Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Product Review: Eclectic Education Series

Dollar Homeschool

The Eclectic Education Series from Dollar Homeschool has made the curricular resources of the 19th Century American classroom available to the 21st Century home educator.

Gathered together on five CDs, the EES "is a set of textbooks which from roughly 1865 to 1915 WAS education in the United States." * This collection provides a comprehensive K-12 curriculum which covers English grammar, history, science, math, and reading. The lessons are written to promote patriotism, traditional values, and the Bible… much of which have been lost in modern education.

The Eclectic Education Series includes the following:

  • Ray's Arithmetic
  • Thalheimer's Histories
  • Cromwell
  • Progressive Course in Reading
  • Cyclopedia
  • Andrews Constitution
  • American Poems
  • Rhetorical Reading
  • Good Morals and Gentle Manners
  • Norton's Elements of Chemistry, Physics, and Natural Philosophy
  • Ray's Elements of Astronomy
  • McGuffey Readers
  • Pinneo's Grammar
  • Harvey's Grammar
  • And MORE (click here to see a complete list)

What We Thought
In a nutshell, the EES is just not for us.

There are certain books or reading selections that I am thankful to have and will add into the boys' studies in high school, but as an overall curriculum, it does not fit our style. We prefer living books to text books, learning by doing over rote memory, and authentic work over worksheets. The EES is a compilation of textbooks and relies heavily on isolated skill and drill exercises.

Also, it is not very "user-friendly". If you are looking for a curriculum that spells out what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it, the EES is probably not for you. I had to spend a lot of time looking through all of those documents deciding which materials to use.

However, the content and skills covered are excellent and thorough in their scope, particularly for the price. The EES lives up to its promise of promoting a Biblical worldview and patriotism as well as godly conduct. I cannot sing its praises highly enough in this regard. It is not what is taught that does not work for us. It is a matter of how it is taught.

For that reason, I will not assign this product any thumbs up or down. The Olive Plant family will not be switching to this curriculum; however, I believe homeschooling parents can provide their children a well-rounded, Christian education with the Eclectic Education Series.

The entire Eclectic Education Series is available on CD for $159, a tremendous value when you consider the amount of materials included, from Dollar Homeschool.

I was given the Eclectic Education Series for free in order to complete this review. I have not receive additional compensation and have provided my honest opinion.

Please visit the TOS Homeschool Blog for links to my crewmates' reviews of this product.

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