PP - Progeny Press or Total Lang. Plus?

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
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PP - Progeny Press or Total Lang. Plus?

Unread postby Lucy » Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:27 pm

Mom1669 wrote:I bought a TLP guide to try it with my son (6th grade) to see which we may want to use next year -- Progeny Press or Total Lang. Plus.

The teacher's guide suggests planning an hour a day to do TLP. My question is how does that fit in with the MFW schedule? Would I drop Spelling Power and use the scheduled reading time? Then it would add up to an hour. I may do SP instead of the spelling in TLP though, at least in the guide I have.

I have used Progeny Press.

I think one of the things with TLP is you do have to decide if you want to do it all or skip parts of it. Spelling is a good example. If you have a good speller who really does not seem to need very much extra spelling help, then using the spelling in the TLP guides is a good idea, but if like my daughter they really still need to be working on spelling then I think it is better for them to stick with Spelling Power. So you get rid of that part in TLP.

Also when I do either guide I stop working on the grammar for that period of time and then pick it up again after we have finished the study. That is not to say you have to do all the activities in TLP but just decide which ones you want to focus on and cross out the others. You have lots of freedom to adapt it for each child.

Hope this helps a bit.
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

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Unread postby DS4home » Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:50 pm

I have used TLP a few times. I usually have them do the work pages for vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and reading comprehension.

What we cut out are the more time consuming projects that they suggest to go with the book you're reading. They have the student draw pictures every week to go with that section of the book - sometimes we do this but not always. They also suggest some in depth research projects or writing assignments to go with. We often times skip these because I feel they are getting enough of that with their history studies through MFW.

So I'm just saying what has been said before, you can adapt it to fit your needs. HTH Dawn

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Unread postby kellybell » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:32 pm

We like the TLP studies, but you DO have to pick and choose. One of the assignments that we cut out from all three books was: "Write a story using all 16 of your vocabulary words, using the words in order..." Instead, I had them pick their four or five hardest words (the ones "newest" to them) and write a paragraph using those words in any order. Also, there are some "busy work" spelling activities (ie. write the words in a circle, etc.). So, we do some but not all.

As for it taking an hour, I guess it could. A lot of it depends on if you are "doing everything" and if your child is a fast/slow reader and fast/slow writer. I have my two dd's set their timers for 30 minutes (four days a week) and when the timer dings, that's all the TLP you must do for the day. They don't quite get a unit done each week.

How do I fit it in with MFW? TLP takes the place of our usual spelling, grammar, formal writing and Bible dictation. The girls still do the Bible copywork (it only takes a few minutes once a week) and the Latin root work. When they finish the TLP work, they go back to their old spelling, grammar, and writing programs and they start doing the MFW Bible dictation again.

We DO the larger projects. As we start a new TLP book, I sit down with my dd and we look over the projects and decide which one(s) to tackle. Right now, one of my dd's is writing a report on storks (for The Wheel on the School) and the other is researching horse pedigrees (King of the Wind). Since they get some say-so in the big project they usually enjoy that...

I'd recommend starting with one study (TLP or Progeny -- we've not used it yet) and see how it goes. Give your dc plenty of time and don't rush it.

TLP studies are consumable (I don't know about PP though). Since I like to respect copyright rules, we are writing in our books and I'm glad we are because it would be a lot of copying otherwise. Also, you'll need a slim 3-ring binder with some index dividers for extra stuff that doesn't go in the book.

[Editors note: PP guides may be copied for your family.]

Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 5:43 pm

I like the comments on this thread about PP vs. TLP. I don't really know why we went with TLP (recommendations, saw it at convention, etc.). I agree that grammar was nonexistent (but we did All In One book, so that was covered) and there was really no literary analysis. Never did we discuss plot, theme, climax, or all those other terms from Mrs. Houston's English class.

I don't know if my going-to-be-6th grader will be doing such studies this year (I've not yet figured her out) but if so, I'll definitely consider PP and give it a try!

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:12 pm

Progeny Press is nice in that you can choose from several different books and do two or three in a year. It has some wonderful vocabulary words and neat discussion questions. We've enjoyed it. Total Language Plus was good too and I liked it, but PP just "clicked" better with us (plus the price is lower and they allow copying within a family where TLP doesn't).

