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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get an encyclopedia set for my kids, and I've heard these are good but have never seen them in person. Would you recommend them? Also, is it worth it buy an older set? Someone is selling a 1988 set for $50, but I don't know how dated they are. New sets are around $300.

Any feeback would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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We loved them. We had a 1960s set and many volumes from the 80s. I believe I paid around $50 for our 60s set and it provided so many hours of free babysitting that it was money well spent.

They are mainly appropriate for elementary school kids. They have a mix of factual information, stories, photos, etc. You wouldn't use them for research in the way a student might use the World Book or Encylopedia Britannica. We found they really filled a great niche in providing LOTS of interesting reading material and plenty of exposure to new ideas and information that is good to know. I wouldn't be worried about it being dated, but I always think it is good for kids to get exposed to the idea that you don't take everything you read without considering it critically. We had fun with some of the 1960s predictions about the future - I still wish I drove a hovercraft to the grocery store.
 

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I have no idea what they cost, or what they are like now, but we had a set when I was a child. I think they were dated in the 70's. I loved studying in them because of the pictures and size of print. I felt like they didn't teach enough, because I always wanted to know more, but that may be because the books got me so interested in learning. We went to the library regularly, as well.
 

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Some of my very favorite childhood memories are reading, reading and rereading our childcraft set. It must've been...an '85? '87?

I'd definitely go for it. Much of the information can't be too out of date -- lots of fables, human body, etc...my favorite was called "About Dogs". OHhhhh the wonderful memories! I'd lay outside in our hammock, just reading and reading. I hope DD can find the same pleasure.

Where did you find the 1988 version?
 

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I got a complete older set for $10 at a garage sale and I think they're wonderful! In fact, I was just reorganizing my books earlier this week and thinking that you really could do a complete preschool-K homeschool with this books alone! They cover pretty much everything. I haven't noticed them being too outdated. My kids will just sit for hours reading them.
 

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It seems to be a very personal thing - I had a friend who's children loved them - maybe partly because she loved them, I don't know. She used to read them aloud to them for hours, and one of them used to take them to bed to look at. I sprung for a new set, but my son was never interested in them, and I didn't really find them all that captivating. I didn't consider them encyclopedias, though - I got a special price on them when we bought our set of World Book Encyclopedias - and those I loved and we used a lot. I'd grown up with them. I don't think Childcraft would tend to get particularly outdated, because they're so different from a real encyclopedia, so a used set should work well. - Lillian
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lillian - Along those lines, do you think a World Book Encyclopedia set from the '80s would be dated, or worth getting? We can't afford a new set right now.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I found someone on Craigslist selling a Childcraft set for $15! I'll have to drive a bit to get them, but I think it will be worth it. I think it sounds like something my younger son in particular would really like. I would like to have both these and the World Book Encyclopedia, so I will work towards making that happen.
 

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Childcraft is a steal at $15!

As for a World Book from the 80s, it can be used for lots of subjects that are not time sensitive - but an awful lot has happened in the world in terms of countries and science and cultures since then, so I wouldn't pay much for it. They should be practically giving away a set that old. I think I'd probably hold out and get a much newer one unless it's really cheap, and then I'd just be using it temporarily till finding a newer one. Here's a site that lists library sales, and there are probably ads fairly often for encyclopedias. - Lillian
 

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You know, I'm kind of a self-admitted fossil when it comes to encyclopedias -
I love the feel and smell and look of them, and I like being able to walk over and pull a book off a shelf to sit on the couch with and look something up. But the ones on DVD are also nice to have, updatable, and often filled with links to applicable websites - and you can get things like this Encyclopedia Britannica one for around $25, so maybe that kind of thing could tide you over till getting a "real" one.
Lillian
 
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