I had not heard of Dollar Homeschool before I was introduced to them on this TOS Crew Voyage. I have, however, heard of a couple of the resources they use in their Eclectic Education Series such as Ray’s Arithmetic and McGuffey’s Readers.
The Eclectic Education Series is a set of textbooks that cover every subject plus, which from about 1865 to 1915 were used as the standard of education in the USA. They are said to emphasize patriotism, traditional values, and the Bible just as many antiquitated books of this period were. I’ve run across and read many restored books of old such as these and enjoyed the very patriotism, traditional ideas, and Biblical values this series is said to represent. I welcomed the opportunity to have EES in my hands for review.
The EES is offered as a complete set on CD for $159.00, or may be purchased seperately by topic.
Included in the series is Ray’s Arithmetic, Science, History, Grammar, and McGuffey’s Readers – each on a seperate CD. Each cd has many seperate books included. I really enjoyed the variation of materials included. There are three teacher’s books included with the set to help the teacher gain knowledge of how to use the books, and well as some basic teaching principles.
For review, I received five large download files, each representing one topic CD.
I began my overview of the many books included in the series with the McGuffey’s Reader’s file, since I have seen these in hardcopy books. The files are nicely organized with bookmarks at the side for easy access. There are many more McGuffey’s Readers than I realized, and I particularly enjoyed the McGuffey’s Natural History Readers. Several of the Readers I have never seen in the library.
I was amazed at the large variety of topics included in the series as a whole, such as Book Keeping, Surveying and Navigation, Economy, Industrial Mechanics, Health, Morals and Manners, and many more.
As far as actually using the material, I feel it would really be a huge undergoing on the part of a home educator to use this as one’s main curriculum for anyone except maybe the most experienced of teachers. If one chose to undergo such a task, the Manual of Methods which explains all the subjects of the EES with instructions on how they can be taught would be the place to start. This curriculum would be of appeal to those wanting a traditional textbook, standard education approach.
As far as using the McGuffey’s Readers for the student to actually read from, I feel the quality of the print in scanning the materials, blurriness, and black and white rendition really detracts from these classic readers. For my own family, holding a book in their hands really has much more of an appeal than photocopied paper, especially to the younger set. Some of the pictures in the books were of such poor quality they really would have been a huge discouragement to my kids. For my family, these readers would have no advantage over the quality readers we currently have.
Much of this material being public domain and therefore readily accessible online might certainly discourage one from purchasing this series. However, there is so much material that I never would have thought about looking for here, and it’s really nice to have it all together in one place . I do believe that the material on the EES is great to have in anyone’s library for reference, and certainly worth the cost for the organization and work that went into putting this series together.
I would like to note that for my family, the material on the EES doesn’t come close to replacing the outstanding curriculum we are using. While it certainly played a vital role in the education of our forefathers, I must say that education as well as science and history have made huge advances in knowledge and discovery since then. While I agree that in the public school sector God has been stripped from education, good moral and ethical material can be scarce, and patriotism, good character and critical thinking skills are pretty well non-existent, the homeschool world has an over-abundance of these essential teaching elements readily available.
If you enjoy referencing and/or using standard basic textbooks, and find a charming appeal to the materials used to educate and shape our forefathers, then take a look at Dollar Homeschool’s Eclectic Education Series!
Don’t forget to check out what my Crewmates had to say at the TOS Homeschool Crew BLOG!
I was provided download files of the EES materials as a member of the TOS Crew for purposes of review. No other compensation was received, and opinions expressed here are my own.