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TOG, STOW or SL?


Katiebug_1976
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Now I'm torn between 3 different curriculums for history. I was set on switching to SL next year when I ran across TOG. I really LOVE what I see there. But in the back of my mind, STOW is lurking as well. It just seems so simple and easy to use. But then, I would be creating my own lesson plans as nothing is planned out. So maybe it is not as simple as I first thought. They all sound like wonderful programs, but I can't use (or afford) all of them. Would someone please help me sort these out and figure out which would work best for my family? My brain is so tired right now!:001_unsure:

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Out of all the things we have used SOTW has been the easiest (for us) to use. You don't really need a lesson plan. Here is how we do it right now. My dss are 10 and 11.

 

They read a chapter.

DS 10 does a fact list (from Usborne Book) or writes a summary. Ds 11 works on a 2-level outline (from Kingfisher.

Both complete the map.

Everything else varies depending on time, mood, availability. They choose extra books to read, or they do a project, or we watch a movie/documentary.

 

Since they can gobble up so much information now they also read 'A Story of Us', 'An Island Story', and 'Oh, California'. Again, we do projects or writing if there is time and/or interest (which for one son is often, the other not so much).

 

When the boys were younger we did SOTW as well. It was even simpler then.

 

I read one section (not even a chapter) in the book. We talked about it. Sometimes I would write down their narrations. We completed the map whenever appropriate. The boys would do the coloring pages most times. We did tons of projects.

 

 

If you have SOTW and the Activity guide it really is easy. We have always treated it pretty much as a just go do the next thing kind of subject. History has been the most fun for us. I credit this to SOTW and its simplicity.

 

Susie

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I can't comment on the other two programs, but I am using The Story of the World with my daughter. She's in the 1st grade. We just started it. I posted about the program on my blog today... I'll put the link at the bottom of this post.

 

The trouble I have had with SOTW is that it offers SO much to do for every chapter. It really bothers me to leave so much "undone." There are just SO many good ideas for each chapter, so much content, etc.

 

But, I am coming around to the fact that our "lesson plan" will have to be to 1.) listen to the chapter a few times 2.) do the maps, coloring sheets, etc. 3.) do a narration on the chapter 4.) read at least one extra book (probably two) and 5.) try to do one of the craft/ projects. If we do that much, we did our lesson for the week and we go on to the next chapter on Monday. :001_smile:

 

Here's the link to my blog post. It shows you what we have done for Chapter 3 so far... I think it will allow you to see what the program looks like in action.

 

http://www.veronicaboulden.com/2011/02/we-are-slowly-moving-through-our.html

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Is this for all your kids?

I consider SOTW too light for a 14 yo.

 

SL will require that you do more than one core, although you might be able to do cores that cover the same things with the older and younger.

 

TOG is the most complicated, but would allow you to have the same time period covered by all your kids at their own levels.

 

If you are just looking for the younger kids, ignore everything I just said;).

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Is this for all your kids?

I consider SOTW too light for a 14 yo.

 

SL will require that you do more than one core, although you might be able to do cores that cover the same things with the older and younger.

 

TOG is the most complicated, but would allow you to have the same time period covered by all your kids at their own levels.

 

If you are just looking for the younger kids, ignore everything I just said;).

 

Sorry, I guess I should have clarified a little bit. I know that STOW would not work for dd 13 & dd14 (who would be 9th & 10th grades). I would have to figure out something else for them. I'm just trying to research all my options because I'm not sure I can handle 3 cores if we choose Sl (P4/5, 3 & 100), and TOG sounds great (everybody learning together), but I have heard that it is complicated and pricey so that makes me hesitate. I need to nail something down, though, 'cause we will finish MOH2 in the next couple weeks.

