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poppy

Torchlight Level 2! Who is with me?

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This is a secular, literature based, Socratic curriculum with a focus on medieval history.  Similar to Build Your Library.

Includes read alouds (with good lit guides), poetry memorization, hands -on science, a little grammar, creative writing, classical music, mythology.

Helps that the very first novel is Ingraine the Brave, which I think is a charming, underrated gem.

I'm going to do this + Beast Academy for my puzzle / riddle / logic / math loving 8 year old.

https://torchlightcurriculum.com/torchlight/torchlight-level-2/

 

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We are using Torchlight Level K this year with our 5 1/2 year old. It wasn't my original plan for this year but so far I am pretty pleased with it. I love the book lists for all the levels out so far. As long as this year goes as planned, we plan to stick with Torchlight for the foreseeable future. I'm really hoping it at least goes through 4th grade by the time we get there.

We are doing Torchlight Level K, LOE Foundations, Singapore 1A/1B and Mystery Science for extra science since he loves science. Plus Lollipop Logic and Mind Benders since he loves puzzles as well.

I wrote a review of Torchlight on my little bitty blog if anyone is interested.

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1 hour ago, OKBud said:

It looks so cute! 

I'd love to hear what y'all think about Curiosity Chronicles. 

 

We aren't there yet, Curiosity Chronicles starts in Level 1, but I was checking it out and listening to the sample of the audiobook and my 5yo came over and listened along and wanted to know when we were going to get that book from the library lol! He really liked it just from listening to the sample.

My impression of it, without having it in hand yet, is that it isn't as through and detailed as SOTW but it gives more of an overview of the same time periods as SOTW. Personally, I think that is perfect for elementary age kids but YMMV. I'm really excited for it and already have it budgeted into our spring budget to buy next year's materials. I imagine we might use Curiosity Chronicles as our main history and probably supplement any topic he finds super interesting with SOTW since I have the audiobooks of it still from when my older kids were little.

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4 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

 

We aren't there yet, Curiosity Chronicles starts in Level 1, but I was checking it out and listening to the sample of the audiobook and my 5yo came over and listened along and wanted to know when we were going to get that book from the library lol! He really liked it just from listening to the sample.

My impression of it, without having it in hand yet, is that it isn't as through and detailed as SOTW but it gives more of an overview of the same time periods as SOTW. Personally, I think that is perfect for elementary age kids but YMMV. I'm really excited for it and already have it budgeted into our spring budget to buy next year's materials. I imagine we might use Curiosity Chronicles as our main history and probably supplement any topic he finds super interesting with SOTW since I have the audiobooks of it still from when my older kids were little.

 

From the sample, I know I wouldn't want to read all that back and forth dialogue, so it's heartening to hear that you like the audio book.

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Yeah, me neither on the reading of the dialogue lol! We will definitely being doing the audiobook version. I thought the reading/acting was ok/tolerable but at least clear (important for my son due to apraxia/speech delays) and the voices are not nails on a chalk board for us (important for my sanity lol). 

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Joining in the TL love, but not level 2! We're doing K as well, and enjoying it. We're doing TL K with Singapore K-B, starting BFSU probbaly in January, pre-AAR, HWT (though we only do about 2 'subjects' a day to work on attention). I really love the look as it ages up and how receptive she is to change/additions. I'm looking forward to pre-k coming out for my younger son (I'm sure my older will tag along as well as an inbetween K and 1). He's not big into audio books so I'm looking forward to her alternates for history spine as I don't think CC is going to go well for us. 

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I don't like the Curiosity Chronicles. I think it's just really tediously written. I feel bad because people have been asking for a non-Christian-bias alternative to SOTW for years, and we got it, and I'm not supporting it in the end .   I'm just going to sub in SOTW each week,or perhaps the Usborne Encyclopedia.  

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On 9/1/2018 at 12:59 PM, poppy said:

I don't like the Curiosity Chronicles. I think it's just really tediously written. I feel bad because people have been asking for a non-Christian-bias alternative to SOTW for years, and we got it, and I'm not supporting it in the end .   I'm just going to sub in SOTW each week,or perhaps the Usborne Encyclopedia.  

 

I am glad to see someone else doing this. I have both SOTW and Usborne, I was hoping to just use Usborne and maybe our Horrible Histories books. (I still have to see if the series covers the same topics as level 2.  

 

I mostly bought it for the schedule so that I didn't have to plan and my kids were on track.  I really like the lit primer and he Bard writing component. We were going to do Partnership Writing, but I may save it for next year. 

