Jump to content

Menu

Thinking of changing to Tapestry of Grace - needing input


razorbackmama
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have used TOG twice in the past. The first time around, it was with the classic, and it was when my oldest was in 1st or 2nd grade. I was pretty overwhelmed! The second time around, I think my oldest was in 6th grade or so. It went OK, but I never left the "Fog." I think I finally realized that I needed something with daily assignments.

 

Since that time we've used Sonlight some and My Father's World some. We are most currently coming from MFW. My oldest 2 are using their high school levels, and while I really do like it, it provides no guide for the parent, so I'm LOST. And I can't just wing it when it comes to discussion. They aren't fabulous in the comprehension department either, so I can't just rely on them to tell me what they've been reading.

 

My 6th grader is my trickiest when it comes to school. I held him back in kindergarten due to maturity (he has an April birthday - he'll be 13 this next April), but as it turns out he also has dyslexia, dysgraphia, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and I suspect some other sort of processing issue. (Finding help for any of my kids has been nearly impossible.) He fits the description of a visual-spatial learner to a T. Consequently, all the read-alouds in Sonlight and MFW haven't really done anything for him. There are some hands-on things in MFW, but not a lot, and not nearly as many as what I remember there being in TOG. I also like the alternate resources like videos in TOG - I think those would be great for him.

So I'm considering a switch back, and I've been trying to read up on planning so that I don't stay in the Fog this time. We'll be finishing up our current levels of MFW in Dec.-Jan. I've already got figured out what my 9th, 10th, and 12th graders will be doing for rest of the school year, so at first I'll just have UG and LG students. But next school year (provided all goes well!) I'll add in my then 10th grader. I'll probably have her do D as she transitions.

 

I'm looking at using Y1U4 starting in Jan., since that will be right where we'll leave off in our level of MFW (Creation to the Greeks).

 

I'm leaning toward the print version since resale is pretty important to me. I couldn't quite understand what I'd be missing out on when it came to updates though as compared to the DE. Help?

 

Also, is there anyone else who prefers daily plans that have made TOG work for them? That really was my biggest issue before - I didn't know how to break down the weekly assignments into daily chunks.

I also have a friend who has all 4 levels of the print version for sale. From what I can tell on the TOG website, I would have to pay for any updated pages with substituted resources, if i purchased from her? Am I understanding that correctly? How would I find out what else I would need as far as MapAids, Pop Quizzes, Loom, etc. go?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't started using Tapestry yet--I intend to buy it for next fall--but if your friend isn't selling the Loom with the copy she has for sale, you cannot get it elsewhere, and they say you will need it. Lampstand Press will not sell the Loom separately, because they say that if there's not a Loom wiith it, it's an unauthorized copy (i.e., someone selling a print copy that they printed from the DE or selling the print copy they received with the DE+print version, which they say you can't resell).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in our fifth year of TOG and have never used the Loom. No big deal there.

 

We paid for DE and classic. We use the paper and electronic versions both when planning. I have no idea about resale.

 

We utilize weekly lesson plans we create from all our curricula. The TOG tasks we select are lumped in with Saxon math lessons, R&S English lessons, etc.. This way we have the freedom to choose each day what to do, but still have an easy way to stay on track for the year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've asked my friend what all is included. She says "everything." I'm trying to get specifics LOL. It really stinks that they won't provide the Loom to people who purchase it used. What if the original purchaser simply lost the CD or it got damaged somehow? I've read that it's not a huge deal to not have in the lower levels, but in the upper levels it can be very helpful. (No clue - just going off what I've read.)

 

Print versions that come as part of the DE+print package aren't supposed to be resold. I honestly can't figure out why I'd need the DE version at all - that's just not the way we operate around here. The only thing I'd want is the updated stuff, so that's my top concern when it comes to getting a print version.

 

I do best with a pretty open-and-go, "do this next thing" type of curriculum. That's why I'm so scared to use TOG again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if this works with TOG, but I work off of a yearly list. I create a list of books for my kids to read (Sonlight eclectic) in order, look at the size of print etc... and guestimate how much my kids might read in 30 or 60 minutes. 

 

On a daily basis, I have them aim for a certain amount of time. That might be:

 

history-60 minutes. Read for 45-50 minutes, write notes for 10-15 minutes, plus discussion with mom a couple of times per week.

 

Or Literature-30 minutes reading, plus discussion with mom a couple of times per week.

 

Sometimes I give targets if I think they aren't reading enough in the time I asked them to aim for. For a long time I said 1 chapter (or maybe 2 chapters if chapters were shorter) or 30 minutes, whichever takes longer. IE, read more than a chapter if you are done in under half an hour, or read a minimum of one chapter even if it takes more than half an hour. 

