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Thread: Decades of American History series

  1. #1
    I just purchased unit 1 of year 4 (I'm buying the units individually) and received the first Decades of American History book, America in the 1900's and 1910's. Not only do I have sticker shock at the price of this book, and the other volumes needed for the rest of the units, but when I first looked at it I was a little disappointed in the content. It seems to be geared for younger students than rhetoric.

    When I add up the costs of just these books alone I'm seriously asking myself if I should continue with my plans to do TOG year 4.

    Some may be asking why I didn't count the cost before I actually ordered unit 1. I guess I just thought that while the books were VERY expensive surely they'd be worth it in the long run. But I'm not sure.

    Please convince me that it's worth it! Will I be able to resell these books and recoup most of my investment? Please share your experiences with these titles. I so want to do TOG with my 2 high-schoolers but I'm having a hard time convincing myself when I look at the cost.

    I don't mean to be critical either. I've had my eye on TOG for over a year now and I really want to do it but the cost of this series of books (over $200 and they aren't the only history books) is really holding me back.

    Is anyone substituting other titles for these? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Linda

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NC
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    283
    I have not used these books because we are not yet at the Rhetoric level.

    However, I imagine it is difficult to find books that cover the level that Tapestry would like and yet do not cross the line with various biases for 20th Century history.

    I did check the place I look to compare used book prices on the internet and it appears that they resell for very close to their original price (I use Addall which compares lots of places but there are stand alone places as well). Some even appear to be reselling higher than retail.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NE Florida
    Posts
    5
    We just finished Yr 4 doing R history for the first time. I will agree those books were the more expensive ones but my dd enjoyed the break they gave in reading. Many of the other books the R read, like the Stalin and Mao biographies, are heavy reads. I absorbed the cost because I have 4 other children who will be coming behind.

    If you have a good library system, check to see if they have some that you can use. Also, scour the web for used. I was able to find a few that way. TOG really is the best history I have found!
    June in Florida
    2nd time around

    Wife for 19 happy years
    Mom to:
    K - 17 dd
    V - 15 dd (R)
    H - 14 dd (D)
    A - 14 dd (D)
    G - 7 dd

  4. #4
    President, Lampstand Press
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Maryland
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    162
    Originally posted by Dahlhouse:
    Not only do I have sticker shock at the price of this book, and the other volumes needed for the rest of the units, but when I first looked at it I was a little disappointed in the content. It seems to be geared for younger students than rhetoric.

    When I add up the costs of just these books alone I'm seriously asking myself if I should continue with my plans to do TOG year 4.

    Some may be asking why I didn't count the cost before I actually ordered unit 1. I guess I just thought that while the books were VERY expensive surely they'd be worth it in the long run. But I'm not sure.

    Please convince me that it's worth it! Will I be able to resell these books and recoup most of my investment? Please share your experiences with these titles. I so want to do TOG with my 2 high-schoolers but I'm having a hard time convincing myself when I look at the cost.

    I don't mean to be critical either. I've had my eye on TOG for over a year now and I really want to do it but the cost of this series of books (over $200 and they aren't the only history books) is really holding me back.

    Is anyone substituting other titles for these? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Linda
    Hey, Linda

    Here are a few thoughts. As Pat points out, books that are fair and balanced on the 20th Century are not plentiful. We do our best to balance costs, but sometimes the whole-book approach (as opposed to text books) does get expensive. There's not much we can do about that in terms of choosing books. To stay current with what's "in print" and balance what's there with other resources, with content concerns, etc., we have limited choices. We do our best, and know that it won't fit all families at all times. (See below for alternate ideas.)

    The reason that the content is easier is because we wanted to engage rhetoric students with a main thread of analyzing leadership as we taught our way through the 20th Century. To this end, we chose many in-depth books on world leaders (at home and abroad) as well as some analytical books on the eras (such as Only Yesterday in Unit 1). Thus, the reading load is heavier for In-Depth reading in Year 4, and the "spine" or "narrative" books listed in Core are lighter, quicker reads.

    "Worth it" is an individual decision. Only you can really say if an investment in books that overview the 20th century are worthy investments given your family's goals, priorities, budget, etc. I would only refer you back to your husband, and suggest that you review with him the pros and cons and allow him to make the call.

    Alternate ideas: this series as we've used it in Year 4 really contains the narrative of each week-plan. You are right to point out that there's nothing extraordinary about these books. You could choose instead to use either your local library or Internet resources that we list for free and have your children mine the same facts out of alternate resources. Using these books means that you know they're available, and that all the questions asked in the Student Activity Pages are answered in these particular reading selections. That said, older students should be able to follow the basic who, what, when, where, and why of the various week-plan eras from our links or from books in your local public library.

    I truly hope this helps!
    Blessings,
    Marcia

    No one can do me a greater kindness in this world than to pray for me.
    --Charles Spurgeon

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    4
    We skipped the books. Between the other reads and the Teacher's Manual, I feel like my son is getting a good picture of the 20th Century. Honestly we couldn't afford them and I also wanted to pull history back a bit to master things like writing, math, science, etc. There's just a limit to how much time we can spend on one subject. My son has always been a good reader, but not necessarily a fast reader!
    In Christ,
    Karen Twombly
    Come visit : peacefulgatherings.blogspot.com

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