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First off, I know the whole she is a Mormon argument and all the controversy surrounding that. I very much would not like to focus on that, please.

I am most interested in the language arts and handwriting, but am curious about the other offerings. Has anyone used TGTB materials for any subject or level and would tell me what you like or don't like? Is it rigorous or fluff? Are the expectations developmentally appropriate for the age range she gives? Do you feel your children made progress using it as-is or that supplementation was necessary to bring the academic level up? Has scheduling to use with multiple children been an issue? Have you used more than one level? If so, why have you continued? If not, what caused you to re-evaluate?

Thank you.

Edited by Enigma6
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We are using Levels K and 1 this year, and I used the preK one in the spring. We've gotten through 12 weeks of each, so I'm no long term expert. 😆 Thoughts so far:

Pros: My children are learning. It is not hard to do time-wise with my two children. The lessons are short but a lot is included in them. We all enjoy the embedded art activities, and I make it a point not to skip them. I've gotten to a place in each level where I can see some units focus more on, say, grammar or phonics than others, so while the course is integrated it also has areas of focus. I like that so far.  They come with plenty of reading material via the readers, mini books and beginner books. I bought sets A-D of the beginner books which has helped my young readers have a stash of things to read alone from the beginning  

Cons:  The way they do spelling is a bit weird.  If your kids are natural spellers, then the phonics and sight word practice they do should work fine--maybe? I'm casting around for more solid spelling right now since my oldest needs some better instruction.  Also be warned that some of the moral lessons presented are pure saccharin. I don't mind the messages surrounding good character--in fact I appreciate them--they are just discussed here in a way I wouldn't choose. That's more of a thing that could bug mom over time rather than a real flaw. At this point neither of my kids likes to see that workbook come out for reading lessons which leads me to--

Supplementation: My Kinder can typically work through a few lessons just fine but needs to stop and just read and write for a day or two to let it sink in before moving on. We have dubbed Thursday's "Dr. Seuss Day," and we do shared reading of a Dr. Seuss beginner book along with focused letter/numeral formation.  I choose a story element or two--like setting, beginning/middle/end, etc.--to discuss from that book. After we finish a unit I do some reading and writing days like that. Depending on your child that may work for you. My second grader doesn't like doing the workbook even though it is user friendly for all, so I started working in some WWE (from the instructor guide or using Aesop's Fables or the like) along with shared reading/story elements and some scholastic reading comprehension supplements. That's mainly to break it up for her and to provide variety for me. We all like that kind of day. She needs a specific spelling component added as well which I am hoping to nail down before she starts third grade...😂

Overall: I bought this as a "kickstart" curriculum for my first year of homeschooling. I needed something serviceable that didn't take a long time to figure out, and it's fitting the bill. It would work well for someone in my shoes who is just starting out or someone who has been at this awhile but needs something different to either streamline, save money or regain their sanity/work through burnout. As I allow myself to learn more about homeschooling language arts I can see myself moving away from this program, though I might keep using these lower levels for my younger ones to keep expense and prep work down (based on my Kinder reading pretty well using it plus part of 100EZ and phonics instruction at Mother's Day out in preK). Since there are only 120 lessons per level having a few days here and there that are different won't prevent you from completing levels in a reasonable timeframe. I have no experience with older levels but, based on a generally positive experience with learning and format, would be willing to use level 2 if needed after using K and 1. We are also using level 2 handwriting next six weeks to formally end manuscript before beginning cursive. 

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Well, I am a newbie. I wanted something different this year and something I could do with all of my children.

For LA, we are all doing level 4. I am supplementing for my oldest with Classical academia press (narrative 2) and will try to squeeze in WWS. So far that hasn't happened. Also, supplementing tgtb's handwriting for my youngest.

I like it. My girls are strong spellers, so so far it hasn't been too challenging. I elected to skip the writing part for my youngest since she is only in 2nd grade. 

I also add in vocab.

I really like writing with ease's oral narration and comprehension questions so I may do that once a week for my younger 2.

