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TOG vs. doing it ourselves (a la WTM)


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Can we talk about this a bit? I'm trying to sort it out. Debra Bell, in her homeschooling high school book, suggests beginning the TOG Rhetoric level assignments in 7th and finishing them by 10th to make room for electives or AP level classes in 11th and 12th. TOG covers a lot of the material I want to cover, and I find myself pretty happy with what I see in the scope & sequences, the book lists, the topics they tackle, etc. I'm not saying it's the *only* lit I would want to cover, but it would be a good starting point. However a few things give me pause:

 

-They seem to fly through the Greeks and Romans in year 1. I understand I could drop the ancient egyptian reading, take more time, etc. but still it's a lot of money for a plan that, for that year, isn't inherently satisfactory.

-For year 1 I think I *could* do it myself. What do I gain by using TOG? What do I miss out on if I don't? Would it be a good way to bring us up to speed with the methodology and get us more ready for the year 2, where I *don't* feel confident of my ability to do it myself?

-How well do the student questions line up with the reading? I've seen mixed comments on this in posts and was unsure.

-How many days a week do we need for discussion? 1?

-The sample weeks they provide (Thank you others for the link!) don't look AT ALL like what I was envisioning. I was thinking something more along the lines of history reading and outlining Tues/Thurs, lit reading daily, projects on Friday. I have some books of seriously good middle school projects, so I don't need the TOG hands-on. However when I showed dd the re-enactments and unit celebrations from the Teacups in the Garden blog, she was crazy excited. I think I'd need to take an extra week between units to make that happen.

-I own the Kagan Western Civ book someone here on the boards had mentioned (Karenciavo?), and dd likes it. I have no clue if she'd like Spielvogel more. It's merely that she does like this. She likes the amount of detail and that it matches in layout the BJU science she is already outlining this year. It would be a comfortable transition. However that means the scheduling help of TOG is out the window for that. Not a biggee, but one more knock.

-I *do* like that TOG integrates a lot of the things I keep thinking I'd like to use with her (Coffin, Marrin books, etc.). However it's not as if I'd be unable to create lists for those myself. I DON'T want to get into this situation of reading 20 little things. One history text, one GB, one work of lit, one spiritual-themed book per week. That's what I want. Not 20 segments and pieces.

 

So what am I missing if I DON'T do TOG? I have Omnibus I and II. I don't want to do them straight, because I don't agree with them enough. I don't know, I've struggled with this, and I've just decided that's where I'm at. I gave dd the choice of a 3+3 or 4+2, and she wants 4+2. So I'll take the best of O1, the best of O4 and use them with a history spine. But frankly, I DON'T like the essays in Omnibus. I don't get the people who do. I've tried, and I don't like them. I don't find them informative, answering my questions, or spiritually kindred to me. I don't know how to say it better than that. It's no slam. I'm just saying if my choices are pay $550 for the online course, do it myself, or buy a curriculum, I want to find something that communicates what *I* want to communicate to her a bit closer. The extra books I see in TOG do. Coffin, the Leland Ryken books, those are what I find kindred spirits in.

 

Oh, and did I mention I hate history? Dd likes to take advantage of that and assume I know none, which isn't true either, hehe. (I told her to learn the word SELF-DEPRECATING.) Nevertheless, I do much better when the expectations are clear and concise. I have a 1st edition BJU world history (the high school text), and that I can understand. Imagine my HORROR when the blessed child said only the college text would do! I don't see a problem with me using that to guide her through the 1st year, and I think with the resources I have (Iliad guide from Logos, Omnibus 1 guide, Rutherford for basic comprehension and themes, Ryken guide on the Odyssey, etc.) we'd be fine for year 1. But am I crazy? Would TOG help me do a better job or just overwhelm me? Would ToG be better when we're ready to hit year two and unnecessary now for year 1?

 

Thank you in advance for your comments. :)

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I didn't plan it that way, but my oldest is finishing up the TOG rotation doing it 7th-10th and will take AP Government next year for 11th and I'm not sure if he'll start the rotation over again or not.

 

I don't have Omnibus, so I can't really comment on it except.. is it secular? What I loved about TOG year 1 was how we studied biblical history AND ancient history and saw where they came together. We read the entire Old Testament and all of the gospels and maybe Acts if I remember correctly. I knew my Bible and I knew ancient history, but I had never put the two together. Fascinating. I chose it because I have three children at various ages ( 9, 14 and 16). We could study the same time periods. It has hands on projects which I never, ever used with my older two, but which my youngest one absolutely loves. We have to make a cookie of every country we study!!! I love the teacher's notes and discussion outlines that really help me out. I will say that the dialectic for year 1 didn't follow the questions the kids had all the time. It has gotten better every year. I know they have gone back to year 1 and done some revisions so it may be better now.

 

You said I was thinking something more along the lines of history reading and outlining Tues/Thurs, lit reading daily, projects on Friday. I have some books of seriously good middle school projects, so I don't need the TOG hands-on. However when I showed dd the re-enactments and unit celebrations from the Teacups in the Garden blog, she was crazy excited. I think I'd need to take an extra week between units to make that happen.

That isn't the way TOG works at all. My boys read and do questions Monday through Thursday and we discuss on Friday. They work on literature daily and we don't ever have time for projects. They have no desire to do projects whatsoever. We do a paper over two weeks instead of one a week, although I am trying to get my 10th grader to do one a week now. It sounds like Omnibus may work for you. The teacher's notes really help me.

 

Christine

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Choirfarm-I'm trying to understand here. You're saying I can't push TOG into that Tues/Thurs. history spines, M-F GB/lit reading framework? Does anyone else? The schedules they have on their sample schedules page seem very fragmented. I just assumed I could divide up the TOG selections different and make it fit the pattern I wanted. Maybe not??

 

Were the country cookies an idea from the tm? :)

 

Yes, dd craves hands-on. I've been told it will change. She doesn't learn the hands-on, as in needing that exclusively, but she craves it at this point in her life. So for instance to make a paper mache greek vase and paint it with some technique is right up her alley.

 

Any comments on the rhetoric level discussion questions and how they fit the students? Do you have the students write out answers to the student questions before you come together for discussion time? Do the students read the teacher's notes themselves?? I was sort of unclear after that after some comments Tina had made somewhere.

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I am debating about TOG. We are doing really well just using the WTM book, but I think starting in 6th grade when my son will probably be in the dialectic stage TOG will be helpful.

 

The reasons I think TOG would be beneficial instead of just pulling it together on my own using WTM book as a guide is:

 

The geography in TOG is really excellent. You learn geography terms and landforms, current geography and learn geography history during the time period you are studying. The Map Aids are really great.

 

I am still debating whether or not having their book choices and schedule would be helpful. I think I will end up assigning my own books. It would save me time and be very handy if I just succumb to the book choices for TOG.

 

Starting in the dialectic stage I was really impressed with the accountability questions and thinking questions. They were more than just fill in the blank type comprehension questions. This is probably one of the biggest things I will need help with as my son gets older.

 

On my own my son will read some great books and we will have discussions but I don't think on my own I will be able to really delve into the depth of these titles and really bring out the essence of these books. I am not big into heavy literary analysis but I do think some is good. Right now I just do narration with my son and he tells me what he has learned from what we have read. However, I know as he gets older these discussions will have to change and the questions, discussions and activities that TOG has will really bring out our history and literature studies.

