Topic | Help choosing LA! ULW, TGATB, or a combo??

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • Singing2Hymn
    Participant

    I am so conflicted about what to choose for our language arts curriculum. We are currently using ULW for our 3rd grader and TGATB for our kids in 1st and K. My 3rd grader used TGATB last year and did well with it. My only complaints are that sometimes the lessons feel a bit long and I wish there was less grammar, but it’s beautiful, thorough, and so easy to implement. Plus it’s nice that it includes art instruction and geography. ULW is a nice change in that it’s so quick, simple, gentle, and to the point. However, it’s visually unappealing for my kids who love all things beautiful and colorful. And my 3rd grader, who is autistic, doesn’t really understand most of what she is transcribing. She doesn’t know who most of the people are who have said/written the quotes and struggles with older English.

    I have literally been losing sleep over which to choose because I just can’t seem to make my brain turn off on the issue, despite very much wanting to.  Any ideas on whether to do one or the other OR to maybe do ULW twice a week and just cherry pick lessons from TGATB two days a week?? Thank you in advance for any and all input!

    Bek
    Participant

    My advice would be to stick with what works well enough. You dont have to have perfection for it to be adequate. If your child did well with TGATB despite the length, then stick with that and just divide the longer lessons. The fact that it also includes art AND geography and is so open and go means that there is more time for you to spend on other subjects. Try and make it as simple as possible for yourself….say I who is ALWAYS complicating things for myself!

    And children thrive on predictability but more so those kids who aren’t neurotypical, so if your ASD child enjoys it, I would say you have a winner.

    Why don’t you do ULW for your mother culture?😉 You may enjoy the quotations and be able to get ahead of the kids grammar.

    Singing2Hymn
    Participant

    Thank you for chiming in, Bek! My husband is so tired of hearing about this, LOL. It’s nice for a truly objective opinion, too. I will say, my daughter does fine with the English (as in, early grammar, punctuation, etc.) of ULW. She just doesn’t understand what she’s actually reading or from whom in SW. It doesn’t seem CM to me for a child to be reading and transcribing something that essentially is mumbo jumbo to them, but I also lack confidence in many areas, including knowing what truly is and isn’t CM as well as choosing curriculum for this particular child.

    Forgive me for not knowing, but what do you mean when you say I should use it for my mother culture and getting ahead in grammar? I will say that I enjoy the quotes we’ve worked with from SW, so you are definitely right there!

    CrystalN
    Participant

    I would agree that if it isnt broke don’t fix it.  I have never used TGATB, though I have looked and it does look beautiful.  I do use ULW/SW for my two youngest, my oldest used it for a few years and now is in an English class so he has sort of “graduated” from ULW.  What I love about ULW is that you can modify it.  We rarely dictate the whole passage, they are mostly too long for my kids, even in 6th and 9th grade.  My kids don’t always “get” what they are writing, or know anything about the author, but they do appreciate the sound of beautiful language.  Sometimes I discuss with them.  Sometimes, I remind them of when we read something previously from or about the author.  Sometimes I tell them the passage is from something I love and they may get to read it in high school.  It may seem connections are not being made, especially in 3rd grade, but I can tell you that “arms akimbo” is one of our favorite phrases.  From ULW – Sherlock Holmes.  My daughter is now in 9th grade and reading Sherlock Holmes stories, I cannot wait for her to get to “arms akimbo” and have an “aha” moment, I know it is coming.  Just want to encourage you that more than you think is being folded into them as you go through ULW.  We do art and geography as a family subject so I cannot speak to that aspect of TGATB. SCM artist studies and Geography lesson plans are really superb, and beautifully done.  I am one to agonize over curriculum so I totally get where you are coming from.  Just remember that most any curriculum you choose and stick with will do the job, it’s more about you and your kids, not the publisher you use.

    Singing2Hymn
    Participant

    Thank you, Crystal! If we go back to TGATB, I was thinking of still using SCM’s geography, even though some geography is included in TGATB. I know SCM says it’s for grades 1-12; do you believe that to be accurate? We wouldn’t start that until next school year and my kids will be in 1st, 2nd, and 4th at that time, with my 4th grader being my kiddo with ASD. I can’t decide if they would be ready for it or not.

    CrystalN
    Participant

    I think SCM geography can be used for all ages.  It is mostly copying maps and learning about the people who live in the areas.  My olders study the map and fill in a blank from memory.  My 6th grader is allowed to peek after he has tried from memory.  When they were smaller they were allowed to just copy straight from one map to the other.  The mapwork builds gradually so the first map may only have one or two regions to remember and fill in.  Maybe 3-4 next time.  I did not make my littlest children fill in as many details as the oldest, it is very easy to add or subtract to suit the student. They also included read aloud and picture book suggestions to go along with the area being studied.  We don’t usually get to the longer chapter book suggestions, but I always make an effort to get the picture books.  Even still at 6th, 9th and 11th.  We can still learn so much about people from good picture books.  My kids love to look at the food and furniture common to families in other countries when Hungry Planet or Material World is scheduled.  It truly helps them feel blessed by our abundance.

    Bek
    Participant

    Mother Culture is what CM used to describe mothers’ own ongoing education and what we do to fill up our own tank.

    I would strongly suggest you lay them outside by side and succinctly (!) explain the positives and drawbacks of both options to your husband and ask him to make a decision.

    I can almost guarantee he will make a fairly quick but sensible recommendation, very quickly summing up what he knows of you, your children and your circumstances.

    I went through a similarly agonising decision over history for my dyslexic learning challenged son. I mean I was months tossing and turning over it and second guessing myself. Finally I showed the options to my hub. He took about 30 seconds. No kidding. I was shocked and asked him how he came to his decision. He said L would struggle with one because too long and complicated; be bored with another because there were zero illustrations; and so picked 3rd option because he felt it had a nice variety and had a few illustrations which he felt would help our son.

    So 3 months with no decision versus 30 seconds amd a definite outcome.

    Then I had to follow through. And you know he was right!

     

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