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Edward Eggleston History Books

Published by Lost Classics

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: Edward Eggleston History Books. Published by Lost Classics Book Company. Please support HomeschoolChristian.com by buying these books from our Amazon affiliate links shown below.

Father of five, George O'Neill, Jr., began Lost Classics Book Company when he had trouble finding quality books for homeschooling his children. By reprinting books from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the company provides educational materials with the traditional values of earlier times. Three American history books by Edward Eggleston, Methodist minister, author, and historian of the 1800's, are in Lost Classics' line-up.

Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans ($14.95 list price), originally published in 1895, has fifty-two stories of a few pages each about famous Americans and many people who have been largely forgotten in this century. The book targets beginning readers and has longer words divided into syllables and the short, choppy sentences typical of basal readers. The author's goal is to excite the student with material that encourages him to learn to read. Featuring both men and women, Mr. Eggleston focuses on hard work and the obstacles the person had to overcome to become great. Occasional black and white illustrations add interest, but the material itself with stories of pirates, wars, nature, and families is the real attraction of this volume.

A First Book in American History ($19.95 list price) uses thirty-five primarily biographical sketches to show principles of morality by example. The author emphasizes that "a beginner's book ought before all things else to be interesting," and this text, full of small black and white illustrations, succeeds in that goal. Each chapter has five to six pages detailing an important character in American history or, in five of the chapters, an important event or place. A list of vocabulary words and their definitions appears at the end of each chapter along with suggested topics for narration. The final lesson, "How the United States Became Larger," has cut out pages to illustrate "historic geography."

A History of the United States and Its People ($24.95 list price) has sixty-one detailed chapters of history from Columbus to just after the Civil War. Mr. Eggleston used a unique style in order to relate history in an interesting, clear way. He grouped events into topics that have some overlap chronologically, but he felt that history would be better understood with a topical focus rather than a strictly chronological one. Each chapter has topic references in the margins to highlight the subject of the paragraph. Biographical stories appear in boxes to add interest to the events in the text.

Several features help the teacher in this book. The "Questions for Study" reviews the lesson with brief answer questions. Then the "Study by topics" section gives general subjects from the lesson for narration. Main points are connected visually with the "Blackboard illustration." Some of the chapters have a "composition" section, suggested additional reading, and geography exercises. Illustrations are on almost every page, mostly in the margin area.

Recommendation: The reprinted Edward Eggleston history books are a valuable addition to the homeschooling market. Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans with high quality content, but easy vocabulary and sentence structure, is an outstanding alternative to basal readers. A First Book in American History is well-suited for beginning American history study for mid-elementary ages. Its moral focus is helpful during these formative years. A History of the United States and Its People is a real treasure as it may be used for late elementary all the way through high school. The homeschooling parent could read aloud the chapters to combine history studies with the entire family, and then assign age appropriate tasks by child. By taking advantage of additional books and study topics, older and more advanced students will be appropriately challenged. As all of these books were written in the 1800's, history for the late nineteenth and twentieth century is not included.

HomeschoolChristian.com resources related to this review:

HomeschoolChristian.com's History Section where you will find many "living" history resources!
Review of History Dramas on Tape by Colonial Radio Theatre
Review of The Artner Reader's Guide to American History
Review of Drive Thru History America, Foundations of Character
Review of Famous Americans, 52 Stories to Read with a Child by Calvert School
Review of Child's History of the World by Hillyer
Review of Child's History of the World CD-ROM
Review of Song of America's Presidents
Review of Song of America's Freedoms
Review of History Songs

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