 

I think the writing is really great with TOG. I will still do outlining for history and will still do some dictation and narration summaries.

 

The fine arts is a plus too. Not all of it will be crafty kind of stuff. Some of it will be art history and I really think that's a plus.

 

The teachers notes are another big thing for me. I really dislike not being prepared and even though I appreciate that as homeschoolers we can learn along with our children, however, as my son gets older I really feel like I need to be a bit ahead of the game so to speak.

 

It is interesting about completing the rhetoric part of TOG by 10th grade so they can take AP classes. My only concern would be the maturity to learn and read some of the heavier materials. I guess, I was thinking my child would only take one or two classes and that there would still be time to do other school.

 

I took AP classes in my senior year. I think that is what they were called. I went to the local university and took 2-3 classes and still took some classes at my high school. The university classes were just basic intro college courses. I took English, Astronomy and Psychology and a few others I don't remember! Anyway, I think what I could teach my son at home with the classical education, reading the classics and studying history and using TOG will be more important and really give a good boost to his college education. I guess what I mean to say is the college courses were not great. Just reading textbooks, listening to lectures and taking tests. There was very little thinking required..only consuming and memorizing. I think the classical education offers much more than that. The rhetoric level of TOG certainly looks way more involved than that. So, I would rather have the quality of what I can do in our homeschool and not put too much emphasis on the AP classes. To me the AP classes are just experience. I really don't expect him to learn a whole lot. Maybe other people have had better experiences with the AP classes and maybe my experience was very different.

 

Regarding some specific questions you have:

 

You can organize your own schedule so if you want Tues and Thursday to be history and Friday projects, there is no reason you can't. TOG basically gives you a weeks worth of projects, books to read, assignments, discussions and you decide when and what you are going to do.

 

I am not sure what others meant by the questions not lining up with the books. From what I have seen of TOG the questions and discussion and analysis all pertain to that weeks books. I think the questions and discussions are very involved and like I said earlier I don't think that is something I could do on my own.

 

The students do not read the teachers notes. They are for the teacher. Maybe some parents do, but the teachers notes are for you so you do not have to read all the same books they are. So when you come together for your discussion they read the books and you read the teacher notes and than you can discuss.

 

I personally would not have my child write out answers for the questions before discussion. I plan on doing the WTM way of having him write a narration summary. But either way, You can do whatever you like with TOG some parents may have kids read the teachers notes and write out answers for the questions and others not. It really depends what works for your family and what you think your child needs.

Edited by Nancy Ann
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Hi Elizabeth! Another TOG lover here! TOG is very flexible, and you can tweak it to fit your schedule. The Redesigned TOG is wonderful and very thorough. My older son did the TOG years in order for high school; my younger son is now doing yr 1 as a junior and will finish out high school with year 2. He is also doing AP courses at the same time, so it can be done! He just started AP US Gov't with Patrick Henry Prep. He is also studying AP Chem with ChemAdvantage (through PA Homesdchoolers) and AP English Lit with a young woman here in town who is working on her Master's in English. Thus, we are not doing TOG Lit this year (even though I had visions of doing it along with AP Lit...some things are just not possible...) Since he studied TOG yr 1 at the D level four years ago he is familiar with the flow of history, making R level material easier to digest. We are also part of an on-line virtual co-op, which I absolutely love. Our co-op keeps us on schedule and moving. The moms take turns facilitating the discussions for history and lit (we take about 2 hours each for these), so I am not responsible for leading a discussion every week. The con of this is that I don't always read the teacher's notes for the weeks I am not teaching! But, since they are at hand, I can catch up on the flow of things pretty easily. My son organizes his time pretty well and is used to how TOG works, so I just copy the assignment pages and Student Activity Pages for him and he takes it from there. I do require him to answer questions in writing since we have to turn work in to our umbrella school. I also find that having to answer questions in writing keeps him engaged in the material. I have also required the guys to do the quarterly evaluations. Reviewing for these keeps the material fresh in their minds. Our co-op takes a week off between quarters to do evaluations and unit celebrations and catch up on whatever needs doing. If we had started TOG in the early grades, I think we would have loved the unit celebrations, but we didn't have time for them in high school.

 

Sorry for all this rambling! About literature - year 1 is a great place to start because it really does lay a great foundation for the later years. You can cut the Egyptian stuff if you want to, and the Mesopotamian stuff, and you will be fine - that will buy you a bit more time for the Greek and Roman stuff. But don't skip Ryken! Year 2 lit is very full, as you would expect, given the time-span covered. TOG includes lovely "what to cut" instructions if you find you need to trim the lit. Year 3 lit is quite accessible and enjoyable. Year 4 lit is also very well done, although the worldview is generally bleaker that that of year 3 lit. TOG lit does a GREAT job of including worldview analysis - very valuable!

 

Hope this is helpful! If you have more questions, ask away! I think TOG is a great program for helping me give my guys the kind of education that I wish I had had. My older son credits TOG with teaching him how to think clearly and deeply about history and literature and worldview (and with helping him to become a National Merit Scholar Finalist), which he appreciates since he won't be taking many classes of this type in college - he is an engineering major. I say go for it!

Blessings,

April

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It is interesting about completing the rhetoric part of TOG by 10th grade so they can take AP classes. My only concern would be the maturity to learn and read some of the heavier materials. I guess, I was thinking my child would only take one or two classes and that there would still be time to do other school.

 

.

 

Just wanted to add to this.

 

It is IMPOSSIBLE to complete Rhetoric level of TOG by 10th grade. The books are very rough in some weeks (even for me). My 10th grader and I are very good readers and really love to read. Some of the books that is in TOG has us scratching our heads so we would subsitute WTM style if a book is over our head. I have read from others that even a 9th grader couldn't complete the R levels of TOG. My son last year had to go back and forth between a D level and R level in order for him to get a good feel of the history discussions. So I am not sure why Debra Bell is stating this. I would love for her to clarify this as TOG is a very rigorous program as far as the history and literature selections go. I do wish though they would use another book for history or literature in some weeks that would have been more sutiable in my opinion. R level of TOG is ROUGH!! I do not recommend starting R level in 7th grade unless you sub the books that YOU KNOW your student would not handle.

 

On the flip side.....AP courses or dual College courses...You could have the student take an AP English and drop the Literature part of TOG right?? Or vice versa drop History and do AP history or history in dual credit. What about this....if the student was going to do AP or dual credit at a college...would the student take the history? Maybe not...perhaps the student was going to take Biology AP?? So I believe the question here is what is your student going to do with AP in regards to the classes??

 

In my case, if my son was going to do AP or dual credit he would be taking an entry level course that would cut out the basic course during his first year of college such as math or english... I can understand if the student was going into history and wanted to take the AP history...fine go for it.

 

I think Debra Bell is making a blanket statement in this so there are a lot of questions to ask in regards to this.

 

I probably have caused more confusion by posting and I apologize if I did so. Just needed to throw this out there. I really do like Debra Bell but sometimes she makes these statements that kind of blow me away. Not everybody will do the AP route or the dual college route. I believe the R level is very college prep!! I do wish though TOG would add some literature books they do not have in the program due to the nature of the books.

