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Sonlight or TOG/Elemental Science or on my own? Help!


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I am waffling on what to do next year for what would normally be covered by Sonlight's Core (history/geography, read-alouds, readers, and Bible) and Science. We are finishing Core A right now for what we're calling first grade, though ODS is the age of a kindergartener in my state and we may just have a two-year first grade. I really, really like having everything planned out for me and having it be "open and go." However, I am having some issues in that I'm leaning more towards the WTM model and in not feeling secure with Sonlight as a company.


Sonlight and Me: The plan had been to do Core and Science B next year. The big changes at Sonlight got me thinking again about what I want to do. Even if we stick with Sonlight, I plan to do Cores D and E in one year for fourth grade and then leave after 8th grade with Core 100. As I said, I LOVE how easy Sonlight is to use. I have felt it to be rather "jumpy," but chalked that up to it being Core A and an introduction. I've especially felt the science to be random and haphazard. I've been okay with religious topics so far, but as an Episcopalian, there are science and Bible parts I'm not happy with for the future. I have $115.60 in rewards and coupons with Sonlight and my free shipping will run out April 7, so if I want to take fullest advantage of my money there and don't want to order another Core, I need to decide before then.


Thoughts on TOG/ES: We are thinking about calling next year first grade again, so starting from Year 1 with Tapestry of Grace and Biology with ES would work well. YDS is four years behind ODS and that works perfectly for a four-year rotation of history and science. I like the orderliness of that plan. I worry about the planning involved in TOG (my husband is kind of covetous of my time). I have read many say that it's best to start with an older student and had thought about waiting until 5th or even 9th grade for ODS. I've also read complaints about ES not being "enough," but what I saw looked okay to me and I have access to two good library systems for supplemental reading. It most closely matches WTM from what I can find while being a full year study of each of the four sciences SWB outlines. So, convince me why or why not on TOG and ES please!


The other option would be to go totally on my own for "Core" and/or science. I have all four volumes and all four activity books for SOTW and a decent literature collection and library access for readers/read-alouds. I could follow WTM science sequence, but I worry about actually doing it without something prompting me to do so. I do own every single Magic School Bus book and tv show.


Please talk me through this!

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If it were me, ;), I would purchase the 2 Readers, all three sets. (I know they have different names now but they used to be the Regular, Intermediate, and Advanced Readers.) These are a great way to get your child reading and reading well. (My kids do all of them and then they are starting TOG literature at UG.)


Then you'd have to decide if you want to go with TOG, or on your own. It would completely depend on what you are looking for as far as your own education. If you are committed to TOG and want it to begin working with it early then by all means I would purchase it especially since each year plan is a one time purchase (at least with DE), but your children are also young so you have options. You could easily take the SOTW books and sit down with the computer and browse all the different curriculum sites to pick what literature books you would really like to add to the mix. You can then see what your library has and what you would want to buy.

This is a nice site that lines SOTW up with other curriculum.


I would definately use all those Magic School Bus books. Many are used in science through literature units you can get at curriclick and rainbow resources, or you put together your own.

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Thank you for your thoughts.


I forgot to say that he's currently doing Readers 2 (which was the first of the three Grade 2 readers), only because that way he wouldn't run out of readers before we got to Core D. He's reading at a much higher level.


We also have Kingfisher History, Geography, and Science Encyclopedias.


And our plan for everything else, that we've already bought, is:

SOTW and AB 1

WWE2 and WWW2

FLL2 and GWG2


AAS 2 and 3

MUS Beta, LOF Dogs through Farming, MM2


CTC BTS1 and MB3

Artistic Pursuits K-3 Book2

Pfeiffer House Music 2

Edited by kebg11
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I would stick with stow which you already have. You have book selections in the AG, but can take a peak at sonlight, etc for more ideas. You have a lot of curriculum planned and he will be a busy little guy.


Why not buy sonlight science with your money?


It's not WTM model but I am personally loving BFSU and wish we would have started in 1st.

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Personally, my options would be SOTW 1 with ES biology. If you absolutely adore TOG and the projects look interesting, or if you'd prefer to study 1 civilization at a time I'd go ahead and get TOG. You could use SOTW with TOG, complete the lapbooks, and choose a project or two for the unit. There's no reason you have to use TOG's assigned books either. Just choose a book on similar topics to those covered. JFYI, I spent 1 1/2 hrs yesterday sitting down with all 4 of my school age kids (3rd - 9th grade) individually and doing the weekly planning. In addition I spend about an hour running through the teacher's notes.


As far as ES versus TWTM science, I favor ES simply because I'm horrible at following my own plans. :glare: I also love the format ES uses, so I'm very tempted to use the ES logic Biology next year. :001_smile:

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