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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
By Sandra Williams
Easy Classical
www.easyclassical.com

PO Box 1965
Greenville, NC 27835

My homeschool teaching style tends to fall in the Charlotte Mason camp with lots of "classical" influence thrown in for good measure. I definitely see the benefits of making the most of the three stages of learning, and I do value a systematic approach to education. I have read The Well-Trained Mind (WTM) by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer several times and found it to be chock-full of practical and academically sound principles and suggestions. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to review Easy Classical's Early Modern History (Explorers to 1820) by Sandra Williams, who structured the framework of schedules around the foundations and recommendations of the WTM, I figured it would be great. I was right!

The Early Modern History curriculum spans 36 weeks and is laid out in a five-day assignment sheet for each week, which makes it very easy to follow. The sheets are straightforward and include assignments in history, writing, geography, projects, and read-aloud choices. In addition to the notebook binder containing the main history curriculum/schedule, this bundle also includes three wire-bound books with clear vinyl covers: Geography with History, Writing with History, and Early Modern History Copybook, which is based on the Getty-Dubay Italic handwriting method.

The book covers Explorers, Colonies, Colonial America, Road to Independence, and Revolution. This particular volume continues the formal study of history that began with Easy Classical's Old Testament and Ancient Egypt. According to information in the introduction, "This cycle repeats again in seventh through twelfth grades. This first cycle serves as an introduction to history, and should focus on providing a foundation or a building block for future studies in history. A combination of Veritas Press' History cards, H.A. Guerber's History series, Joy Hakim's A History of US series and Story of the World history volumes are used to guide the year."

I really like the resources that Mrs. Williams chose to use as 'spine' books, and the read-alouds are wonderful as well. There are explanations and reminders at the bottom of each weekly schedule, a shopping list for the next week, and a weekly comprehension quiz on the next page. Simple--yet thorough!

Another thing I like about this curriculum is the cost! For the price you pay for the complete Early Modern History bundle ($135.95 for print or $95.95 for digital), you get a lot of value for your dollar. Mrs. Williams has done all the research, selecting, integrating, and correlating to create a fantastic curriculum that pulls together history, geography, writing, and copywork--not to mention fun projects and great literature. All the work has already been done for you, so you can spend your time teaching!

The Geography with History book helps bring the history to life as students 'travel' around the globe learning about the places, regions, physical systems, environments, and cultures of the peoples covered in the main history curriculum. Excellent text and fun projects!

The Writing with History book is a companion guide to the Institute for Excellence in Writing resource Teaching Writing: Structure and Style. This guide helps integrate Easy Classical's Early Modern History schedule with concepts taught by IEW. The components included in this book make for a comprehensive writing plan, and students are taught to use specific tools and methods in order to learn effective writing skills--all while the history lessons and topics from the main curriculum are expounded upon and reinforced.

The Early Modern History Copybook (Cursive Edition Grades 4-6) contains three days of copywork per topic covered in the main history curriculum. It is based on the Getty Dubay Italic handwriting method. Each assignment is usually a short paragraph. There are also other grade level books available on the Easy Classical website.

I highly recommend that you visit www.easyclassical.com and look around at all the resources, samples, links, downloads, and testimonials. You can purchase this Early Modern History set as a bundle, or you can purchase resources individually. There are other full curriculums (history and science) available as well. I found this particular set listed in the 5 th grade section, but I think it could be used with both older and younger students.

I highly recommend this curriculum--very well done. Kudos to Easy Classical and Sandra Williams!



Product review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, February 2011


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