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Bumping this... I finally bought Level 2. I have a 3rd and k'er this year and we'd already started SoTW 2. I don't plan on buying CC, I've not been impressed with the previews I've seen. Since I've already started SoTW 2 and we are 12 weeks into our school year I think we'll be dropping some things and rearranging others. I'm sorting through it now trying to formulate a plan.

@poppy and @Runningmom80 how is the year going for you?

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We're doing it! I also broke down and bought "Curiosity Chronicles."  I did not like it from the sample, but it's working well with my 8th and 6th grader playing the parts, and my third grader listens in.  I then supplement the older kids with other items.

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3 hours ago, umsami said:

We're doing it! I also broke down and bought "Curiosity Chronicles."  I did not like it from the sample, but it's working well with my 8th and 6th grader playing the parts, and my third grader listens in.  I then supplement the older kids with other items.

So you got the written cc text? 

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8 minutes ago, OKBud said:

So you got the written cc text? 

It's the Middle Ages one, so it's a PDF.  Kids read it on a tablet.   

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I wonder when CC Medieval Ages is going to be released as an audio? It says sometime this year. Looking through it now if I'm not sure what to do, I prefer SoTW but it looks like it will be a pain to try and line it up to match or I just need to let it go. Or maybe my brain is just fried. I scheduled out a few weeks but we're only using parts of it, due to what we have and modifying. But I kind of sort of dream of just doing something as is instead of tweaking it so much! 

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2 hours ago, soror said:

I wonder when CC Medieval Ages is going to be released as an audio? It says sometime this year. Looking through it now if I'm not sure what to do, I prefer SoTW but it looks like it will be a pain to try and line it up to match or I just need to let it go. Or maybe my brain is just fried. I scheduled out a few weeks but we're only using parts of it, due to what we have and modifying. But I kind of sort of dream of just doing something as is instead of tweaking it so much! 

So the reason I gave up and bought it was that it was causing me too much stress to try and align other sources.  (I know, I know...I'm a wimp.)  

We've run into a few typos and such, but in general, the material has been good and the kids have been engaged.

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7 hours ago, umsami said:

So the reason I gave up and bought it was that it was causing me too much stress to try and align other sources.  (I know, I know...I'm a wimp.)  

We've run into a few typos and such, but in general, the material has been good and the kids have been engaged.

So, I had them read this today and they loved it. I was going to read Mona and have dd2 read Ted but dd3 had a fit that she wanted to read too. So, dd3 read Ted and dd2 Mona. I had to help dd3 here and there (she's just in K) but she did pretty good. They were sad when I told them that we weren't read tomorrow, even though it took an hour. 

We did 2 Truths and a Lie (misread the schedule and did all the sheets) the girls liked that too.

They enjoyed Igraine, I'd had it out to read anyway, and dd2 like the Vocabulary book just fine. 

We didn't do the Map yet, I haven't quite figured out how to do it yet.

I don't have the Orchestra or Alchemers book yet. I have Medieval Projects from the library online.

I think we'll keep our own science... 

 

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So, I went ahead and bought a few of the spines- A Child Through Time, Archers Alchemist...., When in Time, and Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face. CC has samples through week 3 so I'll buy it in PDF next month. I have 2 Truths and a Lie: It's Alive and Medieval Projects from the library. Dh is picking up Be Glad Your Nose, Show me a Story, A Child Through Time and 2 Truths and a Lie: History.I think we'll make our own schedule with the logic books so I don't have to buy them and I'll buy the logic games for Christmas (I always buy some family games anyway). I think that takes care of the main books. I've not looked at all the lit books yet. I'm going to skip some weeks in the schedule since we've already started school and it is so late but I've got to figure out where to make up time and what things I want to push to other weeks and what to just drop.

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OP update.

I think this is an OK curriculum, but I hated how scattered it was so we did block scheduling. Within 2 months we  basically dropped  it.
We replaced the history with  SOTW - plus activity book and the suggested extra readings.
We replaced the music with SQUILT, which goes at a slower pace and is more comprehensive.
Added visuals arts because that was a weak spot.
We replaced the science with RSO Chemistry because it's just a more interesting topic for us, and a better grounding for what's to come (I feel like if  a kid skipped Energy Lab + RSO Earth, they'd still be fine for higher level science).
We are replacing the vocab and writing project with a more throughout language arts program.

We liked:
The lit suggestions are often fun. Just finished Fortunately, the Milk, which was cute.
Two Truths and a Lie . We didn't do the "Investigation Log" but I love having the kid learn to use the internet to figure out veracity of stories.
Poetry memorization. I didn't do the body movement stuff, but turns out: kid loves the challenge of memorizing poems weekly. We started with Be Glad Your Nose.... but are doing a variety now.
Great Medeival Projects book is well done, not just the projects but the writing.
I still look into it week to week for ideas.