 

Most of the time, this type of approach has allowed us to be open and go with eclectic, non-pre-planned materials.

 

With the way I plan, I usually get a few extras as optional books in case we decide to switch out a book or my  kids read faster than I anticipated etc... You can always add in more books, and you can always drop books--but having a roughed out plan for the year keeps me from scrambling at the last minute. 

 

If you could look at TOG, and plan out which books to get based on how many books your kids reasonably get through now, could you do something similar as far as deciding a workable, daily plan? 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL Merry that would SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not work here (what you do)!!!

Yes, my plan is to figure out some sort of daily plan...trying to figure out how and when to do that. Everything TOG puts out that explains how to plan says to plan on a couple hours a week to do this. I do not have that. I've been ATTEMPTING to find out from other TOG users how they do it, but my goodness, getting a response from the FB and yahoo groups has been like pulling teeth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've asked my friend what all is included. She says "everything." I'm trying to get specifics LOL. It really stinks that they won't provide the Loom to people who purchase it used. What if the original purchaser simply lost the CD or it got damaged somehow? I've read that it's not a huge deal to not have in the lower levels, but in the upper levels it can be very helpful. (No clue - just going off what I've read.)

 

Print versions that come as part of the DE+print package aren't supposed to be resold. I honestly can't figure out why I'd need the DE version at all - that's just not the way we operate around here. The only thing I'd want is the updated stuff, so that's my top concern when it comes to getting a print version.

 

I do best with a pretty open-and-go, "do this next thing" type of curriculum. That's why I'm so scared to use TOG again.

If the Loom was simply lost or damaged then the original purchaser could get a replacement from TOG.  The problem is that people are selling the complimentary print that they got with their DE+print edition, which isn't for resale.  Their Loom is in DE format so they don't own a CD.

 

I make my TOG weeks into daily schedules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the Loom was simply lost or damaged then the original purchaser could get a replacement from TOG.  The problem is that people are selling the complimentary print that they got with their DE+print edition, which isn't for resale.  Their Loom is in DE format so they don't own a CD.

 

And I get the whole print + DE thing, but it's still stupid. If the original purchaser never really used the Loom CD, then they probably wouldn't care if they got a replacement or not. So when they sell it the new owner is stuck without a Loom and no way to get one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I buy TOG In DE format because I was hoping to continue to use it with a co-op. Given that, I expected to need to update my version as I progressed thru it with my kids. It is also handy to be able to use a search function sometimes.

 

First time I tried TOG I also got stuck in the fog. I did much better later on with redesigned and a co-op. For the classes I taught at the dialectic or rhetoric levels, we assigned the weekly reading and picked which other parts for the students to cover. With history I typically included geography, or at least some basic map work. Once weekly assignments were determined then I'd work with my dc to determine when to do the work. Sometimes we'd break it out into daily assignments. Often times my dc preferred to block study it and do all history/geography in one 4hr slot. The. Lit would be on another day. Things like math and English might get done dAily.

 

For the lower levels maybe do reAdings on M/W and projects on Friday?

 

One thing I noticed as I considered TOG for my G and UG dc was that G stage work was all about introducing them to the stories, people, vocab, ect. UG seems to be focused on getting them used to reading more. Some folks get concerned that there is not a lot of assignments/worksheets for them to do at this level. But I think the main goal is to work on their reading level and amounts and to begin the discussions. There is plenty of work to pick for them at the D level, so don't sweat the workload at the lower levels. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kirstin, I'm a TOGger wannabe, the one who always looks at it and never thinks it's quite what I need for my student, sigh.  I'm just saying that so you know I like it a lot, look at it every year and sigh, and have no axe to grind or anything.  :)  I think (and I'm just looking objectively at what you wrote here), that I would ask: WOULD YOU BUY IT if it WEREN'T being offered to you used?  

 

That's the first question I think to solve.  Then I had a few more thinking questions...

-how are read alouds with TOG better than read alouds with MFW and SL for that 6th grader?  

-how is it easier to LOSE the daily plans you have with MFW and have to start all over with that than it is just to get some comprehension guides to go with the MFW books?

-are the activities you're wanting from MFW actually in the curriculum or in the activity books the unit uses?  Can you just look at Bookshelf, buy those books, and select activities to pencil into your MFW?

 

I'm just encouraging you to find the SIMPLEST solution to your problems.  Just because this opportunity presented itself doesn't mean you have to take it.  It's a huge expense, and that lady is probably sitting there going YES, YES, WINDFALL!!!  It's a windfall for her and could be an albatross for you.  I'll tell you as someone who looks at TOG every year I would not consider buying used print versions.  I think the market is going to shrink on that because most people want the features of the DE.  So to assume it's going to be an easy resale *might not* be correct.

