Because I received the history schedule, I will focus this review on that. In case you are considering additional purchases, usually the other subjects will be cohesive with the history era being studied, so look for those time frames that match the history you want to cover. Basing the pattern of history around the 4 year cycle idea, the guides walk the student(s) through the various eras in a logical (starting with the Old Testament/Ancient Egypt times to Modern Day) pattern (for 36 weeks) which is "revisited" at least 2x by the time your student graduates.
I had the pleasure of looking through the Early Modern History (Explorers to 1820) and found it quite well laid out, and easy to follow. One of the first things that grabbed my attention is the ease of use. Clearly noted sources and their assigned pages/chapters, are listed under the appropriate day of the week. Icons also hint at additional tasks to complete, when necessary, as well. I also appreciated the fact that the schedule is designed to assist you (meaning skipping or not doing some things is OK), not bind you in some unattainable fashion of assignments that can overwhelm the student/teacher which can spiral into some sort of yoke that smothers out the flame of interest and delight in learning. In other words, there is plenty enough material assigned for reading , mapping, and crafting to allow for some discretion on your part. I have found some other curricula to be less than gracious in that department-so this was refreshing to see. A little "Post-It" note image lists the necessary supplies for that week, making planning and gathering much more easy for you too. The schedule also includes some comprehensive questions/answers to ask of your student(s), so that you are sure they have grasped the main concepts for the week. For those of you who choose to quiz their students (or are required to by state law), one is provided for each unit. Also included in the guide are some drawing "step-by-step" activities (or one can just have a student color a completed picture) for additional hands-on projects.
One will have to acquire the sources necessary to teach this, so some planning ahead is an absolute must. Thankfully, the site lists those and where you can purchase them-so it shouldn't be too difficult to manage. Many book hounds (such as myself), probably have many already on our shelves (which I did) so cruising the home "book store" is a good way to see exactly what you do or do not need. This guide follows, as the main backbone texts, The Story of the World (Vol. 2 and 3) by Susan Wise Bauer and 4 of the A History of Us by Joy Hakim, along with a couple other ones. But again-being that you are in charge, not the schedule, you can certainly substitute a few if need be. Geography and writing assignments are also included, which is a must-because if you student covers the material, but has no clue as to where in the world it took place, it simply won't be "cemented" in their head like it should. And being able to communicate with writing is another much needed skill all students should have. So the Easy Classical (Early Modern) schedule is a pretty complete history guide.
Digging a bit deeper:
Now personally, I am not a big fan of the Classical method. I have tried it in the past, and found it messed with our system. That of course, is not good, especially if I or the kids dislike it. Generally, when I come across some materials, such as this guide, I will use suggestions for materials/books, that I feel will add to our eclectic CM style-and forgo the rest. I have been able to add a couple of the noted books [in this guide], to add to our current studies, and it was nice to have some additional ideas. Frankly, I don't particularly care for the books by S.W. Bauer. I find we enjoy full stories (living literature) over snippet history, so it is not really for us, per say. So outside of a few issues I have with the backbone texts for history, I am pretty much in the same boat in regard to their choices for many of the resources listed under their Main Curriculum and Science materials (which has peaked my interest a lot). As for the discussion/quiz questions-well, we follow the narration idea of Charlotte Mason, and I expect my students to be able to recall the main points of the readings-so those would only serve to help me "think" of some additional promptings to get my student to recall more. But for those who need those, it can be a great help for them.
I did note too [and not that I couldn't rearrange a bit] that larger reading assignments were clumped/noted on one day (Monday), and not much else was given for the rest of the week (although not every time). It appeared to be a pattern, which simply may be the way the author likes to do "business", or it was done to allow for adequate time of the reading assignments from the other subject schedules they offer. It simply doesn't mesh with my preferences, because I feel it can cause overload to the student and teacher. Leaning those out would be a bit better (in my humble opinion), because with that much reading to listen to-minds invariably start to shut off, and eyes become glazed. If you have students who cannot tolerate long reading periods (which I do), I highly recommend shifting a bit of it, to even that out. Or breaking the reading assignments into manageable amounts, which are spread widely throughout the day. Again-simply our family's preference, but certainly something to consider.
IF I did follow the Classical way, and I needed something that is easy (as the name suggests) to use, which follows the 4 year cycle idea, then I would definitely seriously consider purchasing this series. The only work would be finding the sources, and carrying out the lessons-which is a God send for many folks and a true blessing. The time consuming work is done, which allows for more learning opportunities with your kids. Actually after exploring the site further, I am seeing that I am really liking the science schedules (which can be blended into our style quite nicely), especially since the lessons are listed for Tues. and Thurs. which just so happens to be my days for science too. So even though their history plan may not be our way of exploring the world as it was, the science is definitely something I will investigate further. [Just goes to show that a company may ask me to review something for them that doesn't necessarily meet our family needs, all the while they have something else there that certainly does-so keep that in mind as you go through the site! :0) ]
I put this for icon because even though there are plenty of sources used in the study, that are Christian based-it doesn't drip it on the schedule itself-I almost put the balance, but since this has no Bible schedule in it-it gets this icon instead. Just so you know....There is some Read-Aloud books, and little ones will need more help than the older ones
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Modern History Schedule Info (download samples of the material to glean a better idea of the layout)
Modern History Curriculum List (denotes the required and additional resources necessary to properly teach the material)
Easy Classical Homepage
Digital Version: $29.95 or Notebook Version: $35.95
For kids in approximately K-6 grade (use your best judgement-some K-2 graders are not ready for in depth coverage of material yet) This particular unit is noted as a part of their 5th grade complete set.
You can read about how my TOS mates felt about this product and many others, over on our TOS Review Homepage.
**Easy Classical supplied me with a free download of the Early Modern History Schedule to look over, and use with my children, in order to write this review. I did not receive any financial compensation for my honest opinion of this product.