What I liked best about TLP and PP was that they were from a Christian perspective and also let you choose the books. What I didn't like is that they didn't really build on each other. That's just their nature; if you get to choose which books you use and when you use them, then they can't really build on each other.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Sue in MN
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:01 pm

I have used both and like PP better

Unread postby Sue in MN » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:30 pm

Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 9:40 am

I'm still doing RTR but wanted to comment that I like PP better than TLP. PP has more literature analysis. I originally chose TLP because it was Total Language but it didn't fit our needs. The grammar was basically nonexistent, the spelling was too hard and the literature analysis wasn't there. There were comprehension questions which is about all we ended up using. I am switching to PP for the rest of RTR and for EX to 1850.

I have used TLP The Witch of Blackbird Pond & The Bronze Bow.

I have used PP The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe & The Door in the Wall.

MJ in IL
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:23 pm

Unread postby MJ in IL » Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:34 pm

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:25 am

I thought I'd weigh in on my experience with TLP. My daughter did several of the TLP guides (Amos Fortune, Incredible Journey, Caddie Woodlawn & MSotMountain) as a part of a homeschool co-op we belong to (as a 5th grader- BTW, LA is her "thing".) She loved them and seemed to be quite motivated to do the work for the mom teaching the class! I felt they were great and thorough, but very time-consuming. We did all of the activities and I can't imagine adding more anything more to them. I did feel the vocabulary was quite advanced at times.

I would like to say that the TLP guides are our favorite LA resource. She can't wait to do more.
I have never used PP, though.

In Christ, Molly


Do I need a teacher's manual?

Unread postby cbollin » Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:12 pm

TNLisa wrote:How handy is the TM for Total Language Plus? I don't have it - and could bid for it on Ebay, but only if you ladies think it's a "plus" for me to have. Thanks!

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:42 pm

When I bought my TLP guides, I got the teacher's manual. It was less than $4 buying direct from them. Why not was my thinking? especially since I was paying for the guides.

The TLP t.m. is a one time buy that covers general guidelines and ideas for the enitre TLP program no matter which study guide you use. Is it necessary for using one of the guides? probably not, but it's cheap -- don't overspend. It had notes for the whole program and ideas to make things work.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Progeny Press guides each have notes in the front & answer keys in the back, rather than teacher guides.]


Unread postby cbollin » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:12 am

Christine in TX wrote:I was looking at the TLP and wondered who used this instead of Progeny Press? It looks like it covers grammar, spelling, and a bunch of stuff! Just curious what the differences are between the two?

Posted: Thu May 15, 2008 6:05 am

Progeny Press --- easier to use and less time consuming, less waste because you don't have to leave things out. More literature analysis than TLP. I think it will be easier to fit into the overall picture of where MFW is going with language arts with 7th and 8th grade. Plus, as you’ll read in the link that Cyndi has [above], it is less expensive and can be easily re-used.

TLP -- you still have too many elements of pick and choose for extra writing assignments and other things. Some parts of it just felt busy work with the spelling and some of the ways that the vocabulary is done. I was skipping lots of stuff. Didn’t need to keep doing all of that dictation/copywork for the grammar stuff since we were also doing a grammar program and a writing program that focused on skills.

I was glad that MFW stopped recommending one or the other and just went with PP just so it wouldn’t overwhelm mom or jr. high student using TLP. Both are good programs, but sometimes too many choices makes it confusing. If TLP were the only thing out there, it would be ok. It's not bad stuff.

PP is easier to implement, in my opinion. Maybe in a few months, I’ll know from my daughter's experience. But from just doing a trial run of it the last week (I did the work), PP is just easier to cover the material.

One thing I noticed is that PP is stronger on literature analysis and discussion than TLP (which has reading comprehension, but didn’t have the same style of analysis). And I like the pacing of the PP better. Covers the few bits and pieces of extra language arts that are needed without as much repetition.

This is a subjective call on my part --- I think TLP was “too much unit study approach” for my preferences. We weren’t enjoying reading our book when we were trying to use a TLP guide. But so far from my trial run last week with PP, I was enjoying the story and kept looking forward to it. Your mileage may vary.


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