 

Yes, I'm trying to burst your bubble, sorry.   :(

 

My dd was extremely hands-on driven, but honestly it only lasted through 7th.  You may be on the tail end of it.  I think you'd do better to go to the Enrichment4U site and pick out 3 or 4 projects to do for the year to add onto your current approach.  I think it would be easier to google the books and get comprehension guides to guide your discussions than to have to make daily lesson plans.  That's a HUGE trade-off.  If having daily lesson plans is what it takes to make your school go well and you've tried *twice* going with something that doesn't give that to you and flopped both times, isn't that sort of like me and my yearning, yearning, yearning for TOG?   :)

 

Just because the questions are *different* in the guides you would find online doesn't make them *bad*.  They'd just be different.  And you know, I sat in on a class the Somerville girl did online supposedly teaching how to approach lit, and I thought it was HORRIBLE.  That's great that somebody else liked it.  I'm just saying quality is relative to where you're coming from.  It's not like TOG is the RIGHT way and we are all failing to attain if we do something DIFFERENT.  

 

Maybe look for a free list of generic discussion questions?  WEM has has that list.  Or was it WTM?  I think it was WTM.  Or maybe SWB gave it out as an online handout for a workshop?  I don't remember.  Around that junior high age I printed it out and popped in a page protector to use with dd.  That's really all you need.  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cram a SN child into a curriculum.  I'll say that again.  You get that curriculum and then have all these writing assignments and this and that that you have to decide to use, not to use, it's just frustrating.  If MFW gets you 80% of the way there, SOLVE THE PROBLEM.  If MFW was only getting you 20% of the way there, then yes you should jump.  But if it's getting you 70-80% of the way there, you should problem solve.  Frankly, if you have unusual children or an unusual/challenging mix and it's getting you 60% of the way there, I would stay put.  Because when you have to recreate that 60% just to have the addition of the 40%, that's gonna be a lot of work.

 

And you know, you could walk on the TOG, let it ride, and see if it's still there a month from now.  Just because you've been salivating over it DOESN'T mean it's going to be a hot, fast sale for her.  I'll bet it's not.  I'll bet her price drops.  I think most new users are going to want DE.  We can now throw the DE on our ipad, print, make custom worksheets from our kids, etc.  It's not going to be a hot seller.  It could become an albatross to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<<WOULD YOU BUY IT if it WEREN'T being offered to you used?>>

Yes. She's actually been offering it to me for years and years, and I've been telling her no way. I most recently was looking at TOG straight from their website and was planning to buy it from TOG directly (if I could ever figure out HOW to buy it from them...their website is confusing!!!). Then I remembered that she probably still had it.

<<how are read alouds with TOG better than read alouds with MFW and SL for that 6th grader? >>
There are more books for HIM to read rather than just be read to. And there are way more hands-on things and other alternatives (movies, etc.) already listed in the assignments rather than me having to come up with something on my own.

 

<<how is it easier to LOSE the daily plans you have with MFW and have to start all over with that than it is just to get some comprehension guides to go with the MFW books?>>

I've been looking for guides for the MFW books (when I have the time) but either can't find them, don't have time to read through them all, or something. It would definitely be easier to split up the weekly assignments into daily assignments instead of searching all over the internet for the information I need to conduct semi-decent discussions. And then there is the issue of I'm not even sure what all we're supposed to be discussing....

 

<<are the activities you're wanting from MFW actually in the curriculum or in the activity books the unit uses?  Can you just look at Bookshelf, buy those books, and select activities to pencil into your MFW?>>

They are suggested in the curriculum itself. The activity books just have the instructions.

 

<<Just because this opportunity presented itself doesn't mean you have to take it.  It's a huge expense, and that lady is probably sitting there going YES, YES, WINDFALL!!!  It's a windfall for her and could be an albatross for you.>>

Not the case at all. Sorry I didn't make that clear in my OP. I definitely am not thinking about TOG because she offered it to me. I'm thinking about TOG because MFW isn't working. I actually was planning to switch all my kids to BJU DVDs for history once we're done with this level of MFW. (And that's what my high schoolers will be doing.) But boy, ya wanna talk pricy??? Yikes.

 

<<I would not consider buying used print versions.  I think the market is going to shrink on that because most people want the features of the DE.  So to assume it's going to be an easy resale *might not* be correct.>>

 

Actually when they came out with the DE stuff, they weren't printing except rarely. My friend only has the first 3 levels of TOG because they didn't get Y4 printed by the time she needed it. But there were so many people who didn't want the DE (she didn't want it, and I don't want it - I imagine there are many more like us who don't give a flying flip about all the so-called "features" of the DE and want to be able to resell it afterward) that they apparently started offering print versions again. I'm not sure how long ago they started doing that. We stopped using TOG about 5 years ago, and that's when they were stopping the printing. Apparently that idea of theirs flopped.