It's a super cheap curriculum with some good ideas, well worth the $35 I spent to support the author. But,  I can't say I recommend it for others as a solution to 'what curriculum should I chose'.


 

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28 minutes ago, poppy said:

OP update.

I think this is an OK curriculum, but I hated how scattered it was so we did block scheduling. Within 2 months we  basically dropped  it.
We replaced the history with  SOTW - plus activity book and the suggested extra readings.
We replaced the music with SQUILT, which goes at a slower pace and is more comprehensive.
Added visuals arts because that was a weak spot.
We replaced the science with RSO Chemistry because it's just a more interesting topic for us, and a better grounding for what's to come (I feel like if  a kid skipped Energy Lab + RSO Earth, they'd still be fine for higher level science).
We are replacing the vocab and writing project with a more throughout language arts program.

We liked:
The lit suggestions are often fun. Just finished Fortunately, the Milk, which was cute.
Two Truths and a Lie . We didn't do the "Investigation Log" but I love having the kid learn to use the internet to figure out veracity of stories.
Poetry memorization. I didn't do the body movement stuff, but turns out: kid loves the challenge of memorizing poems weekly. We started with Be Glad Your Nose.... but are doing a variety now.
Great Medeival Projects book is well done, not just the projects but the writing.
I still look into it week to week for ideas.

It's a super cheap curriculum with some good ideas, well worth the $35 I spent to support the author. But,  I can't say I recommend it for others as a solution to 'what curriculum should I chose'.


 

7

Thanks for the update! 

I'm mainly using it for history and literature myself. I was just doing SOTW w/ the activity book before but wanted some extras that I wasn't up to planning, so this is a help for me. So far (only 1 week in mind you) dd prefers CC. The other books I'll get as I can find them from the library. 

We are liking the Two Truths as well but we'll be tweaking the schedule since I'm borrowing the books from the library and one of those is ILL (so I only have it for a limited time).

 I'm also using SQUILT, I already had tons of free lessons bookmarked and I'm trying to keep purchases to a minimum.

We're doing our own science b/c I already had that planned, although I'm considering just doing homegrown unit studies.

I was already doing a mishmash of LA so I'm just pulling in bits of the TL LA. ITA that the LA is lacking, some weeks there is only reading books and writing vocab words. I had bought Guest Hollow LA but am not really using much of it (found it to be too disorganized and scattered for my liking) except Beowulf's Grammar, dd loves the grammar. We've been doing WWE2 for writing, just throwing in bits of GH and now TL LA stuff for fun. I think we'll go ahead and do the Bard writing project, there is not too much to it and I think she'll like it. We're doing our own spelling. 

 

 

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I'm sad to see the reviews seem to be going steadily downhill for this. I was really excited to see a secular curriculum that uses books published in this millennium. I guess I can use it as a booklist when my younger daughter is ready to start K.

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On 11/3/2018 at 10:18 PM, Mergath said:

I'm sad to see the reviews seem to be going steadily downhill for this. I was really excited to see a secular curriculum that uses books published in this millennium. I guess I can use it as a booklist when my younger daughter is ready to start K.

 

Eh honestly I think in this case that's just the duel effects of people being really excited about something new, then just getting on with life because after all it really is *just* some homeschool curricula, and beginners not knowing what they are doing outside of following the directions and not quite understanding that all curricula has its own limitations both in general and for each specific kid.  I bet that if it sill appeals to you, you would get what you need out of it. 

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Checking back in about the Torchlight K...

I still like it a lot, however I don't use it as written. But I rarely use anything as it is written so you can take that for what it is worth.

Most of the books have been big hits with ds. He has requested a few to be added to our personal home library like the Zoey and Sassafras books.

I like that the geography lessons are dead simple to implement but my ds loves them so much that we have gone through a lot of them for the whole year already. They are very age appropriate and aren't overwhelming for the child or mom but if you have a child who is a bit precocious, it might not be enough to keep them satisfied for long so you will find yourself supplementing but isn't that true of most curricula and precocious children? Plus I don't mind supplementing so much when I don't have to think out the lessons and the supplements, KWIM?

Anh's Anger was a big hit with ds and I thought it was a lovely book. We've only read one of the Zen... books so far and it wasn't as charming as I thought it would be and ds didn't care for it much either. Hoping the others will be better as I really wanted to like them but that first one, Zen Ghosts, just didn't resonate with me or ds.

The spine book, A Year Full of Stories, is another one I want to like but it's quickly losing its charm. I preread the story (they are no more than a page or two long) and if I don't like it, we skip it or replace it and just read books about the country for that week from the library. The pictures are great but some of the stories are just not what I expected or just not the kind of story my 5 year old enjoys. 

