I had heard of it before, but we had never used this program in our homeschool. Now that we’ve started this one, I am chomping at the bit to watch others by the same company.
In Drive Thru History, Dave Stotts takes you along on a ride to see things first hand and up close. In the course of 18 thirty-minute episodes, he explores The Gospels. Not only does he touch on what was actually said, but he digs deeper. You’ll get to hear some of the iconic stories from The Gospels and relearn what you thought you already knew.
He travels to the places – sometimes to the EXACT room – where significant events happened from the Bible to truly illustrate what went on. He shows artifacts, evidence, historical documents, and even art work from the time period in which the events actually occurred.
I loved watching these as he walked through the geography of the areas discussed in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He shows us modern-day versions of the places, but the screen often cut to show maps to tell the geography of places in the past. For example, in the first episode, he showed a map that highlighted the whole of the Roman Empire. I had never put all of that together to wrap my mind around the vastness of it before. I’m very visual, so this was hugely eye-opening for me. WOW!
Beyond geography and history, Dave Stotts gives some background into the culture and religions during that time, talks about archaeology surrounding what we are finding out or what we already knew about the time period and events, and even touches on the ceremonies and even art work related to the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Watch this trailer for a little bit of a sneak peek into the series:
Also included with the 3 DVD set in a 118 page study guide. For each episode, there is a summary, some discussion questions, a little more background information, and some great graphics or photographs. They’ve also included some Bible readings that correspond to the information covered in the episode.
There are many topics covered in the almost 9 hours of video. He goes over the historical landscape, information surrounding the birth of Jesus, evidence of the life of Jesus, the places and background information about miracles that Jesus performed, the Sermon on the Mount, travels of Jesus, Jerusalem, The Last Supper, the trial of Jesus and his crucifixion, his Resurrection, and the final episode is “Who Is Jesus?”.
I really enjoyed watching these. My older kids (upper elementary/middle school) liked watching, too. I think that reading the suggested Bible passages before viewing the corresponding episode would work best so that students could process the information in the episode better.
I loved it, because we were able to read and kind of get our images of what it was like in our head, and then watch the episode to see the ACTUAL place where it happened, some of the actual buildings and structures involved, and learn back story about the things that happened back in the time of Jesus. Traditions and the culture were so different back then, so it’s awesome to be taught that background information.
I think this would make a really nice Biblical History course for a preteen or teen. When combined with reading the recommended Bible passages and answering the discussion questions (either as a group or with a parent), it creates a wonderful and full course of study. It really puts things into perspective and makes the whole time period come to life. Instead of mis-imagining what it might have been like, the Drive Thru History series puts you right there in the middle of the action so you can really relate and understand it in context.
I would highly recommend this series to other homeschooling families. I will definitely be watching their Ancient History DVD set with my kids this upcoming school year as a supplement to our history program. The best part is that I am learning a ton as well. My favorite episode was Episode 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles. You get to learn about when Jesus turned water into wine. I had NEVER heard it told this way. When he put a historical and cultural spin on the tale, I was left thinking, “Whoa, that really makes sense. How cool that Jesus would do it that way!”
This Drive Thru History set is lively, interesting, and gives nuggets of information that I’ve never heard before! It would best be enjoyed by kids in upper elementary all the way up to adults. I promise that you’ll learn new things and look at The Gospels in a new light after seeing this series.
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