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TOG Question~ Do I need ALL the books?

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Hi. I'm looking into TOG and I have found that I have several of the books used in the program, but nowhere near all of them. We don't have the best library so I could only get a few from there. Do I *need* all of the books or can I make substitutions? I'm a SL user and very used to having the proper books and checking the appropriate boxes so the "unknown" of TOG scares me. Please help me understand the *minimum* I need to purchase and then I can go from there. Thanks sooo much!

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What levels are you going to be doing? I'm not a TOG user yet (plan to get it for next year), but my understanding is that LG level is easy to substitute. Maybe UG as well? There are also the alternative book lists (the rightside page), which your library may have some of those books, which are usually ones that are out of print.


Other than that, I'm mostly bumping for you. :lurk5:

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The LG level books can be substituted rather easily. Any book on knights or castles will do, for example. If you are doing a lot of substituting, don't use the student activity sheets often.


I added the SL books in for the literature reading because, IMHO, TOG has more limited lit choices in LG than my kids needed.


I skipped the arts/crafts books entirely because I and NOT into that kind of stuff at all.


Any Bible story book will do, especially ones that have a lot of stories. If the reading level for your Bible stories book is too high, read the story out loud.


UG books were harder to sub out, but we used SOTW a lot. To save money on the UG level, just use the core history books. Keep adding the SL books you already have to flesh out the lit.


D and R books, well, you'd probably need to buy the history ones. However, the library has many of the lit choices so you'll buy fewer books for R lit than you might expect.


If you cut the price of the manuals for TOG in quarters (for the LG, UG, D, and R level) and add the books for the particular level, you'd be at about what a core from SL cost, especially the upper cores.


We loved SL and still prefer it for the younger ones, but as the kids approach 6th/7th/8th grade, TOG is wonderful.



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Yes, you can substitute books. It is easier to do for history than it is for literature as the TOG lit worksheets are usually designed to fit a specific title. For my LG or UG kids, I only buy books that are needed for greater than 3-4 weeks for history. I substitute whatever is at the library and is age appropriate and am fine. I do sub lit books from time to time, too, and either adapte the lit worksheet or skip it for these younger kids.


It does get more difficult, but not impossible, to sub D and R books. At those levels, there are accountability and thinking questions. The primary resources listed in your year plan have been checked to be sure that the students can answer the a & t questions. If you sub books, which you can certainly do, you have to either make sure that the students can answer the a & t from the readings, or teach them how to do a little outside research to find the answers, or skip the a & t they can't answer from their readings, or any combination thereof.


Lit books don't have to be the exact same version as the one recommended in TOG. Just watch to be sure that whichever version you choose is the same type -- in other words, don't torture your kids with an unabridged version if Tapestry has recommended an abridged version. They make their recommendations deliberately. Also, you won't be able to use the page numbers in the teacher notes/discussion guide and will have to hunt harder for any cautions mentioned in the weekly glance ahead if you don't have the exact version. I've not ever found this to be a problem. Then again, if there are a lot of cautions mentioned about a book, I tend to look for the exact version just to be sure I'm fully prepared to look ahead at any potential problems.


I tend to buy more books for the D level (if our library doesn't carry them) to avoid this issue. I'll also be reusing the books when my younger two come around to the D level.

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What to buy is dependent on your goals. History core would be the first step. You are most likely to find the literature books at the library, as they are award winning and/or classic most of the time. The church history are often more difficult b/c many libraries have a poor collection of christian topics.


:iagree:with other posters that the UG/LG are easy to substitute. I'd encourage less subbing with D and R b/c the questions may prove more difficult to answer, particularly the R books, as they may specific in content. Having said such, I was able to sub a great deal of SL and Veritas books this year for the Civil War study with much success.



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I know I'm a broken record but be sure to check the resource links on the TOG site for your year plan, many include links to books that are in the public domain and/or links to material that can be subbed in. :)


Now remind me of that when I purchase the unit in a couple months. :lol:

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