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Any last words why I should NOT purchase TOG?


Heidi
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You have until the end of the week.

 

Seriously, that much money for a history program is a little rediculous. Ok, so it has lit. and geography too. And the D and R program is amazing. How will I be able to do that on my own when my baby is in high school, with four other kids trailing behind? (I'm thininking 12th, 10th, 8th, 6th, and 4th grades all at once:w00t:. But still... $$$ :glare:

 

I was just going to forget it and do SOTW and maybe do TOG later, and then I had to come across that thread about ME being the oldest child and needing to educate myself, and that stinkin' thread tipped the scale.

 

So, I'm going to purchase, unless you talk me out of it...

 

If you purchased it and then decided to sell it, why did you? What did you not like about it?

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Well, I'll take a stab at talking you out of it. ;)

 

FWIW, SOTW is absolutely fabulous for the younger crowd! The reading and activities are spot on and engaging and the list of supplemental reading is vast and well thought through. I can't say enough good things about SOTW.

 

I see your kids are all little and with a new one on the way, if I were in your shoes *I'd* feel overwhelmed by TOG now. It's very light in the Lower Grammar level. *Very*. In fact, after having it now for 3 months to pour over and plan, my opinion (and it really is only just my opinion :)) is that SOTW would be a much better fit for my grade 2. Granted, I did buy some of the TOG book recommendations for Lower Grammar but that was because they were some of our favorites from my last go-round with SOTW. Now, I know you can use SOTW with TOG at the lower levels and that it is an alternate resource, but I do think you're paying a LOT to use a program that is fantastic as a stand alone.

 

It sounds like you're really wanting to work on your own self education and I am too, so I am understanding your desire to get TOG and have yourself be the oldest student. May I suggest going another route and using SWB's book, The Well Educated Mind and go through the Classics that way? It's a lot less expensive than TOG but very effective as well. There will also be plenty of time for you to purchase TOG when your oldest is in their second round of history (UG/D level with TOG) and you can then go through the R level while knowing that your child is also benefitting a great deal from what TOG has to offer.

 

Also, by then Y1 will have been fully redone and it sounds like the changes are going to be well worth the wait.

 

Anyways, I've rambled but you asked so I thought I'd share my opinion. :) I'm just starting my TOG journey myself (oldest in grade 5 in the fall) and while I have only spent the last few months pouring over it, I will admit that I LOVE the program *but* it doesn't have much to offer a grade 1 student that you couldn't do for a whole lot less. The real strength of the program really does lie in the D/R levels and while I did consider TOG for our first go-round for the same reasons as you are, I'm glad we went the SOTW route and I'm more confident about spending the money on TOG now.

 

Just my 2 cents. Good luck and enjoy your journey!!

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I wouldn't get it at this early age. I would use one round of SOTW and then move to TOG. I only got it this year to try but stand by my SOTW for my 1st grader. No sense in spending the money at this early age when SOTW is cheaper and so easy to use. I think your kids are too young to benefit. You might look at CHOW if you want something else to add to SOTW or use instead. History Odyssey is great too at that early age.:)

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I can't help jumping in here....my dd is 7 and in 2G. We started the year with our 3rd round of Sonlight (Core 1 - Ancient History). We completed about a month of it and I decided to move to History Odyssey Ancients and just read the SL history books alongside. We did the the full 10-week free download and really enjoyed aspects of it. BUT.....by Nov. I was so frustrated with trying to figure align biblical history that I took the huge mid-year leap and bought TOG Y1, U2. I ended up buying the entire year and just purchased Y2 for 3G. If you aren't starting with ancient history and/or the Christian timeline/integration isn't as important to you then you can get good, fun history a lot cheaper. I am really glad I have this though and am learning more than my dd, which is invaluable to me. BTW...I do have a PKer but not a full household. The prep work can be a lot (if you read it all) but the implementation is not at this age.

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Just one little caveat....and it may talk you out of it. By the time you are ready for the D/R stages with your kids, not only will TOG be updated BUT by then who knows what will be available. When my oldest was 5, we did not even have Internet, let alone TOG...lol.

 

When she began high school, there were no online courses ...none!

 

So, who knows what will be available to you 6 or 7 years down the pike.

 

Any way, that is my cents.

 

Faithe

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Your oldest is 6? Save your money for the next time through the cycle. SOTW plus a good reference book like Kingfisher History Encyclopedia is all you need for the grammar stage.

 

If you feel the need to beef up on your own history knowledge, you can always read SWB's excellent adult history books. This is the Ancient History one and this is the Medieval History one. By the time you need the next one in the series, hopefully it will be available :)

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I believe that for self-education the best place to start is with a 5th grade level text. Those have enough info to be useful, but only just enough to be conveying the most crucial information. If you're really starting from scratch in world history, SOTW/Kingfisher and a good globe plus some books of mythology would be the best places to start FOR YOU. Plus SOTW is so engaging for children that it is really enjoyable. It made history my DD's favorite subject, starting from when she was 7.

 

Try that for a year--read way ahead in SOTW yourself, and try to get your arms around the subject. Maybe cover one volume with your kids and two or three privately. Then take stock--do you like it? Does it make sense to you? Can you see the patterns? Once you personally finish SOTW, start to drill down using SWB's adult history books. Add in some literature studies as well. Don't necessarily go all crazy trying to coordinate them, but I think that you'll find that your prior study of world history will inform your literary studies as well.

