibus 1 primarily covers ancient texts, Omnibus 2 medieval texts and Omnibus 3 modern. Omnibus 4, 5 and 6 repeat the pattern, but with more difficult material. The first three focus on a dialectic or logic approach. Students are encouraged to argue about the material. In 4, 5 and 6 the emphasis is toward a rhetoric age student with exercises and lessons that have them being more expressive. It is perfectly fine for an older student to use the first three books but we’d recommend waiting until 9th or 10th grade to use Omnibus 4, 5 or 6.
In each text there are a collection of primary books and a collection of secondary books. These books make up two distinct classes. The course for the primary books tends to have more of the important works from the time-period. The course using the secondary books tends to be a little lighter and easier. All 66 books for the Bible are studied over the course of six years when completing all 12 courses.
The work is so thorough that we recommend—and this is what we do with our online students—issuing three credits when a student completes the primary and secondary books courses in the same year. They receive a history, literature and theology credit.
In spite of this best practices design, there are many other ways to use the books. One might want to “read up” on what was said about Herodotus or see the introductory essay for the “slave narratives.” And to remember in which volume each book is covered or to find all the books on a certain type of literature is a time-consuming task. Now we’ve got a handy little tool for you to do this the Omnibus Category Index.
This document might be very useful for many varied ways to use these books. Enjoy. Click HERE to view the Omnibus Category Index.
And if your students are of an age to consider the Omnibus program we would be quite interested in talking to you. In the mean time, the link below will take you to our Omnibus online class offerings.
Click HERE for the complete list of Omnibus class offerings.
By Marlin Detweiler