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If you use TOG - would these additions be too much?

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Hello all you Tapestry of Grace users! We have been doing Primer this year and next year we will start Year 1 of the cycle. I have been planning out our year, and I'm unsure of what to add for language arts and geography, if anything.


For Language Arts:

I see TOG says it includes writing and literature, but it sounds like I need something for phonics and grammar. I have been looking at ELTL and it's very attractive. I like the narration, dictation, grammar, literature, poetry memorization and picture studies all in one smooth process! My question is, will this overlap with what we will be doing with TOG? Does anyone use both ELTL and TOG together? I'm just having a hard time understanding exactly what is/isn't covered for language arts in TOG, and I haven't purchased it yet. As a side note, this year we have been doing FLL and WWE. It's easy and simple, and we like it, but ELTL looks so much better :) However if I get convinced not to do ELTL, maybe I should stick with FLL and WWE?


For Geography:

I just noticed TOG also claims to cover Geography. I definitely don't want any additional work here. How thorough is the geography study in TOG?


I'm asking these questions for next year, 1st grade with an advanced child, but also for future years with TOG as we plan to use it long term.

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ELTL would go nicely with ToG. I've used them together for my older kids. The only possible overlap is the read alouds. I'm not a fan of ToG's read alouds in the early years anyway, so I'd skip them when you go to order books. The FLL/WWE combo would be fine, too.


ToG writing will cover completely different skills: paragraphs, note taking, reports, essays, fiction writing, etc. There is no copy work. Dictation is suggested, but you are not given any passages to use. Grammar and mechanics are not taught at all. ELTL will be a great addition.


Geography in ToG will start by covering the world - continents and oceans, geography terms(bay, island). Then as you learn the history of a location you will have maps to label. It won't teach skills like reading a map key, scale, latitude/longitude, and directions. Map Aids is a separate purchase, so I didn't buy it until our second time through the TOG cycle. Instead I've used other resources to teach geography. Either way would be fine, though.

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TOG English at the high school level is complete. You're given the literature and writing assignments for a full credit and more. I plan TOG first and then add extras.


TOG at the elementary level is less complete. There's no spelling, grammar, phonics, or handwriting instructions included. For my little ones, I plan their language arts FIRST and then add the TOG literature and writing assignments as desired.


The geography is mapwork. The idea is to hand your children an atlas and a map. They learn how to use the atlas to find the information to fill in the map. You can also learn about the fauna and flora of the area. It can be as full or light as you'd like.


To be perfectly honest, TOG is a buffet. You're meant to pick and choose the suggested activities and subjects your family will study this year. There's no reason you must do the geography work. I've found filling out the maps helps the kids visualize where events are happening and it's not added much to our school day. However you can also simply grab an atlas one day a week, look at the maps, and discuss where the events take place. It doesn't need to be a formal, 5-day a week subject.


Just remember, your homeschool... your rules. :)

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