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What's with the ads?

#1 TracyP

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 09:11 AM

This thread brought up a couple of questions that I though might be better answered on a separate thread. First off I know that TOG is not for everyone. For me however I knew right off the bat it was what I wanted for R level and I figured why not start now.

My questions then are
1) Is there anything to really compare TOG to? I mean if you want that depth of history and that level of literary analysis is there anywhere else to get it?
2) Why is it considered so expensive? The closest I could see to compare was MFW and it was very similar in cost. I guess if you want what TOG has to offer how would you go about doing it for less. I paid $250 this year for the year plan and some ug and lg books. On my next time through I will have to spend $0. I plan to use whatever is left of our budget to stock bookshelves but that is just my preference.

I love TOG but explaining the cost (especially IRL) is hard. I don't think the cost is bad at all - and we are poor by most people's standards. Am I missing something?

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 09:31 AM

:lurk5:

May I also add these questions?

If you used TOG and moved on, why?

Did you find other things to meet the same needs/goals that TOG provides? (I guess that's really similar to Tracy's first question.)


I'm seriously considering using TOG but I wonder about the cost. I guess it is considered expensive because the year plans are more than I've seen elsewhere. MFW's teacher's guides are around $100, WP's are $70, SL's are around $50 and up. Those are all in print, so compare that to TOG's $225. That's a lot of money to spend for a teacher's guide. However, I will say that TOG seems to have much more to their guides then those previously mentioned. I've used MFW, WP, and SL guides. I have to say that WP is the least helpful, in my opinion. A lot of the links they have included are dead links. There are no teacher's notes, mapping helps, discussion questions, etc. But keep in mind that I'm referring to WP AS1, they could have changed or be different in the other programs.

All those programs use a lot of books. I think that is where the cost can really add up. So if you plan on buying all the books on Bookshelf central for TOG it is really going to add up to BIG numbers.

I'm really eager to hear what others will say. I want to use TOG. Not sure I can afford it though and wonder if there is anything else that is close to it but cheaper. Thanks for starting this thread Tracy!

#3 TheCoffeeChick

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 09:40 AM

I agree that in the long run TOG does not cost much at all - I actually think it is not all that expensive compared to other things, for me I can do it much cheaper (I did TOG last year and love it) by using SOTW and the library for now. I plan on getting back to TOG later because it is the education I wish I had. :) But, I think TOG can add up when you don't have a good library system and need to purchase all the books.

For some, it is doable and worth spending the money; for some, they feel they can do just as good of a job with less money; and for others, they don't have the means to spend the money.

Right now I can't justify spending the money when there are cheaper alternatives for the grammar stage that provide just as rich of an education. But as my kids get into the dialect and rhetoric stages, I will start up TOG because I don't think there is anything cheaper out there that is as well put together.

#4 shanvan

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:04 AM

1) Is there anything to really compare TOG to? I mean if you want that depth of history and that level of literary analysis is there anywhere else to get it?

I have seen (and done this myself a little) others comparing TOG, Omnibus, and possibly Notgrass (I don't remember if Notgrass does lit too?), and using the WTM recommendations. I'm not sure what to say about literature, but I always assumed I would be able to find something else if I ever decided to leave TOG, but then literature is my specialty. We are committed to using TOG while my DS is in the middle school years. Then I will reassess and make decisions for highschool. Whether or not we continue with TOG will depend on a lot of things...my health (which is up and down but pretty good right now), other commitments with extracurricular activities and aging family members, and the changing needs of both children.

2) Why is it considered so expensive? The closest I could see to compare was MFW and it was very similar in cost. I guess if you want what TOG has to offer how would you go about doing it for less. I paid $250 this year for the year plan and some ug and lg books. On my next time through I will have to spend $0. I plan to use whatever is left of our budget to stock bookshelves but that is just my preference.

I wonder this too. As I said in a post yesterday, I have not found it to be a huge financial burden purchasing the books. I visit the local thrift shops, yard sales and for sale boards regularly and have been able to spend very little to get what we need. BUT, I am a book junkie anyway and I would probably be buying good books without TOG too, so I don't give the book buying much thought. Perhaps some people just don't want to spend a lot of time looking for the books and prefer to buy them new. That would drive up the costs considerably. If I had a larger family, I may not want to spend time looking either.

We are blessed to be able to afford just about whatever I choose (for the most part) with a little creativity and budgeting. If DH lost his job, then I would still be able to use TOG because of our wonderful library, but I know there are many who don't have the luxury of a well stocked local library.

I think the cost being perceived as expensive just depends on your situation in life- and on your ideas about money. A good friend of mine gave me a talking to about money a few years ago. Basically he said I was being too cheap. He said I had Walmart mentality! I wanted everything for less and sometimes you have to pay more to get what you want or what fits your needs. He wanted me to understand that if we can afford it then there is no sin in spending the money. I've never forgotten it and I think he had a point. I know a few people who can afford any curriculum they choose, but who will not spend on it. My husband can be a little too tight with money, but he has changed over the years of homeschooling and realizes in many cases you get what you pay for. Not that I'm knocking all of the wonderful curriculum that is available for less than TOG, but if you want TOG and think it will work for you then you have to pay for TOG.

My own attitudes about money have changed considerably this past year after being bedridden. I had quite a scare medically last year and suddenly putting all that money in the bank didn't seem so important. I wished I had used it more for our family's enjoyment (I'm not saying you have to spend to enjoy family). I realize that God gives us money to be used as it is necessary--not so we can pile up a fortune in fear of what may happen. My attitudes about spending were previously related to fear of the future. I still spend responsibly, but if I think we need to spend on curriculum I no longer rule out based on cost. I think more of what I am providing for my children. Rainbow science is another curriculum that gave me sticker shock, but buying it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

This is all related to my own situation. I do have a friend whose husband is out of work and they are really struggling. Obviously buying TOG brand new with all the books will not be an option for her. So the perception of 'expensive' is really relative to your situation in life.

I really did ramble! Now...back to school in the snow!

Shannon

#5 jewel7123

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:15 AM

I have a question about the books used in TOG. Are the books listed on Bookshelf Central the whole picture, or is there another alternate list that isn't shown, sort of like the MFW book basket? I'm just asking because in the other thread I thought I read something about an alternate list. They could have been talking about a list of books to use with SOTW maybe? I'd love some clarification here.

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:19 AM

Thank you Shannon and Jessica for your input.

I also wanted to add in another question. Since Tracy mentioned the "depth of history" in TOG. My husband says that I stress too much over history. In his opinion it's not really vital that our children know everything about history.
Obviously, this will be opinions but really I want to know what others feel. I can see his point, history is not all that important in the grand scheme of things. Truly I think Math and LAs are far more important and should take priority.

