Have you heard of Drive Thru History? You may have seen them on TV, and they used to just produce DVDs. Recently they started Drive Thru History Adventures, an online homeschool video curriculum. We were fortunate to be given the chance to review Drive Thru History Adventures.
Right now there are three different classes:
- Bible History (an 18-week study of the Gospels)
- American History (a 12-week study of early American History)
- Ancient History (a 12-week study of early Greece, Rome, and Asia Minor)
They are working on another Bible course, Acts to Revelation, which should be releasing soon.
As well as the website, Drive Thru History Adventures has Adventures TV, an app that can be installed on a mobile device (iPhone, iPad, and Android) or TV (Chromecast). This allows you to stream all of the videos. There are links that will take you back to their main page from the app.
Drive Thru History Adventures also has a Facebook page. There are so many different pages out there that have no interaction, but this one is different. They make a point to welcome all new members which is a nice touch. Also, they answer questions and post pictures and articles.
After signing up, I went to the website. There is a “Getting Started” section that includes a Welcome video, and videos on using the different sections of the website.
We chose to focus on the Bible History course. It is suggested to be an 18-week study. There is a video giving a brief introduction of how to use the curriculum.
Each video is approximately 30 minutes in length. The videos are packed with information, with the host, Dave Stotts, traveling to different areas of Israel. There is plenty of artwork interspersed throughout the videos, as well as on the website itself.
The lessons also include scripture readings (embedded for easier reading), five discussion questions (with a worksheet and separate answer sheet), a summary, what they call “Side Road” (also included on the worksheets), and a “Dig Deeper” section.
As often happens, one topic can lead to another. That is where the Side Road comes in. It highlights a topic mentioned in the episode that is not on the main topic for the lesson but is still relevant. For example, Episode 6 (Jesus Returns to Galilee) discusses the “Pontius Pilate Inscription” which is a stone inscription found in 1961 with the words, “Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea…”
The Dig Deeper section includes at least two articles that provide a more in-depth discussion of that week’s topic. Each article has been well researched and comes with citations. This seems to be one of the sections that is added to quite frequently. We tried to print one of the articles to read it offline, but the website formatting made that difficult. So you’ll have to read these articles online.
The 18 Lessons
- 1: The Historical Landscape
- 2: The Announcements
- 3: Jesus is Born
- 4: Jesus Grows Up
- 5: Jesus Starts His Ministry
- 6: Jesus Returns to Galilee
- 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles
- 8: Jesus Teaches with Authority
- 9: The Sermon on the Mount
- 10: Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
- 11: Jesus Travels North
- 12: A Final Trip to Jerusalem
- 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
- 14: The Last Supper
- 15: The Trial of Jesus
- 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus
- 17: The Resurrection of Jesus
- 18: Who is Jesus?
We didn’t have time to work on the American History and Ancient History classes during the timeframe for the review. However, I did glance through the lessons. I was impressed with the amount of material available. For these classes, there are also suggested readings, which they have included as pdf documents in the Resource section of the website.
Drive Thru History Adventures has done their research. Each lesson was packed with information, and having the videos on location allowed you to see where these events took place. The host, Dave Stotts, was energetic and very knowledgeable.
The boys liked that the lessons went in chronological order rather than focusing on one gospel at once. It helped give a fuller picture of what was going on. They liked how in depth the lessons were and the little bit of humor that was added.
The video quality was excellent. We enjoyed seeing all the different places throughout Israel that we have read about in the Bible. It makes us want to visit the Holy Land. Since the boys have been learning a little about video capturing and editing, it gave them a better appreciation for how much work has gone into making this series.
The artwork that was included were great choices for each of the lessons. Some were pieces I had never seen before. It is nice to be able to integrate art with history.
The Adventures TV is a nice feature to allow watching the videos on a mobile device. I plan to have the boys use an iPad to watch the other two series in the coming months.
On the website, the header bar is very large. The pictures of the art are also large, which makes it impossible to see an entire piece of art without scrolling down. For some, this might not be a big deal.
A few of the episodes had a lot of fast-moving camera angles or 3D movement of artwork, which was a little dizzying and caused a little motion sickness for me (but I have problems with that sort of thing). However, the boys didn’t have a problem with it; they actually enjoyed seeing the pictures in 3D. The boys thought that the music was too loud in some parts and the talking too quiet.
I don’t think it was enough for a full 18-week course. We were able to watch a video a day and then the boys completed the worksheet and read the readings. All of this took about an hour each day. If you were to add relevant assignments, copywork, or writing you might be able to make it a half-year course.
Overall, we really liked the Drive Thru History Adventures program. It was a nice surprise to receive patches, stickers, and an autographed picture of Dave Stotts in the mail. We’ve enjoyed watching the weekly update videos on Facebook.
The site is still a work in progress, and they are continually adding new resources. I think the additional material will help make it an even better program. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone.
Right now if you sign up for the annual subscription of Drive Thru History Adventures, you can get The Gospels DVD set for free.