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#1 gardenschooler

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 05:56 PM

I seem to have heard this mentioned a few times lately, and I'm interested in trying to figure out if it would work for my upcoming 9th grader. What's it like? How is it like/unlike TOG? I just can't commit to TOG, but let's not go there. I like things to be all laid out for me, but with a little wiggle room - not a lot of weekly decisions and planning on my part. Would Trisms be more like this?
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#2 ereks mom

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 09:00 PM

The History Makers, an overview of World History, was designed for middle school, but I've heard of people using it for high school students also. We have not used this, but we have used 3 of the high school TRISMS volumes: Discovering the Ancient World (DAW), Expansion of Civilization (EOC), and Rise of Nations (RON). For all levels of TRISMS, the teacher's guide has lesson plans (laid out for you in 2-week "grids"). The subjects covered vary slightly depending on which TRISMS volume you are using (more explanation below).

For literature assignments, some literature selections (poems, short stories, etc.) are included in the teacher's materials; there are also lists of suggested literature pertaining to each time period, and you would pick the ones that appeal to you. Writing assignments are keyed to IEW, meaning that the TM lists the page numbers, etc. from the IEW Structure & Style videos & book. But, even if you don't use IEW (we didn't), your child will still have plenty of writing assignments with TRISMS.

The first high school-level volume, DAW, covers Creation to the Middle Ages, and has 36 weeks of lessons (34 weekly units plus two research & report projects requiring one week each of class time). There are lesson plans and quizzes/tests for History, Geography, Literature, Writing, Vocabulary, Science, and (history of) Art, Music & Architecture -- everything except math & grammar. Units are arranged chronologically by civilization. For example, you begin with Creation for the first 2 weeks, then study the Sumerians & the Indus Valley civilizations the next 2 weeks, and so on.

IMO, there is NO WAY that you could complete all of a week's worth of TRISMS assignments in just a week! With DAW, we started out trying to do most of them (we used Apologia instead of the science portion of TRISMS), and ds got so bogged down that we had to start cutting some things. After we tweaked our approach considerably, here is where we wound up: ds did the map studies for each unit (labeling & coloring), and he read the literature & did *some* writing assignments related to the literature (but mostly we just discussed it). He did some outside reading using one or more spine books (Streams of Civilization and also BJU World History & ABeka World History) as well as historical fiction, and we read & discussed the Civilization, Art, Music, and Architecture Questionnaires. Ds researched in books and online to find information and pictures of the art, architecture, and musical instruments of each civilization, and he printed these out and put them in his coursebook. (TRISMS is all about notebooking, which the author calls making a coursebook.) There are also two projects each year; the student can choose a topic from a list in the TM and also can decide on a format (report, display, diorama, map, etc.). For evaluation (grades), ds did the end-of-unit worksheets (short answer), the Unit quizzes (fill-in-the-blank-from-a-wordbank worksheets) & the vocabulary quizzes (matching), as well as the semester tests, which include mostly short answer, some matching, mapwork & an essay based on the literature read throughout the semester. If there was something on the worksheet, quizzes, or tests that we didn't cover (science questions, for example), we simply omitted those test questions.

The next TRISMS course, EOC, covers Classical Greece & Rome and the Middle Ages. In addition to the history, geography, literature, writing, vocabulary, science, and history of art, music & architecture lessons, EOC also has rhetoric.

The third volume, RON, covers the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, and Exploration & Colonization of the New World. In RON, there are no rhetoric or science lesson plans. Topics of study include Art, Music, Architecture, Geography, Literature, Writing, and Vocabulary.

PLEASE NOTE: My biggest complaint with TRISMS is that the American history from about 1750-1850 is not covered AT ALL. This, of course, includes the American Revolutionary period, 1750-1800! So, I wrote my own unit for this period, and I have posted my lesson plans in the Files area of the TRISMS Yahoo! group for any and all to use.

The fourth volume, Age of Revolutions (AOR), covers U.S. & World History from 1850 to the present. Again, American history is covered in the context of world history. Unfortunately, AOR is considerably more expensive than the previous volumes. I wanted to buy it for ds to use in his senior year this year, but couldn't manage the cost. I haven't seen it yet on the used boards.

