Friday, August 2, 2013

The Uncle Eric Series {review}

The eleven volume Uncle Eric series provides a great, in-depth introduction to economic, history, and government as you've never seen them taught before. They are fascinating. I found them hard to put down!

These books are written by Richard Maybury aka "Uncle Eric" as a series of letters to his nephew Chris and deal with the topics of economics and government. But there is so much more you can learn from them. For instance, in the first volume Mr. Maybury also touches on educational theory, ethics, and history. Volume 2, Whatever Happened To Penny Candy, contains almost everything I learned in two college level economics classes plus a few things I didn't, explained in a simple and interesting way that even a younger child could understand.

In his first book, Personal, Career, and Financial Security, Mr. Maybury introduces the concept of models as "the way we think and understand the world." I really enjoyed what he said in chapter five about how to learn or teach models. I think it sums up pretty well the way I prefer to teach my children and why it works so well.

"Experience creates models automatically . . .This is why classroom instruction via lecture is the least effective way to teach and hands-on learning by doing is the most effective. We are made in such a way that we build models automatically by doing. Typically, classroom instruction is like teaching someone to play Monopoly just by making him memorize the rules and then giving him a test on those rules. . . Unfortunately, some models are impossible to learn using hands-on process, so one method humans use to substitute for real world experience is telling stories. Stories are used to demonstrate and illustrate ideas."

There is much more wisdom packed between the pages of these books, but I will leave that for you to discover. I can't quote the whole thing here.

There were a couple of things I disagreed with, but I see them as opportunities for additional discussion. For instance, at one point, Mr. Maybury states, "Beware of certainty. Certainty stops inquiry. " In another place he warns to always be open minded because we are humans who make mistakes and we can never be 100% certain of anything. While I understand what he is saying and agree UP TO A POINT, as a Christian I do believe that some things ARE 100% certain. I will be sure to point this out to the children.

Free Notebook Pages For Uncle Eric Books
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?
Ancient Rome and How it Affects You Today
Are You . . . Liberal, Conservative, Or Confused?

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