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  1. Omnibus -v- Challenge (Classical Conversations) I'm wanting opinions from people familiar with Omnibus and CC. I am really interested in how you like either one. I know that CC doesn't have a concentrated history part, although there's room at the end and during Christmas, I guess. Right now, we have one level of CC and I'm considering whether it's better to focus on getting other CC levels or someone to find someone to teach the Omnibus. I really want my daughter to be in a "group" situation once a week and then do the work on the other days..... Thanks for any opinions!
  2. Hi, I have looked over many options for middle/high school and have narrowed to two choices: Omnibus or Tapestry of Grace. I would like to one of them all the way through our remaining school years, we are currently nearing the end of elementary school. My goals are something with deep discussions, great books incorporated, yet still keep the love of learning. I am wondering about other's pro's/con's about these curriculums and their experiences. Did your kids find them too overwhelming or did they help foster a love of learning? Were you able to have meaningful discussions or did they just feel like facts recitations? Do you feel your kids were able to develop their own thoughts about the subject matter or was it just repeating what they were told in the guides?
  3. I've spent the last two days researching here and got a LOT of my questions answered. This forum is a goldmine!!! However, now I have all new questions after all the reading I've done ;) Please bear with me if any of this is redundant or has already been covered and I missed the thread! Feel free to link and redirect me to any threads your think would help :) My questions are: VERITAS: I've read a lot about how Omnibus is more GB with a little bit of history and I personally would prefer the subjects to be more equal. For those of you with Omnibus experience, does the program allow room to add more history on my own? Would I be doing WAY too much and overloading my student if I did that? Any suggestions on how I could add more history to Omnibus? I just love the self-paced samples of Omnibus on their site and I can't seem to write them off just yet since I really like everything else about it. TOG: Would I be better off just to go with TOG for the rhetoric stage? It seems (from what I've read here) that it's more balanced on history/GBs than Omnibus. However, TOG seems like a beast of a curriculum and I can't make heads or tails of the free samples online :/ Would someone ease my mind that I can teach and lead my kids in great dialectic conversations through our history studies and literary analyses without a formal "teacher/tutor" as would be offered through VPs self-paced Omnibus? CC Challenge: After being in CC for 4 years, and listening to the Challenge push every summer at Practicum, I was still not convinced or sold on the program for our family. I drank the Kool-Aid the first 2 years but thankfully I woke up to other options and researched classical education outside of what CC/Leigh teaches. The only thing I liked about Challenge was the opportunity for my dc to have peers that are reading and studying the same things, and the ability to have those priceless dialectic discussions with their peers. I also liked the ease of doing mock trials and debates through the program. HOWEVER, and that's a BIG however! After seeing so much in the last 4 years, the company (not my local community which is lovely!) has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Their politics, their choke-hold on local directors, the inconsistency throughout the administration, intimidation tactics, and hypocrisy in their dealings with local communities is incredibly disappointing. But still, what are the other options? Where else can my dc have dialectic discussions about the GBs they'll be reading, history they'll be analyzing, and all of the wonderful topics that come with the Rhetoric stage? Do I ask grandparents, aunts and cousins to read the same books so they have someone else to discuss ideas with besides mom and dad? lol! Please, tell me there are options outside of Challenge?! :) Then also, how do you tackle Mock Trial on your own? Speech and debate? That was way to long but alas, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above. Is TOG my answer and I'm just in denial? ;) Self-paced Omnibus just looks so neatly packaged! And I don't want my kids to miss out on the conversations that Challenge allows for... your thoughts please?!
  4. I really like the look of Omnibus. I've gone through the Google books previews, checked out the book lists, and feel like I have a pretty good idea of the books. However, I have never really held one and been able to really soak it in. I do not know if that makes sense. I know that my son needs rigor with humanities. This is the major draw I have to Omni. He has already read a good half of the books on the book lists, but I would like him to begin having direct instruction in relating them to each other and the time period. The Biblical aspect is also important to me as we live in a Christian nation, founded by Christians, and the Bible is one of the most highly referenced books out there. So my question is, is there anything in the Omnibus books that is not in a copy of Cliff Notes? It seems like it is a really awesome, all put together, version of a literature guide. If I have an art book, a bible, and access to CliffNotes, is it stupid to spend the money on Omnibus? For clarity, we would begin Omni 1 in sixth grade (two years from now). I am not worried about the depth of study as my son is considered PG in humanities. I am just trying to make sure I do not spend too much on curriculum if I could combine it myself for virtually free. Thanks!