 

I have always yearned toward TOG, but two years ago I finally saw it at a conference, and wow. I would not want to have to deal with it. There are too many pieces to pull together, and FOR ME the 'pulling together' is counterintuitive. I would rather do this the WTM way. For me, that would be a lot easier.

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Do you REALLY think, with 5 kids age 7 and under, you're going to sit around reading the Code of Hammurabi, Albert Marrin books, etc.??? I also don't know why you assume doing another method PRECLUDES learning more yourself. Sure hasn't for me. It's not rocket science. When you go to the library looking for books on the topic of the week (from SOTW or VP or whatever you end up using), you pull books at a variety of levels. I have always done this, because you never know what will click with your dc. When my dd was in 1st and 2nd, the age of your oldest, she might enjoy something meant for a much older age group and skip the kiddie/picture books entirely. You just don't know. So when you cover the topic, pull a variety of books and READ them. That's all you have to do, honest.

 

And yes, I'm totally with Faithe. To buy TOG now on the premise that you'll still want to use it come high school is nuts, absolutely nuts. At the rate you're going, you're going to have, um, let's just say 10 kids by the time your oldest hits high school. Find some people on with 10 kids and see how they do things. It's a whole different ball of wax from the idealism of newbie homeschoolers teaching only 1 or 2, who tend to have time to over-do and over-think everything. ;)

 

Most importantly, what no one has clued you into yet, is that you might have some kids who HATE TOG and don't do well with that style. They exist. Some kids do better with textbooks at the upper levels, really and truly. So imagine your horror if you spend $200 of your precious dollars now, money that could have been spent on BOOKS, a cleaning lady, or other helpful things, and find out a used $10 BJU textbook is all you needed for junior high or high school. Don't knock it. For next year I have an $8 used spine book and a $2 BJU textbook I'm using with my extreme history buff dd.

 

I have no problem with getting TOG if you can afford it and think it actually makes your life easier RIGHT NOW. But to get it assuming it will still be useful later is silly. Might not fit your situation or child or anything by that time. For self-learning, there are tons of much less expensive options. It's really not that complex. Just learn alongside your kids, stepping it up a notch on whatever your kids are doing. You'll be fine.

 

The most blessed, wonderful thing we did at that age? We put that curriculum money into BOOKS, real books, lots of them. Flood your house with books. You don't need curriculum. You need BOOKS. Take part of that curriculum money and install reading racks in each bathroom. By laundry baskets for each kid to take to the library. That will do more for their education than curriculum. It's not in the curriculum but the DOING.

 

PS. I think at this stage my WRITING background is more of a problem than my history. History I can make up easily with good curriculum or a textbook. Writing gets dumped on me, and I don't even always know what I'm looking for. Ditto for drawing and art subjects. I find myself in the adult section of the library looking for books like "How to Write a Sentence," "Reading Like a Writer," and "No Experience Required Sketching and Drawing." The books I find myself previewing and reading ahead for dd's upcoming history year aren't necessarily off one list either, because they're interest and personality-specific. So if I had spent tons of time reading TOG's lists, I wouldn't have even remembered the specifics and STILL would have needed to pre-read and tweak. Maybe somebody's else's kids are different and don't need that. In our house I find myself tweaking the very "dead white men" approach of the curriculum and trying to make it fit a very homey, creative GIRL. Most curriculum doesn't care about that, but again it might matter when you get there. So I'm prepping for General Lee's cookbook and diaries of a 14 yo girl during the Civil War, things TOG and other curricula don't include. Same topics, same schedule, different books. Prereading 6 years ago would have done me no good.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Do you REALLY think, with 5 kids age 7 and under, you're going to sit around reading the Code of Hammurabi, Albert Marrin books, etc.??? I also don't know why you assume doing another method PRECLUDES learning more yourself. Sure hasn't for me. It's not rocket science. When you go to the library looking for books on the topic of the week (from SOTW or VP or whatever you end up using), you pull books at a variety of levels. I have always done this, because you never know what will click with your dc. When my dd was in 1st and 2nd, the age of your oldest, she might enjoy something meant for a much older age group and skip the kiddie/picture books entirely. You just don't know. So when you cover the topic, pull a variety of books and READ them. That's all you have to do, honest.

 

And yes, I'm totally with Faithe. To buy TOG now on the premise that you'll still want to use it come high school is nuts, absolutely nuts. At the rate you're going, you're going to have, um, let's just say 10 kids by the time your oldest hits high school. Find some people on with 10 kids and see how they do things. It's a whole different ball of wax from the idealism of newbie homeschoolers teaching only 1 or 2, who tend to have time to over-do and over-think everything. ;)

 

Most importantly, what no one has clued you into yet, is that you might have some kids who HATE TOG and don't do well with that style. They exist. Some kids do better with textbooks at the upper levels, really and truly. So imagine your horror if you spend $200 of your precious dollars now, money that could have been spent on BOOKS, a cleaning lady, or other helpful things, and find out a used $10 BJU textbook is all you needed for junior high or high school. Don't knock it. For next year I have an $8 used spine book and a $2 BJU textbook I'm using with my extreme history buff dd.

 

I have no problem with getting TOG if you can afford it and think it actually makes your life easier RIGHT NOW. But to get it assuming it will still be useful later is silly. Might not fit your situation or child or anything by that time. For self-learning, there are tons of much less expensive options. It's really not that complex. Just learn alongside your kids, stepping it up a notch on whatever your kids are doing. You'll be fine.

