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Academically speaking, why did you choose TOG over SL?


Wildwood
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Could you explain a little what you mean by academically? We are only in the LG level and at this point our choice to switch was based on my son's learning style. SL more auditory (lots of reading mainly chapter books with few to no pictures) vs. TOG more hands-on (lots of picture books focused more on history and nonfiction). There are many reasons why we switched (but you already know that :)). For this level academics have very little to do with it but that is just my opinion of course. Bumping this for you so that you can hopefully get some answers from those teaching D and R levels because I think this is where you might be interested in making a comparison.

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We used Sonlight for two years and my major concern was that it wasn't rigorous enough, especially at the high school level. There was definitely tons of reading, but not enough work in relation to the reading. Except Core 5, which was plenty rigorous in the geography and reading department......LA, not so much.

 

TOG, while the price doesn't include the books, it does include better teacher notes and student worksheets that I always wished SL provided. Overall, I just think TOG is more academically challenging.

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I chose TOG for many reasons:

 

  • I wanted something that would teach me while I taught my children.
  • I love the Socratic method.
  • I prefer history to be taught directly and not primarily through historical fiction.
  • I only have two children, but they are three years apart. I wanted to be able to teach the same things at the same time.
  • Every comparison I read indicated that that TOG went into more depth than SL, and that was appealing to me.

 

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Guest Dulcimeramy
I chose TOG for many reasons:

 

  • I wanted something that would teach me while I taught my children.

  • I love the Socratic method.

  • I prefer history to be taught directly and not primarily through historical fiction.

  • I only have two children, but they are three years apart. I wanted to be able to teach the same things at the same time.

  • Every comparison I read indicated that that TOG went into more depth than SL, and that was appealing to me.

 

 

 

:iagree: My list looks like this, too.

 

I love SL for pre-K through 8th grade, but I didn't want to use SL for the rhetoric level. An awesome book list is just not enough for our goals.

 

TOG was put together by a veteran homeschool mom with degrees from respected universities. She test-drove her theories with her own children and found them to be good. Then, TOG was refined and redesigned after trials with other homeschool families. The end result is polished, professional, and thorough.

 

SL was put together by homeschool parents who put their kids in ps for hs. John and Sarita Holzmann didn't homeschool through high school! SL high school cores lack cohesion and clarity. They also lack literary analysis and in-depth writing assignments.

 

It was very, very hard for me to move away from SL after using their programs and loving the results for all these years, but I'm sure I did the right thing.

 

I am planning our first TOG year for the fall (year 1). The more I look at TOG, the more impressed I am. I will probably use TOG for my younger children, choosing SL books and WTM methods to pull together the best of all my favorite hs theories.

 

If that turns out to be too tricky, I'll just use TOG for the rhetoric level and keep my younger ones with SL until they finish eighth grade.

 

Edited to add: I'm thankful that I can learn more with my dc with TOG. As a graduate of public schools, I always wonder what I'm ignorant about! I don't always know what I'm missing. TOG offers much more hand-holding for an intelligent but less-educated mother than any program I've seen.

Edited by Dulcimeramy
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:iagree: My list looks like this, too.

 

I love SL for pre-K through 8th grade, but I didn't want to use SL for the rhetoric level. An awesome book list is just not enough for our goals.

 

TOG was put together by a veteran homeschool mom with degrees from respected universities. She test-drove her theories with her own children and found them to be good. Then, TOG was refined and redesigned after trials with other homeschool families. The end result is polished, professional, and thorough.

 

SL was put together by homeschool parents who put their kids in ps for hs. John and Sarita Holzmann didn't homeschool through high school! SL high school cores lack cohesion and clarity. They also lack literary analysis and in-depth writing assignments.

 

It was very, very hard for me to move away from SL after using their programs and loving the results for all these years, but I'm sure I did the right thing.

 

I am planning our first TOG year for the fall (year 1). The more I look at TOG, the more impressed I am. I will probably use TOG for my younger children, choosing SL books and WTM methods to pull together the best of all my favorite hs theories.

 

If that turns out to be too tricky, I'll just use TOG for the rhetoric level and keep my younger ones with SL until they finish eighth grade.

 

Edited to add: I'm thankful that I can learn more with my dc with TOG. As a graduate of public schools, I always wonder what I'm ignorant about! I don't always know what I'm missing. TOG offers much more hand-holding for an intelligent but less-educated mother than any program I've seen.

 

This is a really good point. I didn't know that the Holzmanns did not HS through high school. We are starting ToG in the fall, though I did look long and hard at SL for the grammar stages.

 

One of the main sticking points for DH and I is the book lists. SL has wonderful lists of books. BUT....my concern is that is they got used to SL's books list....more contemporary, "fun" stuff, switching to ToG rigorous, perhaps "older" lists of books would be hard. Not sure if that makes sense. So we decided to start off with ToG right off the bat.