Instead of AOR, I've been coming up with a "TRISMS-style" study on my own -- it's a work in progress. To get started, I listed the topics I wanted to cover. Then I started choosing various works of literature, art/artists, architecture, and music/composers for the various time periods to be studied. We use various history texts and videos as a spine, and then ds reads the literature and I assign questions, study guides, and/or essays for each piece he reads (books, poetry, short stories, etc.). He researches art/artists, architecture, and music/composers and completes study guides and TRISMS-style questionnaires that I design. He also does map work -- I've bought a couple of history map workbooks and CDs (Walch and others). He keeps all these materials in notebooks -- one for literature and one for history & arts-related study guides, maps & questionnaires.

I understand that there is to be one more TRISMS volume, for a total of 5 at the high school level. In order to complete all the high school volumes, then, (and I definitely recommend doing them *in chronological order*) you would need to start with DAW in 8th grade. I think this is very doable. In fact, my ds started with it in 7th grade and had no problem. We moved slowly with it, and only did a few units that year, and then ds did some other things with our co-op in 8th grade. We picked it back up in 9th and continued with it through 11th.

One final comment: I find TRISMS to be quite user-friendly. It *is* essential for the teacher-parent to read the Orientation material in the front of the TM, and after that, it's pretty smooth sailing. The few times that I have had a question regarding the program, I have e-mailed the author, Linda Thornhill, and she has responded quickly with exactly the information I needed.
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#3 gardenschooler

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 09:18 PM

Thanks for giving me so much detail on how it works, ereksmom!

#4 ereks mom

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 09:19 PM

...after I read it I found a few typos and noticed that I left out a few things. Just so you know! LOL!

#5 Sylvia in CA

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:55 PM

The History Makers, an overview of World History, was designed for middle school, but I've heard of people using it for high school students also. We have not used this, but we have used 3 of the high school TRISMS volumes: Discovering the Ancient World (DAW), Expansion of Civilization (EOC), and Rise of Nations (RON). For all levels of TRISMS, the teacher's guide has lesson plans (laid out for you in 2-week "grids"). The subjects covered vary slightly depending on which TRISMS volume you are using (more explanation below).

For literature assignments, some literature selections (poems, short stories, etc.) are included in the teacher's materials; there are also lists of suggested literature pertaining to each time period, and you would pick the ones that appeal to you. Writing assignments are keyed to IEW, meaning that the TM lists the page numbers, etc. from the IEW Structure & Style videos & book. But, even if you don't use IEW (we didn't), your child will still have plenty of writing assignments with TRISMS.

The first high school-level volume, DAW, covers Creation to the Middle Ages, and has 36 weeks of lessons (34 weekly units plus two research & report projects requiring one week each of class time). There are lesson plans and quizzes/tests for History, Geography, Literature, Writing, Vocabulary, Science, and (history of) Art, Music & Architecture -- everything except math & grammar. Units are arranged chronologically by civilization. For example, you begin with Creation for the first 2 weeks, then study the Sumerians & the Indus Valley civilizations the next 2 weeks, and so on.

IMO, there is NO WAY that you could complete all of a week's worth of TRISMS assignments in just a week! With DAW, we started out trying to do most of them (we used Apologia instead of the science portion of TRISMS), and ds got so bogged down that we had to start cutting some things. After we tweaked our approach considerably, here is where we wound up: ds did the map studies for each unit (labeling & coloring), and he read the literature & did *some* writing assignments related to the literature (but mostly we just discussed it). He did some outside reading using one or more spine books (Streams of Civilization and also BJU World History & ABeka World History) as well as historical fiction, and we read & discussed the Civilization, Art, Music, and Architecture Questionnaires. Ds researched in books and online to find information and pictures of the art, architecture, and musical instruments of each civilization, and he printed these out and put them in his coursebook. (TRISMS is all about notebooking, which the author calls making a coursebook.) There are also two projects each year; the student can choose a topic from a list in the TM and also can decide on a format (report, display, diorama, map, etc.). For evaluation (grades), ds did the end-of-unit worksheets (short answer), the Unit quizzes (fill-in-the-blank-from-a-wordbank worksheets) & the vocabulary quizzes (matching), as well as the semester tests, which include mostly short answer, some matching, mapwork & an essay based on the literature read throughout the semester. If there was something on the worksheet, quizzes, or tests that we didn't cover (science questions, for example), we simply omitted those test questions.