 

Just my two cents.

 

ps: I have the kids write out the answers to the questions. I know TOG folks said that is not good but for my sanitys sake it is best this way for our family. The boys like it. It was a compromise. They wanted textbooks so we compromised on this. :)

Holly

Edited by Holly IN
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Guys -

 

I don't think Deb Bell used TOG with her kids. Someone should ask her.

 

I think she is suggesting TOG R from 7-10th as a path for a very advanced student of the humanities. (Elizabeth - maybe you could clarify what Deb said. :001_smile:) I don't have my copy of the book in front of me, BUT I'm pretty sure she is not recommending it for a regular, bright, solid kid. I think she is recommending it as a terrific preparation for AP work in high school. It does make good organizational sense: Full sweep of history from 7th - 10th. The child will have just finished studying a lot of recent history - American and European and a lot of English/Amer classics of literature. Both good pre-recs to AP American History, AP European History, American Government, and a decent start for AP World. Also a good warm up for AP English Literature. And to boot, TOG is solid prep for an AP English Language course.

 

TOG is great prep. Really.

 

But I think it makes sense on paper.

 

In reality, none of my kids could have handled Y2 R-Level Lit in 8th grade. Except for the bible and the Odyssey, I think a lot of the lit in Y1 would have bogged them down in 7th. (My dd was in 7th when we worked through Y1; she jumped up for the Odyssey and a couple of the Greek plays. I think that was it.) Even my oldest ds, ran out of gas mid-year on Y2 as a 10th grader. Granted - he is not my best English student. :001_smile: BUT he does love to read and discuss literature. He just got so burned out on poetry, epic poetry, and plays: eighteen months on it was WAY too much! We quit mid-year in 10th grade and did something else: BJU Lit 10 with a bit of Dickens, Shelley, and others thrown in for fun.

 

And the pace of TOG for Y2 makes it the toughest year for us folks who love ideas. SO much to fly past in one year. Caution: one of the toughest years of TOG to start with. I think a lot of folks crash and burn on Y2 if that's their introduction to TOG. It can be done. But it's tough. It will help if you know you are going to return to this era later via AP. ;)

 

As I said, I think it might be important to get clarity before forging ahead with that recommendation. I don't know. But I suspect that the level of the work in TOG is what puts it into that notch for "good AP prep." TOG does lead you along through good analysis. The child learns to read past the words on the page. You can easily move the discussion toward the cusp of their skill level into the realm of "huh?". (Great stuff! Especially for the kid who thinks he already knows how to read.) TOG gives you the tools to do that. But it's a tool. You have to be able to see what you want to do with it. TOG helps. Immensely. But it doesn't build the house for you. It's a bit like having a hammer. You can whack boards together and make something for the garbage pile or you can build a mansion. It's kind of up to you. ;) I'm sure there are moms here who feel like the are nailing it with TOG; they are rockin'. And I bet there are gals who are using TOG but feel they are missing something. Life gets tough. The first thing to slide? The writing assignments. The second thing? The discussions. Pretty soon it's just a reading list. :001_smile: Which doesn't really prep anybody for the analysis and writing needed for an AP class.

 

I suspect Deb chose TOG as the best prep for AP because you and your kid stand a pretty good chance of getting there. The program provides a lot of help for you without dictating one path. You can use the program to work on the level that you can see. For different moms that's just going to look different. It's like a good sermon. Everyone gets something. Everyone is ratcheted up to the next level. But the program won't prep your kid for AP for you. It will help. You will grow. You can use the program to get there if you know what you are doing. (Note: my dd is taking AP Eng. Lang. She is doing OK - not great. I can see now how I could have prepared her better. But you don't know what you don't know until you know it. She's young - a 10th grader. I don't know if she's going to pull her hind-end over that bar or not. We'll see. It's the kind of work they need to do in AP classes. It's accessible to a lot of kids - sure. But I'm not sure if most kids come out of the class feeling like they nailed it. I suspect most of them still feel like they're panting. ;))

 

Back to TOG: I'm sure there are some hsers who can work within the upper boundaries of the program with a 7th -10th grader. But the likelihood that they are the ones who have a 7th-10th grader who will thrive on that program? Slim. Years 3 & 4 in 9th & 10th. Sure. Doable. Totally doable. Years 1 & 2 in 7th and 8th? I'm skeptical. Really! It is just hard to teach skills within those forms of literature. Really tough! Doable. But tough. :001_smile:

 

Regarding Omnibus: I think we've been here before, Elizabeth. I had Omni I & II. I liked it. But I couldn't teach from it. It didn't fit my knowledge base. And the structure of the program was all WRONG for our family. I could not in my wildest dreams have carved out that kind of time to work on that one subject with one kid every day. NO WAY! (Hsing three kids. Just NOT enough hours in my day.) In my opinion, Omnibus works best in a mentoring environment: something I suspect you could pull off, Elizabeth. I couldn't. I needed the administrative tools that TOG offered. Lots of select and go with lesson materials. The week-to-week aspect of it served us so, so well. BUT it may not serve you teaching one as well - especially if you want to do it WITH her. You can easily break apart the week-to-week aspect of it and make it a day-to-day child-parent interactive program. But then the program has the potential to swell to fill a lot of your child's time. You would have to be careful to balance parent-n-child time and child-learning-on-her-own time. Doable. Just know that the program is most simply designed for the child to work on her own to prep for weekly face-time. It wouldn't be a BIG step to make it a day-to-day. Just a step.

 

Finally - if you are curious about TOG for 7th grade, know that the program can be used WELL at the dialectic level too - same content, different skills. It is first and foremost a multi-level program. You could try a unit of the R level history for the first quarter. You could try the R level lit. Just only buy one unit of the books. If it doesn't work, slide back to the D level materials. The curriculum is K-12. You can move around as you like. And you can use the D level in 7th and 8th and then slide her up to R level in 9th and 10th. Or you can use a D/R combo in 7th and 8th and R level in 9th and 10th.

 

And a final issue: Most colleges don't want to see 7th and 8th grade credits - not matter what "level" we say they were. So know that no one is ever going to find out that your child has read all of these great classics in 7th and 8th grade. You don't get to list it anywhere. No big deal in the end - I suspect that few admissions officers have actually read my course descriptions. Glanced? sure. Read? doubt it. But you don't get to list it. Makes me sad. Oh well. They really want that AP score. That single number means more than a great list. They have no one to enter that list into a sorting mechanism. They can easily sort my kid according to her numbers; even my ds - a first year programmer - can write a program that will do that. sigh.

 

Gotta run - this is getting long winded.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

P.S. April, didn't mean to post under your comments. I meant to post under OhE's original post. (sorry) But maybe you could chime in. It looks like your kids tackled R Y1 & Y2 as high schoolers. Do you think they could have walked away with the meat of TOG R Y1/Y2 as 7th & 8th graders? It seems like a D/R combo would best serve advanced junior high kids for Years 1 & 2. (Note: I think Y3/Y4 R level might be doable for advanced junior high kids. I just think Y1/Y2 has such tough forms of literature week after week after week. Ancient poetry from Mesopotamia just doesn't give you a lot of analysis opportunities with a 7th grader. They just aren't really ready to ponder the meaning of life through the musings of an ancient form in translation. Lots of bored looks of "Huh?" and "Who CARES?" - to follow a week of that with "Yes! Guess what? More ancient poetry!" NOT. At least it would not have worked with the 7th graders I've had. Wrong skill-building with the wrong tool at that time of life.)