 

The most blessed, wonderful thing we did at that age? We put that curriculum money into BOOKS, real books, lots of them. Flood your house with books. You don't need curriculum. You need BOOKS. Take part of that curriculum money and install reading racks in each bathroom. By laundry baskets for each kid to take to the library. That will do more for their education than curriculum. It's not in the curriculum but the DOING.

 

PS. I think at this stage my WRITING background is more of a problem than my history. History I can make up easily with good curriculum or a textbook. Writing gets dumped on me, and I don't even always know what I'm looking for. Ditto for drawing and art subjects. I find myself in the adult section of the library looking for books like "How to Write a Sentence," "Reading Like a Writer," and "No Experience Required Sketching and Drawing." The books I find myself previewing and reading ahead for dd's upcoming history year aren't necessarily off one list either, because they're interest and personality-specific. So if I had spent tons of time reading TOG's lists, I wouldn't have even remembered the specifics and STILL would have needed to pre-read and tweak. Maybe somebody's else's kids are different and don't need that. In our house I find myself tweaking the very "dead white men" approach of the curriculum and trying to make it fit a very homey, creative GIRL. Most curriculum doesn't care about that, but again it might matter when you get there. So I'm prepping for General Lee's cookbook and diaries of a 14 yo girl during the Civil War, things TOG and other curricula don't include. Same topics, same schedule, different books. Prereading 6 years ago would have done me no good.

 

YEP :iagree::iagree:

 

And I have learned the very hard way...by burning out...to ashes...and having to come back stronger so i could continue with my younger set...

 

Thanks for saying what I wanted to say...but couldn't.

 

Faithe

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I agree with OhElizabeth.

 

I thought about TOG for the elementary years and am very glad I didn't spend money on it two years ago. I think it will be more of an option for me once I have at least one child in D and a couple of others in elementary.

 

You can undertake self-education with a Great Books list, SWB's history texts for adults, and other history text recommendations from TWTM. From the samples I have seen, most of the teacher info in TOG is straight out of the World Book Encyclopedia, so I can't see buying TOG for self education when a WB subscription could accomplish the same thing and also provide reference for topics we might want to look up in any other areas.

 

Then again, there are those who love TOG even for this age. I'm just saying, SOTW is a lot of fun, especially 1 and 2, and I would not have wanted or needed anything more than the text and AG (with library trips) for first and second grade.

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The most blessed, wonderful thing we did at that age? We put that curriculum money into BOOKS, real books, lots of them. Flood your house with books. You don't need curriculum. You need BOOKS. Take part of that curriculum money and install reading racks in each bathroom. By laundry baskets for each kid to take to the library. That will do more for their education than curriculum. It's not in the curriculum but the DOING.

 

 

 

As a new homeschooler, I really, really appreciate this advice! I was weighing SOTW, WP's AS1, and ToG and I have been leaning towards SOTW because it seems so user-friendly, little ones seem to really like it and it is the most affordable!

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OhElizabeth, you rock! This helped me get back on track, I've been looking at history programs and forgetting about keeping it simple, efficient and fun wherever possible. It doesn't have to be complicated to be good. (And this is my 7th yr hsing, but my brain has gone temporarily haywire w a new baby here, so I needed the reminder and encouragement).

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We are scoping out TOG for 4th for many of the reasons of the OPer. I'm totally self-educating history too, and am going to likely end up with a BUNCH of kiddos, so TOG seems like it will be hitting the mark for us when we get to that point.

 

Here's what I'd do...get the 3 week digital sample, print it all out, listen to it, live with it, maybe even buy some books and try it! I think TOG looks like a lot of fun for the early grades, lots of picture books, we might have to beef it up with more read alouds, but still - looks like fun times.

 

Read everything in the Loom to really get a feel for the program. Try setting up 'test run' working binders and student binders.

 

If you can't invest the time to do this, don't invest the money up front. (Maybe you've already done this, I don't know!) Then if it still makes you feel groovy, buy one unit at a time :).

 

If you only had 1 dc I'd say you might as well wait, but because you have a bunch more coming up, at least start to scope it out in the samples. I'm not going to talk you out of USING it, but here's my take on not BUYING it. Actually DO the free stuff first, and buy a few of the LG books to actually USE the free plan.

 

Then take it from there. There really isn't ANY rush to jump in and buy the whole farm, KWIM?

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Years ago when my dd was in the early elementary years I seriously considered using TOG. Of course, back then the website was not as user friendly and the curriculum had not been redesigned for ease of use. After looking at it, I determined it was too much for my brain to handle, just too much information, too many books. I am the kind of person that needs things simple and to the point. If you give me choices, I will never make a decision.

 

Anyway, looking back on it now, I am glad I did not use TOG in the early years, there were so many more fun paths that we took that we would have missed otherwise. We did a little of SOTW, K12, read a lot of books, went on field trips, but mostly we just played and did a lot of projects.

 

With your oldest being 6 and the new little one on the way, I would just try to simplify. Use something like SOTW or just read books, but don't sweat it if you don't get around to history at that age. There are also a lot of short fun unit studies that might work for your age group.

 

As far as learning history for your own education, I would suggest just gathering some books at the library or maybe a few history texts at a used bookstore. There are also a lot of good websites out there you could browse or just reading a good encyclopedia set would help. That said, it is isn't a race even for you to learn history, maybe just go with the flow and learn along with the kids as they go through the years.

