Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy Classical New TOS Review

 Early Modern History Schedule

Early Modern History Schedule  Explorers to 1815

Notebook Version  $35.95
Digital Version    $29.95

Easy Classical also has schedules available for Geography, Writing, Copybooks, State History, Science, and Complete curriculum for K-6.

Ever since I began studying Home Education I have liked the idea of a Classical education.  It is a  rigorous model for education and thus makes hefty demands on the teacher and student. I was initially reluctant to try a classical education model as the demands are intense.   However, as my children have become older we have begun to implement various aspects of a classical education. 

The Early Modern History Schedule is based on A Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, often considered the Ultimate How to for the Classical Education Model.  This schedule includes a full years history program broken down week by week and then daily breakdowns with core readings, read alouds, and additional suggested  fictional books.  Each week also includes geography, a geography song, copywork, narrations, reading summaries, art projects, and a test/review.  There is a complete explanation of and directions to use the schedule included.

Easy Classical also has available a  Writing with HistoryGeography with History, and the Early Modern History Copybook that directly correlate with this Early Modern History Schedule Explorers to 1815.

I was very excited to receive this download version of the history schedule to review as we are working through American History this year and I am trying to implement some more classically leaning aspects in our education program. I have not used a history text this year, but several reference books and a mix of non-fiction and fiction resources from our library, so I was eager to compare what I had done with someone else's plan.  However, this schedule was challenging to implement as I had a hard time finding all the suggested resources.


  • The weekly grid is broken down into a column for each day and laid out cleanly to see what is scheduled for each day from each resource
  • It looks ahead to what is needed the next week so that (hopefully) you aren't caught short handed on supplies.
  • The step by step drawing pages at the end of the schedule are unique.  I have not seen directions for drawing items like the church in Salem or a candle cauldron in other resources. 

  • Over half of the resources used on the schedule are not available in my Metropolitan  Library system.
  • Several days of the week are consistently reading heavy. It is hard to tell exactly how much reading is required from each source since I was unable to find many of the sources. 
  • I would have appreciated a rough estimate of how much time each of the various aspects may take so that I could choose when to do them as well as which ones would be most beneficial for a limited amount of time.

 Final Thoughts

I like knowing there is a resource available which has done the majority of the lesson planning for me.  However, I would find it difficult to fully implement as I do not have easy or low cost access to many of the resources.  I do not mind spending money on "core texts" or those used throughout a whole course, but I hesitate to use a program where so many of the additional resources would have to be purchased.  I wonder how much of the value of the plan would be lost be not using many of the "Literature Choices" or "Free Reading Books" as suggested in the schedule.

I also really like having the geography integrated into the history study.  It seems that geography is one of those subjects where one of two things happens:  it gets brushed aside while trying to accomplish other subjects or we work hard on it for several weeks to the exclusion of something else. So having it as an integral part of the whole package would ensure that sufficient attention and time is allotted to it.

The schedule also uses History Pockets from Evan Moor to provide Hands on activities.  We have used several of these independently from this schedule and my children have enjoyed them.  However, not all of the information presented in them is accurate.  Some of the "facts" they present are contradicted by other (often primary) history sources.  My take is the History Pockets want to present a "nice" picture of history.  They can also take a lot of paper and time to construct. 

We rotate between  studying Science and History for a month so that we can go in depth on a topic and not have to stop in the middle of a project.  I fully intend to use the schedule in greater detail in February when we go back to History and I am able to get some of the resources through Inter Library loan.

Read what other Crew members had to say here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free copy of the schedule discussed here in exchange for my review.  All opinions expressed here are solely my own.  I have not been compensated in any other way for this review.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, found this a very hard review to write. Just didn't get a complete feel for how much was involved in the various activities. You did a nice job summing up what the product is and your overall impressions of the schedule itself.