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  1. What great intentions! I sure know how that goes. I took a very similar approach with our family years ago...our oldest is now in high school. We did My Father's World one year (sorry I cannot remember which, an early elementary grade) and it walked us through the world using a wonderful book called Window on the World. From there, we went through Story of the World, one volume each year for 4 years. From there we went to Tapestry of Grace, which has WONDERFUL discussions for middle school and high school - along with many other great aspects. You said you just don't have the time to put your own curriculum together. I understand. Perhaps you would feel comfortable using a curriculum as a guide and tweeking it when you do have the time. I found that gathering all the things we needed for each curriculum and haing school daily, left me with little extra time. My primary goal was that all of us to enjoy one another while learning. I think I accomplished that goal on most days, by God's grace.
  2. I can only comment on the aspects of Tapestry of Grace (Redesined - digital) that may seem to suit your student. We have been using it for 7 years and I also have a high school student, as well as three others. The lessons are clearly laid out. Yyou just have to select which assignments you want her to complete. As far as her getting sucked up in research and you not having the time to help guide her here, TOG does a good job of breaking research projects up into managable parts. I don't think you can/schould get away from independant research in high school. My high schooler is largely independant, but we do have a weekly discussion (provided in TOG curriculum) so that: I can valadate all the hard work he has been doing, he can share what he has been learning to provide accountability so I can find any holes in what he has studied, so I can clear up any questions he might have, to give him opportunity to share relevant thoughts and areas of personal growth that spring from Bible or other weekly readings... We BOTH really enjoy this weekly time.
  3. I want to comment on one aspect of your initial post that seemed to fall through the cracks. You wrote that you are "just too overwhelmed with the little one running around, I need something more laid out/open and go for 9th grade." I have been using TOG for 7 years so I would affirm that it is "laid out" for you. As for feeling overwhelmed with having a new high schooler AND little ones, IEW takes a lot of training for the teacher. If you are not trained already, you may want to consider that it is teacher intensive up front. Since you said that writing is not a strong suit of yours, I would agree that TOG may not provide the depth of instruction you desire. It may be worth giving it a shot first though. They provide links in the Loom to online resources that support the weekly assignments for each level. With the online support and Writing Aids manual, we are doing well. There was a time I thought I wanted a more rigorous writing program but after a couple of attempts we returned to the TOG program. There are just so many hours in a day and I am finite so we have gone back and I think my children are fine writers - and what's more, they really enjoy writing!
  4. I can comment one three of your concerns: You wrote that you would like to improve on your discussing and lit analysis. Tapestry of Grace (TOG) provides fabulous literature recommendations (i.e. Pride and Prejudice, Gulliver's Travels, Aneid, etc.) AND discussions to accompant them! This has been invaluable for me with my high schooler. TOG also provides Teacher Notes for those texts you cannot read yourself. These are Socratic Discussions that include literary analysis. You wrote that you are looking for something like Sonlight but with more primary source stuff. Having used Sonlight with one of my elementary children, I can say the TOG offers the same rich literature selections but with the extras that I referred to in my first comment. You only have to complete half of the literature suggestions in a TOG year to earn a high school credit, meaning you can use the litertaure to simple enrich the "main source" suggestions. You wrote that you I don't want to kill the love of reading either. I wholeheartedly agree that preserving a love of learning and reading is essential to schooling. If reading too much would kill her love of reading, feel free to back off. If reading material that she considers to be too dry would kill her lov eof reading, take out some of the "main source" readings and use more literture. You could even use he discussions as more of a lecture, for those students who are more auditory learners. Many of the classics are in the public domain and therefore free online in text or audio format. TOG works well for us!
  5. We also use Tapestry of Grace - for 7 years. It seems to me that it would suit your desires well. The Socratic Discussions (the analysis you made reference to) provided are very valuable at themiddle school and high school levels. The Teacher Notes are also a great help in my preparations because there is no way I could read everything all of my childre are reading. As you made reference to, history is our spine. That guides our weekly geography studies, Church Hisroty and Bible reading, wonderful literature selections and discussions, developmental writing assignments, and vocabulary studies. Some aspect we have enjoyed include: that our children of various ages can be studying at least some complementary subjects in an intigrated way (History, Bible, Church History, Geography, Literature, Writing, Vocabulary) the unity saves me some time that the kids can talk together (even share information)/play/work on assignments covering the same topics helps to reinforce the subject matter and highten interest for them
  6. If you are going to stick with Saxon, the items from the manipulative kit are used for various lesson for K-3. We have used all of the manipulative to some degree, if nothing else but to switch things up a bit. Each of our children have really enjoyed using the manipulatives: counting bears (we use them for color naming, counting, ordering...), square markers (we also use for BINGO), scale, pattern blocks, linking cubes, simple paper rulers, geo boards and bands. I would certainly recommend them.