  5. Can I take a booklist like the ones given in Truthquest or Tapestry and then adapt it so that he reads material that are still rich in content, true to the story line, faithful to the theme and message, etc. of the originals? I have decided that my son is not ready for the original Greek and Roman works that are presented in Omni 1. However, I LOVE the Omnibus textbook. It is really excellent and still want the commentary, discussion questions, deep, probing, informative, enlightening, biblical basis on which the material is addressed. That said, I've been looking at those other curricula and seeing that each have their own booklist, how about if I follow the Omnibus and take the time to find different resources that will still give my son the exposure but not the entire text? I'm hoping that my children will read as much of the original and classic works as possible. Just not those right now. I value classical education very much. So, how about that? Has anyone followed the Omnibus with their own selection of books from other curricula? Is that too much work?
  6. Are there any experienced Omnibus users out there who could help me think through this? I'd very much appreciate any imput! I've always aimed at using Omni in high school, but now that my 13 year old son is finishing 7th grade I'm realizing it's going to be too heavy a load for him. I also have five other children and I need something he can handle largely on his own. Have any of you tweaked it to make it more doable for a non academic child in a busy family? I'm aiming at the "spirit" of Omnibus, but a lighter load. My son understands concepts. His vocabulary and sustained reading skills are not up to par. He also just takes his time with school. He eventually gets there, and does a good job, but takes longer than most kids. So here are some ideas I've tossed around, maybe a few kind ladies out there could let me know if they are workable or not, or if there's another option. Option 1: Ignore Primary. Instead use a text book like Spielvogel or SWB highschool history and supplement with secondary sources. Option 2: Substitute some primary works with abridged versions. Option 3: Just pick and choose the books we want and go more slowly. I'm not sure if I can still claim credit at that point. Option 4: Just use Spielvogel in 8th grade to get reading vocab up, and to free time up in 9th. As of right now, I am planning on using Transition with him in 8th grade, but I think he will still need a little help. I'd love any advice! Thanks!
  7. Does anyone know of any curriculum similar to VP Omnibus but not presented from reformed theology? We would love to intertwine history, literature, and theology but are not Calvinists. Obviously the study of Calvinism would undoubetedly come up but I'd love a curriculum that does not present this worldview as the "Biblical" model throughout. Thanks for any suggestions.
  8. Ok, so my oldest is only in first grade but I'm a "big picture" kind of person, and I like to have a general idea of what direction we're going to be headed in. That being said, what are your thoughts on breaking up the history cycle amongst your kids? We are currently doing SOTW and we love it, and I do plan to continue using it through 4th grade for my oldest. I have three other DC behind her, and they are all 2 years apart, so theoretically it would be very easy to stick with the 3x 4-year cycle as SWB advocates. But beyond SOTW I'm sort of lost as to what curriculum or spine will take us forward. I would consider moving to TOG when DD gets to 5th grade, since I would like something that incorporates history, geography, literature, and Bible, as much as possible anyway. BUT. What I would really like to do is Omnibus for 7th-12th. I could do SOTW for 1-4, then 2 years of American history or world geography, then transition to Omnibus after that. But that would really screw things up for my younger kids, if we were trying to keep them all studying the same material at their own levels. So my long-winded question is, is it really necessary for one's sanity to keep the kids studying the same point in history at the same time? If so, why? It seems like once the student is able to read fairly well, he will be reading the history material on his own anyway. Has anyone successfully taught multiple kids who were NOT studying the same period? Or, conversely, does anyone have any groundbreaking advice on how to shoehorn Omnibus into a 4-year plan without leaving out too much material? I like TOG but I prefer the reading lists for Omnibus. * Sigh * This is what I waste my time thinking about: what we're going to do three years from now. Just for my peace of mind, I welcome any advice you want to give me!