 

I have to say, since I now have more homeschooling experience (12+ years), it was hard to see where I was going back in the elementary years, but now I get why I needed to slow down and not do so much. Now that my dd is in the logic stage, she is eager to learn and can handle more reading and busywork. Even so, I still am not planning on using TOG, because I don't think it fits me as a teacher and my dd is not that big on reading historical fiction (something I would not have guessed back when she was younger).

 

I suggest that if you really cannot decide on whether to use TOG or not at least try out the samples on their website. I tried a sample and only got as far as gathering library books before I realized that it was going to be too time intensive for me.

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Here are my thoughts. TOG looks amazing! If I were to pick one curriculum and not change/supplement it, that would be it. That said, I have decided (at least for next year) to use SOTW. I have littles as well, and I know life happens. I need to have a basic plan for when life happens (SOTW) and then a deeper plan (supplemental reading) Now, I am incapable of leaving a program well enough alone ;)so I put SOTW together with correlated chapters from a children's Bible and added in a ton of SL and TOG books-- great pictures books and great read alouds. Altogether with SOTW and the AG, it is an easy to use set up for the first rotation. The planning has taken a little time, but I look at how much money I saved by putting it together myself. I plan to stick with this plan (depending on how it works this year) and then move to TOG for the next rotation. I am still doing the Ancients, I am still self educating. Many have said, if you are going to buy it eventually, why not now? Well, like a pp mentioned, who knows what will be out in 4 years? I don't want to spend all that money bc I will use it in 4-5 yrs. I want to spend my money on books now, and then when the time comes, jump in!

I don't think you would be disappointed with TOG if you do it now, but just make the decision for this year, not based on the future. If you got TOG year 1 and then in 4 yrs something better is out there, are you ok having invested that money for this year? If so, jump in. :tongue_smilie:

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I've been where you are. Bought TOG for my oldest in 1st thinking I would be using it for 16+ years for all the rest of my children...that I'd be educating myself, etc., etc.

 

Yeah, right. Didn't happen. I mean, we've got toddlers right? I don't have time to sit around and read Caesar's Gallic Wars and the Magna Carta. I even bought year 2 thinking maybe, just maybe I'll do better for 2nd grade. :rolleyes:

 

Finally, I realized this was madness. I bought a $300+ program plus over $200 in expensive books that we didn't even love (our library doesn't carry many of the TOG books and while we enjoy non-fiction, most of the TOG books were not that appealing to us--but they sure are beautiful!). And then I just dropped it all to use SOTW. TWICE!!! We weren't using the SAPs because I'm not a fan of comprehension type questions for that age and of course I honestly wasn't going to sit around and read excerpts from the World Book Encyclopedia for fun. :lol: (Oh, and BTW, I think I learned more about ancient times reading SOTW aloud than I ever did in school, so don't discount SOTW for self-education! I also enjoyed SWBs The Ancient World tome.)

 

TOG is a lovely program--for D and R, and likely even for LG/UG if they have older siblings and you're just wanting to keep them on the same cycle. And I know some ladies enjoy TOG even just for LG, but I just wanted to share my very personal experience. There were ladies on this board three years ago saying what they're all saying now and I assumed I would be one of those exceptions--that somehow *I* could make it work when so many others had crashed and burned. And I used Janice's lovely post to bolster me on! :lol:

 

Ah, oh well. It was a lesson that I needed to learn, although unfortunately I had to learn it hard way, and I'm sure I'll even make the same mistake again, and again! :tongue_smilie: And of course if you want to use it, use it! But do so with your eyes fully open. Because honestly at first grade, (shh!) it doesn't even matter if you "do history." Just read, read, read. My dd convinced me of the course to take with my youngers last week by making the comment (after I said something about the Indus Valley people) that she hoped we would study that stuff again because she didn't remember anything about the ancients at all. :tongue_smilie:

 

Best of luck to you, mama! These decisions can be very overwhelming!

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Something else about 'all around' programs. They tend to make you feel like you have to use them and you miss some of the other stuff that is so cool about homeschooling.

 

It's cool to realize that there is a local Shakespeare company doing Pericles for free in the park nearby, and read the summary of the play, and then run on over and watch it. It's cool to assign an essay based on that. It's cool to then talk about who Pericles was IRL in history or in myth, and relate that to other studies of that historical period, completed, or to study that period of history briefly before returning to the regular march through the centuries. While you're at it, it's cool to compare this with other Shakespeare plays that you have studied together, and to think about Bible tie in's together.

 

Now, none of this is impossible with TOG or Sonlight or WP, but for me, anyway, it's much more unlikely. With that big investment and all the coordination of information, I'm just not all that likely to take an enriching detour. And yet those enriching detours are among the things that we remember most fondly of anything in our homeschooling lives. The 'crazy mommy' one day trip to LA to see the Tut exhibit. The professional outdoor Shakespeare production of Julius Ceasar, that sent us back through Greek and Roman myths, Famous Men of Rome, and Luke as well as SOTW. The side trip to the Nevada state museum that went long, and clinched our study of earth science. The other little side trip to Sutter's Fort, not in the plan, but very enlightening. The great hikes in the Sierras. These are the things we talk about now that DD is in high school. I would not have missed them for the world.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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The most blessed, wonderful thing we did at that age? We put that curriculum money into BOOKS, real books, lots of them. Flood your house with books. You don't need curriculum. You need BOOKS. Take part of that curriculum money and install reading racks in each bathroom. By laundry baskets for each kid to take to the library. That will do more for their education than curriculum. It's not in the curriculum but the DOING.