  7. I just met with a local Classical Conversation (CC) director. We each had questions about the other's education material. She brought her knowledge of CC and I brought my knowledge of Tapestry of Grace (TOG). Our conclusion was that it seemed feasible to use CC memory work to supplement TOG...with some work to line up the materials and dates but that it would not work to use TOG if you were a part of a CC co-op and desired to have the history/Bible memory work coincide with what you are presently studying in TOG. That is just our 2 cents worth. The Ten O'Clock Scholar has done the hard work of meshing CC's cyle 1 with TOG. Here is a link. I can not find other years anywhere. http://theten0clockscholar.blogspot.com/2009/06/classical-conversations-cycle-1-and.html
  8. I have been using TOG for 3+ years and it fits us well...except that I would like to begin using the VP history and Bible cards. Does anyone have a schedule already made that matched the VP cards with TOG weeks. I am looking for YR 4 but would be grateful for any of the years. Although this is not exactly what I am looking for, some of you may find this helpful. The Ten O'Clock Scholar has is a link to a TOG yr 1 and CC cycle 1 schedule. http://theten0clockscholar.blogspot.com/2009/06/classical-conversations-cycle-1-and.html
  9. I found a thread asking about secular curricula? Does anyone have suggestions or comments on a curriculum that would be considered non-secular? I am looking for a series or either something to hit each grammar stage. Thanks.
  10. Amy in VA, My family has really enjoyed TOG as well. It amazes me (although it shouldn't have) how much I learn too! TOG has lots of pluses for our family, such as the very complete schedule, rich in good literature, sound worldview, can keep all my kids together in a few subjects, on-line support...I could go on. Yet, I desire a more classical feel for the LG and UG: memorization, basic music theory, and a couple of other elements. I have read on the few posts I could find at WTM, TOG, and a couple of blogs that combining the two does not work very well since they are off sync in the timeline and are not close to matching up week for week. Our family could not afford to do both. We especially could not justify it after reading the other posts. I kind of did my own memorization schedule but it just includes history at this point (borrowed largely from SOTW) and add a bit of music theory. If anyone has done something already, I sure don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel!
  11. I have used TOG for 3 years and enjoy so many aspects of it, however there is one particular aspect that I have worked to change...to suit out family's goals and to better address the trivium (imho)...the grammar stages lack the memory work that the classical education is built upon. they are just now adding science but to this point have not included it. that was also a weakness, in my opinion. but to be fair and not to neglect the reasons why we stuck with it, I must say the dialectic discussions are great and the church history and worldview studies are wonderful.
  12. I too switched from SL to TOG three years ago. We found that SL was too reading intensive and lacked the upper level classical support I desired. TOG takes the classical approach of teaching...stages rather than ages. Depending on the ability levels of your children, TOG may alleviate some of your stress by giving you the structure to combine history. TOG also has a writing component you could also use to address your children together. They have not yet published science, grammar, or math as part of their curriculum. On their site you can download lessons for free to give it a try.
  13. I really enjoy TOG, especially YR 1 b/c of the rich time in the Bible! I personally found that going through Story of the World the first time around (with my LG kids) was more cost efficient for me and was more appropriate to their interest level and ability. I am reluctant to post any book titles as it would be a violation of TOG's request. May I recommend reading about all of them on bookshelfcentral or see if you can peek at them on amazon.
  14. I have used TOG for 3 years and enjoy the Christian and classical perspective! Year one goes through much of the Old Testament. I cannot tell you how much I learned! It can be costly but I am learning how to shave some of the costs and improvise in efficient ways. It is a top-notch guide for the dialectic and rhetoric students but I have found it a bit lacking (no science, not sure I would use their writing program for the youngers) with the lower and upper grammar stages. The younger student just don't need all that history...yet it does provide wonderful suggested resources.
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