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Tell me the pros and cons! Did you like it or hate it? Are the full set prices worth it at TAN? (They are on sale atm!)

I’m contemplating starting with Vol 4.  Opinions or experience with that?

TIA

 

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We’ve enjoyed them all as either read alouds or audiobooks. The dramatized audio definitely kept everyone’s attention, and they often listen for fun. We’re reading vol4 together and all the kids enjoy it—5 up to 11. 
 

I haven’t really used the workbooks much. I did a few things but it wasn’t my style. Granted, I never did SOTW workbooks or activities either. I used a few tests but didn’t stick with them. 
 

One year I used SOC and SOTW, along w Famous Men of the Middle Ages and various read alouds, to do a Medieval Europe class and  we all enjoyed that. 
 

id definitely recommend audio and/or textbook if you can get them discounted. 

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Depending on your needs, you might also consider Durant's more accessible single volume Heroes of History.  There was a recent thread about it which you can read here https://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/705301-durants-heroes-of-history-anyone-use-what-age/?tab=comments#comment-8855105

 

@PeterPan would be worth asking if you have questions - she owns the single volume book.

 

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9 hours ago, gradchica said:

We’ve enjoyed them all as either read alouds or audiobooks. The dramatized audio definitely kept everyone’s attention, and they often listen for fun. We’re reading vol4 together and all the kids enjoy it—5 up to 11. 
 

I haven’t really used the workbooks much. I did a few things but it wasn’t my style. Granted, I never did SOTW workbooks or activities either. I used a few tests but didn’t stick with them. 
 

One year I used SOC and SOTW, along w Famous Men of the Middle Ages and various read alouds, to do a Medieval Europe class and  we all enjoyed that. 
 

id definitely recommend audio and/or textbook if you can get them discounted. 

Is the dramatized version by the same author? I’m having trouble finding it on Amazon.

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6 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

Depending on your needs, you might also consider Durant's more accessible single volume Heroes of History.  There was a recent thread about it which you can read here https://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/705301-durants-heroes-of-history-anyone-use-what-age/?tab=comments#comment-8855105

 

@PeterPan would be worth asking if you have questions - she owns the single volume book.

 

 

1 hour ago, Earthmerlin said:

Is the dramatized version by the same author? I’m having trouble finding it on Amazon.

The OP is not referring to Durant's series.  The series published by TAN is by Phillip Campbell.

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We use the audio versions as our world history. Kids are currently 10, 9, 7, 4, and a baby. It is the only audio thing I have ever had success in including in our official schooling. 

Prior to SOC, we used SOTW vol. 1, which was a complete fail here.

For us, SOC is much more interesting and much better written. Add in the fact that we are Catholic, and it just makes sense for us to use SOC. We just listen to as much or as little as we want at any given time. Also, even I enjoy listening. So it can appeal to a wide range.

Someday, I will probably invest it a timeline. But I will try and wait for a sale for those.

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On 3/1/2021 at 8:08 PM, 8filltheheart said:

You can check them out for free from Hoopla if your library has a Hoopla subscription.  That would let you preview them.

I just started listening to Vol 1 on Hoopla, and really enjoy it so far! We're not Catholic, but my husband was raised Catholic. We would probably throw some Protestant, "living" biographies in alongside the medieval volume if we used it.

Just this week I stumbled upon the Alveary/CMEC using Vol 1 for their Form 2 (3rd-5th grade) Ancient's cycle.

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UPDATE for anyone that wants it.

Alrighty I just ordered all 4 volumes. Yikes. Lol. 

Some issues with TAN:

They never sent me notice that my order had shipped until I emailed them asking what the hold up was. They said they are “many kinks in the new system that need to be worked out”.

I got my order today. I have to say I’m not very happy with TAN at the moment. The 20% off a first a order was not put on it. And I made a rather large to me order so OUCH. It’s missing one book I ordered. It’s not listed on the order sheet in the box or anything. But it is listed on the acct I made through TAN as ordered. I’m presuming it’s back ordered but no communication that it is. And I logged on to the TAN site to see the streaming content and it says I can’t access it for any of the volumes so to “check back in 1-2 weeks”. Kinda ticked that I paid $39 x4 volumes for that. 

I did email them explaining these issues but have not heard back just yet.  I’ll update if they resolve it. Or how I handle it. I’m glad I didn’t cave to my base instinct to open everything.  I only opened the first set bc I was FaceTiming some friends who haven’t seen it either. Not a great impression on them for TAN when I opened my box and tried to play the stream content. 

Now to the materials for ancient volume. Because I’m not opening the others until I know if I’m keeping them. 
I like the text. It’s not super tiny print and is well spaced on the page. It’s catholic - yay. Otherwise on par with SOTW  

Test book is simple. 15-20 questions usually a mix of multiple choice and t/f or matching.