So my question after that long winded speech...lol. Does one really need the depth of history that TOG provides? I wonder especially for the grammar and logic stages.

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:21 AM

I have a question about the books used in TOG. Are the books listed on Bookshelf Central the whole picture, or is there another alternate list that isn't shown, sort of like the MFW book basket? I'm just asking because in the other thread I thought I read something about an alternate list. They could have been talking about a list of books to use with SOTW maybe? I'd love some clarification here.


I've only seen the samples, but yes there is an alternate list. It is my impression that the books on bookshelf central are the core books and the in-depth reading which are not part of the alternate lists.

#8 Staci in MO

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:21 AM

As for a comparison, VP's Omnibus sounds somewhat similar. I haven't actually *seen* Omnibus, though, so I'm not sure.

As for the cost, I spent more when I used Sonlight than I do with TOG. We have a pretty good library, so that helps a lot. It's also easier to substitute books in TOG than it first appears. There have only been a couple of times when a substituted book didn't have the information we needed for a discussion question. I just explained it to the kids from the teacher's notes and went on.

TOG is just hard to explain. You really have to use it for awhile to get a good feel for it.

I cut out a lot of what TOG suggests. You could probably make a case that what I'm doing is not cost effective. I am the type of person who finds it easy to eliminate things, but I'm lousy at supplementing. My dc are better served if I stick with a curriculum that's overkill and simplify it than if I try to flesh out a simpler curriculum.

#9 Rhondabee

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:32 AM

I don't use TOG *or* Biblioplan.

My kids are in 9th, 6th, and pre-K.

I really thought I would end up doing TOG for just my 9th grader this year, but decided against it because:

I greatly prefer the WTM Logic Stage Literature list for my 6th grader. I also had all the history-related stuff I needed for him, and I really like the WTM logic stage history.

It seems per the sample weeks that the "Teacher's Notes" were exact duplicates of my World Book CD-rom. IOW, I *have* that info here, if I am willing to look for it.

Related to that, if I read what my kids are reading, I don't need "Teacher's Notes". We have natural discussions (sometimes aided by the comprehension questions in WTM).

I prefer reading whole books with my 9th grader. I also prefer being able to choose the translator for books such as The Iliad and The Odyssey. (This was essential!)

There are *plenty* of resources for learning literary analysis and how to write about literature. (WEM being one of them.)

We are not reformed, and I just wasn't sure how that would pan out. I've heard both that it's not a problem, and that it was a huge problem.

One thing I did appreciate about TOG was that history is learned from more than one source of information. However, most of the history resources in the rhetoric section were not available at our library, and the ones that were available were definitely college level. The Spielvogel, usually listed on the 2nd page, which I have here and could have used does not answer all the questions in the Student Pages. Which led me back to the question of "Why educate classically?" The answer is not "to learn a pre-determined set of facts", but to discover how to learn on one's own. IOW, while the information TOG is teaching isn't "bad", we can't possibly learn everything there is to know - and if on our journey we learn something that isn't required in TOG (and so, due to lack of information or time, we didn't learn what TOG did require), that isn't "bad", either. (And, I'm not saying the TOG doesn't teach a student to learn on his own, just that there are other paths that are equally valid.)

As I began to look to see what was available at our library, I realized that all I really needed was a "spine" to spur me on to the next topic of study, and the library. TruthQuest fits that bill for me quite nicely, at a fraction of the cost of TOG. (And, I like the freedom to expand topics or delete them altogether. Yes, I know the TOG Police wouldn't show up at my door if I tweaked it, but if I'm going to pay that much money, I don't want to tweak it.)

I also wanted to start IEW this year (to prepare for their Rhetoric lessons). I have been able to apply IEW to all our history this year without feeling like I "wasted" money on a bundled writing package.

I think the fact the TOG has everything bundled is what I don't like about it. If I could pick and choose the sections I want to use and only pay for them, I probably would.

Edited by Rhondabee, 11 February 2010 - 10:37 AM.


#10 jananc

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 10:53 AM

Here are a few answers:

re: alternate books -- TOG has an alternate book list that lists books that might have gone out of print, or that were used in the Classic TOG, or that your family might enjoy as supplements, or that might work in place of the recommended title on the Reading Assignment Chart. It also sometimes lists videos that go along with that weeks' assighments. Bookshelf Central does not carry these books or videos.

re: Bookshelf Central -- this store does carry all the titles on the TOG Reading Assignment Charts, except for a couple of cd's that TOG created to go along with the rhetoric plan. This would include the Government cd's and the Anthology of Shorter Works cd's, as well as MapAids, etc.

re: depth of history -- I honestly think the way we ended up doing TOG was the best approach (even though we did it this way by accident :tongue_smilie:) We used a less expensive, less indepth, lighter method our first 4 years and then switched to TOG for our D and R years. For middle school and high school, I think TOG can't be beat.

The kids are learning history, but they are also learning so many more skills. How to think, how to assess a book and where the author is coming from, how to process information into a biblical worldview, how to learn from the mistakes of mankind and not to apply those same mistakes in their own lives, how what happened in the ancient time period is related to what happened in the middle ages is related to what happened in the colonial period is related to what happened in the 1700's is related to what's going on today...... How to look at different source books and realize every author is coming from a specific worldview. I just can't say enough about how much meat is packed into the rhetoric years of this program!

Re: cost -- In our first years of doing homeschooling, I spent a lot of time puttng together booklists, adding material, etc. TOG has already done that for me, and explains in the teachers notes all the background I need to know. *that's* what I'm paying for! The teacher helps, esp for R level, are worth every penny. I have a friend who has been using the Potters school for her 2 daughters because she doesn't feel confident teaching high school herself. She's been spending $300 per class per daughter for 2 years now (not including books). Then she finally looked at TOG and realized how much money she would have saved if she had switched sooner (she's using TOG next year!) She felt relieved at the *low* cost of TOG :-)

hope this helped some!

#11 TracyP

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:01 AM

:lurk5:

May I also add these questions?

If you used TOG and moved on, why?

Did you find other things to meet the same needs/goals that TOG provides? (I guess that's really similar to Tracy's first question.)


I'm seriously considering using TOG but I wonder about the cost. I guess it is considered expensive because the year plans are more than I've seen elsewhere. MFW's teacher's guides are around $100, WP's are $70, SL's are around $50 and up. Those are all in print, so compare that to TOG's $225. That's a lot of money to spend for a teacher's guide. However, I will say that TOG seems to have much more to their guides then those previously mentioned. I've used MFW, WP, and SL guides. I have to say that WP is the least helpful, in my opinion. A lot of the links they have included are dead links. There are no teacher's notes, mapping helps, discussion questions, etc. But keep in mind that I'm referring to WP AS1, they could have changed or be different in the other programs.