The next TRISMS course, EOC, covers Classical Greece & Rome and the Middle Ages. In addition to the history, geography, literature, writing, vocabulary, science, and history of art, music & architecture lessons, EOC also has rhetoric.

The third volume, RON, covers the Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Enlightenment, and Exploration & Colonization of the New World. In RON, there are no rhetoric or science lesson plans. Topics of study include Art, Music, Architecture, Geography, Literature, Writing, and Vocabulary.

PLEASE NOTE: My biggest complaint with TRISMS is that the American history from about 1750-1850 is not covered AT ALL. This, of course, includes the American Revolutionary period, 1750-1800! So, I wrote my own unit for this period, and I have posted my lesson plans in the Files area of the TRISMS Yahoo! group for any and all to use.

The fourth volume, Age of Revolutions (AOR), covers U.S. & World History from 1850 to the present. Again, American history is covered in the context of world history. Unfortunately, AOR is considerably more expensive than the previous volumes. I wanted to buy it for ds to use in his senior year this year, but couldn't manage the cost. I haven't seen it yet on the used boards.

Instead of AOR, I've been coming up with a "TRISMS-style" study on my own -- it's a work in progress. To get started, I listed the topics I wanted to cover. Then I started choosing various works of literature, art/artists, architecture, and music/composers for the various time periods to be studied. We use various history texts and videos as a spine, and then ds reads the literature and I assign questions, study guides, and/or essays for each piece he reads (books, poetry, short stories, etc.). He researches art/artists, architecture, and music/composers and completes study guides and TRISMS-style questionnaires that I design. He also does map work -- I've bought a couple of history map workbooks and CDs (Walch and others). He keeps all these materials in notebooks -- one for literature and one for history & arts-related study guides, maps & questionnaires.

I understand that there is to be one more TRISMS volume, for a total of 5 at the high school level. In order to complete all the high school volumes, then, (and I definitely recommend doing them *in chronological order*) you would need to start with DAW in 8th grade. I think this is very doable. In fact, my ds started with it in 7th grade and had no problem. We moved slowly with it, and only did a few units that year, and then ds did some other things with our co-op in 8th grade. We picked it back up in 9th and continued with it through 11th.

One final comment: I find TRISMS to be quite user-friendly. It *is* essential for the teacher-parent to read the Orientation material in the front of the TM, and after that, it's pretty smooth sailing. The few times that I have had a question regarding the program, I have e-mailed the author, Linda Thornhill, and she has responded quickly with exactly the information I needed.


I have some add'l questions about TRISMS, if you don't mind.
How does it handle the Christian aspects of history?
Does it include discussion questions or just the questionnaires?
What about worldview? Do you incorporate your own worldview questions if at all?
Do they read whole books in addition to the literature readings in TRISMS?
I noticed some of the courses include Rhetoric? How does TRISMS handle this?
Also, do you find that you tend to use one or two spines or do you use several resources, i .e., www searches, encyclopedias, etc.?

Sorry, I know these are quite a few questions. I've been looking at TRISMS site for some time but can't quite figure it all out. I'm trying to compare it to TOG. I don't need multi levels though.

Thanks so much.
Sylvia

#6 Linda in NM

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:22 PM

I have some add'l questions about TRISMS, if you don't mind.
How does it handle the Christian aspects of history?
Does it include discussion questions or just the questionnaires?
What about worldview? Do you incorporate your own worldview questions if at all?
Do they read whole books in addition to the literature readings in TRISMS?
I noticed some of the courses include Rhetoric? How does TRISMS handle this?
Also, do you find that you tend to use one or two spines or do you use several resources, i .e., www searches, encyclopedias, etc.?

Sorry, I know these are quite a few questions. I've been looking at TRISMS site for some time but can't quite figure it all out. I'm trying to compare it to TOG. I don't need multi levels though.