Edited by Janice in NJ
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Ok, here is this week's reading for my high schoolers:

America in the 1950's the first two chapters (28 pages), The Cold War: A History in Documents- 30 pages, Stalin: Russia's Man of Steel -12 pages, Mao Zedong- 26 pages, and in their American Presidency book they are reading about Truman's second administration. You would have to pick which resource to outline.

 

That would be a lot to read in just 2 days. Some weeks they could and actually I think mine had it read by yesterday. They just need to finish maps and questions today to get ready for our discussion on Friday. Plus, since they are writing about Truman and MacArthur for their essay, they needed to have their reading done early to be able to have the information to write the essay. If they didn't get some of it until Thursday, there is no way it could be done by Friday.

 

Yes, the cookie dough recipes or salt map recipes are in TOG, though they are for lower grammar students. The art/activities for rhetoric are really just Music and art or architecture readings: Music An Appreciation, The Story of Painting, and the STory of ARchitecture. We aren't doing this. They have been doing some of the church history and they are supposed to be doing The Normal Christian Life this week by Watchman Nee. I've chosen to substitute a thorough study of CS Lewis instead using the TC lectures. My oldest is reading A Grief Observed this week.

 

In the yellow pages it has thes for possible activities for dialectic/rhetoric hands on: draw and colore the flags of North and South Korea, make a poster illustrating tanks, aircraft, and warships used in the Korean War, make a model of a helicopter, add to your poster time line of Mao's life., cook a traditional Korean meal. There are no detailed instructions. Now for lower and upper grammar there is sometimes a book for each unit that has some ideas and instructions.

 

They are supposed to read The Crucible for literature this week.

 

 

Now, the questions work really well for rhetoric level. My problem was year 1 at the dialectic level. Some questions the students were given were never covered in the teacher's notes. Mine answer their rhetoric questions on paper. They have 9 accountability questions like this:

 

1. We studied Truman's first administration in Week 17, along with the closing year of WWII. What do you remember of the man, his domestic policies, and his leadership on the world scene from that previous week's study? ( They took a break from Truman in weeks 18-20 to study the end of the war, Russian communism after the war and the rise of communisim in China.)

 

2. From your Presiden't sbook reading, outline the major points of Truman's domestic agenda during his first administration as America made the transition from wartime to peacetime economy. On what doemestic policiesd did Truman focus during his first administration?

 

As you can see these are not one sentence answers.

 

Here are part of the 10 thinking questions:

 

What was the Red Scare of the early 1950's? What part did Joseph McCarthy play in the Red Scare? What events fed its growth?

 

What was Stalin's relationship with Chairman Mao, and why?

 

In what ways did the Korean War affect internal events in China?

 

 

Now for literature, I didn't have them do the TOG stuff at all at first. Instead we watched a couple of Acts each day of the Daniel Day Lewis movie, then dicussed each act using worksheets I had. Today, I am using the TOG discussion questions for our talk. A lot of the discussion in TOG literature looks at things from a biblical perpective. For example here is a question: Miller, who was not a Christian as far as we know, subtly portrays the biblical worldview of the Puritans from a modernist's perspective. Did you notice this? Please share examples with the class.

 

It also has them talk about if John Proctor fit the mold of a tragic hero, whether the plot follows the six main phrases of a tragic plot and if the play itself is a tragedy or not. For continuing students there are some questions comparing this work to The Scarlet Letter.

 

I don't know if this is too much information. But I got the idea you thought it was just a book or two, so they would outline 10 pages on Tuesday and 10 pages on Thursday. It isn't like that. I looked at next week and they have 80 pages of reading from 4 different sources plus their reading from the American Presidents book. They typically have 75 to 150 pages to read each week.

 

Sorry, I'm not sure if this helped or not.

 

Christine

 

Choirfarm-I'm trying to understand here. You're saying I can't push TOG into that Tues/Thurs. history spines, M-F GB/lit reading framework? Does anyone else? The schedules they have on their sample schedules page seem very fragmented. I just assumed I could divide up the TOG selections different and make it fit the pattern I wanted. Maybe not??

 

Were the country cookies an idea from the tm? :)

 

Yes, dd craves hands-on. I've been told it will change. She doesn't learn the hands-on, as in needing that exclusively, but she craves it at this point in her life. So for instance to make a paper mache greek vase and paint it with some technique is right up her alley.

 

Any comments on the rhetoric level discussion questions and how they fit the students? Do you have the students write out answers to the student questions before you come together for discussion time? Do the students read the teacher's notes themselves?? I was sort of unclear after that after some comments Tina had made somewhere.

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Are you sure she meant rhetoric level from 7th- 10th? Mine did dialectic level for 7th and 8th and rhetoric for 9th and 10th. To me, he got GREAT coverage of the material. I don't know that we HAVE to go back to the ancients for him. I might, but haven't decided. He is doing AP Government for 11th. Then he may do economics for 12th with World Literature or something so he can get the ancient literature. I haven't decided yet.

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Elizabeth,

 

I'm agreeing with everything Janice wrote. When I read Debra's recommendation I was reassured in my own decision to use TOG, but I knew her idea of doing Rhetoric by 10th would be a recipe for crash and burn, and it would suck the joy out of learning. From my reading I got the idea that she didn't actually use TOG; just thought it would be a good plan. Like Janice said, it's a plan that looks great on paper and in theory. As soon as I read Debra's comments I began thinking of all the people who would try to follow her advice and become frustrated with TOG. I think she had a responsibility to explain those comments better, or make some qualifying statements. I felt so strongly about it I almost e mailed her.

 

You probably remember I am using TOG and with my 7th grade DS (and 3rd grade DD). I do see that I can probably begin to include some rhetoric assignments. As I read over the teacher's notes for the week and look at discussion notes, I can see that he really could handle it. SO, I'll start mixing some in where I can, but to switch to complete rhetoric load right now just doesn't make sense. He has other things to solidify before high school. If he were gifted in all areas equally, I could see trying it, but he's not.

 

I find TOG to be really flexible, and I think you could easily make it fit your ideas for assignments. This week I had DS do some outlining because the accountability questions were written in such a way that actually screamed to be outlined. As another poster said, you can use TOG however it works best for your family. I know I've read posts by others who are doing just what you describe.

 

I suppose the real question is whether you want to spend money on something you will be tweaking so much. I think it's worth it. I was designing everything myself before. The problem was without teacher's notes I had to read everything I assigned. I couldn't keep up and still design good skills lessons in other areas at the same time. DD especially needed extra help in learning to read at that time. TOG allows me to still participate in the learning without the pressure of having to design everything myself and read every single book, (though I still read along on some, and some of the lit I have read in the past). For us I think TOG is worth it. Maybe if you buy just a unit and try it you would be able to see if it works for you?