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Sorry, I guess I should have clarified a little bit. I know that STOW would not work for dd 13 & dd14 (who would be 9th & 10th grades). I would have to figure out something else for them. I'm just trying to research all my options because I'm not sure I can handle 3 cores if we choose Sl (P4/5, 3 & 100), and TOG sounds great (everybody learning together), but I have heard that it is complicated and pricey so that makes me hesitate. I need to nail something down, though, 'cause we will finish MOH2 in the next couple weeks.

Please read this. TOG and it's bad planning rap.

 

:rant: TOG is Not Complicated. I've used it for 5 years. I'm using it for 7dc this year. Does anyone think a person with 7 students would use a complicated program? :rant:

 

To be honest, TOG saved me time from when I used other methods (SOTW + MOH + lit. + add in reading).

 

Personally, there is NO WAY I could manage several SL cores.

 

SOTW is nice, and TOG uses the book as an alternative source, but I always feel like our days our richer using TOG b/c the book variety is greater and I prefer the activity guides. It is WONDERFUL to be able to keep the entire family on the same time period. I found TOG moved me along as a teacher better two, developing my skills and also inspiring me to be better and provide a better variety of learning for my large variety of students.

Edited by johnandtinagilbert
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I have done 3 cores of SL, and couldn't face doing it again this year. TOG is saving me a lot of time. There is a slight learning curve to decide what you want to cover and how you want your week to look, but once you have done a few weeks it is really quite simple, I don't even divide it into days much anymore. I have not spent more than $40 this year because I already owned SL K-100. I have just begun planning for Y3 with TOG and it will definately be less expensive than even 2 cores would have been, and my year plan is set so once I purchase Y4 I have all the teaching materials I will need through high school. I have no more qualms about bringing my fifth child into the picture in the coming years. I am also learning so much more myself, and I think that makes me a better teacher.

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If I were you, I'd use SOTW 3 (plus AG) with your youngers and Sonlight 100 with your bigger kiddos.

I see no need for the PK Sonlight core at all--just read the books as you want to. If you want to teach your 4yo to read (then 5yo?) just do a quickie phonics book like PP.

 

As a previous poster said, there's not really a lesson plan for SOTW--it really is do the next thing. YOu can choose "the next thing" ahead of time. At the beginning of the year or during the summer, I would go thru the AG and just pick out an activity or two that I thought was both interesting and doable, for each chapter, as well as a book or two. You can offer a book basket if you want--I made extensive use of the library. I just kept track in a spiral notebook, and sometimes changed my mind. We did the coloring pages while she listened, and did the map work. I used the timeline cards for illustrations on her notebook (narration) pages. SOTW is great--fun, interesting, simple to pull together, and "just enough." You can use lots of book recommendations--pull from Sonlight or TOG or Veritas or WP lists. The books are extra, just to be read, not dissected or really even discussed, unless you want to.

 

Choose how many days you want your SOTW kids to do history, and break up the chapter over those days. Do a narration for each chapter (or each portion of a chapter, if you like doing lots of narrations), pick a read aloud for each week or two, and do the activity. It's not hard, doesn't require a lot of planning, and helps history be fun and interesting.

 

For Sonlight 100, just follow the IG--not tough at all. (I've only done SL 300, with tweaking, but the IG seems fine.)

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Please read this. TOG and it's bad planning rap.

 

:rant: TOG is Not Complicated. I've used it for 5 years. I'm using it for 7dc this year. Does anyone think a person with 7 students would use a complicated program? :rant:

 

To be honest, TOG saved me time from when I used other methods (SOTW + MOH + lit. + add in reading).

 

Personally, there is NO WAY I could manage several SL cores.

 

SOTW is nice, and TOG uses the book as an alternative source, but I always feel like our days our richer using TOG b/c the book variety is greater and I prefer the activity guides. It is WONDERFUL to be able to keep the entire family on the same time period. I found TOG moved me along as a teacher better two, developing my skills and also inspiring me to be better and provide a better variety of learning for my large variety of students.

