One more question...
Has anyone combined these two? Anyone used TOG and come over to SCM? I know that it is more classical in nature but from what I see it does use living books. Thanks
TOG is very full, and doesn't need extra. I have a friend that has used it for years, and she likes it. But it's overwhelming if you tend to be a box checker. The amount of work, readings, projects is a lot for each grade.
SCM is great because it's a simple layout for the whole family. It works for me because I can easily add or take away, no big deal!
I have used both and I think it would be very difficult to put the two together. SCM is much more laid back, open and go, with plenty of room to add other things in. SCM gives you a daily lesson plan, telling you which book to use and how much of it to read. In contrast, a week of SCM takes a page or two in the manual, a week of TOG is about fifty pages -- double-sided!!
TOG gives you many choices and really requires quite a bit of advanced planning. You need to look ahead to decide which books you will use and since there are so many choices it can be hard to narrow down. Then you need to either purchase or plan in advance to borrow the books. I found it difficult to find the books that were recommended, so I ended up buying many of them and then discovered that we didn't really like them all that well. That made me feel guilty since we had already spent so much money on the year plan, and it also left me scrambling to find replacements. I think if we would have continued to use it, I would have found a system that worked for us, but we tried it for about 20 weeks during which time I felt as if I were drowning and behind (whatever that is). I think it is a very solid, well-written program and I thought the teacher's notes were phenomenal, but it didn't work for us and it was a HUGE relief to let it go -- and this is my 20th year of homeschooling, so not exactly new to the game. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying it because it seems to be great for so many people, I just think it's good to understand the program in advance and to evaluate your teaching style and your children's learning styles before jumping in. As for me.... I plead temporary insanity.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is just what I was hoping to hear from someone. I have a very busy household right now and more would not necessarily be better. I was already leaning towards SCM but wanted to exhaust all my options I was looking at. I am assuming that you are using SCM as a Core. After 20 years of schooling are you satisfied with this program? I am not a big hands on person. I would rather curl up on the couch and read a good book(definitely a visual learner) but my kids are another story! They are very busy and I think adding some hands on learning would be great for me to begin doing(break out of the comfort zone so to speak) but I need help with ideas. Do you think SCM offers enough hands on stuff. That was part of my pull to TOG because they had lots of ideas to choose from. I have a 15 year old daughter that I am bringing home this fall and I want to do 3 years of one program instead of switching up throughout the rest of her high school years but I am only 2 years into homeschooling and am really trying to find what works for us. Would you say SCM is thorough enough for the last three years of high school? Am I going to have to select books with SCM or are they chosen for you? Thanks for your help.
Lapbooks (many options online), journals, acting out stories.
Also, you might enjoy looking through this list of narration ideas. Just reading books and narration may seem very simple but it can be quite effective.
SCM has books scheduled in the guides.
Click on the history module you are interested in to see the book list for each age group.
I am using a combination of SCM and Truthquest. I appreciate SCM for the schedule (I follow it very loosely) and for the integrated Bible. I prefer to move through history a bit more quickly than a 6 year cycle and I love the commentary in Truthquest.
If you're interested in more hands-on activities, I would definitely recommend lapbooks. We did one from A Journey Through Learning this last year and my kids (ages 7-14) all loved it. I don't know if your 15 yo would think this was too juvenile -- I was actually surprised that my 14 yo son liked it as much as he did. I think that AJTL is coming out with some digital lapbooks and that sounds interesting for older kids. I also think that once you get the hang of lapbooking, you can customize it to make it more grown-up, more along the lines of scrapbooking. I'm sure others can also recommend some books with hands-on suggestions. We've found some at our library for the Greece and Rome time periods.
I would love to do more hands-on if there was time. But for now, my kids are enjoying notebooking. It's just simply taking their own notebook and recording what they are studying through drawings, pictures, writing, and allowing them to decorate how they choose. You can find hundreds of info on notebooking on homeschool blogs. I tend to make up mine as we go.
My kids like to review and look through their creations often. It's a great tool for learning, and it keeps their "crafty-desires" more fulfilled! :)
Thank you all for the great ideas. I guess I will have to get more familiar with the notebooking. We started a notebooking thing last year from AJTL. The kids loved it but they spent so much time on it it took up too much of our day. I guess I would have to put a time limit on it. It went along with our purchase from Truthquest.
Jean--I bought Truthquest last year to use. I absolutely love what she has put together but I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to read to the kids and felt overwhelmed with all the book selections. Not knowing what each book was about, I never knew which ones to get. How do you handle that?
For TQ, I usually like to get one of the spine books. Then I'll check my libraries to see what else is available and I'll pencil mark in my guide which library it is available from. I know that the rest is quite overwhelming at first. Over the years I've noticed some books and some authors come up on several sites and with many different curriculums so those are a pretty good bet. And there are always the ones that Michelle has labeled as "don't miss". If you join the HIStory Questers Yahoo group, for TQ you can always ask people for recommendations as well. What year are you doing?
I have the American History for Young Students. Along with the AJTL Lapbook. I was considering Mod 4 this year from SCM so maybe I can incorporate it again this year and also get the one for the world history if it correlates somewhat. How do you decide how many or which sections you use? I will also look into the group. I didn't know there was one. Thanks for the info!
Simple math. I decide how far I'd like to get in a year, then divide the number of sections by the number of weeks we plan formal schoolwork and that gives me an idea for how much needs to be covered at a time. You can use various checkpoints throughout the year to see how you're doing and speed up or slow down accordingly. If all my children were early elementary, I wouldn't worry too much about staying on track.
@binky, what I love about SCM is that it's just enough. It's enough on its own, but if you feel the need to add more, whatever, then you can without overwhelming yourself. It's as if they purposely left wiggle room for adding in the extras most children want/need (crafts/field trips/notebooking/cooking) to round out their education.
I never feel as if I have to follow someone else's schedule but I still have full access to the guide (and tons of support) and have a feeling of accomplishment.
And, with SCM you don't have to purchase anything from them to use their guide and receive the best support out there (this forum)!! I do purchase many things from SCM but I know that even if I just used their Free Guide and this forum my kids would receive a full education.
OK, commercial is over, LOL.
I have been combining SCM, Sonlight and Beautiful Feet to get what I want. Next year I am using TOG because it combines so much of what I am doing now. This will be my last year of homeschooling my sixth child. My dd is a voracious reader. This year we did SCM module 3 & 4 & we will be heading into Module 5 soon. We already covered the time period of Module 5 recently with SL so we are just hitting a few things. Next year I will have SCM Module 6, I already bought it but it won't be enough for us for a whole year. We already covered the Civil War through Reconstruction. If this is your first time through these years it would be enough. We have covered history already with Sonlight and now we're just hitting what we missed before and adding on. I chose TOG for next year because we haven't done 20th Century before and I have so many options so they are helping to narrow down my choices.
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