  9. I am still finalizing my decision on the history/literature/bible curriculum for my rising 9th grader, and I'm completely out of time. I have everything else ready to go. I would love input from those who have used Omnibus - how teacher-intensive is it? I am having a tough time deciding between MFW AHL, and Omnibus III (Omnibus III would put my 9th grader in the same history period that the rest of my kids will be studying next year, so that would be nice...if we do MFW, we need to start at the beginning because of the way that the skills build). I much prefer the literature and theology book lists in Omnibus. But I don't know what is required of my son or of me in that program. I have a serious illness (life-threatening...my mom died of this when she was just a few years older than I am) and three other kids to teach, so I need to be realistic about what we can do. MFW is an easy choice because it will get done no matter how I'm doing...my son won't fall behind with that, and I can keep up with my portion of it easily. I would be happy with it and so would my son. As a former English major, however, Omnibus is my ideal choice - I drool just looking at the book lists. But if it's teacher-intensive, or if it is extremely intense for a student who is just beginning Veritas at the 9th grade level, then I know it's not a wise choice for our situation. I'd love any feedback from those who have done Omnibus, MFW, or both. I have been holding off this decision because we've been invited to enroll in some new co-op classes that would cover some of these things, but they've been slow to give info of what they will be doing and what we would need to buy, so I'm just proceeding on my own. :)
  10. I am simply try to ascertain the level of Douglas Wilson's involvement in Omnibus. Have there been changes? I would really appreciate your observations on this. It was a question that did come up in the thread on the general forum. In an attempt to not "throw the baby out with the bathwater" I would really like to have a better grasp on the depth his beliefs penetrate this program. Thanks! and it would be lovely if we could keep our thoughts about him on the other thread. ;)
  11. I recently came across the Omnibus series in Veritas Press's catalog. Seeing this really threw a monkeywrench into my plans. Last year we studied Ancient Civilizations and the Bible with dd13 and dd15. The girls were very motivated in the interaction between research and hands-on projects which that program suggested. The program was great, (except that I felt it was simplistically preachy). Next year we are to study Medieval times, and I had prepared to do more of an historical-fiction based and webquest enriched survey of Medieval history. I came across the idea of Notebooking, where the student collects information that they find interesting about the topic, and put together a "scrapbook," creatively using the information they have collected. So my plan was to do more of an open-ended research of the Middle Ages. My major was in the Social Sciences, with a lot of work in History, so I feel quite comfortable in this. But in comes Omnibus, which will introduce the girls to a smorgasbord of primary document readings from the time period studied, and all the thought-provoking questions are right there for you. Beowulf, Sir Gawain, Macbeth, Canterbury Tales... But the time it takes to do Omnibus is prohibitive: eight 70 minute sessions a week, not including reading time. Another complication is that we are enrolled in Potter's School English classes, which I absolutely love. But 'time' is taken by this. Oh, and then I have been perusing a thread from last month on the value of 'independent learning projects' http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?t=402048&highlight=omnibus+ii This makes me have to rethink all of my planning. Maybe I need to X all my history/science/skills plans and have the children research according to their interests. I also saw TOG, which seems to actually approach history as doing history, not just a context for literature. So as I am thinking of all this, my question for you all out there is this: Ominibus is a heavy top-down teaching program, introducing some really amazing and valuable literature that independent foragers would seldom choose, but skimming the surface with questionable retention of anything but the philosophical discussions. Notebooking has high chance of retention, and taps into the creative side that ensures positive memory, but limited in scope (if interest-driven) and questionable depth. Independent (interest-driven) learning has high chance of retention, but would be depth at the expense of breadth, and very questionable direction. What thoughts do you have regarding combining these, and I'd especially like to hear from Omnibus (or TOG) veterans? Try to persuade me.
  12. Hello everyone, I have 4 children, grades 2nd - 6th. I am thinking ahead about starting Omnibus I in 2015 and hoping to gleam wisdom from all of your experiences. My questions are this: Having 3 younger students at the same time, will keeping up with the reading for me be doable? For those of you who also teach omnibus, do you, as the teacher, need to read all of the primary and secondary books? Before deciding on Omnibus, did you consider other programs like SL,HO, TOG, and why did you ultimately decide to move forward with Omni? Have you it been what you expected? Would you recommend buying the books early so that I have time to read through them? (remember I have 3 younger students also) Would you recommend going in order? Must I start with Omni I? I hear that some start with Omni II because the content is "easier". I am not sure what that means. Becasue I will be starting in 7th grade, could I take my time going through it and still finish it by the end of 12th grade? My husband and I are really impressed by what we have seen/heard about Omni so far and believe that it fits our family well. I just need to wrap my head around everything. I don't want to bite of more than I can chew. Thank you in advance for your help. Jackie
  13. I am looking for any ideas on a curriculum that is similar to VP Omnibus, but without such an emphasis on reformed theology (as we are not Calvinists). Any suggestions?