 

We'll see! This is a great thread, and I am looking forward to hearing the responses! :bigear:

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TOG goes deeper. Mine are LG right now, but before I know it they will be preparing for college :D. I felt the lower levels of SL were disjointed and didn't flow and that hampered the ability to grasp the presentation of the material. In TOG you get a full immersion. It all relates and that has helped retention and allowed us to go deeper into what we are studying. I have not used the upper levels of SL, so I cannot direct compare. I can say that TOG goes well beyond thorough from looking at the upper level columns in the plans and reading the notes.

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TOG was put together by a veteran homeschool mom with degrees from respected universities. She test-drove her theories with her own children and found them to be good. Then, TOG was refined and redesigned after trials with other homeschool families. The end result is polished, professional, and thorough.

 

Yep, she has a degree in History:

http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/company/aboutus/

 

This influenced my decision also :). Her husband graduated from Harvard (Law) and worked for the HSLDA at first.

SL was put together by homeschool parents who put their kids in ps for hs. John and Sarita Holzmann didn't homeschool through high school! SL high school cores lack cohesion and clarity. They also lack literary analysis and in-depth writing assignments.

 

The Holzmanns' background is Dietetics for Sarita and Philosophy for John.

 

http://www.sonlight.com/who-are-we.html

 

There have been numerous threads on the SL forums about the high school levels being light, at least by some SLers perspective :). I cannot speak for that though since we switched after Core K.

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I chose TOG for many reasons:

  • I wanted something that would teach me while I taught my children.
  • I love the Socratic method.
  • I prefer history to be taught directly and not primarily through historical fiction.
  • I only have two children, but they are three years apart. I wanted to be able to teach the same things at the same time.
  • Every comparison I read indicated that that TOG went into more depth than SL, and that was appealing to me.

 

Very well put Tracy. :iagree: These and other reasons influenced my decision also.

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I would be interested in other reasons as well, if you care to share.

Thank you.

Like Marie I prefer TOG in the younger grades as well. There are more picture books in TOG, and more hands on. The chapter and emotional books chosen in SL didn't appeal to my kids, or left them down right upset. I will never forget my 2nd dd bawling at the end of Mountain Born. You could see her sit down for read alouds and mentally check out after that, because she didn't want to hear anymore. It took several years and WWE to get her to check back in.

 

There is a lot more mapping in TOG at all levels.

 

There is more vocab work.

 

At the LG, UG level there are simple worksheets for the literature, at the D level they move into literary analysis and at the R level...well it is just deep.

 

A lot of SL books are scheduled in TOG, most of them at the D lit level.

 

IMO the D level is more like the books chosen in SL. The R level of TOG will include original documents, the full version of classics, and discussions for worldview, history and literature that can last an estimated (by TOG) hour each. There are also the pop quiz CD's for the father that wants to follow along or the mom who doesn't have time to read the notes. The Evaluations include written work of various kinds. Then there are 12 levels of writing assignments.

 

TOG generally takes everything a step farther. That said SL still covers a lot more than I covered in PS. SL is good and solid, IMO. I did want more though and TOG is just a better fit all the way around.

 

Heather

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Bump.

 

Could you explain a little what you mean by academically? We are only in the LG level and at this point our choice to switch was based on my son's learning style. SL more auditory (lots of reading mainly chapter books with few to no pictures) vs. TOG more hands-on (lots of picture books focused more on history and nonfiction). There are many reasons why we switched (but you already know that :)). For this level academics have very little to do with it but that is just my opinion of course. Bumping this for you so that you can hopefully get some answers from those teaching D and R levels because I think this is where you might be interested in making a comparison.

 

Thanks for the bump. I saw my post head into page 3 or 4 shortly after I posted, and I thought it was a goner so, I didn't come back to check.

I'm happy to see some replies!

 

Thanks very much for these detailed responses, EXACTLY what I was looking for.

And yes, Marie, you are right about me being interested in hearing from those teaching D and R levels since that is where a heavier focus on academics would likely come into play. I'm interested in ANY comments though, from people who are using any TOG level, and those who were once deciding between SL and TOG, and ended up going with TOG.

 

It's been a while since I was considering using either TOG or SL so, I was hoping to gain some insight at this time.

Again, the replies so far have been great, thank you for your time.

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Thanks for the bump. I saw my post head into page 3 or 4 shortly after I posted, and I thought it was a goner so, I didn't come back to check.

I'm happy to see some replies!

 

Thanks very much for these detailed responses, EXACTLY what I was looking for.

And yes, Marie, you are right about me being interested in hearing from those teaching D and R levels since that is where a heavier focus on academics would likely come into play. I'm interested in ANY comments though, from people who are using any TOG level, and those who were once deciding between SL and TOG, and ended up going with TOG.