I like the timeline okay but it’s a bit small and yet large at the same time. It only covers the timeline for this Vol. the next vol I’m assuming would be attached to it. So... that’s going to be very large once all 4 are on the wall at each one being approx equal to my small dry erase board in both height and length.   No idea where I can fit this on a wall... maybe in the living room.  It’s very sturdy almost laminated-like but that also means it’s very shiny.  I put it on our white board and it was hard to actually see the details bc of glare from the lighting in our school room. So mixed on this one.

The teacher guide and activity book. SOC1 activity book is mostly maps, coloring page, word games like crosswords or searches, several maxes, and lots of step by step drawing. I’m spitballing that’s 90%ish of the activity book. There’s a few build a paper Trojan horse from templates kind of thing scattered through it too.

The teacher guide has the narrations and review questions. Map activity instructions, what page to color and restates how to do the drawings. Then it has 1-2 other crafts and occasionally a snack activity. I think the crafts and food ideas in SOTW1 are better personally.  But they are also more complicated and I know most others will prefer the simpler suggestions in SOC1.

A HUGE lack compared to SOTW is that there are zero additional history reading or literature suggestions. None. We use the heck out of those. Many I own. And it’s always good to have a good recommendation. Especially Catholic ones for say... additions to enjoy when we get to Maccabees. Can’t say enough how disappointed I am by that lack. I had thought if I liked these well enough I’d sell my SOTW1 and 2. But I think I will keep them to have more options for activities and for the additional book recs.

If TAN gets my other issues fixed, I’ll update. If they don’t, the update will probably be that I sent it all back for a refund. Minus the streaming and the first purchase discount, I’d have saved a large amount on buying these individually instead of as a set, even with the discount they are currently running and tossing in the timeline for “free”, which I wouldn’t have purchased anyways. 

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That is a really nice overview. Thank you.

I only purchased the streaming audio through TAN and it downloaded in short snippets. To play it, I have to go to the computer and start the next section and hit play every 10 minutes or so. It was too irritating to do that over and over again so I haven’t used it beyond the first try at it. Frustrating.

They have it on audible and so I even thought of using some of my many credits and buying it again just to get around this. I am glad to hear Hoopla has it instead.

If I were more computer savvy I would probably figure out how to get what I have to play sequentially.  ...Or I could take the time to call Tan and ask their advice on it. 

I do like the audio though.  It is well done. My kids prefer dramatized audio. None of them like audio books, only dramatized audio.

Edited by drjuliadc
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OP, I am sorry you are having issues with TAN.  I have ordered from them many times and never encountered problems. I hope they fix things quickly. 

Also, thanks for a answering one of my questions. I'd been wondering if there were additional reading suggestions somewhere. It is disappointing to learn there aren't. That being said, I am definitely happy with the audio version (I have the CDs). 

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6 hours ago, drjuliadc said:

That is a really nice overview. Thank you.

I only purchased the streaming audio through TAN and it downloaded in short snippets. To play it, I have to go to the computer and start the next section and hit play every 10 minutes or so. It was too irritating to do that over and over again so I haven’t used it beyond the first try at it. Frustrating.

They have it on audible and so I even thought of using some of my many credits and buying it again just to get around this. I am glad to hear Hoopla has it instead.

If I were more computer savvy I would probably figure out how to get what I have to play sequentially.  ...Or I could take the time to call Tan and ask their advice on it. 

I do like the audio though.  It is well done. My kids prefer dramatized audio. None of them like audio books, only dramatized audio.

No response from them yet. If I don’t get a response by lunch time, I’ll probably call them.  And yeah I went looking for more reviews and apparently the streaming is great - when it actually works.  I think I’m going to ask for a refund if that’s the case. I don’t have much patience for that at $40 each vol. Super bummed.  I want to rip it all open and start lesson planning but I’m not unwrapping more of them and the first volume is exactly like new except the clear wrap is off.  I wasn’t even able to activate the stream code. So that should be refundable as it’s absolutely still in “sellable condition.”

Just another example of why I avoid online learning so much.  Books rarely have technical difficulties. 😜

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@Murphy101 That does sound frustrating! I have ordered many times from TAN, but they just updated their system (in the last few weeks, I think) and I have not ordered from them yet since then. I HAVE had the issue of getting the wrong things in my box. The first order I ever made was a copy of the Story of the Bible Old Testament and New Testament audio CDs with the teacher guide and activity book. I got: 1 copy of the Old Testament Audio CDs, TWO copies of the New testament audio CDs, the teacher guide for old testament but not for new, the test book (which I didn't order) for new testament, and the activity books. It was a mess 😛 I contacted them and they told me to keep the extras and they would send me the missing teacher guide, so it wasn't too bad. Just a lot of extra stuff I didn't order. The charge to my CC was right though.