  14. Could anyone tell me if it is possible to start VP Omnibus II online in January? Has anyone started mid-year before and how was it? Also, do they pro-rate the tuition? I am feeling a little anxious and VP doesn't reopen until after the new year. Thank you for your consideration! Heather
  15. So, I was just wondering if, as parents, you sit in on your child's classes or view the Archived ones or just leave it to the online teachers... In other-words, how much do you keep up with your students studies if they are enrolled in an online course? Thanks!
  16. Would you/ did you start with Omnibus I or III? Why? Thanks!
  17. We have used TOG Yr One, and have enjoyed it even though it has only been through UG and D level books. I am looking to buy Yr Two for next year, 6th grade. I have looked at Omnibus I and must say... WOW! DS is Math and Science minded, most likely headed down an engineering path. He does love to read though, and talk and discuss... thus why we chose TOG... for the books, worldview, rhetoric, anaylsis etc. Now however, I am just at a loss. Not sure if he could handle the load of heavy Math and Science as he is headed down that path AND OMNIBUS on top of it all... BUT IT JUST LOOKS FABULOUS! Sigh... :lol: Does anyone only use Primary Sources?? Or somehow tweak the reading load and still accomplish what is necessary for High school credits??? When I look at starting Omnibus in 7th, and look at was is involved in IV, V and VI of Omnibus... WOW... how do you guys do it??? :bigear: :001_huh:
  18. We are starting Omnibus in the fall, and I noticed that SWB recommends Kingfisher History Encyclopedia for the Logic stage. Can I get away with using KHE for a couple of years, or should I bite the bullet and order Spielvogel?
  19. I am thinking of using it and am wondering how you liked it if you have used it? Is it very time consuming? Too above grade level? Or perfect? Would you start in 7th grade like it supposed to be used? Thanks for your honest appraisal!
  20. How satisfied are you with what you are using? I'm asking for those of us who are thinking of switching from TOG to something different. I did this poll off the top of my head, so if I left out your curriculum/approach please post it in a reply. TIA Shannon
  21. I am trying to find out by searching online, which Great Books TOG uses. I am having a hard time. I know they use Norton's, so it's hard to tell. The Omnibus list is so easy to see, wondering if TOG does about the same? My husband and I have been discussing these two, he's really sold on the Omnibus and I like how TOG is organized :D. I too like the great books in Omnibus, but I get the feel that TOG doesn't do as many. Can someone point me it the right direction? Thanks a million. BTW, I'll cross post on the HS board.
  22. How did you deal with the discussion needs of the curriculum? Did you just have one on one discussions with the child? How did it work? Harry
  23. I've searched the forums, and haven't exactly seen my question answered, so I'll post a new thread. My ds is starting 9th grade this year. I thought about starting with Omnibus 4 (since it begins with Ancients) and taking it slowly, spreading the Omnibus 4-6 books out over 4 years. However, when I called Veritas Press to ask some other questions, they encouraged me to start ds in Omnibus 2, because he'd never done Omnibus before. "Omnibus 2 will give both of you an idea of what Omnibus is about. it's a better introduction." That surprised me. I wouldn't mind starting with Om. 3, but if we start in 2, we wouldn't finish the series. We'd end up with Omnibus 5, and never get to Modern history, really. (Well, we would in OM. 3, I guess.) My question is, if you've done Om. 2 and/or 3, do you see a benefit with starting in 2 instead of 3 or even 4? Was there a great difference in 2 and 3? Does starting in Om. 2 make more sense than 3? I'd really appreciate hearing from people who've used the series. Thank you! :)
  24. I am looking into starting my dd (9th grade next yr) with Omnibus III. We have been following WTM for two years, but she has not tackled anything as meaty as Omnibus. She is a good reader, but hasn't had to push herself through difficult material before--which I would like for her to begin. My brother used Notgrass last year with his dd (also 9th). Do you have any thoughts on either of these? Other recommendations?
  25. What is the benefit of using a program like Omnibus or Notgrass over doing history and lit as described in the WTM? I think SWB makes it sound so simple, but I want a Biblical worldview to be integrated as well. I will have to admit, though, that Omnibus scares the fool out of me! I love the idea, but even Omnibus I looks more rigorous that what I did in college. I don't want my son to get in over his head. He has been reading through the lit list in WTM for 8th grade this year (just writes a brief summary when done) and is taking a coop class for SWI B. Would he be able to keep up, especially if I decided to go the online route?? I am really torn between using something like Omnibus or BiblioPlan w/ Teaching the Classics or SMARR lit guides or using a great books program like The Great Books or Oxford online classes!!! Help!! :confused:
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