All those programs use a lot of books. I think that is where the cost can really add up. So if you plan on buying all the books on Bookshelf central for TOG it is really going to add up to BIG numbers.

I'm really eager to hear what others will say. I want to use TOG. Not sure I can afford it though and wonder if there is anything else that is close to it but cheaper. Thanks for starting this thread Tracy!


Am I correct in understanding that with MFW you would buy 1st, 2nd/3rd, 5 year cycle, then move on to high school with a 4 year cycle? That is 11 TM or am I wrong? I agree that the books are THE big cost. It seems even if you follow WTM you either get these at the library or buy them thus equal cost it seems to me.:confused: I guess that is what confuses me.

Thank you Shanvan for your words on money. I have felt like this would be money very well spent. I feel right about it for my family. DH leaves this stuff up to me but he is more than okay with it.

So my question after that long winded speech...lol. Does one really need the depth of history that TOG provides? I wonder especially for the grammar and logic stages.


I personally think it is very important at R stage - just my opinion. I think it is definitely "dessert" in the grammar stage and I guess my theory is that having a solid understanding at D level will make you able to dig deeper the next time through. It would be interesting to hear how others see it.

#12 dsacco

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:11 AM

Here is what I found this week - Year 1 Unit 1 of TOG. I have 1 in UG and 1 in D.

I was able to get ~90% of the books at the library - some where the alternate books - some I just WANTED to buy ;)

I spent $45 on the downloadable..... but I have seen the ENTIRE year for as low as $85 in print used.

The included writing program is ehhhh - very basic..... BUT I found the entire writing aids CD for $25 shipped instead of the $50 retail - that'll work :) Right now though we are going to use Writing Strands because I have it.

My kids each spent 30 minutes with me going over next week when we start the unit (this is snow study week). They each found that they could spread it out and work it into a REASONABLE schedule and probably have most of Friday off (which they would like since they go to a homeschool PE class if their work is done).

What did I notice? I found I was able to read the teacher notes - and by being able to talk to them about what they were able to learn, get them excited about it.

For us - I think this might be what I have been looking for at this stage of the "game". It has good literature - and good thought questions.

The expense? I guess it depends on how much you WANT to spend. If you are willing to head out to the library once in awhile - I think it can be kept down. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use different books if you can't find the exact one listed. The lit books I would keep the same - but then in 4 years I see my daughter using them again.

I like the DE version - I can bring my laptop to the library and look up the books I need there - or I can print out the list (which is what I already did) and mark it up as to what I have, what I need etc. I don't see how it is much more than other programs out there - as it really does seem pretty complete!

#13 dsmith

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:25 AM

I plan on using TOG for two complete rotations of years 1-4. In that light, I don't think the initial outlay for the year plans are all that expensive. This is with using the DE, which I cannot resell. I buy one unit at a time due to financial constraints. Hopefully in the future I can buy whole year plans. With the books, I start buying them well in advance of when I need them. A few were free from bookmooch, quite a few I purchased used on ebay and used curriculum sites, and some I paid full price for. I'm currently locating books for the next unit. Sometimes I buy books that are not needed for quite a while, even the next year plan if it is a good deal. People often list books for TOG as a group. I've seen quite a few listings on this site. If I could afford it, I would be buying Rhetoric level books for myself to use while my son goes through UG. I prefer to buy our books, but quite a few can be found in our library. It's really hard to explain to others why TOG is so wonderful! I've heard other people mention that they felt drawn to it - I am one of those people. I've looked extensively at VP Omnibus, Sonlight, WTM history recs., etc. and I always came back to TOG.

#14 bluemongoose

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:25 AM

I have not actually started TOG as I was waiting for DD to hit 1st grade. We plan to use it all the way through starting this fall. I own year 1 and 2 of TOG (bought ahead because of a sale!).

As far as the books for it. I used the book central list before I bought the curriculum and looked to see how many were at the library. I then made a list of those that were not and started looking at used books stores, goodwill, and I also made a list at paperbackswap. I have been able to land nearly all my books for 3.50 or less each. Some as cheap as .50. I feel this more than makes it feasible for me! Plus, since I knew that I wanted to use it all the way through with many children, I went ahead and started looking for the other levels books as well. If you have the time to plan ahead a bit, you can save quite a lot buying used! I just thought I would throw that out there!

#15 Cadam

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:54 AM

All I know is that when I sat down and figured out the cost of the plan plus books I quit adding when I got to $1000 because I knew I could never afford that.

It's not just cost though. TOG is just way more than I need. I don't need all of the choices, alternate books, or even very many teacher's notes, yet. I wouldn't use the writing because I have a different idea of how that should be done exc. There is just an awful lot that I can't see myself using so it's not worth the time and money.

TOG is something that I will look at again before High School but my guess is that I will stress over it for a few days and still end up with something else. It's just not the right fit for everyone, regardless of cost.

The other thing I have learned over the years, is that our needs change. I was 100% positive that I would use a specific program all the way through, and then things changed and I needed a drastically different program. My kids' needs changed, I changed. That's just how life is. If I invested in TOG I would feel the need to continue using it even if it no longer was the best fit for our family. Changing the other programs works ok because I can re-sell those things but w/o the ability to re-sell TOG, well, it's just too much of a risk when I can only be sure use that I will use it for a year.

7 years of homeschooling has taught me to never assume that I can plan what a child (or I) will need years from now. I can make a basic plan, but I would be wise not to bank on it because I might be wrong. If I now make sure it is worth it to me even if I only use it for that one year.

Edited by Cadam, 11 February 2010 - 12:01 PM.


#16 Ali in OR

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:13 PM

I stated a lot of this in the first thread, but basically for me it's not the cost of books. I buy books anyway. I think I usually spend $400-$500 on history books (mostly used) with Biblioplan. I think ToG is expensive for the plan itself, and that's probably because I'm not interested in using everything. I agree with the poster who said she doesn't want it all bundled. I would like teacher notes and discussion questions. Is that worth $170?? After looking at ToG samples, I would be tweaking it a lot to fit us. It doesn't seem worth it to me to spend $170 for teacher notes and discussion questions and still have to think out how to add the books I want to use that ToG doesn't have, tweak the schedule to have books that are at my dd's reading level with questions at her discussion level, etc. As an earlier poster said, we read all of our history materials together, and we've always had good discussions on our own. So I'm not sure I even need teacher notes or discussions questions--I just think it would be nice to see them. But THAT is not worth $170. I will probably look at TOG again for rhetoric level, maybe even when my daughter is ready for dialectic discussion as well as reading.