 

<<Just because the questions are *different* in the guides you would find online doesn't make them *bad*.  They'd just be different.  And you know, I sat in on a class the Somerville girl did online supposedly teaching how to approach lit, and I thought it was HORRIBLE.  That's great that somebody else liked it.  I'm just saying quality is relative to where you're coming from.  It's not like TOG is the RIGHT way and we are all failing to attain if we do something DIFFERENT.  

 

Maybe look for a free list of generic discussion questions?  WEM has has that list.  Or was it WTM?  I think it was WTM.  Or maybe SWB gave it out as an online handout for a workshop?  I don't remember.  Around that junior high age I printed it out and popped in a page protector to use with dd.  That's really all you need.  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cram a SN child into a curriculum.  I'll say that again.  You get that curriculum and then have all these writing assignments and this and that that you have to decide to use, not to use, it's just frustrating.  If MFW gets you 80% of the way there, SOLVE THE PROBLEM.  If MFW was only getting you 20% of the way there, then yes you should jump.  But if it's getting you 70-80% of the way there, you should problem solve.  Frankly, if you have unusual children or an unusual/challenging mix and it's getting you 60% of the way there, I would stay put.  Because when you have to recreate that 60% just to have the addition of the 40%, that's gonna be a lot of work.>>

 

That's the big question. I know with my high schoolers I'm lost. Absolutely lost. I've tried asking the MFW people, and they've been so nice, but apparently I'm an oddball that I can't get it to work for us like they say they do. I know that with my 6th grader, part of his issue is that he relies heavily on his siblings to do the answering for him (in addition to him not being an auditory learner), so MFW isn't meeting his needs at all. He needs to have more expected from him. But I don't have the time or energy to drum up all sorts of additional/different assignments for him on my own.

TOG has been one of many curriculums I've been looking at as I plan to jump ship from MFW. So far BJU DVDs have been in the lead until now. But that's got its own set of issues too, I know. I haven't been able to find anything else either. I looked at Simply Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online, but they all require planning too, and those are just books books and more books it seems. I've even been looking at KONOS!

 

I may dig out my Cathy Duffy book again. I know I won't find "the perfect" curriculum due to the mix of needs we have going on, but I'd like to find something that isn't not doing my kids justice. MFW isn't (at least not the way that I'm able to use it).

(The EASIEST thing would be for MFW to come out with parent guides to tell us exactly what we should be checking on/discussing each week! I have no idea if there are plans for that or not...anytime I've talked to them I've gotten the impression that they haven't even thought of it before and that the problem is user error.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL Merry that would SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not work here (what you do)!!!

 

Yes, my plan is to figure out some sort of daily plan...trying to figure out how and when to do that. Everything TOG puts out that explains how to plan says to plan on a couple hours a week to do this. I do not have that. I've been ATTEMPTING to find out from other TOG users how they do it, but my goodness, getting a response from the FB and yahoo groups has been like pulling teeth.

 

I have used all four years of TOG, and I have used all four levels.

 

The couple of hours to prepare for your family's studies is obligatory. It would be great if it really were only two hours but I can't do it that quickly, usually (perhaps people with only one or two children can do it in two hours)...but there is just no getting around the prep time. If you don't have a couple of hours every weekend to

 

1. choose the books and materials for each child

2. study the teacher's notes so you know what your independent readers are learning and what to discuss

3. choose writing assignments for each child, print instructions and rubrics if you're using them, make sure you really understand how to teach it

4. choose activities/presentations/projects if you're doing them, and make sure you have needed supplies

5. go to the library, surf the net for resources, make copies of maps and whatnot

6. come up with a daily schedule to get through all this work, and help your older kids make their own schedules

7. choose which of the student questions they will answer and why -- important at the rhetoric level; you can't just say "answer all the questions" for a lot of students because there are too many and they are difficult. My two rhetoric students rarely were assigned all the same questions or the exact same writing assignments. This is where the differentiation that you want comes in, but differentiation is spelled T-I-M-E on your part

 

then you do NOT have time for TOG.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, I don't think it's a challenge we ever sort out fully.  If you have less kids and no SN, maybe you can invest so much time that you feel fully satisfied, like you've done everything you envisioned, everything in your mind that high school was meant to be.  But really, once you get back to reality (kids, SN, etc.), I think you more have to target.  I don't think EVERYTHING is going to be as well-done as we envision, but maybe *some* of the important things well-done and some less well-done.  I think you have an expectations difference, that you expected the vision of MFW would be your vision, and in some ways it's not.  

