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Biblioplan-- what do you think? History woes...


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I looked over at Biblioplan again tonight and really looked through the generous sample they offer.  I am using TOG right now and just don't love it.  I love what it looks like, should be, etc., but I'm not loving history and neither are my kids.  I don't know what the problem is but it is disjointed for me and I spend lots of time planning but then when the week rolls around it just doesn't go well.


Biblioplan looks like exactly what I need.  But, maybe I really  just need MOH or SOTW....  I haven't found much on the boards about what people think about it, the way it works, the content/accuracy, etc.  So, any input would be great.  I did enjoy using MOH when I tried that last year.  I wanted more so I jumped over to TOG.  I want TOG to work but it isn't right now.  My other options is MFW which I hesitate to use because of my dd being in 7th next year and it doesn't seem to offer enough in the way of discussion questions and literature.


I'm sick of jumping around.  I just want to settle on something that works for all my kids!  Maybe they all need to be doing their own things....

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We really enjoyed our time with BP. I think it is a great program. We only left bc the year we needed was being redone and wasn't ready yet. We are trying out the VP self paced next year but if it doesn't work, we will probably go back to BP. I like that with BP everything is scheduled from you on the grid and you just do as much or as little as you want that week-- but it's all there scheduled.


We really liked the craft book, coloring pages, and cool histories as well. We didn't use the maps but would have if we continued.

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We used Biblioplan for 4 years.  I was looking for a simple way to combine everyone in history studies.  I love lit-based history, but I just couldn't keep up with Sonlight or WP programs.  Biblioplan worked well for a while. I thought the content was good, both in terms of topics covered and viewpoints of history.  However, over the years we used it, there were also some things that didn't work as well for our family as I'd hoped.


Pros:  I liked the schedule - 3 days a week.  They schedule SOTW and A History of US - a huge plus for me, since I wanted to use both of those.  The readers and read-alouds are excellent.  It was amazing how many great K-2 books they found, and those were the ones most of my children liked best.  It was great to have the Cool History, maps, coloring pages, and timeline figures.


Cons: It still ended up being too much for me to keep up with.  It's advantage (being multi-level), became difficult when I had kids in all levels of the readers and history.  Some of my children were bored or not grasping a lot - they didn't even like the coloring pages.  During the end of our time with Biblioplan, I found that we had 3 children with learning differences, so I started looking around for something that would engage all their senses when learning (critical for children with LDs, but helpful for all children). Also, I didn't care for some of the texts they scheduled (A Child's Story of America, Streams of Civilization) - way too dry, some of the readers weren't a good fit for my kids, and the read-alouds tended to be scheduled at too fast a pace for us to keep up with (though what each family can handle is different).  We like a little more freedom in picking and choosing, and have moved toward using a book basket.


I have to admit - one other factor in me leaving Biblioplan was my own desire for something different.  I do like going through the history cycle, but each time we do it I like it to be fresh - a new way of presenting, different authors, perhaps even different viewpoints of some events that were missed previously.  Currently we're using History Revealed, which has a lot more multisensory learning, less that I have to read out loud (some teaching is on cd), and works better with our family schedule.  


Anyway, Biblioplan is very inexpensive, especially if you can use the library for a lot of the books.  You could use SOTW or MOH as scheduled in Biblioplan for everyone.  If you use SOTW, you could get the Activity Guide to have some things to do with your younger ones.  With your two oldest, Biblioplan would give some of the extra depth needed, with age-appropriate readers and read-alouds, plus more advanced mapwork. 


Hope this helps,


Laura W.

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I used Year 1 and 2 while dd was in 9th/10th and ds was in 3rd/4th. I ended up just using SOTW with ds and not much of BP, other than the schedule of what to read next in SOTW. I did use some of the suggested literature selections with my son but definitely not all. I'm not a person who places a big importance on reading large amounts of historical fiction, though. I'd rather focus on other types of literature.


BP didn't have the upper middle materials when I used it, but I just looked through the samples for someone else. The main problem I see about using BP long term is that the upper middle and high school materials seem to cover much of the same material, so I wouldn't use it in middle school and high school with the same child. I would want a different focus and set of materials by high school or the other way around. 


It's good you are concerned about your oldest. I've seen some families short-change their older kids in progressing them into more challenging work by trying to keep subjects integrated and easy for mom. 

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