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Questions about Core Knowledge series


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#1 Micron4

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 01:40 PM

What are the differences in the different editions of the Core Knowledge (What Your --Grader Needs to Know) series? I see a 1998 version and a 2010 version.

Also, if I'm starting with a 2nd grader do I need to do the K and 1st books first? I won't be using the whole book, just the language arts section (poetry, stories, sayings, etc.) Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

#2 Hunter

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:29 PM

The old series is much more complete in 6 years. The new series is NOT complete in pre-6 (8 years).

The old series includes grammar, and the new series does not.

Modern history is included in the old book 6. In the new series, the modern history is just in the scope and sequence for grades 7 and 8 but there are no books.

The old science is divided into 2 strands and the topics are more organized. The new science does include activities, but it otherwise pretty disorganized.

The old art does not properly cover color theory, but is easily supplemented. The new series covers color theory quite well.

I used the old CK books as my spine for all content subjects for almost a year. I did teach from multiple volumes, not just the grade level of the student.

I'm currently playing around with switching back to SOW (Students of the Word), but if that doesn't work out I will return to the OLD CK. I'd love to use the new CK, because at least the early volumes come in KIndle, but I just do NOT like the new series at all. It makes my OCD just go nuts.

If you are OCD you NEED the OLD series. If you like things pretty, you will need the new series.

#3 Micron4

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:02 PM

Thank you! That is tremendously helpful. Is the old version the one with the big green tree on the cover?

Also are stories repeated? In other words, is the (story/legends) content in grade 1 included with the grade 2 book? Sorry if that sounds like a crazy question, but I'm not able to flip through it myself. :)

#4 Micron4

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:15 PM

Thanks so much for the info. It helps a lot!

#5 Hunter

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 07:24 AM


This is my favorite edition. ORIGINAL Doubleday hardback What Your _ Grader Needs to Know series grades 1-6. The covers are sponge painted and there are no children on them. There are no pre-school or kindergarten books in the original series.


#6 buram

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

My daughter is a rising 2nd grader and I wanted to buy one of these for her. I bought the older version based on Hunter's positive praise for it. I also checked out from the library the newer version so I could compare the two. From just glancing at them I thought my daughter would like the newer version better. I was wrong! She loved the older version because it has real pictures not drawings and has been reading it for fun since it arrived. I was going to use it during the school year but she is enjoying it so much now I am just letting her go. She keeps writing short summaries of the history section and calling them book reports. I had no idea she would love it so much. Thanks Hunter!

#7 Walking-Iris

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:17 AM

I have the entire set from preschool to 6th. I have an older version of the 3rd grade.

There is grammar in the new books and I feel that it's very organized in the other topics.

Having seen and used versions from both of them, I personally don't feel it matters too much.

Honestly I feel that the grade levels aren't really necessary. Possibly the math is grade level. But I have read from all of the books at various points. I started reading just the history sections back to back starting in the preK book to my oldest son this year and the sections flowed together nicely. So we've read all the history in all the books in one go. It was fun.

I wouldn't necessarily skip the history. For us that has been the most valuable part.

#8 Hunter

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 05:44 PM

Thanks everyone for clarifying about the grammar. I only have K and 1 in the new series, and just noticed recently that they have no grammar.

Buram. :lol: That is the way it has been here with the older set here too. The writing in the older set is less chatty and has an older and more serious tone, as well as the older pictures being less busy. It appeals to OCD and no nonsense types. The integration between topics is quite good, but it's not always explicitly pointed out, and only becomes fully evident as you work through the lessons.

The new set initially looks so pretty, but just isn't as solid and OCD friendly behind the scenes.

I'm actually thinking about buying a second set of the old series, and scanning it into ebooks.

#9 Walking-Iris

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:53 AM

Walking Iris, did you just read the history, or did you do anything else with it? Did you read through these on top of other history?

I find myself not using the CK books because the history made me crazy, and I'm not sure why! I am not hooked on a 4 year cycle mindset, but I am kind of stuck on a 2 year cycle.. 2 US, 2 world... similar to Sonlight (though SL doesnt' work for me). I do love everything about them, but at the same time I hate them in some strange way..lol.

I also don't go by grade levels for them. In my head I have relabeled them Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, etc. There are things in each level that can span many grades.



I was using SOTW with him. But he just was not liking history or even retaining anything. On a whim I just started reading the CK history since I had them on the shelf and never did anything with them. And I needed some history to finish out our year since he metaphorically ran away screaming at the sight of a SOTW book .I didn't do anything else but read and talk about it as we read. Very informal. He started to get interested and remember some history for the first time. We actually covered all the 4 time periods, more or less, in one semester's worth of reading and discussion. It gave me a good feeling of him having some foundation and background knowledge for us to study history from now on. And I learned that he really enjoys geography/civics and US history, so that will be the main goal for our 5th grade year.

I think it was the way each book spiraled through the topics. Getting more in depth each time. I like the idea of a WTM history rotation in theory, but it doesn't work with my ds. It's best to spiral through history. I've yet to find a history "plan" that is workable for us.

If I tried to do these books each year as a spine and build off of them, I would try to use some free online CK lesson plans along with them. I've just never been interested in using them alone as a spine though. But using the free online resources would be a start in getting some idea of how to build on them.

ETA: My ds is on the spectrum and dx'ed OCD as well, and the layout of the older version vs the revised is a non-issue. Unless Hunter was using "OCD" in it's slang sense, which may not be an accurate description of personal taste.

#10 Walking-Iris

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:38 AM

The online resources are great! Really they are, I have used some from each of the 3 sites over the past few years.

I'm really thinking on these books... I have my plans in place for next year, and when I try to use these books it kind of makes me crazy... but at the same time I think they are wonderful and I do like how they spiral through history, and I am constantly drawn to them and want them to work for us/me.


I've thought that if I ever had to downsize drastically, a set of these books and an internet connection and printer would be enough. I'd add a math book each year and use a library heavily. That would be enough.

#11 Hunter

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:23 PM

Not every OCD person is the same as another OCD person. I'm using OCD half slangy and half not. I don't know if I've officially been diagnosed OCD and/or spectrum, or not. I've stopped reading my medical files. They contradict each other anyway, so I really don't care who called me what, officially or unofficially. But I'm a little rigid :lol: and it gets worse when I get too underweight, so I try hard to keep my weight up. Otherwise I just cater to my need to have things line up nicely, and leave it at that.

An OCD teacher is sometimes different than an OCD student. I think some OCD students will like the old series better than the new one, but I think an OCD teacher will almost ALWAYS and MUCH prefer the old series.


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