 

Shannon

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Are you sure she meant rhetoric level from 7th- 10th?

 

Yes, she did. I read it too.

 

Mine did dialectic level for 7th and 8th and rhetoric for 9th and 10th.

To me, he got GREAT coverage of the material. I don't know that we HAVE to go back to the ancients for him. I might, but haven't decided.

 

This is a very good point. Even with Dialectic they learn so much, it may not be necessary to repeat it at rhetoric. The time could be used to prepare for AP tests or take an AP course instead.

 

 

He is doing AP Government for 11th. Then he may do economics for 12th with World Literature or something so he can get the ancient literature. I haven't decided yet.

 

:)

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:iagree::iagree::iagree: That is exactly why I love TOG. I tweak every curriculum I have ever used. What I love about TOG is that it is all there. I just pick and choose. I used to read everything they read, but I have run out of time. I still make sure I've read the literature, but I don't have time to read all the history selections.

 

Christine

 

.

 

I suppose the real question is whether you want to spend money on something you will be tweaking so much. I think it's worth it. I was designing everything myself before. The problem was without teacher's notes I had to read everything I assigned. I couldn't keep up and still design good skills lessons in other areas at the same time. DD especially needed extra help in learning to read at that time. TOG allows me to still participate in the learning without the pressure of having to design everything myself and read every single book, (though I still read along on some, and some of the lit I have read in the past). For us I think TOG is worth it. Maybe if you buy just a unit and try it you would be able to see if it works for you?

 

Shannon

 

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Deb says things like this:

 

"If you want to prepare your junior high student for college-level achievement by the end of high school, then the literature and composition work he or she is completing in eighth grade must be equivalent to the skill level of a rising eleventh grader."

 

I agree. In order to do this well in a step-by-step fashion, this should be in place.

 

She goes on.

Later in the section, she says, "However, if your junior high student is not reading above grade level, do not attempt to plow through all of the reading and writing required at the rhetoric stage."

 

I agree again. And remember she said a rising 11th grader. AND I suspect she is talking about an above-average 11th grade level - not the level of an average 11th grader. I've seen the "average" 12th grade SAT/ACT scores. NOT something to shoot for when talking about accelerating. What would be the point?

 

She then recommends that you peruse chapter 13 for some other choices to accelerate. Take a look at the book lists on pages 183 - 184. Notice how few are ancient or medieval. How FEW! The forms of the works listed are MUCH more accessible - even if some of the content may not be. ;)

 

I think a mix of Y1 & Y2 D and R level lit with history at the R level might be doable for an advanced humanities student. (You can certainly use the history materials for an advanced reader/thinker/writer. Note: not just a smart kid! An advanced kid. They need to be ready to start synthesis exercises so they can start to handle evidence and argue effectively.) I really just think two years spent on poetry, epic poetry, and drama would be tough for junior high. Most kids are just not that kind of person in junior high.

 

You could do 7th-10th R level if you knew what you were doing and you were sure of your kid. But I suspect that it really would be the exception and not the new "rule" to shoot for. (Even then - some of the Oxford publications in Y2 history made me sleepy. Admitting it. I would switch it up every couple of weeks and do something else because I suspected that my kids were getting lazy and finding answers on Wikipedia or World Book rather than doing all of that reading week after week after week with that tiny page-after-page print. Just to note - my dd was in 8th grade when we worked through Y2; she did some of the R level history. Some. Probably less than 1/2. :001_smile:) Getting back to straight R for 7-10th? I think most folks would dig a really deep hole that would be hard to crawl out of without having mud-stains for a long time. ;) I know TOG. If I had a super-advanced student, I don't even think I would try it. Really. I would try to worm-hole things a bit in 9th & 10th grade, but I wouldn't want to risk squashing a love of literature in junior high. It really is just such a weird time of life.

 

Peace,

Janice

Edited by Janice in NJ
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depends on the kid.. Janice is right. My 8th grader LOVES history and literature. He is doing great with the literature level on rhetoric this year and history is a breeze for him. But I am doing year 4. I don't think he would have done as well with year 1. He did some of the rhetoric level even in 7th grade for year 3, partially because he had already read almost all of the literature at the dialectic level before. I just mixed and matched. But I agree with what she said about average.. He took the SAT as part of the Duke program in 7th grade. He scored better than 56 percent of the national seniors that took the test and 62 percent of the state ones in critical reading!! His writing was better than 57 percent of the state seniors.. And I think his writing isn't very good at all!!!

 

Christine

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I agree with everyone who said Deb Bell's suggestion of starting TOG Rhetoric in the 7th grade may be a bit......ambitious. So many of you have shared so much wisdom on this I don't have anything to add except my whole hearted agreement to ignore the Rhetoric at 7th grade suggestion.

 

Here's what I did with ds16, and the same cycle is going to work with ds13. Even though they are 3 years and a few weeks apart, their grade levels are 4 years apart.

 

8th grade- We did year 1 Ancients. For history I assigned Rhetoric texts, but only required written answers to Accountability Questions. Thinking Questions were discussed and some were used as the basis for essays. For Lit, I assigned Dialectic Lit, but during discussion time we read aloud excerpts from the real works. For example, he read Black Ships Before Troy and then during discussion time we read aloud the weekly Rhetoric selection outlined in the class discussion from The Iliad. This way he understood the plot, and at the same time was exposed to the language of the real work. For the Greek plays, we watched several and I had him read one of them. Ds's 8th grade year was a true bridge between Rhetoric and Dialectic. The exposure to the questions and Lit. were great preparation for year 2, but the Dialectic expectations were not so overwhelming.

 

9th-11th - Years 2,3,and 4. We did the full Rhetoric load for history. For Lit We used the deepest "cutting" schedule for 9th as outlined on the Loom. I used the next level of "cutting" for 10th, and we are skipping two works for 11th (basically b/c I'm assigning something else I like better).We did Fine Arts reading all three years. We did Government and Philosophy readings in years 3 & 4, but no written questions.

 

12th - ds will take an online Government class for dual credit from his college of choice. (Dd #1 took this at school, dd#2 also took this online as a senior, so I am confident that this is a good fit for us.)

 

FWIW- three students from our co-op took the US History I CLEP last year after completing Year 3. None of them studied more than 2 weeks, and they all passed with flying colors.

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Elizabeth,

 

but I knew her idea of doing Rhetoric by 10th would be a recipe for crash and burn,

 

 

I'm confused. Did you mean to say doing Rhetoric by 7th? Because I thought most people using TOG end up in the Rhetoric level by the 10th grade? :001_huh:

 

ETA: Wait a minute, I get it now. You mean COMPLETING Rhetoric by 10th. Sorry, it's early! lol

Edited by jewel7123
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I'm confused. Did you mean to say doing Rhetoric by 7th? Because I thought most people using TOG end up in the Rhetoric level by the 10th grade? :001_huh:

 

ETA: Wait a minute, I get it now. You mean COMPLETING Rhetoric by 10th. Sorry, it's early! lol

 

I can see I wasn't exactly clear. Opps :blushing:

 

Yes, I meant completing all of TOG years 1-4 in Rhetoric level by 10th. Working at Rhetoric level in 7th is doable for some, not for others. I know there are some who do most of high school at dialectic. I suppose it just depends on your child's abilities, areas of focus, interests, extracurriculars, etc.

