Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dollar Homeschool: Eclectic Education Series

Everything old is new again with Dollar Homeschool's Eclectic Education Series or EES. EES is a collection of textbooks used in the American public schools between the years of 1865-1915. Due to limits of copyright, all of these texts are available for distribution free of charge in various locations. Dollar Homeschool has located and organized them by subject, scanned them and placed the texts on CD.

EES covers every major subject area including, science, math, grammar, history and reading. It includes well known titles like McGuffey's Readers, Ray's Arthimetic, Pinneo's Grammar, Thalheimer's History, and Norton's Science. The CD holds copies of each of the texts spanning basic educational needs for grades K-12. Customers can choose between buying the entire series on CD for $159.00 or individual subjects for $39.00 each. Dollar Homeschool offers FREE shipping on orders and a 30 day money back guarantee.

I received an email download of EES for free in exchange for this review. Since our family only had six weeks to spend with textbooks spanning an entire 12 years of curriculum we choose to focus our time with Harvey's Elementary Grammar and Long's Language Readers. Complete product descriptions, pricing and ordering information can be found at Dollar Homeschool's website,

I was very resistant at first to make use of Harvey's Elementary Grammar. Not being a huge fan of the subject matter to begin with and being slightly turned off by the dull pages I glanced at with old-fashioned typeset, I had high doubts that information from the "good old days" truly was better than curriculum options of today. I was WRONG!

Charlotte Mason fans take note....Harvey's Grammar is a huge inexpensive resource which will fit idyllically with this educational philosophy. Broken into small simple lessons with intelligent vocabulary each lesson is designed for discussion and narration. For $39.00 customers can have an entire Grammar curriculum for 12 years of education. Wow!

My 2nd grade student, Sierra and I spent several weeks working through the beginning of Harvey's Elementary Grammar. She had never studied Grammar formally before and Harvey's was a perfect fit for her. Sierra has been a late bloomer in the area of language development and still struggles in her writing with letter reversals, fine motor control, verb tense, and spelling. Harvey's Grammar met Sierra's need to advance her conceptual understanding of language without having to constantly face these hurdles which slow her down. I could not have loved a curriculum more!

When asked for her opinion, Sierra enthusiastically replied, "I really liked it (Harvey's Grammar) because it tells you different things you probably don't know. I like some of the words that are in it because they are big words. It seemed easy because I just got to talk through it instead of like having to fill out the answers."

Eclectic Education Series is available only on CD format at this time. I am not a huge fan of e-books, but the value of this curriculum will certainly off set any printing costs incurred at home. The CD is bookmarked making it easy to locate desired texts, print and use in an alternative location from the computer.

Although we have spent six weeks with this massive curriculum I still believe we have much to discover. Dollar Homeschool has created a Yahoo group for discussion for Ray's Arithmetic. A link to the group can be found on their website. In addition, their blog, offers customers articles of interest and helpful links to use while using their curriculum.

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