 

It's been a while since I was considering using either TOG or SL so, I was hoping to gain some insight at this time.

Again, the replies so far have been great, thank you for your time.

 

You will more than likely get posts telling you how much deeper TOG is to SL. That is what everyone that has used both will tell you. I don't remember ever coming across a post that said otherwise :tongue_smilie:. What you may find more useful and hopefully get more posts is if you start a more general thread, asking for example a question like:

 

If you have used both TOG and SL what did you find the pros and cons were, which do you prefer and why.

 

I did see your post on page three and figured it might get missed, and that was why I figured I would bump you :). Hope you get the info you are looking for.

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I never used SL, but I can tell you why we use TOG.

 

1) It's thorough, much more thorough than the other history curricula we researched.

 

2) It's hands-on (although others were hands on, as well).

 

3) We can add to it, or take away, it's very customizable. (For example, we're adding both SOTW and MOH, just for fun, and it's been very easy to do.)

 

4) The books are outstanding.

 

5) (And probably the most important for me...) So far, we have 6 kids. Now, only two are school aged, and they're both UG, but eventually, everyone will be schooling. I do not have the time or brain power to keep up with 6 different time periods, geographical zones, and book lists. I HAVE to have something that keeps them all on the same general subject, otherwise, I lose my mind. :)

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Thanks, Marie, I may start another thread as you suggested.

I'll also do a search as I know there are a ton of TOG threads.

 

Thanks again, everyone, this thread has been very helpful.

 

Yep, doing a search is a good place to start. Instead of going through all the TOG threads though you might want to try making the search a little more specific. You could put "TOG SL" or for example "TOG SL" and add the word "comparison". You already know quite a bit about TOG ;) so going through all those threads might be too much and not lead you to what you are looking for. Try to put in the search "TOG" and whatever other curriculum you are trying to compare it to. This will give you more specific threads. HTH

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We just left SL. My main reason for choosing TOG (I've been wanting to for 2 years) this year is that doing 2 cores with SL has been just too much for me. TOG has allowed me to do things with my family that we had been missing with SL--namely learning together in history. But we also longed for meaningful hands-on things to do. TOG has streamlined our days being on the same topic, and I love it!

 

Here are some other reasons we chose to move to TOG:

1. The classical approach is much more rigorous. DH and I both wish now that we had been classically educated. We want this for our children. TOG fits the classical model.

2. My kids needed more meat than SL provided. I spent a lot of time supplimenting SL with non-fiction titles to add to the historical fiction. TOG uses books that ARE meaty. My boys are drawn naturally to non-fiction, so this fit us better.

3. I wanted my kids on the same topic to allow for deeper learning throughout our family. Now that my kids are both doing the same time period, they have much more interaction with each other and their school work. It has added a lot of depth academically.

4. The vocab is meaningful as it is coming right from history readings.

5. Self-education-I am trying to read some of the D and R works as we go.

6. Picture books-TOG has a lot of fantastic books for the LG age that are really well worth our time!

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Thanks so much.

All of the responses have been so helpful.

 

I've done some research in the past regarding TOG and even purchased a unit from year one (DE) about a year ago but, haven't used it. At the time it seemed a little more than I could handle planning-wise but, I've grown to a place in homeschooling where rigid, and sometimes scripted, daily schedules are way too confining and have left me feeling like I have no room or freedom to be my own teacher. I've been feeling like I have just been following and executing someone else's plan and that just isn't going to work for the long-haul.

I am now at a place where having the ability to plan our days and choose what we want and don't want to include will be beneficial. TOG certainly offers the ability to customize to fit our specific needs.

Also, now that my younger daughter is getting older I am starting to realize that I need to really start thinking about combining, versus juggling two separate programs.

 

I have a couple of questions, hopefully some of you can answer otherwise, I'll start a new post.

 

Does TOG recommend a particular science program?

I know they don't include science, just wondering if they have a top recommendation as I am having a hard time settling with science.

 

Do you use Writing Aids and how do you like it?

 

 

 

I think that's it for now.

Thank you for your time.

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Yep, doing a search is a good place to start. Instead of going through all the TOG threads though you might want to try making the search a little more specific. You could put "TOG SL" or for example "TOG SL" and add the word "comparison". You already know quite a bit about TOG ;) so going through all those threads might be too much and not lead you to what you are looking for. Try to put in the search "TOG" and whatever other curriculum you are trying to compare it to. This will give you more specific threads. HTH

 

 

Thanks for the tips, Marie, I appreciate it.

Goodness knows, you are one of the most diligent researchers out there:)

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Thanks for the tips, Marie, I appreciate it.