For those who buy it all now assuming they will use it for 12 years, many people do decide to abandon ToG. It's a huge teacher workload. There are other equally valid and rewarding ways to learn history. It doesn't fit every family.

There is an opportunity cost to having ToG on your shelf (or on your computer actually) if you have a fixed budget for home schooling. That $170 is money that cannot be spent to buy more history books, try MCT, look at Life of Fred, try an interesting science program, etc. So as I have been seriously considering ToG, so far it is not stacking up as being "worth it" for me.

#17 TracyP

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:22 PM

All I know is that when I sat down and figured out the cost of the plan plus books I quit adding when I got to $1000 because I knew I could never afford that.


Is this why TOG has a reputation of being expensive? Because if you just look at the bookshelf you are looking at so much more than the necessities.
Marcia (the author) states over and over that no one will do everything. At R level price will get higher and if I had unlimited resources I could really go to town :001_smile: but I don't think you have to spend that much.

Definitely if TOG is not what fits your family then that changes the whole conversation. There is no arguing that TOG is cheap. :D I just think that maybe there is a misconception about how expensive it really is.

#18 jewel7123

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:27 PM

Is this why TOG has a reputation of being expensive? Because if you just look at the bookshelf you are looking at so much more than the necessities.


But how do you know which books are a necessity and which aren't and that you can get by without? :confused: :)

#19 Guest_aquiverfull_*

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:39 PM

I guess if you plan on using TOG for 3 full rotations you will really be getting your money's worth for the Teacher guides. So lets say you buy 4 year plans at $225 each that's $900. If you buy 12 WP guides at $70 a piece that's $840. If you have other kids you'll be using each again whether it's TOG or WP. I used WP because I'm more familiar with it. I know you can get the guide free if you buy the whole package. When I did that, I added the books up separate (like from Amazon) and it really was cheaper for me to buy the whole package from WP. I don't know how much MFWs guides cost and if it is the same each year. I spent $100 for MFW ECC guide.

I guess you can just use certain books in TOG. I'll never fully understand it without seeing it. But I agree with Jennifer. How are you supposed to choose from Bookshelf Central? I know you could look at books that are used more than a few weeks.

I know Shannon said that it hasn't been a problem for her in switching out books. But the post I linked in the other thread portrayed a different story from 2 moms who use TOG. They became frustrated with that. I wonder if I would as well. They felt like you couldn't do the discussion questions unless you used both the Core readings and the In-depth books. I don't want to pay so much for a teacher's guide and then find frustration with not being able to do something in it. I know there's a good argument for that. There is no PERFECT curriculum. Everything will need to be tweaked to some extent, I'm sure. It's just the cost that makes me stop and think with TOG.

#20 shanvan

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:45 PM

"we read all of our history materials together, and we've always had good discussions on our own."

That was my plan, but my children are too far apart in age and ability for me to keep up with that goal. Now, you may be able to keep up that goal depending on your circumstances. I was becoming frustrated at trying to meet the needs of discussion with kids at different levels and in different history cycles. TOG allows me to have discussions even if I am not always able to read with my children. I actually find that it frees me to add in many books of my own choosing precisely because I am able to rely on teacher's notes for the books I'm not able to read. We love read alouds and have more than one going at all times...but it is not always related to TOG or history. I love that I have the freedom and time to do this without having to research and plan history.

And, yes it is entirely possible and easy for some people to have good discussions without TOG. We would fall into that category if I were able to keep up with my oldest DS history reading, but I cannot always do this, so the notes are a great help to me.

"It's a huge teacher workload."

I just don't find this to be true after using it for a year. Yes, it takes getting used to, but it is actually a lot less work than I was doing previously.

What is keeping us with TOG is ...

1. The ability to keep everyone on the same topics and yet still enjoy history together.

2.The challenge it gives my 11 year old DS at the dialetic level without a ton of planning from me.

3.The time it saves me that I used to spend on research and planning trying to keep everyone together and read ALL our history together and yet still challenge my DS.

"There are other equally valid and rewarding ways to learn history. It doesn't fit every family."

Exactly! As many posters have said it all depends on your situation and the needs of your family and children (which will be changing all the time, as another poster mentioned). Even those who like and use TOG like it and use it for various reasons. I do think there are quite a few misconceptions about TOG, which is what this thread is meant to investigate. I know because I had many of those misconceptions before I started using it. And the only way I could find out was to try it myself. Of course it isn't a fit for everyone, and there are lots of great choices out there.

It is a wonderful feeling when you find what works for you and your family, whether that is TOG or something else.:001_smile:

#21 Staci in MO

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:50 PM

But how do you know which books are a necessity and which aren't and that you can get by without? :confused: :)


That's part of why I say TOG is hard to explain. When I type this all out, it's going to sound complicated, but when you have the curriculum, it's clear.

This is what I do. For D level history, I first look at the main history readings. If a book is used for 3 weeks or more, I usually buy it. If it's really expensive I try to find it at the library. For books that I use for less than 3 weeks, I use the library. If I can't find it at the library, I see how much else we have to do that week. If there's already a lot scheduled, I usually drop it. Since SOTW is scheduled as an alternative, I may just use that that week.

If it's already a heavy week, we don't do the history in-depth.

We're in Unit 3 of Year 3. So far, the vast majority of our history reading for D have been in _This Country of Ours_ and _Abraham Lincoln's World_. We've also used _Our Island Story_ quite a bit. Both TCOO and OIS were used last year, so I didn't have to buy them this year.

I buy most of the lit. A couple of times I've gone with the alternative lit selection because I thought it sounded like something we would enjoy more. The lit worksheets are geared for that week's specific book, but a lot of the time I can still make it work. Most of the D worksheets ask questions about conflict and such, so I can use that as a springboard to discuss the alternate book (I just have to know the answer. LOL)

I buy very little for the grammar stage. If they don't have the suggested book about the Underground Railroad, for instance, I just use what my library has.

I haven't taught R level yet, but you're going to need most of the TOG literature (there's a breakdown on the TOG website as to how much of the lit you need to do to be able to give hs lit credit. 80% maybe? Doing all the lit would be an honors credit).

Printing the samples on the website is a good start, but I still think it's hard to get the big picture from that. I've loaned out my units to people to peruse, and most of them have an, "OH, I see!" moment after they have to the whole unit in hand to see.

Edited by Staci in MO, 11 February 2010 - 12:54 PM.


