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Any helpful ideas to help make VP Omnibus more doable for a busy, large family?

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Are there any experienced Omnibus users out there who could help me think through this? I'd very much appreciate any imput!   I've always aimed at using Omni in high school, but now that my 13 year old son is finishing 7th grade I'm realizing it's going to be too heavy a load for him. I also have five other children and I need something he can handle largely on his own.  Have any of you tweaked it to make it more doable for a non academic child in a busy family?  I'm aiming at the "spirit" of Omnibus, but a lighter load. My son understands concepts.  His vocabulary and sustained reading skills are not up to par. He also just takes his time with school.  He eventually gets there, and does a good job, but takes longer than most kids.   So here are some ideas I've tossed around, maybe a few kind ladies out there could let me know if they are workable or not, or if there's another option. 


Option 1:  Ignore Primary.  Instead use a text book like Spielvogel or SWB highschool history and supplement with secondary sources.

Option 2:  Substitute some primary works with abridged versions.

Option 3:  Just pick and choose the books we want and go more slowly.  I'm not sure if I can still claim credit at that point.

Option 4:  Just use Spielvogel in 8th grade to get reading vocab up, and to free time up in 9th.


As of right now, I am planning on using Transition with him in 8th grade, but I think he will still need a little help.


I'd love any advice!



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Another idea?  Spread out Transition over two years, and then jump into Omnibus. You could probably add in other books if you wanted very easily by picking from the lower-level Veritas lists, which include many books appropriate for middle school.  Because Transition is based on the history cards, there is a lot that can be added to Transition.


My oldest did Omni I for 9th grade.  He's very strong academically, but had heavy loads in other subjects.  And he worked very hard.  I kept track of hours, and we easily got the three credits out of doing both primary and secondary.  


Spielvogel is great, but it is used primarily as background reading in Omnibus.  The meat is in the other books.

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I started with Omnibus many, many years ago when it was just a reading list and I adjusted it for my family.


First -- we all did the same subject every year.  So when the older kids did the first year of Omnibus, we all did Greece and Rome.  I did some of the readings as read-alouds.


Also --  I also used audio books for the harder works.


We have six kids and taught them in pairs and I got lighter and lighter on the reading list as we went.  I chose the best/most important works to expose them to and let a lot go.  I don't think my younger two are any worse off for reading a few select chapters of Herodotus instead of trudging through the whole book, you know?  My older kids think it's greatly unfair. =)


I also departed from Omnibus after the second year because I didn't like their reading list.  I made my own list for the modern times following Veritas Press's explorers -1815/1815 to the present set up so the younger kids could study the same thing.  From 10th grade on, we completely left Omnibus and did AP History classes.

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Thanks ladies!  I've always changed curriculum as needed for grammer school, but I guess I'm a little nervous about messing up credits and transcripts  for highschool.  Muttichen, were transcripts a problem at all with your younger ones? 


Thanks again, ladies!

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No -- they still had a solid reading list; it just wasn't as oppressive as what I made my poor older kids suffer through!  I'd list it as two courses:


Medieval and Renaissance Literature


History of the Middle Ages


..or whatever... I'd split the readings into history and lit and tell what they covered in each.


That was just for ninth grade, though -- after that we did traditional AP classes because dh thought it would look better to colleges.

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