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

I think it's a marketing ploy to make you believe you are making an investment in the future to buy high school curric when your oldest is 5yo. I thought about getting TOG at the same time and for the same reasons as the OP. I'm REALLY glad I didn't!!!

 

You want to know the most effective lessons in history? "Go pick a book for mommy to read!" Really...and line the shelves with books books books...we've covered more than I ever would have planned in this relaxed manner. I do some planning, but do want to know what my dc remember? Yep, stuff I never planned...stuff they picked off the shelf.

 

...so why do I still plan...(don't ask, it's a sickness):tongue_smilie::auto:

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I would not spend the money on TOG if your whole heart was not in it. Yes, it is important to educate yourself, and that was one of the reasons for me to get it. But it was not the only reason. TOG is a huge up-front financial investment, and the curriculum is definitely not for the faint of heart. You absolutely get what you pay for if you use it. If you are wavering, then I think you would be better off doing something else until the time comes when you know with all the fiber of your being that it will be better for your family.

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Do you REALLY think, with 5 kids age 7 and under, you're going to sit around reading the Code of Hammurabi, Albert Marrin books, etc.??? I also don't know why you assume doing another method PRECLUDES learning more yourself. Sure hasn't for me. It's not rocket science. When you go to the library looking for books on the topic of the week (from SOTW or VP or whatever you end up using), you pull books at a variety of levels. I have always done this, because you never know what will click with your dc. When my dd was in 1st and 2nd, the age of your oldest, she might enjoy something meant for a much older age group and skip the kiddie/picture books entirely. You just don't know. So when you cover the topic, pull a variety of books and READ them. That's all you have to do, honest.

 

And yes, I'm totally with Faithe. To buy TOG now on the premise that you'll still want to use it come high school is nuts, absolutely nuts. At the rate you're going, you're going to have, um, let's just say 10 kids by the time your oldest hits high school. Find some people on with 10 kids and see how they do things. It's a whole different ball of wax from the idealism of newbie homeschoolers teaching only 1 or 2, who tend to have time to over-do and over-think everything. ;)

 

Most importantly, what no one has clued you into yet, is that you might have some kids who HATE TOG and don't do well with that style. They exist. Some kids do better with textbooks at the upper levels, really and truly. So imagine your horror if you spend $200 of your precious dollars now, money that could have been spent on BOOKS, a cleaning lady, or other helpful things, and find out a used $10 BJU textbook is all you needed for junior high or high school. Don't knock it. For next year I have an $8 used spine book and a $2 BJU textbook I'm using with my extreme history buff dd.

 

I have no problem with getting TOG if you can afford it and think it actually makes your life easier RIGHT NOW. But to get it assuming it will still be useful later is silly. Might not fit your situation or child or anything by that time. For self-learning, there are tons of much less expensive options. It's really not that complex. Just learn alongside your kids, stepping it up a notch on whatever your kids are doing. You'll be fine.

 

The most blessed, wonderful thing we did at that age? We put that curriculum money into BOOKS, real books, lots of them. Flood your house with books. You don't need curriculum. You need BOOKS. Take part of that curriculum money and install reading racks in each bathroom. By laundry baskets for each kid to take to the library. That will do more for their education than curriculum. It's not in the curriculum but the DOING.

 

PS. I think at this stage my WRITING background is more of a problem than my history. History I can make up easily with good curriculum or a textbook. Writing gets dumped on me, and I don't even always know what I'm looking for. Ditto for drawing and art subjects. I find myself in the adult section of the library looking for books like "How to Write a Sentence," "Reading Like a Writer," and "No Experience Required Sketching and Drawing." The books I find myself previewing and reading ahead for dd's upcoming history year aren't necessarily off one list either, because they're interest and personality-specific. So if I had spent tons of time reading TOG's lists, I wouldn't have even remembered the specifics and STILL would have needed to pre-read and tweak. Maybe somebody's else's kids are different and don't need that. In our house I find myself tweaking the very "dead white men" approach of the curriculum and trying to make it fit a very homey, creative GIRL. Most curriculum doesn't care about that, but again it might matter when you get there. So I'm prepping for General Lee's cookbook and diaries of a 14 yo girl during the Civil War, things TOG and other curricula don't include. Same topics, same schedule, different books. Prereading 6 years ago would have done me no good.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree: I use and really like TOG b/c of the way it allows me to combine two very different ages and abilities, BUT, I have a Dialectic/Rhetoric Ds. if I had children your age I would stick with something simpler and less expensive.

 

I spent so much time and energy on Ds history when he was approximately your (OP) DC ages. He enjoyed history and remembered most of it at the time. Now, when I bring up 'remember when we did x,y,z?" he has no memory of it. I show him the really cool notebook pages we did and he sometimes has a very vague recollection. He does remember some of the projects we did, but not as many as I thought he would. I should have chilled out and just explored history and enjoyed the discoveries he made along the way. We weren't using TOG back then, but I did design a very intense history curriculum.

 

Shannon

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Do you REALLY think, with 5 kids age 7 and under, you're going to sit around reading the Code of Hammurabi, Albert Marrin books, etc.???