 

:iagree: TOG has saved my skin since we've begun using it. When I didn't, school life was rather chaotic. I also agree that it's been given a bad rap. There's definitely a learning curve, but it doesn't take hardly any time to get into your "groove," and once you do, it's SO worth it. Makes life infinitely easier.

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Have you already ruled out MFW?

 

I haven't ruled it out...but haven't looked at it much lately. We used ECC several years ago (when dd14 was in 5th grade). We absolutely LOVED it! Then we moved on the CtG...and something changed. We just weren't as thrilled with it and ended up dropping it 1/2 way through the year and switching to MOH 1. Maybe I should go back and look at it again. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Please read this. TOG and it's bad planning rap.

 

:rant: TOG is Not Complicated. I've used it for 5 years. I'm using it for 7dc this year. Does anyone think a person with 7 students would use a complicated program? :rant:

 

To be honest, TOG saved me time from when I used other methods (SOTW + MOH + lit. + add in reading).

 

Personally, there is NO WAY I could manage several SL cores.

 

SOTW is nice, and TOG uses the book as an alternative source, but I always feel like our days our richer using TOG b/c the book variety is greater and I prefer the activity guides. It is WONDERFUL to be able to keep the entire family on the same time period. I found TOG moved me along as a teacher better two, developing my skills and also inspiring me to be better and provide a better variety of learning for my large variety of students.

 

Tina, thank you for the link! It is very encouraging. I think I am beginning to figure TOG out enough to not be so worried about the planning. Now I need to see if my budget will allow us to consider it as an option.

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I have done 3 cores of SL, and couldn't face doing it again this year. TOG is saving me a lot of time. There is a slight learning curve to decide what you want to cover and how you want your week to look, but once you have done a few weeks it is really quite simple, I don't even divide it into days much anymore. I have not spent more than $40 this year because I already owned SL K-100. I have just begun planning for Y3 with TOG and it will definately be less expensive than even 2 cores would have been, and my year plan is set so once I purchase Y4 I have all the teaching materials I will need through high school. I have no more qualms about bringing my fifth child into the picture in the coming years. I am also learning so much more myself, and I think that makes me a better teacher.

 

Thank you, that is very encouraging. I guess I hadn't though about TOG being less expensive than multiple cores of SL.

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If I were you, I'd use SOTW 3 (plus AG) with your youngers and Sonlight 100 with your bigger kiddos.

I see no need for the PK Sonlight core at all--just read the books as you want to. If you want to teach your 4yo to read (then 5yo?) just do a quickie phonics book like PP.

 

As a previous poster said, there's not really a lesson plan for SOTW--it really is do the next thing. YOu can choose "the next thing" ahead of time. At the beginning of the year or during the summer, I would go thru the AG and just pick out an activity or two that I thought was both interesting and doable, for each chapter, as well as a book or two. You can offer a book basket if you want--I made extensive use of the library. I just kept track in a spiral notebook, and sometimes changed my mind. We did the coloring pages while she listened, and did the map work. I used the timeline cards for illustrations on her notebook (narration) pages. SOTW is great--fun, interesting, simple to pull together, and "just enough." You can use lots of book recommendations--pull from Sonlight or TOG or Veritas or WP lists. The books are extra, just to be read, not dissected or really even discussed, unless you want to.

 

Choose how many days you want your SOTW kids to do history, and break up the chapter over those days. Do a narration for each chapter (or each portion of a chapter, if you like doing lots of narrations), pick a read aloud for each week or two, and do the activity. It's not hard, doesn't require a lot of planning, and helps history be fun and interesting.

 

For Sonlight 100, just follow the IG--not tough at all. (I've only done SL 300, with tweaking, but the IG seems fine.)

 

Thank you for the suggestion. Simple sounds wonderful! You make it sound so easy...just adding in reader & read alouds. Maybe I'm making it harder than it really is...hmm. Something to think about.

