REVIEW: Early Modern Age (Explorers to 1815) History Schedule by Easy Classical

Our homeschool, as I am sure most homeschools are, is an eclectic mish-mash of teaching philosophies. Our main emphasis, though, is on a classical education. I follow The Well Trained Mind, while adding a bit of our own Taylor’s Mark style to it. That being said, I find that most of what I want to teach fits nicely into a classical education.

Easy Classical provides support materials for families who are implementing or want to implement a classical education in their homeschool – even if in just a few subjects. The product I was asked to review is part of Easy Classical’s History Schedule line of products, the Early Modern Age history schedule. The schedule, in a nut shell, is 36 weeks of plans for teaching Early Modern history from a classical standpoint – it’s a schedule of teaching Story of the World but on steroids.

Weekly Schedule

As I mentioned earlier, the schedule provides 36 week of teaching plans, but with all the extras included, like reading lists, project lists, and comprehension questions. Everything is mapped out for you, so you just add the books and you’re set to teach the entire year. The primary spine books are the Story of the World books. Additional readings are included, though, from other classical books like Story of the Thirteen Colonies and a History of US.

What I found nice about this schedule (besides the fact that all the planning is done for you!) is that it’s based on literature and history reading lists as suggested for use with Story of the World and they are books that your family will use time and time again. I find that Story of the World with its accompanying activity book is a good, basic history for the grammar stage. Easy Classical, though, takes it much further – projects and other activities are added that correspond precisely with the week’s topic. The readings are also chosen to further enhance the student’s understanding of the topics. I really wish I had Easy Classical schedules the first time I went through Story of the World with my older children, since I was always looking for a bit more in-depth information on each topic. Easy Classical provides it.

As a side note, you certainly don’t have to purchase each book on the supplemental reading lists. You could choose to add in only those books that you can readily find in your local library, or those you can borrow from a friend. The schedule is flexible enough to be used without all the suggested books.

At first glance, the Monday readings each week look to be a bit on the heavy side. Our family, though, could choose to spread the readings out over a couple of days if we wanted. The schedule provides a terrific framework while allowing enough freedom to adapt it to individual circumstances. For instance, it’s understood and clearly stated that your family won’t and shouldn’t attempt to do everything included in the schedule every week – it would be too overwhelming. That’s where the freedom part comes in – you choose what’s right for your family (one reason you homeschool!). The weekly projects, comprehension questions and history writing assignments are quite do-able, even for your youngest grammar age students, while they are challenging enough for your older grammar age students.

Weekly Comprehension Quiz

I did not have an opportunity to evaluate two of the products that Easy Classical produces to go hand-in-hand with its schedules, Geography with History and Writing with History. Those two components certainly sound intriguing since they are made to follow exactly with the Schedules and would make teacher preparation just that much easier. If we ever have any more of a school budget :) , I am going to look into purchasing these guides.

The Easy Classical website is terrific. It provides links to purchase all the suggested history and literature readings from several different vendors. It also has a section that offers guidance in implementing a classical education model in your homeschool. Under development is an area of the site that will offer direct links to internet resources as they correspond to each week in the schedule. What a tremendous time-saver for mom!

You can purchase any of the Easy Classical products, including their History Schedule series, directly from their website. There are six different products in the History Schedule section alone – each one corresponding to a certain period of history, as befits a classical education model. Each schedule includes 36 weeks and is priced at $35.95 for a hard copy or $29.95 for a digital copy. Please visit the Easy Classical website for samples and additional products.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free trial of the product in exchange for my genuine and unbiased review.

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01 2011

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