Friday, February 5, 2010

Eclectic Education Series by Dollar Homeschool

I was excited when I received the Eclectic Education Series from Dollar Homeschool to review.  I wanted to see how the students from an earlier day were taught in the one room schoolhouses.  I also hoped it would save me money, if I could incorporate this into my own homeschool.

Dollar Homeschool has collected together  the complete Eclectic Education Series that was used in schoolrooms around America from 1865 - 1915.   This series includes the still popular Ray's Arithmetic and McGuffey's Readers.  It also includes science, history, logic and grammar textbooks.  I counted over 100 books in the Eclectic Education Series.

Dollar Homeschool has scanned the old textbooks into the computer, and collected them all into PDF files, with an easily-navigated directory.  They are available on CD-rom, for your use at home.  You can view them on the computer, print them, and teach all your children from these traditional textbooks.  All that you will need is a PDF reader like Adobe.    This CD-rom is available for $159, which is $56 less than if you bought the books individually.

What did we think about the Eclectic Education Series?

Well, there are several Cons to this program for our family:

  • This just isn't our style of education. 

  • Reading the older books, in black and white, loses my kids' interest. 

  • The scans of the books aren't always clear.  I was using the McGuffey Readers with my 6 year old.  On one page the C had a couple dots that confused him -- he thought it was an E instead. 

  • The pictures in the McGuffey Readers did not scan well, and you can't tell what many of them are.  Since the text is connected to the pictures, this is disappointing.  

  • These are black and white PDF documents, and the questions sometimes refer to colors.

  • It would be time consuming for me to use this method of education with all my different children.

  • Grammar rules have changed in the last century, and scientific discoveries have also advanced since these textbooks were written.

  • Unless you plan to sit your family down at the computer, printing these books can become costly.

However, there are some pros to the curriculum as well.

  • Provides classic textbooks for all grade levels.

  • Includes the complete Ray's Arithmetic, and also White's Arithmetic.

  • They are already gathered into one place, which saves you time over searching them out individually.

  • You can re-use it within your own family, though not re-sell it or share it.

  • You could supplement your curriculum with these textbooks, or use them as your main curriculum. 

  • It includes teacher's manuals that tell you how the books were intended to be used in the classroom. 

  • Includes over 100 books, at a cost of about $1.50 per book. 

Would I use these myself?   No not really.  Even though my son enjoyed using the McGuffey Readers, I have other readers that I prefer using.  We prefer using more modern and colorful textbooks and living books in our homeschool.  I can see using them as a resource in my homeschool, but not my main curriculum.

Would I recommend them?  If I had a friend looking for the classic textbooks to use in her homeschool, I'd certainly tell her about Dollar Homeschool.  I'd also be sure to point out to her the sometimes unclear images so she wouldn't be surprised if she bought it. 

This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,

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