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TOG and discouraged

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Any other TOG users that could help?  I'm trying to focus on helping my older kiddos this year and thought I'd just use TOG with my younger two as its written. (To take the burden off of planning)


We are in week 2 of TOG1.  The assignment for Upper Grammar is to read the Ancient Encyclopedia pages 44-85, 100 - 110, 136-137 (This info is free on their website, that is why I posted the details)


I feel like that is a lot of reading to ask of an 11 year old, whom is not a strong reader.  Not to mention that this is just for the history portion.


I haven't had a chance to read the new WTM yet, but may have to just switch everything back to follow that format. 


Anyone else experience this or am I over reacting?

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Is that for the day, or for the week? I only tried TOG briefly and it's been awhile.  I do remember that there was a lot of reading.  My daughter is an excellent reader, but the books weren't really anything she enjoyed reading so that kind of made it drudgery. TOG is a pretty big expense. I wonder if you can find a way to make it fit your needs before giving up completely (like I did, LOL).

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This is where you as the teacher need to adjust the curriculum to suit the needs/level of your child.  It is a lot of reading, my children were not great readers so when we had a TOG week like that I would choose to a) cut the reading assignment down and only assign questions that were covered in what I assigned, b) do some of the reading together, c) do the reading over two weeks.  Sometimes we just listened to SOTW.


TOG will give you all the pages from your book that covers that week's topic, the assignments are not always evenly distributed.  TOG is a buffet, so choose what is appropriate and move on to the next topic. 


Have fun with TOG, enjoy the ancients and do what works and leave the rest behind without guilt.  You will cover this time period again so don't worry about gaps.


I hope this helps.

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What I do for Upper Grammar is highly pick and choose. We have done 5 years of TOG and I've had an UG every year. My upper grammar students join us in reading aloud Story of the World. Then, for year 1, I chose about 4-5 pages of the Ancient World Encyclopedia for him or her to read a day on his/her own. I chose these depending on what I feel they would be most interested in or what I think is most interesting or I let them chose from a range. As I feel the student is ready, I add more reading. I only sometimes have them do the in-depth.


THe great thing about upper grammar is that there are no Student activity questions for history so it's easier to drop book and trim the reading. However, I do find it a bit heavy in terms of required reading for the age. Feel free to cut as you see best--your student will get plenty (and more if they aren't "slogging" through an overwhelming amount of reading). There isn't any reason to change programs, though. Year 1 is awesome.

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Did you look at the pages yet? It may be that of the 50ish pages some of them have large images or maps, so that the reading is less than it looks? But, in general, TOG is a significant amount of reading. When we used TOG, I did a lot of the reading out-loud and just did discussion as we went along. Otherwise, you may want to reduce the reading. I know that defeats the point of what you wanted-planning. Have you already gone through Story of the World? That might give you more of the open-and-go with the not-too-much-reading that you want.



Edit: STOW is scheduled for you in TOG under alternative-textbooks. You could just assign that and occasionally a resource from the in-depth history if there is a book that you have or your dc like the subject of. 

Edited by jewellsmommy
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Hi there. I have 7 kids and have been using TOG for a long time, and I love it. It can be tricky at times though.  I have an 11 year old who is in Dialectic this year, and a 6 year old in UG. We are in week 5 year 1, so I'm right there with you. I would just look at the book and then look at the threads for the week and use whatever pages you want to focus on. Some weeks we have a lot going on, and I will mainly focus on one or two chapters, and some weeks I'll go full throttle. Some weeks I've even assigned a much lower reading level book if I found it excellent, or if I want to save money, I just buy one mid-level book for my UG and D level students, and try to draw out more details from the D student. Some weeks a book has been prohibitively $$$ so I will use internet sources and teacher's notes only.  So for the specific assignment you're talking about, I would open up the Encyclopedia and just have your student read the pages she's most interested in. See what piques her interest. IIRC, you're doing Egypt, so nail down the most important threads (the nile's importance to the culture and economy, mummies, pyramids, gods) and let her explore. I don't think it's actually long term important that she memorize the cultural details, but the basics are more important. Don't worry about it. :) Even just really leaning hard on SOTW  is okay, too. I will say that after Y1W3 the reading load lightens a lot. 

Edited by Upennmama
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I started with TOG with my DS10 last spring (we are currently in Yr 1, Unit 2) and I have to admit I use it *nothing* like intended.


This is what I do. I read through the pages for the week and note the questions it is asking and then write up my own list of questions based on those. I typically read all the UG and D stuff, and dabble in the R stuff when it isn't too crazy. ;-) This is time-consuming for me, but well worth it since I learn a lot as I read and come up with my questions and answers. We don't do many/any hands-on projects but he can do them on his own if he wants (which he doesn't).


Then I get all of the books on our shelf that are relevant to that week's topic. We have a zillion carefully curated books around here, and honestly they are plenty good enough. I have yet to buy anything specifically for TOG (though we do already have some of their recommendations on our shelves).


Then I give my DS10 my list of questions that I want him to look for. He can read freely in the stack of books I give him, but he needs to be focusing particularly on the chapters relevant to the subjects covered that week. He doesn't have to write answers, but in general needs to be able to discuss the answer later (and can make notes for himself if he wants; it doesn't have to all be from memory). Sometimes we read together (especially if he is having trouble figuring out an answer). There are always some questions that are not answered in his readings, and he knows not to worry about that; he knows the questions are particular to the topic rather than the book and we discuss it all through the week anyway.


By way of example, here is the list of questions I gave him for Yr 1, Unit 1, Week 2. This might seem like a lot, but it isn't actually all that bad once we got the hang of it.  Btw some questions have a page number on them, and that refers to the TOG week's page numbers; sometimes I will include that though that is more for my benefit when discussing with him since he doesn't read from the TOG parent pages independently.


  1. Where was the new capital of the unified kingdom?
  2. What did Egyptians believe happened to morals in the afterlife?
  3. Who was Akhenaten/Amenhotep IV?
  4. Tutankhamun?
  5. Amenemhet I, II
  6. Ramses II, III
  7. Tuthmosis I, III
  8. Hatshepsut
  9. Senusret I, III
  10. Cleopatra VII (30)
  11. Mark Antony
  12. What are/were the 7 Wonders of the ancient world?
  13. What are mastabas? Step pyramids? Straight sided pyramids?
  14. Egypt timeline - p 28-30, 35


Historical Geography

  1. Where was/is Memphis?
  2. Abydos
  3. Thebes
  4. Sphinx and Great Pyramids
  5. Valley of the Kings
  6. Midian
  7. Kush
  8. Nubia
  9. Upper Egypt
  10. Lower Egypt
  11. Alexandria
  12. Avaris
  13. Kadesh



  1. How much time passed between the end of Genesis and the birth of Moses?
  2. Did Moses have children?
  3. Was Moses a logical choice as leader of God's people? Why did God choose him?
  4. Describe Moses' call by God. (Ex 1-2, mine)
  5. Compare Noah and the ark with Moses and his basket. (mine)
  6. What does Egypt symbolize in Scripture (p 47)
  7. Who are Noah's sons?


Bible Geography

  1. Ur
  2. Haran
  3. Shechem
  4. Hebron
  5. Sodom & Gomorrah
  6. Beer-Sheba
  7. Gerar
  8. Negeb
  9. Goshen
  10. Zoar


So anyway... that is basically how we do it. Not everyone's cup of tea, but we have found it to work pretty well for us so far :-)


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