#22 TracyP

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:54 PM

But how do you know which books are a necessity and which aren't and that you can get by without? :confused: :)


I don't think there is any way to know without buying it and it makes my wonder if maybe this is a bit of a marketing blunder on their part. For year one for ug history you need a Bible and one $20 book. In looking at the year plan I don't see any reason I couldn't use those as a Read aloud for lg and ug. This same book is suggested in the year plan as a substitute for D level students if you are on a strict budget. You would never know this without buying the year. This is not the norm BTW but I do think it really looks worse than it is. SOTW is on the alt list as a spine as another example. I think maybe they should make that more clear (but who am I?:D)

#23 Guest_aquiverfull_*

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 12:59 PM

Thanks Tracy and Staci for helping us to get a better perspective for how it can work.

I thought of another question.. I know that I'll want the print version (at least at first) but is there going to be a lot of copying involved? If so, do you find that adds a lot to the overall cost?

#24 April in NC

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:34 PM

My thoughts (after all of one week of TOG!) regarding cost effectiveness long term, pros and cons of the DE edition, cost of buying books, and reselling the curriculum are:

I am hearing that it isn't worth it to buy the program if you might change to something else after a few years and only use it for a year.

For me, though, I look at it differently. I love how TOG is sold. You can buy one unit at a time, and I feel that, curriculum junkie though I am, I can definitely commit to 8 or 9 weeks of work.

Once we finish that 9 weeks, if something else looks like it would work better, I don't have to keep buying TOG, and I can easily switch. This is much less pressure than Sonlight or WP or any of the other programs where you have to commit to buying an entire year upfront. (I could buy the entire TOG year upfront for a slight discount. It isn't a significant discount, though, so I prefer to buy as I go and keep my flexibility.)

And, if I haven't found something better by the time we come back through this spot of history again, then I'll already have this program ready to go, and I can spend my money on buying more books! At any rate, I imagine that I would use some of the information in the TOG units as a resource regardless of what other program I might hypothetically move to in later years.

The other concern that I have seen a lot in the archives of this board is about the digital format.

At first this bothered me, too, because I generally prefer to have printed materials in front of me to make notes on and dogear, etc. I was also concerned about what would happen if I changed computers, or had a hard drive crash, etc. And, it can't be resold! Ack!

I have come around 180 degrees on this though. After reading the FAQs and info about the DE format, I found that you own the product for life. That means when you upgrade to a different computer (or have a hard drive crash) that TOG will update your license. It also means that you have access to all updates to the curriculum as books go out of print, or new, superior books, are printed, etc. This is potentially very important if you are looking at the practicality of using the program 10 years in the future. Many of the books in the printed versions will have gone out of print, or new books will have been published that are better or more readily accessible.

With the DE, you will always have a brand new, up-to-date product. Next time around, I can print out a fresh booklist and mark it up. Oh! That's another thing that I am enjoying. If I had the printed version, I'd be trying to keep it pristine in order to resell it, and I wouldn't feel comfortable making notes in the book. With the DE, I printed out copies of all the assignment pages and have been having a great time circling, crossing out, and marking off the selections. Making notes about library availability, Amazon pricing, field trips, etc. Next time through, I can use these notes, or I can print off a fresh copy, and have a brand new program ready to go.

I decided that for me it definitely wasn't worth agonizing about whether TOG would be a good fit - wasn't worth drooling over but thinking that I wasn't quite sure . . . (I'm adapting to use secularly, so I had lots of questions about how that would work.) I just took the plunge and bought one unit for $45 plus the Map Aids (which I would use as a tool regardless of what program I was using - I'd already almost bought them from Knowledge Quest, anyway.)

I figured I'd just see what I could do with the books I had on hand and what I could get through my library or ILL, with maybe a purchase or two of really good books that were used for several weeks. We aren't using the writing or worldview assignments, but are using the literature, history, and geography.

If there is a book I really want that my library doesn't have, I'm making a note to request an Interlibrary loan about 4 weeks before I will need it. If my loan doesn't come in in time, then I can purchase it on Amazon. Once I'm done with any books that I do purchase, I could resell them. (Yeah, right - As a bibliophile, I have a hard time parting with my books. But I could technically, if I really wanted to use the money to buy more books!)

So far, so good! But, if I do decide by the end of this unit that I'm not interested in continuing with TOG, at least I'll know that I tried it out and won't be wondering what I'm missing!

Edited by April in NC, 11 February 2010 - 02:38 PM.


#25 Guest_aquiverfull_*

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:42 PM

Excellent post April! Thank you! So much of what you said really makes a lot of sense.

Do you find that you are printing a lot? I'm thinking about the cost of ink for my printer and wondering how cost effective that might be. Thanks!

#26 dsacco

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 03:52 PM

I printed 9 pages (the reading list) double-sided and in color (I am spoiled with an auto-duplex laser printer), the maps for both kids (6 I think for this week) b&w.... and 5 pages for the kids to use - but I'm not sure if I will need to print all of those again as I don't think they need those. DS will want the questions to answer so I will print those for him..... but dd and I can work together of the computer. Oh - I printed the schedule page for them....but I might just make my own because it doesn't have all the subjects we do on it....

#27 April in NC

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:29 PM

I printed 9 pages (the reading list) double-sided and in color (I am spoiled with an auto-duplex laser printer), the maps for both kids (6 I think for this week) b&w.... and 5 pages for the kids to use - but I'm not sure if I will need to print all of those again as I don't think they need those. DS will want the questions to answer so I will print those for him..... but dd and I can work together of the computer. Oh - I printed the schedule page for them....but I might just make my own because it doesn't have all the subjects we do on it....


Ditto for me. I didn't try the doubled sided/auto-duplex option until I'd already printed out most of it, because they said that it didn't work. But it does work on my printer, too!

Like you, I didn't print out the teacher notes, although I might be tempted if I had a child in D or R. As it is, I've just been scanning the topics, and not reading every detail in the notes. Much of it is more relevant to teaching older students.

For week 2, I printed out all 10 assignment pages (would be 13 if I were doing writing). I also printed out the student activity section, which I'm not sure I would continue doing or not - that was 5 pages for each child, because we are doing a mix of both UG and LG. I printed out 1 black-and-white map per child, plus a color one to share. So, all total, worst case scenario, would be 21 pages. I could easily cut that down to 10 or 15, and probably would if I didn't have a cheap source of ink:

I refill my ink cartridges with bottles of ink that I get from www.xrefill.com. I can often make my cartridges last 2-6 times as long for pennies. (They tend to last longer if you refill them as soon as they start running low - but I'm not always great about actually doing this!) I only purchase once every 2-3 years, so far. The bottles last a Long Time! Now that so many homeschool materials are being made available as ebooks, it has been so helpful to have the inexpensive ink available.