I love how pretty it is. 😄 It is pretty straight forward. I also like the variety that it brings into the lessons. I like the fact that homophones, geography, and art is included. We haven't done much in those areas, so this is going to help me out this year.

My girls are also doing tgtb math. I am using it as a review for my middle child. She could do with more practice, but singapore math workbooks and math u see books look pretty boring. Tgtb is really colorful with pictures. They like it. It really doesn't take long because they don't really do the games. So, I do that in the morning and math lessons for a living education in the afternoon. It probably doesn't happen everyday, but most days I can squeeze both in.

I like the math so far. I like the short review in the beginning of each lesson. I like the way it presents problems. I like the story that comes with it in the beginning of the lessons too. From what I've seen, they seem appropriate.

For science, we started the energy unit. Because my middle child wanted to study light for her goal for the year which we have been doing on fridays. Next up is either the mammals unit or the kingdom classification unit. They like the activities so far. I need to supplement for my oldest though. I haven't used the extension packet yet.

So far, I don't see why I wouldn't complete the program.

Hope this helps.

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I'm using Level 3 and 1 with my 10 and 6 yos. My 10yo was really struggling when we started when schools closed last March so we started at Level 3. She's almost to Level 4 now, and loves it. We aren't religious so I just change the writing prompts about God, which have been sparse. I've seen great improvement with her reading speed and accuracy, like huge improvements. My 6yo is breezing through hers, only tripping up on spelling which I have to supplement. I'm going to pause going to Level 2 because she's a strong reader, but isn't ready for all the grammar just yet.   

I DO use IEW for 10yo and am also doing Spelling You See and Sequential Spelling. It's a lot, but she needs it. I love TGATB LA though, not gonna lie. It's just weak in writting imo, and my kid needs more spelling and the spelling rules don't stick in her head as much as writting over and over again does. I also do my own literature stuff, with read alouds, literary terms and projects, and assigned readings. 

I've almost bought Math 2 for my 6yo like, three times because it's so pretty, and almost bought the History too because Idk, I'm crazy. I had to remind myself I don't want a heavy Christian world view of history to stop myself. 

I've also done a science unit of theirs. It was okay, but my kids weren't interested and it felt like too much prep for me. We find science textbooks, experiments, and conversations more appealing. We're weird. 

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I am using their language arts. It is wonderful. It is above grade level, enough that I would say level 5 for 6th grade and so on. My son liked TGTB, still does. But now tells me that what he used to use, BJU, is easy compared to TGTB. This is true. TGTB frames everything so it involves thinking. 

 

Marine Science is a free science unit.  Since LA level 1-5 are free as is Marine Science...it is worth giving it a try. That is how we ended up doing this. It was free so we tried it and ended up really liking it. Then I ordered the print versions.

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I tried the free Marine Science unit and while it was visually beautiful, it had a whole lot of moving parts to bring together which was very annoying and not something I could see myself doing long term.

Just reading the titles on the reading list bored me to tears. Sorry. I'm all for clean wholesome literature, but literally none of them appealed to me.

But I can totally see why people are attracted to it. Even though I know I won't like it, I can't help going back to their website and looking lol

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This is all great information. Thank you, everyone.

I would be deviating a LOT from her booklist. Different standards of what is acceptable is fine. I have one who is very art-oriented and chomping at the bit to get their hands on the art lessons. The books are, as you have all said, beautiful. I like that she incorporates art and geography.

Adding: I showed a sample to my husband last night. He very much wants me to try it out. I will update after we use it for a bit.

 

Edited by Enigma6
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I am a very visual person. So, I watched a you tube mom put together her science unit from tgtb.

It's basically the same for each unit.

Once your binder is together, it hasn't been hard to implement. I like the mini books and vocab cards that comes with it.

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20 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

I tried the free Marine Science unit and while it was visually beautiful, it had a whole lot of moving parts to bring together which was very annoying and not something I could see myself doing long term.

Just reading the titles on the reading list bored me to tears. Sorry. I'm all for clean wholesome literature, but literally none of them appealed to me.