 

:iagree: I have 5 kids age 8 and under, and there's NO WAY I'm reading that stuff. I'm lucky to have read age appropriate books to each dc before collapsing at night. Besides, I couldn't stay awake long enough to read anything meaty.

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I see your kids are all little. At this point I would not buy TOG. I bought it this year for my 2 D students and thought I would use it for everyone. I didn't really like it at all for my little ones. There just wasn't much there for that level. I have used both SOTW and SL cores 1 and 2 with different sets of younger kids and have enjoyed both of those with my younger kids. I don't even think I am going to do TOG with my older kids next year. I bought the newest and greatest and it just wasn't one of my favorite years. Some discussions we would get to and the kids would say we didn't read about that this week. It would be in my notes and in the discussion questions but the info wouldn't be in the primary sources listed. Plus I still think it is a bit costly for what you get which is a list of books, notes and suggested weekly readings. I am sure it took a long time to come up with those things but other curriculum you get books with notes, and lists. It works great for some families and the service is great so it may work for you all. I would look at the 3 week plans and try them out.

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Don't Do It!! Is that good? Seriously, I bought the first unit to start our homeschooling adventure. I didn't have trouble organizing it, which is the most common complaint. I just found that it was SOOOO much that we didn't have time to do the various side trails that I like. I also found that the questions were very vague and hard to answer. And for me, although I wanted to integrate religion, I didn't want to spend months reading no other history than the bible. I switched to the TWTM way of doing things and I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO much happier. I use Story of the World with the Activity Guide, do the extra reading in the Kingfisher book, add in books from the library when appropriate, etc. I am not doing lit analysis at all, as I feel that it can "ruin" the fun of reading in the early years. I keep one book going that fits the theme, and he also does pleasure reading. I think the narration exercises in the Activity Guide work to evaluate comprehension just fine. Plus, it's so much less paper and mess.

 

My son and I were both happier without it.

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I can't imagine with all the responses you've had so far, you need to hear more, but here's my .02 cents. I have TOG for this year. I have a 10 yo and an 8 yo. I think it is more than we really need at this point. The book selections are wonderful, but you can find the books without buying the curriculum. The SAPs are not very useful to us at this point. The maps are nice and with the map aids cd very easy to add in. However, it wouldn't be hard to just buy a cd from Knowledge Quest to go along with another history program. At these ages that's about all we might use. I really could do this without TOG for these levels (UG and LG).

 

Also, on another note, I am finding it goes better if I separate them for history studies. How silly to use TOG and not combine them?? I am undecided if I will continue with TOG, but in your case I'd hold off for a bit. Or maybe try the three week sample??

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I'm jumping in to say, I am the opposite of the other posters. I didn't get TOG when they were early grammar and wish I would have. It would have simplified, directed, and given better and appropriately categorized guidelines to a young teacher who needed them. *Now* the pulling, digging, personal planning, etc is old hat, but *then* I didn't know what I was doing and TOG would have made life easier than digging through the WTM (which was a wonder to me at the time...still is :tongue_smilie:) and pulling from a dozen different resources. The inherent teacher training matters to some people...not all home schoolers start with education, confidence, or even the understanding of how to match up books across genres. Using TOG has taught me many things that go well beyond just humanities. When I speak of self-education, I mean so much more than just reading about history.

 

We used SOTW and it was fine for history, but we prefer living books w/ great illustrations. I tried and failed to self educate with The Well Educated Mind (I wasn't ready for the meat b/c I missed so much of the nibbling in my own education). TOG puts Everything in One Place and it is very.much.worth it to be able to educate a household from one source. I don't know about you, but sometimes taking the whole bunch to the library can wear down the most patient person. I didn't have time to dig in the library -- I needed the list so I could spend time with my family outside of schooling. I didn't have time to pick and choose from a variety of booklists. I didn't have time to hunt down and plan out coordination between map companies and the internet. The list keeps organization simple and easy for me. I know for some with smaller families, this isn't the case, but for a large family household, some things hold value beyond content.

 

And now that I'm into it with the D and R, I really won't care what comes along, I won't leave TOG b/c there will be no reason to. There may be times I will add, sub, or change a book based on my personal library contents, but the guidelines and direction TOG gives me will keep me right where I need to be and since I'll use this program with a ton of kids (7 so far), it's worth every penny. I can't wait to start repeating years with my younger dc. It will be wonderful to have the BTDT perspective and to fine tune what we've done.

 

and fwiw...using TOG as is, we sure read a lot more than books by dead white guys :001_huh: and we gain a vast understanding if history fact, perspective, and culture.

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I'm jumping in to say, I am the opposite of the other posters.

 

 

Thank you! TOG is totally doable with younger kids. I have a 7, 5, and almost 2 year old and we will be finishing year 2 of TOG this year. We love it and I wouldn't change it. It can be a good program for young kids.

 

I recognize that it doesn't work for everyone, and if you are looking to get talked out of it, then by all means, go with that feeling. However, if you really think you would like it, then give it a try. Purchase the print copy so that you can resell it if you don't like it (resale value is very good). Then, if you decide that you do like the program and want to keep using it when your children are older, you can upgrade your print to DE/print for only $35 and get all the upgrades that the company has made to the program during the years.

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I bought, and sold, TOG 1 and 2. I bought 1 and thought it would be great. That was right at the time they offered Redesign 2 and said the cost would go from about $150-$225 if I didn't buy NOW, so I got TOG 2 too.