 

Shannon

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Guys -

 

And the pace of TOG for Y2 makes it the toughest year for us folks who love ideas. SO much to fly past in one year. Caution: one of the toughest years of TOG to start with. I think a lot of folks crash and burn on Y2 if that's their introduction to TOG. It can be done. But it's tough. It will help if you know you are going to return to this era later via AP. ;)

 

QUOTE]

 

I agree! I started with Yr 2 in TOG because we already did yr 1 with WTM in D stage. So decided to go with TOG after we got done with yr 1 WTM style in the D stage. Went with yr 2 and boy I have to tell you, IT WAS ROUGH!!

 

I do not recommend starting with yr 2.

 

Holly

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Hi Elizabeth,

 

A friend let me know about your question and I think it would help if I explained what I was thinking when I gave my recommendation on pp. 146-147. This section is titled "Acceleration in English" so I'm writing to those who want to start accumulating college credits via dual enrollment or AP testing somewhere between 10th-12th grades. In order to be ready to succeed on the AP exams, students need a solid foundation at the high school level. So my suggestion to use TOG for 7th-10th was only for those who want their kids to be AP ready by 11th or 12th grade AND also want to complete a classical Christian curriculum.

 

I realize it would be a very rigorous courseload for MOST students, even college-bound students to try and complete TOG by the end of 10th. I also don't think completing TOG in advance is the only way to get kids AP-ready.

 

I'm writing from the perspective of an AP teacher who has seen a lot of my students over-challenged by the demands of AP coursework because they didn't have a solid high school course under their belts first. So, in my book, I'm trying to point out the advantages of using the junior high years strategically to get kids gradually ready for college-level work before the end of high school.

 

I hope this makes sense. Shannon is right, I didn't use TOG (it wasn't around) when my kids were at this point. And I've always been a do-it-yourselfer. Any curriculum I ever used was never fully used and always adapted for our family's unique purposes.

 

Thanks for reading the book! Any feedback folks have is most appreciated. I already have a list of things I need to revise next time around.

 

Debra

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I just wanted to add that TOG just announced a "deaper than usual update" to Year 1, to be released this summer. They made the recommendation with many people buying TOG DE in January that they may wish to wait on the print version until after this update is complete.

 

My second question is for those who are using TOG later in high school, I have heard many times that the full schedule of TOG R is very similar to the AP level and this is why many people use the paring down suggestions for the three levels of TOG R provided in the loom documents. Can anyone comment on this?

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Hi Debra, I really appreciate you taking the time to bop over here to clarify things! As Janice brought up, some of the things in your Acceleration in English section were vague or unclear. Now unfortunately, I'm very literal. So when you said "the work he or she is completing in 8th gr must be equivalent to the skill level of a rising 11th grader" (sorry for the shorthand), that didn't quite make sense. I think what you mean is that theoretically you'd just have them working two years ahead at any point in time. In reality though, this doesn't seem to bear out on the boards. First there was my own devil's advocate argument that kids make leaps all the time based on interest and amount of parental guidance. Second, you have people like Janice seeing that you can push writing quantities and reading quantities, but you can't push MATURITY or connection-making. That's what Janice seems to be saying, that a student might "do" TOG rhetoric level early but not do it completely or in the same way an older student would, which makes sense. I even allow for that, since timing is everything. If it's the right thing for that time, you do it to that level and move on. In any case, I read that sentence about 3 times and still found it vague and confusing. I basically gave up and moved on.

 

Now when I came to your idea of doing a solid 4 year cycle via TOG and leaving two years at this end, this was a WELCOME RELIEF, a deep sigh, as my only other solid option (besides making it myself, which I feel utterly incapable of doing) was VP Omnibus (3+3). I do think there's an issue with burnout with Omnibus and with kids wanting that freedom to follow some electives at the end. However, again being very literal, I assumed that your recommendation of TOG rhetoric level for advanced students in 7th-10th was based either on your own experience or watching other homeschool kids (a broad enough pool to know it would work well). I guess I'm a little frustrated now, because I don't know where that leaves me. May I ask if you know anyone who actually did this? I hate to put you on the spot like that, because in the end all that matters is how it will work for our particular student. Nevertheless, it would be helpful to know it has been successful for some and what types of kids they were, to what degree they did it, etc. I look at it, as someone considering TOG, and assume that means I would need to do *all* the components to do a good job and fit your recommendation. I know you don't mean that, but that's the assumption of someone literal like me: gotta do the history and the church history and the philosophy and the gov't and the art and ALL the components to do a good job and be ready for AP and electives in 11th! I noticed last night that you used the "Church History in Plain English" book as a spine for a late high school elective. People could skip that component of TOG and bring it in later as a separate course?

 

And more to the point, what specific aspects of TOG are you considering the most important or formative in preparing a student for AP and college level english? The writing? I've noticed some posts where people here add on a writing curriculum or at least feel uncertain of whether they're doing enough, but you say by itself, just using the assignments and Writing Aids, it would be sufficient. Any comment on this?

 

I don't mean to pick you apart on this, honest. Your book was very timely and thought-provoking for me. I just wanted you to see how a different audience, someone not in PA in the go for AP movement, might view it. I personally don't consider AP english courses as the highest or only goal for homeschooling our students. They have college to do college english. I understand the current rat race and competitiveness. I'm educating for something *other*, and I also know you don't have to play in that game to get into a good school. Where I went to school many kids went to Harvard, MIT, Harvey Mudd, etc., and we didn't do AP english. We did lots of electives and built lots of skills while following our interests. That's precisely why your 4+2 paradigm interested me, because it allowed room for that in a way that 3+3 or adamant 4+4+4 doesn't. Your book doesn't seem to have a lot of discussion about that, about the OTHER things excellent high schoolers are doing.

 

For myself, I have trouble knowing how to work with dd11. She's this nutty combination of ability and learning differences. She clearly has some stealth dyslexia, but thanks to lots of good teaching and vision therapy she reads like the wind, easily reading a LoTR volume in a night and making connections to other literature and history. She suggested Kagan's Western Civ with outlining would be a good text for her for this fall, which it would, but she craves hands-on. (I have several Heinrich books to deal with that.) Oh, and did I mention *I* don't do history? What a mess. She wants more direct history analysis than Omnibus provides and likes your 4+2 history plan, but without help I can't make that happen for her. She also has some expressive language issues, so that I'm not sure how well on-the-spot discussion questions will do. I think everything is going to have to be written out and provided to her as essay or short answer prompts or done through back door, more informal discussion where I know where the discussion needs to go and tease it out of her. That's what we do now successfully. Grilling her with questions just locks her up. So even with TOG I'm going to have to bend over backwards for what is my least favorite and weakest subject. I've considered a high school textbook, but it doesn't have the depth and rabbit trails she wants. Oh for grammar or calculus or something I could actually wrap my brain around and do!

 

That's just my little lament, and I haven't found a good answer. She craves more analysis of the history, has some ability, needs some modifications, and is rubbing on my weak point. So I sweat. I definitely appreciate you taking the time to come over here. Your idea of TOG rhetoric for 7th-10th seemed like it might actually work for us, and I've been trying to determine if it's reasonable. I'm taking my time to sort through it, because I've informed her that once I've decided, that will just be how it is.

