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Tweaking History Odyssey Ancients Level 2 - need advice


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I have two Logic Stage boys.  They aren't really into crafty things.  I'm thinking of just skipping the History Pockets part of HO.  Would I be making a mistake?  If I did the History Pockets (Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece) about how much time does it take to complete them?  The frustrating thing about the HO Lesson plans is that it doesn't give guidelines for that.

 

Also, I have read reviews about how badly biased TSOM is.  Would I be missing anything if I skipped that too?  I could supplement with Usborne or SOTW or books from the library. I'm already planning to add in more literature and Bible/Church History.

 

I'd love opinions from those who have done HO either with or without those resources.  TIA!

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I'm doing HO Ancients level two. I trashed about 75% of the history pockets and replaced it with 2 Jackdaw portfolios. They are expensive, but worth it, IMO, plus I have kids coming up who will use it. I hate history pockets, but I got HO because it was similar to TWTM, and already planned out. I also added a lot more books to read. Right now we are finishing up Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson, which is awesome. Regarding TSOM.... It's ok. We did the first reading yesterday and I wasn't overly impressed, but.... whatever. I didn't see any overt bias, although I haven't read much of it and I'm not nearly as politically correct/sensitive as some.. I re-wrote much of the curriculum and now we're trying it out.

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Thanks for the responses.

 

Krissi - I had the same motivation: WTM style but done for me.  I should look in WTM for some jackdaw recommendations.  Thanks for reminding me.

 

Laurel - The reviews I read on Amazon are that Van Loon is anti-Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim.  The reviewers found him strongly biased toward Protestantism. I am Protestant, but I prefer not to use a spine that is apparently skewed - especially if I don't need it. From a quick skim it seems that there are only four topics covered by TSOM that aren't covered in KHE, so I'm sure I could get books at the library or even use SOTW.

 

I've been tweaking all afternoon and I'm still not done.  Back to work for me.

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I used HO Level 2 Ancients with dd#1 last year. We didn't do any of the History Pockets & didn't miss them. We also didn't use TSOM. I scheduled an out of print book I'd bought on the recommendation of another poster who substituted it for TSOM. It was good, but K12 Human Odyssey would have been fine, too, I think. I added other books -- from Classical House of Learning's logic stage list. 

 

In the end, it didn't look much like HO Level 2 anymore. :lol:

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RootAnn - that's exactly the list I am using to get my extra literature.  Did you use any of the literary analysis questions from CHOL? I am thinking of incorporating some of them.

 

KrissiK - I tried that a few days ago but the formatting was so hideous it gave me a headache after 5 minutes.  I would almost rather print it out and cross off a few things or scribble in the margins.  Do you have a formatting secret you are willing to share?

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RootAnn - that's exactly the list I am using to get my extra literature.  Did you use any of the literary analysis questions from CHOL? I am thinking of incorporating some of them.

 

KrissiK - I tried that a few days ago but the formatting was so hideous it gave me a headache after 5 minutes.  I would almost rather print it out and cross off a few things or scribble in the margins.  Do you have a formatting secret you are willing to share?

 

I used Epic of Gilgamesh, Tales of Ancient Egypt, Wild Orchid, Broken Tusk, The Children's Homer, and The Bronze Bow. 

 

I tried the copying over trick, but it was too much work. I did end up printing the whole thing, crossing out, and then retyping the whole thing. It really didn't end up looking much like HO when I was done.

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KrissiK - I tried that a few days ago but the formatting was so hideous it gave me a headache after 5 minutes. I would almost rather print it out and cross off a few things or scribble in the margins. Do you have a formatting secret you are willing to share?

I didn't find the formatting too bad, although tedious things like that don't bother me a lot. When i added my own things, I just copied the original formatting, erased most of their words and added in my own. I admit that it was a big project, though. It's also been nice because I can edit as we go. We've been in school for 2 weeks now. I see how long it takes DS to do some of the lessons and what he's getting out of them, so I'll go in and combine some lessons, and add or subtract this or that.

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I used Epic of Gilgamesh, Tales of Ancient Egypt, Wild Orchid, Broken Tusk, The Children's Homer, and The Bronze Bow. 

 

I tried the copying over trick, but it was too much work. I did end up printing the whole thing, crossing out, and then retyping the whole thing. It really didn't end up looking much like HO when I was done.

 I am planning to use those and  a few others.

 

Retyping it too?  Wow.  I can't imagine.  Although since I will need it again when the 4 year-old gets to there, retyping might not be such a bad idea.  Ugh.

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I didn't find the formatting too bad, although tedious things like that don't bother me a lot. When i added my own things, I just copied the original formatting, erased most of their words and added in my own. I admit that it was a big project, though. It's also been nice because I can edit as we go. We've been in school for 2 weeks now. I see how long it takes DS to do some of the lessons and what he's getting out of them, so I'll go in and combine some lessons, and add or subtract this or that.

 

I did outline which lessons I want to use and in what order, so I guess doing the revising of HO one week at a time might not be overwhelming. I usually like to plan everything before the year begins, but  I do end up changing things.  Maybe I should do this with all our subjects. ;-)

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TSOM and History Pockets were the only things we liked about History Odyssey! We tried it for half a year and then bailed. There were way too many binder sections, way too much jumping around between them, too much work, and it was just dry, dry, dry ... history with all the fun sucked out of it.

 

If you're planning to tweak it a lot, I'd recommend just looking at the TOC and then planning your own resources. If you're set on buying it, I'd make sure to choose just two or three things you plan to focus on (like timeline and outlining) and then just dump the rest.

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Well, my kids love cutty-and-pastey activities, so they love History Pockets. I don't really think there's a huge amount of educational bang for the proverbial buck, but I used the time they were working on the pockets to do read-alouds from other books, so I snuck in more learning without the kids being any wiser to it. ;)

 

As far as TSOM, I find it to be a concise (sometimes too concise!) trip through world history. I'm usually pretty sensitive to old-fashioned books using terminology I don't like or having obvious racial/cultural slants, but I find the stuff in TSOM mild enough that I can edit it even as I'm reading, if I need to. I don't recall too many instances of that, however. I have an updated and revised version. After we bailed on HO, I continued to use TSOM as our spine and just did a lot of nonfiction or fiction reading to round out the topics. This year I am using something else as a spine but will still be reading that chapters of TSOM that coordinate with or flesh out the topics we are reading or add in topics our other book doesn't address.

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