 

My kids were about 9 and 7 (older two) when I bought it. I had a toddler.

 

Big mistake.

 

What I realized, after doing it for a while, was that TOG was written from the top down....meaning, they wrote it for the older levels and adapted it to fit the younger ones in.....we didn't like any of the suggested books, and since they claim it isn't "book specific" we spent a lot of time fitting books in that we might like.....A LOT OF TIME!

 

What I found was that we were going back to all the SL titles for that age range and adding in a few more.

 

We went back to Sonlight.

 

TOG might be great for high schoolers, but it isn't for younger kids, IMHO.

 

Dawn

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I'm cross posting this here from the rethinking history thread:

 

This back and forth banter about TOG is nothing new, lol. I've seen many a thread FOR TOG, and just as many against. My advice is to try out the 3 week sample, see if you can purchase a single unit used, and if you still think TOG would work for you, purchase a used Year plan that you can always resell if you decide after using it that it's not for you. But I wouldn't let that one thread sway you from TOG if you feel it might be a good fit for your family. Everyone has their own opinion about any given curriculum, and you should take it with a grain of salt. For example, I don't particularly care for SOTW 1 for the little ones, but I know MANY, MANY people do, so again, opinions vary greatly and if you read back on the WTM forums you will find the threads for and against TOG are numerous! You have to decide what's right for your family, and not let the WTM board dictate what's right. :001_smile:

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When I first started to seriously consider TOG, I wanted to be talked out of it, too. After all, it's so expensive! Plus, the kids I wanted to use it with were (are) young.

 

But I'm so glad I got it! :D:D:D The kids and I are loving it, and look forward to what we learn each day. SO many activities to choose from! I think there are plenty of things to keep little ones busy.

 

One of the greatest benefits for me is the self-educating. While I have read some of the rhetoric level material, the teachers notes are a wealth of information that help me tie my own thinking together as I work with the kids.

 

To the OP: all you can do is go with your gut. If you've prayed about it and don't have peace, don't buy it. But if you're leaning toward TOG--run with it and have fun!

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I will start by saying the I LOVE TOG!! We are finishing up our second history cycle and 4th year with TOG and looking forward to the rhetoric cycle with our oldest next year!!

 

However, I wouldn't have missed our first four years with SOTW for anything!!! I felt like at that stage, I was learning every bit as much as the kids just from SOTW and the extra books we were reading. There were so many things that I didn't know about before SOTW. We did tons of the projects in the activity guide and it gave my kids a real love for history.

 

If I could afford it, I would probably buy TOG now so that I could start collecting the books used (keep your eyes on the TOG website) but I would still make my main focus be SOTW and the projects! TOG is a fabulous program and it has been exactly what I wanted for the second and third rotation.

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OP here :001_smile:

 

I appreciate EVERYONE who has replied to this thread, for all of your perspectives and advice. I will probably read through it over and over for a while. I will definitely hesitate to buy it by the end of this week. I think I need more time to really mull it over and look at it a little closer, and figure out what I really want.

 

Thanks!

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I'm cross posting this here from the rethinking history thread:

 

This back and forth banter about TOG is nothing new, lol. I've seen many a thread FOR TOG, and just as many against. My advice is to try out the 3 week sample, see if you can purchase a single unit used, and if you still think TOG would work for you, purchase a used Year plan that you can always resell if you decide after using it that it's not for you. But I wouldn't let that one thread sway you from TOG if you feel it might be a good fit for your family. Everyone has their own opinion about any given curriculum, and you should take it with a grain of salt. For example, I don't particularly care for SOTW 1 for the little ones, but I know MANY, MANY people do, so again, opinions vary greatly and if you read back on the WTM forums you will find the threads for and against TOG are numerous! You have to decide what's right for your family, and not let the WTM board dictate what's right. :001_smile:

 

:iagree: (From one who has picked up and dropped TOG several times now. ) Sometimes you've just got to give it a try (or several tries:tongue_smilie:).

 

My thoughts on SOTW: my dd and I love it, but even SWB doesn't recommend doing SOTW 4 with kids younger than 4th grade. So if you agree with her, what do you do with your younger kids who are joining in your history? TOG schedules age-appropriate books so your little ones can learn at the level that is appropriate for them, and SOTW is scheduled in the alternates for your older students.

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Instead of quoting 12 people, let me just say :iagree: with most pp's.

 

On self ed: There is more than one way to go about this. I am NOT finding the time for this that I would like. I just had my 5th and I haven't found the time to get out of my pj's yet today.:tongue_smilie: (I should be doing that now, I suppose) However, I am still picking up a lot. Do you want great books self ed? WEM may be the way to go. Do you want history self ed? too many ways to even mention. Do you want history and Bible tied together? I doubt TOG can be beat on this one but you can do that next cycle.

 

I highly doubt that anything will ever come out that pulls together a rigorous classical lit and history program, on a 4 year cycle, with the possibility of including art, govt, philosophy, etc, with a biblical worldview and also keeps all kids on the same cycle. TOG is in a class of its own. HOWEVER, you do not need this. You need a way to get history done, to keep things easy on mama, to make history fun. TOG does not have the corner on that market.

I would not spend the money on TOG if your whole heart was not in it. Yes, it is important to educate yourself, and that was one of the reasons for me to get it. But it was not the only reason. TOG is a huge up-front financial investment, and the curriculum is definitely not for the faint of heart. You absolutely get what you pay for if you use it. If you are wavering, then I think you would be better off doing something else until the time comes when you know with all the fiber of your being that it will be better for your family.