#28 dsacco

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:37 PM

I wish they would allow printing to PDF - then I would be able to save paper and upload it to my son's ipod touch. I understand why they don't for security - but boy would it be helpful!!

#29 TracyP

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:53 PM

Great post April! I love that way of looking at it. I am going all in but I really enjoy the different perspective that I had never thought of. I too am all for DE. Looking at the age of my kids resale is just a very distant thought and I don't mind working off the computer at all. I thought I would and I too print out the assignment pages so I can flip through them but the DE is very convenient.

#30 tracymirko

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:47 AM

My husband says that I stress too much over history. In his opinion it's not really vital that our children know everything about history.

Does one really need the depth of history that TOG provides? I wonder especially for the grammar and logic stages.


I decided to start TOG with my oldest (who will be LG) next school year. I have read advice that SOTW is sufficient for this stage if you have no older children, but my feeling is that I am the other student here. You see, I hated social studies and literature in school. For history, I took only Modern History to fulfill history requirements, and I did very poorly in literature, because I couldn't bring myself to read the books. But I liked art and ended up taking an AP Art History course as a senior, and that opened up a whole new world to me. Suddenly, I understood things that I never did before-historical and cultural references that would have completely passed me up before. It was such a great feeling. I realize now how much I missed.

If I were looking for something just for my dd5, I would use SOTW. But I need to spend these years learning something about what I will need to teach when dd is at the R level. I know that TOG has great teacher notes, but what am I going to say to her when she doesn't want to read something that I haven't read, especially if I haven't read any of books? I don't expect that I will be able to cover everything, but I have to learn what I can now, and this is the time to do it. If I wait until I am teaching an R level student, it just won't happen. Here is a post at the Lampstand Press site that really convinced me: http://tapestryofgra...21/m/7101018012

HTH
Tracy

#31 lovinmomma

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:02 PM

I decided to start TOG with my oldest (who will be LG) next school year. I have read advice that SOTW is sufficient for this stage if you have no older children, but my feeling is that I am the other student here. You see, I hated social studies and literature in school. For history, I took only Modern History to fulfill history requirements, and I did very poorly in literature, because I couldn't bring myself to read the books. But I liked art and ended up taking an AP Art History course as a senior, and that opened up a whole new world to me. Suddenly, I understood things that I never did before-historical and cultural references that would have completely passed me up before. It was such a great feeling. I realize now how much I missed.

If I were looking for something just for my dd5, I would use SOTW. But I need to spend these years learning something about what I will need to teach when dd is at the R level. I know that TOG has great teacher notes, but what am I going to say to her when she doesn't want to read something that I haven't read, especially if I haven't read any of books? I don't expect that I will be able to cover everything, but I have to learn what I can now, and this is the time to do it. If I wait until I am teaching an R level student, it just won't happen. Here is a post at the Lampstand Press site that really convinced me: http://tapestryofgra...21/m/7101018012

HTH
Tracy


Okay, so help me understand what you are saying here. You are going to purchase TOG, but just do SOTW with it? Is that what you are saying? That way you can start learning how to use TOG? Is that right?

#32 Cadam

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:17 PM

I decided to start TOG with my oldest (who will be LG) next school year. I have read advice that SOTW is sufficient for this stage if you have no older children, but my feeling is that I am the other student here. You see, I hated social studies and literature in school. For history, I took only Modern History to fulfill history requirements, and I did very poorly in literature, because I couldn't bring myself to read the books. But I liked art and ended up taking an AP Art History course as a senior, and that opened up a whole new world to me. Suddenly, I understood things that I never did before-historical and cultural references that would have completely passed me up before. It was such a great feeling. I realize now how much I missed.

If I were looking for something just for my dd5, I would use SOTW. But I need to spend these years learning something about what I will need to teach when dd is at the R level. I know that TOG has great teacher notes, but what am I going to say to her when she doesn't want to read something that I haven't read, especially if I haven't read any of books? I don't expect that I will be able to cover everything, but I have to learn what I can now, and this is the time to do it. If I wait until I am teaching an R level student, it just won't happen. Here is a post at the Lampstand Press site that really convinced me: http://tapestryofgra...21/m/7101018012

HTH
Tracy


To each her own certainly but if I wanted to fill in my own knowledge I would just get Susan's book for adults and read that.

#33 Guest_aquiverfull_*

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:23 PM

I see your point Tracy and I also see what Christina is saying.

I guess TOG just helps to lay it all out a little clearer if mom wants to learn. However, Christina also provided another valid way to self-educate. Also Ali explained earlier (not sure if it was this thread or another) how she self educates as well and I could see it working out also. I think someone mentioned that the Teacher's notes contain a lot of information from World Book Encyclopedias so I suppose one could read those as well. Of course, that may mean a lot more work and research for mom. I guess it's all about what's most important to you.

I say if you can afford TOG go for it, it looks really nice. I can see how it would be a very conveniently laid out plan for mom to learn all this stuff.

I have really enjoyed reading this and the other threads. It's been very helpful as I'm trying to make a difficult decision.

#34 jg_puppy

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:41 PM

To each her own certainly but if I wanted to fill in my own knowledge I would just get Susan's book for adults and read that.


How much if any Biblical history is included in this book? The book is on my wish list at Amazon, but I have not gotten it yet.

Jan

#35 TracyP

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:48 PM

I decided to start TOG with my oldest (who will be LG) next school year. I have read advice that SOTW is sufficient for this stage if you have no older children, but my feeling is that I am the other student here. You see, I hated social studies and literature in school. For history, I took only Modern History to fulfill history requirements, and I did very poorly in literature, because I couldn't bring myself to read the books. But I liked art and ended up taking an AP Art History course as a senior, and that opened up a whole new world to me. Suddenly, I understood things that I never did before-historical and cultural references that would have completely passed me up before. It was such a great feeling. I realize now how much I missed.

If I were looking for something just for my dd5, I would use SOTW. But I need to spend these years learning something about what I will need to teach when dd is at the R level. I know that TOG has great teacher notes, but what am I going to say to her when she doesn't want to read something that I haven't read, especially if I haven't read any of books? I don't expect that I will be able to cover everything, but I have to learn what I can now, and this is the time to do it. If I wait until I am teaching an R level student, it just won't happen. Here is a post at the Lampstand Press site that really convinced me: http://tapestryofgra...21/m/7101018012

HTH
Tracy


This is what I am doing too and that was an incredibly motivating thread. I don't use SOTW but I am using TOG on a very light level for the kids while I get a feel for it. I think that is why so many wait until their kids are older to start and I can see their point. Ihave learned so much and can't wait to learn more. For me it is wonderful.:001_smile:

#36 mom2maddie

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:10 PM

The draw for me is the Socratic discussions that are provided in the D & R years for history and lit. I need that done for me and besides Omnibus I don't know of any other curriculum that has it....but would love to hear about it if it's out there.

