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is Omnibus more difficult than Tapestry of Grace?

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My 9th grader has been working through Omnibus I and I have been very pleased, but I have always been intrigued by Tapestry of Grace (especially since I have 6 more children, ranging from 8th grade to 4 years old). I looked over the Tapestry Year 1 reading list to get a sense of how it compares to Omnibus, and it looks like there are fewer "difficult" texts. Omnibus has the following in year 1:

Epic of Gilgamesh

Code of Hammurabi




Plutarch's Lives

Theban Trilogy

Last Days of Socrates


The Twelve Caesars (which we skipped)

Julius Caeasar

14+ Books of the Bible

and several modern books ranging from relatively "light" (Narnia) to more difficult.


This is the list I found for TOG 1 (pasted below). There are more books (I'm assuming you don't read them all), but I don't see as many of the meaty ones. Am I missing something?



Unit 1



  • A House for My Name by Leithart, Peter J.
  • Adventures in Faith by De Haan, M.R.
  • Legends of Ancient Egypt by Murray, M. A.
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile by McGraw, Eloise Jarvis
  • Siddur Chaveirm by Frydenberg, Mark
  • The Book of the Dead by Budge, E.A. Wallis
  • The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone by Giblin, James C.
  • Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Bridges, Jerry


Unit 2



  • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Keller, W. Phillip
  • Ancient China: Life, Myth and Art by Shaughnessy, Edward L.
  • Desiring God by Piper, John
  • Heroes of the City of Man by Leithart, Peter J.
  • How Good is Good Enough? by Stanley, Andy
  • The Children’s Homer by Colum, Padraic
  • The Phoenicians by Marston, Elsa
  • The Temple of Solomon by Conner, Kevin


Unit 3



  • Greek Drama by Hadas, Moses
  • The Ancient City by Connolly, Peter and Dodge, Hazel
  • The Last Days of Socrates by Plato





  • A Short History of the Early Church by Boer, Harry R.
  • Ben Hur by Wallace, Lew
  • Ben Hur (DVD)
  • Caesar’s Gallic War by Coolidge, Olivia
  • Julius Caesar (DVD)
  • Life of a Roman Slave by Nardo, Don
  • Quo Vadis by Sienkiewicz, Henryk
  • Quo Vadis (DVD)
  • Readings in Christian Thought by Kerr, Hugh T.
  • Spartacus (DVD)
  • The Etruscans: An Unsolved Mystery by Honness, Elizabeth Hoffman
  • The Punic Wars by Nardo, Don
  • The Robe (DVD)
  • The Roman Fort by Connolly, Peter
  • Women of Ancient Rome by Nardo, Don


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Thank you, Karen. I believe it was you that had a post that extensively compared the two. I remember reading this post last year when I was in a similar position between the two. I spent some time trying to find that post this afternoon with no luck.


I'm always looking longingly at TOG, but the price tag really gives me pause. People seem to either really love it, or just never get the hang of it. It's a lot to spend to find out one is in the latter category!

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Is the booklist you have for TOG from the Classic version? You can use the link Karen gave you to see the Redesigned literature selections, but like she mentioned, it doesn't list the many books from the Bible. Also not listed there are the readings for Government, History In-Depth, or philosophy. I've not compared TOG to Omnibus, but just wanted to mention that in Redesigned at least, there are more readings than the TOG list you pasted in your post.

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I've used both. The biggest difference is that with Omnibus you're reading only 2 books at a time, plus a history text. You're also reading big chucks of those books/day. With TOG we felt like we were reading smaller pieces of several books/week. My kids thought it felt disjointed. For us, we liked the Omnibus choices better also.

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We also used both, but had the opposite reaction from the other poster! While we liked Omnibus and really enjoyed the interesting discussion questions, it just seemed like too much at times. We didn't like the book selection as well as we were looking to moving to Omnibus II compared to TOG year 2 (they also divide up their time periods differently). We found the TOG threads tied together the historical and philosophical themes much better for us. I also liked that I could have my 2 kids that are four years apart working on the same thing. So for what it's worth, there is another opinion!


Your original question was if Omnibus was more difficult - I would say, "Yes, in some ways." Since you have used Omnibus, you know that it is a heavy reading load. TOG certainly isn't easy or incomplete (actually is probably a broader coverage), but isn't reading all original texts, etc. TOG assumes the student still needs some overview of the general historical events at the R level, even though it goes more in-depth. Also, for example, do you want your child to read about Martin Luther and read some quotes of his writings and beliefs or do you want him to actually read The Bondage of the Will by Luther? Do you want them to read about Rousseau and his beliefs or actually read The Social Contract? For us, "reading about" was enough at this point with everything else that my kids are doing. That's really up to you and what kind of history background and interests your kids have.


Hope this helps a little,



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We used TOG for a year with a co-op with one child in the dialectic stage and have used Omnibus II for a year with another child. I found Omnibus easier to use. The discussions in Omni. explores ideas in the books from the perpective of the text, the present culture, and Scriptures. It also asks for the students own views and challenges his thinking in the light of Scriptures. Our family had very enlightening and timely discussions about topics that I probably would not have taken time to discuss or could not have so easily discussed if it weren't for the curriculum. So, I am thankful. We also preferred to do a more thorough coverage of geography, art history and appreciation, government etc. using separate texts. The time commitment for TOG was much longer than for Omnibus. We did the secondary readings for Omnibus in the summer and did the primary readings during the school year. However, the one quibble I have about Omnibus is that it does not cover non western civilizations. I plan to remedy that by using SWB's Ancient History as a spine when I do Omnibus I and add appropriate literature selections. When you complete Omnibus I and IV you cover more of the Great Books of Western Civilization than TOG!


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I can't speak about Omnibus having never used it, but for a family with a lot of children, TOG is a godsend. I was frantically trying to keep up with my kids and their studies until we switched over to TOG. It is great to have even the littlest learners able to contribute to dinner table discussions. I find TOG's Dialectic and Rhetoric to be very rigorous.

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