 

I find it easier to find materials that help me implement my vision rather than making something else come into line with mine.  So for me it's easier to be eclectic and use Walch Powerbasics (kicked up with videos) here, Teaching Company videos there, etc. etc. because that way each component I'm bringing in *has* the structure to accomplish my goals.  And where I don't have major goals and it's more perfunctory/check it off, well we just read or whatever and let it go at that.  

 

Good luck to you figuring it out!  :)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the DE version and love it.  Since we do our schooling on Onenote, I just print off the pages I need for scheduling and then put the items I choose into our Onenote weekly schedule.  DD is in 6th and we're going with Dialectic. Here is how it works:

 

  • Math: M-F; 45 mins/class  (Horizons)
  • History:  M, W, F; one hour classes each (TOG)
  • Geography: M & W; 30 mins/class (TOG)
  • Grammar: T & Th; 30 mins/class (IEW's Fix-It Nose Tree & Kilgallon's GFMS)
  • Writing: M, W, F; 45 mins/class (Jump In & Figuratively Speaking)
  • Literature: M, W, F; 30 mins/class (TOG)
  • Science: T & Th; 1 hour each class (Interest-led: Just started Animals; did Virology the first qtr.)
  • Philosophy: M & W; 45 mins/class (Philosophy Adventures - spreading out over a year and not doing everything)
  • Latin: M-W & F; 30 mins/class (Visual Latin/FF)
  • Bible: T & Th; 30 mins/class (plus we also do an Apologetics class together as a family on M, W, F after dinner)
  • Church Hist/WV: Th & F; 30 mins/class (TOG)

 

My Dd requires a schedule and she, personally, asked for one.  This one is working great for us.  I only purchase those books we will be using for 3+ weeks.  I usually purchase them used if I can find them through either Amazon or BigWords.  I don't use the Loom at all yet, but I'm glad it's there should I need it.

 

I do incorporate videos: YT, Amazon, History Channel, Netflix etc.  I also add applicable primary source docs from Eyewitness to History. We also have a subscription to BrainPop which is fantastic for History and Science.  The FYI in articles BP are great because they are in-depth and DD really likes to read them.  For our virology studies, DD was able to do a virtual lab with BP and a cool virus game.

 

We really like the depth of TOG.  I never got the "FOG"; maybe it was because I'm a computer person and just went with DE after doing extensive research.  I think a lot of the FOG could be avoided by just treating TOG like the buffet it is.  Just go for the things you want to teach and ignore the rest.

 

HTH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used all four years of TOG, and I have used all four levels.

 

The couple of hours to prepare for your family's studies is obligatory. It would be great if it really were only two hours but I can't do it that quickly, usually (perhaps people with only one or two children can do it in two hours)...but there is just no getting around the prep time. If you don't have a couple of hours every weekend to

 

1. choose the books and materials for each child

2. study the teacher's notes so you know what your independent readers are learning and what to discuss

3. choose writing assignments for each child, print instructions and rubrics if you're using them, make sure you really understand how to teach it

4. choose activities/presentations/projects if you're doing them, and make sure you have needed supplies

5. go to the library, surf the net for resources, make copies of maps and whatnot

6. come up with a daily schedule to get through all this work, and help your older kids make their own schedules

7. choose which of the student questions they will answer and why -- important at the rhetoric level; you can't just say "answer all the questions" for a lot of students because there are too many and they are difficult. My two rhetoric students rarely were assigned all the same questions or the exact same writing assignments. This is where the differentiation that you want comes in, but differentiation is spelled T-I-M-E on your part

 

then you do NOT have time for TOG.

I agree, although I do all but the bolded during the summer weeks or on our vacation time rather than take the time during the school year.

 

During the school year I only have to put together the daily schedule and fill in the kid's planners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used all four years of TOG, and I have used all four levels.

 

The couple of hours to prepare for your family's studies is obligatory. It would be great if it really were only two hours but I can't do it that quickly, usually (perhaps people with only one or two children can do it in two hours)...but there is just no getting around the prep time. If you don't have a couple of hours every weekend to

 

1. choose the books and materials for each child

2. study the teacher's notes so you know what your independent readers are learning and what to discuss

3. choose writing assignments for each child, print instructions and rubrics if you're using them, make sure you really understand how to teach it

4. choose activities/presentations/projects if you're doing them, and make sure you have needed supplies

5. go to the library, surf the net for resources, make copies of maps and whatnot

6. come up with a daily schedule to get through all this work, and help your older kids make their own schedules

7. choose which of the student questions they will answer and why -- important at the rhetoric level; you can't just say "answer all the questions" for a lot of students because there are too many and they are difficult. My two rhetoric students rarely were assigned all the same questions or the exact same writing assignments. This is where the differentiation that you want comes in, but differentiation is spelled T-I-M-E on your part

 

then you do NOT have time for TOG.