Thanks so much.
Sylvia


We use HistoryMakers--it has whole books, so we use "living books." In the HS stuff, you'd also use one living book/unit (at least, that's my understanding).

Resources--we use various sources (web searches, World Book online, book of inventions, etc.)

On some questionnaires, you need to identify "Biblical events of the time"--we figure that means the Reformation if you're reporting on an explorer of the 1500s, for example....

HTH!
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#7 Happy

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 05:08 PM

We love Trisms. We have used DAW, EOC, and are currently halfway through RON.

We love the way Trisms teaches research skills/habits. We love how the literature and writing are woven into the history studies. We love how the humanities are studied, not just wars and conquerers. My son loves the art, architecture, and music questionnaires the most. We include the science portion, but do not depend on it for a credit.

There are not really any discussion questions, per say, but we *never* lack for things to talk about. Ds is always finding interesting things to share or which to ask questions.

We like how only excerpts of books are used. My son began Trisms two and a half years ago as a very reluctant reader. There was just enough Gilgamesh to spark interest, but not enough to bog us down. Just enough Beowolf to be fun, but not enough to make us hate it. In fact, my son has grown in his reading skills and desire because we haven't crammed too much down his little throat. :D The same for his writing, although we tend to go 'off-road' there more often than not. You can easily adjust the reading to include more or different works. There is an additional reading list included for outside reading.

We find the work load to be just about right. There are some units that have more to them, but most can be done in a two week span quite handily. Plan for a couple of hours a day, with some reading and writing done outside of 'class.' Research always takes more time.

We don't have a library close to us, so we have built our home library well. An encyclopedia, a handful of thick books, and the internet serve us well.

As I said, we LOVE Trisms. Yell, if you have further questions!

#8 ereks mom

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:38 PM

How does it handle the Christian aspects of history?
Does it include discussion questions or just the questionnaires?
What about worldview? Do you incorporate your own worldview questions if at all?
Do they read whole books in addition to the literature readings in TRISMS?
I noticed some of the courses include Rhetoric? How does TRISMS handle this?
Also, do you find that you tend to use one or two spines or do you use several resources, i .e., www searches, encyclopedias, etc.?


Christian aspects of history -- I've found TRISMS to be pretty much neutral -- just the facts without much, if any, commentary. TRISMS has been used in public schools, I think, which means it would need to avoid endorsing any religious viewpoints. So, the slant you get would depend on the spine & resource materials you use.

There are no discussion questions. Nor are there worldview questions, although the questionnaires usually require research into each culture's religious beliefs and practices. We discussed these things on our own; we didn't use a guide, just spontaneous conversation about the beliefs, worldviews, and other aspects we found interesting.

Whole books in addition to the literature readings -- Yes, there are books suggested in the resources lists, and we chose the ones that appealed to us and incorporated them into our studies. There are no guides/lesson plans for the books because you are free to choose the ones you want from the lists or substitute others. I must say that I found the resource lists lacking in historical fiction, so I used TruthQuest extensively for finding books we liked.

Rhetoric -- I did not use this at all, so I can't really tell you much about that. My copy of RON includes Rhetoric assignments, but my copies of other volumes do not. If you like, I can look it up and give you a few examples.

We use several spines (ABeka, BJU, Streams of Civilization, Human Odyssey, Asimov's Chronology of the World, and a few others -- not all of them at once, but one or two at a time so we got varying styles & viewpoints on the topics.

We used many resources, including web searches, historical atlases, nonfiction books, etc.
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#9 Sylvia in CA

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:44 PM

That was very helpful. More questions ...

Does TRISMS cover literary analysis of readings?
I noticed a mentioning that it worked well for their reluctant reader, but does it work well for one that likes to read as well?
Do you find that it takes a long time to complete because of all the research?

OK, I'm done. I won't ask anymore ... for a while;)

Thanks again
Sylvia

#10 ereks mom

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:34 PM

Does TRISMS cover literary analysis of readings?
Does it work well for one that likes to read as well?
Do you find that it takes a long time to complete because of all the research?


Literary Analysis - Yes, some of the literature/writing assignments are of the literary analysis ilk, but there is no systematic or in-depth coverage of the skills involved. A lot of the assignments include comprehension questions, but no higher order thinking skills.

