Remembering and Moving Forward

Written by Marlin Detweiler

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 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM, 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 (


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.