Product Reviews? A Review
Have you ever read a negative product review in a magazine? Maybe this is typical for all magazines, I don't know. I am not in the habit of paying much attention to product reviews....other than in homeschooling magazines. The books, curriculum and resources are always of interest to me, even if it is something I clearly do not need or would ever use. But every review I read seems to think that product x, y, z is the greatest thing to come out since homeschooling itself. There are far too many superlatives, and I suppose that should cue me to the fact that the product review is more of an advertisement than an actual review.

Every so often, a product catches enough of my interest that I do go ahead and order it. Or I might have a chance to take a look at it in my homeschool group. Or I might find someone in an e-group who has purchased it. By and large, I would say that I am disappointed in the overall quality of a lot of the homeschool materials being offered. Catalogues and even curricular materials are full of typographical errors. If a published work is so careless about simple errors, how are they on facts? Concepts? General scholarship? Not to mention overall writing quality?

I am ready and willing to admit that I might be a bit spoiled in this regard coming from the public schools. I am accustomed to looking at highly professional product catalogues featuring companies seeking to gain a foothold in the mutli-million dollar business within the public schools. A self-published curriculum provider does not have quite the same kind of capital behind them. But most do have the love of Christ. Which should inspire to the higher quality? Simple proofreading, an attention to detail and overall writing quality really do not cost anymore to produce. They just take time and care. If the only difference between professionally produced school materials and the many self-published products were the quality of the paper and binding, I would not be concerned.

A little more honesty in some of the reviews would also be appreciated. I don't really bother to read them anymore because they havent' built in me the confidence that they are an honest, impartial reporter of the best homeschool resources available. They more have established that they desire to maintain a positive relationship with their advertisers.

I do like well-done product catalogues, however. I guess I expect a company to tell me their products are the best thing on the market. And if they have a quality catalogue, free of errors, visually appealing and well-written, I just might be inclined to believe them.

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