 

Thank you!

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I just wanted to add that TOG just announced a "deaper than usual update" to Year 1, to be released this summer. They made the recommendation with many people buying TOG DE in January that they may wish to wait on the print version until after this update is complete.

 

My second question is for those who are using TOG later in high school, I have heard many times that the full schedule of TOG R is very similar to the AP level and this is why many people use the paring down suggestions for the three levels of TOG R provided in the loom documents. Can anyone comment on this?

 

Oh bless you Melissa! Clearly I'm out of the loop. How do you find out about these things? I signed up for the Loose Threads yahoo group, but the traffic is way too much for me to handle. So is the update for Yr. 1 going to bring it up to the other three? That will be wild to see. So when do they expect it? Well fiddle. How am I supposed to decide something and plan for fall if I don't get it until July??? How radically will it change? Will the weeks all stay the same but the resources change? Or will they actually restructure the weeks? Frankly, just as an ignoramus looking at it, I think some of the pacing is illogical. So if they changed it radically, it might be a good thing.

 

I just signed up dd for the AP US history question of the day, and she loves it. That's definitely the type of thought process she wants. (I did AP US history btw in high school with a man who wrote tests for them, so I know what it involves.) It's not the label that matters at all. It's how in the world does a mom who is overwhelmed by history (it does keep going on infinitely you know, with ever-increasing detail, lol) possibly help a child who wants more? Well cool, if TOG is improving the year 1, that probably cinches it for me. I just wasn't happy with it as-is, but bringing it up a notch would do the trick.

 

BTW, I don't know why I'm saying all that. That's just where we're at. It's meaning no disrespect on anyone else, and I humbly reserve the right to have a big belly of CROW later.

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Elizabeth,

 

I guess I have two questions that would guide me in deciding what to do on the high school level with any of my kids:

 

1. What are our family priorities in homeschooling?

 

2. What does my teen want to accomplish in high school?

 

So the curriculum decisions I would make would flow backwards from our end game (family priorities) and my teen's own agenda. I always thought my role at the high school level was to support my teen's goals. I spent more time helping my teens establish goals then I did choosing curriculum for them. They did most of the decision-making, and some of their decisions weren't the best. But then they learned how to make better decisions. I think I saw the fruit of this approach then when they were in college, where they paid their way and made all their scheduling choices. ( We certainly were adding our two cents from the sidelines, though.) They made fewer mistakes then because they had the experience from high school under their belts.

 

Does this speak to your situation in any way? Raising an independent learner was one of our family priorities in homeschooling. Of course it was subsumed under our highest priority, seeing them embrace and mature in our Christian faith.

 

I was somewhat concerned about the content we covered, more concerned about the skills we acquired. But again, this is just what we did. I really, really believe the glory of homeschooling is the opportunity to individualize our program for each child; so I think there should be a lot of diversity in what we each do. Anything in my books should be taken as suggestions and illustrations for your consideration.

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Choirfarm-I'm trying to understand here. You're saying I can't push TOG into that Tues/Thurs. history spines, M-F GB/lit reading framework? Does anyone else? The schedules they have on their sample schedules page seem very fragmented. I just assumed I could divide up the TOG selections different and make it fit the pattern I wanted. Maybe not?? You can make your TOG schedule into anything you'd like. What I would encourage you to consider is that while each area of humanities is used to interconnect, esp. in high school, there is So Much Meat in teach subsection that is truly warrents it's own "course." What we find, b/c there is often a great deal of reading, is that reading and note-taking can be done according to child preference. One ds reads the writes his notes after, while the other does so simultaneously. It's more student preference. In the end, I simply assign deadlines which they must meet.

 

Were the country cookies an idea from the tm? :)

 

Yes, dd craves hands-on. I've been told it will change. She doesn't learn the hands-on, as in needing that exclusively, but she craves it at this point in her life. So for instance to make a paper mache greek vase and paint it with some technique is right up her alley. Project ideas are abundant and w/ your collection of activity books, you should be quite set.

 

Any comments on the rhetoric level discussion questions and how they fit the students? Do you have the students write out answers to the student questions before you come together for discussion time? Do the students read the teacher's notes themselves?? I was sort of unclear after that after some comments Tina had made somewhere.

I have them do a little of both. I find having them answer the questions first is an important aspect of their research, thinking, and accountability. It helps them to put their thoughts on paper as a tool for "sinking in" and it ensures that they are coming prepared to discussion. After discussion, they have 1-day in our schedule to make any changes or additions to their answers. If I understand correctly, the Accountability Questions are meant to be put to paper, while the thinking questions are meant to draw out the depth of Socratic Discussion. Since I do not read their spines, if they just can't find an answer (and I check with them both to know it's true), I first send them to an encyclopedia, then the internet, then the teacher's notes (not the discussion outline, which is different and separate -- it's the answers to the questions given plainly; while the TN are encyclopedia excerpts so they are still finding the answers on their own.

So far as discussion time, I find we spend about an hour - 1.5 hour on history discussion and an additional hour on high school literature. That is actually part of the reason I chose to use only 1 year of TOG R literature completely as written. It's a huge courseload. We'll have "focus" years in high school so we can dig deeply into each subject area, according to what works best for our family. For example, Year 1 is a great time for Philosophy, so we'll hit that elective really hard; we'll still read all the Rh. literature, but we'll limit our discussion to dinner table conversation, instead of a scheduled course in our schooling. We will answer a few questions, but not go all out. That way, we're doing history w/ some lit. from the period. We'll choose Y2 for the Lit. elective., so we'll have a "history class" and a "lit. class"

 

I have found the trouble with books and questions is a matter of editions. If you have edition 8 of Lolly's Book on Teeth (totally making that up) and TOG was using edition 6, then the page numbers are off and things don't make sense. We've combated this using indexes and table of contents and the methods I mentioned above: encyclopedia, internet, teacher's notes. Does that make more sense?

 

Piping in that I know some really bright kids and I can't imagine any 7th grader (being in the puberty years) that could handle the Rhetoric workload in full. It would have them ready..Ready...for AP classes, but I also believe that doing the R in 9th and 10th grade would also prepare them just fine for the workload. Additionally, the level of exposure in the D levels also offers enough, imo, that a dc could pick right up in an AP class and comfortably have enough knowledge base to move forward.

 

I think TOG offers an advantage, in your case, of less planning and extensive teacher notes that show you directly what to teach in history and literature. It takes away the prep time of digging, finding, choosing, and overlearning. B/c there is a logical progression put before you, I think it aids in the big picture process and lays out the "necessaries" for you. To me, that is worth it's weight in gold. The design of the Discussion Questions and Answers is magnificent. It really leads you to lead your dd in discussion and offers writing assignments to blossom the connection between writing and speaking intelligibly. The process has been pretty impressive to witness since my eldest started in 5th grade and is now in R in 9th. It's been everything I've hoped for and more b/c I didn't even know all that was available to teach and/or learn.