 

That is good to know, but wow, you are the first person I've ever read to do all of this each weekend. (So now I'm thoroughly confused!)

 

I had been planning to do a lot of this at the beginning so it was ready to go each week. (Not the way Marcia says to do it, but more doable in my situation.) I've seen several people say they plan out all their materials and assignments ahead of time.

 

I do know I'd need to do #2 each week.

 

We would not use their writing, so #3 wouldn't have to happen at all.

 

I was planning to plan out which projects we were going to do at the beginning and purchase everything then so that I'd have it ready to go.

 

If I have the books from the Bookshelf and the the different CDs from TOG, why would I need to go to the library, search on the internet, etc. unless I were doing something in the alternative assignments? I thought that was the point of buying from the Bookshelf and buying all the million CDs they sell?

 

#6 I was hoping to do ahead of time (and adjust if necessary during the year)

 

#7 would be done along with #2

 

Is doing it this way not possible? :confused1:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, I don't think it's a challenge we ever sort out fully.  If you have less kids and no SN, maybe you can invest so much time that you feel fully satisfied, like you've done everything you envisioned, everything in your mind that high school was meant to be.  But really, once you get back to reality (kids, SN, etc.), I think you more have to target.  I don't think EVERYTHING is going to be as well-done as we envision, but maybe *some* of the important things well-done and some less well-done.  I think you have an expectations difference, that you expected the vision of MFW would be your vision, and in some ways it's not. 

 

Yes, I gave up on "ideal" long ago and am willing to settle for "done for the most part." However, that isn't happening right now. It MIGHT be able to happen (with a lot of extra work on my part) for my younger kids with MFW, but it's not possible with my high schoolers if they continue with MFW. Hence why I'm trying to figure out what to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is good to know, but wow, you are the first person I've ever read to do all of this each weekend. (So now I'm thoroughly confused!)

 

I had been planning to do a lot of this at the beginning so it was ready to go each week. (Not the way Marcia says to do it, but more doable in my situation.) I've seen several people say they plan out all their materials and assignments ahead of time.

 

I do know I'd need to do #2 each week.

 

We would not use their writing, so #3 wouldn't have to happen at all.

 

I was planning to plan out which projects we were going to do at the beginning and purchase everything then so that I'd have it ready to go.

 

If I have the books from the Bookshelf and the the different CDs from TOG, why would I need to go to the library, search on the internet, etc. unless I were doing something in the alternative assignments? I thought that was the point of buying from the Bookshelf and buying all the million CDs they sell?

 

#6 I was hoping to do ahead of time (and adjust if necessary during the year)

 

#7 would be done along with #2

 

Is doing it this way not possible? :confused1:

 

 

Well, Marcia S does her planning the same way, on the weekend. (Her DH and kids clean the house while she goes to the library to do it, which does NOT happen at my house -- I tend to tackle it in snatches after bedtime.)  I have also done the planning a quarter at a time, or in the summer before as melmichigan does.

 

As far as library and internet go, neither of those would be needed every week or even most weeks, but sometimes the kids are assigned additional research, plus the program includes web links that may or may not be useful and have to be checked if you want to use them. And again, for differentiation needs, I've sometimes picked a different book to achieve the objective if the primary option is not appropriate for one of my dc. Alternates are suggested within the program, but other times I've just gone to the right section of the library to find a different biography or whatever. Finally, for the Rhetoric level I do tend to buy the whole year's worth of primary picks from Bookshelf Central, but for the younger tagalongs I often have something on my shelves that I'd rather use, or know that the library offerings are sufficient, so I save some money there.

 

So it's not like every week calls for internet research, project material buying, or library visits, but all three are part of what I do so I have to allow for that time requirement as needed.

 

Have you ever tried out one of the sample units? They are free, and a good way to test drive all theories and hopes for TOG. :) I feel as if I've got it about as streamlined as "I" can do it (with all four levels of students at home) but I've still had to drop it this year because one of my dc is going through a major medical challenge and I just can't find time for the planning OR for the in-depth discussion, analysis, and writing that I think are the best parts of TOG. So we're doing Sonlight all around so we can get to all our appointments at the hospital, lab, and PT.

