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Veritas Scholars Academy | 8 Minutes

12 Things I Wish I had Known about Joining Veritas Scholars Academy at the Grammar Level

Amy Kleespies Written by Amy Kleespies
12 Things I Wish I had Known about Joining Veritas Scholars Academy at the Grammar Level

Salvete omnes! Hello to you all! I’m Amy Kleespies, Veritas Scholars Academy instructor. I teach grammar-level geography, math, and literature and secondary-level literature, Latin, grammar, and Omnibus! I wear a lot of hats at this school, including the VSA mom hat. Our family started homeschooling many years ago, and my two kids (now both in high school) have been full-time with VSA for three years. Before going full-time, we were lovers of Veritas Press’s Bible Self-Paced courses. It wasn’t long before I was looking into VSA more seriously, but it took me landing a job here before I enrolled my kids full-time. I feel so blessed that God led us to this school. While I know this was God’s plan for us, there are things I know now that I wish I’d known then to help me make the decision to join Veritas Scholars Academy earlier, at the Grammar level!

  1. I wish I had known the fantastic quality of Veritas Scholars Academy teachers.
    The teachers at VSA are elite! About 90% of VSA teachers have a masters, and many have doctorates. Not only that, but the teachers are authors, pastors, tutors, experts in their fields, parents, and most importantly, God-fearing Christians. Teachers are constantly working with each other to learn, grow, and better serve their students. In addition, they are experts in their subject area and are absolute professionals at teaching it to ALL students. When teaching my children, I knew all sorts of things in the different subject areas, but I didn’t necessarily know how best to teach them to my kids. I knew anatomy’s aspects but couldn’t explain it to my kids and help them truly understand. VSA teachers have that special knack for engaging all students through activities and discussions – mainly because they are so passionate about what they do!

  2. I wish I had known that VSA classes at the grammar level are the stepping stones to preparing students for secondary classes.
    It’s like putting together a Lego project. You start receiving the Lego bricks in grammar school courses, and you need to hang on to these tiny pieces for years until it’s time to start building the Lego project in secondary school. If you don’t know what the end build looks like, how are you supposed to know which pieces to grab along the way? If you’re not an expert in Chemistry, how are you supposed to know what will fully prepare them for Chemistry? You may unintentionally leave crucial pieces out entirely. VSA is structured so that students are given the correct Lego bricks along the way so they can make masterpieces at the secondary level!

  3. I wish I had known that VSA teaches rigor from a young age, using advanced materials (a top-notch curriculum), but is absolutely attainable by all students.
    VSA pushes students to accomplish more than even the parents knew their students could accomplish. This seems scary, but I’ve learned to trust the process and have seen my kiddos grow immensely in what they can do. I’ve seen how this has helped them grow in their academic confidence! I wish I had allowed them to realize this at the grammar level instead of throwing them into the deep end in secondary classes.

  4. I wish I had known that my kids needed accountability beyond our household.
    When we were homeschooling, there were times when I moved ‘due dates’ for our assignments to accommodate a party that came up or a sudden trip that we wanted to go on! My kids learned quickly at VSA how to prioritize what needed to get done to finish their assignments in a timely manner and STILL be able to go to parties and vacations! Let’s be real for a second; it was also great not to be the bad guy anymore! It wasn’t me dishing out the homework; it was another teacher! It wasn’t my deadline that needed to be met; it was another teacher! In addition, sometimes, I graded too easy or, even more often, too hard. I often had unrealistic expectations for my kids because I didn’t know what expectations for a student their age should be! It was a relief when I could rely on teacher experts to make those judgment calls. Grades were no longer an arbitrary number or letter. Grades are now an accurate representation of my kids’ knowledge of any given subject area.

  5. I wish I had known that my kids needed deep and rich discussions with teachers and classmates.
    It is so different reading a book and discussing it in a home (which is WONDERFUL – never stop doing that!) than reading a book and discussing it in a classroom setting. Embracing discussions from a biblical worldview with students from all walks of life, from around the world, and with a teacher is priceless! Socratic questioning allows for much more profound interaction with the text than I could provide at home. I’m thrilled and in awe with the level of understanding of the deep complexities of each book or book of the Bible that these different in-class discussions have brought to our home discussions. It enriches our conversations at home and has helped my children to become skilled communicators. They’re able to spread the Gospel and communicate Truth. As a teacher, I find myself in tears each year as student discussions lead us to conversations about God’s providence, grace, love, sacrifice of his only Son, and presence in our lives.

  6. I wish I had known that VSA is an introduction to a university model of education.
    This type of education combines the best attributes of traditional schooling with the best attributes of homeschooling and integrates them into one model. It allows families flexibility, gifting parents and children time together!

  7. I wish I had known that VSA creates lifelong learners.
    Not only have my students been given this gift of a rich education, but they’ve also learned why it’s essential to continue learning. My kids see their teachers continuing to learn and grow themselves. I once found my son reading a book that looked like it may have been from Omnibus. When I asked him about it, he let me know that he was just reading this book for fun because his science teacher mentioned something about the topic area, and he wanted to know more! That is an educational win right there!

  8. I wish I had known that my students would be immersed in classrooms with teachers and students from around the world.
    My kids have had teachers from all over the planet, including Africa, Scotland, Australia, Thailand, and Canada! VSA students are from around the world as well! At one point, I was teaching a class that had students from every single continent (except Antarctica!). The conversations we had about culture during the class are something I’ll never forget!

  9. I wish I had known about the community you can build at VSA.
    Each class becomes a family! The students get to know each other very well, and as students get older, they start seeing the same kids in many of their classes. As a huge community, VSA is beginning to see more and more meet-ups scheduled around the nation! Personally, my daughter and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet a VSA family while we were on vacation! Our daughters had gotten close during a class and had stayed in contact in the years since. When they got together, it was like they had known each other their entire lives rather than that being the first time they had ever met in person! The End of Year Gathering is yet another way to meet families, teachers, and other students!

  10. I wish I had known how much VSA helps kids learn the ins and outs of technology!
    My kids weren’t ‘forced’ to learn how to type before joining Veritas. They didn’t know how to use different computer programs or how to format a document. They had no idea what pdfs were nor how to submit one. They had never seen an online school platform or had to navigate to different places to find materials and enter their classroom. It didn’t take long after joining this school that my kids could navigate things better than I. They also were quickly able to type fluently! I loved helping my kiddos learn how to format their word documents and create PowerPoint presentations. At the secondary level, there are even computer programming courses! All these skills are extremely necessary to master before college and to enter the workforce.

  11. I wish I had known that VSA classes allow for creativity!
    Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of projects (a.k.a. – in my head: MESSES)! I thought it much more important to write papers, read stories, and have deep discussions. This wasn’t a bad thing, but my poor kids were missing out on fun baking activities, cultural cooking, artistic projects, and challenges like ‘build a board game!’ VSA allowed me to see what my kids were missing out on and gave them the creative inspiration to go beyond the norm. I can imagine how this idea of creativity can go the opposite way as well: perhaps there are families out there primarily working on projects and creations, not making enough time to write papers, read stories, and discuss issues. Instead, VSA balances this out – the best of both worlds!

  12. I wish I had known of the power of prayer in a classroom.
    Each day teachers and/or students pray into class. It is beautiful to listen to students pray for each other. All teachers teach from a biblical worldview, meaning they consistently and expertly weave God’s Word into their daily lessons. This is such a gift!

I could go on and on about each of these areas. Overall, I hope you see how special this school is and consider talking to a Family Consultant today about how Veritas Scholars Academy can bless your family.