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Elizabeth,

 

I guess I have two questions that would guide me in deciding what to do on the high school level with any of my kids:

 

1. What are our family priorities in homeschooling?

 

2. What does my teen want to accomplish in high school?

 

So the curriculum decisions I would make would flow backwards from our end game (family priorities) and my teen's own agenda. I always thought my role at the high school level was to support my teen's goals. I spent more time helping my teens establish goals then I did choosing curriculum for them. They did most of the decision-making, and some of their decisions weren't the best. But then they learned how to make better decisions. I think I saw the fruit of this approach then when they were in college, where they paid their way and made all their scheduling choices. ( We certainly were adding our two cents from the sidelines, though.) They made fewer mistakes then because they had the experience from high school under their belts.

 

Does this speak to your situation in any way? Raising an independent learner was one of our family priorities in homeschooling. Of course it was subsumed under our highest priority, seeing them embrace and mature in our Christian faith.

 

I was somewhat concerned about the content we covered, more concerned about the skills we acquired. But again, this is just what we did. I really, really believe the glory of homeschooling is the opportunity to individualize our program for each child; so I think there should be a lot of diversity in what we each do. Anything in my books should be taken as suggestions and illustrations for your consideration.

 

Debra--Thank you, that does make a lot of sense! You're right that what I've struggled with is the option between multiple good choices, and that I can allow her to make that. I just hadn't thought of it that way. Letting her decide on the 3+3 vs. 4+2 was my first foray into that. Thank you for sharing that! :)

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Thanks Tina, I hoped you'd pop in with something helpful! That's a lot to chew on. For as much time as I've spent looking at samples, I still get this fog with all the labels and terms. The Cincy convention is coming up, so I'll get to see it then I assume. I thought I might bug our local group and see if anyone has it to give me a less hurried look. Do you know anything more than we know about the coming update to the yr 1 stuff? :)

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Thanks Tina, I hoped you'd pop in with something helpful! That's a lot to chew on. For as much time as I've spent looking at samples, I still get this fog with all the labels and terms. The Cincy convention is coming up, so I'll get to see it then I assume. I thought I might bug our local group and see if anyone has it to give me a less hurried look. Do you know anything more than we know about the coming update to the yr 1 stuff? :)

 

I will be there Elizabeth. So if you need me to bring anything I can.

 

Holly

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Thanks Tina, I hoped you'd pop in with something helpful! That's a lot to chew on. For as much time as I've spent looking at samples, I still get this fog with all the labels and terms. The Cincy convention is coming up, so I'll get to see it then I assume. I thought I might bug our local group and see if anyone has it to give me a less hurried look. Do you know anything more than we know about the coming update to the yr 1 stuff? :)

When it's in front of you, all color coded and pretty, the terms will make much more sense. I doubt you'll have a problem at all.

 

Here's what the letter said:

However, in 2011, we're going to be doing a deeper-than-usual update to Year 1. This means that you may wish to order your DE curriculum now (while it's on sale), but hold off on ordering printed units until mid-summer or so. We will announce when these Year 1 updates have been released in the same way that we do with all updates, via our website and in this monthly newsletter.

You save nothing by upgrading your order of a sale-priced DE copy to a DE PLUS Print in January. The price for either a unit or a year-plan in print does not change. You can buy your digital Tapestry, and save your money for printed Tapestry for now, and wait until updates are released, then go ahead and upgrade your DE order of January to a DE PLUS Print order at any time in the coming year.

 

 

I'm going to send an email right now to ask for a further explanation of this.

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Tina,

 

I believe it works like this:

You can order DE. At any time you can call Lampstand Press and ask them to print it out for you instead of printing it at home. They will charge you for the difference between DE only and DE plus print.

 

I think the idea behind it was that a lot of folks don't want to fork over the big bucks for DE plus print until they have had a chance to work with DE to see if they even like the program. But then once they check it out, a lot of people don't want to spend the money to print at home. They would like to upgrade to DE plus print.

 

TOG is cautioning against ordering DE plus print right now for Y1 if you plan to use it in the fall. They are guessing that most people will update their DE to match the new changes that are coming and then you'll be sitting there with a DE copy that's updated and and print copy that's from the January 2011 edition.

 

They are suggesting you order DE now to get the cheaper price. You can always update your DE for free when the new changes come out. Then call to pay the difference to upgrade to DE plus print this summer. They will send you newly printed pages to match the updates on your screen.

 

Make sense?

Janice

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Well if anyone is sitting with baited breathed and really wants to know, I think we're going to do the yr. 4 Dialectic level next year. We really slighted yr4, and this would give us a chance to try TOG at an age-appropriate level. I looked over the books and think it will fit her nicely. It gives us a chance to try it without feeling like we're committing to the whole sequence, and it gives her a year to mature before going into Rhetoric work. Oh, and it also gives the TOG people time to finish the in-depth changes they're making. I emailed them and the response was that they have some changes now and bigger changes coming. Thing is, those bigger changes depend on how the writing goes. Could be 2012. I'd rather wait for that, as I have no particular timetable.

 

So there you go. That's what I'm thinking, and it seems reasonable given the board wisdom, my own horse sense, and dd's ideas.

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Here's what they were kind enough to send me:

 

------------------

For your Year 1 question, that depends on what you mean: all of our DE

year-plans get what we call a "global update" twice a year, in the fall and

spring. This means that we correct typos and update the books which have

gone out-of-print. Ongoing in Tapestry, we will continue to be improving the

curriculum and making adjustments here and there. Sometimes an entire thread

changes a little, for example, Rhetoric Literature. When these changes

happen, they're incorporated into the next global update.

 

For the coming Year 1 specific changes, we plan to 2) make some adjustments

to the Rhetoric Literature thread, primarily in the there will be new

assignment from Poetics & Frameworks, which are currently only used in Year

2-4, and also, the way that questions and answers are laid out, particularly

for Church History, are going to be improved. There will not be any

significant content changes in the way of topics or order of things covered,

at least none of that is in the works right now. This bigger change (as

opposed to our regular twice-yearly global updates) is pending for this

fall, but even that isn't for sure yet; they may release it in 2012 instead

depending on their writing schedule.

 

Either way, if you have DE, you're always covered for every possibly update.

And in between updates, the Book Updates Chart is an excellent supportive

tool: http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/bookupdates/index.php

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Elizabeth,

I have Y2 tog sitting on my shelf waiting until we get back around to that time period. I bought it after I did that time period with my ds in high school. I struggled mightily with trying to find in depth discussion and essay questions for him during his hisghschool years. It is the whole reason I am going to use TOG for the girls. I had tried tweaking other programs and doing my own thing, but I ended up spending hours every week researching discussion and essay questions. It is very doable, but I wont try it again - I just don't have that kind of time.

 

I know it isn't a magic cure for every homeschool problem, but it will add the thoughtful questions I know that I need help with.

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Thank you Karen! That's exactly how I feel! I'm glad to hear your resolution and how it is working out for you. I think it's a decision to be content and practical, not a statement about what is best or what one "could" do. I have my limits, and I'd really like the help. Well thanks for saying that. It's definitely the cherry on top, letting me know I'm going the right way! Sometimes things will take the tenor that people don't even use (or stick with or like) TOG for high school, and it doesn't seem to be true.

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