Goodness knows, you are one of the most diligent researchers out there:)

 

Heather (aka Siloam) was my inspiration with TOG and the one that answered my questions back on the SL forums when I was looking for a switch :D. I did do a lot of research (as usual :tongue_smilie:) but her helpful input was what made me research TOG more and determine it was the way I wanted to go. It now seems that I may be going the TOG route she is taking also. While I am still hoping to complete one Year plan per year I am realizing I need to be more relaxed when it comes to history since I have a science kid anyway and focus more on the important stuff. We have currently taken a few weeks break from our history studies to work on some local requirements (on social studies and science) and will be getting back to our TOG studies this week coming up. So don't beat yourself up over not having used the TOG unit you bought. There are many ways you can do TOG but take it from someone that tried to do too much, try to stay relaxed at the LG level especially.

 

I don't think I have ever seen any TOG recommendations for science but we have been using BFSU and RS4K Pre-Level 1 Biology. Later on, after we finish RS4K I want to start Apologia Zoology 1. BFSU I will probably just use as a resource after this year and may buy the new book but the other two are what I am hoping to continue with. Science has been a real challenge for me to decide on also so I am going to use these and add in my own stuff. I will not be buying the lab workbook or TG's though. Just the RS4K text books. Anyway, what we are doing in science though does not mean it will meet your requirements so do some research (there have been several threads focused on science lately).

 

Writing Aids we are using and I am glad I bought it but we are also using WWE 1 for writing and my main focus is there. In the future I think I will pick and choose what to use from Writing Aids but we will always have another writing program as our main focus.

 

One thing I would like to encourage you to do is try to find the books for the TOG unit you have and give it a go. At the LG level you can just focus on the books (reading) and some of the activities. Don't do it like me. I have been overdoing it and taking too much of our time on history using both SOTW Vol 1 and TOG Year 1. I think that Sherry (SewLittleTime) has the same Unit as you do. If she doesn't mind you could PM her for some advice on how she approaches scheduling. Of course Heather is definitely a wealth of information also. Sherry and I are new to TOG while Heather has been using it for a while. I am suggesting people I know a little more but of course other TOG users can give you great advice also.

Edited by Guest
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I was pretty dead set I was going to wait and move to TOG for high school in another two years, I had debated both programs at length last year here on the forums. I was pretty sure that since I would be reading with and to my DC I was ok until we finished Core 100. What happened? I spend time this summer with the Core 7 and 100 IG's, things went south for me with the SL forums, I added another child into the mix (3 cores), and after much deliberation and a week off of school while I researched, we made the move to TOG.

 

Looking back I was not grasping TOG in it's entirety, I didn't know what I was missing until it was sitting in my lap. :) My views on the academic rigor of the program line up with most others here. The feel is just so different with TOG and I think that the fact that Marcia Somerville has a history degree and taught it to her own kids through high school really shines through. I still own all my SL (K-100) and you couldn't get me to sell my books, but TOG runs the show from LG on up.

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Heather (aka Siloam) was my inspiration with TOG and the one that answered my questions back on the SL forums when I was looking for a switch :D. I did do a lot of research (as usual :tongue_smilie:) but her helpful input was what made me research TOG more and determine it was the way I wanted to go. It now seems that I may be going the TOG route she is taking also. While I am still hoping to complete one Year plan per year I am realizing I need to be more relaxed when it comes to history since I have a science kid anyway and focus more on the important stuff. We have currently taken a few weeks break from our history studies to work on some local requirements (on social studies and science) and will be getting back to our TOG studies this week coming up. So don't beat yourself up over not having used the TOG unit you bought. There are many ways you can do TOG but take it from someone that tried to do too much, try to stay relaxed at the LG level especially.

 

I don't think I have ever seen any TOG recommendations for science but we have been using BFSU and RS4K Pre-Level 1 Biology. Later on, after we finish RS4K I want to start Apologia Zoology 1. BFSU I will probably just use as a resource after this year and may buy the new book but the other two are what I am hoping to continue with. Science has been a real challenge for me to decide on also so I am going to use these and add in my own stuff. I will not be buying the lab workbook or TG's though. Just the RS4K text books. Anyway, what we are doing in science though does not mean it will meet your requirements so do some research (there have been several threads focused on science lately).

 

Writing Aids we are using and I am glad I bought it but we are also using WWE 1 for writing and my main focus is there. In the future I think I will pick and choose what to use from Writing Aids but we will always have another writing program as our main focus.

 

One thing I would like to encourage you to do is try to find the books for the TOG unit you have and give it a go. At the LG level you can just focus on the books (reading) and some of the activities. Don't do it like me. I have been overdoing it and taking too much of our time on history using both SOTW Vol 1 and TOG Year 1. I think that Sherry (SewLittleTime) has the same Unit as you do. If she doesn't mind you could PM her for some advice on how she approaches scheduling. Of course Heather is definitely a wealth of information also. Sherry and I are new to TOG while Heather has been using it for a while. I am suggesting people I know a little more but of course other TOG users can give you great advice also.

