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Is TOG similar to Sonlight?


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I have been really intrigued by TOG now that I have a 1st grader to fold into our homeschool day along with my older dd's 5th and 7th grade. I am really needing to integrate their history and science and anything else I can do all at once and it seems TOG spells that out for you which is like a breath of fresh air for me. I am feeling strangled by our schedule. It's just too much to keep up with three different science programs and levels and two different history programs.

 

I was looking at some TOG samples and it looks really similar to Sonlight. How is this different? How is it the same or is it?

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Hi there,

I've used TOG for the first time this year. I love it! I find it great that I can teach all of my children the same thing on diff. levels! That is so awesome. I believe that to be the biggest difference between Sonlight and TOG. I have never used Sonlight though. :tongue_smilie:

 

I hope that it is a little helpful!

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TOG includes more projects. The scheduling is not spelled out for you like SL. You would need to do that on your own.

 

TOG does NOT include science. You mentioned it a few times as being a concern, so I didn't want you to get the impression that you'd be able to combine them in science using TOG, since TOG doesn't have science at all.;)

 

TOG is on a 4-year cycle, whereas SL is not. Your students would study the same thing at the same time, but they would be on different levels, so they would not be reading the same books (most of the time). Some of the activities can be combined (especially for LG and UG).

 

Have you ever looked into My Father's World?

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I've used both, and with only two to educate who are fairly close in age, Sonlight works better for me. I used TOG for two years and got "lost" quite a bit. It was too much at the time. TOG has a lot more teacher notes and choices, and can span all ages at once. Some of the book choices are the same for both vendors in the same time period.

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The one thing that former Sonlighters always comment on is that in TOG everything is scheduled out by the week, not the day. So, it will just say read chapters 10-13 of such-and-such book. Then you (or if your child is old enough, you and your child) have to figure out when you're going to read what.

 

There is quite a bit more planning involved with TOG. It's not pick up and go like Sonlight is. And, there is a LOT there. Sonlight tells you to pick and choose, but it becomes even more necessary with TOG. There are a lot of suggested projects and you just can't do them all.

 

I was first drawn to the idea of homeschooling when a friend bought Sonlight for her daughter, and it was the first curriculum I used. I do like it, but I am pretty sold on the idea of the four-year history cycle, and I was basically rewriting Sonlight to make it fit. Plus, it would take at least two cores to meet the needs of my kids ages.

 

TOG lets me keep all the things I like about Sonlight, but it fits into the chronological history cycle, AND lets me keep all the kids together. I also think that the teacher's notes and the history spines give TOG a more unified feel than SL, but I haven't used the upper SL cores, so perhaps that improves in the later cores.

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I appreciate the feedback on this program. I had just a glance at the samples they gave and it sort of looked like a sonlight TG but I can see the difference now. Sonlight had overwhelmed me with the daily suggestions but weekly would be good for my older dd's. That's how we do it now. They get a weekly plan and are on their own to get it done by Fri. I try to have an hour a piece to sit down with them in the afternoon to check their work. So far this seems to work with LA but I really am struggling with MOH 3 this year. We are just reading stories and doing timelines and notecards. If they want to do a project they do it on their own and my 6 yr old isn't getting much history at all because I got winter promise hideaways for him which is a different time period and it is IMPOSSIBLE to get the boxes. UGH!

 

Science is a toughie too to schedule but I realize now TOG doesn't have that. So far my oldest is doing apologia general science.

 

We did the Prairie Primer which was the only unit study we have done and it was wonderful. Alot of work getting all the library books every week but we really enjoyed it on all levels with all the kids. This was nice since I have such an age range. I think that is why TOG has been appealing to me.

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I appreciate the feedback on this program. I had just a glance at the samples they gave and it sort of looked like a sonlight TG but I can see the difference now. Sonlight had overwhelmed me with the daily suggestions but weekly would be good for my older dd's. That's how we do it now. They get a weekly plan and are on their own to get it done by Fri. I try to have an hour a piece to sit down with them in the afternoon to check their work. So far this seems to work with LA but I really am struggling with MOH 3 this year. We are just reading stories and doing timelines and notecards. If they want to do a project they do it on their own and my 6 yr old isn't getting much history at all because I got winter promise hideaways for him which is a different time period and it is IMPOSSIBLE to get the boxes. UGH!

 

Science is a toughie too to schedule but I realize now TOG doesn't have that. So far my oldest is doing apologia general science.

 

We did the Prairie Primer which was the only unit study we have done and it was wonderful. Alot of work getting all the library books every week but we really enjoyed it on all levels with all the kids. This was nice since I have such an age range. I think that is why TOG has been appealing to me.

 

Julie,

 

If you are looking for science that is pretty easy to do I would suggest either God's Design or Christian Kids Explore Science (this one also by Bright Ideas Press) while your oldest continues with Apologia. I haven't used the 2nd. The first I find very easy to use. We just read one lesson a day 4 days a week, but you could do less (3 lessons a wee) and be fine. The lessons are usually a page to a page and a half long and they were just updated to include color photos, and a printable CD for the quizzes and such, so it would have a feel similar to MOH.

 

TOG I adore, but realize it is a HUGE program. I would suggest you try the three week sample before you jump in with both feet. Have you looked at All American History by Bright Ideas Press? Again because it is by the same publisher it has a similar feel to it as MOH.

 

I would be glad to answer any questions you have about TOG, so feel free to ask!

 

Heather

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I think TOG has it all right there in combining ages. Sonlight would require you to buy the program for the different ages that covered basically the same thing.

I think with either program you have to think of it as a menu. Like picking and choosing. And, I said on another post, sometimes it's worth it to spend a year and a half on some of these programs. You'll cover everything again when they are older, and my kids don't even remember doing some of the things we did 10 years ago!

So, if nothing else, make learnin g fun, so they remember that it was fun to learn. They will still want to learn when they are older.

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