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:iagree: TOG has saved my skin since we've begun using it. When I didn't, school life was rather chaotic. I also agree that it's been given a bad rap. There's definitely a learning curve, but it doesn't take hardly any time to get into your "groove," and once you do, it's SO worth it. Makes life infinitely easier.

 

I like the sound of this! Less chaos...definately needed here!

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I'm in the same boat you are. I love what I see with TOG but the expense keeps me away. I sat down with the list of books from TOG and used my library search engine to figure out how many I needed to purchase. I understand I don't need to purchase all of them, but there were still far too many. I also understand that while the plan itself is expensive, you are paying for quality teachers notes from someone with a degree in history. I wanted so much to use this program as my oldest will be in fifth grade. So for now, I think I'm set on Biblioplan. The nice thing about it is that while it uses SOTW for the youngers as a spine, you have the option of Kingfisher or Usborne World History as a spine for the olders and a list of living books to round out the program for all of them. Even if I cannot find all the books, we still have a spine to work with. They even have map packets, history packet,a parent companion for bible, and you can use their activity book or the SOTW AG. It just seems much more doable in terms of expense and it includes K-12. Also, all of this is put together a la WTM. Perhaps next year will be the year for TOG? maybe?

Edited by MyLittleBears
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I'm in the same boat you are. I love what I see with TOG but the expense keeps me away. I sat down with the list of books from TOG and used my library search engine to figure out how many I needed to purchase. I understand I don't need to purchase all of them, but there we still far too many. I wanted so much to use this program as my oldest will be in fifth grade. So for now, I think I'm set on Biblioplan. The nice thing about it is that while it uses SOTW for the youngers as a spine, you have the option of Kingfisher or Usborne World History as a spine for the olders and a list of living books to round out the program for all of them. Even if I cannot find all the books, we still have a spine to work with. They even have map packets, history packet,a parent companion for bible, and you can use their activity book or the SOTW AG. It just seems much more doable in terms of expense and it includes K-12. Perhaps next year will be the year for TOG.

 

:iagree:When I read your predicament the first thing I thought of was that you need to use Biblioplan. I tried TOG and felt a little overwhelmed, plus my dd7 was starting to HATE history! Not what this history major wanted for her kiddo! We switched to Biblioplan after 1 quarter of TOG and it is working really well for her. Basically, Biblioplan is like TOG just less to look at and figure out. It might be an option for you if you like the looks of TOG, but want to spend less money and less time prepping.

http://www.biblioplan.net/index.htm

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I'm in the same boat you are. I love what I see with TOG but the expense keeps me away. I sat down with the list of books from TOG and used my library search engine to figure out how many I needed to purchase. I understand I don't need to purchase all of them, but there were still far too many. I also understand that while the plan itself is expensive, you are paying for quality teachers notes from someone with a degree in history. I wanted so much to use this program as my oldest will be in fifth grade. So for now, I think I'm set on Biblioplan. The nice thing about it is that while it uses SOTW for the youngers as a spine, you have the option of Kingfisher or Usborne World History as a spine for the olders and a list of living books to round out the program for all of them. Even if I cannot find all the books, we still have a spine to work with. They even have map packets, history packet,a parent companion for bible, and you can use their activity book or the SOTW AG. It just seems much more doable in terms of expense and it includes K-12. Also, all of this is put together a la WTM. Perhaps next year will be the year for TOG? maybe?

 

We tried Biblioplan at the beginning of this year. While it was great for my younger kids, I was pretty disappointed with the Highschool Supplement. It was basically just a list of text books and lit. books to be read at somepoint during each quarter. There was no scheduling and my dd really disliked most of the books. So while it is cheaper, for my upper level kids, Biblioplan is just not an option.

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Thanks for the heads up. Sorry it wouldn't work for you! IMO TOG looks great if it wasn't for the expense! Have you looked into Truthquest for you olders? The only reason I have not tried this one is because of the age of my children. I know my youngers would be left out and I don't want to do two different programs. I don't have HS students otherwise I would separate them.