 

Thank you, Marie, for being so willing share and offer information. I appreciate your time.

Thanks for your thoughts about taking it easy with TOG...I totally get what you are saying.

Thanks for the science info, I have actually looked at RS4K so many times and almost bought it---especially since there was a 25% off bundle special.

I really like the way the info is presented, it seems really kid-friendly...lots of great scientific terms and info, presented in a way that seems really appealing for a kid.

Thanks for sharing about WA. I am also using WWE so, maybe that is plenty for now.

 

Thanks again for your willingness to offer information and share your experience.

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I was pretty dead set I was going to wait and move to TOG for high school in another two years, I had debated both programs at length last year here on the forums. I was pretty sure that since I would be reading with and to my DC I was ok until we finished Core 100. What happened? I spend time this summer with the Core 7 and 100 IG's, things went south for me with the SL forums, I added another child into the mix (3 cores), and after much deliberation and a week off of school while I researched, we made the move to TOG.

 

Looking back I was not grasping TOG in it's entirety, I didn't know what I was missing until it was sitting in my lap. :) My views on the academic rigor of the program line up with most others here. The feel is just so different with TOG and I think that the fact that Marcia Somerville has a history degree and taught it to her own kids through high school really shines through. I still own all my SL (K-100) and you couldn't get me to sell my books, but TOG runs the show from LG on up.

 

 

Thank you, Melissa for sharing this.

If you are able, can you share what you mean by 'the feel is so different with TOG'? I'd be so interested to hear what you mean by this.

Thank you.

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This is our second year of using TOG and like I've stated in other threads, it has been life changing for both dd and I. Before this, we used an eclectic mix of curriculum pulled around the model of TWTM plus the curriculum choices and sequence used by the Classical Christian school where I teach part-time. We did this for two years and it was all right, but I knew it could be better.

 

I looked and looked at SL, had an online account there and kept filling my shopping cart up with proposed materials. While I appreciated the Christian focus, especially the inclusion of missions throughout the study of the world, it wasn't enough though. I ended up abandoning my cart on several occasions. I just couldn't do it, mainly because I felt that it was more disjointed than I wanted our schooling to be. My own ps education hopped around from point to point, and that was what I didn't want for my dd. I saw TOG as a way to teach my dd classically very much as it is laid out in TWTM. I saw that a person can combine the two beautifully!

 

I especially liked the idea of history flowing along smoothly, laying the foundation for all of our projects and goals, week by week, month by month and throughout the school year and TOG follow the classical model more closely in teaching history chronologically. I wanted to tie subjects together for my dd in a way that unit studies do. And I wanted hands on projects because I have a busy little girl. TOG could do all of that for us, and more.

 

Another pull was the choice of many of the classics in literature TOG uses. Perhaps I didn't look close enough, but I didn't notice titles of books that we'd consider to be classics whenever I looked at SL. I also noticed that TOG pulled art history in to the studies in a way that SL doesn't. As an art teacher, I realize the importance of this in connection to the study of history. Marcia Sommerville has included a wonderful selection the arts (visual arts, literature, music, etc.) into TOG. I appreciate this so much. And it isn't segmented off as a lone study, it's all tied to HISTORY and the period that is being studied.

 

We are not a large family, but I see the value in using TOG for families with multiple children. That would have been a huge draw to me if I were a mom in that situation. SL does not offer that.

 

I'm sure I could come up with some other points, but for me, these were the deal breakers. I've already invested quite a bit in TOG, and have felt it has been worth every penny, every hour and every effort.

 

Blessings,

Lucinda

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While I am still hoping to complete one Year plan per year I am realizing I need to be more relaxed when it comes to history .......try to stay relaxed at the LG level especially.

 

:iagree: I have been doing TOG at half pace and plan to continue that for the first cycle. Oldest dd will be in 7th grade when we start full time. In my situation (lots of young kiddos) it just makes the most sense. That is one of the many beauties of TOG. There is no wrong way to use it. You can make it yours. Whatever that means for you.

 

I believe Tapestry plans to have recommendations for all subjects/all levels at some point. For now they recommend Christian Liberty Nature Readers, Handbook of Nature Study and Considering God's Creation for lower/upper grammar. I haven't used these but if you are interested all their recommendations are on the left hand side of the main page on Bookshelf.

 

I really like WA but will not use much of it until later - whenever my kids have paragraph writing down. For younger kids I prefer WWE.

 

I was going to leave this thread alone since I know nothing about SL but I apparently can't resist a TOG thread.:tongue_smilie:

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We used Sonlight for two years and my major concern was that it wasn't rigorous enough, especially at the high school level. There was definitely tons of reading, but not enough work in relation to the reading. Except Core 5, which was plenty rigorous in the geography and reading department......LA, not so much.

