Monday, January 10, 2011

Classical Made Easy

Easy Classical
One thing a lot of (if not most) homeschooling parents would like is a schedule. What do I need to do next? How do I cover this subject adequately and ensure my children have learned enough? Just what do I need to do each day anyway? I wish I just had a schedule I pull out and follow!

Easy Classical has made things a bit simpler for us all.

Sandra Williams has created schedules for just history, science, or a complete curriculum based on the the Classical model of homeschooling. A classical education is broken in to three stages. Stage one is typically students in grades K-6 called the "Grammar Stage." Children in this stage are learning facts. A broad overview of a subject is taught in order to give a foundation for later learning. Children in grades 7-9 are in the second stage called "Dialectic." They are taught more of  the logic behind a subject and begin to look a bit more in depth at the information. They begin to learn to think through arguments. Finally, the third and last stage is the "Rhetoric" stage for children in grades 10-12. Here they are able to apply the facts and logic they have learned previously to fully explore a subject and express themselves.

Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, authors of The Well-Trained Mind (the first book I ever read about homeschooling), are one of the first who explored this method of homeschooling and made it readily available to the homeschooling families. The creator of Easy Classical schedules used this book as a basis for her products.

Recently I was given the chance to look over Easy Classical's Early Modern History (Explorers to 1820) schedule ($35.95 printed or $29.95 digital). Printed versions come already in a 3-ring binder. This is a 36 week schedule that covers history only. It is geared for the Grammar Level student (grades K-6).

In addition to this schedule, if you wanted to follow the full schedule as written, you would need to purchase three more products:
You can also purchase all of the above in a bundle as well. Click here to see that information. 

What I liked:

  • It's all laid out in an easy to read grid. (You can see a sample here.) There is no confusion as to what needs to be done on any given day.
  • A list of needed books is provided at the beginning. You can also view that list here. Many of these can be found at your local library.
  • Material shopping lists are included throughout. There is a main list at the beginning and then they are included as needed each week to help you prepare ahead of time.
  • Comprehension questions are included. Narration is a big part of a classical education and having these (with suggested answers) makes it easy to include this in daily learning.

Overall I think this is a solid product. It would be especially helpful for someone just starting out homeschooling or someone who wanted a schedule to make things a bit easier. I see this also as a huge help to anyone who wanted to follow the suggestions in A Well-Trained Mind but wasn't sure where to begin.

Be sure to head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to see what other Crew members had to say about this product. 

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.

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