Let me point out here that we kind of went off on our own path for literature, rather than sticking with only what is listed in the TRISMS lesson plans. ER read some of that, but also some other works that we preferred to the ones suggested in the TRISMS plans. (I used TruthQuest for lists of suggested literature for each historical period). Nor did we use IEW for writing; ER found it tedious, and much preferred Jensen's Format Writing, so we went with that and adapted it for our purposes.

But...

Here are a couple of examples of what I would classify as Literary Analysis assignments in RON (the 3rd volume in the TRISMS sequence):

  • After reading excerpts of Don Quixote, one of the assignments includes writing a persuasive paragraph as to whether Don Quixote is purely humorous or is intended as an allegory of human life. In another assignment, students are asked to find examples of Don Quixote being: 1) delusional, 2) idealistic & noble.
  • After reading excerpts of More's Utopia and Machiavellis's The Prince, students are asked to write a paragraph contrasting these two works.

For a student who likes to read -- ER likes to read, but, as always, there were some assigned literature that he liked and some that he didn't like. FWIW, he enjoyed Hamlet and Twelfth Night, but I don't think he liked the poetry and essays as much.

YES, I do find that it takes a long time to complete because of all the research! I'd say it takes at least 2 hours per day. When we first started with TRISMS, we tried to do most of the assignments, but ER got bogged down and frustrated. We started cutting some things, and wound up with this:
  • map studies for each unit
  • some of the TRISMS literature assignments and some of our own choosing
  • some related writing assignments
  • readings in our spine books
  • working together to complete the Civilization, Art, Music, and Architecture Questionnaires (we researched in books and online to find information and pictures)
  • two projects each year (One of ER's was a report about Easter Island.)
  • end-of-unit worksheets
  • unit quizzes & vocabulary quizzes
  • semester tests

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#11 Sylvia in CA

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:53 PM

Thanks so much. Your feedback is very helpful.
Appreciate the time you took to answer my specific questions.

Sylvia

#12 Happy

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 10:45 PM

That was very helpful. More questions ...

Does TRISMS cover literary analysis of readings?
I noticed a mentioning that it worked well for their reluctant reader, but does it work well for one that likes to read as well?
Do you find that it takes a long time to complete because of all the research?

OK, I'm done. I won't ask anymore ... for a while;)

Thanks again
Sylvia


Once your child gets the hang of research, the work moves faster. My son learned that many of the architecture questions could be answered with an art history volume or an internet search. After a while, your student just begins to understand *where* to go look. We also asked our son to print or draw an image for each questionnaire. From time to time, we ask him to write using only the information he gathers on his questionnaires.

We always felt comfortable adjusting, modifying, or otherwise manipulating the assignments. For us, Trisms has been a custom curriculum.

There is literary analysis included. After using the literature in both DAW and EOC, we branched off during RON because we wanted to study Shakespeare in greater depth.

We dabbled with the Rhetoric portion of EOC, but didn't get too deep into it. Between a varsity baseball career and an outside chemistry class, something had to go. As it is, my son at least as a passing knowledge of philosophy and rhetoric.

In my opinion, each Trisms volume gets progressively harder....more assignments, more requirements, more research. That's good because it helps grow my son each year.

We've found it to be an interesting and challenging curriculum.

Ask all the questions you want! Also, are you on the Trisms yahoo loop? Find the link on the trisms website.
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#13 Sylvia in CA

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:30 PM

Also, are you on the Trisms yahoo loop? Find the link on the trisms website.


I requested it from their site but haven't received any emails from them.

:confused:

Thanks again

#14 ncmomo3

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:41 AM

I joined their group and went to their files link where I found a good deal of extra information that had been posted by others. HTH.
I am seriously considering it for next yr (8th). I have been very pleased with everything I have seen, and I think it will be a good fit for us.

#15 Michelleltn

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 05:25 PM

I am considering TRISMS for ds when he gets in 8th grade. But my dd will only be in 6th grade. (I would like to keep them in the same volumes if at all possible.) How do you change it to fit a younger student?

Is this doable? Or is it easier to work with 1 older child in one volume and then bring the other one in 2 years later when they are ready? (And in 8th grade?)



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