 

TOG, while the price doesn't include the books, it does include better teacher notes and student worksheets that I always wished SL provided. Overall, I just think TOG is more academically challenging.

 

:iagree:

 

I chose TOG for many reasons:

 

  • I wanted something that would teach me while I taught my children.

  • I love the Socratic method.

  • I prefer history to be taught directly and not primarily through historical fiction.

  • I only have two children, but they are three years apart. I wanted to be able to teach the same things at the same time.

  • Every comparison I read indicated that that TOG went into more depth than SL, and that was appealing to me.

 

 

:iagree:And hurray, I learned how to multi-quote!:hurray:

 

I especially agree with bold text! The teacher's notes are a huge plus. As my DS gets older and is reading more and longer works, I just cannot always read enough to keep up with him and still teach his younger sister. Academically speaking it allows him to read more great books because he does not have to wait for me to catch up before we can discuss.

 

I will add that TOG gives me a structure to build around. It keeps me from beating a subject to death. It's easier than making my own units, but I can and do substitute my own history books quite successfully. I know many think it's difficult, but I do it without any problems--but I don't get all in an uproar if DS doesn't find every single answer to every question. I'm not sure if this applies to your original question as I have not used Sonlight, so I don't know if substituting is a possibility. With TOG I like the flexibility built into the program.

 

 

Shannon

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Does TOG recommend a particular science program?

I know they don't include science, just wondering if they have a top recommendation as I am having a hard time settling with science.

 

I see Tracy answered that one. I so wish there was a TOG for science.

 

I have used Apologia, God's Design, SL, RS4K, Winter Promise and WTM recommendations.

 

Apologia Elementary has a lot to read and only a few experiments. The focus really is on the notebooking/observation.

 

Apologia upper level science was too detailed for us. Not the reading the quizzes. Couldn't pass them because dd had memorized what were the blood types, but not how each one reacted with the others. At the 7th grade level I thought it was a bit too focused on details.

 

God's Design has worked well here. The reading isn't outstanding, but they have an activity, worksheet or experiment daily, sometimes more than one with the upper level work. The quizzes only work for older children as many of the questions come from their reading portions. What made this easy to use was the leveled reading and workload. It was fairly regular and easy to schedule.

 

SL relies on Usborne books too much, which doesn't appeal to my kids.

 

RS4K I like in philosophy, but it was a little too light practically. I also didn't like the KOGS at all. BTW I put together a reading/project schedule in the RS4Kids yahoo group for Chemistry 1 that combines it with 2 DK books and lot of additional experiments. My oldest is a reader so she could have literally read the whole text in one day. Not that she would have really owned the topics, but that is another topic.

 

Winter Promise Animals and Their Worlds worked really well for us. I haven't used any more of their programs, only because they ask you not to resell the IG and I have philosophical problems with that, so I choose not to use it.

 

Right now I read daily from Apologia Botany, usually just a page. Then I read from another text. Monday is Butterflies, Tuesday is Dinosaurs, Wednesday is Herbs and Thursday is Birds. I read about one thing, and we look it up on the internet. Our whole reading time takes 15-20 mins.

 

Then later in the day the girls do experiments together (generally 15 mins worth). They are getting ready to star Biology, so I am going to use the SL Core 3 DVD, and coordinating science supplies kit and TOPS books, but nothing else. That way they can watch and do it without me. :D

 

My long term plan is to use the Self-Teaching Guides recommended in WTM for High School, and then have the older kids do the experiments with the younger kids. That way I can kinda keep them all in the same page.

 

Do you use Writing Aids and how do you like it?

 

Yes I do think it is a good resource.

 

It has several components. First it is arranged by writing type. It generally has some instruction as to what that type is, and then it often has a writing example (not always, and it is often a students). Their might be a few teaching hints but it is more focused on being informative. The CD has a ton of graphic organizers, then it also has the rubics for grading the students work, and last it has instructional pages you can print out and hand to the child to remind them of what is needed. For example they have page on paragraphs that talk about a topic sentence, three supporting ideas, and summary.

 

It isn't going to teach writing for you. I think the Rubics are probably the best part of it, because grading can be so difficult. Maybe that is just me.

 

Heather

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I believe Tapestry plans to have recommendations for all subjects/all levels at some point. For now they recommend Christian Liberty Nature Readers, Handbook of Nature Study and Considering God's Creation for lower/upper grammar. I haven't used these but if you are interested all their recommendations are on the left hand side of the main page on Bookshelf.

 

OK... I never noticed those :tongue_smilie:but then again I usually use Lampstand Press for the list of books.

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Thank you, Melissa for sharing this.

If you are able, can you share what you mean by 'the feel is so different with TOG'? I'd be so interested to hear what you mean by this.

Thank you.

