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TOG questions


Annie Laurie
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I am Christian but not reformed or evangelical, I was raised Catholic, will I run into problems using TOG? I use SL right now and secularize it quite easily. We would be starting with Year 1, so that might be especially problematic. I have read several threads after doing a search, and am still confused about this.

 

Also, I was so very close to buying it, but am rethinking because TOG uses This Country of Ours from Year 2 Unit 2 through Year 3 Unit 4. It says on the website that the student activity pages are directly tied to this title and it will not be easy to substitute. So then, what would be the point of investing in TOG because I need the structure, if I have to sub this book for so long and can't use the activity pages?

 

I am feeling so discouraged. I thought I had found the answer with History Odyssey, but it uses The Story of Mankind as a spine, which is another book I'd like to avoid.

 

It looks like my options now are:

 

-Tweak TOG when we get to those units that use TCOO

 

-Add my own mapwork, activity pages, and other supplements to SL

 

-Try to follow WTM history. And I'd rather have a planned curriculum.

 

This is for a 3rd, 5th, and 6th grader. It's the older kids I'm struggling with. I was happy to use SL as is, but they have specifically asked for more structure and more output. (Actually requesting they write reports and such.) Oh, and some of them don't seem to be auditory learners, my kids are extremely kinesthetic.

Edited by Annie Laurie
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TOG is VERY Christian, but substituting is not a problem. We just finished Year 3, and while we did use the book you mentioned, we also substituted SOTW. In year 3 you can use Joy Hakim's books (Don't know about year 2), which are secular. This year my DS moved into Dialectic, but I like the Hakim books so I am still using them and SOTW for his history text. I will move him to D in the lit and everything else for year 4. The Student Activity Pages (SAP) are to go along with the literature selections, not the history. What they might be referring to is the accountability questions. I think these can be answered without using that specific book. In year three for UG, Hakim is the main history text, and Abraham Lincoln's World is the main text for D, which was fantastic.

 

The thing I love about TOG is the structure, but within that there is tons of flexibility. Don't feel like you have to be nailed down to any one thing. She always provides lots of options, and there are alternates for everything. Believe me, there will be plenty of opportunity to write, do timelines, activities, lap-books, maps, and hands-on projects with this curriculum-- More than you'll ever get around to doing.

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I agree with pp. I read a LOT on the subject before buying. I'm Episcopalian. We are in Year One and I've been able to easily work around readings or issues that don't fit our worldview. There are always alternate books listed. Most of the comments that don't match our brand of Christianity are in the teacher's notes or a random question here or there. I'd either skip the question, as I've done with my young son, or at the ages you have, you might want to use it for a quick discussion about differing views. We left Sonlight for TOG because I saw that my son would do better with this kind of program. He loved curling up on the couch reading stories, but he gets more out of the TOG readings and activities. And now we pick our own read-alouds.

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The Student Activity Pages (SAP) are to go along with the literature selections, not the history. What they might be referring to is the accountability questions. I think these can be answered without using that specific book. In year three for UG, Hakim is the main history text, and Abraham Lincoln's World is the main text for D, which was fantastic.

 

 

Thank you, that makes me feel a little better.

 

I saw a sample in one of the videos of an SAP (I think that's what it was, I need to go back and watch it again), and it looked extremely boring. It said things like "On what page would you find x?" or "Look on page x and list what the title is." The entire page was like that, basically just checking to see that the child had read the book, or knew how to use the table of contents or something. Are all of them like that?

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I saw a sample in one of the videos of an SAP (I think that's what it was, I need to go back and watch it again), and it looked extremely boring. It said things like "On what page would you find x?" or "Look on page x and list what the title is." The entire page was like that, basically just checking to see that the child had read the book, or knew how to use the table of contents or something. Are all of them like that?

 

That sounds like the grammar level SAP's. I don't use those at all. With a lower grammar child (about 1st - 3rd grade), I am reading to her, so I don't really need her to answer written questions since we talk about it as we read. As she moves into upper grammar (about 4th - 6th grade), I would rather have her do narrations to show she has read it rather than have her do those sorts of worksheets (which I consider "busy work"). So I generally don't even print out the worksheets. I only use the SAP's for geography assignments and history activities.

 

At the dialectic level (about 6th - 8th grade), there are questions but not worksheets. The questions are intended to prepare the students for a Socratic discussion. And those questions are much deeper than just checking if they read the book. They are asked to summarize, compare and contrast, show cause and effect, etc.

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That sounds like the grammar level SAP's. I don't use those at all. With a lower grammar child (about 1st - 3rd grade), I am reading to her, so I don't really need her to answer written questions since we talk about it as we read. As she moves into upper grammar (about 4th - 6th grade), I would rather have her do narrations to show she has read it rather than have her do those sorts of worksheets (which I consider "busy work"). So I generally don't even print out the worksheets. I only use the SAP's for geography assignments and history activities.

 

At the dialectic level (about 6th - 8th grade), there are questions but not worksheets. The questions are intended to prepare the students for a Socratic discussion. And those questions are much deeper than just checking if they read the book. They are asked to summarize, compare and contrast, show cause and effect, etc.

 

:iagree: I've never encountered a SAP like that, frankly. The ones we have done have gone much deeper than that. The LG SAPs are just to get the student to reflect on the story, see that they comprehended it, etc. The dialectic SAPs are for them to prepare for their discussion of whatever literature point they are to be learning that week. Sometimes we use them, sometimes we don't, depending on the angle I want to take. I am pretty self-sufficient when it comes to teaching lit. The history questions are helpful for me, though.

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