 

So that's why I'm warning you about the teacher intensive, time consuming element of TOG; I have had to count the cost and leave my TOG books on the shelf this year in the name of "git'er-done." If Mom doesn't have time, she doesn't, and if that fact can't be changed then Mom has to look at other options. I hope my family can return to TOG next year.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should also mention that DD and I actually do history and a couple other classes together.  I love to learn right along beside her on some things.  For history, prior to reading the lesson, we review the Accountability/Thinking questions.  Then while reading, we most often come across the answers to those questions.  At that point, we'll stop and discuss the question and the answer and analyze if we would do anything differently, or how things would be different today. So, I guess we don't do the Socratic discussions exactly the way it's supposed to be done.  However, this is how we enjoy doing things and, to me, that's more important.

 

Another thing is that I only have one DD I'm schooling, so I imagine it's easier for me to implement TOG rather than someone who might be schooling 3 at one time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Have you ever tried out one of the sample units? They are free, and a good way to test drive all theories and hopes for TOG. :)

 

 

 

 

(I think I've totally screwed up the formatting on this post...I really hate this new board!)

 

Yes, I've used not only the sample units, but I used TOG for 2 years straight back when my oldest was roughly 6th-ish grade.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should also mention that DD and I actually do history and a couple other classes together.  I love to learn right along beside her on some things.  For history, prior to reading the lesson, we review the Accountability/Thinking questions.  Then while reading, we most often come across the answers to those questions.  At that point, we'll stop and discuss the question and the answer and analyze if we would do anything differently, or how things would be different today. So, I guess we don't do the Socratic discussions exactly the way it's supposed to be done.  However, this is how we enjoy doing things and, to me, that's more important.

 

Another thing is that I only have one DD I'm schooling, so I imagine it's easier for me to implement TOG rather than someone who might be schooling 3 at one time.

 

Yes, if I use it, I will be starting out with 4 (2 UG, 2 LG), most likely adding in a D student the next year, with more to come up later since come Feb. I'll have 2 more kids below one of my LG kids.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Have you ever tried out one of the sample units? They are free, and a good way to test drive all theories and hopes for TOG. :)

 

 

 

 

(I think I've totally screwed up the formatting on this post...I really hate this new board!)

 

Yes, I've used not only the sample units, but I used TOG for 2 years straight back when my oldest was roughly 6th-ish grade.

 

 

 

I saw that, but Redesigned is quite different than Classic so I second trying a unit.   At one point you could even get one free Redesigned unit in DE to try instead of a few weeks.  Maybe that offer still stands?  I own all my Redesigned plans so I don't visit the website much anymore.  :blushing:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw that, but Redesigned is quite different than Classic so I second trying a unit.   At one point you could even get one free Redesigned unit in DE to try instead of a few weeks.  Maybe that offer still stands?  I own all my Redesigned plans so I don't visit the website much anymore.  :blushing:

 

Sorry, I failed to mention in my OP that we used the Redesigned the 2nd time around. MUCH improved over the Classic!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used all four years of TOG, and I have used all four levels.

 

The couple of hours to prepare for your family's studies is obligatory. It would be great if it really were only two hours but I can't do it that quickly, usually (perhaps people with only one or two children can do it in two hours)...but there is just no getting around the prep time. If you don't have a couple of hours every weekend to

 

1. choose the books and materials for each child

2. study the teacher's notes so you know what your independent readers are learning and what to discuss

3. choose writing assignments for each child, print instructions and rubrics if you're using them, make sure you really understand how to teach it

4. choose activities/presentations/projects if you're doing them, and make sure you have needed supplies

5. go to the library, surf the net for resources, make copies of maps and whatnot

6. come up with a daily schedule to get through all this work, and help your older kids make their own schedules

7. choose which of the student questions they will answer and why -- important at the rhetoric level; you can't just say "answer all the questions" for a lot of students because there are too many and they are difficult. My two rhetoric students rarely were assigned all the same questions or the exact same writing assignments. This is where the differentiation that you want comes in, but differentiation is spelled T-I-M-E on your part

 

then you do NOT have time for TOG.

I agreed with Tibbie. I have also used all 4 years on 4 levels (well, using my 4th year right now.I would say my planning time is more like an hour a week bc I front load a lot of work in the summer. I split it between 2 sessions. The Weds or Thurs of the week before I map out the next week in my planner and the children's planners. Then Thurs. pm I prep for history discussion (we attend a group discussion).

 

I chose my books and put books for the entire year on hold at the library. D and R pretty much use what is assigned. I read SOTW or Story of Us aloud and I choose what I read the week before depending on our schedule. I may or may not have my fourth grader do independent reading from books that come in from the library.