 

This is EXACTLY my feelings on this. If you aren't sure, if your whole heart is not in it - don't buy yet. You have lots of time.

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TOG schedules age-appropriate books so your little ones can learn at the level that is appropriate for them

 

I don't think you need TOG's schedule to do this. It's pretty easy to find age-appropriate library books on the different topics for that time period.

 

(I bought TOG when my oldest was 1st and I had a toddler - sort of used it but left lots of parts out through 1st grade, thought the next year would be better. The next year, I realized I was only using it as a booklist, and not even getting to the teacher's notes for myself most of the time. I only had 1 younger child; I can't imagine sitting down to do all the planning and R level work if I had as many as the op.)

 

:)

Melissa

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OP here :001_smile:

 

I appreciate EVERYONE who has replied to this thread, for all of your perspectives and advice. I will probably read through it over and over for a while. I will definitely hesitate to buy it by the end of this week. I think I need more time to really mull it over and look at it a little closer, and figure out what I really want.

 

Thanks!

 

A good compromise might be to find it used (even just one unit). Try it out and then decide if you want to jump in whole hog. (What is that expression about anyway?:tongue_smilie:)

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I would suggest finding a used TOG (with a loom CD of course!) and going through it yourself. I think having it in print and being able to resell it totally if you don't like it or can't see it working for your family is important. TOG is one of those curriculum which really seems like a workhorse for many families and they can appreciate that. Others really don't want that much involvement with a curriculum and that's OK too. I'm sure some do just use it as a booklist also.

 

If money is not problem, I'd buy it, reserve some books from the library and flesh it out. Better to do it now than when your kids are older and the stakes are higher. :001_smile:

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  • 3 weeks later...
Do you REALLY think, with 5 kids age 7 and under, you're going to sit around reading the Code of Hammurabi, Albert Marrin books, etc.???

 

This is what decided it for me. I had to be brutally honest with myself about the above question OhElizabeth asked. I tried to "self-educate" for about a month, and it just totally bombed. Maybe you can do it, but you have to be really honest about whether it is you desiring to do or if you CAN actually do it. Right now, if I can get through a day at a time, that is good! lol ;)

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The pace TOG schedules work for high schoolers is just crazy, imho. Look at those booklists and as yourself "Will they enjoy it?"

 

I think this issue is huge and is missed so often for people considering TOG.

I'm all for studying classic literature but I'm just now talking my son into trying to enjoy reading again after our intense late middle and early high school with TOG. He does think he can be a writer. He does enjoy reading but not classic literature!

College freshman don't read this much. I know, he's taking community college english and history.

 

Take a look at the sample that's mid year, not weeks 1,2 and 3. I think it's year 2. Now, pretend you are a high school freshman. Boy. Hormones and all their glory. Or a girl with ADD or whatever issue. Now add in your algebra 1, 2 or geometry work, your first year of high school level foreign language (unless you're a genius or WTM adherant), biology with labs or chemistry. Whatever else your mom assigns.

 

Do you think you could handle that workload? It's the pace - not the individual selections so be sure to get a good picture for the total workload. Every week. Same intensity. Same classic lit, same two hours literary study, etc. Same geography that you have to look up on the internet to find those two or three places not mentioned in your reading.

 

And don't forget you'll need your mom, she's probably going to have to do alot of studying in order to do many of the discussions. Oh right. The TOG notes guide her through. Well, yes they do but she has for first learn what iambic pentameter is before she can teach it to you. Does she have a toddler too? Oh boy.

 

Yes, cutting back is an option...

here's a post I made a while ago about TOG.

http://welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=172079&highlight=bake+bread

 

 

I'm sure I'll get comments on how high school is work and mom has to be involved. I know someone will say if I didn't want to do the work, I shouldn't be homeschooling. Well, this is different. I wonder how many happy happy TOG users we will see when they're actually doing the rhetoric level? Upper grammar and dialectic even were a walk in the park for me as teacher/mom. It was rhetoric that completely turned our homeschool upside down!

Edited by momee
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Like a PP said, if you are not sure then you should wait. You are the only one who can determine the priorities for your home, and what type of education will best suit your family and lifestyle. There is no 'perfect' or 'best' for everyone. TOG is too much for some, but not for others. It depends on you and your students' dispositions. TOG does not equal burn-out. Just my .02

 

One of my favorite things about TOG is the Teacher's Notes. You don't have to actually read the material along with your student, in order to discuss it intelligently.

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I haven't read the whole thread, so excuse me if I've missed something important.

 

Maybe I'm selfish...but...after homeschooling and self-educating since the mid 90s, I think the teacher's teaching style is more important than the child's learning style. An excited teacher can pull a confused, bored child over almost any rough spot. But a confused, bored teacher cannot teach even an excited child. The confused, bored teacher can watch an excited child self-educate, but not TEACH.

 

So...if you will love a curriculum, not just are infatuated with one trend after another, but truly love this curriculum, buy it for YOURSELF. It is not wrong to spend 3/4 of curriculum money on mom's self-education. A well educated mom teaches as she cooks, as the news plays on TV, while driving in the car. Your children will learn more in the quick moments of unplanned teaching than in the scheduled lessons.

 

So don't buy TOG for the children, but if you can afford it, buy it for you.

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