For the last year much of our development effort has been dedicated to the Heritage Academy, an online study program that was created to complement the Heritage Classical Curriculum. It was an ambitious undertaking and we are still working on additional courses, but in December we released the Early America Academy Course, the fourth unit in our series.
The other three civilizations currently available as Academy courses are Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and British Middle Ages. Our Young Readers unit almost ready and we hope to have it released by January. British Empire and Modern Europe should also be ready by Spring 2014.
In our previous post we discussed the reasons we recommend an individualized “living books” approach to learning history, and told how the Heritage Classical Curriculum was developed to minimize busywork and maximize enjoyment of the subject.
What additional benefits then, do we expect customers to get from enrolling in the Heritage History Academy? A few reasons history lovers might appreciate the tools and resources provided by the Heritage History Academy are listed below. You can also compare features between Curriculum CDs and Academy Courses here or learn more about the Heritage History Academy here.
1) Convenience: The Academy provides an easy way to download resources directly from the website. You still get access to dozens of e-books and printable PDFs that enable students to do their reading off-line, but now they can be downloaded directly to any computer or mobile device. This is especially useful to some of our international customers, who would like to avoid the cost and delays of out-of-country shipping.
2) Accountability: Many families value the accountability provided by the Heritage History Academy. We encourage families to keep track of student reading. The Academy makes this easy to do by awarding “points” for each book read so students can progress towards a specific goal. The Academy also allows students to print progress reports listing specifics about each book read, as well as overall tests scores. These comprehensive reports can be used as course descriptions for homeschool based transcripts.
3) Study Review Questions: The Heritage Academy includes hundreds of multiple-choice study questions that are can be used to help students remember details and identify important characters and events. Study questions can be reviewed as many times as necessary to help students improve their test scores, and are a quick and easy way to improve retention.
4) Easy Updates: Last year was a slow one for new book releases, but over the last ten years we’ve released between 30 and 50 new books per year. The Academy offers a flexible way to make new e-books and resources available to our customers as soon as we release them. This is much more convenient for everyone than waiting for a revision of the Curriculum CD.
5) Transition from Other Curricula: We’re hoping the Academy offers an easy transition for students have used other curriculum, but would also like to use the Heritage History resources for more in depth learning. The Level I study questions provided for each unit are based on our “required” reading recommendations but they cover facts of history that are common to many traditional programs.
6) Parent/Teacher Accounts: We’re planning enhancements to make the Heritage Academy even more useful to parent and teachers. Parents can already create accounts that allow them to view the progress of each of their children. In the future, independent history teachers will be able to use similar accounts to track the reading and test progress of their entire class.
For the next several months we’re offering generous discounts to new and existing customers who are willing to provide feedback regarding their experience. See our Early Enrollment page for more information.