As of right now, I do  still plan to continue with Torchlight for first grade but I will likely tweak it to fit us just like I have the kindergarten level.

ETA: I forgot to mention the Naturally Curious science units. Very light on their own in my opinion but ds loves them. I like them but we supplement them with library books. If ds wasn't so science and math oriented I bet they would be perfect for kindergarten on their own.

Edited by sweet2ndchance

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On 10/18/2018 at 11:40 PM, poppy said:

OP update.

I think this is an OK curriculum, but I hated how scattered it was so we did block scheduling. Within 2 months we  basically dropped  it.
We replaced the history with  SOTW - plus activity book and the suggested extra readings.
We replaced the music with SQUILT, which goes at a slower pace and is more comprehensive.
Added visuals arts because that was a weak spot.
We replaced the science with RSO Chemistry because it's just a more interesting topic for us, and a better grounding for what's to come (I feel like if  a kid skipped Energy Lab + RSO Earth, they'd still be fine for higher level science).
We are replacing the vocab and writing project with a more throughout language arts program.

We liked:
The lit suggestions are often fun. Just finished Fortunately, the Milk, which was cute.
Two Truths and a Lie . We didn't do the "Investigation Log" but I love having the kid learn to use the internet to figure out veracity of stories.
Poetry memorization. I didn't do the body movement stuff, but turns out: kid loves the challenge of memorizing poems weekly. We started with Be Glad Your Nose.... but are doing a variety now.
Great Medeival Projects book is well done, not just the projects but the writing.
I still look into it week to week for ideas.

It's a super cheap curriculum with some good ideas, well worth the $35 I spent to support the author. But,  I can't say I recommend it for others as a solution to 'what curriculum should I chose'.


 

 

This is how I felt about Level 1, which was disappointing because I was eager to dive in.

The first few read-alouds were so strongly disliked that my DS (who has always loved stories) began resisting being read to at all! Needless to say we took a break from the literature. After some time (and a few successful non-TL read-alouds) we circled back to try a few again. He enjoyed the Madame Pamplemousse series, though I think it would have been a better fit if he were older, and Heartwood Hotel. After that we got onto a Roald Dahl kick so we haven’t tried any others. 

I like the history books and am optimistic about the science supplements, but wasn’t interested in curiosity chronicles. The Poetry of Science is great! 

I’m thinking in the future I’ll just gather ideas from the book lists...

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli

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Ok, I figure I should update as well. I bought Level 2 for my 3rd grade twins, and I'm mostly dropping it. I'm also really bummed because I was pumped for a secular and diverse curriculum.

Here's why we didn't like it:

1. History - CC is not good. First, and maybe petty, but I paid $50 for this book and the pages aren't even printed properly. There is a white line across the bottom and the top of the page is cut off. It also looks like the author is about to get off schedule with releasing new books. This doesn't matter much to me, as my twins will most likely be in school next year, but if you are looking for something to get you through elementary/grammar stage, be advised that you might not have stuff in time. Third, I cannot stand the writing style. I don't like that it's dialogue and the way they talk grates on me. My kids can take it or leave it so I don't know what I'm going to do for history. We might just read through A little History fo the world and add in rabbit trails as they come up.

2. Science - RSO - Meh. This isn't horrible but we also aren't in love with it. I wish I would have bought chemistry instead, but I think I'm going to get some experiments and basic science encyclopedias and let them go. My DD loves science so it will work better if she gets to pick anyways. Energy Lab I could take or leave. It's not ground breaking, but not horrible. 

3. Geography -  we never actually did this because the directions are so convoluted that neither my husband or I could figure them out. I think I read on FB that she actually forgot to include the control maps, so maybe it makes more sense now, but we have Pin-it maps so I'm not going to waste any more time trying to figure it out..

4. The Schedule - I don't know how to explain why it didn't work for us. I think because some things were on consecutive days, and some weren't

5. The stuff I had to add in - Math is fine to add in, but I also had to add in grammar and spelling and it just felt like too many moving parts along with the separate science curriculum. It seemed easier last year when I did everything piecemeal. 

What we liked:

1. The lit choices - I'll probably use most of them even if we are dropping the curriculum as a whole

2. Poetry - We love Nose as Big as Your Face and my kids are great at memorizing poems so this part is fun

 

Everything else like the logic and the art stuff was just "meh."  I think it needs some edits and feedback to be a more usable curriculum. There is definitely a market for this, I hope some of the parts that don't work for a lot of us get worked out because it fills a big need in the HS community.

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