But I can totally see why people are attracted to it. Even though I know I won't like it, I can't help going back to their website and looking lol

Yeah, I wasn't excited about their library either. 

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I do not think I would like their math. But we do really like the LA. If I wanted to spend that kind of money and time on math, I would do Right Start for sure.

Edited by Janeway
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Language arts is in fact very beautiful, and I liked that it included art and poetry. I thought the phonics presentation in the book was good, but did NOT like the phoneme flashcards. Actually, I take that back. I do NOT agree with having early readers memorize all the sounds of each phonogram. So for us, memorize just the short vowel sounds, to start with, and that works. 

The spelling is frankly awful. It's totally not actually taught, and the spelling rules were worded awkwardly. 

The grammar is WAY more advanced than the phonics/reading. Meaning you often will have to put the kid in a level below their reading level or too hard for them grammar wise. Not a fan of that, and that's the main reason we stopped using it. I had frustrated kids. 

 

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Oh, we do love a lot of books in their library - the beginner books are the best I've seen for kids just starting to read. And they have a lot of options for slightly longer books that are still at a lower reading level. Mark on the Moon or something like that was a huge hit for my son!

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We just began using it at the end of September. We're doing Language Arts Level 3 (3rd grade) and Level 5 (6th grader). We're also doing Level 3 Math and Handwriting for our 3rd grader. Below are the pros and cons for Language Arts, plus my thoughts on the other materials.

Pros: My children really enjoy it and look forward to their lessons. It's truly open-and-go. There is a lot of variety - no two lessons are the same (this works really well for my kids, who get bored with too much repetition). There is beautiful art and poetry woven throughout. Grammar is advanced but well explained, so it doesn't seem like too much. The spelling is odd, but I like it (and so do my kids). Both of my kids are learning a lot; I can already see their growth. 

Cons: The art is lovely but almost exclusively 19th century European paintings. I'd love more variety (different time periods, different places, different art forms, etc.). In Level 3, it is fairly parent-intensive. I don't mind this, but if I had more than two kids, it could be a challenge.

Level 3 Math: The math program is engaging and colorful, but the way it's organized is rather odd. Too soon to say whether it's effective or not- it may well be. But it seems to jump from topic to topic without much pattern. All of that said, my daughter loves it, so we're sticking with it. (She was previously doing CLE math and learning a lot, but hating it.) The math box and games are fun. I will supplement to fill in any gaps that may appear.

Level 3 Handwriting: Nothing fancy but seems fine. My daughter likes it. Fun little drawing activities and mazes on some pages.

We are really loving The Good and the Beautiful in our house, and I'm glad we finally gave it a try. I foresee us sticking with this program for the long haul.

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I have used several TGTB products. I really like their early readers and picture books. I ordered A girl of the limberlost for myself because the cover was so lovely. 

I was not impressed with the pre-k. “Hands on” is really a misnomer. The flip books were all color coded by letter so my child would just color match everything. The games were nothing more than basic file folder style worksheets. There was not a lot review of the letter sounds. They also introduce the vowels as AEIOU & sometimes Y in the PreK. The foundation just isn’t there yet for that sort of information. 

The level k primer was a massive jump. They introduced long vowels before kids are solid in CVC reading. It was very confusing and overwhelming for my child. 

 I personally don’t care for the all in one teacher/student workbooks. There are so many words on the page. I found it very cluttered and it was difficult for my child to focus with all the other color/words/pictures. But alas, it is all so sweet and lovely. I wish it had worked out. 
 

I do like their science units and I find them fun & easy to teach. They say all ages, but some lean more towards younger students. There is a list floating  around somewhere on the internet sharing which science units fit each grade best. 

 

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16 hours ago, AnneGG said:

But alas, it is all so sweet and lovely. I wish it had worked out. 

The beauty, art and aura of this curriculum tugs at me, too.  But my kids don't seem to have the same exact feelings--they fight about doing the work and actually prefer doing stuff in a spiral sometimes.    I'm starting to wonder how much the "beauty vibe" factor is directed towards me as an ad feature vs. the kids! 😂

Edited by JoyKM
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