Since that first order, my other ones have come through accurately. I prefer to purchase the mp3 files now for the story of civilization, then put them into folders by chapter (this takes thumbing through the book to figure out which tracks go where as they aren't labeled by chapter when you download, though they are in chronological order), and then play each chapter with our Alexa via MyPod. It's about 10 minutes of work a week to set up, but my children can now independently listen to the next chapter each week easily. You can also get the book audio on audible, but each chapter on audible IS not the same as each chapter in the book, so I had to start/stop audible each week for my kids. The mp3 files ->google drive (each chapter in a folder)->mypod playlist on alexa worked better for us. (note: mypod does have a very low monthly cost if you don't want ads, and you really don't want ads, because they are not always appropriate for kids and they also VERY OFTEN interrupt content. But they do have a free - with ads - option if anyone wants to try this route after reading my description above)

Finally, on the recommended reading... there is a Facebook group for Story of Civilization called Tan's the story of civilization homeschoolers (unofficial) which is a great resource for things like reading lists. If you check the group files there, someone in the group has already made a great reading list for each level of SoC that breaks it down by chapter. The author also posts frequently in that group.

 

 

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I like the text and test book well enough.

The activity book and teacher guide are okay. I’m keeping the SOTW vol 1 and 2 activity books to supplement those sections of SOC. We like the dramatic reading CDs considerably.

The timeline will likely not be used due to its size and glaring. The stream videos are not available and to hear tell of previous reviews, not being able to reliably stream them is a known problem.  I wish I had known these 2 things from the start, I would never have bought the sets even at 40% off bc it would have been cheaper to buy each of the other items individually by approx $200.  Ideally TAN will just refund me the streaming costs. Otherwise I’ll have to mail everything back and reorder the individual items after I get the refund.  Looks like I’ll have to wait until Monday to find out. 

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If you end up returning the whole sets, you will probably still be able to get 40% off the I individual items you want during one of the feast day sales.  I know they did 40% for St. Benedict's feast last year.  I have gotten the audio books from audible when they do their 2-free-books promo.  I am on the fb group for them also.  The lists are helpful, but I still prefer the book suggestions from SOTW along with the vision series saints books and the once upon a time saints sets.

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Okay. So I got this all sorted but I gotta say TAN made it way harder than it had to be IMO. 

Via email - At first they were willing to give a credit on my account but dudes. I just spent over $700. I really do not want or need another $100+ to buy more.  No response to that other than to try talking to someone via the chat messaging on their site. 

Via chat messaging I’m told I should have gotten an email with a link to each vol.  Well I didn’t. Just like I never got the 20% off. They suggest maybe it’s in my junk folder. No I know it isn’t. Trust me. I’ve gone through all my emails with a fine tooth comb this weekend.  (I’m buying a lot of stuff and so I’m tracking several things.) No problem. They will resend it. Sends it. But the code in my packet doesn’t work. Oh you have to use the new code in the link. The way it’s typed in the email the code looks like part of the link so I had no way of knowing that’s what it was. And they say I may have to try the code 3-4 times for it to work. What the heck? Yeah 4th try it works. Okay I have access to stream content now. And I’ve bookmarked it and noted the code down. 

Now the 20% please? Nope cannot give discount after purchase. Did I enter code?  Listen. All over your site it says sign up for an account and get 20% off first purchase. But I didn’t get anything. No email. No code. Nada. And this is not a small $ amount. Do I need to return the entire package to get a full refund to make this right or what? It’s “...” for several minutes. And they say that oh I signed up as a new homeschool initiative so I wouldn’t have qualified for the 20% code.  I ask how in the world I would have ever known that?! I just answered the questions to make an account after clicking the ad banner and had no idea it was going to determine what kind of account I had. Several “....” later they come back with saying they got permission to refund me the 20%. 

Oh and my book that was missing has now been shipped out but no tracking code  

I get that they have a new system. But the problem isn’t their new system. It’s their customer service. They know much of this is happening and not being very proactive in addressing any of it. I spoke to some other friends who were buying from them after we all had a zoom curriculum discussion a couple weeks ago and all of them are having the same issues.

I did join the FB group and found some book lists. These will be extra helpful to me for vol 3 and 4 that I do not have SOTW activity and teacher guides for to supplement.  Thank you for the suggestion!  I may just buy those anyways bc the internet is fickle. There’s a FB group today but who knows if there will be next year, kwim?

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The Story of the Bible and Story of Civilization audio stuff is what makes it for me...I've had kids request to listen to it in the car! So pre pandemic when we were driving alot, I loved it. Staying home, we don't do audio books much. 

I am very curious about the streaming content, and what age you find it appropriate for, etc. 

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I will try to remember and post once I look at the lectures for Volume 4, since I bought the complete set during the sale this last week. I haven't purchased them before, because my oldest are just now going into 5th grade and I always thought of the lectures as something I wouldn't need until middle school. Now it's right around the corner! 😛

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