Haven't bought it yet, but considering TOG for my children's Jr High- High school years.

#37 tracymirko

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:17 PM

Okay, so help me understand what you are saying here. You are going to purchase TOG, but just do SOTW with it? Is that what you are saying? That way you can start learning how to use TOG? Is that right?


Not exactly. I am not starting until Aug, so I am not entirely sure how it will all play out. A lot of people use a spine with TOG, like SOTW or MOH. I may use SOTW as part of TOG but not instead of TOG. (SOTW is one of the books on the TOG LG reading list.) It would just be part of the TOG curriculum. (One of the reasons that I don't want to just use SOTW with dd is that she really doesn't like to color, which I understand is a large part of SOTW AG. When we did the activities in the TOG free samples, those seemed to suit her better.) But we would still do TOG core history reading at the very least, and probably the in-depth readings, too, since dd loves history and reading. But during a hectic week, perhaps we could just do SOTW.

If it were just learning how to use TOG, I might wait until the second rotation of history. But this is about teaching me the material itself. For example, someone gave an example on one of these TOG threads of the different levels. LG/UG kids were learning about Queen Elizabeth; D kids were learning about the House of Tudor; and R kids were learning about the politics between Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots. I don't know anything about any of these topics, and I am not sure I want to wait until I am teaching an R kid (or even a D kid) before I learn it.

The draw for me is the Socratic discussions that are provided in the D & R years for history and lit.


:iagree: If you have never been a student where the Socratic method is used, it might be difficult to appreciate how powerful it is. Perhaps it is just my own personality or learning style, but after graduating from a school that used this method, I feel that the money for TOG is completely worth it if it helps me to teach in this manner. I couldn't come up with these questions on my own. Another poster suggested that the specific points made in TOG are not what is important but the discussion that is had, which I completely agree with. But I don't feel that I could lead an equal discussion without those teacher's notes.

#38 jewel7123

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:25 PM

For example, someone gave an example on one of these TOG threads of the different levels. LG/UG kids were learning about Queen Elizabeth; D kids were learning about the House of Tudor; and R kids were learning about the politics between Queen Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots. I don't know anything about any of these topics, and I am not sure I want to wait until I am teaching an R kid (or even a D kid) before I learn it.


Was that an older thread? Could you possibly link it here? I'd love to hear more about this! :bigear:

#39 tracymirko

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:40 PM

Was that an older thread? Could you possibly link it here? I'd love to hear more about this! :bigear:


Here it is:

http://www.welltrain...434&postcount=5

Tracy

#40 jewel7123

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:19 PM

Thank you!

#41 FlockOfSillies

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:22 PM

As someone who is in the process of dropping TOG, I have to tell you that spending oodles of money NOW on something you won't even need to use for at least seven years is pure folly.

I took my oldest through the first four-year rotation with SOTW. I thought I'd try TOG for the logic stage with her, and bring in the youngers, using SOTW as the spine and getting the scheduling stuff done for me. Well, history just isn't getting done. The reading schedule for Yr 2 for my oldest was complete overload -- 50 pages a week, just for the spine! Forget the outside reading.

I've gone back to practicing outlining with dd, using KHE a la WTM. I'm following the SOTW chapters and using the page numbers listed in the Activity Guide. I'll have to do at least two chapter outlines a week with her, but we're moving forward in history again, and the whole thing feels more manageable. We're also planning to add in all the great literature we thought we'd get to, but have been missing.

With my littles, we haven't been getting to do much more than the three R's, plus the maps from TOG. We've at least had SOTW in the car. This week I finally pulled out the book, read them a section, and had them answer questions and narrate. "Hey, this is fun! Let's do it again!" Music to my ears.

At your kids' age, SOTW with the AG is PLENTY of work. The best program, whether it's history, science, English, or math, is the one that gets done consistently. That usually means simpler, with fewer bells and whistles.

Also, don't underestimate the possibility that new and better-fitting programs will come out between now and the time your oldest hits R stage. The homeschooling market has seen an explosion of products over the last few years, and there's no sign that it's going to stop.

One more thing about the DE. My dh, a software engineer, is quite annoyed at Lampstand's no-resell policy. When I told him that the stated reason for the policy was that "all the companies are doing that these days," he told me that many companies are actually moving away from it. It's been a fad, but from his perspective in the industry, it's a fading trend. I don't know how accurate that assessment is, but it's there FWIW.

I hate being a wet blanket, but I would hate it more to see you spend your money on something expensive that you really don't need. Spend that money on great books to read to your kids alongside a spine. Build a great home library. Or just save your pennies now for the good stuff later.

My pair o' pennies.

#42 jewel7123

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:33 PM

I won't be getting TOG anytime soon myself, but I thought this review was interesting and that some of you other ladies might want to read it. I was actually googling Well Trained Mind 4-year cycle and found this review of TOG. It definitely gives another side as you do Brenda.

http://homeschoolhea...y-of-grace.html

#43 Guest_aquiverfull_*

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:37 AM

Thank you Brenda for sharing your POV. I really appreciate hearing another side of the story.

Jennifer, thank you so much for that awesome link. That was a wonderful review. I felt she was very unbiased and shared honestly what she liked and didn't like about TOG. I thought it was great that she shared her view of the DE as well.

#44 bethben

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:09 AM

I had this on a different post about costs since these were the two programs I was looking at. I didn't include the post since it got into a whole discussion very off track with TOG vs. MFW people squaring it off about who is better and the true cost of books between the two programs.

There's a lot of people that are thrown off from the cost of TOG and I thought I would just compare (since these are the 2 programs I'm considering). Neither of these costs includes books.

MFW cost K-12 (just for TM's not books - this is recommended TM's needed to complete the program and all literature and writing components)

K - $105
1st - $150
Adventures - $100
ECC-Mod (5 yrs)$500
H.S. $540 (this includes TM, and literature/composition supplement and tests)
7th-8th Progony Press guides (4 guides) - $68
4 levels of writing strands - $80


TOTAL for MFW K-12 $1543



Tapestry of Grace:


4 years of TM's - $900 (this was before the whole digital/print version started up)
Writing Aids - $50
Map Aids (4 years) - $100
Evaluations Rhetoric - $50

Total cost for K-12 TOG - $1100

I included the Evaluations for Rhetoric since they are included in MFW as high school tests. I also know that you need to add some sort of phonics program to TOG that MFW includes. Also, MFW includes math and all the books in the K and 1st program. I took the cost of the basic program. MFW also includes all science up to grade 7. TOG on the other hand includes literature and writing which MFW supplements with Writing Strands and Progony Press guides in 7th-8th grade.