 

I can try.

 

For me, with SL, you are reading, and reading, and reading. :) I love reading, I love reading to and with my children. It was up to me to make all the connections with what we are reading. There isn't anything that brings it all together for the teacher. There is a guide, with all my assignments written out and comprehension questions to ask for most of the books, but nothing that brings the big picture together. There is no thought and analysis of the works.

 

TOG brings the history, literature, geography, art, philosophy, and government of a time period together for you with thought and analysis of the works and a guide to the bigger picture behind all that reading. (Like I said, I didn't understand what was missing until it was in my lap. :D) What do I need to know to understand what was happening in that time? What do I need to pay special attention to? What are key questions? How does this apply geographically? How is this character developed in this work, and what is this an example of? TOG gives me those questions and many more, as well as the answers and background to discuss them with my children. Throw in the flexibility to add and subtract as I wish, the ability to have all my DC in the same period of time with the difficult work done for me, and you have :001_wub:.

 

I thought I was learning a lot of history with SL, I had no idea. I proved that to myself when we went back and started at the fall of Rome again with Y2 after finishing 24 weeks of SL Core 6. If I can understand more, then I am that much more of a teacher to my children. Hopefully that makes sense. :)

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:lurk5: Current SL user reading along and paying attention. We are happy for now, but I foresee a time in the future that we may need to make a change. I appreciate all of the detailed reporting here.

 

Okay...one question.:tongue_smilie: SL is so open and go. I do just a few minutes of planning a week for our history, poetry, read aloud literature book and readers. How does this differ with TOG? (At this point, I don't have any more planning time in me, but that may change in the future...)

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I just wanted to pop in real quick and tell all of you thank you so very much for sharing your experience and comments. I am so grateful to have all this information to help me clearly see the strengths of TOG...and boy, are there a lot of them!

I'm hoping to get back on here soon to reply a little more fully.

Thank you for taking the time out to explain so well.

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Another SL user with a question!

 

Does TOG integrate science history as well? I'm liking that it ties in the fine arts - something I've never been able to do. It does look like SO much planning though...that's what scares me off. I think as I become more confident as a teacher I might be able to pull it off...maybe in a few years...

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We used Sonlight for 3 years, off and on. I, and my 3 boys, love the read-alouds. However, I did not feel like they were getting the picture of history that I thought they should. After many months of research on my part we will begin TOG in April. (We school year round and take odd breaks!:lol:) They asked to learn American History, and after many hours of research, I felt like TOG has more history that is "real." Historical fiction can be great, but it can also be, for my kids, difficult to separate from the truth. There will come a point in the future for them to decide such things, but I feel like it is my job at this point to give a little more guidance.

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One of the main sticking points for DH and I is the book lists. SL has wonderful lists of books. BUT....my concern is that is they got used to SL's books list....more contemporary, "fun" stuff, switching to ToG rigorous, perhaps "older" lists of books would be hard. Not sure if that makes sense. So we decided to start off with ToG right off the bat.

 

 

3) We can add to it, or take away, it's very customizable. (For example, we're adding both SOTW and MOH, just for fun, and it's been very easy to do.)

 

 

 

We're finishing year 2 of TOG here (I have a 5 and 7 year old). I like all the factual history books with TOG, but I also wanted to read more fiction to/with my kids. I came up with a read-aloud list of books from Sonlight's cores and the Center for Literary Education "Teaching the Classics." You could use just about any good book list that you find. I wanted my kids to have more literature to read (which TOG does include, but not as much as I would like in the early years), so I added one additional read-aloud per week to our schedule. Sometimes I lined it up so that the read-aloud matched our history subject for the week, other times I just picked a book. It has been a nice mix of reading for us. And another bonus has been that most of these have been available at the library, so it hasn't been an added expense.

 

Okay...one question.:tongue_smilie: SL is so open and go. I do just a few minutes of planning a week for our history, poetry, read aloud literature book and readers. How does this differ with TOG? (At this point, I don't have any more planning time in me, but that may change in the future...)

 

TOG does require a decent amount of planning, but once you get into a routine, the planning becomes easier. For example, we follow about the same schedule every week (for example, geography on Monday at 10:00, read-alouds every day at 10:30, science at 10:00 on T,W,&TH) so when I look over TOG and my other curriculum on Sunday, I know where each assignment is going to go. I take the weekly assignments and reading and divide them into the daily slots in my planner. My schedules look pretty similar from week to week just the books and assignments change.

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TOG does require a decent amount of planning, but once you get into a routine, the planning becomes easier. For example, we follow about the same schedule every week (for example, geography on Monday at 10:00, read-alouds every day at 10:30, science at 10:00 on T,W,&TH) so when I look over TOG and my other curriculum on Sunday, I know where each assignment is going to go. I take the weekly assignments and reading and divide them into the daily slots in my planner. My schedules look pretty similar from week to week just the books and assignments change.

