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Eclectic Education Series - K-12 curriculum with 156 books on CD, including McGuffey’s Readers, and Ray’s Arithmetics

Aaron Jagt
3321 Sesame Dr.
Howell, MI 48843

By Jennifer Nairne

After hearing yet another dismal report on the state of education in the United States today, it’s no wonder that more and more families are opting to try homeschooling. But rather than being "radical" or "progressive," these families are actually returning to the traditional form of education seen in our country for more than 200 years. From the earliest Pilgrim settlers, through the Revolutionary War, when the South rebelled, as pioneers ventured farther and farther west - nearly all of these children were homeschooled for part or all of their education. As the population expanded, the traditional one-room schoolhouse we all remember developed.

Although many believe this was the birth of the American public school system, much of the student learning still took place in the home. Many students arrived at school already knowing how to read, having been taught at home, and were required to continue studies at home when they were unable to attend school due to familial obligations. The introduction of the Eclectic Education Series in 1865 allowed for children to obtain a high-quality education through independent study with limited guidance. This series is now available electronically and includes so much more.

All of the Eclectic Education Series books are very thorough and well-organized, but lack the feel of the "traditional" textbooks we are all used to using. The lessons, excerpts, and passages were written by the most famous authors and professional experts of the day. Each edition was refined by boards of editors, all the top in their respective fields, and with beautiful original artwork. The resulting volumes are both inspirational and practical, encouraging homeschoolers to build upon the knowledge of great men.

In ordering the entire EES set, you will receive all of the materials on five CD’s for use on your home computer. Each disc contains a separate subject or book: Ray's Arithmetic - 38 comprehensive math texts that cover everything from simple addition and subtraction to advanced Calculus; Science - 13 texts covering Chemistry, Physics, Botany, and much more; History - books and selections include Thalheimer’s six-volume history collection, an amazing set of books on Oliver Cromwell, American Poetry, and even traditional lessons on manners; Grammar - includes well-known grammar curricula "Long’s Language," "Pinneo’s Grammars," and "Harvey's Grammars;" and the incredible McGuffey Readers series - including the entire series of texts, alternate readers, eclectic spellers, and rhetoric.

A whole set of Teacher Manuals are included in the set as well, with a total of 9 different books to help you in your role as a parent-teacher. Although the original teacher’s guides included in the EES set are helpful, modern introductory materials are included for each set of books. The introductions are written by Sherry Hayes, a parent-teacher with more than 23 years of experience homeschooling her own children. These introductory materials help you get started in your own homeschool classroom right away. She includes tips for organization, learning aids, and translating the materials into a modern homeschool classroom.

More than one hundred twenty million copies of McGuffey’s Readers were sold between 1830 and 1920. The lessons are short - taking about 15 minutes to complete - and encourage children to study the great writers and classical literature. They contain passages from the Bible, Shakespeare, Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Tennyson, Emerson, Whittier, and Bryant. The core of each lesson is to build character and promote moral integrity. Although the lessons are uncomplicated, they are not "dumbed-down", or "children's' versions", and are meaningful and applicable to everyday life.

The Grammar disc contains three of the most well-known and widely used curricula for studying the English language. Long’s Language can be used through the third or fourth grade and deals with basic writing and language. Pinneo’s Grammar begins a more technical dissection of sentence structure and progresses into more difficult passages. Harvey’s Grammars can be used to supplement Pinneo or can be used after completing the series, depending upon the skill and interest level of your child. Even if you were to only complete the Long and Pinneo series, your homeschooler will be leaps and bounds ahead of their peers trained in the public education system.

Just like McGuffey’s Readers, Ray’s Arithmetics has sold more than one hundred million copies. They begin at the preliterate level with basic counting and guide homeschoolers all the way through calculus. These math books are not what you’re used to using, encouraging reading comprehension and problem analysis rather than page after page of practice problems. "Word problems" or "story problems" are incorporated into every lesson from day one. Homeschoolers must read through stories, learn to do mental math, and delve into the philosophical roots of mathematics. But by utilizing problems in a real-life setting, each lesson demonstrates how the principles of math are applicable in the world beyond the homeschool classroom. The story-problem format also encourages students to deconstruct complicated problems into simple, solvable steps or parts.

The History and Science discs cover a broad range of subjects. The History disc contains the entire six-volume collection of Thalheimer’s Histories. The six books cover the history of England, U.S. History, Ancient History, Medieval History and more. Inspiring stories of American heroes, civics, American Poetry, and even music are also addressed in the more than twenty books included on the disc. Similarly, the Science disc also contains an extensive collection of writings. Students learn about Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, and Economics.

The lessons found in the EES series were formulated for one-room schoolhouses that were heavily dependent upon independent study. This translates perfectly for homeschool settings, even those who are teaching children of various ages and learning abilities. There is only one initial fee to purchase the set and the materials can be used for multiple children over several years - a huge cost savings when compared to other homeschool curricula.

For a more thorough description of the books included in the EES series as well as pricing, please visit their website at


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