No flames - no alternate discussions. Just for you who like to compare real costs.

Beth

Edited by bethben, 13 February 2010 - 09:10 AM.
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#45 dsacco

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:42 AM

I liked the link :) One of the things that HAS been fixed is the duplex printing which was actually a big concern for me.

I also liked something she noticed - it's worth more if you have multiple kids at different levels. Having a UG kid for the next 2 years and a child who will be in D and then in 2 years they will both move up to D & R I think it's a huge to be able to stay consistent.

Also - note that the DE version seems to be very easy to navigate to me - not that it has links to various websites in an interactive way, but that I can find what I need quickly (I've been playing with it for 4 days making sure I CAN figure it out)...I'm thinking that it's been updated since they asked it to be reviewed?

I was looking at the DE version like this: you are not supposed to sell AOP's switched-on-schoolhouse.....it's in the terms of agreement. I think that they are protecting themselves from people still using it and then reselling it while still using it. That is something we don't like to think about - but it's the way life is and people are so the company is protecting themselves.

#46 Cadam

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 11:02 AM

These costs for MFW also include the main books, everything you need to do the program. The listed TOG costs don't include any books. It's hard to compare because it depends on how much each person wants to use the library and all, but you would have to add at least your main spines to the TOG years.

I'm not trying to argue, just wanted to point that out.

When it comes down to it, it just depends on the program that is right for your family.

I had this on a different post about costs since these were the two programs I was looking at. I didn't include the post since it got into a whole discussion very off track with TOG vs. MFW people squaring it off about who is better and the true cost of books between the two programs.

There's a lot of people that are thrown off from the cost of TOG and I thought I would just compare (since these are the 2 programs I'm considering). Neither of these costs includes books.

MFW cost K-12 (just for TM's not books - this is recommended TM's needed to complete the program and all literature and writing components)

K - $105
1st - $150
Adventures - $100
ECC-Mod (5 yrs)$500
H.S. $540 (this includes TM, and literature/composition supplement and tests)
7th-8th Progony Press guides (4 guides) - $68
4 levels of writing strands - $80


TOTAL for MFW K-12 $1543



Tapestry of Grace:


4 years of TM's - $900 (this was before the whole digital/print version started up)
Writing Aids - $50
Map Aids (4 years) - $100
Evaluations Rhetoric - $50

Total cost for K-12 TOG - $1100

I included the Evaluations for Rhetoric since they are included in MFW as high school tests. I also know that you need to add some sort of phonics program to TOG that MFW includes. Also, MFW includes math and all the books in the K and 1st program. I took the cost of the basic program. MFW also includes all science up to grade 7. TOG on the other hand includes literature and writing which MFW supplements with Writing Strands and Progony Press guides in 7th-8th grade.

No flames - no alternate discussions. Just for you who like to compare real costs.

Beth


Edited by Cadam, 13 February 2010 - 11:05 AM.


#47 jewel7123

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 11:03 AM

Well it looks like to me she based it off of the $100 per TM and not the value bundles that MFW carries with the books included.

#48 Parrothead

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 11:35 AM

I paid $250 this year for the year plan and some ug and lg books. On my next time through I will have to spend $0.

For some there is no next time through. While you can divide the $250 by several kids and come up with $125 for two children or $83 for three, for a family with one child that $250 is per year every year that it is used. That is very expensive when one's entire homeschooling budget is $500 per year.

But I don't use MFW either. Both are too expensive for us.

#49 TracyP

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:36 PM

As someone who is in the process of dropping TOG, I have to tell you that spending oodles of money NOW on something you won't even need to use for at least seven years is pure folly.

I took my oldest through the first four-year rotation with SOTW. I thought I'd try TOG for the logic stage with her, and bring in the youngers, using SOTW as the spine and getting the scheduling stuff done for me. Well, history just isn't getting done. The reading schedule for Yr 2 for my oldest was complete overload -- 50 pages a week, just for the spine! Forget the outside reading.

I've gone back to practicing outlining with dd, using KHE a la WTM. I'm following the SOTW chapters and using the page numbers listed in the Activity Guide. I'll have to do at least two chapter outlines a week with her, but we're moving forward in history again, and the whole thing feels more manageable. We're also planning to add in all the great literature we thought we'd get to, but have been missing.

With my littles, we haven't been getting to do much more than the three R's, plus the maps from TOG. We've at least had SOTW in the car. This week I finally pulled out the book, read them a section, and had them answer questions and narrate. "Hey, this is fun! Let's do it again!" Music to my ears.

At your kids' age, SOTW with the AG is PLENTY of work. The best program, whether it's history, science, English, or math, is the one that gets done consistently. That usually means simpler, with fewer bells and whistles.

Also, don't underestimate the possibility that new and better-fitting programs will come out between now and the time your oldest hits R stage. The homeschooling market has seen an explosion of products over the last few years, and there's no sign that it's going to stop.

One more thing about the DE. My dh, a software engineer, is quite annoyed at Lampstand's no-resell policy. When I told him that the stated reason for the policy was that "all the companies are doing that these days," he told me that many companies are actually moving away from it. It's been a fad, but from his perspective in the industry, it's a fading trend. I don't know how accurate that assessment is, but it's there FWIW.

I hate being a wet blanket, but I would hate it more to see you spend your money on something expensive that you really don't need. Spend that money on great books to read to your kids alongside a spine. Build a great home library. Or just save your pennies now for the good stuff later.

My pair o' pennies.


It may seem surprising but I really agree with most of your post. When I have told friends about TOG I tell them why I love it but I can't recommend it. Now it seems that they may choose it anyways but then that is their decision. I have thought about "what if" I don't end up using it for some reason and I have no answer for that. When I saw TOG it was literally an answer to prayers. This is the only one of my decisions I haven't second guessed and I could very well be in your position in 5 years but I can't ignore how strongly I feel like it is the right decision.

This thread has made me feel even better because I don't think you can get the same thing at less of a price. Thanks!

#50 lovinmomma

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 02:02 PM

For me its not the guide that I find expensive with TOG. For me, as a person without access to a library, it's the books that are more expensive. Having said that, I went through the entire resource list for YR 1 LG and circled all of the books that were tied to a worksheets or used for more than a couple of weeks, and then I priced them on amazon. I guess you could use SOTW and an encyclopaedia for the rest of the resources and not completely break the bank in the early years???


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