 

Thank you for this explanation. I am a person who is nervous about and resistant to change so I like to have a lot of information/preparation before making a switch. Next year, we are set, but I will reevaluate after that. What I really need is to find someone in north central Texas using TOG who will tolerate me coming to her house and peering over her shoulder and putting my hands on her curriculum.:tongue_smilie::lol:;)

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I see Tracy answered that one. I so wish there was a TOG for science.

 

I have used Apologia, God's Design, SL, RS4K, Winter Promise and WTM recommendations.

 

Apologia Elementary has a lot to read and only a few experiments. The focus really is on the notebooking/observation.

 

Apologia upper level science was too detailed for us. Not the reading the quizzes. Couldn't pass them because dd had memorized what were the blood types, but not how each one reacted with the others. At the 7th grade level I thought it was a bit too focused on details.

 

God's Design has worked well here. The reading isn't outstanding, but they have an activity, worksheet or experiment daily, sometimes more than one with the upper level work. The quizzes only work for older children as many of the questions come from their reading portions. What made this easy to use was the leveled reading and workload. It was fairly regular and easy to schedule.

 

SL relies on Usborne books too much, which doesn't appeal to my kids.

 

RS4K I like in philosophy, but it was a little too light practically. I also didn't like the KOGS at all. BTW I put together a reading/project schedule in the RS4Kids yahoo group for Chemistry 1 that combines it with 2 DK books and lot of additional experiments. My oldest is a reader so she could have literally read the whole text in one day. Not that she would have really owned the topics, but that is another topic.

 

Winter Promise Animals and Their Worlds worked really well for us. I haven't used any more of their programs, only because they ask you not to resell the IG and I have philosophical problems with that, so I choose not to use it.

 

Right now I read daily from Apologia Botany, usually just a page. Then I read from another text. Monday is Butterflies, Tuesday is Dinosaurs, Wednesday is Herbs and Thursday is Birds. I read about one thing, and we look it up on the internet. Our whole reading time takes 15-20 mins.

 

Then later in the day the girls do experiments together (generally 15 mins worth). They are getting ready to star Biology, so I am going to use the SL Core 3 DVD, and coordinating science supplies kit and TOPS books, but nothing else. That way they can watch and do it without me. :D

 

My long term plan is to use the Self-Teaching Guides recommended in WTM for High School, and then have the older kids do the experiments with the younger kids. That way I can kinda keep them all in the same page.

 

 

 

Yes I do think it is a good resource.

 

It has several components. First it is arranged by writing type. It generally has some instruction as to what that type is, and then it often has a writing example (not always, and it is often a students). Their might be a few teaching hints but it is more focused on being informative. The CD has a ton of graphic organizers, then it also has the rubics for grading the students work, and last it has instructional pages you can print out and hand to the child to remind them of what is needed. For example they have page on paragraphs that talk about a topic sentence, three supporting ideas, and summary.

 

It isn't going to teach writing for you. I think the Rubics are probably the best part of it, because grading can be so difficult. Maybe that is just me.

 

Heather

 

 

Heather, thank you so much for all this information, I appreciate it.

I've joined the RS4K Yahoo Group and look forward to seeing your reading/project schedule.

 

And thank you very, very much EVERYONE, for sharing in this thread, it has been so very helpful to me and others.

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Winter Promise Animals and Their Worlds worked really well for us. I haven't used any more of their programs, only because they ask you not to resell the IG and I have philosophical problems with that, so I choose not to use it.

 

What ages did you use Animals and Their Worlds with? Is it easy to combine? I haven't even looked at Winter Promise since I've read lots of reviews about their guides being difficult to use....disjointed, lacking, etc. Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen people sell Winter Promise here on the boards....?

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What ages did you use Animals and Their Worlds with? Is it easy to combine? I haven't even looked at Winter Promise since I've read lots of reviews about their guides being difficult to use....disjointed, lacking, etc. Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen people sell Winter Promise here on the boards....?

 

What people choose to do with the materials they buy is not always in accordance to what the curriculum providers intended. Heather has posted what the company states which can be found here. As for the program being disjointed or whatever is being said, while I have no experience with WP I am sure you already know that people have different experiences with curricula. Some make it work for them and it's a perfect fit while others can't. This is why there are so many programs out there. Bottom line is that reviews are based on each family's experience with the materials and will not be the same as everyone else.

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Heather, thank you so much for all this information, I appreciate it.

I've joined the RS4K Yahoo Group and look forward to seeing your reading/project schedule.

 

And thank you very, very much EVERYONE, for sharing in this thread, it has been so very helpful to me and others.

 

I joined the Yahoo group recently also and I did see Heather's schedule. I intend to check it out for next year. She is Siloam there also, as always :).

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