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Monday, February 15, 2010

Dollar Homeschool's Eclectic Education Series Review



WOW! If you think the title of this post is long, you should see the list of everything The Eclectic Education Series includes.

While I had never heard of the Eclectic Education Series, I certainly had heard of at least one of it's components, and I bet you have too. It's the McGuffey Readers. Apparently, they are part of this Eclectic Education Series that was used almost exclusively in schools (mostly one room schoolhouses) around our country from 1865-1915. They were so well known that their characters and teachings (such as Meddlesome Matty) were part of colloquialisms of the times.

The Series includes every subject under the sun-from the very beginnings of learning to specialized skills such as Surveying and Navigation. All these resources that for decades provided the framework of education in our country have now been digitalized and are available for purchase on CDs. Collectively, they could meet all your curriculum needs for all your students for their entire homeschool career, and probably still have things that you never get too or that would take your students into college. Boy, have we dumbed down education since the early 1900's!

The pros: If you are looking for a proven curriculum-this is it. It was used on millions of students, and gave some of the greatest minds of our country their foundations. At $156 for the entire Eclectic Education Series, which could take you K-12 it doesn't get more affordable. You will find things in this series that you just won't find anywhere else, and it's quite possible you will gain a huge appreciation for how little you know compared to the elementary education our farming forefathers got-I know I did.

The cons: Sadly, the beautiful, detailed pictures in most of the books have not scanned well and are not able to be appreciated. And equally sad, I think the biggest con this Series has is its comprehensiveness. It is SO complete, SO detailed, it is just overwhelming. And since the scope and sequence are so radically different from what is common today, it is hard to know where to start a student if they haven't begun their learning with the EES. Honestly, in the Ray's Arithmetic materials, for example, there were things I had NEVER heard of like Avoirdupois Weight (which is based on the Avoirdupois pound determined by the Troy pound in the US). And I'm not sure knowing conversions for bushels and pecks are necessary much anymore. And that is true throughout the series. There is some superfluous information there because of changes in society and how we do things now. And that adds to the overwhelming feeling.

The bottom line: While the Series in its entirety is a great deal, I don't know that I personally would get my money's worth out of it. There are some parts though that I REALLY liked-especially in the McGuffey stuff. Their Speller and the Speaker are two resources that particularly appeal to me. I'd highly encourage you to check out the website HERE because the Series is available broken down into its parts, and the entire McGuffey collection is only $39. The History too has some great stuff in it-all from a Christian worldview. It's heady, but would be a wonderful resource to have at least for the "teacher" in your homeschool. To see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.




Legal disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received the Eclectic Education Series as a download for free. This downloaded information was the only compensation I received for my review.


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