 

I print maps, evaluations, SAPS in the summer. I print all the writing handouts during the summer. I put the writing overview in my main planner. So this only take a couple of minutes to look over the assignment.

 

I go through and make a list of the projects that appeal most to me and put the list in my planner during the summer. Then as I plan the week I choose one or not depending on what else is on our plate. I look a head a week or 2 to see if I need supplies.

 

Prepping for history discussion does take at least 30 minutes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agreed with Tibbie. I have also used all 4 years on 4 levels (well, using my 4th year right now.I would say my planning time is more like an hour a week bc I front load a lot of work in the summer. I split it between 2 sessions. The Weds or Thurs of the week before I map out the next week in my planner and the children's planners. Then Thurs. pm I prep for history discussion (we attend a group discussion).

 

I chose my books and put books for the entire year on hold at the library. D and R pretty much use what is assigned. I read SOTW or Story of Us aloud and I choose what I read the week before depending on our schedule. I may or may not have my fourth grader do independent reading from books that come in from the library.

 

I print maps, evaluations, SAPS in the summer. I print all the writing handouts during the summer. I put the writing overview in my main planner. So this only take a couple of minutes to look over the assignment.

 

I go through and make a list of the projects that appeal most to me and put the list in my planner during the summer. Then as I plan the week I choose one or not depending on what else is on our plate. I look a head a week or 2 to see if I need supplies.

 

Prepping for history discussion does take at least 30 minutes.

Doing what you do is more what I was thinking of doing myself. Doing the bulk of the work at the beginning and then just getting it straight for the week each weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doing what you do is more what I was thinking of doing myself. Doing the bulk of the work at the beginning and then just getting it straight for the week each weekend.

Definitely doable. There is also an ebb and flow. Some weeks we have a lot of time and we do alot,some weeks I drop activities, some of the upper grammar read alouds and ug geography. D and R do all independently.

 

We used Sonlight and I was used to a daily schedule. I just make my own daily schedule and my kids plan their own. I have actually liked the freedom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely doable. There is also an ebb and flow. Some weeks we have a lot of time and we do alot,some weeks I drop activities, some of the upper grammar read alouds and ug geography. D and R do all independently.

 

We used Sonlight and I was used to a daily schedule. I just make my own daily schedule and my kids plan there own. I have actually liked the freedom.

 

Thanks!

 

I dug out my Cathy Duffy book and Heart of Dakota caught my eye. I've always looked the other way due to all the bajillion separate levels, thinking I'd be teaching each one independently. But apparently it's designed to help the child grow in independence. So now i'm looking more at it as well. Maybe it might be a better fit than TOG. Sigh.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Don't know if you are still looking into this, but I just thought I would tack on my 2 cents. I don't have hours every week for planning either and I finally have it down to a science:-) I created a spreadsheet for each kids weekly work. It includes all of their different subjects including tog and its various pieces (I.e., reading in certain days, a and t questions on certain days, planning meeting for the week, etc.) I even stick their chores and different activities on it. At the top, it lists the tog week we are in, so they know the general theme of the week.

 

I do ALL of my prep during the summer, a few days here and there (or like this past year, leaving it all until a weekend before we started and having a three day print fest. That was exhausting lol.) I always get on little school kicks in the summer so this gives me my fix. During the year, on the other hand, I have enough to do to just keep us from falling behind. I know myself well enough by this time to not expect any substantial weekly planning efforts:-)

 

So I print all saps, maps, writing assignments (if I am using them). I also print things from their other curricula and keep it all in a file box with hanging files divided into 36 weeks. I pull all books from my extensive stockpiles:-) that apply to the time period and go through which I will use in which weeks. I usually buy whatever books I need then as well. Some put on library hold, however, I could almost buy those books as well with the fines I usually incur, so I have to be realistic about using library books. I keep everything for the year, in order of use, on 1 or 2 designated shelves that the kids cannot touch... On pain of death, lol.

 

Each week then, all I have to do then is stick about 3 weeks worth of materials in their working binders, update the spreadsheet, print it and put it in their working binders (this takes roughly 15 minutes on Monday morning, because I never feel like doing it on Sunday night:-).

I usually read the week plan itself sometime before Wed or Thurs, so I am ready for Fri discussion. If we get behind, I will just combine 2 weeks of discussion into one. No stress... It's all good:-)

 

I anticipate having to do a bit more prep for R (I have 2 D students right now), but I don't think it will be unbearable. Now that I have my system down, it is pretty easy, peasy lemon-squeezy.

 

I'd be happy to email you the spreadsheet I use if you want to pm me with your email address.

I know tog is a little overwhelming, but I have found that it is one of those things that is SO much easier if you put the work into the front end and save yourself the stress during the school year. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...