 

We tried Biblioplan at the beginning of this year. While it was great for my younger kids, I was pretty disappointed with the Highschool Supplement. It was basically just a list of text books and lit. books to be read at somepoint during each quarter. There was no scheduling and my dd really disliked most of the books. So while it is cheaper, for my upper level kids, Biblioplan is just not an option.
Edited by MyLittleBears
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Thanks for the heads up. Sorry it wouldn't work for you! IMO TOG looks great if it wasn't for the expense!

The DE alone option really reduces expense. Initial Thoughts on TOG DE.

 

Do you have a good library system? I get so many books from the library, it makes all the difference in the world. I do realize how fortunate I am in this regard. Remember, it is Very Easy to sub. a book and still use TOG. Maps for Egypt are maps for Egypt. Vocab will be the same in most every non-fiction book.

 

Affording and Growing Your TOG Library

 

 

I also updated about Swagbucks. I'm averaging $5 every 3 weeks and I use every penny for books! I can't believe I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary and somebody's paying me. C.r.a.z.y.

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Thanks for the heads up. Sorry it wouldn't work for you! IMO TOG looks great if it wasn't for the expense! Have you looked into Truthquest for you olders? The only reason I have not tried this one is because of the age of my children. I know my youngers would be left out and I don't want to do two different programs. I don't have HS students otherwise I would separate them.

 

No, I haven't looked at Truthquest. I'll go check it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

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The DE alone option really reduces expense. Initial Thoughts on TOG DE.

 

Do you have a good library system? I get so many books from the library, it makes all the difference in the world. I do realize how fortunate I am in this regard. Remember, it is Very Easy to sub. a book and still use TOG. Maps for Egypt are maps for Egypt. Vocab will be the same in most every non-fiction book.

 

Affording and Growing Your TOG Library

 

 

I also updated about Swagbucks. I'm averaging $5 every 3 weeks and I use every penny for books! I can't believe I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary and somebody's paying me. C.r.a.z.y.

 

We have a decent library for a small town, but it's not as good as some in larger areas. I have found some of the books there (granted I have not checked the entire list yet), but I would still have to buy some books, which is fine.

 

I totally LOVE Swagbucks!!! I just found out about it last week and we have begun racking up the points!!! You're right, every penny counts! Woo Hoo!!

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We combined SL and SOTW. I always felt frustrated that SL cores 3 and 4 did not tell us what was happening in the rest of the world that was influencing what was going on in America and with SOTW I wanted my kids to have a deeper understanding of American history. I do have to balance out the reading selections from both and do not include all of the SOTW suggested supplemental reading. So far though it has worked well.

 

Lesley

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I totally LOVE Swagbucks!!! I just found out about it last week and we have begun racking up the points!!! You're right, every penny counts! Woo Hoo!!

 

:iagree: I found Swagbucks a few months back, and I've already received.......wait for it.........$90 in Amazon gift cards! Swagbucks is awesome, and it's really improving my book budget, lol!

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I tried SonLight this year because they used SOTW! Using Core 6 right now for history. I already had all the SOTW books and to tell you the truth, I combined the activity guide questions (because SL doesn't actually provide questions for you to ask after they've read a selection, it just gives you a brief description) and it has worked really well. I enjoy the little icons that remind you to do timeline & map work.

 

You can pick up SL cores used too.

 

In grades 2,3 & 4 I used just SOTW and liked that too but as my daughter got older I wanted some more 'older' reader books to go along with what she was studying. OMGosh, there isn't a book that doesn't keep us wanting to read many chapters a night. The SL book list is very good in my opinion.

 

Can't comment on Temple of Grace but I have a friend who has a daughter who is 11 also and she loves My Father's World too.

 

Good luck! The choices are endless. Don't think though that you have to choose just one over the other. YOu can always combine like I did. :)

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